86: Eighty-Six

TV (11 eps)
4.36 out of 5 from 2,219 votes
Rank #365

The Republic of San Magnolia has long been under attack from the neighboring Giadian Empire's army of unmanned drones known as the Legion. After years of painstaking research, the Republic finally developed autonomous drones of their own, turning the one-sided struggle into a war without casualties-or at least, that's what the government claims. In truth, there is no such thing as a bloodless war. Beyond the fortified walls protecting the eighty-five Republic territories lies the "nonexistent" Eighty-Sixth Sector. The young men and women of this forsaken land are branded the Eighty-Six and, stripped of their humanity, pilot the "unmanned" weapons into battle...

Source: Yen Press

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Boys and girls, who survived intense battles; the fiery sci-fi military action, you have never seen before begins. There will always be war. People die for their future generations to never see the horrors of war, but it will never end the cycle of never-ending bloodshed. Wars, indeed, do not happen as often, however, instead of wars, there will be small conflicts and acts of terrorism that happen quite often. Where diplomacy is powerless, there is always war. Eighty Six takes place in the Republic of San Magnolia. For a long time, this country has known how horrible wars are. The Republic has been attacked by its neighbor, the Empire, which created a series of unmanned military vehicles to conquer San Magnolia. In response to the threat, the Republic successfully completes the development of similar technology, mecha-like machines that help the Republic combat the threat of the Empire. However, where there is a war, there are also dark secrets and Eighty Six is not an exception. A good anime starts with talented staff members. And 86 has plenty to choose from, which perhaps helped it to be such a good adaptation that it is. The anime mostly focuses on the difference between peace and war: San Magnolia and the other parts on the frontline; from a number of differences in the animation, to characters’ interactions. With its stunning animation and perfect writing, 86 perfectly manages to capture the horrors of wars and help the viewer to never feel bored. Of course, stunning animation and well-written story about war is hardly enough for an anime to be good. Truly, there are many anime and manga that touch upon the theme of wars. 86, however, also focuses on discrimination (which obviously follows any war) and racism. Finally, characters interactions really add up to the viewer’s enjoyment and make the anime even more interesting. However, while, as I have already mentioned, 86 is very enjoyable, thanks for an amazing staff, no staff can chance the source material. Which, by the way, has a number of questionable parts about it. Take for example one of the dark secrets that I mentioned in my review. Alba uses 86 (who are just like Mudblood In Harry Potter) that they treat like a total trash that should just die and be grateful to be able to serve Alba: they are literally to do everything they are told to do, while Alba (who are proponents of the idea of the race supremacy, by the way) just drink alcohol, chill and flirt with women. Do not you see anything strange about it? Indeed! 86 could have just joined the enemies of Alba and screw their whole nation like the nazi bastards Alba are. Yet, 86 keep on fighting and losing they lives for… pretty much nothing. Then you are introduced to the Spearhead squadron, which, too, has a number of mysteries about it, but that does not matter. They get a new curator, a cute 16 year old object of fa…n service, ehem, girl. And the girl keeps trying to make her fellow citizens believe that 86 are humans too. Which is, let us say, strange! Just for a second imagine being an officer in any country that cannot live without wars and tell each and everyone that their race is superior. Now imagine being that one officer who is against the ideology of race supremacy. Add to it the fact that you are a 16 years old girl. Hilarious, is not it? Best case scenario is that you will be made leave the army and do what 16 years old girls have to do, get fucking education! But, no, Alba just do not care. Any many many more. Overall, while 86 is a rather weird anime that made a number of weird choices, I will rate it an 8/10, hoping that most of my questions will be answered in the second season. Even though, 86, as I said already, is rather weird, it still has a number of good things to offer. Give it a try, it is rather fun!


Usually I don't take my reviews very seriously but this one is special. 86 was probably the best anime I have ever seen and I will try to go into detail but what I want to say first is you MUST go and watch it, both because it really is something that will stay known for years and because I will be possibly making spoilers, you've been warned. First of all the writting is the main thing that got me into the anime. I am sure if someone gave it to me as a book I would read it in a single day. But the anime adapted it perfectly in my opinon. What I mean is, I found the pacing to be amazing and the characters where all truly human. The way they interacted with eachother, every little conversation added to their relationships. Personally I was more into watching the Spearheads than I was watching Lena. All in all it was fascinating and I hope this continues into the next season where I think Lena will play a bgger role. Now for the animation. A1-Pictures really put it's heart into making this. The animation is glorious and beautiful. It was consistent throughout the whole season, if it were fighting scenes or not, the imagery would leave me stunned. You could take a screenshot at any given moment and you would have a desktop background. Also the CG was implemented flawlessly. The 3D models didn't get in the way at all. I wish other anime had this level of animation. I really think that A1-Pictures went out of their way for this one because I've only seen ufotable do this good a job, and that's saying something. Another thing about the characters is how they react in certain situations. In the finale of season 1 everyone tried so hard to help Shin but to no avail, they all died. Shin was surely defeated and couldn't have been saved. They all went to help him knowing full well they would probably die, and unlike other anime where through some magic they would defeat the enemy (I thought Lena would come with the cannons again and obliterate the enemy), they died. Not coldly, either unrealistically. They were just killed, and there was no time for them to cry or help eachother. I only saw Anju scream Theo's name. This scene was heart-breaking. At last Shin had no more power to do something about his situation and accepted his fate. In conclusion, this anime has a lot of potential, and from what I've seen from season 1, A1 is delivering. If this continues with later seasons, I can see this anime becoming one of the best of all time.

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