86-Eighty Six keeps on introducing fans to new supporting characters in the current second cour that have some sort of significance. As we profiled Frederica before, this article will go over everything we know so far about Grethe “Black Widow” Wenzel.
As one who sympathizes with Shin and the rest of the squadron, Grethe is easily becoming one of the most likable characters in the series. And while she has her fair share of screen time in previous episodes, episode 18 put Grethe at the forefront.
How Grethe Got to Where She Is Today
Grethe’s past still hasn’t been touched upon all that much, unlike Frederica’s. But little by little we can start to piece together her background. One would think that for someone as upbeat and positive as her that she didn’t have a dark past like many other characters in the series, but that’s completely far from the case. For starters, she has quite a military background.
Grethe, 27, was once a former Giadian Air Force pilot before the revolution took place. So connecting the dots, we know that Grethe has essentially been fighting the Legion all of her adult life. Now, she is a Lieutenant Colonel of the Federacy Army and Commander of the Nordlicht Squadron with vast knowledge on warfare and the weapons used for it.
Her story of how she got to where she is now hasn’t been given much more detail as of yet. But Grethe’s story is starting to gain interest among viewers.
Grethe’s Personal History
Even though fans are still in the dark about Grethe’s personal past, there are some things we do know. One of those is that she’s the heir to her family’s military-industrial complex. While that may look glamorous on paper as some sort of royalty inheritance this has led to many wrongly calling her an “arms dealer” of some sort.
Another is that Grethe lost a lot of comrades in battles against the Legion. During a conversation with Major General Richard Altner in episode 18, she reveals a ring and dog tags that she has worn around her neck the entire time. This leaves us with the impression that she might have lost a loved one in battle as well, perhaps a husband or fiancé. But now that she revealed the ring, fans could possibly learn more about her personal history sooner rather than later.
The story behind the ring and dog tags may also be the primary reason why she’s so passionate about developing new and improved Juggernauts. As she once explained, the older and slower models ended up being the reason why so many of her comrades never came home from the battlefield. But could this one particular person be her prime source of motivation?
Grethe doesn’t have any special ability like Frederica or Shin. However, she is arguably the most creative character we’ve met so far in the 86-Eighty Six anime. So much so that even Shin praised her for the upgrades to the Juggernauts they now use.
The design is definitely a step-up from the ones used by the Republic of San Magnolia. But it’s not only the new Juggernauts she’s bringing to the table for the Federacy. In episode 18, Grethe also shows the entire Nordlicht Squadron a secret project that she was working on called the Nachzehrer, an aircraft that can only reach a few meters off the ground. While it seems counterproductive for an aircraft to barely be able to fly, it’s a key piece in helping the Federacy succeed in their current operation against the Legion.
Before taking off in episode 18 with the Nachzehrer, Grethe almost brushes under the rug the fact she is the only one in the entire Federacy that is capable of flying it. Being only 27, it gives an eerie thought to the fact of just how many of her comrades died over the years for that to be a reality.
Grethe’s Stance On the Spearhead Squadron
Only a couple of people are starting to truly know how to approach Shin and the others—Frederica and Grethe. While Grethe also fell to what Ernst did at the beginning—thinking what they’re giving to the Spearhead Squadron is what they want—she probably has the most unyielding stance on how she views them and what the Federacy is doing.
In the latest episode, Grethe even mentions that she’s completely against sending kids out into battle, which the remaining members of the Spearhead Squadron still are. However, one line stood out the most in episode 18…
“To you 86, fighting until the end here is your source of pride, your identity. But I’m not giving up on this either. If you’re going to fight until the end then my job is to fight alongside you as well.” She’s the first person to actually call all of them out on who they truly are. It was a statement to which they all seemed to have agreed with. But it was one of a caring ally rather than a disgruntled soldier forced to fight with them.
Grethe is becoming a wonderful supporting character in the series. She is yet another incredible female character alongside Lena, Anju, Kurena, and Frederica. Now that she’s the bad-ass Commander leading the Nordlicht Squadron into battle herself, it’s only going to be more interesting to see what fate lies ahead for her. But for now, this is what we know so far about Grethe Wenzel when it comes to the 86-Eighty Six anime.
Episode 19 of 86-Eighty Six, originally scheduled for November 27, is delayed until December 4 due to production issues. In the meantime, if you enjoyed episode 18 then make sure to vote for it in our weekly poll!
Images via Crunchyroll
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