86 has a relatively simple premise, but is executed quite complex, and while many many scenes especially those with a lot of talking just OOZE with 'LOOK AT ME I WAS A LIGHT NOVEL', I have to give huge props to the art and composition director for a lot of things, every episode overflows with fine and little details that are either barely perceivable or invisible, like reflections of cars in windows just to give a bland conversation an image that feels alive... brilliant.
So here I decided to take apart the first episode in context of the whole series, it's without a doubt the one overflowing with the most fine details that contribute to the larger picture.
It starts with a man ordering the '86' into combat, but he slowly but surely sounds evidently mad, this entire scene sets a cerrrtain mood for the entirety of the series without us actually understanding whats going on until we're actually introduced to the 'Black Sheep', which would obviously slowly but surely drive you mad if you're not going to commit suicide first.
Then we have the Spearhead Squadron:
Falke --> Falcon
Fafnir --> A Dragon from mythology, was slain by Siegfried
Helianthus --> Flowers?
Kirschblüte --> Cherry Blossoms
Wehrwolf --> Wehr = defense, resistance, with other words maybe guard, so as Werwolf: guardwolf, Guarding Werewolf or smth along those lines.
Griffin --> a mythological creature
Manticore --> a mythological creature
Laughing Fox --> learn reading.
And so on, all of their names, even those currently unmentioned, refer to a plant, a living if not mythological creature, person, god or demigod ect. Things that were once or should be alive.
Except for one: Undertaker, Shinei Nouzen, more well known name: Reaper Shinigami; God of Death/Death Spirit --> Not alive in the first place.
There's something poetically beautiful about this that I bsolutely love about this... and not just because it's edgy af.
And this multilayered meaning of 'Reaper', continues on throughout half th show:
"Well, if we're going to die anyway, we'd rather have our Reaper guide us." - Kujo
In this case "Reaper" is used in a more literal sense as the God of Death as he's the one that sends Kujo to the afterlife, or maybe one should say 'heaven' as there's a spray on one of their walls saying "Welcome to base, the closest place to heaven".
But Kujo does mean it literally, everytime one of em does die, Shin carves their name into one part of their Juggernaught, taking them with him to wherever he goes, like a god of death carrying the dead with him.
Also Shin's name, Shinei, starts with Shin... like the word Shinigami...
Anyway, we're sent to the main town, where we meet Vladilena Milize, who just as everyone else in their quite wealthy society seems to have White Hair. usually a sign of Despair, Suffering --> Marie Antoinette Syndrome. But white should be everyone's hair color, the only reason we do have hair colors in the first place is because of evolution, they protect us from a multitude of bad rays
but they're all from "district 1", and more like "Superior" humans, who dont need that.
A very subtle artistic way to symbolize their superiority complex.
All statues, of which we're shown no small number of, are made of pure, uncolored stone, 'grey' or maybe in a more artistic sense, they all have the same hair color, white (while a wall painting in the spearhead squadrons HQ which has bright blue hair).
In an art historically sense that can be interpreted in a lot of ways, with what else we do get from the 1st ep.... them all believing their drones are "unmanned", truthfully being manned, the soldiers in said drones seem to be more diverse, in hair colors as well, hiding the fact that actual hair colors exist and or existed in the past, or rather, how the world history tries to paint it, only humans with White Hair (the Alba), are 'real' humans, everything else is no more than creatures, or kettle, as they call them 'Pigs', a very versatile term in the shows first few episodes, the Alba get to call the 86 Pigs in form of Kettle, while the 86 display the Alba as (fat) 'Pigs' in fancy clothes and smug faces ty symbolize their decadence.
There's more I'd love to point out but I dont wanna go too far into spoilers and nobody's going to read that far anyway....