「死にたくない」 (Shinitakunai)
“I Don’t Want to Die”

Well, I’d say fears over 86 failing in terms of gravity have now been slightly eased. While the show has taken its time in acknowledging the substantial elephant in the room, the moment (and its accompanying buildup) certainly did the trick in highlighting just where this story is going. Lena might want to help a group of people used and abused, but first she needs to understand just exactly who they are – and who she wants to be herself.

Given the happy-go-lucky nature (interspersed with the occasional flareup of violence) over the first couple of weeks, this was the episode I was most looking forward to. Lena’s naivety for example is not only noticeable for us, but also the 86ers under her command. Just because her processors aren’t telling her doesn’t mean they aren’t painfully aware of it; the outbursts this week may have confirmed it, but I guarantee the same thoughts were running in their heads since the beginning. And frankly such thoughts are fully deserved. Regardless of Lena’s sincerity in belief, for those only accustomed to denigration she sounds an awful lot like someone with a saviour complex, an individual who professes care and understanding to plaster over the guilt they feel for enjoying life others cannot. Ever wonder why those in hard-off situations don’t like such moral grandstanding and often lash out at it? This is the main reason why. It may seem like you’re helping and or trying to understand, but when approached from a position of apparent safety and security without any relevant experience it just hurts. Hard.

And that then leads into the other source of 86 ire in Lena’s growing attachment. Much as professed by Spearhead squadron, Lena’s nightly talks were used solely to alleviate boredom. When death could be mere moments away, you don’t seek to form deep or lasting attachments because you can never be sure when that close relationship may be snatched away by the enemy. Lena, given her status and position behind the lines, never learned this lesson and operates under the impression she can save every life under her command. Reality of course operates differently, and the results of simple battlefield luck and the fog of war only reinforce the deserved disgust (and moments of sympathy) a lot of Spearhead feel for a girl who, for all that supposed care, never even once attempted to learn her processors’ actual names (quite cute for a girl who professes a desire to learn wouldn’t you say?).

This whole episode is a vivid indication of just how wide the chasm is between Lena and Spearhead, and also the arguable starting point for this series overall. Now that Lena has been woken up to the realities at hand, will see break like her predecessors, or will be she use this lesson to finally understand what it’ll take to realize her strongly held convictions? Next week is definitely going to be interesting to see.




  1. “Ever wonder why those in hard-off situations don’t like such moral grandstanding and often lash out at it? This is the main reason why. It may seem like you’re helping and or trying to understand, but when approached from a position of apparent safety and security without any relevant experience it just hurts. Hard.”

    Two comments here since this applies to out society as well – people say: If you aren’t as “miserable” as I am, you have no right to comment, you can’t understand. And I have to admit, this attitude annoys me. The 86 don’t know anything about Lena, what she went through, what her feelings are. WE as the viewers have a rough idea, but the 86 barely know anything about her. The guy snapping at the end not once was interested to ask anything about her. He just ASSUMES to know things about her, which is exactly what he is accusing her of.
    So you’d like to put misery on a scale and then hand out points – this person then has a right to complain, that one doesn’t. So because “it hurts hard”,you have a right to hurt others just as hard?: The guy in the end wasn’t complaining about standing on the battlefield, which would be more than understandable, he complained about Lena’s attitude, which turned this into a discussion about words and feelings,but Lena AT LEAST tried to understand – compared to the other side.

    That being said, it was Lena in this case that called every night without being asked to do so. The 86 had other issues and wanted to make the best of their time they had left. They weren’t interested in her, but they also didn’t ask her to be interested in them. That way, it’s fine, so in the end, I can agree with the guy lashing out at Lena.

    In our society though, there are some groups that aren’t interested in others AT ALL but still expect others to be interested in them while at the same time saying “you cant understand”. In their eyes, they are more miserable than others and so “rightfully” are asking for attention while remaining completely ignorant of other people and not showing the slightest interest in them.

    Sorry, that part triggered me 😉

    1. I think that the main problem is that the Alba are directly responsible for the 86 misery (they are literally using the war to enact a “final solution” of sorts) while in our world the various scales of misery/prosperity are more opaque. It’s difficult to not be angered when you hear “i am sorry for your friend’s death” from a person that’s a part of the system that put said friend in a death trap against an infinite army of mechanical monsters.
      Overall Shin’s perspective on the matter (you’ll see in the next episode) is the correct one, but i can’t blame Theo for snapping.

    2. Mm might be treating my remarks too literally. The person I’m thinking of is the armchair activist (if you will), the one who strongly professes an understanding of the situation or what needs to change and how they’re the only one with the answer who you obviously need to listen to. Lena hasn’t voiced this overtly, but she’s acting like it in the eyes of the 86ers, which when coupled with her inexperience and ignorance really comes across as condescending and arrogant. Such professions are often painful because they both highlight your situation and reinforce how the professor clearly doesn’t experience the same. Or in other words, pride in action.

      As for the 86ers you are definitely right they know anything about Lena, but then they don’t really have to; in San Magnolia Alba are humans, they’re simply disposable fodder. Lena’s situation will never be remotely comparable, and if she was prescient she’d realize this and approach her contact and fraternizing in a different light. Lena does deserve credit for wanting to understand, but she’s currently lacking in the language needed to realize that understanding.

      In general I think this scenario is a good example of how fluid and morally grey such social situations are because as you mention both sides can be seen in the wrong depending on your frame of view.

    3. Eh, two sides failing to fully understand the perspective of the other and each with emotional suffering.

      Which one is more morally just at being upset at the other?

      Perhaps the side which is suffering in quality/loss of life? The side which sits with only emotional upset should learn to value the lives of the other side before being huffy about the dying not committing enough effort to understand them.

      I think the 86 is fully justified in expressing anger at a beneficiary of their enslavement, no matter how well-intentioned that beneficiary is. She won’t die from it and if her intentioned are honestly decent, it might help make her smarter and stronger.

  2. I am not too crazy about the fact that they are separating in two episodes the main event of the this episode, mostly because the structure of repeating the same thing from two points of view reduces the tension. However i also understand that the first novel is too short for an entire cour and they have to expand the events, so it’s preferable to filler.

    Anyway, as some viewers already noticed in previous episodes, Lena approach is naive and wrong in many ways. She was doing the same things with her previous squadrons and the contempt of her subordinates never changed. Commanding Spearhead will be a rude awakening for her and she will need to change drastically her ways.

    1. Coming from this blind I think the split worked well as it really highlighted the stark differences in personal experiences and how the only connection (so far) Lena has with Spearhead is through a veritable phone line. While Lena can just go home to her opulent bedroom after a hard day’s work watching a computer screen, the 86ers are busy fighting and dying.

      It’s a good showcase of how utterly out of depth Lena is and just how much she has to learn before she can act on her beliefs.

  3. Didn’t expect someone with a personal logo to be killed off so quickly. Then again, the first person in the unit that was killed also had a personal logo. Maybe it’s the equivalent of a red shirt? *Looks at Black Dog and Snow Witch* Hopefully not.

    Looking at episode one, I would’ve thought Lena’s used to this. How much experience does she have anyway?

    1. By now handlers are almost a lifeline to those that can’t find a job, so the overall level is very low. Lena has a high rank mostly for academic merits and most of her field experience was with the Pleiades squadron. Notably very few on that group had a name (only veteran 86 can have a callsign, all the others are referred by id number), meaning that it was a secondary front. The action inf the first episode was the first time she experienced serious losses.

      That said Theo’s words have much more effect due to the Pararaid resonance and the fact that most of the squadron agree with him.

    2. I think it’s been made fairly clear that Lena has little experience. Her position seems to come more from contacts, family connections, and smarts. Not too surprising she’s utterly lost by the lashing out this episode IMO, she only mentioned being to front only once after all.

  4. That shot of Lena in her comfy big room is quite telling.
    “Snow Witch” was among those that I expected to bite the dust first, but then they would have to show her past first.

  5. Well, this episode seems like a good opportunity for character development for everyone. It would be interesting how they would follow-up with this significant event and Lena realizing she really is not fit for this job. I still can’t figure her out yet, but right now she is naive as she can be. Perhaps, this would push her into a different direction as she tends to be annoying when is being a self-righteous freak.

  6. I fully expect Lena to do something crazy. Like, going over the wall to fight alongside 86. She might be as naive as pure virgin next door, but she seems to have that immovable resolve to do the right thing, damn the consequences.

    1. She is far more useful in her role as handler, providing an extra eye and tactical info and analysis the Spearhead squadron can’t have in any other way. That’s the main reason why Shin and Raiden are pressing the group to accept her. Undertaker can’t keep everyone alive by himself.


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