WARNING: The following contains spoilers for 86-Eighty-Six Episode 11, “Here We Go,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.
In Season 1 of Eighty-Six-86, Shin and his crew, the Spearhead Squadron, meet a very heartbreaking end. After an ambush by the Legion outside the 86th District, it seems they're dead. However, with Lena plotting a new course, let's look at what Season 2 could offer as the Republic of San Magnolia and their war on the Empire of Giad continues.
The Spearhead Squadron's Future
Shin's dream suggests he is dead and beheaded as he met the spirit of his brother, Rei, which means he'd be turned into a Black Sheep bot to hunt the Republic's soldiers on behalf of Giad. His teammates Raiden, Theo and co. were also left on the battlefield unconscious, so they too could be mechanized. However, there's a chance Lena's battalion may have rescued them, or perhaps another nation as they were near a new border.
If that's the case and they live, Season 2 of 86-Eighty-Six can have Lena and them forming a new plan to rebel against the oppressive Republic. They all hate how the 86's citizens are deemed lower-class and used in secret to pilot ground-crawlers called Juggernauts, so if they're registered as dead, Lena can use Shin's team as secret warriors to incite civil war back home.
Aldrecht's (an Alba who sided with the oppressed) new charges from the Squadron's base can be incorporated here too to start preserving the future generation for the war. This would make an intriguing journey -- they'd also have to fend off Giad's bots as the Empire's Legion won't stop coming, giving them an enemy on either side.
Lena and Annette's Plan
Annette was Shin's friend as a kid so she could team up with the rebels. She hates how racist the Republic has been, throwing them to their deaths in the battlefield. Her dad, an Alba, experimented on the 86 so she has guilt for betraying them, and seeing his own sad fate, this could help Annette find closure to her traumatic history.
She can work with Lena to provide secret weapons to the Spearheads and upgrade the Para-Raid comms link to make them more efficient soldiers. Annette could even dissect Shin's unique hearing ability when it comes to the ghosts in the Black Sheep machines, giving his allies the same ability.
This would help them hunt the Legion better, once they can handle the mental stress that comes with it. The point is, Annette is a tech genius, and her hacking can bring down San Magnolia's security systems, maybe even Giad's deadly A.I.
Exploring the Giad Empire
86-Eighty didn't show much of Giad in Season 1, other than hearing history lessons on how they're seeding out autonomous bots to invade the Republic. They're relentless in their attacks so Season 2 should focus on showing viewers their world too.
We'd love to see the A.I. operating there, as well as how the manufacturing lines create new models of bots to hunt. It'd be epic to learn how and why the process came about where the Legion began taking Spearheads' brains to turn their bots into better soldiers that can strategize in battle.
Whether it's human overlords or machines a la Ultron, insight is needed to build a deeper emotional bond to this side of the war coin. Understanding the fallout with them and the Republic would share a lot of intel into their old doctrines and why they evolved this way.
Finding the Princess
One of the ghost voices Shin heard directed him to find a young, black-haired princess. That hints he'll survive and seek her out in Season 2. This could even be the nation that bombed the battlegrounds in the finale, attacking the Legion and the Spearheads out of self-defense.
This can lead to a mini-alliance, finally giving the Spearheads an ally in 86-Eighty-Six. It'd be great to see a country not hellbent on dominion and conquering, after all. What's intriguing is that the Legion may well have taken this mysterious princess' soldiers and used their brains for Black Sheep too, so they'd have all rights to seek revenge against Giad.
A new army can also liberate the Republic from their nasty ways. This would explore more diplomacy and politics a la Game of Thrones. Rescuing the princess may end up being the key for this coalition with the younger Spearheads, Lena, Annette and other sovereign nations ready to bring these oppressive countries down.