Episode Title: Jean the Cigarette Peddler
The kingdom of Dowa, which is subdivided into 13 states, is celebrating its monarch’s 99th birthday. These 13 states have many agencies that are controlled by the giant organization known as ACCA. Within ACCA, Jean Otus is the second-in-command of the inspection agency. His agency has ten people placed in each of the 13 states, with a central office in the capital city. They keep track of all the activities of ACCA across the kingdom, and keep data on each state’s ACCA office flowing toward the central office. Jean also often has business trips from the capital to the other districts to check on the situation and personnel there.
The world of ACCA: 13 operates by allowing its municipal duties to be carried out by the members of the extra-governmental ACCA organization. This includes police, firemen, and in the case of our protagonist, oversight departments to maintain order and discipline among the various units. That said, the story opens on the notice that Jean’s Inspection department will no longer be needed. Jean’s job as an inspector has him going to various districts to audit and investigate the departments, including his own. He is clearly very good at his job but is seemingly emotionless through it all, to the point where not even the notice of his department’s termination seems to phase him. He’s a character that’s as mysterious as the plot that is slowly developing underneath.
When I say slow, I mean it. There is only the smallest hint of something going on within the ACCA organization. The decision to disband the department is overturned thanks to Jean’s unwitting efforts, but at the cost of painting a target on his back. What that actually means is yet to be seen.
The animation is simplistic with a general lack of detail on faces and coloring alike, but isn’t bad by any means. Its brightness makes it difficult to feel like there is anything sinister afoot, even when it seems like people are targeting Jean, which is either very clever or lazy, though I’m leaning towards the former. Overall there is very little of substance to hook a viewer if Jean’s carefully masked intuition doesn’t intrigue you.
Subtle air of mystery
Great world building through dialogue and interactions
Very slow development thus far
Info-dumping dialogue can be confusing
This is what I was able to surmise so far about this series: the world is divided into 13 districts, all governed by an institution known as ACCA. All the branches of ACCA are overseen by an Inspection Department. The vice chairman of this department is Jean; who has a nasty nicotine addiction by the way.
It appears the main arc of this series follows a notification for the termination of the Inspection Dept. Although the Dept was founded to seek out corruption and treason, after many years of peace, such vigilance is no longer deemed necessary. After Jean is dispatched to a rural place, where he discovers some black market activity, the higher powers in the company suddenly decide not to terminate the Inspection Dept. after all. (I smell something fishy…) Another interesting point is that after Jean uncovers this illegal activity, he is punished by having to take on more responsibilities. Oh and I’m pretty sure he is being tailed by a spy (or some guy that just happens to be everywhere Jean is?)
Now, in order to summarize this for you, I had to really think it through for awhile. The pace of this series is extremely slow and I think I might have spaced out a time or two. I kept thinking that I was missing important information but, in actuality, I wasn’t. Regardless, I’m interested enough to see where this is headed. With that said, if the pace doesn’t pick up, I’m afraid my interest will likely wane. Everything from the conversations to the more “tense” moments were executed in a very calm, collected way. Nothing to scream out “something relevant is happening, pay attention.” In the end, maybe it is just too highbrow for me? Time will tell.
OP song, Shadow and Truth by ONE III NOTES will absolutely leave you feeling pumped!
Animation was unique; many of the character’s have droopy puppy dog eyes?
The monotone feeling of episode one left little impression on me.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party