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Goin’ Japanesque!

“ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” for Those Who Love Subdued & Mature Anime

The piece I am introducing this time is “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.”, which depicts relationships among people within a communal organization while describing a big conspiracy on top of it.

 

Synopsis

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The story starts in an imaginary country called the kingdom of Dowa.

This country has atmosphere that reminds us of England or US of yesteryears, and the country maintains an absolute monarchy, comprised of 13 autonomous regions.

The kingdom as a whole is governed by the central parliament and king.

However, fire, medical and public safety function of each autonomous region is centrally managed and operated by a private organization, ACCA.

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And the Inspection Department is a section that monitors ACCA to see if their operations are carried out properly and if there are frauds or violations within ACCA.

The main character is Jean Otus who is the second-in-command of the Inspection Department.

He is an compulsive smoker and constantly smoking a cigarette, and he appears to be aloof and unfazed, elusive at a glance.

But when it comes to the work at the department, he is famous within ACCA for his hawk’s eyes and outstanding wit.

Cigarette is his trade mark but few take up this habit in the kingdom as they are considered a luxury. Thus Jean is called “Jean the cigarette peddler” in ACCA.

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As Jean is going through ordinary days the story starts churning unbeknownst to him, and he gets slowly caught up in a conspiracy that will eventually shake up the whole organization of ACCA and the kingdom of Dowa in return.

 

Analysis

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The word anime may be associated with an image of stories packed with flashy actions for a young audience.

Judging from the title of “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” this anime may appear to be a story in which a hero redresses injustice with dazzling actions, but it is actually a bona fide whodunit.

While politics and business operations of the characters are carried out unceremoniously, separate pieces of the story gradually pile up to take a shape. This anime allows the audience to view and enjoy such an atmosphere and it is a story for a somewhat mature audience.

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Perhaps because the story as a whole describes one event, there is little progress in the storyline from the first episode to the second.

For this reason some viewers may feel bored at the beginning of the story.

But I think it is a necessary part designed to draw the audience into the story world by introducing business as usual in the organization of ACCA and ordinary days in the kingdom of Dowa.

Therefore I recommend casual watching of the anime at the beginning without expecting too much from the story.

When you are just watching the main character Jean Otus and everyday life around him, you are likely to notice yourself having been drawn into the story.

Many Japanese anime are currently aired late at night, and this one is perfect to watch in the quiet hours before going to sleep.

However, this impression may hold true only for the first half of the story, and the story may develop quite differently from this point on.

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The original manga was created by Natsume Ono with the same title.

Character designs of Natsume Ono have unique characteristics unlike other Japanese manga, and their style is finished with a strongly foreign touch.

In “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.”, the anime retains unique characteristics of the original intact while other parts are changed to better appeal to the TV audience.

It won’t be a surprise if some viewers may not realize this anime was made in Japan at a first glance because of its unusual pictures and story development.

Incidentally among other works by Natsume Ono, “House of Five leaves” has also been adopted for animation, which is a story staged in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868).

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The broadcasting of “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.” has started in January 2017 in Japan, and the final episode was aired quite recently.

It’s a somewhat subdued anime for an adult audience to watch in a relaxed atmosphere, and I recommended strongly for you to give it a try.

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon
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