Last episode, we had a ton of action. The Legion had finally made it to the Federacy, and Shin had to hold them off, at the cost of his sanity, however. The guy’s losing it a bit. But to make things worse, the Legion also decided to attack the Republic, which doesn’t have Shin to save them.
So we start out with a menacing scene of the Legion slaughtering the Republic bad. I mean, they’re destroying it, killing people. It’s bad stuff that I won’t say they deserved because that’s kinda messed up. Anyway, Lena’s right on the front lines trying to hold them off, which is pretty cool to see. She’s never been that up close before.
I was right with my second, more logical guess last time. Kiriya shot a railgun straight at Frederica and everyone, and Shin jumped in to protect her. That wasn’t the first time Kiriya attacked, though. He’s been wiping out bases left and right, slaughtering the Ferderacy too.
This leads to a situation where they need to take Kiriya down for the country to make it through the war, but at the same time, they’ve lost so much manpower they can’t send a bunch of troops. So the only option is to send the soldiers most likely to succeed and least likely to be missed. I wonder who fits that mold?
We learn a little about why Shin started losing it. Eugene’s little sister knows that Shin killed him somehow and has been writing him letters that are really messing with his mental state. He feels like he should have been the one to die. He doesn’t have anybody waiting for him. Eugene did. Shin should die instead. But then he hears Lena’s voice for a brief moment and snaps out of it. He does have at least one person waiting.
Shin is gathered to talk about the mission he’ll be taking part in. Nordlicht will be the vanguards running into enemy territory. The spearhead, you could say. I mean, they literally do say that. I got a little chill, really.
We get a wonderful moment where Shin remembers everyone who has passed as Wenzel mouths off about how unfair this is. He remembers Lena one more time, saying goodbye to her, heavily implying she died, but I really doubt that. It’s touching stuff. Made me want to cry.
Everyone makes it very clear this is a suicide mission. It’s also clear that they’re being sent on it because nobody will miss them. They’re 86. They don’t have families waiting. But as Shin and everyone agrees, they were chosen because they’re 86, and they will fight because of it too. They won’t run and let someone else fight like the Republic, which is now in shambles, by the way.
As the credits roll, it shows everything, including Lena’s room, trashed from the battle. Rest in peace, I guess, Republic. You kind of had it coming. Not Lena, though. She was a saint who deserved the best.
This episode was exceptional. This episode and the last show why 86 is so good. They do action, really well, like amazing. Last episode was almost entirely action, and it was beautiful. And then we have this episode with little to none that once again focused on Shin and his psyche, and it was even better.
I loved the first season to death. It was my favorite anime of Spring, damn near my favorite anime of this year. I thought it was perfection. And what’s insane is that I probably like this season more.
Obviously, season 1 is better as a whole. You could not have had a second season, and it would have been great, but this season has built upon all the characters and relationships that began in those first 11 episodes. This has been the perfect continuation in every way, and that’s sometimes even harder than making something great in the first place.
My favorite part of this episode might be unexpected. I loved that Eugene’s little sis, Nina, is still important. I said last time that it would have been interesting for Shin to have a relationship with her, and that’s exactly what they’re doing, just in a different way.
There’s something really unsettling about seeing that shy little girl writing awful things to Shin and having it eat him up inside. It’s really creepy to me, and I love it. It makes Eugene far more important than I thought as well. I’m impressed. Good, unexpected stuff.
The other big thing is the stuff between Lena and Shin, but really all the 86. Before they head off to battle, as they did hundreds of times, they say they’re lonely. You know why that is. Even if she wasn’t there in person, Lena was there with them on their suicide mission. She never turned them away, no matter what. She’s still, even including the Federacy, the only person to ever truly treat them as equals. She would die right alongside them.
This matters to everyone, but Shin is the one who thinks about her the most. He had the deepest bond with her, after all. I just can’t wait for them to eventually meet. Well, if Lena’s still alive. C’mon, you know she’s still alive. They wouldn’t kill her. Not here, at least.
They want you to believe it. I mean, the images of the Republic slaughtered and everyone bloodied and dead on the ground with the ending music playing were certainly convincing. Lena’s room destroyed also doesn’t help, but it’s not like she was there. She was on the battlefield.
I really liked seeing that too and having Lena commanding everyone right there rather than in front of a monitor. It was almost surreal. Kind of wish we saw some of it, though, but I guess the suspense was better than actually seeing her out there.
This is pretty close to the end of the arc, I’m guessing. Probably like two more episodes. Kiriya will be dealt with, and the Federacy will possibly be destroyed. I doubt many people will die, and then maybe the 86 will quit the military. Yeah, I doubt it.
Anyway, fantastic episode. Really, really good. I love it all. I really want to see what’s going to happen, but we have to wait an extra week for production reasons. I’m perfectly fine with that. Please don’t rush this amazing series, I beg you.
Thank you very much for reading
What do you think? Is Lena dead? Nah. No way.