「忘れないでいてくれますか?」 (Wasurenai de Itekuremasu ka?)
“Will You Remember Me?”

Well, if last episode was the right hook, guess we can consider this one the gut punch. Although not too surprising of a reveal for 86 this week, the understanding of what position the 86ers (especially Spearhead) occupy helps to both reinforce what this story is about and just where things are going. And things are very quickly about to head south.

While I suspected San Magnolia intended on never letting its 86ers go free at the end of their service terms, it’s still quite an eye opener just how blatant the strategy is. From a purely societal perspective such liquidation makes sense: 86ers are treated as literal cannon fodder used and abused to help keep the Alba safe and secure, so they will naturally harbour hatred of their enslavers. You need to control for that consequence, so thus create a churn where surviving 86ers are “promoted” to increasingly dangerous combat theaters to maximize casualty rates. Add in a deliberate throttling of supplies and reinforcements (since smaller numbers are more likely to wind up as casualties over time) and no shocker that 86ers are eliminated at a decent pace. Insidious? Yes, but quite effective for the intended goal.

The natural question, however, is why the 86ers don’t fight back, and the answer is fairly simple: mindset. The promise of service terms does enough to keep initial recruits involved and hopeful, while those who survive are left exhausted through constant struggle and largely resigned to their fate. I’m not fully convinced by Spearhead choosing to perish without first exacting revenge against the Alba (since spitefulness is a major motivator in the face of certain death), but I can appreciate the ability of them to know not every Alba is the same and hope their actions somewhat help keep them safe. It’s a good wakeup call for Lena though, since she should now realize just how little her care and concern are felt among her superiors and how unlikely she is to remotely change the situation. She has spent far too long naively (and arrogantly) believing she could have an impact, and now must come face to face with the limitations of her station.

And that leads into probably the biggest (unspoken) reveal of the episode in San Magnolia having no damn clue what the Legion is up to. I did suspect a few of Lena’s commanders might’ve had an understanding, but if the leadership truly had any inkling of the Legion’s subsuming of human minds and ability to persevere beyond their supposed end date, they wouldn’t have a policy of deliberately throwing away their primary forces. San Magnolia honestly believes Legion will disappear shortly, that they can eliminate their 86 issue while waiting for it to happen, and that peace and prosperity will be had once both are said and done. You can easily predict that’s not going to happen, especially once one notices the weapons and tactics Legion is starting to bring forth.

Simply put, there’s a tempest brewing on the horizon, and neither Alba nor 86er are remotely ready to survive its impact.

 

Preview

35 Comments

  1. This is starting to become hard to watch. By now the only reason to keep watching is the slaughter of the Alba, which I know is coming eventually, and if it doesn’t I will be very disappointed.

    sealouse
  2. This is the first episode that show what brews beyond the frontline and the after credits scene further demonstrated how outgunned the Republic really is. They are throwing away their last defenses and digging their own grave, which is a very fitting end for a nation so wretched. As a note, the railgun bombardment is only acknowledged in the novel but not directly narrated. By adding that part, immediately follow by the reveal that the squadron is more or less a disposal site, they subverted my expectation of a breather episode.
    The direction is also impressive, with also one of the very few non fanservice shower scene seen in anime. I also liked a lot the piano version of the ending theme.
    Ready to see what happens when you older brother has a mid death crisis and crashes in your barracks with a super heavy drone?

    Lambdalith
      1. I understand the reason behind it, but it was still more than it really needed to with the „assets“ of the girls clearly on display.
        I thought that the girls playing around in water fully clothed a few episodes ago would be the closest to „fanservice“ that we would ever get.

        boingman
        1. At least in my female point of view it wasn’t fanservice and i say this as one that’s often annoyed by many anime i watch with my boyfriend that border in hentai territory. Nudity isn’t always fanservice because it can also be intimity in non sexual terms.

          Lambdalith
  3. LOL at the Alba soldiers going out of their of being mean-spirited towards the Spearheads. A bit much of textbook villainess for me.
    Though it might go hand in hand with whatever is written on Anju‘s back.
    Which is why I agree that the Spearheads seemingly accepting their fate seems weird.
    Now what will Lena do, what CAN she do? So far she hasn’t gained any allies on her side that could actually help her.
    7 episodes in, the situation couldn’t be any worse for Lena and the Spearheads.

    boingman
    1. While I agree that most of the Alba officers are portrayed under the textbook villains writing method, we should remember that racism is always based on irrationality. The new young recruits (back in ep2) of San Magnolia’s military believe the history textbooks saying “86ers are Pigs”, but their kind of behaviour needs your suspension of disbelief for this war just started 9 years ago, and with all the high-tech they’ve, we wonder how these young recruits stay inhumane/apathetic when listening to 86ers’ screams of agony, hatred, & terror unless the higher-ups/lecturers are always encouraging young beings to just sit and don’t need to turn on their PARA-RAID.

      But is it that every household the Alban parents play a part in racism subconsciously or they tell their kids to always listen & believe any Alban teachers when the kids go for their education/academic purpose?

      Yeah, this series may not be perfect in terms of the writing methods, but I assure you 86 is worthy of being an adaptable adaptation given how the visual directing skills & lighting of background art contradict the tone of “it’s peaceful here but it’s horrible there” kind of feeling.

      writerRichieK
      1. Important to remember is that the only people who we know what 86ers experience on the battlefield are the handlers. It’s not that unlikely next to no Alba outside of handlers actually interact with 86ers in any capacity, and those which do only do so in a secondhand capacity (similar to the resupply scene this episode).

        Overtly xenophobic systems are always sustained most by limiting contact between the master and slave, of which the Alba have created one of the better means of doing so.

    2. Lena’s main issue is a lack of allies. By herself she cannot change anything, especially given her current position. Her issue is that she expects others to listen to her complaints and act rationally upon them, ignoring that everyone above her is heavily invested in keeping the current system going. The only way Lena starts inducing change is by recruiting others to her side and getting them into influential positions, but as shown by Legion’s changing strategy the time to indulge in such things has long passed.

      All Lena can do now is try and minimize the oncoming damage.

    1. I believe you think it’s weak probably because of the exposition dump about the Alban government seeing the 86 as a necessary selfish sacrifice at the final several minutes, but given how this series’ scriptwriting, the exposition dumps are worth one’s full attention and that the visuals displaying while somebody/a few explainers do the exposition dump.

      For me, a good exposition dump is when there are “unsurprising but still give you a sucker punch” hints that accumulated at an even pace lead to that said exposition dump. And that final scene is one of those hints that will surely give a final(?) exposition dump.

      writerRichieK
      1. Pretty much this. It may have been a weak episode in terms of action, but it was a necessary episode to highlight one of the elephants in the room and identify the severity of the situation. This week, much like the previous one, showed how incredibly stupid San Magnolia is and just how screwed they are once the pedal hits the medal. It’s anyone’s guess just when that moment happens, but rest assured this exposition will be paid for by plenty of action in the not too distant future.

  4. Kinda surprised that they are meant to be wiped out. I’m sure there are better use of cannon fodder than putting them in important places. Would’ve expected them to at least keep some mass in the area.

    This episode even shows one of the best use for cannon fodder. Intelligence gathering. With the PARA-RAID system they could send teams deep into enemy territory and gather intel with no need to extract them. Let them cause havoc. Fixed issue of excess “drones” and also confirm theories about the enemy. Something these white pigs doesn’t even think of.

    4km/s artillery? Hoping Lena at least report these. Considering it’s something new, her uncle should at least have the initiative to do “something”.

    theirs
    1. Problem with a weapon of that type is that it’s supposed to be impossible with their current level of technology. Legion also used standard anti tank Skorpion shells to make it appear as an error in the sensor feed and not something demonstrably new. Whoever moves the strings know very well how Republic operates and the entire base bait was a test in combat conditions for the new weapon.

      Regarding recon, let’s just say that you have already figured out something…

      Lambdalith
    2. Have to remember the Alba’s use of the 86ers is predicated on Legion being temporary. They expect Legion to disappear soon, so naturally throwing the 86 into such areas makes sense when you want to eliminate them as well. Only have need for reserves if you anticipate a protracted fight.

      1. The sad thing is, they don’t even try to test that theory. Everything is done by remote observation. Can’t even be bothered to send in disposable “drones”.

        The whole situation looks like they’ve forgotten about Murphy’s law. It’s a highly risky situation, or probably more appropriately, blind faith in the theory.

        theirs
  5. Part of me thinks the San Magnolia higher-ups have already given up and decided that there’s no winning this, and have just decided to live out the last of their days in decadence.

    Aizen
    1. That’s a way to see it, because the Alba put all their hopes on the Legion shutdown fail safe to the point of being dogmatic about it. They are very delusional on all level considering that their comprehension of Legion is very limited.

      Lambdalith
      1. I guess these Albans are written under the Stupid Evil trope that I’m unable to grade this series a full score. I can’t help but wonder if there’s no single Alban who’s smart in taking advantage of the 86 and yet at same time is despised with stupid Alban authorities whose methods of ethnic cleansing will lead no capable Alban soldier to take down an enemy they never experienced shooting on their metal bodies.

        At least these racist Albans’ stupid war strategy is making a worthy cautionary tale to learn from: If you discard others, you yourself will get discarded someday.

        writerRichieK
        1. It happens when you create a fictional nation combining WW2 France, Nazi Germany (oh boy…) and a pinch of pre-fall Soviet Russia. They are the textbook example of a system inevitably doomed to collapse in a catastrophic manner.

          Lambdalith
    2. I don’t see this personally, it would take one hell of a psy-ops setup to reasonably pull it off and would rely on having everyone in charge aware of and accepting of such a fate – very unlikely given human nature and our built-in survival instinct.

      IMO Occam’s razor applies here with San Magnolia’s leadership being in total ignorance and naively (if not desperately) hoping Legion will die after their two year limit. Doubling down and entrenching into delusion is much easier than deliberately carrying out a strategy you know will result in your death.

  6. Well, the scene is exactly the same in the book (remember that the author is a woman) and it has the purpose of being intimate and show Anju’s scars which is also a prelude to her crying and finally open up to her weakness. You can also see that their proportion are more realistic and the direction avoid “strategic angles”.
    By comparison the lake scene has a fanservice purpose because things like Kurena’s chest is exaggerated. While it seems paradoxical they put in the anime a clothed fanservice scene and a naked non fanservice scene.

    Lambdalith
  7. About why the 86 don’t fight back. I wish they didn’t cut some of Raiden’s lines from the novel as it really emphasized how that wouldn’t be possible

    ““We got nowhere to run, princess. There’s an army of Legion ahead of us and a minefield and an artillery cannon at our backs. Sure, a rebellion sounds like a sweet idea, but…the Eighty-Six have been run too ragged for that anymore.”

    “It’s not revenge until the other side regrets all the shit they’ve done with every fiber of their being, till they drop to their knees and beg you for forgiveness. That’s when you kill ’em. Otherwise, it isn’t revenge… But after all the shameless things they did, a rebellion or a massacre wouldn’t make the white pigs regret anything. You’d turn your eyes away from your own flaws and stupidity, pin them on someone else, act like some tragic victim, and then die pleading innocent… Like hell we’d ever stoop to the Republic’s level. All it’d do is feed their narcissistic ego.”

    TheNakedApron
  8. Okay as I have suspected, Alba are literally digging our grave here, with Legion finally bringing full firepower, and 86-ers being thrown away with explicit goal of extermination.
    Most of society is kept in the dark, hell, even most of the military are unaware of total extent of 86 program.
    Germany have kept most of general population similarily unaware of the final solution. Even amongst the armed forces those who did not run into SS Eisatzkommandos at work, had barely an inkling of what happens to Jews and other “undesirables” being shipped in freight wagons to some nameless stations in occupied Poland…
    The one difference between 3rd Reich and Republic here, is that enemies assaulting from outside do not intend to save 86ers.
    One thing that was not mentioned was that 86ers also protect own kind still left in the camps in the 86th district. So fighting to the death doesn’t seem so irrational after all.
    Lena’s situation is so bad because she has no one to turn to on the alba side. Even her own uncle is fully involved with the extermination problem, and most of society doesnt even know what is going on, and is unlikely to listen to single girl opposing the system. Similarities abound with what few resistance groups formed in the 4rd Reich as well, they just had no way of finding more broad support amongst masses brainwashed by official propaganda,
    I am eagerly expecting what happens next since Legion hammer is about to fall, and I desperately hope at least some of the Spearhead could somehow escape, maybe even with Lena in tow.
    Not sure what is the status of other powers in the wider world, but maybe somebody just did better job of fighting Legion than San Magnolia…

    ewok40k

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