ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.
by Anne Lauenroth,
How would you rate episode 10 of
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. ?
Jean's brief visit to Spade's home district, Yakkara, brought no extra screentime for the chief officer we know so little about, but ACCA's reluctance to show us more about the man might actually result in some exciting developments. Before we can get to these, we need to take a closer look at our prince's time in the mining district of Pranetta.
From a design perspective, Pranetta is pure delight – an underground city underneath a barren desert land, where people spend their nights gazing at the stars and their days digging for dreams that might never come true. But as Jean already learned in Yakkara, when you dream, dream big, nicely connecting and contrasting his two inspections in ways I wish we had seen more of before. But while for Yakkara, supporting Jean is like betting on the country's future, Pranetta's motivation is more sincere.
Unlike most of the other districts, Pranetta's officials aren't trying to get on Jean's good side, treating him like any other guest instead. The local branch supervisor (by the glorious name of Rocksterra) is as much of a stoic as Jean used to be. Compared to her, he seems like a bubbly chatterbox, excited about eating emergency rations in a sandstorm and taking more and more interest in "his" districts and their people. Even if the change is subtle, Jean has become much more engaged than he was on earlier inspections. He's impressed when, after a day of fruitless mining, Pranetta's far-from-disheartened residents flock to the surface to look at the sky. Who can blame him, considering that we don't get such poetic musings about the meaning of life in ACCA on a weekly basis:
"While insisting that we pursue dreams, we must have never thought we'd ever realize them. After all, we never considered what would happen if we did."
People in Pranetta are happy despite being poor and without having realized their pursuits. Rocksterra wants to preserve their right to continue to dream, her involvement being reminiscent of her colleague's in the stuck-in-time region of Suitsu. Pranetta's branch chief doesn't have a cigarette to give to Jean, but when he returns the one Jean gave to him, he isn't placing a bet on the alternative king, but his district's future in Jean's hands. It's a beautiful scene and a powerful exchange, bound to leave an impression on an already changing Jean.
It's about time he made up his mind, as the clock is ticking. King Falke II might not be long for this world, and Schwan is still next in line. With Jean's inspection tour coming to an end, the king could theoretically be faking his declining health in order to "encourage" Jean and company to start coup-ing already, especially since there seems to have been a memo updating every district to stop beating around the bush and openly pledge themselves to Jean. With Lilium, Grossular, Mauve, and the branches pretty much united, Jean himself is one of the last remaining dark horses. We really need that Abend reveal to drop the last bombshell.
Before that, Jean will have to visit one last district: Furawau, the aptly named home turf of number one schemer Lilium and his family. While Jean will be in the lion's den, it looks like the first princess might send a new, possibly more competent assassin after him and Lotta. Jean believes in Nino's continued protection, but his life-long personal spy and bodyguard can only be in one place at a time, and last time he took off, Lotta had already been abducted. Jean taking over the preview narration emphasizes Nino's absence, so what is Lotta's first love up to, anyway? And who's that guy on the phone talking about the unfortunate involvement of the Dōwā family?
The latter question brings us back to underused chief officer Spade at last, as that voice on the phone sounded rather familiar and didn't belong to Privy Council president Qualm, the king, or flashback Abend (though his voice might have changed over the decades). With similar intonation, Spade (if that's really him on the phone) insists on continuing with the original plans for the anniversary ceremony, which will be attended by everybody who's anybody. So far, he's got the least screentime of all the chiefs, so if he ends up being the one with the ace up his sleeve to thwart Lilium's plans, I'm curious to learn about the how and why.
The little glimpses we got from Grossular and Lilium's pact didn't tell us much about the unequal nature of their relationship. Does Grossular simply let himself be abused because the end of protecting the nation justifies the humiliating means? As for this week's food porn, Lotta's dessert party contrasted nicely with the emergency rations Jean and colleagues had to fall back on in Pranetta. Rail's inclusion was sweet, but tiny Lotta confessing to Nino definitely takes the cake.
With only two episodes left, we seem to have reached the upcoming showdown just in time for some much-needed chilling out afterwards. It was a leisurely, but constantly engaging journey. Not having read the manga, ACCA feels like a very competent, well-paced adaptation.
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Anne is a translator and fiction addict who writes about anime at Floating Words.
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