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86 Season 2 release date predictions: 86 Eighty-Six Part 2 confirmed with split-cour

86 Eighty-Six Anime Characters
Hopefully, the 86 Season 2 anime won’t have fans saying, “It’s been a while, Handler One.” Pic credit: Studio A-1 Pictures

The 86 Season 2 anime will continue the story of Spearhead Squadron Undertaker Shin Nouzen and Handler One Vladilena Milize aka Lena. But when will the 86 Eight-Six Season 2 anime come out?

The 86 Season 2 release date may be over the horizon, but the wait for the second season won’t be too bad since new 86 Part 2 episodes are coming up fast in 2021.

It has already been confirmed by the official website’s Blu-Ray/DVD page that the first part is a total of 11 episodes released as four-disc volumes. It’s also been confirmed by the official Twitter account that the first season will be a split-cour anime.

On June 19, 2021, the Twitter account stated, “Please look forward to the second cour broadcast!”

What’s a “cour,” you might ask? For those unfamiliar with the lingo, a “cour” is a three-month block of TV broadcasting based on the physical seasons usually composed of 10 to 13 episodes.

A “split-cour” is where a single anime season takes a multi-month break before resuming TV broadcasting.

The first season of the 86 anime TV series was originally intended to be released in 2020 but was delayed to Spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

86 Episode 11 will finish the first part or cour on June 19, 2021 (in Japan it’s June 20th). The 86 Episode 12 release date hasn’t been announced yet.

However, the official website announced that a special edition episode called 86: Eighty-Six The Poppies Bloom Red on the Battlefield will release on June 26, 2021.

86 Episode 12
It’s uncertain what the story will be of the special episode or whether it’ll be officially considered 86 Episode 12. Considering how it’s labeled it’s possible it’s a recap episode. Pic credit: Studio A-1 Pictures

In addition, anime fans on Twitter claim that light novel illustrator Shirabii tweeted that the 86 Part 2 release date was in October 2021, but then quickly deleted the tweet. This information was not verified with a screen capture, so please consider it a rumor until the official announcement is made.

The 86 Part 2 release time frame will likely be announced at the ending of the special edition broadcast.

Note: The exact 86 Part 2 release date will be added to this news story once it’s officially confirmed.

The number of episodes for 86 Part 2 hasn’t been announced yet. However, Chinese streaming service iQIYI is listing a total of 23 episodes for the first season, which would mean 86 Part 2 would have 12 episodes.

This information isn’t 100 percent confirmed yet. Based on the pacing of the light novels that the anime is based on, it was previously predicted that 86 Eighty-Six Part 2 would have around 13 episodes.

The first season of the 86 anime TV series was co-produced by Japanese animation Studio A-1 Pictures and Studio Shirogumi. A-1 Pictures is best known for recent anime such as Sword Art Online, The Seven Deadly Sins (which switched to Studio DEEN starting with Season 3), and the Kaguya-sama: Love is War anime.

In 2021, the studio is also releasing the Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of the Starless Night movie and three Kaguya-sama: Love is War OVA episodes. The Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 3 anime TV series is also confirmed to be in production.

Studio Shirogumi handled the 3D CG animations for all of the action sequences between the Legion and the Juggernauts. In recent years, Shirogumi has been known for producing 3D movies like Stand By Me Doraemon and Dragon Quest: Your Story, but they’ve also produced TV series like Netflix’s Revisions anime and the Summer 2021 Night Head 2041 anime.

The staff for the 86 Season 2 anime has not yet been announced.

For the first season, series director Toshimasa Ishii helmed the project. In the past, he directed Soba e and was the assistant director for ERASED and the Mirai movie. He’s also been an episode director for BEASTARS, Gate, The Seven Deadly Sins, Sword Art Online, and The Promised Neverland Season 1 (not the tragic second season production).

Writer Tohiya Ono (Blue Exorcist, Land of the Lustrous, Shadows House, The Promised Neverland both seasons) handled series composition. Tetsuya Kawakami (Sword Art Online, A Certain Magical Index) was both the chief animation director and the character designer, while I-IV (Aldnoah.Zero, Re:Creators) was the mechanical designer.

Composers Hiroyuki Sawano (Aldnoah.Zero, Blue Exorcist, Guilty Crown, Kill la Kill, Kanaberi of the Iron Fortress, The Seven Deadly Sins, No Guns Life, Promare, Re:Creators, Attack On Titan) and Kohta Yamamoto (Kingdom, The Seven Deadly Sins, Attack On Titan Season 4) created the music.

READ: Hiroyuki Sawano interview: Attack On Titan: The Final Season OST music composer talks 2021 plans, future dreams

The 86 Season 2 OP (opening) and ED (ending) theme music hasn’t been announced yet.

For the first cour, the 86 OP was “3-pun 29-byou” by hitorie. Part 1 has had multiple ED songs, including “Avid” and “Hands Up To The Sky”, which were both performed and created by composer/singer SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]. The 86 Part 2 OP and ED haven’t been announced yet.

  • Updated June 19, 2021: Added 86 Part 2 rumor and the official announcement of the special edition episode.
  • Updated May 27, 2021: Added 86 dub release date.
  • Updated May 26, 2021: Added potential number of episodes for 86 Part 2.
  • Updated May 11, 2021: Added 86: Eighty-Six Volume 10 release date and cover art.

This article provides everything that is known about 86 Season 2 (86 Eighty-Six Season 2) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Crunchyroll’s 86 English dub release date confirmed

VRV and Crunchyroll were streaming the first season of 86 with English subtitles. In April 2021, Crunchyroll’s 86 dub plans were announced.

The anime will receive a 86 English dub in addition to localizations for Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German. Here is the English dub cast:

  • Billy Kametz as Shinei Nouzen
  • Suzie Yeung as Vladilena Milize
  • Jonah Scott as Raiden Shuga
  • Maureen Price as Anju Emma
  • Erica Mendez as Kurena Kukumila
  • Casey Mongillo as Theoto Rikka
  • Alejandro Saab as Daiya Iruma

The 86 dub release date is on June 19, 2021. Presumably, the 86 Part 2 dub will follow.

Therefore, a 86 Season 2 dub is possible if the anime TV series is renewed for a second season.

86 Eighty-Six Shin Lena
The story of 86 Season 2 will feature a deep disagreement between Shin and Lena. Pic credit: Shirabii

86 Eighty-Six Season 2 release date predictions: Renewal likely

As of the last update, Kadokawa, Aniplex, Studio A-1 Pictures, Bandai Spirits, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the 86 Season 2 release date. Nor has the production of an 86 sequel been announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information.

In the meantime, it’s impossible to speculate about when, or if, the 86 Eighty-Six Season 2 release date will occur in the future.

The anime’s first season gave a good boost to 86 light novel sales in Japan. The 86: Eighty-Six book sales ranked #8 on the Oricon charts for May 2021, selling 27,990 copies. By mid-June 2021, the 86 book series was #2 right behind Sword Art Online: Progressive and it’s on track for beating the May numbers.

To put the numbers in perspective, 86 was up there with notables like Tensura: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken), Higehiro, DanMachiRe:Zero, and even Sword Art Online: Unital Ring. Oddly enough, 86 was still beat by the books for Osamake: Romcom Where The Childhood Friend Won’t Lose, which has relatively low reviews from Western audiences.

In early May 2021, Kadokawa announced that they intended on creating at least 40 anime projects per year by 2023, an increase of 20 percent from 33 titles. 86 reviews from both fans and critics have been good enough to warrant having 86 renewed.

Bandai Spirits helped finance the project due to their involvement with making the 86 Lena figurines and the 86 Juggernaut model kits (both Shin type and long range cannon type). Mecha collectible fans might find those spider-like mechs interesting, but it’s probably “best girl” Lena that’ll drive the sales numbers.

86 producer Nobuhiro Nakayama is also well known for developing popular anime that are renewed for multiple sequels and often movies.

For example, there is Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and the DanMachi Season 4 release date is confirmed for 2022. The Misfit of Demon King Academy Season 2 is confirmed for production.

Gate had two seasons. The We Never Learn!: Bokuben anime finished adapting the manga. Strike The Blood Season 4 is already releasing.

A Certain Magical Index anime completed adapting the first book series. Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? Season 2 is reportedly in production, according to anime news leakers.

Given this track record, it would not be surprising at all if 86 Eighty-Six Season 2 (or even an 86 movie) is renewed in the future. Any such announcement will likely wait until the day of the 86 Part 2 finale episode.

When will 86's Lena return to TV screens?
When will 86’s Lena return to TV screens? Pic credit: Studio A-1 Pictures

86 creator Asato Asato based the book idea on Obama’s drone strikes

“Cute is justice! Girls in pilot suits is justice!” – Asato Asota

The story for the 86 anime TV series is based on the 86 light novels by author Asato Asato and illustrator Shirabii. By June 2021, the book series was already up to 86 Volume 10.

The first volume won first place in the Dengeki Novel Prize 2016. In an interview, the author said she used to write for a Kadokawa light novel label for young girls before she realized that 86 was very male-oriented. She didn’t think 86 would be suitable for Dengeki Bunko’s contest but entered anyway to see what would happen.

In addition to the main books there are a collection of 86 side stories. Some of these stories ended up being adapted by the anime.

86 Volume 10
The 86 Volume 10 release date is on June 10, 2021. This compilation book called Fragmental Neoteny is a prequel focused on the childhood of Shin Nouzen. Pic credit: Shirabii

The author teamed up with artist Motoki Yoshihara to create the 86 manga adaptation. Serialized in Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine since 2018, it’s up to Volume 2.

There are two manga spin-offs. Suzume Somemiya started creating the 86: Operation High School manga in 2020. In late April 2021, an 86 prequel manga series called 86 -Fragmental Neoteny- was launched by artist Shirabi.

North American publisher Yen Press is releasing the official English translation for both the light novels and the main manga series (the manga spin-offs do not have an English version). As of March 2021, the English 86 manga was caught up with the Japanese release. The English 86 books are up to Volume 7 as of March 2021, with Volume 8 scheduled for July 20, 2021.

Themes of politics and racism are at the center of 86’s story. While Americans may argue over whether or not systemic racism currently exists in their modern government institutions, in the Republic of San Magnolia it’s definitely a cruel present reality.

Notably, the Republic of San Magnolia is cast as the first modern democracy in this fictional world. Similar to how America once upheld slavery despite its Constitution ostensibly providing liberty and justice for all, the five-colored flag of the Republic is intended to stand for freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice, and nobility despite the majority Alba implementing institutionalized discrimination against the Colorata ethnic groups who immigrated to the country.

“No country would ever consider it an act of evil to deny a pig human rights. Therefore, if you were to define someone speaking a different tongue, someone of a different color, someone of a different heritage as a pig in human form, any oppression, persecution, or atrocity you might inflict upon them would never be regarded as cruel or inhumane.”

A quote from the 86 light novel.

86 creator Asato Asato stated in interviews that her inspiration for the story came from American politics. The idea of the Handlers being like drone operators came from watching news coverage of former U.S. President Obama’s drone strikes in the Middle East. Asato decided to write a light novel series about the ethics of drone warfare and how soldiers would work in the battlefield.

In the book, Executive Order 6609 declares the Colorata as enemies of the Republic, strips them of their humanity by declaring them unevolved humanoid pigs, and confines them to concentration camps. This order is a reference to real-life Presidential Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1942, the USA incarcerated Japanese, German, and Italian Americans in internment camps during World War 2 since these groups were deemed a threat to national security.

Another reference is that Republic’s namesake is the magnolia. This flower is the state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi and it’s also the national flower for North Korea, so the name of the country itself references authoritarian governments and American South with its history of slavery.

In an interview with Yen Press editorial assistant Payton Campbell (the book translator is Roman Lempert), said that what most surprised him most about the book series “was how honest and unreserved the writing was when it came to the horrors of genocide, particularly in the areas of racism, hatred, and persecution.”

“This is a book about war, and one unfortunate truth about war is that far too often, hatred is used as a tool to achieve one’s goals. In this case, the goal was to dehumanize a massive chunk of the population so that no one would bat an eyelash as they died by the millions fighting an impossible war,” Campbell said.

“86—Eighty-Six is a very emotional book and Asato Asato-Sensei wants you to feel every ounce of hatred that the Eighty-Six have for the Alba with the same intensity that you process the Alba’s apathy towards their struggle.”

The author’s childhood also influenced the direction of the plot. Asato says she grew up in a family that likes mecha anime. She watched some of the Gundam movies multiple times as a child and Knights of Sidonia is one of her favorites.

While video games like Final Fantasy Tactics are also an influence, she says the designs of the mecha in 86 were more influenced by horror movies based on Stephen King’s Mist and Philip K Dick’s Second Variety.

The Legion mecha in particular is modeled after the horrific military action in the Mist books. She researched how tanks work by reading several primary sources.

When Asato was about a particularly weak tank, she talked about how awesome it was and opined, “Isn’t it romantic?”

Asato loves military culture. She writes her books to the tune of Black Hawk Down’s OST and her pen name is a reference to the “Acth Acth” German flak gun.

Payton also spoke about the technology in the books.

“From the historical perspective, this book shares quite a few parallels with World War II. From the technical perspective, although the Juggernauts and the unmanned drones of the Legion are fictional robots, their various weapons and attachments were designed with real-world technology in mind,” he said.

“For example, having an understanding of how an EMP works made it easy to understand the Eintagsfliege: the mayfly robots that travel in swarms and have the ability to electronically disrupt the processes of enemy units.”

It's predicted that the 86 Season 2 anime TV series will pick up the story again with light novel 86 Eighty-Six Volume 4.
It’s predicted that the 86 Season 2 anime TV series will pick up the story again with light novel 86 Eighty-Six Volume 4. Pic credit: Shirabii

86 Eight-Six manga/light novel series compared to the anime

Light novel readers have enjoyed comparing the books against the 86 anime largely due to the way the differences heightened the emotional impact of certain plot beats. The anime extensively used anime original scenes to adapt dense parts of the narrative in addition to expanding book scenes based on the good storytelling rule of “show don’t tell.”

For example, in Episode 1 Lena received a document where two members of the Spearhead Squadron were listed as “destroyed” even before she became their Handler.

On Twitter, the author revealed that they were named Matthew (call sign Walpurgis) and Mina (call sign Artemis). These two characters only appeared in short stories, not in the original first book.

In Japanese culture, the red flower the higanbana is associated with death and martyrdom. Thus, the flower field in the 86 OP video symbolizes people who have died. When Kaie died she joined the garden and was no longer shown in the rest of the OP.

The entire classroom scene in 86 Episode 2 was original. In the light novel, the true history of the Republic was presented to readers as an info dump that felt like a big wall of text:

“Nine years earlier, year 358 of the Republic calendar, year 2136 of the global calendar. The Republic’s eastern neighbor and superpower of the northern continent, the Empire of Giad, declared war on all its neighboring countries and began attacking with an army of the world’s first completely autonomous unmanned combat drone, Legion. Faced with the Empire’s overwhelming military strength, the Republic Armed Forces were decimated within half a month. As what was left of the army gathered its remaining forces to stall the invasion via hopeless delay tactics, the Republic’s government made two decisions. The first was the evacuation of all the Republic’s citizens to the eighty-fifth administrative Sector. The second was Presidential Order #6609. The Special Wartime Peace Preservation Act. This law acknowledged all persons of Colorata descent within the borders of the Republic as inimical characters and supporters of the Empire and allowed the stripping of their civilian rights. They were designated as targets of monitoring and isolated in internment camps outside the eighty-five Sectors. This act was, of course, in violation of the Republic’s constitution and the spirit of the five-hued flag. The law also did not include Alba, who formerly lived in the Empire. Neither did it spare Colorata who were not originally from the Empire. It was a policy of blatant racism and discrimination. The Colorata were opposed to the law, of course, but their opposition was silenced by violence at the hands of the government. Some Alba, however few, also cried out against the law, but the majority accepted it. The eighty-five Sectors were far too small to accommodate the sheer number of civilians, and there was nowhere near enough food, land, or labor for everyone. False rumors were spread that the Republic’s defeat in the war came as a result of the Colorata’s spying. Those rumors were far easier for the civilians to accept than coming to terms with their country’s technological inferiority. But more than anything, in a situation where they were surrounded and isolated by enemies, they needed something, someone, to take their frustrations out on. This justification by way of eugenics spread quickly among the populace. The Alba, who founded the country that stood as the foremost advocate of democracy—the greatest, most humane of all forms of government—were the superior race. By contrast, the Colorata, with their outdated, cruel, and inhumane imperialism, were an inferior species—barbaric and foolish subhumans, pigs in human form and the result of an evolutionary blunder. Thus, all Colorata in the Republic were banished to internment camps where they were forced into labor and conscripted for the sake of constructing the Gran Mule. Their properties and belongings were requisitioned by the government to fund the construction of the wall and the war effort, and the Alba civilians who were spared from conscription, labor, and wartime taxes all praised the government’s humane methodology. The Alba mocked the Colorata as a lesser species, calling them the Eighty-Six. This discriminatory approach ultimately manifested two years later with the introduction of drones manned by living soldiers—and all those soldiers were of the Eighty-Six. Despite pouring all their efforts into producing a Republic-made unmanned drone, no attempt ever achieved the level where it could withstand live combat. But there was no way the superior Alba could admit to failing to produce such a machine when the inferior Empire could. Since the Eighty-Six were not considered human, having one pilot the machine would categorize it not as a mounted craft but as an unmanned drone. The Republic Militarized Autonomous Drone known as the Juggernaut, manufactured by Republic Military Industries (RMI), was lauded by the civilians upon its release as an innovative, cutting-edge, and humane weapon system that minimized human casualties to zero. The Eighty-Six who served as pilots were designated information-processing units—Processors—making the Juggernaut an Operated Drone. The year 367 of the Republic calendar. Yet another day dawned when soldiers, who were treated as nothing more than mechanical parts, set out to suffer deaths that would not be counted as deaths, on a battlefield without casualties.”

As you can see, the anime’s classroom scene presented worldbuilding in a more natural fashion, which is a lot less heavy-handed than having a narrator voicing the same info. It also showcased how the Alba adults, the old professor, knew the truth but was afraid to say anything due to the presence of a MP monitoring every word.

Still, the classroom scene has been controversial among light novel readers, with some wishing that the anime director/writer had used a more subtle approach to introducing lore by extending the dialogue of other conversations. To these readers, introducing a sudden classroom visit by Major Lena felt disruptive and had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

The anime also built up the relationship between Lena and her friend Annette to show how the Alba internalized and rationalized their racist beliefs. In the novel, Lena thought back to a breakfast conversation with her racist mother to develop this theme, but since the mother doesn’t otherwise play an active role in the story it made more sense to focus on developing Annette.

“There is pudding here. And not there.”

Such a simple statement embodies the great divide between the Alba and the Colorata. When Annette said there’s nothing she can do, you can see in her eyes that she tried and is coping with reality by looking the other way. With limited screentime, the anime did its best to represent the moral complexity of the average Alba citizen.

Even better, these extra scenes fleshed out Annette more so when she played a pivotal role later on in the story her actions had more impact.

Another nice directorial touch in Episode 4 was how Lena went to a war veteran’s graveyard when she talked to Shin. Changes like these added up to create an anime that was greater than the source material.

That’s not to say the anime is perfect since it does skip some pertinent details. For example, the anime doesn’t make it clear early on that the Republic is completely surrounded and isolated due to its lack of radio communication.

The true strength of the Legion is not necessarily its ground-based forces but the Eintagsfliege jamming swarms, which render radio-based communication useless, thus necessitating the use of the Para-RAID rather than simple audio communications via radio waves. It’s not until 86 Episode 10 that it’s made clear that they’re not even certain what other nations still exist outside of the Republic.

The anime also doesn’t initially explain the motivation for why the 86’ers continue to fight for the Alba. The first generation of Colorata soldiers fought to gain back citizenship for their families, which were essentially hostages held by the Republic.

They have no other option since they’re essentially surrounded. On one side is the Legion, but on the other is the Gran Mur wall, which is surrounded by a minefield intended to keep the Eighty-Six out.

The light novels mention multiple times that it’s the 86’ers pride as soldiers that keep them fighting on despite their horrific situation. Their only freedom is how they live, choosing to fight to the end rather than doing nothing and waiting until the day they die.

86 Episode 4 also skipped the last words of the respected Alba commander of Theoto Rikka aka Laughing Fox. The dying leader’s final words had a profound impact on Theo, so it’s odd that the anime skipped this pivotal moment.

“I know you guys hate me. It’s natural—of course you would. That’s why I never said anything. You have every right to hate me. Because I didn’t come here to help you, nor did I come here to save you. I only just…knew I could never forgive myself if I let you guys fight for us alone. It scared me. I only came to the battlefield for my own sake. So it’s only natural you’d never forgive me. Please. Never forgive me.”

The last words of the Laughing Fox commander.

So far, 86 Episode 7 was the biggest disappointment to female readers light novel fans since it skipped Shin’s shower scene. In the light novels, Lena calls Shin after the Black Sheep are revealed and he happens to be in the shower. Some of the details from this skipped conversation, including the reason why the Republic doesn’t allow the 86 to have graves, were shifted to later episodes.

Unfortunately for 86 manga readers, the anime caught up with the manga by 86 Episode 5. A-1 Pictures did an amazing job of making the Black Sheep sound unsettling. The rats eating walnuts during the talk about dissecting human brains is enough to give anyone chills.

Warning: The following paragraph contains fan theories that may be potential major spoilers even for light novel readers.

What’s interesting about Episode 5 is that it may have set up foreshadowing for the human identity of the Legion Shephard No Face, which even light novel readers don’t know at this point. Based on the anime version, some light novel fans are already speculating that Lena’s father, Vaclav Milize, not only became a Shephard… he’s the supreme commander of the Legion. However, the manga would seem to disconfirm that fan theory since Vaclav’s body was destroyed from the waist on up although it’s never made clear whether his head went missing.

The anime improved on the light novels again by showing Daiya’s death scene in 86 Episode 6. Originally, this detail was revealed by the narrative and Raiden threw Daiya’s broken radio into the trash since it would never be fixed. The flashback scene to the summer night also showed how the 86’ers embraced life in the face of death.

Notably, Episode 6 shifted a conversation between Lena and Annette. Originally, this conversation took place in Chapter 1, but the new context works in relation to Lena’s relationship with Shin.

86 Episode 6 actually contained a bit of foreshadowing during Daiya’s death scene that’s easy to miss. His Juggernaut is destroyed by a self-propelled, humanoid-shapped Legion mine that seems to fall from the sky, but it was actually the catapult-type Zentaur launcher that originally didn’t appear until light novel Volume 5. However, it’s not like the Zentaur didn’t exist at the time, they were just very rare and the book mentions the Zentaur was being developed before the Empire fell.

86 Episode 7 skipped another favorite Shin scene where he roasted a Republic soldier (not literally, with words).

86: Eighty-Six Episode 11 Ending
The ED art in Episode 7 was also interesting since it showed Lena’s blood red hand, which could be foreshadowing of her earning the nickname Bloody Reina, The Bloodstained Queen. The same imagery was repeated in Episode 11 when all of Lena was shown red while standing on the railroad tracks. Pic credit: A-1 Pictures

One potential oversight in Episode 7 is that the anime technically showed the tattoo-like scar on Anju’s back during the girls’ shower scene and indirectly explained that she grew her hair long to cover it, but the tattoo was shown so quickly that it’s a blink-and-you-miss-it moment. The reason why Anju’s tattoo is a big deal since it says “whore’s daughter” in English and Kurena averts her eyes after noticing it.

The anime will likely revisit Anju’s backstory in future episodes when a different character sees the scars. But it’s still odd how the anime made it difficult to see this detail.

Before 86 Episode 8, Annette’s character was fleshed out but the anime still skipped how the matching coffee mug was thrown away into the trash right before Annette tells Lena that she hates her. Considering how good the anime has been with foreshadowing and symbolism this skipped detail stood out.

86 Episode 10 was essentially anime original content although some of the scenes were based on the manga version and flashbacks from newer light novels. Besides fleshing out the main characters even more with emotional highlights that also served as a quasi-recap, the Fido montage was great way of foreshadowing Fido’s actual identity… but that’s getting into spoiler territory.

Speaking of spoilers, the ending of 86 Episode 11 was a great way of misleading anime-only audiences with red herrings. On one hand, the ending scene seemed to imply that Shin, Raiden, Kurena, Anju, and Theo all died, especially with that still image showing a body with red ink slashing out the head, which can only be interpreted as Shin losing his lead.

Yet we also see Shin’s brother Rei apologizing and transforming into a literal knight in shining armor, hinting at what is to come. Even more amazing is that Rei’s character page was updated to “destroyed” only on the day Episode 11 premiered, not during Episode 9.

With the way that the 86 Episode 11’s ending was handled it made perfect sense that they skipped Volume 1: Epilogue 2. To do otherwise would have ruined the cliffhanger ending that was so perfectly crafted.

86 Episode 11 also alluded to the new Legion Shephard character Kiriya. While the book just had him saying, “I’ll kill you,” the anime teased future events by showing a quick montage of snapshots from Kiriya’s memories.

Frederica Rosenfort
Kiriya’s memories at the ending of 86 Episode 11 teased audiences by briefly alluding to a “princess”: Augusta Frederica Adel-Adler, a character who was properly introduced in 86 Part 2. Pic credit: Studio A-1 Pictures

Fans of the 86 light novel series were concerned about the adaptation pacing of the anime TV series when the project was first announced. The concern was legitimate since the anime industry averages about 3 to 5 books per season or cour.

There are extreme examples like Tokyo Ghoul, The Promised Neverland, and Horimiya, with the latter condensing 121 manga chapters into a single cour season. Anime like Goblin Slayer (Goblin Slayer Season 2 is confirmed), Cautious HeroKonosuba, and Combatants Will Be Dispatched! are considered outliers since they only covered two light novel books in a single cour. Adapting a single book with one cour is fairly rare.

Thankfully, Studio A-1 Pictures has been extremely faithful to the heart of the books, although it was unavoidable that certain details will be condensed or omitted. Volume 1 was very character-driven rather than action-heavy, with most of the battles not being described in-depth with the exception of the final fight.

Volumes 2 and 3, and thus 86 Part 2, will be more focused on battle. The narrative of Volumes 4 through 7, and thus 86 Season 2, returns to focusing on character development, with the romance plot becoming naturally more prominent as the story progresses.

86 Volume 1 was written as a standalone book with a self-contained story arc. Similarly, Volumes 2 and 3 are a single story arc that shares a similar book title: Run Through The Battlefront (Start) and Run Through The Battlefront (Finish).

Pacing should not be an issue based on the length of the source material. The first book is the longest with 253 pages (344 Japanese). Volume 2 is 189 pages (280 Japanese), while Volume 3 is 235 pages (360 Japanese).

There are 7 chapters, 4 short interludes, and 2 epilogues in the first book. Episode 2 covered 72 pages out of 253 in Volume 1. By 86 Episode 5, the anime finished 3 out of 7 chapters, and 86 Episode 11 will adapt the last part of Chapter 7 and Epilogue 1 where Lena visits the bunker.

As previously noted, Episode 11 purposefully did not end with Volume 1: Epilogue 2 – Reboot in order to set up the cliffhanger ending where the fate of Shin and his friends is left in limbo.

The only reason Part 1 adapted only a single book was due to the anime original content. Thus, due to the necessity of finishing two books in a single cour it’s expected that 86 Part 2 will stick closer to the books without adding too much extra details.

86 Lena x Shin
“This isn’t the first time we’ve met. Although, I suppose it is the first time we’re meeting face-to-face. It’s been a while, Handle One.” Pic credit: Shirabii

All in all, it’s predicted that the finale episode of 86 Part 2, 86 Episode 23, will correspond to the ending of Volume 3.

The good news is that there are plenty of books available for making 86 Season 2 with multiple cours. Better yet, English-only light novel readers can jump straight to 86 Volume 4: Under Pressure, if they wish to read ahead of the anime.

The bad news is that 86 manga readers will have to wait for years before the manga catches up with even the first cour of the anime TV series, never mind 86 Part 2.

86 Season 2 anime TV spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

Note: This news story was original published before 86 Eight-Six Part 2 released for streaming and will be updated over time. These spoilers assume that 86 Eighty-Six Season 2 will pick up the story in light novel Volume 4.

Lena and Shin are finally reunited!

The last time we watched the 86 anime, the Gran Mur had been destroyed by the railgun type Legion the Morpho, which was controlled by the neural network ghost of Shin’s dead brother, the Shepherd Kiriya Nouzen. Against all odds, Shin and Spearhead Squadron defeat Morpho and liberated the surviving Republic citizens.

Processors from both the Republic’s Eighty-Sixth Sector and the Federacy’s Vargus Nordlicht Squadron have been combined into the Eighty-Sixth Strike Package. Now part of the Federal Republic of Giad’s army, Lena is in charge, which means she’s fulfilled her promise of catching up with Shin and his comrades.

Lena’s hope is to train the Eighty-Sixers and rehabilitate them into a more normal way of living. But racism is still rearing its ugly head.

Lena feels responsible for the Eighty-Six who died under her command and feels frustrated by her inability to prevent more deaths. Shin assures her that it wasn’t her fault as they work together for the good of the unit.

Lena has been bringing out Shin’s softer side of his personality gradually. Now, Lena tries to ensure that Shin feels that he has a place to return home so he won’t throw his life away in battle.

Their next mission will take them to an abandoned subway tunnel in the city of Charite. Known as the Charite Underground Labyrinth, the site has become host to an underground Legion production base.

Barely surviving that dangerous mission, Lena is frustrated with Shin’s reckless actions and how quick he is to put his own life at risk. She can’t understand their way of thinking, believing that he’s taking unnecessary risks, and these angry disagreements introduce awkwardness to their relationship.

Based on what they find in the Legion base, the Eighty-Sixth Strike Package is tracking down Legion developer Zelene Birkenbaum. The trail takes them to the frozen northern world of the United Kingdom of Roa Gracia.

There, the 86 and Lena meet Prince Viktor Idinarohk and his personal guard, a woman named Lerche who a pilot of an Alkonost, a semiautonomous mecha designed for combat on snowy field. Shin quickly realizes that something isn’t quite right with Lerche.

It turns out Lerche is one of many humanoid robots called the Sirins, a reflection of the 86 embodied in machines. Similar to the Legion, the Sirins (or Artificial Fairies) are robots except that they house structural copies of the human brain!

86 Season 2 Characters
The blonde-haired, green-eyed Lerche (who goes by the personal name Chaika) was created in the image of dead sister Lerchenlied. She died 7 years ago when she accompanied Vika to his first battlefield. The prince created the first Sirin by preserving Lerchenlied’s brain structure as artificial intelligence, but she didn’t retain the dead sister’s memories. Pic credit: Shirabii (colored version by Alansakata)

Shin struggles to accept these creepy new machine comrades, who he believes are no different than the Eighty-Sixers that were used by the Republic of San Magnolia. The Sirins are being made to fight someone else’s battles as an expendable force, which essentially makes them the other side of the same coin as the 86’ers.

These machines have personalities, so what makes them different from humanity? Rather than being forcibly conscripted, the Sirins themselves volunteered to have their brain structure copied. In order to prevent the brain structure from collapsing, their base personalities and memories were deleted and a pseudo-personality is installed.

Even when their mechanical bodies are destroyed, their backups are redeployed to fight once again. Due to this ability to endlessly respawn, the Sirins tend to use reckless fighting tactics and their Handler commanders can give orders that would normally be considered inhuman war crimes.

The Sirins’ goal is to prevent biological humans from dying and ending up like them. They’re perfectly willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of mankind.

Lerche understands why Shin is reckless but feels almost insulted by how human soldiers could throw away their lives in a war where technology has surpassed human ability. Lerche tries to teach the 86’er to value his life since humans can try again when they fail, which the dead cannot do.

But Shin struggles with finding something to live for since all he’s known since a child was the fight against the Legion. He also has trouble forgiving himself for some of the deeds he’s done in battle.

Meanwhile, Princess Viktor is able to help Lena comprehend how both the Sirins and the Eight-Sixers think. In this manner, Lena matures both as a person and as a Handler by understanding the horrors they’ve faced. By trying hard to see Shin’s point of view, Lena begins to close the distance that had grown between them.

While the characters are busy growing emotionally, the Legion is busy concocting plans for their demise. Lena, Prince Viktor, and the commanders find themselves trapped inside a fortress citadel under siege by the Legion!

The sights they see on this battlefield will haunt them forever.

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the 86 Season 2 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

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