ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (Winter 2017) – Coup d’état

“ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” is a fresh breathtaking anime in the pop culture and anime community. Sadly, it’s one of the most underrated anime of the season. It’s not followed by many people, one that many complain about. People don’t like it just because of the theme they carry. This is one of the shows which presents something new about politics that everyone hates. What’s interesting about an anime that uses politics as its theme or coup d’etat? “House of Cards” is one of the same TV shows. “Joker Game” which I’ve watched also carries the same theme.

“Legend of the Galactic Heroes,” “Code Geass,” and “The Heroic Legend of Arslan” are also anime that carry similar themes. In fact, “From the New World” in my opinion alludes the same theme. But, it focuses more on the dark side. What makes “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” so different from the others? The answer is that the theme it carries is a serious matter. Unlike “Code Geass” which combines elements of mecha and action, this show brings its theme like politics in general. It’s an aesthetic animation that presents something so relaxing with a complex theme and different experience.

“ACCA” presents something so intriguing from its own plot and character. Likewise, with the animation, it’s very difficult to say how this anime runs slowly. There is a difference between which anime is slow and which one is relaxing. So, you don’t want to move from your seat you’re sitting on. When a country has a dark history, no one wants to talk about it again. When a country seems peaceful outside, what really happens behind it? From this, political games are on so does the kingdom of Dowa which is divided into 13 states.

The state has an intermediary controlled by an organization known as ACCA. After 100 years later where the Dowa kingdom has a dark history, this organization works with a system. It’s a system that maintains the order of one state to another. They investigating all states so that there is always peace. The main character, Jean Otus is the second-in-command of the ACCA inspection agency. ACCA ordered him to monitor all conditions from each state. The task is to look at various situations in each of the states and report to the superiors.

This is one of the series I drop for just one episode. I don’t really understand what it means. Various kinds of anime I’ve dropped little by little. I began to understand what was really going on with myself back in the days. In fact, this is the most fascinating series that has ever existed. The main plot of the show introduces all the actions taken by Jean Otus. I still didn’t really connect with this show at first. The show seemed fails to attract any attention at the beginning. Until the third episode, I began to understand and assuming that this would be more interesting.

The plot in the third episode begins to run complex. In addition to introducing the coup as the main plot, the first impression seems quite slow yet smooth. The show wants us to participate little by little into the world with that broad scope. The show is very good at that because we still see how little details exist in the world. We’re looking at this state, the state of this province. There are those who suffer, some who are free, some are isolated, and so on. Jean Otus represented our view with everything really went smoothly. Only the theme is serious but it’s one of those shows where you want to take a closer look.

The show really fails to attract mainstream audiences. This anime wants to introduce the world, people, and characteristics that exist in that world first. The atmosphere, the ACCA, all of them. As a coup which the major plot, there is a connection between Jean Otus and all characters. It’s where all the characters just talk, talk and talks. All the pieces are returned from the main plot, the coup. The plot is rooted but it’s the nature brings some people at home to explore the world more.

First of all, we’ll be in an organization called ACCA. It’s just a political game. You don’t know who can be trusted, who can be considered friends, are considered enemies. Even your best friends are enemies too. ACCA is like a truth that maintains peace. But, there is some moment when the show forgets it as well as some minor character. Apart from the show running ‘slow’ but being careful in conveying the information, this anime doesn’t know where to go. However, it’s not a really matter because it doesn’t affect the ending itself. It still has to do with the coup d’état.

The cast doesn’t carry much of its impression other than Jean Otus, an unpredictable character. The majority of characters aren’t deepened too much even Schwan as a character who has an important role isn’t too focused regardless of his role as the trigger of the coup itself. There is Niino that acts as Jean’s best friend even though at first he didn’t really have such an important role but in the end, you will know the truth. Likewise Jean Otus‘ real identity in the climax episode. There is Lotta Otus as Jean’s younger sister who only fills side plot that isn’t too important but has an important role for Jean himself and Niino. There is Groshular, Lilium, and Mauve which are characters who have a very important role in the plot. The rest of its characters, it really didn’t attractive.

But, let’s talk about Jean Otus. Aside from being a protagonist, he is a compulsive smoker that makes him so attractive as the cigarette peddler where people call him that. The world in this anime also considers that cigarettes are so rare items that only certain people can have them. ‘Cigarettes’ was one of MacGuffin’s in Jean dealing with the problem of the coup in each state. He is uninterested in various ways, unpredictable, and has its own enigmatic. Its characteristics can handle something, calm, and rational thinking in response to something. He is a critical person.

Natsume Shingo besides directing “One Punch Man,” “ACCA,” on the other hand, is really a different case. With Yabuta Shuuhei who directed “Inuyashiki: Last Hero” and “Vinland Saga” for the upcoming anime, the animation, and artwork in this anime is so good from how the characters are designed and the background. The color selection is really suitable, giving an aesthetic impression especially in the opening theme song of the visual is really great. There are a number of things that are unique in this regard, too, when it comes to the flashback scene, especially Jean and Niino’s background, just amazing.

It fits with the tone of the show. The opening theme song seems to have taken influence from “Baccano!” with jazz impressions yet quite an improvisation. The soundtrack well suited to the anime seems to provide such an interesting experience. It blends with all of those as well as the voice actors. The ending theme song is nice too for shows like this. Bottom line, it helps with all the mood, both the artwork and the sound.

“ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” as if combining political elements with an impression of mystery. It’s a pure experience as well as the ideas in this anime because there are rarely anime that use politics as the main idea of the story. Sometimes, there are some unexpected things and moments, some intense scenes, and kind of action things. The pace is a misconception because something that distinguishes the anime is so slow in pace but it’s like an intriguing plot as if the plot is getting more interesting because of its complexity.

The character is a minor matter, but not worthy to talk because it doesn’t really affect. The approach of the world is built, the story, the narrative. I quite regret why I once dropped this anime just one episode. So does “Joker Game” which I don’t really understand while watching it for so long. “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” is a fresh air with an original story.

4 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

2 thoughts on “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (Winter 2017) – Coup d’état

  • January 1, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    I really enjoyed ACCA but it isn’t for everyone. The slow pace and slow reveals really put a lot of people off as did the dialogue heavy nature. I found it a real gem when it aired and loved getting drawn slowly into the world and learning more about the characters and each of the districts as well as the conspiracy but I get why this one didn’t make it more mainstream.

    • January 4, 2019 at 9:31 am

      It’s just sad this anime is so underrated at the season. It’s an underrated gem for me. The world that is so diverse, the character, and the vibes when you got that artistic aesthetic, it just amazing. Don’t forget with the story too.


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