Tragedy has struck!
Episode 6 is a gripping and haunting continuation of last week’s epic episode, which ends on a chilling cliffhanger. Fortunately, it seemed that Shin and his group has luck on their side after surviving the unexpected attack.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the base, including the other ones. The destruction is truly massive, and the casualties are terrifyingly high. It is horrible enough that after the attack, Shin covers Frederica’s eyes despite her experiences, which is cute but emphasizes the extent of the carnage. But what kind of Legion could do this?
The answer is the Morpho, an extremely powerful railgun that could hit any kingdom within its range. It is interesting to note that unlike most normal Legion, the Morpho travels on railway networks, making it less mobile, but still dangerous. Thus, everyone’s worry is justified.
What’s really fun to see is the use of realistic military strategy in this episode. Unlike other series where the planning is brief and simplified, Eighty-Six managed to capture a lot of the details that would go with countering an attack of this scale. There is genuine tension, and we could feel the desperation and panic in the dialogues, especially when a daring plan is proposed: send an elite strike force that would destroy the Morpho in tandem with a united military operation from three nations.
Obviously, it is a mission that fits the Eighty-Six, and it is here that we see how the Federacy might not be different than the Republic at all. While most treat the Eighty-Six very well, the same could not be said of the army who see them as monstrous weapons. Valuable ones, yes. But monstrous weapons all the same. And though there are a few, like Grethe and Bernholdt, who see them otherwise, most of the soldiers are quite unfriendly toward Shin’s group. Perhaps it is because of the special treatment that they keep receiving, something that a very vocal Kurena hates.
With that, the operation is officially handed to Shin, especially because of his unique power. The saddest part here is how he readily accepts it without hesitation, stemming from the burdens he carries. First, we finally learn that it is partly because of Nina’s letters that he acted that way last episode. The child, understandably, blames him for Eugene’s death. But she is also goaded by Marcel. Moreover, with news of the Legion’s advance against San Magnolia, Shin’s presumptions that Lena may be dead simply added to everything, turning him into a reckless fighter that could have died if not for Lena’s memories keeping him forward.
His fears are real, and for another rare moment, we see an emotional Shin who argues with Grethe that he will fight to the end, carrying the memories of Lena and his deceased friends. The scenes are really poignant and sad, and A-1 Pictures managed to convey the necessary emotions perfectly, particularly when Shin finally says goodbye to Lena in his mind.
It hits hardest when the post-credits show a ruined San Magnolia, including Lena’s former mansion, and the streets littered with dead bodies and the wreckage of Juggernauts and Legions alike—a far cry from the opening scene where Lena personally leads the defense on those very same streets.
Overall, episode 6 is a wild rollercoaster of emotions. There is sadness, desperation, and a gritty and depressing atmosphere. But what is really frightening is the fact that some of our beloved characters may have already suffered a terrible fate… or did they?
Episode score: 9/10