This week’s ACCA felt as though it took a break from its main storyline. We still had some of the excellent storytelling components of earlier episodes: The aura of mystery, vibrant color palettes, and the suspense of impending doom, but they largely felt subdued and less focused. Scenes like Nino in the background snooping around didn’t stay long enough to make any lasting impressions on what was going on. Instead, the focus was a snippet into the history of the small, traditional town of Suitsu district and its own civil unrest.
Funnily enough, Jean sorta takes a backseat to the events acting as a speculator of sorts, as his job to audit the district mistakenly gets him held against his will when he hears something he shouldn’t have. The episode was pleasant and still contained some of the staples we’ve come to know ACCA by—low-key beautiful art and mysterious overtones—but the false build up of the rebellion hidden under the guise of the main coup d’etat left me feeling suckered into a false hype. The narrative came to a brief and sudden halt, as if the momentum of prior episodes was left suspended in mid-air.
Part of what gave way to this feeling of a lull in narrative was that Suitsu district itself was a country stuck in time. The country’s independence as a nation and reliance on tradition has been the cause of its turmoil with citizens prohibited of transportation and traveling. These restrictions serve to preserve the history of the town at the cost of stagnation and poverty. Gadgets like cell-phones are largely unheard of and Jean having one wowed the commoners that surrounded him. Of course, the fact that he also indulged in a cigarette afterwards made him feel like he was from a completely different world from them. Moments like these aren’t all bad—they give us insight into the world of ACCA while also allowing us to see a better picture of the landscape. But they don’t really move the narrative in a way that feels purposeful.
Even while saying that, the character work remained consistently solid and saved the episode from being a complete drag. Jean surprised us with the complexity of his character, showing a subtle sympathy for the people of Suitsu while also attempting to stay true to his job. Wabler and Biscuit, new characters introduced from the Suitsu ACCA division, were largely interesting. They boasted the same cleverness we’ve come to find from the other characters in the show, but they also gave way to irrationality in the face of their emotions. Their position as leaders in the local coup ultimately was the cause of their own demise. Surprisingly, Jean chooses to withhold the information of their roles in the coup, sparing Wabler of his job at the Suitsu district. Jean is oddly compassionate for as cynical as he comes across which is perhaps something that’ll come back to bite him later on. The district official of Suitsu, Beurre, felt like somewhat of a clown — goofy, loud, and completely nonsensical, as if struggling to find something to appease the people around him. He’s someone who rose up from his commoner status in Suitsu, but has long forgotten his roots in favor of the luxuries of high society. All these characters imbue the narrative with a sense of totality in that they teeter on the edge of logic and emotion with an air of foreboding.
Overall, ACCA maintained a strong showing despite feeling like a break from the main storyline. Subtlety is, after all, ACCA’s strong suit. The episode still had something to offer in its character work, beautiful art, and exploration of its world, but I was left unsatisfied. I guess I’ve just come to expect a lot from the series.
—Palpable ౦０o ｡ (‾́。‾́ )y~~