86 -Eighty Six- quick fan art... and a rant, er, review?| Drawing with the Note 10+

in The Anime Realm8 months ago

So I drew a fanart of 86 -Eighty Six-'s Shin and Lena.

I don't even know where to begin. Maybe I can start on what 86 is.

I first encountered 86 in May last year, I think? It was just a few episodes in. There have not been many shows, let alone anime, that took my interest, but I decided that 86 might just be different. And well... it was. And it also hit differently.

I first saw 86 as a military science anime that is based on a novel of the same name by Asato Asato. Then I suddenly find that it's actually a different kind of masterpiece. Then I saw it as something I could consider one of the best anime of all time. I'll probably tell more about why it is later on, but for now, here's the fanart I worked on from yesterday.

This was drawn quickly; I was thinking of maybe fixing this in the next few days, but only when I'm in the mood, though. I haven't been really keen in drawing lately, but given some inspiration and motivation, I just do.

I based the work on already existing photos of Shin and Lena, and just re-drew them to fit my style. To be honest, I find it difficult to draw anime and try to convert them to semi-real-ish. I wonder how other artists do that beautifully?

The spider lily in the middle was actually recycled from a painting I did in ... drum rolls ... 2020. Spider lilies have great symbolism throughout the anime, and I just couldn't leave one out!

86 is a masterpiece.

Before you proceed, let it be known that this might contain spoilers.

Although... I'll try not to spoil so much.

I've said it earlier, and I'll say it again. 86 is a masterpiece. When the first cour of Season 1 ended, I felt like my heart was clawed out of my chest. It makes you want to feel both sad and numb, but still think that everything that happened so far was so beautiful and fulfilling.

86 starts with snippets of news from the Republic of San Magnolia, the setting of our story, that tells of the ongoing war against the Legions, an army composed of AI-powered and autonomous mobile machines, outside the premises of the country. It was said that the Republic was slowly tearing down the opposing forces with autonomous machines of their own, and no lives had been lost.

Contrary to popular belief, however, was the fact that there were lives lost. Few years into the war, "colored" people -- those that do not have white, silvery hair and purple eyes -- had been the subject of extreme racism and were exploited to become "Processors," those that operate Jauggernauts, the supposedly unmanned and autonomous machines used to fight the Legions. These Processors and "colored" people (also, Colorata) were called the 86, because they were exiled to the 86th sector of the Republic, away from the white citizens.


Shin was the leader of the Spearhead Squadron, a group of teenaged Processors forced to fight the Legions. Each Processor is equipped with a Para-RAID, a neural network device for communications between the Processors and their "Handler". Spearhead Squadron's Handler is Vladilena Milize. She was in charge of guiding the Processors under her during missions against the Legions.

Unlike the other people of the Republic, Lena was very sympathetic to the Colorata. She believed that regardless of color, everyone was born human and equal. Her respect of the Colorata only intensified when she was rescued and taken care of by an 86 during an accident she was involved in when she was young, an accident where her father also perished.

And while some of the 86 bore resentment for the Republic's citizens, Lena and the Spearhead Squadron had formed a very strong, intimate bond. The story basically revolved around the war, politics, racism, and xenophobia, life of the 86, and life of the radical Lena and the connections she build with the Spearhead Squadron, most especially with its leader, Shin.

The anime spans 23 episodes (2 cours), until around the 4th volume of the novel. In total, the novel has 11 volumes, 9 of which are translated in English.

I felt a rollercoaster of emotions.

86 definitely hit hard. And differently. Straight to the heart. You'll think how things in the story are impossible, but at the same time, they aren't really far off from reality. And you'll be sad, and happy, and then angry. And maybe even empty. I can go on and be cheesy about how I felt, but... that's really how it went with me.

It's both dark and hopeful, and, the best part -- full of symbolisms! And Easter eggs. Like, if you watch it, you have to rewatch and try to catch tiny details that seemed mundane, but actually meant a lot to the whole story.

The animation is brilliant. Even the direction was god-tier. It helps that the anime staff was in close coordination with Asato Asato, because she was able to contribute so many great ideas in the translation of her novel into anime.

One of the best things, too, was the voice acting. I wish I could share one of my favorite scenes here, but I couldn't in fear of spoiling anyone who hasn't checked it out yet. Rest assured, the voice acting is ✨ phenomenal ✨.

The anime also wouldn't spoonfeed you. You are free to interpret things, because there are just so much symbolisms going on. It might feel boring maybe? At the start? Because you really will find it difficult to understand what's going on. But as you watch more, there is this charisma to it that's born out of the anime not simply showing and telling.

This is easily the best anime of 2021 for me. I've read the LNs to volume 8 (I plan to read the 9th this weekend), and the story just has sooo much to offer. There are the WTF moments, and the awwww moments and the LEZZGOOO moments.

Lastly, the anime had to take a break because of timeslots and other production issues for, you guessed it, nearly 86 days. :) There's also a hidden Easter egg in the last episode that's just mindblowing.

In a nutshell...

I love 86. It would be wonderful if you could check it out, too. :)

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Hi erangvee,

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Impressive, keep them coming. Good evening!

amazing FanArt :D