86 Eighty Six subverts expectations for the second season.
As a fan of the first season I was really wondering how the anime would continue to progress into the second season. Things had been nicely tied up, narratively speaking, at the end of the first season. The expected end happened. I was at peace with the characters decisions, feeling that they made sense given the context of the narrative. The story was satisfying and cohesive, with its points made clear.
I was expecting the story to continue with Lena, and I expected her to change after the end of the first story. I was thinking that there might be some kind of time jump where the Republic of San Magnolia was at the edge of an impending defeat having to come to terms with the fact that they had murdered the Eighty-Sixers and now had to spill their own blood to save their country.
I underestimated Deus Ex Machina.
I was right on Lena’s character change. But there doesn’t seem to be an extreme jump in time, nothing like the course of years later. We pick up close narratively to where we left off. The state of affairs for San Magnolia is the same.
What I wasn’t expecting was that Shin and his crew would be alive. I had thought with certainty that they had perished as expected. But sometimes storytellers like to throw in wrenches to the expected outcome. As of right now I am a bit concerned. Anime storytelling has a tendency to sometimes make writing decisions that logically don’t fit into the previous narrative they have told, even within the same anime series. Tokyo Ghoul is a great example of a compelling first season, and then completely going off the rails as the writing progressed in the story.
As for how the story progresses I am holding out hope that we will get the same writing magic of the first season. Will the story ultimately benefit from Shin’s survival? I am curious where it goes from here.
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