You should watch 86 Eighty-Six if you have enjoyed the final season of Attack on Titan.
86 Eighty-Six is going to be a thinker anime. While there is the backdrop of the military, you shouldn’t expect large scale battles, genius strategies, or noble heroics to dominate the crux of the anime. What 86 relies on rather is the conversation of what classifies a person as being human. The question of 86 is how does one deal with beings who aren’t considered human? While I have written in some regards about how power structures work when a set of humans are no longer considered to be of value or worth, 86 is a different beast altogether.
86 isn’t going to superficially brush over the question how to deal with the other. It’s going head on into the concept of what is the other.
In this regard 86 is going to be somewhat reminiscent of the final season of Attack on Titan, particularly in regard to the Eldians in their own ghettos in Marley. But unlike the Eldians in Attack on Titan, Eighty-Sixers don’t have powers that turn them into Titans and legitimizes in some regards the fears that Marley has about Eldians. So in this regard 86 is going to be a different kind of anime. Eighty-Sixers literally have no power, and are forced to fight on behalf of the other 85 districts that protect the Republic of San Magnolia.
While the situation is unacceptable by western standards the conversation remains about how to deal with others who are considered to not be human, or not part of a selected race or chosen people. What happens when you are in a position that is not in your control and you are the designated loser? The concept of slavery, genocide, or being classed as a non-citizen is a question of worth.
86 Eighty Six questions a power structure through the eyes of Lena.
What is interesting about Lena is she is a character that strives for ideals when she is already sitting in the chosen position. She has already been elected by the system to stand above the Eighty-Sixers. She actively leads them to their deaths as a handler. Essentially she is a battlefield commander, calling the shots and giving orders to the Eighty-Sixers. They live and die by her command.
What makes her position difficult is that she is of the chosen race. Her father and uncle are part of the military power structure that has used the Eighty-Sixers to fuel their war efforts. The official rhetoric of the republic is that no humans have died in the war. Which makes sense if you don’t consider an Eighty-Sixer human. So automatically there is no world in which Lena and Eighty-Sixers could be considered equals.
So in a world where she is the only one seemingly questioning the conscience of the republic is an interesting one. Everyone else seems to be ok with the situation unfolding. Trained and taught to consider the Eighty-Sixers as non-human, why would anyone stick their neck out for them. What is interesting this seems to be a recent development in the history of the Republic of San Magnolia. When the war broke out the republic was reorganized into its current form.
For Lena to be trying to connect with Eighty-Sixers is naive. For her to be arguing against the current power structure when it doesn’t benefit her is also naive. To consider Eighty-Sixers as anything other than non-human is insane.
Given the current state of affairs I wonder what is going to happen to her, and how she intends to resolve the issue of the Eighty-Sixers humanity.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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Here are some articles I have written about the final season in Attack on Titan: