Sometimes you read a work of fiction and it leaves you wanting more. And then some conclude perfectly. I’ve read a lot of light novels in my time, but sci-fi and military-centric novels were never something I picked up, especially if they weren’t finished. Until I started 86 —EIGHTY-SIX.
I’m surprisingly not that into the sci-fi/mecha genre. Nor am I a huge fan of military and strategy premises. Sure, I enjoy some outliers here and there, like Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Rebellion and Steins; Gate. But I enjoyed those shows mostly because of their plot and characters, rather than the setting itself.
86 is an ongoing science fiction light novel series created by Asato Asato, with illustrations done by Shirabii. It has spawned both a manga serialization headed by Motoki Yoshihara and an anime adaptation under A-1 Pictures.
86: Main Synopsis
There has been a war going on for a near-decade between the Republic of San Magnolia and the Empire of Giad, using giant machines called Juggernauts. Unbeknownst to the public, however, the Juggernauts are piloted by humans known as “86“— a term used for the Colorata minority of San Magnolia who is classified as second-class citizens.
Meet Major Vladilena “Lena” Milizé, a noble of Albaene descent and an officer in the San Magnolian military. She is an activist for the fair treatment of the Colorata minority and has pushed for the public to be told the truth about the war. To quiet her down, she is assigned as the Handler of the Spearhead Squadron of the Eastern Front, led by Shinei Nouzen aka The Undertaker. The squad is known for driving handlers insane. Lena, however, gets to know the Spearhead Squadron, and together with Shinei, they uncover a dark secret. A conspiracy where the Kingdom and the Empire are not what they seem.
The Story Breakdown for Eighty Six
The light novel currently has 11 volumes out, with the most recent volume being the start of the fourth arc of the story. The volume before it was a prequel one-shot called Fragmental Neoteny, which followed Shinei.
The queen of Legion, the autonomous drones manned by the empire, has been captured and now the allies can investigate a way to stop the ruthless army forever. Meanwhile, our protagonists were in the Regicide Fleet Countries, bracing themselves for impact. And when the battle with the Noctiluca ended, they turned their eyes toward the mysterious west.
But the Legion proved overwhelming, forcing the 86 to retreat with Shin and Lena ordering a hasty withdrawal. However, they still descended on to the Republic to get some answers, determined even in the face of mortal danger.
Are We At The Finish Line for 86?
Considering that volume 11 is only the beginning of this current arc, I’m sure we have some time before the story concludes in its entirety. After all, we still haven’t fully discovered why the Legion gained sentience and chose to attack.
But we can take a guess. Astro Astro, the author, revealed that Volume 7 was the halfway point of the story. This means we can expect the final novel to be either Volume 14 or 15. Currently, with volume 11 out, that means fans can expect at least 3 or 4 more volumes!
Of course, this can go on for longer! Writing isn’t so easily limited or regulated that you can guess where it ends definitively. But here’s hoping for an amazing ending, whenever the time comes!