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ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka – 09 »« ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka – 07

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka – 08

「翼を広げた王女と友のつとめ」 (Tsubasa o Hiroge ta Oujo to Tomo no Tsutome)
“The Princess Who Spread Her Wings and the Friend Who Had a Duty”

Another turning point for ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka this week. ACCA has never really indulged in flashbacks and long periods of dedicated backstory exposition, preferring to keep most of its storytelling temporal and naturalistic. But now, here we have almost a full episode devoted to the past of Nino, and by extension the story of Jean’s royal mother and her faithful aide. Nino says as much in the preview for this episode: it’s not his style to dwell on the past. This is the one and only time. Which is probably a shame, because I quite enjoyed this our time in yesteryear (and not just because young Lotta is irresistibly cute). I am a sucker for these stories of stoic loyalty and sacrifice, and that’s basically Nino’s entire life. ACCA‘s subtle storytelling style served the quiet tragedy of it all exceedingly well, and I felt the emotions stirring within me more than once in the 20 minutes, even as I was not exactly sure why.

At first, I was rather outraged by the entire scheme to remove the princess from the royal family, on the basis that was too adventurous and inquisitive. What, did everyone in this country miss the Enlightenment? My reflexive reaction is that it was much too extreme and surely malicious. But, as the episode went on and I set myself back into the ACCA mood, I started to empathise with the decision. For starters, both the king and the princess were content with it. And when one reflects on the history of their kingdom, one may understand the reasoning behind this plan—not agree with it, necessarily, but understand. This is, after all, a country that had gone through a brutal civil war just 100 years ago. Everybody is rightfully nervous about maintaining this grand yet fragile peace, maintaining the status quo. The royal family, I suspect, is expected to toe the line all the more, since peace was only achieved by granting each district independence. It’s as constitutional monarchs are today; the royals need to stay well above the fray. They are tolerated only so long as they don’t actually do anything. And so the princess had a choice: she could be a princess, or she could be free. Not both.

But there is nuance. The reality of the matter, hidden from even the princess herself, is that she is not truly free, nor did she truly stop being a princess. Her loyal retainers continue to watch over her (which would be rather creepy in a different context). The king did not completely cut ties with her. And this is where things get potentially messy. The tragedy of ACCA is that all its conflict spring from good intentions. Everybody speaks of duty, and the good of the country, and protecting the peace. But these motivations don’t all spring from the same place. Grosular’s duty to the Crown was first and foremost loyalty to his princess, just as Nino’s was first and foremost to his father. The princess is dead. The duty remains. And it is up to Grossular to interpret what that means, by himself. And along comes the heir to the throne, who seems the opposite of Grossular’s princess. She wanted to be free, so relinquished all power. Schwan also seems to seek freedom, and intends to seize power. If I was Grossular, wouldn’t this upstart, who seems to spit on the legacy of the lady I swore fealty to, be the kind of thing that moves me to act? Especially if my princess as still technically a princess? And technically had a prince of her own?

I could be wrong, but I feels like something clicked this episode. I feel like I understand.

March 1, 2017 at 6:52 am
26 comments »
  • March 1, 2017 at 7:21 amrandom user here

    Nice review, felt the same way on a number of points you made.

    Wonder why Jean said “I don’t care about that.” in response to Nino telling him that he has no claim to the throne? And what will he do after this?

    I liked the episode. Wonder if we will get more exposition on the backgrounds of the other ‘top ACCA chiefs (Lilium and co.).

    • March 1, 2017 at 8:35 amDoro

      Because in comparison to finding out that his friend was going through the same pain of losing his family after the accident and never showed it, and instead comforted Jean, learning he had no claim to a crown when he never even knew he was related to until that day was not important to Jean.

      • March 2, 2017 at 5:59 amrandom user here

        I see. That is certainly plausible, thank you!

  • March 1, 2017 at 7:56 amPanino Manino

    “Dad! I’m 25!”
    “Thank you, Abend”.
    Comedy gold, and bye, I’m scared of spoilers.

  • March 1, 2017 at 9:26 amThe suffocated

    Poor Nino. He had to cheer up Jean when his own dad was also killed. Glad that Jean noticed. What a brilliant way to express friendship in anime by a single line.

    And poor Grossular too. As Nino’s dad said, he was all alone. The only two people in this world who understood him _and_ cared about him were both gone. Qualm and Nino do understand him well, but they only share business relationships with him.

    While not as great as Jean’s line, the scenario where Abend went the same direction as Schnee after she told him to go a separate way is a nice subtlety too.

  • March 1, 2017 at 9:54 amUsagi

    - “I’m 25· Nah … If you use glasses nobody is going to notice it” XP.

    - (Nino’s voice as an adult should be illegal -_- ♡ ~).

    .

    “It’s as constitutional monarchs are today; the royals need to stay well above the fray”.

    - Being Spanish myself i can tell that constitutional real life monarchies are not that nice … Right now some royal family members are being involved in corruption (stealing money) and people getting angry by them not being punished -.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 1, 2017 at 2:18 pmPasserby

      I talked more of how constitutional monarchies should be, of course, and yours demonstrates my point; the more they show up in the headlines, the less respected they are. It’s the same deal with the Queen of Australia, the late Thai king, and of course Japan’s own emperor.

    • March 1, 2017 at 2:38 pmRedRocket

      Hum guess the King made a mistake when he established Spanish Democracy instead of staying absolute ruler like he could have or stoped a coup to overturn democracy. Shows the fickle nature of democracy, a what have you done lately. Point for the story even a princess husband can tarnish the royal name and younger people tend to ignore history and only pay attention to current affairs. The fact that so many normal commoner officials were involved in corruption shows a total mess. Now I don’t want royals to have much power but when they do a good job of looking royal I think they are better for a countries economy than the week President system were the President has little power and mostly seams a waste of cash as tourists don’t want to vist a country to see the week President. Now I am American USA and the strong President system is fine except for how our government risks total gridlock in our system. And a strong President draws the publics attention like a King.

      I can tell you from the American economic collapse that often inability to prosecute wrong doing is often because the laws for that type of thing are often unusable full of swiss cheese not a special effort after the fact to protect the guilty. May or May not be the case in Spain but I would not be surprised if the Government pre set this stuff to be hard to prosecute.

  • March 1, 2017 at 11:23 amdanny

    LOL! Shifty, scheming advisor plans to disinherit the unpredictable, uncontrollable 2nd princess by lying to the people. But that’s only how it looks. Plan drawn for benefit of the King and country. Princess happily agrees and settles into blessed, beloved civilian life. Royal attention is devoted to ensuring decrowned, partial commoner family is well cared for. Ignorant, royal children send baked goodies home to grandpa while having no clue and never asking any questions. Big brother has been watching for your whole life!

    All is full of love, except those pesky common people who we can’t and don’t trust because we barely know them and hardly try to. I suppose that’s one of the problems here: the people aren’t very much respected by their autocratic, distant, smug, comfortable, totally not-evil rulers, it seems. Thus, complicated schemes, lasting a lifetime, must be drawn up out of fear of the people and gossip of a coup flies easily and is readily believed by all.

    • March 1, 2017 at 2:15 pmPasserby

      Perhaps you are judging everything a bit too negatively. The king is not actually in charge of anything. Abend will always serve his princess, regardless, and helped her with his personal funds. ‘Big Brother’ in this case actually is benevolent. As for the coup everyone worries about, it’s always been framed as the result of tensions between the bureaucracy and the aristocracy. The ‘common people’ don’t really factor in much. The peasant rebellions we saw in Suitsu are on a different dimension.

  • March 1, 2017 at 11:45 amGoukaRyuu

    You say Grossular in the end of your pot but there is no indication Abend and Grossular are the same person. The fact that Abend’s VA was not given implies to me if is someone we already know but it isn’t him. Hell, when Jean was in the land Grossular’s from we see that many people resemble him.

    • March 1, 2017 at 12:16 pmScruffy

      I agree. I think it’s highly unlikely that Abend and Grossular are one and the same. Grossular became head of his region and doing that under an assumed identity would be very difficult, unless (it’s possible) the King pulled some massive strings. There’s also a scene in an earlier episode (ep 3??) where Nino seems to be talking to his controller (Abend) directly after talking to Grossular.

      Still, even if they are not the same person Grossular no doubt knows Abend.

    • March 1, 2017 at 1:39 pmDoro

      I also found it odd as they never show Abends face, where normally ACCA would be fairly straightforward and make it clear: yes this is Grossular.
      On the other hand, if they are one and the same, this gives light to Grossular’s personal motivation for meeting the victim’s families, that is, to meet Jean in person.

    • March 1, 2017 at 1:56 pmPasserby

      That’s true; I just sort of assumed. As Doro says, though, it would make a lot of sense if they were the same person. Even if they were not the same person, I’d think Abend and Grossular would be deeply connected in some way, besides being from the same district.

      • March 1, 2017 at 4:25 pmEl Huesudo II

        Abend and Grossular surely can’t be the same person, considering Grossular is doing things Abend would either

        a) be completely against
        b) be illogical considering his attitude about Jean and his overall behavior

        Even if Grossular had thought of putting up the pretense of “investigating a possible coup” to be able to divert ACCA resources into keeping tabs on Jean, he IS putting Jean and Lotta in danger for it, which would be at the same time illogical, irrational, and a jerk move from his part if he was Abend. But if Grossular is not Abend, then even if he knew the whole circumstance, his behavior would be reasonable and would fit what we know of him.

      • March 1, 2017 at 11:36 pmPasserby

        My reading of Abend is that he has long suppressed any stray emotion or sentimentality. Consider what he does when he learns of the train accident. There is no mourning. There is no gnashing of teeth. Instead, in his call to Nino, he immediately instructs him to retrieve his dead father’s effects. I can imagine him growing even more jaded over the years to become a man like Grossular. I think Mauve is onto something when she suspects Grossular of being behind the coup rumours. As far as we know, Jean is not planning any coup. But I think Grossular wants to make other people think he is, to test the waters and warm potential supporters to the idea. Eventually, the momentum will be enough to push Jean onto the throne, even without Jean’s involvement.

    • March 1, 2017 at 2:57 pmdrunkenveggie

      Assuming that Abend is Grossular, can you imagine how he must have felt having the princess die on that train?

      On a side note…I wonder if we’ll get an explanation as to why Schnee was on that train in the first place?

    • March 1, 2017 at 3:42 pmGoukaRyuu

      A theory I saw, and one I may support, is that Abend may have grown some facial hair and died his hair. He keeps watch over his charges but never travels in spite of his position, even to Dowa during the Prince’s birthday. He claims it doesn’t agree with his constitution. I think Jean’s superior is Abend.

  • March 1, 2017 at 1:58 pmFaolin Eye

    I think that no matter the context, it is still pretty creepy that Nino’s father had spied on Princess Schnee without her consent for twenty years and that Nino even followed the stalking process after the death of Jean’s parents. I mean if I were in Jean’s place, I’d be quite enraged after learning that somebody stalked my family since my birth and breached my privacy every single day by taking photos and following me around. I really hope that after Lotta gets to know this she throws a fit and at least holds his grandfather responsible for doing this. Like in Flip Flappers Show Spoiler ▼

    I just don’t get that why everybody in this show is so calm about their situations. As for Jean I understood, or at least I came to the conclusion that he simply just doesn’t care much about the state of the country (and about himself, too) so that’s why he wasn’t really fazed when he became aware of all the conspiracies emerging around him. But this week, he discovers that this whole mess involves his family, his late parents, his sister and even his best friend and he still keeps his poker face and it is quite baffling that he is so stone-faced. Although I read his expression when he said to Lotta at the end of the episode that Nino won’t come around for a while as somewhat angry but who knows. Maybe next episode he will become a more active player after gaining all this knowledge.

    Still about the stalking of Schnee, I also don’t get that why the king, her father ordered this supervision. If he loved her daughter and wanted to see her new life and her circumstances then why not just ask her to send a letter to the royal palace once in a while through a secret channel, like Abend. I mean stalking your daughter like this, I’m reminded of this character from Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei. If he thought that her daughter might be dangerous for the country and might start something like an underground rebellious organization if he let her free without any kind of surveillance then why not stop the espionage act after learning that she opened a bakery and married a commoner and probably lived a totally normal life. After thinking it through I find the king’s stalking approach even more and more appalling, so I really hope that it will turn out that there’s a good enough reason for all his actions.

    And poor Nino’s father (and Nino), think about the psychological burden of following a person for twenty years. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was responsible for the train accident after going mad from the constant strain of secret stalking and being convinced that his love for Princess Schnee only reaches her if they die together. (I know that ACCA isn’t the kind of show to pull off something like this, though I’d really like to see a dark psychological twist akin the aforementioned)

  • March 1, 2017 at 2:16 pmYuuki

    Honestly the most surprising part of this episode for me was how old everyone actually is. I thought Jean and Nino are in their late 20s at most which might be if we assume he was born 4-5 years after the incident but youre telling that Nino is actually over 40?! And Jean was with him since high school yet he didnt notice that his best friend is actually 10 years older than him? Guess all that bread and dessert they ate did some real wonders for their skin.

    • March 1, 2017 at 6:33 pmDoro

      Well, from my own experience, having people in classes my age that looked much older wasn’t unusual. Perhaps Jean just assumed Nino to be one of those sorts of people, appearance wise :p

  • March 1, 2017 at 2:56 pmRedRocket

    Wonderful episode. I think the princess was not quite as dangerous as the government leaders thought she was or this still a Japanese backward tale where the Princess once married was willing to settle for that role. If not the later option I think the princess would have never actually overturned the apple cart, just moved things slowly when she could as she turned out loyal to the system. If actually a threat she would have joined those rebel groups she had contacts with and done something. I think she might have been more Catherine the Great, liked enlightenment thought when young, but when actually in charge got things done tolerating no attempts to change the system. Of course when you are really making you country massively better it is hard to see benefits of democracy. Here the princess of course unable to officially become ruler probably would have supported the system.

    Still wondering about Jean, we still do not have a cigarette gift explanation, or how he moves things to get business done for his connections. Also do not know the source of intelligence that Jean has, in example when he easily tracked down the cop with his lighter. Is Jean’s passive seaming stance just his personality or is it cover for something we not yet know about. Had a laugh when one poster on other site suggested Jean’s cigarettes must be blended with something else to stay so cool.

    • March 1, 2017 at 4:52 pmFaolin Eye

      As for the cigarettes, I do wonder why Nino doesn’t try to persuade Jean to quit smoking. I mean, if Nino spies on Jean to report to the king then the king must know about Jean’s bad habit. Then if I remember it correctly a pretty high tax was put on the tobacco products specifically because the king smoked and he had health problems due to it. Then it is quite illogical that the king cares so much for the citizens of his country that he made a new tax law about cigarettes, but he doesn’t care enough about his own grandson to tell Nino to try to persuade Jean about quitting his harmful habit.

  • March 1, 2017 at 3:38 pmKaineng

    Yeah Nino being old enough to be Jean’s cousin is surprising haha
    The episode though. Really well told, but I’m not entirely convinced Abend is alive though, and Nino can still talk to that Privy Council Chairman instead which will make things slightly faster in processing. But hey, that Grossular is so in it, I can feel it.
    I’d rather Jean not take over as a successor though. Although seeing that current prince I’d rather the king not die yet lol

  • March 2, 2017 at 10:07 pmkay

    Episode 8 was easily one of, if not the best episode of this series yet. One thing that I can finally point out is the OP where Jean is shown running and there are sunglasses falling upside down. If you look carefully, you can see that the 2 silhouettes shown are Nino and his father. One of the fine details that I deeply appreciate. Also, while the anime has been rushing to compact 6 volumes into about 12 episodes so far, they also slow down to flesh things out considering that some of Nino and Jean’s high school days are added in as original scenes. I can strongly say that ACCA is blessed with staff that put in a lot of thought into the anime adaption.

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