Oct 14, 2018
PowerUpOrDie (All reviews)
A political thriller that's long on glamor but short on substance.


ACCA-13 seems to have all the pieces of a good political thriller: a multitude of secretive factions, individuals with murky allegiances, back channel maneuvering, and high stakes. Except there's one critical problem, none of it adds up. They have all the game pieces but forgot to include the board. A good political thriller partly relies on the audience knowing how the political system works: 'House of Cards' depends on its audience having a basic understanding of how the US Congress operates, and 'Valkyrie' made sure to explain how the coup masterminds planned to kill Hitler and assume control of the German government. ACCA-13's chief weakness as a story is that the political system is a vague mess, at some points implying the country is a loose confederation with a figurehead monarch and high levels of regional autonomy, and at others acting as if the royal family has enough authority to restructure the entire civilian bureaucracy with a word. The word 'coup' is thrown around a lot, but it's never really clear what would be overthrown or how. Cracks start appearing the second you take a serious look at it.


Art is the high point of the series. The series has the glamorous 'Josei' look to it and some good backgrounds and character animation. It's easy on the eyes. Sound is also good with some solid voice acting from Funimation's experienced crew and a pretty decent OP. This series has some good production values, just not quite good enough to make something truly memorable out of fairly mediocre writing.


The large cast suffers from problems spilling over from the story writing. With the political system unclear it isn't to tell which character is responsible for what, how much power they are supposed to have, and which ones we're supposed to be paying the closest attention to. The big character reveal of the series suffers from this same issue, without going into spoiler territory we learn the backstory of a major character which revolves around a political plot that makes no blooming sense. Now strictly as characters, the individual cast members do well enough even if they don't break any new ground. The series toys with the idea of 'maybe Jean Otus is a mastermind, maybe he really is just a clueless pawn' but never does anything spectacular with it. The cast is OK, but I wouldn't go beyond that.


ACCA-13 looks different and sounds different, it's obvious nobody would confuse it for this season's generic otaku power fantasy/harem schlock. But it doesn't have enough 'meat on its bones', so to speak. If you want a new aesthetic experience and are willing to not look too closely at the internal workings, ACCA-13 is enjoyable enough.