「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.