Story & Art: Natsume Ono
Translation: Jocelyne Allen
Lettering: Lys Blakeslee
The long-awaited coup comes to a head. What lies in store for ACCA and Dowa Kingdom?
What They Say:
VIP’s from across the nation will soon gather for the ACCA centennial ceremony. With Prince Schwan’s ascension looming overhead, the movement amassing within ACCA has reached its boiling point. The pieces fall into place and the stage is set – a coup d’état is imminent. The final volume of ACCA 13 will keep you guessing until the very end; a brilliant conclusion to one of the best political dramas the medium has to offer.
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
On the last leg of his audits around ACCA, Jean Otus visits Pranetta and Furawau. Despite their neighboring borders, these two districts greatly differ in ideology and status. Surrounded by a vast expansion of desert, the majority of Pranetta’s citizens occupy a cavernous mining town in the northern sector. The harsh living conditions and lack of natural resources make it one of the poorer districts in ACCA. But unlike a district such as Suitsu, their livelihood does not come at the cost of inadequate governance. In fact, ACCA has given the people of Pranetta the ability to stake their lives on a single goal. There’s no telling if their mining pursuits will ever bear fruit, but the people here find comfort in their determination. The coup my not have any real effect on this remote district, but ACCA’s role in upholding the peace allows them to carry on their dreams unhindered by the outside world.
Now compare that to the district of Furawau. A lavish land covered in flowers, Furawau holds an incredible amount of resources and wealth within its borders. The district is governed by House Lilium, its Director and Governor being Chief Officer Lilium’s younger and older brother respectively. They take great pride in their success, finding the circumstance of their neighbors in Pranetta to be pitiable. They contently rule over their home district, but the people of Furawau give off an air of forced happiness compared to the genuine comfort of those in Pranetta. Otus discerns as much from Furawau’s Branch Supervisor Canarii – his usual peppiness has been stilted by the tight grip that House Lilium has over its people. As a sign of good faith, the Lilium brothers stand in solidarity with the coup faction, but their arrogant gestures stand at odds with Pranetta’s governor, who despite having nothing to offer, wishes to give back to the rest of ACCA were they to ever find themselves in good fortune.
The tension in Furawau doesn’t end there. Princess Schnee’s older sister still has her sights set on the Otus family, and so they make one last desperate attempt to silence Jean for good. As assassins take aim at Jean, Nino abandons his role as Crow, the abstinent outsider, and takes the bullet for his friend. Nino has watched from the sidelines as Jean was dragged further and further into this political avalanche, a pawn shuffled around the pockets of the nation’s biggest players. But the same can be said for Nino. Jeans makes it clear that neither he nor Lotta want Nino to be anyone’s lapdog. While Nino makes his recovery, Jean meets with Chief Officer Lilium. Each of the 13 districts handed him a cigarette – symbolizing their intent to join the coup. Lilium puts Jean on a pedestal, claiming him to be the linchpin in this whole operation. Lilium needs Jean in order for his plan to succeed. With Grossular and Jean dancing to his tune, Lilium believes he has everything he needs to open a path for the nation of Furawau.
With the ACCA centennial celebration around the corner, all of the top brass in ACCA begin to gather in Badon. Members across the Inspection Department meet for a little powwow the night before the ceremony. With the coup being all but certain, we get some interesting interactions, especially from Warbler, the Suitsu branch supervisor. Having already been part of a failed rebellion in his own district, he confronts Chairman Owl about his unease. Is the coup necessary? What if Prince Schwan’s commitment to disband ACCA is a bluff? There are plenty of uncertainties, but Owl remains steadfast. He believes this is the true will of ACCA and its people.
Back at the royal palace, Prince Schwan remains as stubborn as ever on his stance to dissolve ACCA. His bodyguard Magie continues to prod the Prince, urging him to take an interest in the nation’s people and what they desire. Internally the young Prince is conflicted, and he remains naïve to the political firestorm currently entrapping him. However, it’s still his duty to commemorate the ACCA centennial in place of the sickly King. ACCA’s members set up their plan for tomorrow’s ceremony, everything playing to the tune of Lilium’s fiddle. Jean speaks with Chief Officer Grossular one last time before the night ends.
“What do you believe is the number one thing to do for the sake of this country?” Otus asks.
Throughout these six volumes, we’ve seen alliances formed, power leveraged, espionage, assassination attempts, and just about every form of political maneuvers. It’s all lead to this moment, and it’s still unclear how things will turn out.
**Spoiler warning for the end of ACCA 13**
The citizens of Badon gather to witness the centennial, unaware of the upheaval that’s about to be exposed before their very eyes. As the Prince stands at the podium, he’s surrounded by Badon’s armed riot squad. Chief Officer Lilium moves in for the checkmate, publicly denouncing the Prince for his goal of uprooting ACCA. As murmurs spread across the townsfolk in attendance, it becomes clear to the Prince that the people are not on his side if he were to abandon ACCA. Schwan is aware that Jean will be the stand-in King if he were to be toppled here. This is where Jean and the forces of ACCA finally make their move.
Director General Mauve confronts the Prince, asserting that the coup was nothing more than ‘theatrics’ to keep him on his toes. In terms of protecting the nation, ACCA and the Kingdom of Dowa have made that a reality for 100 years now. She likens Dowa to ACCA – both are necessary symbols of peace for this nation. And so, she bridges the gap we’ve seen widening throughout the entire series. The future of ACCA has been entrusted to Prince Schwan. The Prince is moved, and finally shares his true feelings… it’s his wish for ACCA to continue protecting the people of this nation. Just like that, Lilium’s plan to take hold of the country falls short. He may have been the catalyst to the coup and held all the pieces in his hand, but they danced to his rhythm for this very moment. Those who truly wanted to protect ACCA used Lilium’s plan for their own power move. Lilium chooses to step away entirely – he and the nation of Furawau will secede from ACCA and the Kingdom of Dowa.
With that, our game comes to an end. ACCA remains intact, but not without some restructuring. The Five Chief Officers disband, and Director General Mauve is appointed the sole Chief of ACCA. The Chief Officers return to their home districts, intent on enjoying the future that lies ahead for the country. Despite only having twelve districts now, it remains as ACCA 13, in hopes that someday Furawau will return. With the passing of the torch, Nino has also been relieved of his role as the Crown’s loyal watchdog. Abend wishes for Nino to live his life as he pleases. It’s revealed that Princess Schnee’s loyal retainer Abend was Chairman Owl of the Inspection Department. In his hand he holds yet another one of Jean’s transfer requests. That letter won’t see the light of day. The Otus family’s ties to the royal kingdom are kept under wraps, and Jean returns to his daily life as Vice-Chairman of the Inspection Department.
ACCA 13 ends in stunning fashion. Natsume Ono created a timeless tale of a political regime caught in the heat of revolution. Brilliant pacing, extensive world-building, and an engaging critique through and through. Volume six wraps up this story with a beautiful red bow.
Content Grade: A+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: February 26th, 2019
MSRP: $15.00 USD