Last episode, Shin and the gang finally met with Kiriya, at least an imitation. After several near-death experiences, especially for our pal, Shin, everyone decided to regroup before continuing the mission.
So everyone’s come up with a plan to fool the Legion involving some anti-radar thing that jams their communications, and the plan is to fool them away from Shin and the gang so they can surprise them. See, I really sound like a general myself. I know this war stuff.
This episode is going hard straight from the get-go because the very first scene we see of the gang is Raiden confronting Shin on his actions finally. Yeah, maybe throwing him against a fence is a little rough, but sometimes you need tough love in these situations.
Shin is very clearly struggling with staying alive at this point. He’s lost his reason for going on, as we’ve been able to figure out. One of my favorite lines in the series to date was said here. Raiden said that Shin isn’t planning to die on this mission, but he isn’t planning on living either. That sums up this entire character arc for him, really.
I wouldn’t say he quite got through to Shin, the boy has a thick skull, but he at least got some emotion out of him and let him know that everyone’s there to support him. That right there is some proper best bro energy. Man, I hope he doesn’t die, but that’s how I would write it. I’m a cruel god, though.
The rest of our 86 friends, now including Frederica, overheard their little heart-to-heart and have their own theories on what’s happening to Shin. Namely that he doesn’t feel needed. His brother has mentally scarred him to the point where he can’t quite shake it. That’s true, but the lack of Lena certainly isn’t helping. Not having her around hurts. Trust me; this season has taught me that. I kid. Somewhat.
The gang’s all beat up, some of them losing machine guns, other weapons, Shin’s mech’s legs aren’t working the way they used to. They’re not doing great, but they do seem to have everyone in the Federacy’s support. It’s amazing how quickly people’s opinions of you change when you fight to save their lives.
Everyone stops to see a beautiful sight that reminds them of the sea, and all chat about the future, except Shin, of course. As you can see from this wonderful shot, he couldn’t be more alone.
With that, it’s Frederica’s turn to talk some sense into Shin, and we learn that he feels like he should have died. He considers himself a ghost like the Legion. He doesn’t want anything. He doesn’t want to go anywhere. He can’t think of anything he desires because he was never supposed to live this long. He’s not happy or sad; he just doesn’t feel anything. He’s lost the right to.
What it comes down to is that Shin is the Reaper. It’s his destiny to send off all his friends out of this world. But with that comes the fact that he’s always going to be alone. Everyone that calls him the Reaper is also saying he must continue to outlive them even if he doesn’t want to. Well, I hope that didn’t break your heart too much because that’s the end of the episode. Good feelings all around.
Sorry, 86 is so freaking good! I hate that Ranking of Kings aired this season because I so want to anime of the year this, but it now has competition, which sucks. It really, really sucks because I think it loses out of the two, and I hate that to no end. Why am I even talking about that series? I don’t care that it’s the easiest 10/10 I’ve ever seen. Screw Boji and his shadow.
Anyway, onto the correct series. This episode was stupendous. It was everything great about this season in one. It was touching, deep, psychological, focused on Shin. It was amazing. Quite possibly the best episode yet.
Seriously, we tore Shin apart this episode. This poor boy had to air everything out. We now know why Shin feels the way he does and why he’s been acting the way he has. Sure, we could guess, but now he’s admitting everything, and there’s nothing to hide anymore.
This episode did great, and it wasn’t only with the psychological stuff. There were some amazing camera shots. Like, wow, they were so good. The one above with everyone looking out at the “sea” and how they show Shin separated from everyone, quiet the whole time, showing the distance between them. Perfection!
This scene doesn’t look like much because it’s just an image, but they showed Frederica and Shin both grabbing their arm and side as they talked about not having a reason to live, showing that they both feel the same reaction to that truth. Subtle perfection!
Raiden and Shin having their talk and the constant focus in and out of the background. How menacing Raiden’s shadow looked holding Shin up. The way the fence focused in and out, revealing each character’s reaction to their conversation. It’s so good. Production issues be damned; the art went hard this episode.
I could talk endlessly just about these damn camera shots. They’ve gone so hard this season in general, but this episode just did it, man. It was the Shin’s psyche episode, so if you were ever going to go try-hard, this would be the time. I’m just baffled by this. Please keep having production issues if I get this. It’s beautiful.
I still think this season should pick up a bit, but this season has built Shin up so much. This has made him as a character, which is kind of incredible when you think about how good he was in season one. They’ve just gone above and beyond with my boy, and I’m thrilled.
And I hate to admit it, but Frederica’s not half bad either. She’s just like Shin. She should be dead but is striving to live. The only difference is putting Kiriya to rest is her last goal, while Shin’s has already been completed. She’s Shin but still with a reason to live, even one that’s about to end.
These characters are crazy, man. They’re so good. It almost makes me ok with not seeing Lena at all. Ok, no, I’m not. I really think we should have seen her more by now, but I guess we’re supposed to think they gave her all this character growth just to kill her. Yeah, I’m sure.
I’m buying the hell out of the light novel for this, buy the way. I’m not waiting for another season. I appreciate good characters more than anything else, and 86 just bleeds that.
Thank you very much for reading
How long until the next episode. I wish I knew.