The anime Eighty-Six (sometimes written “86”) continues to knock each episode out of the park, including the latest Episode 19. The new episode, called “Stay This Way Forever,” shows just why this series needs to be renewed.
This is a review of Eighty-Six Episode 19, “Stay This Way Forever.” (Also referred to as 86 Season 2 Episode 8 in some locations, although this is technically part of Season 1.) As such, the review will have spoilers. Please note that this is an anime ONLY reviews, with no light novel spoilers.
Last week, Ernst basically threatened to destroy the entire world if his children (the 86) don’t return alive from battle. And this week, he got really close to deciding to throw in the towel and carry out that promise. Meanwhile, Shinei is basically flirting with the same path that drove Kiri mad, and it’s unclear if any Nouzen who engaged in battle with the Legion is bound to end up losing his mind to the process.
Talk about an episode. And I didn’t even mention the Morpho yet!
Wenzel & Ernst Will Back Up the 86 No Matter What
So let’s backtrack to the beginning. The episode kicks off with Wenzel piloting that super-secret plane so the Nordlicht squadron can land close to the Morpho. Wenzel risks her life to give the 86 the best possible chance, showing just how dedicated she is to their chance at survival. (We later, in a very quick scene, that Wenzel was married and then her husband was killed in a Legion attack before she even got to wear her wedding dress. This is part of what drives her to this day.)
Back at the base command, Ernst and the others watch as the 86 Nordlicht squadron begin to face off against a barrage of enemies set up to protect Morpho. When they come face-to-face with it (or so they think), they realize it’s in some type of mecha millipede/centipede form. I saw people on Reddit really praising the animation here, although for me it felt a bit tough to make out (at least at first). I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an anime-only and didn’t know what to expect, so I wasn’t certain what to look for. Or if I just wasn’t watching on the best screen.
Then the Morpho seems to energize itself — when they thought it was disabled — while a voice conveys a message to Shinei of wanting to “kill you!”
However, it turns out that the Morpho they were aiming at was a fake! The real Morpho was nearby, ready to sneak attack and take them out. Even Shinei didn’t pick up on this. However, Frederica did because of her special ability to see into the lives of those she is close to, including Kiri.
An attack took out all the United Kingdom observers, and base command is ready to drop a saturated missile strike and call it a day. But Ernst reminds them that they don’t know where the enemy is and their observation drones are down. A missile strike would be pointless waste.
He gives a great speech:
Abandoning soldiers you sent into enemy territory to protect yourself, giving up the rest of the plan… That’s disgusting behavior. Beneath humanity. As the Federacy’s provisional President and it’s Commander-in-Chief, do you think I’d allow that? The Federacy has higher ideals to uphold. If we’re talking about giving up on that, we’d be better off destroyed. You allowed me to become President, and now you must live with the consequence. If you insist the only way we can survive is an unethical one, then you’ll have to die here along with my ideals.
I really like how this character will stand by his ideals no matter what. Humanity has to be worth saving in order to fight for it.
Then they learn the Nordlicht group survived and is still going after Morpho — the real one this time.
Kiri Is More Intimidating than Shinei’s Brother
And that’s when we get our first real look at Kiri in his Legion form, now known as Pale Rider. He’s reporting to someone named No Face, and I have a feeling that the revelation of who that is will be huge someday. But for now, we aren’t to learn. Pale Rider is a lot more intimidating than Shinei’s brother was. But just like Shinei’s brother, they have their designs on Shinei too. Except in this case, they want to take him (Baleygr) alive and make his intelligence part of their Legion so they can become even more formidable.
It’s all very dark.
Pale Rider looks a lot like Shinei. They could practically be twins, so I’m going to guess they are more closely related than we realize.
Kiri is obsessed with wanting to take out and kill Shinei, to the point of almost disobeying a direct order from No Face. Shinei, meanwhile, is a little too eager to face off against Kiri. It’s like they are both still pulled by the Nouzen inside them — there’s something in their blood that craves this battle.
But in the end, the battle is not to be. At least not this time.
We do get a flashback to when Kiri was still alive. He’s still very connected to Frederica and has fond memories of her. But he also may still believe she’s dead. I wonder if something in him will change when he learns she never died?
Shinei Gave an Unexpected Gift to Frederica
The 86 fall back and regroup in a location where they can get a little rest and meet back up with Fido. That’s when they discover that Frederica followed them after all and has been hiding in Fido all this time! So there’s no choice but to let her tag along. (Which I think is going to become important when Kiri sees her one day.)
But Shinei makes a very unexpected decision when he finds out that Frederica followed them. He gives her his gun. This is huge. This is the gun he used to make sure that none of his comrades fell into the Legion’s hands. He’s never wanted to give that gun up. But Frederica has become a beloved little sister to her, and the last thing he wants is for her to ever become part of the Legion.
So he tells her that if they are all wiped out and she has no way to meet up with the main army, “use it on yourself.”
It seems harsh, but it’s actually one of the most caring things he could do given their circumstances. It also means that he has sacrificed his ability to kill himself – so he can never become Legion like his brother did – to ensure that she never does. It’s probably the greatest act of love that he could do.
This latest episode of 86 was amazing. There are so many layers to the characters’ decisions, from Ernst’s drive to maintain his ethics to Wenzel’s motivation, down to Shinei’s unexpected gift. I can’t wait for Episode 20.
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