Christian artist and gamer. Crazy about ducks and the color purple.
While I was checking out the genres of ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka, they are apparently ‘Police’ and ‘Drama’, and even has a 17+ rating. Even though MANGA.TOKYO is not fond of labeling anime with genre tags, I was quite surprised that the story started, well, normally! I was expecting something dark right from the get go, like in crime drama films. But I guess anything can happen in stories, especially considering how the first episode slowly unfolded. What awaits us from now on, I wonder?
Japanese Original Episode Title:もらいタバコのジーン
I don’t think I’ve ever watched an anime focusing on modern government work before, so ACCA:13 (as I’m going to shorten it from now) is definitely something unique for me. Plus, the setting is fascinating! It’s set in the peaceful Kingdom of Dōwā, which is divided into thirteen autonomous districts. In these districts are different agencies governed by one big organization called ACCA.
Then the story focuses on Jean Otus, the vice-chairman of one of these agencies: the Inspection Agency. They’re assigned to check in on the activities of the other ACCA divisions. The problem is, the Inspection agency is no longer needed because Dōwā is now an incredibly peaceful nation! Or so they think. You can’t know what under-the-table deals, hidden conspiracies and the like are happening in such a huge organization, right? Our cool and crafty protagonist – also dubbed the Cigarette Peddler for always carrying cigarettes – is just the right man for the job!
The Inspection Agency being disbanded, then not: This part of the story certainly added to the uniqueness of ACCA:13’s pilot episode. The agency is what the show is about after all, so it being disbanded right off the bat is just funny, but also troublesome! Good thing Jean still did his job even after the announcement, or the higher-ups wouldn’t have found out that they still do need the Inspection Agency!
Corruption in Fāmasu discovered: It’s sad to think that, even in a rich and peaceful kingdom, there are still some people being motivated by their greed, enough to let crime run rampant. And it’s even sadder to know that they’re risking their and others’ jobs just for the sake of money! Thankfully, Jean caught wind of it. Isn’t he such an observant guy?
ACCA’s Five Chief Officers: What would a fantasy world be without a group of old men running the show behind the scenes? Looks like they mostly don’t get along too, having different opinions on things and all. I’m quite interested to know what else they do as the bigwigs in ACCA.
Jean being monitored: Speaking of a bigwig, Grossular wanted Jean monitored! Was it because the Cigarette Peddler caught wind of something so hard to notice? Or he’ll possibly become a hindrance to something in the future? He even went so far as to send a helicopter just to observe Jean. What could he want to confirm?
Manga adaptation: ACCA:13 is one of the many anime adapted from a manga series. It was created by Natsume Ono back in June 2013, and it just finished last October 2016. Here’s to hoping that the anime will cover the whole story of the manga!
Government and Corruption: As I mentioned earlier, it’s a unique topic to tackle in an anime. I actually think it’s something that has a lot of material that can be covered, and quite important too! Plus, corruption is a big problem in the governments of the world today, so it’s definitely important for us to be aware.
Luxuries in Life: From cigarettes to sweets during snack time, looks like there are quite a few strict rules in Dōwā. I wonder if they’ll eventually tackle how those came to be. We have also yet to see if there are class divisions in their kingdom, as Rail, the ash-blonde guy in a hat, mentioned that there’s a specific place where the elites buy something as simple as bread.
As much as I expressed my hype for this series throughout this review so far, I actually found the first episode a bit lacking and slow. It really did manage to capture my interest though, at least. I just wished they put in more info and backstory on some parts. We didn’t even see who Maïs and Peets are, and just how close Eider is with her subordinates. I know they just used it to show how resourceful Jean is, but a bit of emotional aspect would’ve been nice. Plus, what was up with that audit during the second-half? These sub-plots just went over my head. Oh well. Probably they’re still building the story up at this point. I hope it gets better afterwards.
However, in contrast, the art style is eye-catching! It just captures the classy feel of ACCA:13 so well. It’s rare to find shows that break away from the usual anime styles these days, so I like it quite a lot! I’m super glad to be watching shows that have appealing art styles this season (the one other being Little Witch Academia). The animation is also great! You can see the character’s personalities in each movement, even the subtle ones. The emotions have also been captured well. Madhouse did another great job as usual!
Don’t even get me started on the opening and ending sequences – they’re amazing! The songs are beautiful and matched with fantastic animation! Shadow and Truth by ONE III NOTES is super classy like the art of the show, while Pale Moon ga Yureteru by Aira Yuuki is quite lovely to hear. I just can’t help but re-watch them!
While it did start slow, I’m quite intrigued on what’s going to happen afterwards. What conspiracies in the government is Jean going to unravel next? Or maybe he himself will get caught up in something big? I can’t wait to find out!
What do you guys think of ACCA:13 so far? Did it catch your attention? Or maybe the slow pace bored you? Let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic anime reviews for Winter 2017!
NEXT TIME: The Partner in Crime’s Name is Nino
(c)Natsume Ono/SQUARE ENIX, ACCA Committee