“The Swirling Smoke of Rumors in the Castle”
Director-General Mauve of ACCA headquarters invites Jean out to dinner, where she asks him for his aid in gathering more information about a brewing coup d’état. Meanwhile, rumors of a coup had reached even the Dōwān royal family. With Prince Schwann’s coming of age commemorative ceremony in the works, the Five Chief Officers receive a request to attend the ceremony, as well as Jean as a representative of the Inspection Department.
I can guess that the screenshot I used for this post might become a common one for episode 3, or the series in general, as the ever building intrigue in ACCA continues to draw the interest of its viewers. Indeed, viewers who “stuck it out” with this series were given a lot to absorb with the latest episode.
The invitation to Dōwā for Prince Schwann’s coming of age party accomplishes a few things. For one, viewers get a better understanding of the political structure that the rumored coup is targeting. The spoiled prince bears the same droopy eyed expression as Jean but is his polar opposite in personality. His reaction to the news that his grandfather won’t be abdicating is one of hidden shock, whereas Jean falls back to his usual habit of dealing with everything by stepping outside to smoke – something Schwann silently scorns him for as it seems even the royal family can’t get access to cigarettes so easily.
The second, and perhaps more important purpose, is to allow the key players in Dōwā to observe Jean. Rumored to be behind the supposed coup, which was revealed to be started by Grossular himself, Jean draws everyone’s eyes during this encounter. As observant as he is, it seems unlikely to me that he doesn’t notice this, and his frequent trips outside to smoke might be a way to escape the scrutiny. He expresses surprise and dry annoyance when Lilium plainly explains that he is a suspect and that Grossular might be behind the coup in order to strengthen ACCA’s control over the country. How much Jean actually knows about it, and what he plans to do with that information, remains to be seen.
Behind the scenes Nino continues to be a subtle yet calculating observer. Choosing to take Lotta as his assistant is most certainly not coincidental, but whether it was done to get under Jean’s skin or fulfill some other purpose is still a mystery as he quietly places her where she might draw attention from the King and Prince Schwann. Viewers can likely expect to see her used for leverage, but against whom depends on Nino’s true loyalty. Is he Grossular’s man or does he have his own agenda in all this? ACCA: 13 seems content to let viewers quietly stew in the possibilities as we await the next episode.
– At least one architect behind the coup is revealed, if you can believe Lilium.
– The direction of everyone’s gaze at the party is a clever way of showing where suspicions and loyalties lie.
– The series is taking its time (as usual) developing Jean. At this point it’s still impossible to tell what he’s thinking.
It appears that Jean, and the audience, is finally learning what the true purpose behind ACCA 13 is. For someone intuitive enough to determine someone is watching him, Jean seems a bit oblivious and careless to other things. When Jean realizes that practically everyone at the gathering is stealthily studying him, he is surprised to learn that he is rumored to be assisting the coup d’etat. Just to clarify for those who don’t know what a coup is, it is a political act to overthrow the government.
Viewers can surmise at this point that Jean is innocent and Grossular is the likely culprit behind the coup (and the rumors of Jean’s involvement). With ACCA: 13 setting up such a complex narrative, however, it is unlikely the identity of the culprit behind the coup is so easily determinable. What do other viewers make of Mauve? Perhaps she is the mastermind and Grossular is actually attempting to stop her.
Despite the intriguing narrative, I am having difficulty focusing due to the monotone dialogue. Since there isn’t any action or emotion to cue viewers that important information is being presented, extra close attention has to be given to the conversations; as to be able to scrutinize the fine, subtle details. This is a completely inexcusable complaint, but given my attention span is that of a goldfish, this is a valid argument.
– Established clear plot direction.
– Narrative is not at all predictable, adding a level of intrigue.
– Monotone dialogue makes it hard to focus
– Animation is a bit questionable at times.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party