Joe Ballard of Comic Book Resources noted the light novel's critical acclaim and called it "a movingly honest portrayal of war, drama, the supernatural, and the shockingly discriminatory views of a nation's general public, 86-Eighty-Six is anything but your standard light novel series." UK Anime News praised the first volume of the light novel, calling it thought-provoking, emotional and incredibly difficult to put down." The Fandom Post found the first volume "not particularly groundbreaking", but was impressed by the subversion of the "bloodless war" theme and found the development of the plot and characters "quite solid."
IGN listed the show as one of the best anime of 2021. Multiple writers from Anime News Network listed the anime's first season as one of their favorite series from spring 2021, with Steve Jones also naming the second season as his most anticipated for fall 2021. 781b155fdc