「最後まで」 (Saigo Made)
“Through to the End”

After the muted shockers last week no real surprise 86 let off the pedals slightly this time to help reinforce the coming storm. Shin’s history; Legion’s evolution; Lena’s struggle: it’s all a slow boil which points to serious troubles down the road – and few are willing right now to openly admit it.

With the Legion’s method of perseverance and growth now in the open, I can safely say I’m not that shocked by the indication that Shin’s brother happened to be made a part of the machine collective. Something like this was bound to occur, and it certainly adds to the tension in the knowledge that Shin will inevitably be tested and pushed to the brink. That stoic personality and ruthless calm under pressure? Inevitably going to get a workout once Shin comes face to face with the form his resurrected brother now takes. The only question on this front is whether Shin is alone in his very personal connection to the Legion, or whether the likes of Lena may have something similar waiting in the wings for the right moment. After all, no one has mentioned what happened to Lena’s father.

The other side of the coin of course is Lena and here surprises should also be unexpected. Besides the inevitability of Lena eventually pushing too hard to help her 86 charges and running afoul of her commanders, there’s also the fact something significant about Para-RAID is being kept secret. Henrietta for example is clearly in the know and I would wager she’s aware of the voices Lena has now experienced. It’s only natural the system designers would retain such a feedback loop for system maintenance and iterative improvement, and not that improbable the mechanism of such an artefact is what powers Para-RAID in the first place. The curiosity is what such knowledge entails. Is it just the latest future tech jealously guarded to help keep quiet some unsavory fact? Or is there something more insidious behind it like San Magnolia using it as a test bed for some way to gain control of the Legion? There’s definitely lots left to learn in this sphere.

Going forward, however, the one thing we can expect in excess is suffering. As harped on lots before war is hell and the unfortunate casualties of Daiya and Rekka prove the point – especially Daiya, there’s no better way to show what’s at stake than through deliberate suicide. Most of these characters may admittedly be throwaway, but A1 is doing one hell of a job in camerawork, sound, and direction to really drive home the horrors of the battlefield and the emotions felt upon each 86 loss.

This season may already be halfway over, but in more than one way 86 has yet to show us just what it’s truly capable of.

 

Preview

26 Comments

  1. The intro with a younger Shin is fantastic, even better than i imagined when i read the novel.
    Regarding the battle, the way they animated the humanoid self propelled mines was really scary…they were also smirking before detonating.
    A1 is doing a magnificent job in those anime original parts that cover various time skips in the book (the first novel was written for a contest with a strict page limit, so the timeline is somewhat compressed) and i am very curios about the next episode which will also be anime original.

    Lambdalith
    1. they’re going to animate the first three volumes in chronological order…
      -1st cour (episodes 1-11) volume 1 without the epilogue
      -2nd cour (episode 1-12) volumes 2 and 3 (episode 13) the volume 1’s epilogue.

      GameXD
      1. Yeah, i know. However Daiya in the novel dies offscreen and the current mission against Legion base is a new addition for the anime. Those are the skips in the first novel, which covers very few actual battles due to the mentioned page limit. Still it works very well in portraying how meaningless it can be to die on the frontlines. This however wouldn’t fly on a visual media and i am glad they took the time to add the missing parts.

        Lambdalith
      1. Speaking of A1, there are consistent rumors on 2chan that 86 staff is working to an adaptation of novel 4 that will be first show as a theatrical movie in 2022 and then split in tv episodes later, in a fashion similar to Legend of Galactic Heroes. Apparently production started as soon as they completed the newly announced FGO movie.
        Notably novel 4 is very self contained and action packed with most of the events spanning a limited amount of time, while even the first novel has a timeline that span months.

        Lambdalith
      1. or get a heart-marked choclate…
        anyway, as I look upon the series, isnt it by now kinda pointless… Republic is gonna lose this war, everybody will be dead.
        All of the86ers we have met will die sooner or later.
        And alba are completely unprepared for making further war by the,mselves.
        Then Legion will breach the Grand Mur and kill every Alba as well…
        All of the drama is pointless. Anette will not live to have her children grow even if she finds suitable partner. Lena will not get to see her crush grow or fail to grow.

        ewok40k
        1. Except such nihilism is detrimental from a character perspective. Just because the 86ers may accept they could die at any time doesn’t mean they don’t have a reason to hope. Maybe they won’t die; maybe the Legion will ultimately be defeated; maybe they’ll see a future where they can have a family.

          Just because things look to be bleak doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll turn out that way.

  2. https://randomc.net/image/86/86%20-%2006%20-%2008.jpg
    Eight people in that picture are dead as of this episode. Anyone care to guess which ones?
    33% attrition from a front line unit and they still can’t get in replacements?

    When it comes to the other side, it’s kinda sad that Annette can’t get any guys her age. When one of the options is an actual kid, it’s kinda telling on how low her generation has fallen. Would have thought she’d find one around her lab, but damn does that place look empty.

    theirs
    1. It’s almost as though they don’t have the replacements to go around in the first place 😉

      As for Henrietta I’m not sure it’s that she cannot get similarly aged men as much as she actively rejects them. Note her response when Lena questioned her over it, Henrietta definitely has a type of guy she wants and none of her age cohort meet the criteria.

      1. Haven’t really seen anything positive for the guys around her age. The fact that one family seeking her family’s fortune actually offered a kid as a marriage candidate doesn’t give confidence on the rest of her generation. Looks suspiciously like when an older generation complains about the next one. XD Get the feeling she’d find a better personality match with one of Lena’s units.

        theirs
  3. Could it be Henrietta is in love with Lena, or just into women in general, and that’s why she keeps refusing to match up with suitors her age? So she can easily refuse them due to age?
    At first I thought she was dodging marriage since it will lead to the end of her scientific career, with Alba probably going by historical gender-roles of stay-home mothers, But after her remark and facial expression I’m starting to get a different idea.

    Chance
    1. No she’s not lesbian, as mentioned above in another comment it’s down to personality. Henrietta like Lena cannot stand how the men her age act and thus likely chooses to actively screen them out from her matchmaking. She still has to go through the motions though (given the marriage system looks to be state-sponsored) so winds up with pairings either too young or too old.

    2. Henrietta is a gifted scientist and one of the reason she is a friend of Lena is because she also quite intelligent judging from her promotions based on academic merits. Basically she has problems with boys (she is the same age of Lena after all) of her age because of her superior intellect and she end up trying with older guys which also doesn’t work because age =/= intellect. Other families started to think that she just wants an arranged marriage and even introduced her their prepubescent heir, making things even worse.

      Lambdalith
  4. Gotta say I‘m getting numb to the death and suffering on display.
    Will we get a bigger picture instead of these small battles that feel so meaningless? Like at all, considering that only the first few vols are covered?
    Seing Lena eating chocolate and blushing like the cute anime girl that she is didn’t work for me at all.

    boingman
    1. Even when big actions are display Eighty Six is mostly a character driven story. If you are growing numb to what those guys are going through i have to say that’s not the story for you and you should try something like Legend of Galactic Heroes in which things are presented mostly from a strategic level. It’s a good recommendation considering how it keeps everything serious, barring occasional quirkiness, especially considering how you don’t want any concession in your serious war is serious and professional stories ; )

      Lambdalith
      1. My post might have sounded harsher than I intended it to be,
        but yes, maybe what I’m missing so far is some older characters in leading roles discussing what is going instead of kids only so far (enjoyed LOTGH These). Having both should not be impossible and I would expect that to be the case in later parts of the story and that I’m simply impatient. Which is I mentioned the “first few vols” bit. That’s on me.
        Unless you’re telling me that there is no bigger plot apart from seeing a few characters trying their best to survice with no impact on the war.

        boingman
        1. Well, the problem is that adults are scarce when entire generations are wiped out. Anyway if you can endure a little spoiler about the series progression…

          —spoiler warning—
          Show Spoiler ▼

          Pancakes edit: spoiler tags to be safe

          Lambdalith
          1. Thanks for the spoilers, too. Usually I dont enjoy spoilers too much, but this time they … err, can’t post it, it would be spoiler too…

            ewok40k

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