86 Eighty-Six: Everyone Has Hopes for the Future – Except [SPOILER]

Warning: the following article contains spoilers for 86 Eighty-Six Episode 20 "Together Unto Death," now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Shin and his friends' ability (or lack thereof) to look towards life outside of war has been a constant topic of discussion since they chose to return to the battlefield. There hasn't been a single episode this entire season where it wasn't brought up in some capacity. Ever since they got a taste of the peaceful life in the Giad Federacy then decided they belong on the battlefield, the question of what they'll do after the war ends has been hanging over their heads.

Raiden, Anju, Theo, and Kurena have all had a change of heart in the latest episode. Shin's recent reckless behavior in battle has forced them to admit that they don't want to die. They each confessed that there are things they wanted to do and sights they wanted to see after the war ends. Shin was the only exception as he can't seem to get into that mindset.

Eighty Six looking at sunset in 86 Eighty-Six

When the group decided to return to the battlefield, it was because they didn't feel it was right for them to live peaceful lives when so many of their comrades died in battle. They felt that they owed it to their fallen comrades to fight to their dying breaths. However, it was clear at the time that they hadn't considered the fact that the war will end someday and there's a chance they'll survive. Thus, it was only a matter of time before they had to start contemplating what they'd do if and when that time comes.

Raiden is the one who told Shin in this episode that he and the others don't want to die. He confronted Shin about his careless behavior in their last battle and urged him to stop trying to fight alone. He could tell Shin is fighting these battles without caring whether he survives or not. Shin even referred to their next battle as a one-way mission and suggested that Raiden and the others don't follow him on it. Raiden immediately understood that he's casually implying he won't come back alive. He then angrily asked Shin if he survived all he went through and killed his brother just to die now.

The group later watched the sunset from the shore of a lake. This made them think of the sea, which of course they've never seen. The thought made them think of how many other things they haven't seen or experienced. They acknowledged that there's a lot they don't know and talked about different things they'd like to do and places they want to see. Shin was completely silent as this is going on and he's standing separated from the rest of the group. It's obvious he felt lonely and distant from the others since he didn't have hopes for the future like they do.

Strangely, a few episodes ago it seemed like Shin was the only one thinking about the future. Now it's the exact opposite and only one thing's changed since then. The Republic was apparently been annihilated by the Legion and they believed Lena is dead. Shin has thought about Lena several times this season. There's no doubt he was hoping to hear from her again at some point and eventually meet her in person. Viewers are in the same boat as Shin in that regard as it's been a while since Lena's last on-screen appearance.

Shin tragically believed that the future is too long for someone like him and that he should've died already. He even told Frederica that it's unfortunate they survived before the Federacy saved them. His life goal was to kill his brother, and since that's over now, he felt as if he no longer has any purpose in life. He realized that not having any wishes is the same as not wanting to be alive. Nonetheless, he insisted he's not like the others for that very reason.

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