So I'll first start by saying that this isn't a full review, and I am just reviewing the first couple episodes. I will gladly re-edit this review when the series will finish.
So first, is it good? Answer: Yeah, it's the kind of anime that no many will notice while it is airing but will become a cult classic afterwards.
Then, why is it good?
It is good for it's different pacing, storytelling, artstyle that is not too atypical and of course the OST.
ACCA 13, is an anime that tells the story of a man named Jean and his work in the ACCA organisation that is suppose
to maintain peace within the 13 states of a fictional country that looks like a bird. The main interest of the series is that a Coup d'état is building up but we don't know much...
I'll classify this anime as mix between a slice of life and a mystery with a geopolitical plot.
Is it worth your time, as of now, yup.
Perhaps, I think you should wait until the series is finished because there is a lot of things to remember and going on and watching it week by week can make you forget about interesting things in the show.
In a world polluted with otaku-targeted shows, ACCA:13 feels like a breath of fresh air and stands out through its intriguing plot and character cast.
From the beginning of this anime season I looked forward to watching ACCA:13, a show that conveys a delicate theme through an interesting, slow-burning plot accompanied by characters with intriguing personalities.
The animation worked in tandem with the sound department and offered an immersive experience in which I could really enjoy the show to its fullest.
The kingdom of Dowa, which is subdivided into 13 autonomous states, has many agencies that are controlled by the giant organization known as
The plot revolves around Jean Otus, the second-in-command of the ACCA inspection agency which is tasked with overseeing and monitoring the rest of the ACCA branch agencies. Jean often has business trips from the agency headquarters in the capital to the other 12 districts in order to review the situation and personnel there.
As the series begins, we are introduced to the protagonist who is tasked with auditing other ACCA agency branches and we witness his skills in uncovering even the smallest misdoings but we are also introduced to the “main” plot, the coup d'etat.
The first couple of episodes may be a tad bit boring because they focus on describing the world, introducing the characters and their relations but that is only to be expected of the first few episodes and in my opinion they did a good job.
ACCA does not have a particular selling point and it can be easily overlooked by the casual viewer due to its passive nature but in truth, ACCA is quite engaging and thought provoking.
The plot progresses at a slow and methodical pace, carefully and subtly revealing information that will later be necessary.
The show is mainly focused on presenting the characteristics, people and atmosphere of the districts, most episodes are built around the protagonist taking a business trip to one of the districts where he will audit, make observations and meet people that will describe the district.
At times, the show may feel episodic but the coup d'etat plot will bring all those pieces together in a way that progresses the plot in a firm yet delicate manner that feels fluid.
Unfortunately the majority of the large character cast lacks zest, most of them being “dry” and used for decor but there are some fairly original characters who definitely had intriguing features that aroused my interest.
With that in mind, the characters do a great job, they work well together and give an immersive watching experience.
Jean Otus is the second-in-command of the ACCA inspection agency, a small branch that monitors the other branches. He is a compulsive smoker, always carrying around his trademark cigarette case, earning him the title of "cigarette peddler". He is also absent minded, often forgetting arranged plans or even his lighter despite his smoking habit.
The first episode shows Jean on a regular weekday and we witness his skills in uncovering even the smallest misdoings, easily and cleverly exposing the corrupt worker.
Jean maintains a dull uninterested demeanor, but has proven himself to be rather intelligent and sharp on more than one occasion.
He is not an easy to read character, he is enigmatic. Jean doesn’t offer his opinions but rather controls the flaw of the discussion, he doesn’t make statements but rather observations, he is calm, honest and has a rational way of thinking.
Nino is a close friend of Jean’s, an old friend he can be comfortable around and talk about his problems and worries but as the story unfolds, we find out Nino is more than just a good friend. Certain episodes will reveal Nino’s true role but in the end, Nino has always respected the friendship he shares with Jean.
There are some other characters worth mentioning such as Lotta (stress reliever), Mauve and the prince but they are not very interesting.
The animation is consistently good with nice character design and background art. The color palette fits the tone of the show, giving an overall pleasant watching experience.
The opening theme is great and the ending theme was good, the background music was very well suited for the show, offering an immersive experience. The voice actors perfectly interpreted the characters and perfectly blended with the chill tone of the show.
I found ACCA:13 to be a highly entertaining show that kept me pressing the “next”button. I liked the plot and I think the characters were very good too.
A surprisingly good show that I highly enjoyed. If you are looking for flashy fight scenes and hyped up moments, this is not the show you want, but in case you are lseeking a thought provoking show, I recommend giving ACCA:13 a try.
Ever feel like you just want to slouch on your couch and savor the taste of vintage fine wine? That's what the suave, stylistic ACCA feels like. It has a very sweet, but calming taste, it's never sharp, and is striking because of it. And on top of keeping such a presentation the show offers a perspective of many cultures and how they affect society. It's a road trip in aesthetic, but extremely political in essence. If raw exposition about political power moves and stances are not to you liking, then you won't like this show. To keep perspectives as they are, it is very
impartial to all of them, and therefore very monotone. The most emotional engagement aside from a dry coup d'État intrigue plot, is the cute little sister with little screen time. And that's fine by me!
ACCA doesn't have an obvious selling point. It is what it says on the tin. Our protagonist goes to other districts to check up if they are doing everything within regulations. It's all about absorbing each district's unique flavor and atmosphere, how it has affected people's lifestyles and behaviours. How it softens them, how it hardens them with different resolves and different priorities.
The coup d'État plotline is merely used as an overarching subtext to have all these pieces come together into one who at the end. And it's all done through exposition dialogue that feels as natural as it can be. Everyone is an adult who is keenly aware of their situation, as much as the viewer at least, and slowly, people start revealing their hands and desires behind the masks of courtesy.
The characters are rather dry unfortunately. They are professionals and each one of them has a specific role to play.
Our protagonist, Jean embodies this as well. His seemingly apathetic attitude is to give a grounding for the viewer, so we can intimately share his perspective. He doesn't offer his opinions much, he asks for them instead. Just like the viewer, he's absorbing the culture he's visiting. He doesn't want to influence it in any way. He's given a few badass points for being damn good at his job and sharp on the clues that are given to us. We know how the state of things are as he does, along with the twists and turns.
Nino serves as a shadow of Jean, an old, reliable buddy he can always be comfortable with and share his worries and troubles without any reprehension. Nino also plays a big role in the story, but he's always a loyal friend to Jean first and foremost.
Lotte is the cute girl that fills any scene with happiness and fluffiness. She relieves whatever tension there is from the coup d'État plot and its developments.
All the other characters are very much background dressing, and they are so many. Showing the show's commitment to its own fiction, giving it a face, a grounding for us to see people as they are, not as just human resources on a paper.
At worst, Jean and a few other characters are impenetrable, meaning, they don't emote, they simply fulfil their roles with little qualms or reaction. Due to that monotony of exposition dumps with small emotional subtext, it gets frustrating that there's seemingly nothing happening to anyone, no one is troubled, no one seems overly concerned to build some kind of actual tension or a motive you can get behind. And all the revelations are reserved until the latter half of the show.
Presentation is what truly holds the show together. The chill atmosphere, the slender character designs animated in a softer fashion. The watercolor backgrounds giving a very surreal, yet enamouring aesthetic from the urban district to the desert district. Again, all to underline the show's confidence in its own setting and writing. The character animations give them quite a bit more life and personality than usual, everyone has a certain movement, a tell to who they are and what they represent, besides their looks, or their roles.
Audio directing is on point throughout the show. Music helps set the mood of each scene and district, while the sound effects still provide for an immersive setting. The voice acting is monotone on purpose, but for once it feels like actual adults just exchanging daily words, keeping things professional, if impartial. Oh and let's not forget the smokin' OP. The ED is a good relief for a chill show that just went by with no effort, yet all the cerebral engagement of how every piece fits in the jigsaw puzzle that is the coup.
At the end, ACCA is a pure cerebral experience, held by its chill attitude and suave aesthetic. It doesn't offer much in terms of emotional engagement, but it's not a bad price to pay for a show that is mentally engaging, yet weirdly comfy. It's very easy to appreciate its commitment to world building and an intrigue narrative. And I loved every second of this experience.
The concept of a coup de’tat, in which a plot is developed to overthrow a populace’s own government, has been around for centuries. In fact, the history goes back as far as 870 B.C. in which an Israeli commander Zimri killed his own king to commandeer the throne for himself (he later committed suicide due to talks of being overthrown by his own subordinate- karma’s a bitch, eh?). Most recently, our Lord and Savior, Studio Madhouse adapted a little known manga, ACCA, which primarily centers itself around this historical theme. With rather mixed impressions, ACCA attempts to overthrow anime stereotypes with its atypical approach while
also looking to become a future cult classic.
The story follows Jean Otus, an inspector for ACCA, an organization created after an ugly coup de’tat dismantled the previous country Dowa’s authority. He's tasked with performing a short-cycled audit of each of the countries 13 regions, recognized for his supreme skill to uncover even the faintest trace of malpractice. Jean has to deal with the stress of auditing in addition to lofty rumors that he may be involved with some deep rooted plotting of his own. What follows is a slow burning story of politics, royalty, deception and secrecy. ACCA is most certainly an anime to be overlooked by the casual viewer, due to its passive nature. But underneath the political rhetoric and lack of action is a gripping plot to note. It has a marked plot twist, which caught me completely off guard without being unfounded. The characters have deeper agendas not worn on their sleeves, and nobody is who they appear to be. I thoroughly enjoyed dissecting the intricate details of each scene looking for clues to the next story turn.
Although I personally enjoyed the approach, many will be quick to disregard the series based on its slow, methodical episodes. Not a lot seems to be purposeful on the first pass through, but the copious amounts of foreshadowing and allusion to other events make it worthwhile in the end. It's an anime best watched in one big chunk like an extended film rather than week to week, one of its greatest downfalls. In addition to the pacing, if you're looking for action for this Winter season past a stern one way conversation… I'd advise you look to Youjo Senki or Kobayashi Dragon Maid to get your fix. ACCA, as previously mentioned, is a slow burning anime putting the cerebral first, while flashy, fast-paced scenes take a firm backseat.
The parallels to modern day government and royalty can be easily made, however the setting for ACCA appears to be entirely unique to our world. Some normal commodities in our countries (cigarettes, sweets) are quite rare in Jean’s world, and being deemed as “the cigarette pedeller”, he finds himself the topic of much scrutiny wherever he travels. Having previously served in the military myself, I could sympathize with a lot of the procedural and inspection-based lingo present within the more militant scenes. The writers also did a rather accurate job of emulating the true feel of exhaustion emoted by Jean as he traveled through the many regions to perform his duties. Often turning to drink despite his inability to hold his liquor, Jean’s languid nature is catalyzed when alcohol is involved. His best friend Niino, whose association is a mystery, often keeps Jean company amidst his various endeavors.
Jean Otus as a main protagonist is rather uninteresting. He doesn't get excited about much, his appearance is rather plain and he doesn't have many friends. He's your typical introvert, who would rather spend a weekend at home in tranquility than trek around bars with his coworkers (I can totally relate to this). His parents died in a tragic train accident several years ago, and was obligated to be the primary caretaker for his younger sister Lotto, due mostly to her much younger age and maturity level. Much like you would expect from a hermit like Jean, his feelings are shown rather than told to the viewers, resulting in a higher difficulty to relate on an emotional level to him throughout the anime. Although I won't give too much away, there may be a deeper reason the writers chose Lotto is flighty and carefree, often subdued by the appearance of a doughy pastry or cake, but she stands by Jean’s side despite their stark differences.
The side characters, though not fully explored due to a lack of air time, have their fair share of mysteries as well. Whether it's the secret meetings Jean undergoes with the Director-General or the convenient “business trips” Niino travels to, each episode unveils another small piece of the pie. I do wish some more time would've been spent on the side characters in order to fully understand the story, but I'm often overexpectant in 12 episode anime. Nothing new here.
I will say that I like the art style Madhouse had the freedom to use in ACCA. Though not “great” by modern anime standards, the animation is consistent, which is more than I can say for some other action oriented shows out there. And even though I normally despise this comment, “it stayed true to the manga”. The character designs, including the incorporation of the military uniforms were reminiscent of my younger years. Unique, but familiar enough to invoke some slight nostalgia.
The OP might be my favorite of the season. It incorporates a jazzy beat with a powerful and catchy chorus. The added collage of vivid images almost tells us a story of how the anime unfolds. I would imagine that Mother’s Basement guy from YouTube would get his jollies from interpreting this opening. The ED is pretty standard and delicate, and I often found found myself skipping it altogether. The background music had some serious Speed Grapher/Bebop vibes, and were certainly better placed than the first of those anime. Seiyus did a decent job providing some convincing in their portrayals, but really no breakout performances here.
I feel like I'm in the minority when it comes to my enjoyment of ACCA. Modern anime is laden with goofy, bombastic characters, glitzy action and panty shots galore. The best part? ACCA has none of these. So, if you're looking for a show that breaks the mold in almost every possible way, or are growing tired of the gimmicky cash grabs pilfered at anime fans, I'd recommend checking it out. It is a great candidate for a “hidden gem” if given the proper care while watching it, and a series I'm glad I picked up this season. As always, thanks for reading and be sure to check out my other Winter ‘17 reviews!
ACCA was a nice change of pace from the usual. It was slow, but interesting. You can chill and watch, but if you chill too much, you might miss out on all the little details.
Story isn't complex or anything, but it still keeps you guessing. You at times wonder where the story is going and who to trust and who not to trust. What is this guy planning? What about that guy? As a viewer, I felt like Tony Soprano at the end of The Sopranos. Paranoid as fuck and kept yelling at the screen,"No, don't trust that guy!" and then when it
turns out my guess was wrong, I'd turn to the next character and be like,"Oh, hell no! Definitely don't trust that guy!" This anime felt like something that could of happened irl and I enjoyed it.
The animation is pretty consistently well done. I like the character designs and etc. Nothing else to really say, but if you're not convinced, it's animated by Madhouse.
There were quite a few good openings this season, but this one was just so damn catchy! The osts and everything. Even the ending song. Every sound this anime made got my ears attention. This anime had the best sound out of any anime I've heard this season. I put the volume way higher whenever I came back to this anime weekly.
There's quite a few characters that were interesting. Like Jean, Niino.. Actually, there's quite a lot of characters that had interesting traits. Jean's not give a fuck attitude, Niino had the is he best friend or just a job thing going on, a lot of people were schemers, and a lot of people liked bread lol. But with such a huge cast of characters and the focus always shifting to Jean, I tend to forget some characters.
It was slow, but the sound, guesses on what's what, relaxing type anime really made me enjoy this anime for what it was.
This is the type of anime where I probably wouldn't watch again because guessing what would happen is a huge chunk of the fun, but for a first watch it was pretty damn fun.
I've seen 4 episodes of ACCA and this review is based on that much only:
Reason why I'm writing the review?
To be honest do I need a reason?, well I don't appreciate the lack of viewership this show is getting and it's lack of popularity on MAL, not to mention it's relatively low rating.
So, this is an attempt to tell people of what potential this series holds(Unlike the other anime this season Eg- Masamune-kun no Revenge, kuzu no Honkai, Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen) and what it's doing right.
I like the scale of the story. We are 4 episodes into it and the set
up seems great. Also the setting was fairly unique(Not high school or Video game)
At this point anything could happen.
This is where the show really got me. Seeing the same shit again and again had become boring. At first it doesn't seem that the characters are all that special(But their personality traits are reviled one by one subtly) and their variety was pleasing.
The soundtrack is not bad but nothing of incredible consequence
The animation style is unique. Personally I like the animation style. I'd say animation quality is constant unlike shows like Haikyuu!! or Yuri on Ice where it peaks and then drops.
I understand why some people might not like this show. Since it starts of slow, flashy stuff doesn't happen frequently and the mood is fairly calm.
But why does a show have to do flash stuff or bring eccentric or absolutely stupid characters.
I think as the show goes on people will start to appreciate the show because of how well the story will develop. I hope that the industries will produce more of such audio visual content in the future.
From the start of the season this was the thing I was the most excited about. While it did have its good points, it ultimately became the thing that most disappointed me of the Winter 2017 season. I will now proceed to tell you why in EXCRUCIATING detail.
Our setting is the Kingdom of Dowa: a continent/kingdom made up of many districts, shaped like a bird, and populated by gangly noodle-people. Our hero is Jean Otus, a blond guy who smokes cigarettes, wears jackets, and works in the titular governmental organization ACCA as some sort of district inspector. This is about all we know about
him. Also he has a sister and a friend with blue hair.
Jean is tasked with visiting the various districts of Dowa and "auditing" them, which consists of 50% looking through file cabinets at papers in a very boring way and 50% coincidentally stumbling into dramatic events that all seem to center around Jean while somehow also not involving him at all. Superficially tense political games and a lot of talking ensue.
A.) It looks awesome. ACCA has a very distinct visual style, managing to be both vibrant and relaxed. It has the feel of a watercolor painting: colorful but also a bit ethereal.
B.) Both the OP and ED are great, the first being a fun cool colorful romp and the second a stunningly animated tranquil dance scene.
C.) I mostly really like the characters, with Jean himself being the notable and unfortunate exception. He is either very subtle or very boring, and unfortunately we find out by the end that he is very much the latter. I ended up having to look up his name to write this review, because I couldn't remember if it was "Jean" or "Jin." All the side characters are fun and interesting, so that’s something.
A.) As mentioned before, Jean himself. Everybody in the show itself seem to think he is the greatest most interesting shit in the world. Either he is a secret genius who is playing his cards SUPER close to the vest and not showing us any of it, or he isn't and is actually the most boring man in the world whose only personality trait seems to be that he is a smoker.
B.) The pacing is garbage. It is SLOW and feels SLOOWER.
C.) Like Mushishi it is not in a rush to get anywhere, but unlike Mushishi it ultimately never does. The story immediately lags and it gets boring quickly.
D.) It is not in the least bit exciting. There have been moments of charm that have made me want to get more, but they are not frequent enough to make me instantly want to watch another episode.
The biggest problem with the show by the end was that nobody changed or developed in the slightest. They are all exactly the same at the end of the show as they were at the start. The sad truth is that the character that underwent the most development was the coddled prince’s servant Magie, whose development consists of him learning that he likes bread.
A lot of anime get criticized for being nothing but talking, but beside eating bread and smoking cigarettes more or less nothing else occurred in 12 episodes. It was constant exposition that ended up settling up nothing. It is a crying shame because the characters look great and the world is super cool, but the show reminded me of a Kardashian in that it looks pretty and very effortfully crafted but is ultimately unengaging because it is devoid of any depth or interest.
SPOILER ALERT AHEAD
It doesn’t matter anyway because you shouldn’t watch the show, and it won’t ruin anything because there is nothing to ruin, but I though I’d warn you. It seems only polite.
Most of the previous complaints I have about this show disappointed me, but this one pissed me the f off. The only “bad” people in this show are brown, and the only brown people in this show are “bad.” The show also does a great job of very pointedly not calling them “Arabs,” which just serves to call attention to the brown skinned, oil wealthy, immoral, racist elephant in the room. Literally the only people of color of any significance in this entire postulated world are portrayed as greedy manipulative villains. In the end they choose to just go away and sit in the corner so all the white people can resume their blissful perfect lives. I will also add that I, myself, am white as the driven snow. I am not saying this out of any feelings that the show has attacked me personally. It was so blatant that it made me, not a target of the seemingly intentional demonization of a group of people, feel EXTREMELY uncomfortable. Do better guys. We are better than this.
So Jean is, in fact, playing a long game, but unfortunately that long game turns out to be Monopoly: the most tedious, dialogue heavy, longest game of all. His master plan is literally designed to ensure that nothing will change, and that the huge amount of narrative debt that the show has built up after 12 episodes of stoic talky political drama is entirely unpaid. Every single problem presented throughout the run of the show is wrapped up in a neat little bow with no bloodshed or ill will. Except, of course, on the part of the brown people, but as we have previously established they do not matter due to the fact that they are brown because they are evil and evil because they are brown. It is so painfully contrived and saccharine that it made me a little embarrassed to watch on behalf of the writer.
As if to drive my point home, the last line of dialogue in the show is “We really haven’t changed, have we?,” with the feeling that it is being delivered directly to camera with a cheeky wink. No, ACCA, you have not. But I have. At the beginning I kind of liked you. Here at the end I have nothing but disappointment and pity left for what you could’ve been.
Ah ACCA, a title that took me by surprise as we witness this anime adaptation by Natsume Ono. I have to admit, the show is hard to accept at first. The premise sounds like something from 1984 and mixes in police drama with political affairs. First impressions of the show can really be a make or break for viewers to continue watching. As such, I suggest watching ACCA with an open mind because by doing that, you can enjoy the storytelling much easier.
I’ll be honest, the storytelling moves at a pretty slow pace. It takes patience to accept the story because the first few episodes
decides to focus a lot more on building the world setting. In the Kingdom of Doma, there are 13 districts. ACCA is an organization that provides services to each of these distinct services. The show focuses on a man named Jean Otus, the second command of ACCA as he gets himself involved in a complex affair of events that may even include a coup d'état. As you can imagine, this builds up the story as each episode bring in together pieces and pieces like a puzzle. In the meantime, we can get to see the inner workings and affairs going on in Doma. To say the least, the world building of this show has a lot of interesting qualities. Each district has their own unique society that differs from each other. While the show doesn’t fully explore every district, it gets its point across that there are conflicting struggle between some sides.
For most parts, the characters in the show are fleshed out by their positions (often ranks) and their personality. Jean is the main guy we’ll get familiar with the most. He is enigmatic and difficult to read on the surface. He also loves to smoke and is often seen with a cigarette in his mouth. With such a mysterious character, you’ll definitely find him difficult to understand although his approach at dealing with certain situations is insightful. His sister, Lotta is just the opposite as she is often cheerful and has a big appetite for sweets. At times, it will feel like they are living in different worlds apart. As the show progresses, we also learn more about the other ACCA members. Characters such as Grossular will be a challenge for Jean to overcome as he suspects the latter of being involved in a coup to overthrow the king. Some of his character also suggests Grossular may be the one involved in the coup himself. Either way, the show does a decent job at making the audience anticipate what will happen next with these characters. On the opposite spectrum, there are guys like Lilium who dismisses Jean as being possibly involved in the coup. At the center of it, we also meet Mauve, the director general of ACCA. She is the one that actually believes a coup may end up happening and gets Jean involved in the investigation. A mysterious character like herself is quite admiring as she demonstrates leadership characteristics. Her role in the show can be determined easily although the audience will have to judge on whether her approach to certain situations as right or wrong. Finally, I have to admit that the Prince of Doma Kingdom is really hard for me to accept. We even learn a bit of background story about certain royalty and as interesting as it seems, it isn’t what I find too accepting.
Now I have to admit, ACCA’s storytelling is rather predictable. Certain revelations can be easily drawn from hints and speculations, some that can be easily recognized. While that’s not really impressive to go by, it does like to also take risks to flesh out certain characters’ motives. One of the more dynamic character relationships is between Jean and Nino. Now, Nino is a close friend of Jean’s and throughout the show, we find out that he appears to be a lot more than just being his friend. Certain episodes will reveal his true role as we see how his relationship with Jean develop from certain revelations. The key success though is the background story. Even as predictable as the show can be at times, we learn why characters’ roles are played out like the way they do. ACCA succeeds at pulling the trigger to executing characters’ roles while all the time getting viewers invested about their motivations. Whether you’ll enjoy this show with that aspect though is up to you.
Adapted by Madhouse studio, the show has a very distinctive feel at adapting the art style. The unique approach that director Seiko Yoshioka really is dynamic when you look at it carefully. Every district has their own style while the royal palace stands as the most noticeable structure. The character designs have a good degree of freedom. Characters such as Jean are given simple appearances to make them not stand out while others such as characters from royalty are given more flameboyant-like appearances. The designs aren’t entirely faithful to the manga though as it does look different. Also, I can’t say I’m impressed the momentum of the artwork. While character expressions are well delivered, the show feels very static at times that almost feels like a picture drama.
When it comes to music, ACCA excels at this field thanks to Ryo Takahashi’s talent. The directing of the soundtrack and music really brings this show to life. The piano-like rhythms and melody of each episode is dynamic while the theme songs are choreographed with a unique approach. Character voice mannerism isn’t to be underestimated either especially for characters like Mauve, Nino, and even Jean himself.
ACCA 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.) is a difficult show to recommend to anyone. Any fan of police drama who is interested in world building may get a better experience than others. If you’re looking for action, then this is definitely the wrong show to invest time in. ACCA is much more about what is on the surface but rather the internal affairs that goes on behind the scenes. The complex characters offers a mature approach style of storytelling without going overboard. In the meantime, ACCA’s pacing will hinder some viewers into spending more time to watch the show. However, I would definitely put time into this series as it offers so much more than what it just looks like.
ACCA is a story that says to hell with expectations and preconceived notions on what makes anime good, throwing the staples of anime tradition to the wayside in favor of a more subtle, nuanced approach to storytelling.
As such, It should come to no surprise to know that this winter season’s ACCA has dissenting opinions among the anime community. Some people have cited it as ‘People talking, the anime.’
After all, the show doesn’t aim to dazzle us in the way we’ve come to expect from traditional series— there are no explosive visuals, no internal monologue, no signature moves or battles, nor is there any trademark fanservice
to feast on— there’s just our protagonist Jean Otus and his day-to-day dialogues with people as he does his job. The show’s lowkey vibes will fool the more passive viewers – the ones used to anime that panders to their senses – into believing there’s nothing there. Much of the action and excitement of ACCA comes from deciphering the dialogue to find the hidden meanings behind character’s intents.
ACCA asks us to work for it — to think about what lies beneath the exterior — informing us that we need to tread carefully, lest we become victims to false expectations. This should be alarming to the army of anime viewers that have been spoiled with the rush of instant gratification and exposition. To fully enjoy ACCA, we need to drop all assertions of the medium and have patience. In a series subtlety unveiling key plot points through character interactions and nuance of expressions, the responsibility lies with us, the viewer, to avoid being entangled in the web of deceit woven by dialogue.
Our protagonist, Jean Otus, shows a carefulness about himself and how he approaches the world. He exudes a calm and collected demeanor that permeates the atmosphere of the narrative at surface level. Armed with astute observations and skepticism, he is aware that everyone is attempting to appeal to his simple pleasures. He plays characters attempts at manipulation with a cool, enigmatic indifference.
The thing is, we can’t really tell what anyone is thinking in the series — there’s no way to know because we can’t see into the character’s thoughts -- and that's where the appeal is. ACCA gradually and intricately weaves a plot entangled in mystery. We’re forced to follow the breadcrumbs given to us through exploring what is said and seen. ACCA’s allure thus, lies in its ability to engage the audience, telling you that truth is somewhere just beyond the lies. The series calls upon us to be active participants of the medium to get more out of it.
ACCA tells us that the very notion of expectations is the enemy. The scenes with food aren’t there as simple filler, as one may think, but rather to showcase the contradictory nature of people and the allure of simple delights.
Which comes back to why ACCA isn’t as popular as some of the other series of the winter. Those idly sitting by, waiting for their usual visual feasts simply won’t get it. They’re not accustomed to being active participants — to the intricacies and delights of subtle narration ACCA thrives under. The series is deceptively lowkey, and many have fallen prey to its subtleties. But if you take a closer look, approaching with an open mind, a rich and flavorful world is out there, ripe and ready, waiting to be sampled.
-- Palpable ღゝ◡╹)ノ♡
For the full review, visit my website at https://palpableemotion.com
You never heard of a dark horse? The term comes from the dark horses in horse racing. They aren't the popular ones that most people will bet on, but they automatically catch at least a few eyes willing to give them a chance, and low and behold, they do surprisingly well in the race, sometimes even winning. Given how bleak this season has been for most people, this seemed like one of those surprising shows that could've been one of the best of the season, but, as the saying goes, "close but no cigar". Fitting, really.
*Paragraph 4 contains mild spoilers for ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka. Proceed
ACCA is an interesting show. Produced by Studio Madhouse, this is an adaptation from a manga. Ultimately, this show intrigued a lot of people, myself included. Some people will definitely see his as the dark horse of the season, but I don't entirely agree. There are strong cases to be made why this show was interesting and why it was boring, but we'll get to that. But why the polarization? Isn't this series slick as hell? Well, let's find out, shall we?
To a decent extent, the story is meticulously written in terms of creating a mystery full of twists and turns. It all surrounds Jean Otus, a man working for ACCA that is currently doing audits while the prince of the nation is not only coming of age, but is ready to succeed the throne. Problem number 1 is that the story really dead it's feet with nothing to truly hook us for more aside from hoping that it will all explode into a chaotic and flavorful conclusion towards the final act; it doesn't. It's understandable why this turns people off, as the show feels uneventful. Two, some of these twists were both obvious and poor. The final antagonist was one of the royals that wasn't even heard of until 2/3 into the series, with two of the ACCA 5 Chief Officers being antagonists with their own separate plot. If you're anything like me, you suspected the two that turned out to be antagonists, and there was only 1 other person to remotely suspect, who isn't involved, but there could've been more flavor to the mystery by giving reason to suspect more people.
So, because Jean was suspected of being involved in an upcoming coup, his friend, Nino, is sent to spy on him, but then it's revealed that he is next in like to be king, which is why the rumor was created, in order to get the 13 districts on his side during his audits. Sounds find and dandy, and for most part, it is, including the somewhat rushed backstory of Nino, Jean, and his sister, Lotta. It's thanks to that that the aunt of the family wants them dead, as well as the dickheaded prince himself. As for the finale, it was ok. It was interesting to see the whole coup resolve peacefully but with more twists, but there was no reason for the aunt to suddenly abandon her plan.
Tell me, who do you remember besides Jean and Nino? Probably nobody because these characters are mostly dull and one-note. Jean is pretty listless, by it is nice seeing him get flustered over his crush/superior Mauve, though that fades quickly. He also smokes...a lot. Just like on older times, in this anime, smoking is a sign of wealth and he gets misconstrued because of it, particularly when confronted by Rail, who acts like an ass around him and likes his sister. Nino is a slick guy, even in spy mode, but he's merely ok. Mauve, Lotta, and Gossular are merely ok, and most of the characters are boring, like prince Schwan, the aunt, the spoiler manipulator in the 5 Chief Officers, and each of Jean's subordinates and audit companions. We could've easily spent a bit more time about the thet characters but instead we chose to do more audits and see the main 3 eat apple pie and drink alcohol. Like the plot, the interesting potential really fizzes out, which is a shame.
To this day, I'm not sure how to feel about the artstyle. However, what is something I'm sure of is that the series is clearly not in 24FPS. The animation is rather choppy, making it feel like the series runs at only 16 frames per second instead of the minimum required 24 for everything to feel like they're in constant motion. I'm not sure if this is an artistic choice, but I don't think it works. I at least like the hair and food detail, as well as the detail in the casino lights in episode 8. The OP has amazing artistic flare to the way it looks, and the ED has another type of interesting art that is actually more fluid than the entirety of the actual series, which is kinda sad the more you think about it. After all, you'd probably expect better from Studio Madhouse since Studio DEEN did more fluid and striking animation with their also more methodical and realistic series, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. Thankfully the mediocre CGI is insanely minimal to the point where most people would find it nonexistent, even if some of the character faces are actually incomplete in the final episodes and the background characters often fit move in scenes.
The OST is pretty nice and fitting, especially the jingle at the beginning and middle of episode 1. It fits the calmer, more lax and methodical nature of the series perfectly, preventing me from really getting bored, but that didn't stop some people from boredom. The OP, "Shadow and Truth" by ONE III NOTES is pretty cool, with surprisingly good J-rap and a great female singer (even during auto tune sections). There's a reason people say this is one of the best OPs of the season, it's pretty freakin' slick. As for the ED, "Pale Moon ga Yureteru (ペールムーンがゆれてる)" by Aira Yuuki, is a pretty alright theme meant for some bit of emotion after each episode. Not great but not bad.
As for the dub, it's rather good. J Michael Tatum was in charge of ADR direction and we get some rather fitting boxes for many of the characters, especially Jean and Nino. It's weird to hear someone sound like Steve Blum without being Steve Blum, but that's been an issue in the dubbing industry for a good year now (where new actors sound like old ones, and this was exposed to be a major problem in the acting industry in Japan). It feels like the character artstyle lends itself to both the dub and the sub rather well, and the dub worked just as well as the sub, at least for me.
For most part, I was pretty intrigued in the narrative, even if it did get a bit dull towards the end. The atmosphere was pretty enjoyable, and the OP was so damn good that I just wanna bob my head and snap to the beat every time. It was surprisingly enjoyable, if a bit lacking in the satisfaction department. T'was a nice enough time, but there wasn't enough pizzazz to give real flavor the the experience.
OVERALL: 6/10 RAW SCORE: 63/100
Ultimately, this was close to being a pretty good underground show, but it didn't really deliver enough and was somewhat underwhelming. It's by no means a bad show, but there's no way in hell this'll be smoking the competition for any "best of winter 2017" lists, I'm sure. It didn't rise up high, but it was decent and slick while it lasted, so that's alright, I guess. With that said, I bid you adieu.
Acca-13-Ku Kansatsu-Ka or ACCA: 13- Territory inspection Dept. which I’ll shorten to Acca for the rest of this review is a show I have been looking forward to for a long time. Madhouse has descended into the production of plenty of mediocre shows recently causing a probable all time low in confidence for their studio. I hoped that Acca would redeem them, prove to the anime world that they are still up to scratch and that they can still make anime on the same level as Death Note and Hunter x Hunter.
Unfortunately it doesn’t. Acca was a great attempt to break from the norm; create
something that was different to what is currently being produced in a stagnating Anime industry. Trying to use the themes of dissent, politics and not knowing who to trust whilst trying to mix it in with comedic aspects… This tonal shift completely ruins the series and makes it incredibly difficult to even appreciate what is going on. I am somewhat convinced that the mangaka, Natsume Ono, decided to include these due to it being so incredibly slow [The humour was also included in the manga].
I think your opinion on what is classed as slow will greatly alter your acceptance of the series. If you are one to enjoy a quick show, where multiple plot points happen every episode but dislike shows that are paced out to include every snippet of information possible. This will probably be a nightmare for you to sit through. I would say my tolerance of shows, and my acceptance to let a show clearly set itself out is pretty high however even Acca was difficult. The inclusion of scenes laying out the foundation of the characters and their interactions was vital, and did make the show a whole lot more enjoyable. Especially when you, the viewer start personally taking sides about who you want to succeed with their plans, and who should ‘win’. However there are scenes that frankly don’t need to be included and despite the manga being comprised of 6 volumes, oddly felt like it had filler in.
The art and animation is very ‘madhousey’. It’s not specifically great however it is above what I feel is industry standard and has incorporated a broad palette of colours making every scene feel bright and inclusive to the events unfolding. The expansive sets of snowy mountain peaks to inner city office spaces to a high reaching palace will never let your senses dull. The incorporation of imagery especially during the opening credits is great; seeing foreshadowing payoff in an anime is not the most common thing however Acca gets it down to a T.
Talking of music. The opening. Probably the best of the season, the jazzy theme mixed with rap and the autotuned voice crescendo into one of my favourite opening’s in a while. I recommend if you don’t watch the series, at least listen to that opening as I am certain that will end up on some top 10 lists. And just like the opening, the ending is also unique and opts for the lack sketch animation of a ballerina [I think it’s Lotta but I can’t say for certain] contorting in an expressive dance fitting the theme of the music. It feels experimental yet incredibly lifelike unfortunately I feel the ending song is not on par with the animation and is your generic ‘sad song’ but I would not describe it as undesirable in any way.
Overall this show, when compared to my hopes for it is quite a disappointment. I think the aspects of the coup d’état are incredibly interesting and the desperation of Jean as he gets mixed up in it is admirable however that pacing kills what can be enjoyed from the series, leaving you with good music and art, but not enough to hold its head up.
ACCA is a slow burning political drama centered around a rumored coup d'état and set in the fantastical yet embedded in reality DOWA kingdom. It has a very rich style, a laid back intrigue and a cast of cool characters - that come more into the light as the plot develops in the second half. Through the world building, it made me care about what was happening to DOWA and the possibilities of where it was heading.
The land is segregated into thirteen unique and natural states based upon the history, government infrastructure and resources. The protagonist, Jean, has a job to audit each
of these states, to check up on how things are going in this time of assumed peace. The world building is split into roughly one state per episode but there is a multi-layered world building approach; while you only really explore one state at a time, you can see how the characters compare the similarities and differences to each of the other states, which makes the world feel alive and interconnected.
Like with the world, the characters also have a feeling of where you are only seeing the tip of the ice berg, and by piecing new information together, you eventually get a solid understanding of each of the characters. At first Jean appeared as being solely aloof and studious yet as you see how he handles situations and the thought processes he uses to deduct his response, it makes him become warmer and personable. As with his relationship with Crow and his sister, which is quiet fun in a subdued way. Most of the characters feel like they play an important part of DOWA and the side characters have there motivations revealed, although besides from hints they don't all become clear until the final few episodes.
For a show steeped in politics, there is plenty of crushes that inhabit a number of characters, and while it never bore any fruit, it was nice to highlight aspects of there personality of what they are attracted too as well with how they deal with that feeling.
The art style looks mature but with a quirky edge like the abundance of mustaches, hair styles, fashion and fantastical looking food. I'm not sure if it was just a ploy to show a hereditary link between a few of the characters, but there is definitely a bread cult going on. There is a jazzy beat throughout which works well with the other worldly elements, quirky design choices and the cool headed characters. The framing of the landscape in relation to the characters was solid, there were occasionally goofy faceless moments but a lot of the time there was both a detailed background and characters kept on model. Apparently fingers are difficult to animate, so kudos to that.
ACCA relishes in its style and develops its world and characters in a slow but constant pace. While not being particularly exciting to watch, I was always interested in to see what would happen next, what new piece of information would be revealed and what delicious looking food would appear. Like with the bread in the show, their lies a warm, well woven, bite sized meal that satiates in a simple and effective way.
The atmosphere of this anime is cool, calm, collected, and captivating.. bundled with good OST, stunning colorful art-style and relevant animation delivered by madhouse.. This anime is quite great (with the exception of story)
Well, to be completely honest, I am watching it solely for the cool atmosphere and chill vibes.
The story itself is not all that interesting in my opinion but it's not boring either, I am just quite neutral to it.
The characters are very chill too, and all in all it's the kind of anime that you can chill to and simply enjoy..
Not to mention how fanservice in this anime is literally
nonexistent which is a quite refreshing change in my opinion.
ACCA definitely feels like an unusual show in our current anime climate, with its leisurely pace and art style. It's populated by gaunt, bishounen-style male characters of the kind you thought went out of fashion in the early 2000s, which is refreshing to see. But the best thing about ACCA is how a deeply comfortable and alluring show manages to blindside you with an exciting story.
The first half of ACCA plays out like a combination of food porn and travelogue, as protagonist Jean travels to his country's various picturesque regions, meeting people and devouring sweet bread. Tidbits of plot are revealed, but everything bubbles in
the background and the viewer is lead to believe that this will be a slice-of-life show, maybe with some shounen-ai queer-baiting. ACCA's episodic nature, beautiful art direction, and dreamy jazz soundtrack all contribute to crafting a show that's just nice to spend time with.
But surprisingly enough, the story takes form very quickly in the latter half of the show, without sacrificing its sense of pace or meandering nature. It's not a highly complicated story, but it heightens the viewer's awareness of what's going on in the background, and pieces fall into place at just the right time to have an impact. The final wallop of revelations at the very end only makes it feel more satisfying. Again, it's nothing mind-blowing, it's just told in a way that feels like it matters. I feel like it's mostly because ACCA is very character-centric, and the way in which characters react to events feels organic, but also reveals new depths to them.
In that sense, my major complaint with ACCA is that some supporting characters simply don't get enough screen time for us to get even mildly acquainted with them, when you can clearly tell that they are supposed to have some kind of background to them. I hate it when shows dangle characters in my face but then do absolutely nothing with them (see Durarara!!) because they ran out of time. It's just a "read the manga" kind of thing.
Still, I greatly enjoyed my time with ACCA and I'm pretty confident I'll be watching it again soon, because it's the kind of show that gets better with multiple viewings. It's probably not for everyone--aesthetically it's very out-of-pace with current anime trends--but it's just the kind of thing I love.
Hello. My name is Joyce, and I am so offended that this has a score lower than the shitfest that is Gabriel DropOut, which is barely even funny.
ACCA13, while claiming it as a masterpiece is far-fetched, is a story without unnecessary flash and barely any annoying, anime-common hamfisting and repetition.
Again, not a masterpiece. But god, this is a show anime needs really, really badly.
It respects its audience enough to put 2 and 2 together - and though not all too difficult to piece together, it is a story with a lot of nuance, and one I am eager to see progress.
Please watch this. The first
episode is long-ish and boring, but if you don't have ADHD, I'm certain you'll enjoy it.
The art is amazing, the occasional symbolism makes you go "ooooh" not "I get it already", the color palettes make me swoon, the food looks great - the only "issue" with the art is that their noses are uber-pointy. Make of that what you will.
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. What an incredible piece of art. What seems like a simple story, a kingdom separated into 13 districts looked after by the organisation known as ACCA, manages to keep you guessing on how exactly everything is going to turn out. We follow Jean Otus, second-in-command of ACCA's inspection department, who travels to each and every district to make sure that any signs of corruption is discovered and prevented quickly. Starting off slow to introduce characters and some world building, the story steadily opens up to what can only be described, in the most non-spoiler
way possible, as a quiet but planned out struggle for peace threatened by a higher power.
What seems predictable at first, (oh a plot twist happens, I can see where this is going) continues to surprise you as you can never guess what is actually happening until the very end. The calm and cool atmosphere that surrounds most of the series lulls you into a sense of knowing more than you actually do, allowing it's unpredictable nature to continuously keep the show interesting. Secrets are revealed, plans are put into motion, multiple opposing views wait their turn to make sure that events are headed towards their favour. It's a perfect example of the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover."
Jean Otus is a simple but slightly mysterious man. Known by others as the "Cigarette Peddler", he's often seen with a lighter in his hand a smoke in his mouth. Not much is really known about Jean at the start. His only real goal that is revealed to us is that he wants to get a transfer to a different department. What could be seen as a dull and boring personality, this character manages to give off a feeling that he's much more intelligent than he seems. We see glimpses of his unique mind at work as he deals with some problems he faces in a few districts, showing off that he's actually more than meets the eye.
Nino is also pretty mysterious. Reporter by day, he often joins Jean for a drink and a talk about their hard days at work. He could be seen as quite charismatic and a smooth talker, always hanging around our main and his sister Lotta. Not much is known about him at first, but slowly his secrets are also revealed to showcase a truly interesting character with a simple motive. Look out for the Otus family.
It's hard to talk about every character due to the large amount we are introduced to every episode, as Jean travels from district to district, and the fact that many of the main cast's characteristics may lead to accidental spoilers. While character development is usually focused on only a select few of frequently reoccurring faces, every person we meet along the journey is able to feel interesting. Although most fall into the background, each character has their own personality and goals for their own district and for ACCA as a whole. There enough development left over that is scattered to various members of the supporting cast that it feels like everyone Jean meets has a sense of realism that is hard to achieve in most animes.
The animation is oddly unique yet similar to other shows at the same time. With a slight sketchbook like appearance, the art style really matches its relaxing atmosphere. It's not anything eye-popping, but it really adds to the show's mood of peacefulness. Even the hairdo of each character is special, as most districts have their own distinct hair colour. It's a subtle clue as to some important parts of the story, hidden incredibly well so only people that already know how the story progressions will be able to spot it.
It's not often you find a show that has such an amazing story, drawing you in with each episode that passes. This show does take a bit of patience as it doesn't dive into the actual plot right away, but if you don't mind a slow but interesting series, then I highly recommend this.
Well, this is certainly the most interesting anime out this season to say the least.
ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka is set in a country called Dowa, a super state that is actually made up smaller 13 countries or districts, which all have their own unique specialty and are all bounded together by the power of diplomacy or in this case. a special organization called ACCA.
The main character, Jean Otus works for the organisation called ACCA (which uniforms are surprisingly suspicious of the Schutsfaffel, but regardless, this is an anime) which does relative inspections of each countries/audits to check things are going efficiently and to see if any
countries are going out of line and/are planning a revolution. But in this case, things are different, there is a rumour of a Coup d'état imminent.
You may think this anime is a slice of life which promotes eating pastries. sweet bread, and smoking, and sure it does, but do not be fooled, if you watch closely you will notice certain details and follow the plot strongly, there is a Game of Thrones-esques intrigue going about it, and this does not help the fact that the Main Character is unintentionally involved with the Coup.
Yet it feels so, so refreshing to watch this show.
The music is good; the art is wonderful; the ACCA uniform is good enough of a reason to work there; the breads look amazing.
Additionally, the intrigue is rarely seen for other 12-episode anime. The drama is jazzed down, even some dark matters are only artfully sorrowful, and not more than that. With a flow of plot points and interesting, varied settings, ACCA retained my attention like any good music would.
A relaxing, comfortable gem.
8/10, higher if I'm generous.
(I never knew there's a word minimum for these reviews. I tried my best to write a
bit more, but writing this much is already enough for ACCA, a show that is the very definition of short and sweet. Hopefully this parenthesis bumps me up to the word limit)
Ok, so after a long bout of watching anime with the usual plot, this one has given us something of what can be called a breath of fresh air, and frankly it's not always that we get to see something out from the ordinary, so let's get it on with:
Good 7, Story
What we have in here is plot that is full of twist and turns, at first you might be tempt to drop this out, but, the real surprise is that plan coup de etat, where you might ask yourself as to how the main character Jean Otus is connect with it, which would glue
you in to your seat in curiosity. Sure, it may take some time, but you'll get interested as the plot thickens because story itself was full of surprises. Still, I kinda hate that writer Tomohiro Suzuki can't seem to distinguish the difference between a coup de etat, and a revolution.
Decent 4, art
The illustration were ugly, but then again decent, so don't expect any panchira or any fanservices from , Lotta, Muave and other girls from this anime.
Good 7, Sound
I may not like both opening and closing themes, but then again, since the character's here weren't made to voiced youngsters with their grown up voices was good enough for me, regardless who voiced who.
Good 7, Characters
So, we have were a bunch of characters who really did portrayed as grown-ups, instead of the usual kids who does a man's job, but what really makes it good was how the characters where used, like Jean Otus, a diligent inspector of ACCA, whom at first we wonder as how , he's connected to a planned mutiny against the spoiled brat prince who is the heir to the throne of Dowa, there is also Glossnar whom at first would make us think that he is Abend, the loyal body guard of Jean's Mom, let's not forget Nino, whom at first would make us think that he's the bad guy, but turns out to be Jean's secret body gurad, also Lotta , who is Jean's imoto, the good thing here is that there is non of the brocon, that we usually find in any anime, but it still has that reverse harem element in it were the potential character in her life would be Rail, Maggie and her cousin Prince Schwan. But , I still hate the possibility that Jean maybe gay and he probably loves Nino. Thought the antagonist here is Lilum, 1st princess and Prince Schwan, their portrayal were more on a subtle note that a rough one, in fact you would feel any disgust against them, unlike the usual antagonist portrayal, were one would hate them to the bone, so nice work, writer Shingo Natsume.
Good 7, Enjoyment
TBH, it was only as good to be enjoyed, cu'z, really, it's not that very good, the only reason why one would watch this was thickening of the plot , and that's as good as it gets.
Good 7, Overall
Well true to it's title, this anime did deliver, and it's not bad. But I kinda hate that the main character Jean Otus, has that suggestive thing and it's called SMOKING, which is BAD for your health and DON"T EVEN THINK ABOUT PUFFING A CIGARETTE, PUTO!!!!!!!!!!!
Surgeon General recommends that "SMOKING IS BAD FOR YOU."
ACCA had potential, the first half (ep 1-6) is all world building with very minor hints about the full plot that comes in the second half (ep 7-12) and if you are able to pick up on these hints, you can figure out what is going on before the show tells you. The pace is slow at the start but it picks up and it was worth the wait until the ending. The last episode ruins it.
There are three twists in this show, the first one happens in episode 7, nobody who has seen episode 12 gives a shit about the second one, and the
third happens in episode 12 (the entirety of episode 12 is a twist).
The show maintained a pace from episode 1 - 11 and it was wonderful, the supporting characters came and went, the main cast was kept below the main character in terms of focus, the story takes the time it needs, and the art is fantastic. The art bleeds style.
If this show only had 11 episodes, I would give it an 8/10. After watching the 12th episode, I have dropped my rating to a 7/10. The ending was rushed, it has twists simply for the sake of having twists, it is littered with plot convenience, and the "vibe" that was created in 11 episodes was completely ruined.
I don't normally say that the ending is everything, but ACCA was always working towards the end, the mystery and suspense, all wasted because apparently M. Night Shyamalan got his hands on the script.
If you don't mind having a relatively bad ending, this is an 8/10 worthy show.
For me, 7/10 but still worth checking it out. ACCA is slow, beautiful, many of the characters don't get the screen time they need, and the ending is disappointing.
I still liked it though, check it out if you enjoy chill shows but be wary of the end.