“A Graceful Black Adder Bears Its Fangs”
As Jean departs for a trio of audits that will keep him from home for a while, conspirators in Dowa make plans to eliminate Lotta from the equation. Some quick work by Magie and Rail delay them until a watchful eye in Badon arrives to help. At the ACCA headquarters, Grossular reveals all that he has been plotting with regards to Jean, but his true role in this story is even more surprising.
An extended assignment that sees Jean auditing Peshi and Yakkara district gives other characters a chance for some screentime and movement. Slow buildup of story has always been this show’s forte, but the last few episodes seem to be stepping up the pace of crucial events and this one was no exception. Though not all of it was flashy, ACCA decides for the third week in a row to drop major reveals that leave viewers anxious to know more.
To start, any notions about Jean being able to keep Lotta blissfully ignorant of their lineage are dashed when Dowa’s 1st Princess sends assassins to silence her. If this all feels like a surprise, you’re probably not alone, because aside from telling Schwann some stories about the ‘deceased’ 2nd Princess, nothing of her motives is known. Nevertheless, she sends what must be the worst assassins in history after Lotta as they, in a world where guns exist, fail to do away with her even when she’s in their custody.
Though Rail can be credited with helping her evade them on a number of occassions, which adds somewhat to his unconventional good guy tenor, nothing about the chase felt like there was any real tension or danger. From Lotta’s willingness to go along with whatever is happening at any time to the assassins calmly explaining that she’s royalty, the normally well received subdued storytelling style feels too plain.
Anyone craving a little more intrigue gets it soon after with Grossular addressing the five chiefs regarding what he knows about Jean. Here in front of them he confirms what has only been suspect until now: That he started the rumors about Jean being the coup intermediary during his audits and that he supports a coup that puts Jean on the throne, for the good of ACCA’s future. It comes as no surprise that the other members, who represent the highest levels of the organization, agree with him.
The part that likely no one saw coming was the scene immcediately after. As Grossular meets privately with an oddly casual looking Lilium, we see the true nature of the rivalry between them. Lilium treats him with all the respect one would give a misbehaving dog, and Grossular, for all his force of presence otherwise, complies meekly. Just what could make him so subservient is interesting to speculate on, but with the series likely wrapping up after 3 more episodes the answer should come soon enough.
– Rumors and whispers come to light as a lot about the coup is explained
– An Incredibly juicy reveal as what may be the true ‘villain’ of ACCA is revealed.
– Lotta’s chase, while not frivolous, didn’t convey a sense of concern over her fate.
Moments before the episode ends, it is revealed that Grossular and Lilum have been plotting to secure the throne for Jean for quite some time. Even so, Lilum is the true mastermind, with Grossular being reduced to another pawn in his grand scheme. While I would love to believe that this is all in the interest of maintaining peace and avoiding civil unrest, Lilum’s motives seem far less genuine and more self serving. In all likelihood, he is seeking a royal puppet that he can manipulate behind the scenes– to form a sort of totalitarian state, rather than monarchy.
While there was something about Lilum that never quite sat right with me, I attributed it to the vague development of his back story; adding an air of mystery to his character. For the last couple of episodes he sort of faded into the background, as the narrative shifted to follow the reveal of Jean and Lotta’s royal bloodline. Though it isn’t surprising that someone above even Grossular was pulling the strings, I would have never surmised Lilum to be the instigator. At most, I would have chalked him up as an accessory. Honestly, I was banking on Mauve being the driving force behind the coup.
Aside from this there was an abduction/assassination attempt involving Lotta, though she never really seemed to be in mortal danger. Rail was there to help protect her, along with getting a bit of much needed character development. All I truly realized from this arc is that poor Lotta should never be allowed out alone because she is far too naïve and trusting. Regardless, this momentary tension in the episode made a great segway for the big reveal regarding Lilum at the end, so it was certainly worthwhile to include.
All in all, WeekendOtaku and I agreed that next week’s episode cannot come soon enough. With Winter 2017 rapidly coming to an end, ACCA may just be the best series of the whole season! (sorry Scum’s Wish fans!)
– The reveals keep coming, heightening the suspense and anticipation for the climax.
– ACCA has executed the narrative in a remarkable way. While every reveal makes sense, it would have been difficult for viewers to predict these surprise twists on their own.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Part