86 Eighty-Six brings us a packed story that revolves around racism, war, and politics, expressed through sci-fi and mecha elements. For nine years, there has been an ongoing war between the Republic of San Magnolia and the Giad Empire. Both are fighting with autonomous machines—the Empire fights with units called Legions, while the Republic fights with Juggernauts.
An Alba noble, Major Lena Milizé, has been assigned as the Handler of an elite unit called the Spearhead Squadron. Part of San Magnolia's military propaganda is saying that these drones are autonomous—but they are actually piloted by people called the Eighty-Six.
Closed off from the Republic, the Eighty-Six are victims of the racist Alba government and aren't seen as humans with rights. In every announcement about the war, the Republic keeps mentioning that there are no casualties because they don't view the Eighty-Six as human. On the other hand, Lena disagrees with this and is always vocal in her thoughts about the Eighty-Sixers' struggles.
The first season of this Spring 2021 anime is a split-cour, with the first cour consisting of 11 episodes. This anime has been adapted from the light novel series written by Asato Asato and illustrated by Shirabii. As of writing, the light novel series is still ongoing, currently with 9 volumes. The 10th volume's Japanese release is set for June 10, 2021. There are currently no updates on the release date of the second cour.
Will There Be a Season 2 of 86?
There has been no announcement yet for the second season of 86 Eighty-Six. However, given the ongoing status of the light novel, we can hopefully expect a second season soon. Drawing concepts from real situations in the world and bringing them into anime, the complexities of this story that have yet to unfold sure leave us wanting for more.