ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. – Mid Season Review
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.:
Original Air Dates: January 10th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: ACCA: The unified syndicate that helps to run the 13 autonomous regions of the Kingdom. It was initially formed for fear of threat from a coup d’etat, and has since continued to protect the peace of its country for nearly one hundred years. Jean Otus, the vice-chairman of the inspections department at ACCA headquarters, is a cunning man and known as “Jean the Cigarette Peddler.” He wanders through the 13 districts, checking for any foul play.
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: ACCA is a slow show. Episode one moved at a snail’s pace, but continually dropped hints at darker elements, hints that there was some conspiracy to look forward to. It was enough to keep me interested. But six episodes in and all that hinting, all that teasing, has yet to materialize into anything interesting. The show constantly teases a greater threat to ACCA and the Kingdom it protects as a whole. A coup d’etat. But every time it feels like all these hints and foreshadowing are about to manifest itself, the series defuses the situation and wraps up whatever the issue is by the end of the episode.
Linny: If you do not enjoy slow paced shows, ACCA will most likely turn you off sooner rather than later, if not immediately. It’s been ‘building up’ to this threat of a coup FOREVER and what makes it worse is that every time you think we’re finally getting somewhere, it resets itself by the end of the episode. This bait and switch like approach can be fun if done maybe once or twice but at the rate they do it in ACCA, it leaves you wondering if they even have a big reveal anymore or if perhaps this is all just an attempt to distract you and buy time while they desperately try to come up with a decently big reveal. Recently, a lot of the focus seems to have shifted to our protagonist’s younger sister. It becomes hilarious as every new young man who spies on her seems to immediately fall for her. I guess ACCA is now a romance? But oh, let’s not forget this show’s rather strange obsession with food, baked goods in particular with bread acting like a drug for some of the characters. It’s really strange to have these random sections where people ohh and ahh over food while in the midst of a supposedly tense and brooding threat of a coup d’etat.
Tom: ACCA’s obsession with food, at times, almost feels like the main plot thread of the series. Even in the first episode it played a fairly frequent role, but by episode six it’s still so much at the forefront of each episode’s contents that it almost feels like the series is more so about Jean Otus’ foodie adventures with a side of conspiracy. The two plot threads don’t work together very well, constantly pulling back and forth between a ‘slice of life’-esque approach and a grander story. The food focus is constantly undermining the thriller aspects, and vice versa as each hinder the other in atmosphere and narrative build up.
Linny: One of the other problems with ACCA is that it will fail to draw in fans of character and personality driven stories. Our protagonist, Jean Otus is especially languid. It’s clearly an attempt to make him one of those popular laid back but secretly alert and cunning type of heroes but he is so very lethargic that it’s hard to be impressed or invest in him.
Tom: Jean Otus is exceedingly laid back. He barely seems to care about his situation and any of this talk of a coup d’etat. This apathetic, low energy nature makes it hard to feel engaged, especially if our lead barely seems to care. The rest of the cast doesn’t offer much to go on. We’re juggling so many side characters, so many half important figures, that I never really get a strong sense for who any of them are. And so many, like Jean, keep so much to themselves that even by episode six they feel utterly foreign to me.
Linny: Going back to Lotta’s admirers, she attracts idiotic men like bees to honey. They all seem like buffoons, even the aide one of them sends to spy on Lotta, who gets so into the dessert he is served at a restaurant that he loses sight of her….
Tom: Indeed there’s quite a few male characters, villainous types, who come off as completely inept as their attentions turn from undermining Jean, or ACCA itself, and focus all their efforts squarely on Jean’s sister, Lotta. There’s plenty of instances where the subplot turns to these individuals’ latest efforts to woo Lotta. I can’t say I blame them, although it does make them look utterly foolish, as Lotta is a beacon of interest within the series. She’s vibrant, lively and that really stands out when everyone else is so secretive and brooding, or utterly apathetic.
Linny: As someone who didn’t take to ACCA from episode 1 and mostly hung around in hopes of a super interesting and mind blowing development, the rate of progress has been a complete disappointment. Combine that with its random slice of life like obsession with food, and it feels like one of the most confused shows I have watched in recent times. It has no idea what it wants to be or what it is working its way to. If you’re tired of the more popular types of anime out there, the one good thing about ACCA is that it looks very stylish visually and stands out with its mostly adult cast and state related drama. Just brace yourself for a very languidly paced story and characters to match.
Tom: ACCA doesn’t know what it wants to be. In some ways it feels very slice of life like, but rather than be honest with itself in those intentions it insists on constantly teasing a greater, darker, plot that threatens their society. But it never commits to that, and its two selves are at odds with every turn, constantly undermining the slice of life atmosphere and the narrative’s attempts to build tension. ACCA is best left to foodies, and those who might enjoy the series’ world building, which act as ACCA’s only saving graces. Oh and the opening credits are pretty fun too.