According to the Republic of San Magnolia, their ongoing war against the Giadian Empire has no casualties—however, that is mere propaganda. While the silver-haired Alba of the Republic's eighty-five sectors live safely behind protective walls, those of different appearances are interned in a secret eighty-sixth faction. Known within the military as the Eighty-Six, they are forced to fight against the Empire's autonomous Legion under the command of the Republican "Handlers."
Vladilena Milizé is assigned to the Spearhead squadron to replace their previous Handler. Shunned by her peers for being a fellow Eighty-Six supporter, she continues to fight against their inhumane discrimination. Shinei Nouzen is the captain of the Spearhead squadron. Infamous for being the sole survivor of every squadron he's been in, he insists on shouldering the names and wishes of his fallen comrades. When the fates of these young souls from two different worlds collide, will it ignite the spark that lights their path to salvation, or will they burn themselves in the flames of despair?
Anime Review: 86
86 is a classic example of blending military action, science fiction, and human drama into a deeply emotional and hauntingly beautiful anime. The series is set in the Republic of San Magnolia, where the populace believed they were living peacefully as the horrifying war against autonomous drones of a neighboring hostile empire was handled solely by a group referred to as 86th Sector. However, this peaceful image is a facade as we delve through the curtains.
What they chose not to reveal is that the so-called 86th Sector is actually composed of humans from ethnic groups discarded by the Republic and forced to fight on the frontlines. Among these soldiers is our protagonist Shinei Nouzen, a firmware who quite ironically embodies the very humanity the Republic has denied him and his comrades. The story moves forward as Violet Snowdrop, a silver-haired Maiden, starts interacting with these ‘drones’ and eventually discovers the brutal reality that was hidden away.
Plot and Narrative
86 paints a dark and complex world that balances the grim realities of war, racism, and the human spirit against a backdrop of stunning visuals and suspenseful story-telling. Every episode has a riveting build-up, and the plot never feels unnecessarily elongated. The in-depth and subtle character development ensures that viewers will easily latch onto the characters and their journeys.
Animation and Art
The animation in 86 is one of the high points of this series. The detailed and dynamic artwork immerses you into the story, especially during the combat sequences. The relics of the fallen machines and the stark emptiness of the battlefield creates a gloomy and suspenseful environment. Whether it’s the close combat sequences or large scale battles, every detail is meticulously drawn and animated.
Music and Sound
A good anime is never complete without a fitting soundtrack, and in that regard, 86 exceeds expectations. The opening and ending themes complement the narrative perfectly and the well-crafted background music amply highlights the heart-thumping battles as well as the emotionally-loaded, personal moments. The voice acting adds a rich depth, particularly the lead characters who undoubtedly convey the harrowing journey of the story.
Pros and Cons
In terms of pros, 86 brings forward a highly engaging narrative, well-developed characters, stunning visuals, and hauntingly beautiful soundtracks. However, its dark subject matter and intense themes might feel overwhelming for some viewers. Furthermore, the discursive pace might not sit well with viewers used to fast-paced action.
On the whole, 86 is an anime that deserves more than just a mere glance. With its eye-catching animation, deeply enthralling story, and thoroughly developed characters, it’s a show that will grip you right from episode one. Whether you want to rent, buy, or stream it, 86 is an anime adventure you should not miss!
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