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Okay, I’m still trying to calm myself down while writing this review for ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka’s latest episode, so I would at least sound articulate. It was just so bittersweet that it made me emotional! I just can’t help but ache for the characters involved, most especially Nino! This also put into perspective many different things about the royal family and its future. It just makes you wonder what will happen next!
Japanese Original Episode Title: 翼を広げた王女と友のつとめ
I knew this week’s chapter would finally shed light to everything! It also gave us more questions, but what’s new, right? Apparently, the royal family’s tragedy 33 years ago wasn’t actually a tragedy, but a staged plan to let Princess Schnee live her life freely as a commoner. I was just surprised that everyone was cool with a princess leaving the nest, and that a princess was exchanging her grand life for a simple one! You certainly don’t hear stories like that every day. But unknown to her, her ties to her lineage still couldn’t be broken, as everything concerning her was being reported to King Falke II and Qualm. And who did we discover doing that for them but Abend, through his retainer, Nino’s dad! And when Schnee, her husband Karl, and even Nino’s dad got caught up in the train accident in Rokkusu, the baton was immediately passed to the next generation: Nino was now the one spying on Jean and Lotta, but at the same time taking care of them as if they were his own siblings. So, now that Jean knows all of these, where does it leave him, and what will he do?
Princess Schnee: One of the things that got my attention was the reason Schnee had to leave and why the King agreed to it. Does ‘casting a shadow on the Dōwā family’ mean that she’s a threat to the throne? She’s a princess after all, and princesses aren’t eligible to be next in line. But, since she was showing competence as a royal, and there had yet to be a named male heir, the people who liked her would have possibly vouched for her to be next in line. But the King didn’t want to clip her wings; he didn’t want her to stop pursuing her interests and her goals. The whole situation showed how much King Falke II loved his daughter; enough to let her go and be happy, but still keeping watch over her and never resenting her decision. And I’d say she lived an incredibly good life up until the end, despite transitioning from riches to simplicity.
Nino and his dad: These two were definitely the center of the story, even though it was through an explanation of Jean’s origins. And it just amazes me how dedicated they were: Nino’s dad to his job, and Nino to his dad. I bet Nino knew, as young as he was, that to accompany his dad meant giving up his freedom to live as he pleased, and that’s exactly what the whole story said to me. It’s what broke my heart, too. Since his dad was a servant to Abend, his life revolved around obeying him and spying on Schnee’s family. And Nino did everything he could to support him on that, making his life revolve around it as well. Imagine being asked to attend high school when you are 25 years old, faking your identity just for the sake of aiding your father’s work! And imagine never being able to grieve for him because you had to immediately take over his job… No wonder Nino said last week that he wasn’t supposed to enjoy what he does. It’s just a good thing he is; being able to befriend Jean and Lotta and take care of them became something enjoyable for him in the end, just like how his dad enjoyed watching over them.
Abend: This guy is a mystery to me, at least when it comes to his motives. Did he agree to take the princess away only because of his loyalty to her and her happiness? Or did he do it hoping that they’d be together? He seemed quite cunning too, as he purposely allowed Nino to go with his dad to be his replacement in the future, if the worst arises. Doesn’t that mean he planned to spy on the princess for a long, long time? Aside from that is the most curious bit: do you guys get the feeling that Abend could actually be Grossular, with the white hair and all? This could be the reason why they kept Abend’s face mysteriously hidden all throughout the episode. However, the thing that makes me confused is that Nino reports to two people: Grossular, and someone else. Nino has a duty to report to Abend as his father’s replacement, so if Grossular is Abend, then who in the world is the other person Nino reports to? This is just my speculation, but I bet many of you are also thinking the same thing, and are just as confused as I am. Guess we’ll have to wait a bit more for the final answers.
Love and Life: Nothing affects you like a good old-fashioned story of a person’s life and their accomplishments or their troubles. Mix that with tragedy and you’ve got yourself an emotionally endearing episode! I say ACCA:13 handled this quite uniquely because the characters’ lives were told from someone else’s perspective: Schnee’s life was told from Nino’s dad, and his life was from Nino’s. We did only get bits and pieces, but it still clearly presented the most important parts of their journey: how they lived and how they loved.
Dedication: Schnee wanted so badly to freely enjoy her life without being held back that she sacrificed her family and her crown to do so. Abend was extremely loyal to the princess and his duty that he willingly gave up his title and the life he had in order to do his job. And like I mentioned earlier, Nino’s dad completely devoted himself to serving his master that he focused his life spying on the princess and her family. It just goes to show that when you’re dedicated to a certain task or goal, you’ll go through lengths just to get it done, no matter the sacrifice.
With how much I rambled on (and how long this review is getting), I can say with 100% certainty that this is my favorite episode of the whole series so far, and it might be hard to beat! Everything just worked so well together! The story left me in pieces, the distinct art and colors made it super memorable, and the musical scores inserted in the proper scenes just heightened up the emotions! I was so blown away! It was a job wonderfully done by the staff indeed!
Jean finally knows his roots and the reason he’s being used as an intermediary. But he doesn’t have the right to the throne anymore, so what happens now? Next week just couldn’t come any faster for us to get answers! For now, let me know what you think! Feel free to explode your comments and feelings below! And maybe even check out our other Winter 2017 anime reviews as well!!
NEXT TIME: A Graceful Black Adder Bares Its Fangs
(c)Natsume Ono/SQUARE ENIX, ACCA Committee