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Eighty-Six (86) - Not A Bad Start, BUT...

Rambling Apr 26, 2021

At the first glance, Eighty-Six appears to be just another hastily issued LN adaptation, the like of which you get to see a lot in recent years.

However, that expectation of mine quickly got subverted and somehow I managed not to drop this show after 3 episodes, a common practice I’ve been following a lot as of late for many reasons.

That is not to say I have no problem with this anime. Heck, in fact, I have a ton to talk about if that was the main focus of this post. But for simplicity’s sake (and with my schedule not doing so well rn), Imma just say, as cliche as this has been going, this anime has a lot of potentials to rise up to the rank of being something, but trying too hard does not always guarantee a spectacular result.

First off, world-building is solid so far, but the process, in general, didn’t go quite as smoothly. For once, they didn’t handle the prelude to the story well enough. Given how wonky the exposition can get at some point, I was totally :schleeping: at the premise of this anime (or Episode 1 in short).

That being said, as soon as everything starts to take shape, my enjoyment for this anime also responds in kind.

I mean yeah, the political affairs and themes in Eighty-Six are nothing new, they are actually quite common once you’ve spent a fair amount of time in entertainment in general but regardless, I’d say they don’t feel so “dry” at the very least, whether it be a long-ass conversation or some typical propaganda lecture scene.

Maybe they just go too well with the setting, or maybe they really do treat these concepts with care. And while it’s still a bit early to judge, I doubt that I’m going to have any issue with them in a while.

Next up, the action in this anime can be quite entertaining. I would not go as far as saying that it has top-tier execution but I sure as hell got fired up for a bit as the heat of the show continues to rise. If anything though, I can’t say that I like how they use the music in tandem with the intricate fight sequence.

Not saying that the sound design is bad but just simply misused with wrong timing. Like they’re in a middle of an intense battle with lots of talking and shouting but they just be like “IMMA DROP THIS TRACK RIGHT HERE TO OVERLAP WITH EVERYTHING ELSE BECAUSE WHY NOT”.

Anyhow the ED is really rocking though, looking forward to the full version.

Dayum son

Lastly, the cast and plots are where things start to take a few bumps to me. How do I put this? I generally have no issue with the characters, and I do acknowledge what the creator is trying to achieve, by giving them a moment of build-up before “shit happens”.

It’s a pretty classical approach yet effective regardless of era, but only with the right execution, and sadly Eighty-Six could not keep up with the latter. Episode Three is probably one of those “oh shit” kinda development you normally get to see in any kind of story, but I don’t know, it felt really forced at the end and the flow just kept getting fluctuating over and over again due to the constant abrupt transitions.

If there’s anything that was done right then I guess it has gotta be the double perspective of a single scene (episode 3), which sadly got overshadowed by that awkward ending.

Like, they managed to craft such subtle high-intensity atmosphere from a seemingly casual conversation, by showing us two different sides it just easily makes for a clear and vivid view of the grand scheme of things, for this introductory section, which is something that always got on my soft side.

Apart from that, the way the character expressions, eye movements, and subtle gestures were handled are spot on.

So the bottom line is, Eighty-Six is definitely one of the more intriguing anime adaptations out there in Spring 2021, and while it does present itself with a lot of cool and nice ideas/concepts, I cannot say for sure the direction of the series is heading toward the path that’s to my liking (mostly due to the ending of episode 3).

But what do you know, like I mentioned above it’s still too early to judge, and I just want to make a quick first-impression post, maybe at the end of the season I’m going to take a fat L and be forced to reconsider my opinion and scrap this post but for now, I just have a lot of mixed feeling for this anime. Oh well, at least they have solid waifu materials.



Chilling out and rolling out.

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