「よろしく」 (Yoroshiku)
“Glad to be Here”

While there’s certainly bound to be some consternation that Lena has now been sidelined for two weeks running, cannot say that 86 is holding back any punches with the material. After Spearhead decided their place was in the wrong place (safety-wise), it was back to everything we knew and loved in the first season. Animosity; suffering; death: why yes, it’s the full meal deal.

For all I’m on record about the approach 86 takes when it comes to character deaths, this was probably the first episode where it just clicked for me. Part of this is likely down to Eugene being featured alone in place of multiple secondary throwaway characters (as most of Spearhead last season was) and the pleasant reunion with Fido, but it’s also due to how Eugene died. Just take those death flags for example, pretty clear something was going to happen to the poor guy at some point – but that quickly? And then there’s the utterly brutal nature of his death where compared to previous character deaths nothing was held back. At all. It was in effect the visual culmination of everything 86 has built up to date, a succinct example of what’s being fought for and just what must be sacrificed to obtain it. Some truly deserve a good life of peace, yet peace can only exist if such good men (and women) are willing to put their lives on the line for it.

Further building on the solemnity of this episode was the treatment Giad troops gave Spearhead themselves. I don’t think anyone is too shocked by the reaction garnered to how the likes of Shin conduct themselves in combat, but it’s still quite catching noting how different both sides act. The average Giad conscript for example has no basis for what Spearhead went through, they may know the pains of military life and its requirements, but not the ostracization, dehumanization, and eventual liquidation 86ers experience from day one. It makes Shin and company appear almost suicidal, something a few seemingly understand the reasons for, yet something even those individuals cannot truly comprehend. Indeed the only one who probably can right now is Frederica, for while the pint-sized pipsqueak (emphasis on the squeak) is just as innocent as any other Giad soldier, her birth status compels her into atoning for the sins of her forebearers the only way she knows how. They’re the lost children, kids who know only war, and much like other poor bastards stuck in-country, they’ll keep on fighting until there’s nothing left to defeat.

It just remains to be seen if they can outlive the mechanical monsters out to end their lives.




  1. Eugene death is one of the most brutal i saw in anime. It’s not cartoonishly gory, but quite realistic, to the point that pieces of his meal were on the blood pools, something that actually shocked me when i noticed that there was something i cannot quite identify in the blood at first glance…
    The perspective game is also well played: we know what his death meant to Shin, but for the other guy he is just a creepy war obsessed guy that emotionless gave him the dog tag of one of his friends telling him to “compile the death report”.
    In the Republic the main characters were racially discriminated, but in a relatively (considering the situation) normal society like the Federacy they are just misunderstood (they are considered alternatively victims, heroes or monsters), because they are actually extremely difficult to decipher. They are visibly displeased by the monument to the surprise of their new command officer for example. In her shoes most of us would feel the same.

    1. The realism is what got me in particular, especially the sound when Shin lifted his helmet, you hear the stickiness of the blood and get a brutal realization how long Eugene was in that state. It was remarkably in your face after covering up the deaths last season, which probably works so well here because we haven’t received such a moment before.

  2. I feel like 86 is killing it every week. Yet another brilliant episode to do the light novel justice. It’s not often you get such a good anime adapted from a light novel because of the sheer difference of the media.

  3. That was incredibly brutal, just few seconds before an OBVIOUS red flag, and a character is killed. Just like that. I knew it was coming, but was too shocked at the abruptness of it. It felt like cheating, but okay, it hit me. I actually didn’t care, lena and the Republic was sidelined, this was a good episode. I just wonder how the rest of the Spearhead squad is being treated now that they are being utilized as sort of messiahs in the battlefield able to change the tide of battle. But the episode also shows how desperate the war is now, and it seems this country is losing quite badly, and with this becoming a battle of attrition, it won’t be long before they themselves might choose to send their children to battle.

    1. Interestingly in the second book started with the second half of episode 3, with the content adapted in ep 1 and 2 as flashbacks later on. This means that Eugene is killed just after he is introduced and we learn only after that he was the first real friend Shin had in the Federacy. As a reader you end up having a change of perspective in which, what was initially interpreted as a gory remind of the hell of the front line, ends up being an heavy personal loss for Shin. In the novel it’s also the first time we have an insight of him that’s not from the perspective of others (differently from the anime the first book is almost entirely from Lena’s perspective) and it’s quite brutal to see how broken he is and how this loss made everything worse.

    2. I wouldn’t say Giad is losing yet, the indication is they are holding their own and pushing Legion back, however at noticeable cost. You wouldn’t have such peaceful scenes behind the lines or a volunteer army if you were on the ropes – Giad (or at least Ernst) instead likely wants breathing space and figure pushing against Legion is better than letting them regroup and hit back in force.

  4. Besides what has already been said, this entire episode really was the building blocks for Shin to fully return to the battlefield.

    First a pass to return (becoming an officer), then his battle armor of choice (Reginleif), his hunting hound (Fido) and reaping scythe (the gun) and finally actually his Reaper status.

  5. I don’t think this new group that Shin is with has any respect for how formidable Legion is. That short red head with the big mouth has no idea or care for how resilient Legion actually is.

    Any help from Shin is a god send.

    1. Yeah, but it was only a temporary aid with Nordlich operating as “fixers” in the overstretched frontline. Also the reason why they were getting almost wiped out is because their rookie group got cocky and went too far ahead and lost communication with the artillery support. Due to Legion jamming the only way to use normal wireless equipment (reverse engineered Para-Raid has just entered in production) is to move in armored waves, with signals bouncing vehicle to vehicle, so moving forward like that was foolish.

    2. Have to remember guys like that have limited information, they don’t know what Shin went through before, they only see him upstaging them and then pulling stunts which seemingly serve no purse but to get people killed. Likewise with Legion, I doubt even Giad at this stage even knows how resilient Legion are so everyone is effectively free to fill in the gaps for themselves.

  6. Didn’t expect the guy to be offed so quickly. Flags everywhere, but still…
    Didn’t stand a chance really, the coup de grace was inevitable. Big difference between a human and a computer like Fido.

    Nice seeing the difference between the Republic and the Federation. Great seeing actual decent officers in this series. Also a strategy that actually takes teritory instead of holding the line. Though that mascot thing, I agree with Theo. Better to stay with Teppy.

    The war machines are also interesting. Federation uses two man crew an visibly more armour. Even Shin’s new vehicle looks like it has thicker hull compared to his old one.

    1. As Eugene said, the mascot thing was a tradition no longer followed in the republic, Frederica only used it as an excuse to stick with Shin. Ernst being the interim president could surely pull a few strings to set up Frederica as Shin’s units mascot.

    2. I quite liked the difference in machines, very similar to the tank design philosophy of say WW2 Germany vs. the USSR where the former emphasized crew functionality and ergonomics to maximize combat effectiveness while the latter went all-in on quantity having its own form of quality. Giad pretty much follows the German approach while the Republic, in keeping with its opinion of 86ers, sees its weapons (and pilots) as little more than expendable.

  7. Me last week: “I’d like to know more about Eugene and his sister.”
    Me this week: “Ok. Lesson learned. Never get comfortable here.”

    “The average Giad conscript for example has no basis for what Spearhead went through.” I am familiar with fear of the unknown, but I feel like this is too much. I mean Eugene voluntarily took the time to get to know Shin despite how the latter conducts himself in combat. If one can do it, why not at least another? Why stick to what they think they know about someone they only just met? I know preconceived notions are too ingrained in the human psyche even in real life, but it’s exactly because of that that I think works of fiction also carry the duty of at least trying to find a right answer to this problem.

    1. Maybe it’s just guilt. Eugene as you can see with his silver hair, is a descendant of the republic. Maybe he just wanted to know more about the 86 that was treated as nonhuman by his ancestral country.

      1. Eugene learnt of Shin’s past as a Eighty Six in the Republic only at the academy. By that time they were already friends from that shared time at the library. While its know by the public that the Federacy rescued five survivors and the extent of the Republic crimes, their faces and names are not know by the media. They are more open on the matter in the military due to their collaboration for the Reiginleif project.
        That said Eugene is good talker and he is one of the few people capable to make Shin feel at ease, something that he had in common with Kaie, Lena and Raiden.
        Anyway his family has no ties with the Republic, being lesser imperial nobles. While it doesn’t extend to him, most Albas residing in other nations harbor a contempt for the Republic that date back to centuries ago.

    2. Probably because Shin and company aren’t exactly integrated with other units. They’re fighting on the front, but it’s easy to glean they’re acting as veritable firefighters responding to whatever emergency arises; difficult to form connections and build understanding when the soldiers you’re helping may only see you when they’re in a pinch. Couple that with what Spearhead reply to – they cannot respond to every emergency – and not unlikely some resent their choices as bias and choose to view them through that light.

      It’s easy for us to think that solutions to this issue should be sought out, but IMO it’s perfectly understandable why they may never arise even under favourable circumstances.

      1. “ It’s easy for us to think that solutions to this issue should be sought out, but IMO it’s perfectly understandable why they may never arise even under favourable circumstances.”

        That said, lack of trying wouldn’t yield anything either. Maybe future episodes will have at least a hint or a beginning to a solution, maybe not. All I’m saying is, for a story that discusses this kind of subject matter, more than one train of thought could yield broader conversations than merely “86ers are forever cursed with being looked down upon.” Eugene was a beginning. I hope another beginning comes along.

          1. Yep. The other four are certainly easier to get along…not to mention that they probably don’t scare kids with their gloomy expression. Raiden and Anju in particular are quite sociable.

  8. Thought that Eugene was in the OP and didn’t expect him to die so early. But that might have been someone else that looks similar. Of course the way the death flags in this episode were presented, it was inevitable, albeit still shocking due to the detail.

    Lena will probably play no major role in this 2nd season I guess.

    Finally, a bit of a shame that there‘s no post for Muv-Luv Alternative considering the similarities to both 86 and especially Shingeki. Not like the adaptation is any good so far, but…

    1. Lena may not be the focus right now, but she will play a bigger role later on. Remember her fear of a Legion attack, that hasn’t gone away.

      As for Muv-Luv it’s entirely down to time on my part. Outside of Zephyr I think I’m the only one watching it and weekdays have unfortunately become ridiculously busy; had to prematurely drop Kyoukai Senki and may also have to let Ansatsu Kizoku go for that reason. Definitely looking to give it an end post though, the bitching over it is hilarious to me because outside of adaptation faults it’s honestly not that bad a production.

      1. I’ll be happy if Lena shows up again later in this 2nd season outside of anime original material.

        Thanks for explaining, not surprised that hardly anyone in the staff is watching MLA in the first place lol.
        I don’t know whether you played any of the games, but problem with MLA is that you clearly feel that something is missing with how Takeru is behaving in the 2nd episode. They should have gone straight to a flashback to explain a bit more what previously happened instead of the small snippets shown so far. Anyways, I liked the anime original 1st episode and the CG for the TSF’s is fine, 2D animation is lacking though.


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