86 Season 2 Episode 12 – Handler One

86 Season 2 Episode 12 – Handler One

Catch the other episode reviews here


Last episode was the best episode. We learned that Shin and the gang were ok, but most importantly, Lena was still alive and reunited with Shin in person this time. Well, even if they didn’t know that yet.


First Impressions

Kurena and Anju getting gifts
(Surprise gift time!)


We start with some heartwarming stuff for once. Everyone returns home to Ernst, shares gifts together, party, and do like normal people stuff and not horrible war stuff.


Continuing to wrap things up, Shin goes to Eugene’s grave to finally make amends, not just with Eugene but with his sister as well. Shin is ready to admit he has a lot of work to do, and he won’t lie to anyone or himself anymore. Seeing a smiling picture of her brother with Shin, Nina can finally have some peace.


Shin has also managed to reach some inner peace. Despite still having painful memories of all those he’s lost, he feels he’s finally ready to move on. He puts his brother’s memento away with the rest, no longer being weighed down by those who have left him but instead being lifted by those still here.

Shin and Eugene
(Shin will move forward, remembering everyone)


Shin decides, once again, that he is the reaper. He has Theo draw his insignia right back on his new spider mech where it belongs. While the journey is a long and lonely one, Shin knows the troubles awaiting him by continuing to be their reaper. The difference is he knows he doesn’t have to be alone anymore. Once more, he accepts his moniker, not because he’s the only one who can remember his friends, but because he wants them to live on through him.


It’s then we see Lena’s perspective again. The Republic has officially gotten what it always deserved. It’s been wiped, and many have died. The kingdom is no more. The city is now being helped by the Federacy, but as you can imagine, the remaining Republic citizens are still racist dicks, because they have the intelligence of three-year-olds. It’s then Lena drops the best line in the series, possibly.


“There can be no punishment for a citizenry that’s not aware of its crimes.”


Yup, that’s 86 in a nutshell. The only difference is that I think mass genocide and destroying your way of life seems like a punishment, but what do I know.

Lena in the new Republic
(Yeah, the Republic has seen better days)


We see that Lena is being sent to the Federacy to work with Shin and the gang, surprise, surprise, but also that Annette is going (and alive I guess) to help them with their technology over there. Share the love and information, you know?


Lena finally arrives in the Federacy and is shown the memorial to the 86. She sees some she recognizes and some not there at all. Likely upon seeing Shin’s name not there, she repeats that she won’t forget. She won’t. No matter what. Of course, she’s working herself up over nothing.


She meets Shin and everyone alive once again, but also kind of for the first time, they all smile, cry a bit, laugh, take a picture, and that’s the end of one of my favorite anime series I’ve watched in my life. I’m broken.


My Thoughts

I’m saving mostly all of my thoughts for the series review, but I will tell you this, it was perfect. My god was it perfect. I could not be happier if I tried. I am elated.

Theo and his drawing
(My favorite moment)


This is a story that doesn’t come around very often, and even rarer does that story get an adaptation that manages to not only do it justice but also elevate it to greater heights. These were some of the best 23 episodes of an anime I’ve ever watched in my life. It’s amazing.


The foreshadowing to the next potential season was great, the way it tied up all the loose ends, the art as always. Everything was outstanding as it has been from the beginning.


And holy crap, did they make that reunion better! It was so much better than in the light novel, and that’s coming from the guy who cried reading that part! It’s so good.

Lena meeting the troops
(It was actually perfect)


It should be a crime to make something this good and happy and nice. The only thing that makes me sad is this is likely the happiest any of these characters will ever be. That’s it. 86 is not a happy story. This ending was an exception, not the rule, so hey, maybe people will like it if it ends here.


I wouldn’t, the rest of the volumes are great and should definitely be adapted, but I would also hate to see the series continue if it couldn’t hold the same quality standard. If it’s the exact same staff, then sure. Give me a lot more. Give me the entire thing.


Thank you very much for reading


I’m feeling things. Yes, I stole the actual title name. It was perfect.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. kvasir369

    As far as endings go, it was one of the best I’ve had with a mecha / war anime in some time. I want more, but I’m scared that another season won’t live up to it.

    1. It was perfect. If it’s a question of whether the story would be as good, I can tell you as a light novel reader, yes, yes it would be. This adapted up to volume 3 and 5-7 are probably the best parts of the whole series. My biggest worry is seeing this anime continue but not have the same level of care these episodes did and if that was the future, I think I’d rather it end here. I would hate to see this legacy ruined more than anything.

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