An open letter to appreciate ACCA’s side characters.
Dear ACCA – 13 Ward Inspection Department,
In my eyes, you are somewhat of a disappointment because you were a particularly slow show – your ending, in particular, I hold some gripes with. However, there is one aspect of you I can respect immensely, and that’s side characters.
Your multilayered approach, looking back on the show from my temporal position as I write this (the fall 2017 anime season), was one aspect that made you both so interesting but difficult to comprehend. Of note was how Jean dealt with Lotta in regards to souvenirs – the types of breads and other sweets helped to characterise the kingdom of Acca, eventually breaking open the secrets surrounding the Otus siblings. Like splitting apart a fresh loaf of bread, you might even say.
Likewise, Nino and his constant popping up in various places as a mole for Abend allows him to use his cover whenever he’s caught by Jean. You know how there’s that constant moral in other stories to not become the disguise and just be who you are? Of course, Nino didn’t follow that, since he went from being undercover to genuinely being involved as a friend with the Otus siblings
(and in the case of Jean, some people might even say they are more than that, but I digress), but any man who can take a bullet for his friend (and for most of the show, potential next king!) is a man that deserves praise.
The plot would not have been possible if not for Mauve and the Five Generals that hold up the political system within your boundaries, and indeed, Mauve is a great character by herself – she’s a capable leader who makes firm decisions, and a lone woman in a position of authority to top that all off. However, if she were in Nino’s position, or in any other position for that matter, she would not have been as effective as she were.
Even Lilium, whose plot to take over Acca isn’t entirely explained or foreshadowed, is a captivating character to watch in action because of his idiosyncrasies compared to his other generals. The fact he can sit at the top of the rich ward Furuwau is a testament to how far he can go for what he wants, and Furuwau’s secession demonstrates how powerful the oil-fueled ward really is. Therefore, even if he’s not a particularly despicable villain because there’s no build up for the ruckus he causes, he’s certainly a very menacing one.
I know these characters are probably not as important as Jean himself, but certainly, Ono-sensei has made them shine for you. (I’m not particularly knowledgeable on anything Ono-sensei at all – in fact, Natsume Shingo and your adult characters were my calling card towards you, but can we please forgive and forget about that?) Therefore, while I’m not entirely satisfied with how the anime adaption turned out, I appreciate that you have such developed and varied side characters.
P.S. I admit I was inspired by the format of this 12 Days in Anime post to turn this into a letter. Sorry!