ACCA : 13-ku Kansatsu-ka | Winter 2017 Wrap-up


Studio : Madhouse
Genre : Police, Drama, Fantasy, Seinen
Episodes : 12

A season with Madhouse is a season to look forward to.
ACCA was one of the shows that caught my eye in the winter 2017 lineup because of two reasons :
1. Madhouse
2. A character with blue hair (they're fascinating, don't judge me)

But I am glad I got a lot more out of this show that I thought I would. The Seinen tag surely had me interested. And even though I tend to dislike police dramas (because I believe that anime isn't the right medium for it), this show turned out surprisingly well. Don't get me wrong, ACCA is a 'dull' 'boring' show for all you thrill seekers. But if you're into slow paced, dialogue oriented dramas with subtle characters, this will be a treat.


Here's a quick synopsis :
Long ago, after a civil uprising, an independent civilian organisation called ACCA was set up to unite the 12 states under the Dowa family rule. Headed by the five Chief Officers, the purpose of the organisation is to provide autonomy to the individual states but at the same time, keep everything working together. Furthermore, to keep the peace and to keep all the individual states in check, the ACCA inspection branch regularly inspects every state. Enter Jean Otus, Deputy Chief of the inspection department at ACCA. His job is to go and audit all 12 state branches. Meanwhile, as Dowa family's monarch's 99th birthday approaches, a devious plot is unwrapping itself and Jean is smack in the middle of it.

The thing that makes ACCA stand out for me is the presentation and the world-building. ACCA takes it's sweet time to give us the details of its 13 states. How every state is unique in it's scenery, it's way of operation, it's residents and how it contributes to the nation (it's produce). And all of this isn't done in one big info-dump. We follow along Jean on his audits and get a tour as he does his routine. And with every next audit, the mystery thickens and with it the balance in tone shifts towards the darker side. Of course all of this is balanced with sprinkles of light-hearted moments at regular intervals.


The way ACCA manages to keep everything interesting, despite lacking in action scenes or thrilling music, is commendable. It's got just the right balance of light hearted moments and serious ones, characters that keep you wondering whether they have a hidden side to them or not, a plot that keeps the mystery up until the very end, and a kickass opening and chill classy jazz background music to top it off. Since I feel I have showering this with more praise than necessary, let me balance it with some sober words.

And I will start with the characters. While the main characters - Niino and Jean, get a substantial amount of development, the supporting cast doesn't get the exposure it needs. Especially Director-General Mauve and Chief Officer Grossular. I feel that these characters needed to be fleshed out a bit more so that their involvement in the plot would have had more impact. I really wanted to know more about these characters, to be more invested in their world, but sadly, I was left wondering. And the same goes for some of the characters closely involved with the show's plot, who don't get any exposure at all. All of this can be attributed to the show's 12 episode run-time, but since this is an important aspect, it does take away from the overall enjoyment ration.


Overall, I feel that ACCA is a series which could have used a bit more 'flair' in the character department. It's lack of memorable characters is a drawback, especially because the series relies so much on character interactions. But it's presentation, excellent production quality, and intriguing plot make it hard to just pass over. While not everyone's cup of tea, this is a show I recommend from Winter 2017.

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