This is a very slow-moving anime, in that most (if not all) of the pieces have to be in place before the ultimate plotting show up. This means really hanging tough until the meat of the deal gets to arrive. This makes for a very odd anime, called “ACCA: 13” (“ACCA 13-ku Kansatsu-ka”, “ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.”). And, yes, we need that capacious cast to tell this capacious tale that initially looks like a capacious travelogue.
We begin with Jean Otus (blondie smack-dab in the center). He is a caliber of Inspector General and he has been tasked to review the 13 states that make up Dowa, an island nation that is kind of shaped like a big bird (A big bird, not THE Big Bird). Jean is also a bit of an oddity, in that he smokes. In this realm, smoking is almost non-existent, so it is rather hard to come upon smokes or tobacco, yet, people supply him (which turns out to be a big plot point).
His sister Lotta, (to the left) runs the apartment building that they live in. Together with friend Nino (right beneath Jean), they are just the bestest friends any bestest friends could ever have. But all of this takes a back seat to the King (upper left), who is celebrating his 99th birthday and appears to be just as sharp mentally as ever. However, there are whispers of a potential coup-d’état and the ACCA Five Chief Officers (that block across the upper right) Grossuler, Lilium, Spade, Pastis and Pine, decide to look into this.
The front part of the show is the journeys that Jean takes to the 12 other districts or states or wards or whatever they are, and it is a pastiche of flavors. This one looks like old Vienna, that one looks like the Wild West, and over here is Farmville. Each location has a very clear and distinctive character, but they are all able to merge into this one entity, as it has been 100 years since ACCA was formed and it has kept the peace all that time.
They also seem to dote on bread. They have all kinds of fun activities with bread and it seems they would eat a bread sandwich if they could. When the plot finally has to show up, then we learn all the deep, dark state secrets that put not only Jean and Lotta in a different light, it could also put them in peril. The ending is one of odd satisfaction, as I certainly did not see the method chosen as the conclusion for the series.
There is something wan about the characters and how they present themselves. The one with the blonde hair and mustache (lower right quadrant) almost feels like a woman, masquerading as a man, as it all looks so fake. You get to kinda meet everyone shown up there, but that part of the relationship web (despite that chart up there to help explain things) is tenuous at best. But this feeds into the ultimate answer that the series offers.
I suggest you see this show, but in a slack time of your schedule. As I mentioned, it is rather slow going, but with it concluded, you could binge the whole tale together and have the cohesion be stronger.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Both flat and weird)
Plot 7 (Rather typical but nice execution of it)
Pacing 7 (Even the action sequences seem languid)
Effectiveness 7 (Not as slam-dunk as it could be)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 1 (A similar show would be “Ouran High School”)
Overall 7 (Good story, but no dire circumstances)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Like a smoke?