「線路と誇りの向かう先」 (Senro to Hokori no Mukau Saki)
“Where Pride and Traintracks Lead”
I believe that there’s two fundamental ways to watch ACCA. One, is as a whodunit, always trying to work out who is the culprit behind the coup plot, really getting into the mystery of it. The other way is to watch ACCA like a tragedy, where many great leaders come together with the best of intentions, out to do good by their country and their people, and ultimately destroy themselves. Of course, one doesn’t need to confine themselves to one of these, and indulging in both at once makes for a rather interesting experience. Is there really a coup brewing? What’s the real threat to this country? With each episode, we see further implications that everyone wrapped up in this ‘uncover the coup’ game are chasing phantoms. The question is whether any of the players actually already know that.
In particular, this week we finally get some focus on Grossular, the hardest driver of the imminent coup narrative within ACCA, yet also one of the primary suspects. He’s our nominal antagonist, or at least the closest thing this series has to one. He supposedly suspects Jean of being the ringleader of the coup, but of course we know he’s definitely not. Er, probably not. If we trust Jean’s internal monologue over an elf in a poncho. So why does he go after Jean? Is it ignorance? Is it malice? Or is it some grander design in which Jean is but a single piece?
Grossular handling of the literal train wreck some years ago is telling. I had thought Lotta’s fear of trains was just a passing details last episode, but it apparently ties into many aspects of the plot. It at once killed the Otus parents, grew ACCA’s importance, and shaped Jean’s view of Grossular. Grossular is a patriot. An extreme patriot. For the sake of this country, he is willing to shoulder all responsibility for the accident onto his district, personally make amends for the victims and nationalise all interstate transportation. Jean seems to believe he’s too loyal to be starting a coup. We the viewers, perhaps less ‘naive’ than Jean, may instead ask: is Grossular so loyal that he would start a coup, to protect his country and its people?
We already know that the crown prince is seeking to consolidate authority in his throne, and is also something of a buffoon. But he’s not so much of a buffoon that, in his quest for power, he isn’t paying attention. Is this the actual matchup? Monarchists, headed by the prince, and the ACCA bureaucracy, headed by Grossular, or even the Privy Council itself? If so, there’s definitely a possible role Jean could play in it. I have my theories already, but I think I’ll keep them to myself for now. After all, the important part of ACCA isn’t the actual plot, but why the characters and their motivations drive it so. Is Grossular a villain? Is the prince? I suspect, ultimately, nobody is. Everybody wants the best for the country, but at the same time nobody trusts anybody else to do it right. And that’s how a nation that, for many, works well, crumbles. Not because it is broken, but by everybody, in their paranoia, trying to fix it.