86: Eighty-Six

TV (11 eps)
4.209 out of 5 from 9,808 votes
Rank #310

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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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.


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. Spoilers [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.

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