ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. Episode 11
by Anne Lauenroth,
How would you rate episode 11 of
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. ?
These days, when I look at you, I can't tell if you're getting dragged into things, or if you're prying into the whole mess.
After 100 years of peace, Dōwā's guards have lost their edge. Their clumsy assassination attempt is foiled by Nino, who spends his first visit to Furawau district checking out the local emergency services after taking a bullet for Jean. The fact that he didn't die softens the cliché somewhat, and ACCA at least tried to give an explanation for why he acted the way he did instead of just knocking out the incompetent attackers before they could fire their hilariously ornate golden gun. Nino's injury served several purposes, from offering Hiro Shimono the chance to play with interesting nuances of shock and anger beyond Jean's slightly less stoic facade, to giving the king-to-be the last missing piece of resolve to accept the cigarette on Furawau's silver platter. It also brought us this episode's best line, leaving me optimistic for an interesting reveal of who's really playing who (with Lilium hopefully being cast as the latter). For now, Jean tries to make it look like he's playing along, choosing wine with Lilium over sandwich bread, much to Mauve's disappointment.
After Pranetta, Furawau isn't a very likable district. Despite its abundance of flowers and people smiling 24/7, Lilium's brothers don't pay court to Jean so much as condescend to him. Just as they're amused at the sight of the cute little puppet prince trying to do his inspection job, they belittle the people of Pranetta, which doesn't sit well with Jean. Furawau's ruling elite have used their wealth in exchange for influence long before the federal system was established 100 years ago. With more autonomy granted to individual districts, Furawau has lost its prestige and pride. While they still have to support the kingdom, they no longer feel the necessity to be quite as quid pro quo. Lilium doesn't fear for ACCA's disbandment or a threat to peace; he wants to go back to the wonderful days of oligarchy, relocating the seat of power to where the money is. I'm more and more inclined to think the king we see in the OP is neither Schwan nor Jean, but Lilium, ruling through the puppet he intends to mold to his needs and liking. Looking at the district's design and the origin of Furawau's riches, let's remind ourselves that no identification with actual persons or places should be inferred. Probably.
Within ACCA's inspection department, everyone's already playing along with the charade. Years of excessive pastry consumption have taken their toll on the characters' BS detectors, and coup-ing against (or for) their government isn't enough to trump the latest gossip of who's dating who. The only one to detect any danger in jumping on the coup bandwagon just because their boss said so is Warbler from the low-on-sweets Suitsu district. He spent too much time in a place where coups follow the traditional pattern of going against the ruling elite to recognize that something's fishy when it's suddenly the higher-ups calling for resistance.
While everyone's about to coup against an arrogant, lonely prick of a prince who might disband the organization they're working for, they let themselves be manipulated into playing along with someone possibly much more dangerous, under an artificial cloak of self-preservation. Unknowingly, ACCA's pro-coup inspection department is still actively supporting the abolishment of the current system. The question remains of how peaceful this carefully controlled operation will play out. Against ACCA and all the districts united behind Jean, Schwan doesn't stand a chance, but will he just disappear peacefully into obscurity? And have we really seen the last of Mr. Privy Council? Nino mentioning that his supervisor forbade him to visit Furawau before tells me that someone other than Jean is just as aware of Lilium's true shenanigans. At least I hope Jean is fully aware, and that's why he's shunning Mauve.
With only one episode left, I hope we'll have the time to resolve all these dangling threads. ACCA has been a slow-boiling, but very evenly paced affair. It would be a shame to see things rushed or left unanswered at this stage. Since it's doubtful that this leisurely story will suddenly culminate in a revolutionary bloodbath, the omnipresent coup might just as well come and go in a simple announcement at the centennial ceremony, followed by everyone going back to eating cake and moving on with their lives—although I won't be content until someone pulls Lilium's hair.
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