Short Answer: The Legion is a collection of unmanned drones developed by the Giadian empire to replace human soldiers. Driven by very smart AI, they come in various shapes and sizes and also have different abilities. Some are specifically designed for ground combat at close to mid-range and some are designed as heavy artillery types that can deliver massive blows to enemy troops without them even knowing what hit them.
Although the people thought that the war against the Legion would end in due time cause the CPUs of the Legions would only last for six years, what the didn’t know is that the Legion had adapted by integrating human brains as new CPUs for the ones that turn faulty over time. This meant that as long as there were brains, the Legion could keep on surviving.
What started the war?
The war in 86 Eighty Six started when the neighboring country of the Republic of Magnolia, the Giadian Empire, wanted to conquer more territories and launched an all-out war against all of its neighboring countries using its army if unmanned drones, the Legion.
On stellar year 2139, the Empire declared a war on the Republic of San Magnolia, and to protect the lives of the Alba, they sent the other immigrant ethnic groups they call collectively as the Colorata to the front lines to fight the Legion. While all the Alba people lived peacefully within the 85 districts of the Republic, all the Coloratas were brought to the 86th district separate from the rest, to operate the machines called Juggernauts and fight on the ground. Thus, they are called the 86. To prevent having any human casualty reports, the 86 Eighty Six are no longer treated as humans but merely drones.
Who is behind the legion?
The Legion is an army of unmanned war machines or drones developed by the Giadian Empire, intended to serve as autonomous soldiers. Every drone of the Legion is an AI, with its CPU developed based on a human brain, thus enabling it to operate on its own. Originally, the system was invented by the neighboring country of the Giadian Empire, the United Kingom of Roa Gracia. On the other hand, the mechanical parts or the body was from its other neighbor, the Alliance of Wald. Using the technology of the two nations, the Empire was able to develop its unmanned drone army they called the Legion.
The Legion army in 86 Eighty Six has different types of units, each with different specific function. For example, Ameise is a Scout Type unit of the Legion. It is meant to fight on the ground on foot, just like the infantryman in an army. There are more other types such as the Lowe, Grauwolf, and Skorpion, among others.
How humanity lost control of the legion
As previously said, the Legion’s CPU or brain was developed based on the human brain, and it was meant to become autonomous soldiers of the Giadian Empire. At first they were controlled by the Giadian Empire and through their orders, started conquering the countries neighboring the them. Almost simultaneously when the war was declared, there was a revolution that broke out within the Empire that was led by Ernst Zimmerman. The revolution was successful and Empire fell. The Legion then became an army of its own destroying every enemy it encounters, including the newly founded Federal State.
Who controls the legion?
The Legion was created by the Giadian Empire and therefore were once controlled by them. And since every unit of the Legion in 86 Eighty Six is self-controlling through AI, they were able to control themselves as an army, destroying every nation they encounter. The Legion eventually became an empire of its own, having no single human to submit to.
Although it is capable of moving, deciding, and controlling on its own, and although it is powerful, the CPU or brain of every legion drone automatically dies or stops operating on its own after 50,000 hours or approximately about six years. This means that if a nation is able to defend its land from the Legion for six years, they will manage to survive.
That is supposed to be the case if there were no replacement for the CPUs of these drones.
However, here comes the more surprising part.
The Legion has a capability of scanning a postmortem state human brain, and if the brain from a dead human body is in a good state — meaning it has no signs of physical damage — the drone replicates it and integrates it into its body replacing its processor with the human brain and therefore, would still survive after the 50,000-hour expiry of its original processor. The drones that have the human brain integrated into their bodies are called Shepherds.
This is the very reason why Shin had to shot the heads of the 86 Eighty Six who have passed away during the battle — to prevent them from becoming Shepherds of the Legion.
What is the goal of the legion?
There was revolution that broke out in the Giadian Empire and as the Empire was about to fall, the high ranking officials sacrificed their lives and turned themselves into Shepherds, giving order to the Legion to destroy their enemy.
Being an uncontrollable army of unmanned drones, the Legion’s goal is to destroy humanity. Therefore, they are never to stop until all of humanity falls into extinction. They start by destroying and conquering every neighboring nation, and would lockout communications to prevent these territories from communicating with other nations.
You might also like: Top 10 Strongest angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion
Just like how the Legion in 86 Eighty-Six comes with different types, humanity in Neon Genesis Evangelion also has to defeat the different the powerful entities called the Angels by using their mechas called the Evangelions. While the battles in 86 Eighty are between mecha to mecha, the battles in Neon Genesis Evangelion are between mecha to Angels. It’s a different twist and we know that you will like this anime if you haven’t seen it yet.
You might also like: Code Geass: Top 10 Knightmare Frames
Knightmare Frames in Code Geass are like the Juggernauts in 86 Eighty Six — they are machines used mainly in war that are operated by human pilots. One obvious difference between the two though is their form. The Juggernauts design looked more like that of a spider with four legs, whereas the Knight Frames are designed to look like humans or humanoids which stand, walk or run with their two legs and fight using weapons with their two hands.
Our final thoughts:
Having described the Legion, it is doubtless to say that they are perhaps the highest point of AI in a way that aside from they can mobilize and propagate on their own and tear down countries, they have the mechanism to replicate the actual human brain for longer survival. The Legion is indeed a powerful army to say the least.
Although the Legion may seem to come as the main enemy of the 86 Eighty Six, there are so many other factors that they had to face such as the supremacy of the Alba group which led them to fighting for a country that don’t even treat them as citizens nor even as humans, their friends that have become Shepherds, their established perspective about life, among others.
The 86 Eighty Six mecha anime series is indeed one that is worth watching because of the many underlying subjects that it has tackled including social and political issues, racism, equality, science and artificial intelligence, etc.
Thank you for reading! If you made it this far, you are awesome!
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