86: Eighty-Six - Reviews

Ryuga10's avatar
May 24, 2021

I was sceptical of starting of starting this anime since many post apocalyptic anime tend to be overhyped, but this was not the case for 86. With a very intersting plot so far(7 episodes in) ,with excellent stroy pacing, this show is easily the best anime of this season by far. character development has been fairly good so far. this anime is reallya hidden gem with not much traction given to it. But i would reccomend it on any given day. Each episodes makes you want more and waiting for 7 days really feels like a torture! my ratings for this would be a solid 9/10 so far(might increase in the future who knows?)

Hope you enjoy the anime as well

9.5/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
BlackCatLef's avatar
Jun 23, 2021

3S reviews no.33 (short, simple and sweet/salty/spicy)

I’ve come to the realization lately that in order to enjoy an anime nowdays, 99% of the time, you have to compromise. You gonna like some parts of it, but it’s gonna be littered with other stuff that you don’t like and you’ll just have to go with it. So, like the perfect significant other doesn’t exist out there, the perfect show doesn’t exist either, compromise is the name of the game.

This show is a… military drama I guess, It has mecha, action, death, and what do you know, it also has a hint of romance and...drum-roll please...RACISM! You see here is the premise, the country that we get to see in the show, discriminated all the people that are not blue haired. The blue haired that are the normal people live inside the walls in their safety while all the rest live outside of the walls, fighting the enemy inside their mechas (spider looking tanks). Now, that’s not enough though, we had to go a little further with the premise, you see, the people inside the walls are oblivious to all of these, they think that the mechas are being controlled by a.i. and not actual people. A few people inside the military do know about this but they are also of the belief that those people are unevolved, freakin monkeys that didn’t lose their hair, giraffes that didn’t grew longer necks, peanuts that never became peanut butter. Now I can’t begin to explain how idiotic this is in so many levels, and I can’t even imagine a possible explanation of how the world reached that state. Now, like all that wasn’t enough for a show, the rabbit hole goes even deeper. The enemy mechas (that are actually a.i. operated), steal the brains from the soldiers they kill and turn them into a.i. to fight for them. On top of that, you can hear their voices in the battlefield. Now if all that sounds like to much to you, there is a simple explanation for that, they absolutely fuckin are too much! It could have been simpler, cleaner and way better. More complicated doesn’t always mean better. The saddest thing is that as the show progresses, all this idiocy gets worse and worse, I won’t get into details ofc cause of spoilers.

The feeling of the show is alright most of the time, people die, it’s a war, no sunshine nor rainbows are to be found here, it’s intriguing, it’s sad, it’s exciting but… unfortunately when you learn the “reality” of this war, then all the aforementioned just become empty, shallow, the hole thing just undermines itself. Pacing is a bit weird, seems to lose steam a lot of the time, the length of the show seems to be a problem in my opinion. Nowdayz its all about the typical season’s length, airing money and all that, but this show came in the wrong era, imagine this being a 90s ova, like 3 one hour episodes, with some old school NON CGI animated mechas and it would have been a blast. The weird pace really undermines the end of the show which was pretty alright.

Characters are alright, you like them but you don’t get too attached too them cause you know, it’s a war, you are bound to mourn for them eventually. Sometimes they seem a little bit contradicting, you know acting like kids, or like they dont really feel that they take part in a war, but the thing is that is deliberate. They are still kids even though their childhood got stolen. There is no way out for them so they might as well enjoy themselves right? Well… that is one way to view, the other way to view it is that this really kills the drama and tension and once again the show kind of undermines itself. The truth is somewhere in between.

Animation is alright, the fights are very well choreographed but, but, it’s still cgi. Even though its decent cgi, still, if we had classic quality animation here we would be talking about a different show that would have enjoyed much more success. Character design is pretty uninspired and generic, but, it’s a war, they are disposable soldiers, that’s the point right? Well yes and no, it’s the right idea but not the best execution. We do get some development as well, not a whole lot but still enough, much more than the majority of modern anime can claim to have.

Sound is decent, not a single track stands out in a good nor a bad way. Opening is ok, same with ending, voice acting is alright. Best part about the sound is probably the sound effects, job well done there.

So, is it worth a watch? Well… yeah, it’s alright, it’s one of the underrated anime of the season. It’s a contradicting show, it’s a nice story littered with not so great story telling, a nice premise littered with too much unnecessary complexity and fights with nice choreography undermined by cgi. Still for what it is its alright, I wouldn’t watch if I hadn’t watched other similar shows that came before and set the bar high, I ‘d go for those first (you know like some Gundam, NGE, some Macross stuff) but if those shows are to your liking then you will most definitely enjoy this one.

5.5/10 story
6/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
5.5/10 characters
5.8/10 overall
apoc9's avatar
Jul 22, 2021

Pretty colours, racism, war with CG robots and lots of feelings. I could end review right there, because that is pretty much all I’ve taken from the series except the feelings. I felt nothing. Pretty much every thing the show throwed at me bounced off me like nothing. Why should I care, when in the end even the 86s’ didn’t care? They already resigned to their fate. In fact, even the republic did give up any serious effort to win the war, with preposterous story of war ending by default presuming machines seize to function after their operational time is exceeded. The next issue is how a majority population of the republic were sent to the frontline in the first place. Why wasn’t there any rebellion, opposition, etc.?

I’ve forced myself to finish the show, despite utter boredom it radiated from every episode. Initially the premise and theme were a bit promising. It could be interesting show, but around the fourth episode I just naturally stalled until the end of the season, because it is meh in terms of story. It’s the series, which tries to establish characters, but it does in very slow and boring manner. It isn’t wrong to have some slice-of-life elements to make contrast with harsh war and death, but it is just too much in this case. I didn’t like the ending, because it made the whole thing even more pointless. There is supposed to be second season so I don’t know how the story is going to continue [1].

Animation and visual side of things are ok despite heavy use of CG. Soundtrack is ok. As usual I don’t care for OP and ED.

My finger was itching to skip whenever characters started drag and talk about things of no interest. It was almost all the time. Am I going even to watch the second season? Maybe, I honestly don’t know. Anyway, I don’t recommend the series unless you prefer very dry drama.


[1] In the last episodes the remaining handful of 86s’ are killed. So, either they are going to be turn into the machines or it’s just a troll and they somehow survived.

4/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
6/10 characters
4/10 overall
ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
Mar 22, 2022

This review covers both parts of 86.

The gist of the anime is given to you in the first episode. Children are sent to war while the rest of the republic is treating them like objects that don’t count as fatalities when they die. Themes such as propaganda and racism are strong, but their execution leaves a lot to be desired. The main reasons are summed up as followed.

1) Crappy CGI for the mechas. Far from the worst specimen and it’s mostly the silver enemy units that look dreadful, but still enough to drive away most people accustomed to pretty animation and good choreography. The fights are not interesting in general, since it’s just spider robots shooting at each other, effectively nothing more than tanks with legs. They lack the flare of more popular mecha, such as fluent movement, special attacks, and over the top particle effects. Yes, those are all super robot territory, but that is what makes them engaging. In 86 you are just multitasking as you wait for the fights to be over.

2) Completely forgettable stock characters. There is close to nothing worth remembering about them and there is no impact when some of them die. Even the diehard fans of the show like them in the most superficial way. Lena is cute, Shin is cool, Frederica is annoying but adorable. That’s as far as it goes, because they are otherwise generic.

3) Very simple and slow plot progression. Most episodes are slice of life or stand alone skirmishes, and even the big battles at the end don’t feel that important or even conclusive.

4) Immersion-breaking erotic comedy. Although fairly tame compared to your average romcom, beach and bath scenes are still out of place in a supposed serious war drama. It doesn’t add anything to the plot and it’s too simple to make the neckbeards huff and puff like happy dogs. Also it’s puzzling to see people in the 2020s being fine with minors getting thrown at compromising situations for the sake of comedy. Not even Frederica was spared. Porn is now everywhere and it’ mostly free, you know? You don’t need watered down fan service about Frederica for fulfilling your needs. In conclusion, the show would be a bit better without those lukewarm and eventually worthless scenes.

5) Childish treatment of the themes. This is by far the worst one and deserves further elaboration.

86 plays out like a soap opera written by and aimed at teenagers who don’t really know anything about real war. Despite the battles waging constantly for many years, the teen soldiers are still acting like typical high school students with none of the grumpy attitude and cynicism that comes along with the territory. Sure, you can’t expect all soldiers to act like Rambo, but you can at least assume they would act somewhat differently compared to a silly anime high school romcom. It’s hard to care when one of them dies and all you are thinking is ‘oh, no, there goes the out-of-place romcom stock character’.

That aside, the republic keeps treating them like subhumans when they have the firepower and battle experience to wipe out entire battalions. Not much reasoning is provided for why the Spearheads are fighting for the republic when they are treated like dirt and are eventually sent to suicide missions. At some point they even mention they are doing it for honor, which doesn’t make any sense. They are literally sent to die and nobody will give a shit or bother to remember their contribution. At the same time they have the firepower and vital position to refuse to fight if they are not treated better, or if they are preferably not murdered by their own people at the end for the lolz.

It’s as if the whole thing was written that way so the main characters can be victimized and super powerful at the same time. You know, just for the sake of making the audience feel sorry for them while at the same time finding them to be cool or something. Too bad they are stock characters so it doesn’t work. Also the solution to their drama is as easy as a walk to the local supermarket. Don’t fight and see the Magnolias sweating as the enemy machines wipe out their border towns. They will have no other choice besides fulfilling the 86 demands. Yet all we see is the Spearheads fighting even when they know they will be killed off at the end. I mean, they eventually decide to run away to some other country at the last moment, but that is something they could have done since day 1. But didn’t.

This part was shrugged off as pathological altruism, aka they did it because they are boyscouts and don’t care if they get killed without getting some recognition or at least respect at the end. It makes them come off as idealists for no other reason than being written as such. It’s childish.

6) Wait, what, there is more? Yes, and I placed this reason after the biggest problem with the show, simply because it’s something that pops up in the second cour. The core drama is just not there anymore, automatically making the second part even duller than the first. For you see, the 86 escape to a different country where they are no longer discriminated. In fact, they are treated nicely and even gain everyone’s respect in battle. The theme lost the racism angle and became about PTSD where the soldiers can’t stay away from the fighting even when they are given the chance. It could be something interesting to explore, but because they are stock characters from some romcom it doesn’t work at all. Even Lena, the surrogate for the racists, no longer has much screentime. Her chemistry with the second team she controls is also non-existent and it’s like she ran out of things to offer to the show.

In conclusion, it’s not a good show. Watching the fans’ reaction to it feels like they haven’t seen another war drama in anime. Most 80s sci-fi were essentially doing the same thing. Heck, most mecha were doing the same thing. Heck, most Gundam series have the same themes, with far better visuals and action to boot. What’s that, people don’t bother watching 80s anime to know that? Okay then, Iron Blooded Orphans came out a couple of years before this anime, yet nobody amongst the fans of 86 seems to have heard of it.

What they surely had heard of, were the dozens of trashy fantasy isekai that come out every year to which 86 stands out because it’s not fantasy. Or isekai. Or a harem with videogame terminology. And that is somehow enough to make 86 a standout in the landscape of the time it came out. Fancy that. With that said, the show is not super popular either. Some of those who praise it tend to be vocal, while the vast majority of anime fans don’t give a damn about it. Which is to be expected, since mecha are not in fashion anymore and do not draw the casuals the same way fighting shonen, isekai, and romcoms do. So yeah, it never stood a chance at being popular, even if it didn’t have the issues I described above. Chances are nobody will even remember it by next year.

4/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
4/10 overall
crowlsparrow's avatar
Jun 29, 2021

i'm not a professional critic, but i did enjoy the show. the beginning was fantastic, i personally found the first episode really slow. i thought i would get bored, or not care, but in the end i was practically hooked onto every episode. the writing was great, the animation quality was top notch. i found the story to be heartbreaking, more so than i expected after picking this up on a whim. prepare for some hard to watch stuff when starting it. i have to say besides that, i wish we got a little more in depth with the characters. they did have a large cast and i still think that it was great but could have been better. overall, would TOTALLY recommend. just because some things weren't perfect doesn't mean this wasn't a fantastic anime. well worth my time, but it is going to take me a while to heal from it.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall