86 Series Impressions

86 Part 2: Epis. 11 & 12 ⬢ Delay Brings Its Victory

More from the 86 series:

86 Part 1

Episodes 1 to 10 Run: October 3, 2021 - December 26, 2021
Episode 11 Release Date: March 12, 2022
Episode 12 Release Date: March 19, 2022
Based on the Series Created By: Asato Asato

***Warning, the following contains summaries of the final two episodes of 86 Part 2. Reader discretion is advised.***

The Set-Up

For context, as I am writing this section, I have not yet watched the final two episodes of 86 Part 2.

As you are most likely aware, A-1 Picture’s production of 86 Part 2 was delayed. Episode ten aired on December 26, 2021, and the series did not resume until March 12, 2022, with the season’s conclusion airing on March 19, 2022.

So, what happened?

According to the series’ official Twitter account:

[Notice of broadcast date and time] Regarding “Episode 22” and “Episode 23”, it will take some time to broadcast in order to maintain the quality. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to everyone who enjoys it. Please check the official website for details.

Google Translate

Do I believe that? Well, since the 86 series proved to be one of 2021’s best (Anime Hajime even went so far as to award it the tenth best anime of the year), I’ve got no reason to be pessimistic. 

Thus, without further ado, here are my Impressions of 86 Part 2 Episodes 11 and 12.

The Story So Far

Following their flight from the Republic of San Magnolia, the surviving members of the most recent Spearhead battalion, led by Shinei “Shin” Nouzen (voiced by Shoya Chiba), find themselves in the Federacy of Giad. For the first time, Spearhead has the choice to step down and live a life of peace. 

However, having only known war, Shin and his comrades cannot fully adapt to civilian life. Thus, they all choose to return to the fight against Legion.

In their new home, Spearhead meets Frederica Rosenfort (voiced by Misaki Kuno), who reveals herself to be Augusta Frederica Adel-Adler, the last empress of the now-dissolved Giad Empire.

Back in the Republic, Spearhead’s former handler, Vladilena Milizé (voiced by Ikumi Hasegawa), has been trying to prepare for a Legion attack she knows is on the horizon. Unfortunately, most of her fellow officers have become complacent and refuse to listen to Vladilena’s warnings. 

Sure enough, Legion unleashes an unprecedented assault on the Republic, the Federacy, and other nations. Shin and his friends manage to protect the Federacy’s front lines, but the fate of Vladilena and the Republic is uncertain.

To cripple Legion, Spearhead goes deep into enemy territory. They successfully defeat a major Legion weapon. But in a last-ditch attempt, the Legion weapon self-destructs, and Shin is right in the middle of the blast.

Episode 11 – “Shin”

Episode Synopsis

Although Shin survives the blast physically, his mental state teeters on the brink. Having seen so much suffering, Shin wonders why he’s fought as hard as he has for as long. Now in this state, he wants nothing more than to give up once and for all.

However, just as Shin is about to let go, he spots a lone female figure come up the deserted battlefield. Shin instantly recognizes the person as a Republic of San Magnolia soldier, and he asks what she is doing in this war.

The soldier explains that she needs to live up to her dear friends’ expectations of her. Despite the hardships, she continues to press on because she knows loved ones who have conquered greater odds. 

Shin scoffs at such a notion, but the soldier holds firm. She identifies herself as none other than Vladilena Milizé, and her resolve has come directly from Shin’s actions.

Since neither Shin nor Vladilena have ever met each other face to face, neither recognized one another. But before Shin can reveal his identity, the Federacy of Giad arrives to clean up the last of the Legion forces. At this moment, Shin learns that his entire squad survived the battle, and he feels immense relief that he will not be returning alone this time. 

Both Shin and Vladilena, who has yet to realize she nearly came face to face with Shin, are escorted back to the Federacy, which is preparing a rescue operation to save the Republic. 

Episode Impressions

Perhaps there is truth to that “maintain quality” comment; this episode looked really. And when I say good, I mean, “I don’t remember the series (which had solid animation in its own right) being this pretty.”

That aside, this did feel like a penultimate episode. There was a lot of philosophy speak, self-searching, and inner turmoil. None of that is inherently bad, and this episode pulled it off well. 

Not only that, the story has now set itself up to not only give this season’s finale but establish a route for a potential continuation. I can definitely see how there is more to this narrative. 

Before I move on, seeing Vladilena appear when and where she did was a little farfetched. I can accept it since it provided the stage for the long-awaited reunion between our two protagonists, but still.

Also, Frederica survived the blast, too. But the thing is, she has never been anything except inconsequential to me. There, I said it. 

Episode 12 – “Handler One”

Episode Synopsis

Following the last fight against Legion, Shin and his comrades return to their home in the Federacy of Giad, where they learn they will form a special independent combat unit after a well-deserved rest. The thing is, though, their commander will be from the now barely surviving Republic of San Magnolia.

Meanwhile, Vladilena recalls the Legion’s assault on the Republic. With the Federacy’s help, Republic forces manage to recapture District 1, but the rest of the county is in ruins. Since non-86 citizens have never seen war, the Republic’s morale is nonexistent. However, Vladilena is determined to continue the fight. Thus, she volunteers to join the Federacy’s military.

Due to her experience, the Federacy puts Vladilena in command of a new independent combat unit. Determine to carry on her friend’s wishes, Vladilena goes to meet her new squad.

However, this meeting turns joyous when Vladilena sees that her new team is none other than Shin and the other surviving members of Spearhead.

Together again, Vladilena, Shin, and the rest vow to remain side by side until the very end.

Episode Impressions

You would think that I would have more to say at the end of all this. But, fun fact, no.

If anything, these last two episodes confirmed what I already knew – the 86 series was one of the best anime to come out of 2021. That ultimate reunion was, shocker, extremely powerful.

So to reiterate, 86 Part 2 has earned itself a recommendation.

Final Thoughts

As of this post going live (March 2022), there has been no confirmed announcement of a season three. However, if episode twelve was any indication, a continuation can certainly happen; there is plenty of territory left to explore.

Now, was this delay necessary? Well, that is difficult to say. After all, I would only be guessing at the true reason behind why it happened. If we assume that the stated reason, to ensure quality, is the actual reason, then it would appear the delay did precisely what it set out to do.

To everyone who has been longing for this conclusion to come, 86 did not disappoint.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What were your impressions of 86 Part 2 Episodes 11 and 12? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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More From the 86 Series

86 Part 1
Anime Hajime Review: 86 Part 1
Anime Hajime Review: 86 Part 2 (Episodes 1 to 10)

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