At a glance, ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. doesn’t raise too many eyebrows. But upon closer inspection, you find that it’s from Madhouse Studios, a powerhouse in the anime industry. Curiosity had peeked for me initially before discovering this fact. It seemed like a rare find and I was hopeful. Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.
This series follows the actions of Jean Otus, the second in command of the Inspection Agency. Jean is a laid back fellow that indulges in the luxury of cigarettes. ACCA keeps track of all the activities across all 13 states, hence the title. Jean has been given the task to audit all 13 states. Sounds like a pain but it’s his job and it can’t be helped. Jean lives alone with his sister, Lotta, in an apartment complex that she manages. We learn that their parents died in a tragic train accident some time ago.
Amidst the top of ACCA, there are the Five Chief Officers: Grossular, Lilium, Spade, Pastice, and Payne. A rumor about a possible coup ‘état comes to Grossular’s attention and it is believed that Jean is at the head of it all. The other Chiefs are skeptical about Jean being involved but Grossular already has an agent known as “Crow” to track Jean’s movements. We later find out that “Crow” is actually a long time friend of Jean’s, Nino. Nino’s public job is as a photographer so it never seems strange to find him along the sidelines. His ability to hide his presence is slightly abnormal though. Think of him as a paparazzi with stealth training.
Now you might be asking, why would anyone be suspicious of Jean leading a coup? ACCA might be the high rank department among the nation but it’s actually a country of monarchy. King Falke II is approaching old age and Prince Schwan is next in line for the throne. Many are against Prince Schwan ruling the nation because they believe he isn’t fit for such a job. Basically they think he’s an idiot. What really matters is Prince Scwhan has proclaimed to abolish ACCA once he begins his rule. That might be enough reason for anyone to remove him from the throne but still, Why Jean?
Rumors start to circulate around the kingdom about Jean and his business trips to each nation. The nation believes that Jean is the spearhead and this was an opportunity for each party to evaluate the other. Since Jean is a known smoker, the states would provide him with a single cigarette enclosed in an blank envelope to signal their compliance with the coup. Jean is at first oblivious to these actions and what they mean but he soon learns the truth. Director-General Mauve of ACCA headquarters enlists Jean to assist her in proving whether there really is a coup or not since she realizes how ignorant Jean was to it all.
Although this is a review, I want to avoid as much spoilers as possible. This series would be more enjoyable knowing as little as possible. What I’ve written is basically your three episode test. I want to highlight that ACCA is a drama series made to work your brain a little. They want you to make your own assumptions and draw red strings to what you think is the truth. It is also labeled as seinen, rightfully so. If you’re looking for over the top action resulting from the drama, you won’t find it here.
My final thoughts on this series, it has to be the most surprising of Winter 2017. I also think it’s extremely well written, for them to keep fans interested in this sort of drama all the way. Of course I have to mention how amazing the opening is for ACCA. The tune really gives you an idea of the direction it’s headed. It’s hard to think of an aspect that was disappointing. I can only recall a few gaps in the story that felt slightly passed over after the conclusion. Overall ACCA gets a lot of high praise from me, it was among my top 3 for Winter 2017. I hope you give it a shot if you haven’t already. Let me know your thoughts about it.