"ACCA" is a giant unified syndicate residing in a kingdom split into 13 autonomous regions. ACCA was formed back when there was threat of a coup d'etat, and it has continued to protect the peace of civilians for almost one hundred years. Jean Otus, the vice-chairman of the inspections department at ACCA headquarters, is one of the most cunning men in the syndicate's history with the nickname "Jean the Cigarette Peddler." Whimsically puffing his cigarettes, he wanders through the 13 districts, checking to see if there is any foul play afoot. Meanwhile, Jean is monitored by gazes, threatening rumors, and... snack time. Jean's quiet everyday life slowly gets swallowed up into the world's conspiracies!
Jean the Cigarette-Peddler
The Partner In Crime's Name Is Nino
The Swirling Smoke of Rumors in the Castle
Smoldering Embers in an Isolated Nation
Overlapping Footprints in the Distance.
Where Pride and Train Tracks Lead
The Truth Emerges in the Night Mists
The Princess Who Spread Her Wings and the Friend Who Had a Duty
A Graceful Black Adder Bears Its Fangs
Starfall in a City Without a Sky
Furawau's Flowers Smell of Malice
Where the Bird Flies
ACCA is a very strange show. The first half feel directionless. Our lead character, Jean, lacks any kind of drive that would make the story feel like it's going anywhere. However, it vastly improves once a reveal is dropped and the anime gets some kind of direction. In the end, it pulls off a great finish and ends on a high note. Story: ACCA's biggest problem is that, for a while, you don't really know what the story is. Sometimes, this is made up with great characters or through world-building, but Jean is too low-key to make a big enough impression up front and the setting changes too quickly to feel fully immersive. ACCA feels like part of a larger whole, but you have absolutely no clue what that larger picture is until there's some vague mentions of political unrest. Even then, you really don't know why everyone's watching Jean or if the political unrest is a major plot point, or just another part of the setting. Thankfully, a major reveal gives the story direction. Everything makes sense, and the anime vastly improves. While the first part is pretty weak, the second part is incredibly strong. Unlike so many anime, ACCA has a solid and satisfying ending. Animation: The character design looks a little different from today's standard style, but they're still interesting to look at. Personally, I like it when an anime has it's own style, so I liked ACCA's designs. If you liked how House of Five Leaves looked, you'll probably like this style too since the mangas they're both based on are written by the same woman. The last episode had a clear drop in animation quality, but otherwise, it was solid all around. Sound: I never struggled to hear anything and none of the voice acting irritated me. Everyone suited their character well. The opening and ending songs are both highlights. I've yet to hear the soundtrack, but it sounded pretty interesting at times. Overall, no complaints here. Characters: ACCA's cast is one of the most chill and low-key in anime. It's a refreshing change from a medium full of zany and over-the-top characters. Because the characters are subtle, it takes a few episodes to get a good feel for them. This is amplified by the fact you're unsure what any of their goals are. By the end, I found I liked most of the cast. And even when I felt more neutral towards them, I never disliked or found any of them irritating. Overall: I'd recommend ACCA, as long as you have the patience to get through the first handful of episodes and believe the promise that, yes, it will all come together and when it does, it makes the early stuff almost worth it.
The animation seemed a bit weird in the beginning, but after a while it grew on me and now I think it matches the anime perfectly. Great use of colours and scenery, adding up many different worlds (districts) in a way that none seems bleak. Every place is teeming with life and likeable side-characters. The story is top-notch and the twists are real. I'm a bit biased because it fits really well into my anime taste, but, overall, I think it is the single most overlooked anime of the year so far. Obs: Stylish aesthetics everywhere.
Slow, slow, slow, slow, slow burn. The main character quality is he is obsessed with bread and cigarettes. Did I mention the story moves slowly? It takes until episode 7 for anything really major to happen. Even then it doesn't move the story along, it's just a major point. Everything seems to be driven by rumors. Once the main character knows this detail, magically everyone knows it too. I kept watching because I figured there was no way an entire anime could be this plain. It remained bland even with the climax at episode 12
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