“The Truth Emerges in the Night Mists”
Jean wonders about all the conspiracy surrounding him as an audit in Dōwā leads to an unexpected meeting with the king. While Prince Schwann finds out more about the accident which claimed his mother’s life, Mauve’s spies uncover a startling secret about Jean that changes everything.
With a title like that, the episode all but gives away the fact that it plans to do something major. As startling as the revelation in this episode is though, ACCA continues its same approach to mystery and drama as it always has by electing for a subdued approach that leaves you trying to fit all the pieces together. Only this time the mystery isn’t in what’s happened, but rather what will happen now?
Jean’s silent contemplation as he tries to align the facts at the beginning of the episode mirrors what viewers have been doing for weeks. Rumors of the coup, Grossular’s suspicion, and Liliam’s warnings, all seem tied toward manipulating him for some reason, but what could that reason be? While that reason still isn’t entirely clear at this moment, Mauve uncovers just what’s so special about Jean right as he begins an audit in her home district of Kororē.
While the earlier parts of the episode, such as Nino guiding Jean to the bakery where the King would be visiting that day, or Prince Schwann’s mini investigation into his past, are very interesting themselves, Jean’s single moment with Mauve draws focus away from everything else that’s going on. The revelation that Jean is royalty, and in fact first in line for the throne ahead of Schwann, raises more questions than it answers. Still, it provides enough of an explanation toward why there’s so much focus on Jean and offers clues as to who Nino has been secretly reporting to.
At the very least this episode relieves the suspicion that Mauve might be up to no good, though I don’t know if anything can be said for certain with this show. If that is the case though, you have to wonder what they were trying to do by making it look like she was going rogue for one episode. Like with many of the characters – Rail, Nino, Grossular, etc… the series builds these auras of suspicion only to quickly quell the idea that any of them will pose a real danger.
What, then, is the real goal of this slow but captivating narrative, and will it live up to the potential the earlier episodes set up? With this being the mid season surprise I hoping for, ACCA has enough episodes left to deliver. What form that delivery will take, however, will probably be another surprise.
– A huge reveal, if thoroughly foreshadowed by the heavy focus on the royal family lately.
– All of Lotta’s auxiliary involvement suddenly makes sense.
– Jean’s understated reaction to the life changing news leaves everyone wondering just where this all will go.
As anime series enter mid-season, viewers are often greeted with a recap episode. This week, instead of devoting an entire episode to summarizing events, the opening of ACCA briefly outlines what has transpired thus far. For a devoted viewer, a brief snippet to summarize the plot at the beginning was more efficient then taking up an entire episode.
On the cusp of this recap, viewers learn something happened in the Dōwā royal family 33 years ago involving the daughter of the second royal princess and a shipwreck. It is also emphasizes that Maggie must stay by Prince Schwann’s side while King Falke is away. I can only surmise that if a royal family member (in line for succession) is outside the protective barriers of the castle, then extra care must be made to protect the next heir. While this is certainly common practice, it was made to seem as though royal officials are anticipating an attack.
Later on King Falke runs into Jean and Nino at a pastry shop. Jean breaks bread with him (pun intended) while Nino snaps a few photos in the distance with the King’s permission. While I am not entirely sure the significance of this meeting yet, I am assuming it is not just a coincidence.
Each episode, special attention has been given to Lotta’s character, yet her presence never seemed to impact, or impede, the narrative substantially. All the while, this left viewers wondering what the deal was with her character? Why is Schwann so intrigued by her? What prompts Nino to secretly photograph her? Well, it seems our queries may finally be addressed. In this episode, Schwann scowls at a painting hanging in the castle that looks eerily like Lotta. It turns out this is the daughter of the second royal princess and has been missing for over a half century. So it seems, Schwann’s fascination with Lotta has nothing to do with admiration and everything to do with a threat to his ascension.
Meanwhile, Jean’s audit schedule leads him to Korore, where there is an abundance of chocolate and women in high positions. Naturally, Director General Mauve hails from this very district. During a not-so-surprising run in on the streets, Mauve drops the bombshell of the season, that Jean hails from the royal bloodline. I mentioned earlier in the season to WeekendOtaku that Jean and Schwann look suspiciously similar. While brushing it off as a lack of creative character design, it seems I was on to something after all.
How does Jean react to all this? Well, like he always reacts, with the same tedious, unshakably calm demeanor he is known for. Aside from what little Mauve discloses, there is not much insight into how exactly Jean is related to the royal family. Of course, Jean doesn’t seem curious enough to inquire about the validity of Mauve’s claims. These unanswered questions and endless theories, will be enough to sustain me until next week’s episode.
– Plot twist of the season perfectly timed and executed in a brilliant way.
– This series is far from predictable and I challenge anyone to say otherwise.
– I’m not sold on Jean’s stone faced reaction regarding his link to the royal family. Perhaps he already suspected something?
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Part