86-Eighty-Six: Season 1’s Most Burning Unanswered Questions

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for 86-Eighty-Six Episode 11, “Here We Go,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Season 1 of 86-Eighty-Six ended on a shocking, explosive note as Shinei Nouzen's Spearhead Squadron ran into unforeseen trouble once again in the 86th District. They were hoping to find solitude and a better life away from the war between the Republic of San Magnolia and the Empire of Giad, only to be ambushed by Giad's autonomous robotic Legion and seemingly killed in battle.

However, with Major Vladilena Milize now leaving the capital and coming to the Squadron's base, there are some burning questions that have arisen for the anime to answer.

Is the Spearhead Squadron Really Dead?

Season 1 had a giant Legion bot ready to kill Shin, with his comrades looking doomed in the field after a series of bombs. However, we don't know for sure if the bot followed through or if the team is officially dead. Shin has a dream where he meets his deceased brother, Rei, and while he leaves behind his headless adult corpse, we can't say if the Legion did take his mind, as well as the others, to create new Black Sheep bots.

There's a chance Lena had a squad go after them, or that Shin's crew did reach another nation's borders. If the latter is the case, they may have bombed both parties at the site to protect their kingdom. This would connect to Shin hearing ghost voices about a princess as well, kindling hope that the crew is alive.

What's Lena's Big Plan?

Lena ends Season 1 by finding the Squadron's letters to her, affirming they're all family. It's tearful as she bonded so much with them, but we never find out her next move. She may have attempted a rescue or, after laying flowers down in the field as per Shin's final testament, gone back home to damage the heartless Republic from the inside.

She thinks her nation is corrupt and might have convinced Annette -- who cared for Shin when they were kids -- to rebel. Lena may even have opted to take a hands-on approach at the Squadron camp by mentoring the new breed of 86. So far, all we know is that she's not processing this angst well.

What's the Legion's Next Move?

While the 86-Eighty-Six special is largely a recap episode, the Legion unveils a new killer bot at the end ready to hunt. With this, plus the one seen attacking Shin, they may have upgraded from their Black Sheep models. These would make perfect new weapons to put the Squadron's minds into to create the ultimate killers.

Season 1 doesn't really show much on their side, though, leaving fans curious if there are humans as controlling forces in Giad that could be taken down. We know the Legion's run by a shady A.I. but there could be a command center to attack. It could end the war, so the show needs to reveal what's happening on Giad's end in the same way we got a lot of insight into the Republic of San Magnolia. Things like who's building the tech, the endgame and how the system's maintained need to come to light.

What's Up With Shin's Gift?

86-Eighty-Six showed how Annette's father experimented on 86 who had telepathic powers within families, thus creating the Para-Raid comms links via one's thoughts. We'd love to know if Shin was one of them and that's why he could hear the ghosts of his dead Colorata people after they were turned to Legion bots. His older brother Rei did try to strangle him as a kid, but it's never revealed how this could create such a scar. Someone was seen reviving Shin so maybe a medical procedure was done that amped up his hearing powers.

If Lena and Annette access the right intel and tech from the archives, they could even use this to help free the 86 who were absorbed by Legion. This could be the key to ending the war and helping them build a new Spearhead to punish the Republic for their crimes. Shin's gift is a huge trump card, so Annette has to dissect it more as it would massively turn the tide for whatever future Lena's planning against her vindictive Alba kind.

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