We’re pretty much still in mecha drought, but at least we have a couple of series to look forward to in 2021. First is Back Arrow, and the other is 86 -Eighty Six-, an anime based on a light novel that won the Grand Prize in the 2016 Dengeki Novel Prize award. It was supposed to premiere in 2020 but we all know what happened and it was postponed to April 2021. A new trailer also dropped earlier.
The story revolves around a war between the Republic of San Magnolia and the Empire of Giad, the latter winning thanks to its mechanized Legions. It took a while but the Republic finally developed the Juggernaut units for counter offensive. On the surface it’s a war fought between machines but in reality, these Juggernauts are piloted by “86s” as the Republic wasn’t able to develop advanced AI to control these machines. These 86s are actually people from a minority within the Republic treated with less rights and are not even considered human, hence becoming expendable resources for war.
It is a tragic but interesting war story. What’s also interesting are the Juggernaut units, which are basically quadruped mobile turrets with canopies and other weapons bolted on. And we are getting HG kits of these thanks to no other than Bandai Spirits.
These High Grades are 1/48 scale, a little smaller than the typical 1/35 scale military models but I’m sure these can still fit. Three variants have been announced and all have the following features.
Each feature an opening canopy with matching internal details. Unpainted pilot figures are also included which depends on the kit purchased. Each Juggernaut is equipped with a Smoothbore that can hinge vertically and replicate the sliding action when launching a projectile. Speaking of launching projectiles, the ejection of shells after firing is also replicated in the kit. These kits also come with parts to build a small drone-like unit as shown.
This is the personal Juggernaut unit piloted by Shinei Nouzen, one of the protagonists. Its main difference from the general purpose Juggernauts are the two high-frequency blades attached to the front.
HG 1/48 M1A4 Juggernaut [Shinei Nouzen Unit]
April 2021 / ¥2,700
HG 1/48 M1A4 Juggernaut [General Purpose Type]
April 2021 / ¥2,700
To be released a couple of months later is the long range Juggernaut variant which basically comes with a larger gun. It also comes with two high-frequency blades that are included with the Shinei Nouzen variant.
HG 1/48 M1A4 Juggernaut [Long Range Cannon Type]
June 2021 / ¥2,900
I’m thinking of displaying one of these guys with a Tachikoma for some quadruped machine interaction. As for the 86 -Eighty Six- anime itself, it is interesting and would love to give it a watch. But I’m not making any promises as I’ve yet to continue watching a couple of shows I previously showed interest, including Shin Sakura Taisen the Animation and Listeners.