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REVIEW: Eighty-Six


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Gibby16



Joined: 19 Apr 2019
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:12 am Reply with quote
I absolutely love this light novel. I'm glad you've decided to cover it. Here's hoping to an anime adaptation. Smile
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Morry



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:13 am Reply with quote
Yeah, I'd definitely find a sudden switch from perfect harmony to Nazi Germany a negative, but the rest sounds really interesting.
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:16 am Reply with quote
The light novel currently has 6 volumes available; the 6th volume just came out on April 10th, 2019.
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Morry wrote:
Yeah, I'd definitely find a sudden switch from perfect harmony to Nazi Germany a negative, but the rest sounds really interesting.


Quote:
The one minor flaw in Asato's writing is that the switch from races living side-by-side to severe persecution happens startlingly fast; if the book had established a deep-seated streak of racism in The Republic then it would be more believable, but no prior persecution is established.


I mean, it's not all that out there compared to the real history it's drawing from. Germany's Jews were probably the world's most prosperous and assimilated, and one of the big mysteries of the Shoah is why it happened in interbellum Germany of all places (and times) rather than, say, anti-Dreyfusard France or Bielis-trial Russia or anti-Hilsner Austria-Hungary (or, going back farther, Ferrand Martinez' Spain or Khmelnytsky's Ukraine). This is a big source of debate between historians, who generally fall into either the intentionalist and functionalist camps. I'll cut it short to just say most of the precedent for the Shoah can actually be found in the countries east of modern Germany, as there's a steady escalation and continuity of personnel and leadership from the 1880's pogroms to the 1903-1906 pogroms to the Eastern Front of WWI (both militaries carried out many mass killings, and the officers in those killings were senior officers and government officials in WWII) to the Russian Civil War (the antisemitic Royalists fled to Germany) to the Shoah, such that the main differentiating factor of the Shoah (at least at its outset) was that it was openly sanctioned.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:09 pm Reply with quote
It is a very good novel. Glad the reviewer liked it to.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Scalfin wrote:
I mean, it's not all that out there compared to the real history it's drawing from. Germany's Jews were probably the world's most prosperous and assimilated, and one of the big mysteries of the Shoah is why it happened in interbellum Germany of all places (and times) rather than, say, anti-Dreyfusard France or Bielis-trial Russia or anti-Hilsner Austria-Hungary (or, going back farther, Ferrand Martinez' Spain or Khmelnytsky's Ukraine). This is a big source of debate between historians, who generally fall into either the intentionalist and functionalist camps. I'll cut it short to just say most of the precedent for the Shoah can actually be found in the countries east of modern Germany, as there's a steady escalation and continuity of personnel and leadership from the 1880's pogroms to the 1903-1906 pogroms to the Eastern Front of WWI (both militaries carried out many mass killings, and the officers in those killings were senior officers and government officials in WWII) to the Russian Civil War (the antisemitic Royalists fled to Germany) to the Shoah, such that the main differentiating factor of the Shoah (at least at its outset) was that it was openly sanctioned.

All this being said, it's also true that anti-Semitism has very long and deep roots in European history, so even if it went into remission for a few decades (perhaps was not socially acceptable for a while?), the potential for recurrence was still there. The one failing of this novel is that it doesn't develop - or even concretely suggest - any deep roots like that.

But yeah, the "openly sanctioned" aspect is what makes this story scary. Despite some key differences in circumstances (the Jews and gypsies were never used as soldiers, for instance), the comparisons to Germany run pretty deep, even up through the end of the novel.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
It's Over 9000!It's Over 9000!


Joined: 17 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:51 pm Reply with quote
Theron, I've been told that this light novel has very little fanservice, but the fanservice that is there is particularly jarring/awkward... could you briefly address whether this was also your experience (as sometimes these sorts of things are the results of bad fan translations, and get corrected in the official English releases)? I can tolerate a lot of fanservice in light novels (I'm an Index fan, after all) but only when it's done well.

Also, I've heard from people who have read the series in Japanese that the second novel is very frustrating in several ways (the ways in which they frustrate fans apparently relate to spoilers about the first novel's ending?) so I probably won't pick up the first volume until I hear more about how the series is as a whole. I hope that ANN has you review the next volume when it comes out!
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:41 pm Reply with quote
^
I'm really not sure what they could possibly be meaning by fan service, much less jarring fan service. There are some faint implications that mistreatment of the 86s might have in some cases included sexual assault, but it's never talked about directly and definitely never described.

I can imagine why some Japanese readers might be frustrated with the second novel because, based on the way this one ends, it's going to have to be a quite different story. I have some misgivings myself about where the story might go next - especially if there really are six novels novels now - but I'm definitely curious enough to check out and review the second volume when it comes out this summer.
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Creonic



Joined: 20 Apr 2019
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:27 am Reply with quote
I thought that racial tension between the Colorata and the Alba prior to the war was implied a few times in the novel. There were mentions of the Colorata not being commonly seen in the richer sectors before the war, indicating that most Colorata were working or middle class while the majority of the noblility are Albas. It also seems that the Republic was formerly a monarchy since there were some references to a revolution in the past. Considering that the nobility still seems to have a lot of influence and wealth despite the monarchy falling centuries before, there should be a large amount of economic disparity that would generate anger at new immigrants arriving and taking jobs from natives. The situation is similar to the discrimination faced by Irish and German immigrants who came to the United States in the 19th century.

In regards to the rapid descent into authoritarianism and confinement of the Colorata into concentration camps, the book has a clear reference to Executive Order 9066 where Japanese Americans were interned into camps less than a year after the outbreak of war. Public sentiment towards Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor rapidly became anger and suspicion so it would be logical for the same thing to happen to the Colorata if the Republic government is pushing propaganda stating they are spies and collaborators with the Empire. It's frightening how quickly propaganda can shape people's perspectives when it makes use of their biases and fears.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:55 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
I'm really not sure what they could possibly be meaning by fan service, much less jarring fan service.


Great! If you're curious, the questionable fanservice I had heard about was related to garter belt fetishism... but like I said, that was from people who had read a fan-translation and not the official release.
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:46 am Reply with quote
It is a LN, so what is considered fan service in words. Usually fan service is a visual thing.

Though, I didn't see anything in the written word, that would be considered fan service in a typical Japanese anime.

Just like Alien is a space horror movie, Aliens is a space adventure movie.

So, I would expect a second volume of the 86, to be less about the 86 and the Alba, and more about the few survivors and their former handler discovering what went wrong with their former foe the Empire and what to do with the new Machine foe that supplanted them.

The story of the Alba, the 86, and the Colorata is over, but the world is much bigger than that, and the machines are waiting. Are the machines of the Empire a Skynet or MME thing?
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BodaciousSpacePirate
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:08 am Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
It is a LN, so what is considered fan service in words. Usually fan service is a visual thing.


There's a remarkable amount of "guy trips over something and falls face first into a girl's boobs, followed by a full paragraph describing how soft they are on his face" in lots of light novels, Tars. Laughing I think the kids would refer to that kind of thing as "the author being thirsty"?

In any case, whether or not you want to call it "fan service" is your call, but for me it definitely qualifies. Very Happy

TarsTarkas wrote:
So, I would expect a second volume of the 86, to be less about the 86 and the Alba, and more about the few survivors and their former handler discovering what went wrong with their former foe the Empire and what to do with the new Machine foe that supplanted them.


If that's what the second volume ends up being, then I am on board with the series!
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:56 pm Reply with quote
BodaciousSpacePirate wrote:
Great! If you're curious, the questionable fanservice I had heard about was related to garter belt fetishism... but like I said, that was from people who had read a fan-translation and not the official release.

The author does talk about having a garter belt fetish in the Afterword, but I don't remember that actually coming up in the story content. Maybe there was a mention of it in passing in describing how the female protagonist's friend is dressed, or how the protag dressed for a party, but that would be it. (I'm visiting relatives for the weekend and don't have the book with me, so maybe someone else who does can check and comment?)
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LucianGreyfold



Joined: 09 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:12 pm Reply with quote
After reading this I went right out to the book store and picked up the LN and man I so want this to be an anime with a very good animation studio that knows how to do traditional mecha vs the 3d animation style because this is a great read with some action in it.
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Ali07



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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Location: Victoria, Australia
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:57 pm Reply with quote
Nice to see another good review of 86, I keep hearing good things about this first volume. It does interest me, but from a discussion I had on twitter, I think the character deaths is what will hold me back a bit.

I hope a review of the 2nd LN is done, as that is when I will make my decision as to whether or not I get into this series.
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