86 Season 2 Episode 4 – Calm Before the Storm

86 Season 2 Episode 4 – Calm Before the Storm

Catch the other episode reviews here

 

Last episode, Shin and the 86 got back into the fight, and things are already starting off with a bang. Shin vastly outmatches everyone else in the Federacy’s ranks, which I feel like may lead to some jealousy or problems. Also, someone died. Go read the last one.

 

First Impressions

Shin doing paperwork
(Trust me, he’s doing paperwork, just chilling too)

 

We start out with Shin chilling doing some paperwork as Raiden shows up, with the rest of the gang soon to follow. It turns out that they’re be sticking together for a little bit. The Federacy actually did something smart and split them up. Makes sense since they’re the ones with the most actual experience fighting.

 

Wenzel is pushing hard for her new prototype bots to be given to Shin and her group. They seem more similar to what they used back at the Republic, but possibly even better. However, the military doesn’t quite like the idea. Her squadron has one of the highest Legion kill rates but also the most losses. Shin as lieutenant means things get done, but he is a bit harsh at times. They’re just filtering people out, as Wenzel said.

 

The new mechs for the gang, Reginleif, as Wenzel is calling them, are almost done and are going to be used by the 86 to hold back a coming Legion attack. Shin knows how many are coming because he has them magic ears and can sense them, but he can’t exactly explain that to anyone in the Federacy. Still, he tries to get Wenzel to understand, but she doesn’t. She gets overconfident in the Federacy, and that will ultimately lead to her downfall, I’m sure. It will be up to Shin and the gang to clean up once again.

 

Also, I feel the need to say this. Shin gets yelled at for walking quietly a lot. I actually relate to that. I, too, get yelled at for unintentionally sneaking up on people all the time too. I’m allowed to mention this. Frederica just mentioned it.

Frederica telling Shin her story
(Some cool shots)

 

On a more somber note, Frederica recounts what happened to form the current Federacy in a really well-shot scene. So the Legion went to attack Giad’s neighbors but went rogue. That we know. What we didn’t know is that people in Giad weren’t very happy with that and started to rebel against the royal family. Considering Giad is now the Ferderacy, you can probably guess who won that civil war.

 

Kiriya, the knight that Frederica joined the military to try and “save,” protected her against the Federacy, watching all of his friends and family die and being forced to fight in his own home. This eventually led to him losing his mind, and finally, when he heard the news of Frederica’s death, he wasn’t pleased. We know she lived, but the general public doesn’t. That made Kiriya not care about anything anymore, and Legion took him.

 

But Frederica still pushes that saving him isn’t worth anyone’s lives. They have a future that’s owed to them, and they need to live it. This makes Shin start to think about Lena again, which means we’ll probably see her again next episode. In fact, even Raiden talks about her with Shin, so it really couldn’t be more obvious.

 

My Thoughts

I’m kind of surprised we haven’t seen Lena in a while, to be honest. I know it’s coming, but it does feel like it’s been quite a bit, doesn’t it? I’m curious if we’ll ever get back to the half and half type episodes of season one. I feel like we could have done something similar with this season, but they’re steering away from it. Probably to keep things moving quicker, or at least that’s what it seems like.

Lunch time for the gang
(Eating happens far too often this season)

 

I will say, while I think these episodes have all been pretty good, not a whole lot is happening. It feels like time is passing quickly, but the actual events are pretty tame. The death last episode was the height of it so far. This episode, for instance, was good, but it was fairly uneventful. Shin met up with the gang again. We learned about the coming Legion attack and got backstory from Frederica. That’s about it.

 

Granted, last season had more than enough action, so this calm before the storm is almost going to give more weight to the absolute hell that you know is coming. It’s all there. The Legion, Shin attempting to warn the Federacy. The whole country is about to get wiped out or something.

 

I’ve mentioned it before, but I have to give a lot of credit to how interesting the situation the 86 are in is. There are lots of comparisons being drawn between the Republic and Federacy. Raiden even talks about it at the end of this episode. They aren’t being treated as equals still. They’re still being used as tools of warfare, even if it’s by choice.

Shin looking at his "gifts."
(Yes, I’m sure these 86 fighting in the war want these toys, Federacy!)

 

You also have the fact that the Federacy is starting to go the complete opposite way with things the 86. Rather than enslaving and treating them as less than human like the Republic, the Federacy, at least the general public, is now pitying them constantly, which in a way, is treating them as less than human. Nobody wants to live being pitied their entire life either. The world isn’t black and white. They want to be equals, not one or the other. You have to ride that line in the middle. 

 

The Republic just sucks, but the Federacy at least tries, although they’re going too far. They’re also getting caught in their own hubris by not listening to Shin, which will kill them all or something, I’m sure. That’s actually a big moment of growth for Shin. This whole season so far has been.

 

Going back to Eugene, he very harshly told him that he wasn’t cut out for war because he knew what would happen. You could say it’s him being cold and only wanting to fight with people who can manage, but it’s also because he values their lives. He had absolutely no reason to warn the Federacy at all. He could survive just fine with the rest of the 86. He’d be ok. But he did one last shot in the dark to try and save lives.  Of course, they didn’t listen, but whatever. The point is, he tried.

Frederica and her bear
(Would you really take her seriously?)

 

Frederica is also trying desperately to make people like her, but I just can’t get on board. It’s not that I don’t like her. I really think her presence in the story and her character is the most interesting way they could have taken the story. I just don’t like her. I’ve never liked the grown adults that literally act like child characters, and she’s no different.

 

The only reason I like it is that it gives Shin a chance to be a big brother, which is really neat for obvious reasons. She almost serves as a reminder that Shin has grown. Honestly, I bet that’s why they made her like that. Why make two characters when you can just combine litter sister and Giad’s ruler in one!

 

Personally, I think Shin taking in Eugene’s little sister would have been an infinitely more fascinating situation. I don’t know what would lead to that happening, but it would have been neat. Anyway, we have Frederica, and I do like her character, even if I don’t care for her much.

Shin and Frederica
(So many good angles)

 

Although her backstory was super fascinating, and the scene with her talking to Shin was beautiful. I had to watch it twice because I was too impressed with the framing and visuals of everything. Good stuff. I’d say the art overall has been about the same quality of season one, even more with the art direction.

 

Thank you very much for reading

 

 

So, take your bets. Will the next episode have more death? Probably.

I'd love to hear your thoughts ~

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