ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka – 06

acca61

If it were one of many other slow-burn shows, I might be itching for something to happen already near the show’s midpoint (assuming this only gets 13 eps – I may be wrong), even to the point of starting to hand out 7’s for lack of forward momentum.

And yet, ACCA continues to avoid such scrutiny with its unassuming, calm, quiet competence, all but unique this Winter as a show all about stopping to smell the roses…or freshly-baked bread.

acca62

One of the most eventful things to happen happens right at the start, where Jean not only goes up to Grossular, but tells him he knows he’s being followed, denies any involvement in a coup, and expresses his certainty Gross isn’t involved either. Grossular, after all, was the ACCA officer in Rokkusu who made things right when a horrific train accident claimed, among many others, Jean and Lotta’s parents.

Jean meets Mauve at the bakery, but claims to have “nothing of note” to report to her. If he’s trying to stay in the director-general’s good graces, he could have at least told her about the attempted coup in Suitsu. I’d say that was pretty “of note.” Mauve immediately starts to doubt Jean’s usefulness…and loyalty.

acca62a

Things largely quiet down from there, as both the show, the nation of Dowa, and most of its inhabitants kick back and enjoy a New Year’s shindig in Jean and Lotta’s apartment building.

We learn about the businessmen Jean seems to help out during his auditing duties, and Lotta receives a cake from Rail, only for Owl to give her another cake minutes later.

acca63

People seem drawn to Lotta, but there’s still no indication she’s anyone super-special…yet (the flashbacks also seem to eliminate some possibilities in that arena).

Officers note that the start of ACCA’s hundredth year in operation isn’t all that different from the start of previous years. Mauve has a pretty standard speech at an all-hands, and that’s pretty much it.

acca64

Something notable does happen: Grossular joins the other four Top 5 officers in their common room, to ask Lilium why he leaked Crow to Jean. Lilium wanted Jean “to do something,” and while Gross may be right that such an action was reckless, Lilium does seem to win the argument by calling for a meeting of the five to discuss what Gross knows and how they’ll proceed together, no longer unilaterally. He gets that meeting; it should be a good one.

acca65

Jean then heads to Hare, the tropical district where the ACCA uniforms are short-sleeved and informal and the district inhabitants live the longest lives in the nation, and live life with gusto accordingly.

After striking out with Mauve last time, Jean redoubles his efforts to get something, anything out of Hare’s chiefs. Yet, when he goes to meet Mauve at the bakery, she’s not there. Is it too late?

After Hare (one of Jean’s shorter audits), Jean heads to Dowa again, this time for an audit. Prince Schwan continues to try to force his grandfather’s hand in subtle ways like hanging his portrait in a place he spends lots of sittin’ time. Perhaps Jean will get more juicy info in Dowa.

16rating_8

Advertisements

Guilty Crown – 15

As the red line draws nearer to the school, food and vaccine supplies are dwindling. Shu, now president, doesn’t want to use the void ranking system Yahiro devised, but he realizes he may not have a choice. Some low-ranked students including Souta get ahold of the ranking, and trick Shu into releasing their voids. Rather than practice, they head out to find more vaccines, but are intercepted by Antibody gunships and endlaves. Shu and Hare head out to help them, but both are seriously injured when Souta makes Hare try to fix a car, which Daryl Yan blows up. Hare heals Shu, at the cost of her own life. When he wakes up, she shatters in his arms. Consumed by fury, Shu uses Inori’s sword to destroy the Antibody attackers. After beating up Souta, he vows to purge his kindness and do what must be done.

This week the series didn’t hold anything back, putting Shu up against a wall. He has a clear choice between discriminating against the weaker students and surviving, or continuing to be kind to everyone and merely delaying the death of all, and the inevitable chaos when supplies run out. Taking over as class president was such a hopeful, optimistic moment, but this episode wasted no time bringing the reality of the situation to the forefront. Shu tried to stay on the fence, but in the end, his hand is forced by the tragic and surprising death of Hare, who was on the cusp of confessing her love to him when their last moment together was interrupted by the news Souta was going off to be a hero.

Hare has a powerful final episode, in which she’s nudged by Tsugami to confess, because there’s no telling what may happen tomorrow. She’s then her usual selfless self, doing all she can to heal the wounded in an extremely hazardous situation where she’s in the line of fire. Her final act of sacrifice to save her “kind king” is heartbreaking – there’s no words of goodbye- she’s dead before Shu wakes up. And when he does, cries of grief are stuck in his throat. Then, like a switch going off, the old kind Shu is gone. Kindness didn’t save Hare, and it won’t save his kingdom. The gloves are coming off. The dark side beckons…


Rating: 4

Guilty Crown – 14

With the school cut off from the rest of Tokyo and emotions running high, President Kuhouin struggles to keep order, leading to a vote of no confidence in her leadership from a rabblerouser named Nanba who is prepared to use force to grab power. Things get worse when the quarantine walls move inward, crushing and killing anything and anyone in their way. Chief Segai sends a message to the school that they’ll all be freed if they hand over members of the Undertakers. Nanba apprehends Ayase and Tsugumi, and Kuhouin loses control, but Shu, encouraged by Hare, stands up and calls for order. With the help of Tsugumi’s void, which can create holographic dopplegangers, Shu proves to Nanba and his followers that the government wouldn’t make good on the deal. Yahiro then calls for a vote, and Shu is elected the new school president.

Faced with the prospect of being locked behind walls that are closing in on them, and mass murder that even Daryl Yan finds distasteful, Shu & Co. find themselves in a desperate situation where calming the mob is key to their survival. Nanba and his ilk strike us as overproud bullies taking advantage of the situation to ingratiate themselves, but they aren’t pure evil or anything; they just want to survive like everyone else. This week was all about the school finding someone who can lead them. A big group like this needs direction, and ultimately, they choose someone who never asked for it but nevertheless possesses all the requisites for leadership. They crown Shu.

Since rescuing Inori, Shu has gotten far more tolerable as a character, and considering how many friends he’s made, he has no excuse to not rise to the potential his ability presents. This week he finally uses that power on Tsugumi, who has an extremely useful power. And Yahiro exhibits a change of heart about the guy who couldn’t save his brother, and eggs the student body to choose him. But it ain’t gonna be no picnic: Yahiro also proposes they start ranking people by how valuable their void is (on a scale of A to F; like school!), creating what is essentially a caste system to ensure King Shu has the most powerful voids at his disposal to deal with the threats that are coming. And they are coming. Chief Segai is a sick bastard.


Rating: 3

Guilty Crown – 10

In the middle of an operation, Shu breaks down and runs away. He keeps getting flashes of Lost Christmas, and other disturbing hallucinations of people being consumed by the crystalline cancer. Ayase and Gai come to hear his final decision, which is to quit the Undertakers. Inori leaves his house, and he depends on Hare for companionship. His visions turn out to be precient, as Segai orchestrates an elaborate trap that corners the Undertakers and unleashes the Apocalypse Virus into the general public through sound waves, killing hundreds.

So yeah, as we expected, Ouma Shu does not take his part in Jun’s death lightly. In fact he does his best to channel Ikari Shinji, going AWOL and hiding out, held hostage by his own cowardice and self-pity. He totally takes advantage of Hare’s kindness, and even slaps Inori in the face, destroying a data chip with a new song she recorded for him. We’re talking primo little bitch here. But I don’t know what he expected was going to happen; when someone has powers such as his, they are expected to do great things. But with great things come great failures as well. Crushing failures. But one cannot sink into despair after one failure, or one defeat. Especially when you’re the underdog. You have to keep fighting.

He supposes he was trying to be like Gai; trying to win the heart of Inori; trying to be someone he wasn’t. But as Hare states unequivocally, the Shu he is now isn’t the Shu he was anyway. Running away from everyone and everything isn’t going to do him any good. His scene of eating a rice ball Inori made, alone, while crying, says it all. Yes, it sucks that Jun died. Yes, it was fucked up. But abandoning everyone when they need you most, and crawling up into a little ball of inconsolable angst, frankly sucks more. Segai and the Anti Bodies are now implimenting a fresh purge of innocent human life. The Undertakers are the only ones who stand in their way, and they’re screwed without Shu. Get your head in the game, man.


Rating: 3.5

Guilty Crown – 09

Shu is on a train with Hare when Yahiro leaps aboard, spilling drugs as he goes. Shu tells Hare he needs to talk to him. He learns that Yachiro and his terminally ill brother Jun had to flee the very facility he sold Shu out to get into. Shu vows to harbor them with Undertaker help, but he’s being surveilled by Major Segai, who corners them with snipers and endlaves. Shu promises to save Jun if Yahiro lets him draw out his void, but he fails and he himself is the one who kills him. Hare, meanwhile, had been following Shu all along.

When Shu sees Jun in the void world, in the setting of the day of Lost Christmas, he has a tough choice to make. Jun wants to die, and the void Shu has appropriated from Yahiro – the shears, are the means to do it. It isn’t just that Jun is tired; it’s that he wants to go out on his terms. His illness lets him see everyone’s dark side – including his bro’s. If he has to continue to see that, he’ll grow to hate him, and he doesn’t want to die hating his only brother. Jun forces a decision here: he makes use of his apocalypse cancer to possess an endlave, so it’s basically ‘kill me before I go mad and kill everyone’.

In the heat of the moment, Shu cuts Jun’s lifeline as requested. Shu, the kid who’s growing more and more confident and assertive (and educated in basic tactics), has killed his first human being. It was under highly supernatural circumstances, but he killed someone all the same. This is going to weigh on him, and perhaps eliminate all the progress he’s made with Undertaker. We’re really interested in seeing where this goes, along with how much Hare saw, and what she thinks of it all. What’s her void?


Rating: 3