Despite the first cour coming to an end, episode 11 of 86-Eighty Six did a great job of preparing fans for what’s to come with Lena and the Spearhead Squadron. With the second cour on its way, here’s what episode 11 showed us.
Spearhead Squadron’s Time Is Running Out
The episode starts off with the squadron fighting Legion just as we heard at the end of episode 10. We see how Fido ends up dying and the squadron’s fight leaves them with just one juggernaut left – Shin’s. Before they head out, Shin places a box in front of Fido before they leave. “We won’t be going much farther ourselves,” says Shin.
They continue on their journey.
Along their journey, they stop at an Imperial City elementary school and spend the night there. Kurena is overjoyed as she finally gets to act like a student for the first time in her life. Shin and Raiden begin a fire by breaking up the wooden chairs and tearing apart textbooks.
“Books we can’t read are useless”, says Shin.
But Theo seems to oppose this and picks up a student’s workbook. He looks in this book and decides to keep it by his side. Perhaps a representation of Theo wanting to feel like a normal kid again. Or maybe a possible momento?
Either way, it was a powerful moment.
Shin Goes Into Battle, Hears A Haunting Voice
While traveling along a road, Shin tells Anju to switch out and let him operate it. He makes the excuse that he’s bored and wants to do something. But he detaches the juggernaut from the back cart, pulls rocks down from the cliff beside them, and leaves them behind. He lets them know a Legion squad was up ahead but tells them to take a different direction to keep moving forward.
They refuse, pick up their rifles, and head to the battlefield where Shin is at.
While they’re heading towards the battlefield, Shin seems to be handling himself fine until a long-range cannon takes out his juggernaut. Suddenly, he hears a haunting voice coming from one of the Legion. We begin to see certain images flash on the screen and two of them draw attention the most…
Who his is this princess? Why does this voice sound like Shin as if he lost his mind, despite him still being alive?
The rest of the squadron shows up with their rifles and begins blasting away. But they know it won’t do any damage to the Legion. Anju, Kurena, Theo, and Raiden are all knocked unconscious from blasts.
It looks like this is the end.
Lena’s New Journey Begins
The episode flashbacks a couple weeks.
Lena visits the squadron’s home base and begins to have a look around. She runs into Lt. Aldrecht, who worked with the spearhead squadron. She finds out that he, too, is an alba just like she is. This would be the first time Lena has met an alba that she can finally trust since Annette and Jerome betrayed her.
In her search of the base, she finds their cat and the notes they left for her just in case she ever did show up, one being of the pig version of her Theo drew. They all had different names for the cat, but Shin’s stood out the most to her… “Remarque”.
She gives a shocked look as if something simultaneously scared her and lit a lightbulb in her head. Does the title “All Quiet on the Western Front” have a significant meaning? She opens the book to also find a blurry picture of the squadron when they were all still together. The ending theme song starts to play and Lena begins to shed a tear.
And right then, we get hit with yet another beautiful transition from her crying in the room to being on the tracks. The same tracks the squadron has been following as well.
The music volume picks up right when the chorus hits. A big gust of wind blows. We begin to hear Shin’s voice.
“If, one day, you make it to our final destination, could you please leave flowers?… Shinei Nouzen”
Lena walks off the track and gets ready to head to begin her journey. “I’ll fight… until the moment fate finally comes for me.”
Epilogue Raises Questions
At the end of the episode, Shin is shown as a little kid meeting his older brother Rei. Both look happy as if they’re finally at peace and they begin to walk off together. However, something haunting pops up at the end of the of it all. It, what looks like, to be a picture of Shin’s body with the red static over his head. This is similar to how Rei was shown in Shin’s memories when he was still a Shepherd.
Is this telling us that Shin is officially dead?
Is Shin a shepherd now, too, just like his brother was?
Did the rest of the squadron die along with Shin?
Or did Lena find a way to come and save them? Remember, she visited the base on October 13th. The battle during the episode took place on October 31st. She also saw the new juggernauts that were at the base.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!
Special Broadcast News
We already know that 86-Eighty Six will have a second cour. But it was just announced that the series will have a special broadcast next Saturday, June 26, on Crunchyroll before any new episodes come out.
If you thought 86-Eighty Six episode 11 was the best of the week, vote for it in our weekly poll!
All images via Crunchyroll