Should You Watch 86? (Discussed)

If you are a fan of war Anime or looking for Anime similar to Shigeki no Kyojin thenyou should give 86 a chance.

This war Anime may have a bit of racism which is a common thing in Anime, but all in all, it is a mecha classic with giant-killing robots.

86 stands for eighty-six. Eighty-Six, a Light Novel adaptation written by Asato Asato, produced by A-1 Pictures, and directed by Toshimasa Ishii, seeks to improve on an existing concept.

Just like some political dramas, this is a worthy watch for mecha fans. 

The two main characters of 86
Even though racism is frequently present in Anime, this military Anime nonetheless features gigantic robots that can kill people.
Release yearSpring 2021
IMDb rating8.2/10
About 86

86 portrays the brutality of war, racism, and oppression in such a way that you can’t help but become absorbed in the story and characters and fall in love with the series.

Here are all the reasons why you should watch it:

What is 86 about?

For the past nine years, the Republic of San Magnolia has been at odds with the Giadian Empire. Despite suffering devastating losses to the Empire’s autonomous mechanized Legions at first, The Republic has since developed its own autonomous units—Juggernauts—that are remotely directed by a Handler.

While the public believes the war is being fought between machines, the Juggernauts are being piloted by humans, all of whom are the Eighty-Six, the designation given to the subhumans of the Eighty-Sixth Sector who are persecuted and denied their rights by the racist-led Alba government.

Major Vladilena “Lena” Milizé is an Alba noble and military officer in the Republic’s Military who is designated as a Handler of the Spearhead Squadron of the Eastern Front, an elite unit consisting entirely of Eighty-Sixer veterans who have earned names directed by their squad leader, Shinei “Undertaker” Nouzen.

When Lena gets to know Shinei and the rest of the Spearhead Squadron, she develops sympathy for his people’s suffering and attempts to assist them. At the same time, Lena and Shinei discover a frightening secret: the Republic and the battle with the Empire are not what they appear to be.

Is it worth watching 86?

Trailer of Anime 86

The beginning and finale are both bangers. They have a good protagonist who is perhaps the series’ greatest component.

He appears to be the stereotypical stoic male protagonist, but you soon discover that this is not the case.

It’s a mash-up of racism, military filth, romance, insanity, mecha, sci-fi, and so much more. To top it all off, the animation is breathtaking.

Aside from the mecha, it has a political tale with a racist tint to it. I like how season 2 portrays war, racism, and oppression and how it delves into survivor’s guilt.

The story focuses on the consequences and emotions of war, similar to AoT, with the theme of being forced to fight in order to survive and live within the borders of death.

But also adds the idea of the morality of using someone as a medium to protect yourself from danger, essentially privilege and the dynamics of power within an organization.

It’s not yet a romantic Anime, but 86-Eighty-Six has a few moments that hint at it. It’s not unjustified, but it also doesn’t rush into anything.

The little moments don’t slow down the rhythm and generate some fan-favorite moments. It isn’t much, but it is present.

Regarding the battles and animation, everything looks fantastic, and the direction appears to be excellent, with plenty of “show, don’t tell” moments.

The idea also contains strong overtones concerning some sections of our real-life experience, which makes it much easier to relate to the characters if you enjoy stories, battles, and historical studies.

Other than that here are some reasons why 86 should be on your watchlist:


It would be a pity to say that 86 has fair visuals. Since I find this series to have the best visuals in 2021 Anime. I’m not implying this to Animation and CGI but also to the editing and shot angles, composition, and direction in general. 

Toshimama Ishi the TV debut director did a wonderful job in this Anime to connect the audiences with the visual appeal of the scenes.

He did something most Anime fail to accomplish “Shot-reverse-Shot” scenes that we only get to see in live-action movies and films mostly.

From specific character positions to blocking a scene to show a mile’s distance between characters who are only five feet apart. Toshimasa has outdone himself. 

The way he connects music and movement to emotions, making the audience care about characters or moments that otherwise they wouldn’t have cared about … demonstrates his pure skill.


86 Episode 1
Until you discover the tragic backstory, Anime 86 doesn’t seem like it’s all that significant.

Although this sci-fi proxy drama may take a detour from the mecha genre to a more dramatic one it also keeps the audience questioning the characters and gradually finding out their true nature. 

At first sight, Anime 86 does not appear to be very noteworthy, until you learn the tragic story behind it.

You may picture how both the Republic of San Magnolia and the Empire of Giad’s lives have been wrecked by a 9-year-long conflict. 

However, the invention of their own drone machines – “Juggernauts” – soon turned the tide of the war for the Republic. As the years passed, the Republic was able to successfully defend their country with low to 0 casualties.

However, An unpleasant reality lurks beneath this astonishing sequence of events: The ’86’ enslavement and tyranny of an entire populace resulted in 0 losses and the safety of all 85 sectors of the Republic.

Everyone who did not look like the silver-haired Alba race was detained in the “86th” district and barred from entering the other sectors.

Men, women, and children were coerced into piloting the “Juggernauts” in order to combat the Empire. The deaths of the 86 are unimportant to the Alba since they were regarded as “inhuman.”

Although the first three episodes are a drag and some unnecessary beach picnics that tried to make the Anime slice of life may not be the most interesting thing to see but the compelling editing suffices that elegantly.

Eighty-Six does an excellent job of portraying the danger and addressing the war as the monster that it is. Many characters die off-screen or are dealt unjust deaths.

But since there are going to be more seasons due to the many parts of the light novel it is based on fans seem relieved that they can relax since no main character is dying anytime soon. 

Character Development

Different characters from the anime 86
By writers like those at Eighty-Six, racism is never properly analyzed or expanded upon.

There are two primary characters in the story. Shinei Nouzen AKA Undertaker and Major Vladilena Milizé. Every story point, scene, and key development stems from these two characters.

This is not to indicate that there aren’t more characters. Raiden, Theo, Kurena, Anju, Henrietta—and other characters—all receive attention but do not develop beyond a basic level.

Henrietta receives the most attention; however, I couldn’t buy her narrative (it leaned too heavily on the backdrop and history of prejudice).

But as mentioned earlier in this piece: racism is never properly explored or expanded upon by writers such as those at Eighty-Six.

Does 86 contain romance?

86 contains a hint of romance. It’s not yet a romantic Anime, but 86 (Eighty-Six) has a few moments that hint at it.

It’s not illogical, but it also doesn’t rush into anything. The little moments don’t slow down the pace of Anime and generate some fan-favorite moments.

Is the 86 Anime a good adaptation?

Asato Asato is the author of the Japanese light novel series 86 eighty-six. A1 Pictures produced an Anime version of the series. The first season’s episode aired in April 2021, with the second episode set for October 2021.

This light novel was inspired by Stephen King’s film “The Mist,” in which strange creatures arrive when a mysterious mist fills the environment. And he came up with Juggernauts and started writing in 2014.

The core of this series just like its base novel is war, and with it, characters learn what it means to live, survive, and fight.

However, the narrative of 86 is much more than a frontal conflict. Unimaginable mysteries lurk behind their society’s guarded walls. The adaptation is up to expectations. 

Who is Shinei Nouzen?

Shinei Nouzen, also known as Shin, is the male protagonist of the 86-Eighty Six-series.

He is the Spearhead Squadron’s commander as well as the Eighty-Sixth Strike Package’s default operations commander. He is renowned as the Reaper of the Eastern Front among the Eighty-Six. His ability to hear the Legion’s voices made him a high-priority target with the callsign Báleygr.

Shin is a kind person, despite having been harmed by so many people throughout his life. He considers himself to be at blame in the situation with his brother and believes he should apologize.

Even after being shunned and despised by the other Eighty-Six, Shin felt it was his duty to bear his companions’ deaths and see them pass quietly into the hereafter.


  • Yes, 86 is worth watching if you like political dramas, informational or historical Anime as well as shounen in general.
  • The story mainly focuses on the two main leads and the plot is entirely dependent on them giving less limelight to the side characters but more will be revealed in the next seasons.
  • The visual appeal of this Anime is something else, the creators made it a high standard for upcoming editors to maintain. 

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