86 - Episode 1 Review - Lena Introduces Herself to the Spearhead Squadron
Warning: Spoilers up to the end of Episode 1 follow.
The episode starts off pretty confusing and without proper context set up. A battalion of fast-moving tank mecha are engaging enemy tanks. The person who sounds like the commander of the tanks seems to be telling their drivers to fight, while insulting them as less than human. Pigs, in fact. But then something happens that upsets and terrifies the speaking commander. This is cleared up a bit later in the episode.
Cut to the next scene - a beautiful girl named Vladilena Milizé, or Lena, starts her day by getting into a soldier’s uniform. She’s a Major of the country San Magnolia, which is currently at war with the Giadian Empire. Both countries have unmanned drones do their fighting, which means zero human casualties. At least that’s what the public is told.
Lena gets to HQ, where we see a bunch of officers dressed like Lena act lazy, drunk and rude. In the morning. No need to fight on a battlefield means complacent trash like these guys. That concept is easy enough to understand. She runs into a girl who seems to be her only friend - a scientist named Henrietta von Penrose, or Annette. Annette advises her to ignore the trash’s comments.
Lena has taken up a request from command to be the Handler of a squadron in the 86th Division called Spearhead. That’s the unit from the first scene in the anime, the one that caused their commander to get scared and go crazy.
The Spearhead soldiers in the mecha tanks are called Processors. But these drones were supposed to be unmanned…? Meanwhile, the San Magnolia commanders for these drone units are called Handlers. Handlers usually mess with Processors so much that they destroy them, but in the case of Spearhead, it’s been the other way around. At least when it comes to the unit’s leader - The Undertaker/Reaper.
The reason a Handler could be killed by a Processor is because of the device used to connect the two’s senses - a RAID device. The Handler can undergo some brain overload based on what the Processor does in battle. Confused yet?
Finally we meet the HUMAN members of Spearhead. They’re a ragtag crew, proud of hurting their scumbag Handlers. One of them, Kujo, goes down in battle, and Reaper mercy kills him.
Using RAID, Lena introduces herself to Spearhead. Despite being kind and respectful, Spearhead doesn’t trust her. At least not yet.
I have too many questions from this first episode, so I have to take points off of it for that. I think they’re trying too hard to lure the audience in with an air of mystery. This anime might be presenting a fresh new concept on war, but it’s being way too vague at the start. Hopefully they clear up the confusing stuff soon.
Image source: Amazon