Have you guys watched ACCA-13? I did, and I really liked it. So much so in fact that I went on to read the entire manga series. It was good as well but I missed the colours. I then discovered that Natsume Ono had written a short spin-off series called P.S. (or ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department P.S.).
Since I wanted to spend a little more time in the ACCA 13 universe, I figured I would give them a try. I hadn’t heard anything about the series and I was curious. I also figure that there might be some other fans of ACCA 13 out there, who would like to know what P.S. is all about. This one is for you!
Why I Picked up P.S.
Can we agree to just call it P.S. instead of ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department P.S.? ItMs just so long.
Like I said, this was entirely on the strength of the original ACCA-13 series. I wanted to know what happens next or just catch up with the characters.
The chief officers. ACCA’s elite. Five of the most powerful men in the nation…Although their story has ended, the question remains-how did it begin? Take the chance to peek behind the veil of secrecy and intrigue to find out the origins and relationships of the final five chief officers.
My First Impression
Natsume Ono is very good at creating a sense of place. You really feel the geography and climate right away. It’s like a trip in manga form.
What I liked
ACCA-13 is a rather unusual sort of story. It recalls somewhat less extravagant soy tales of John LeCarré or maybe Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. I really like the Quiet American. I’m not sure if I can really explain it on paper. It’s a style you have to experience for yourself. Thankfully, a lot of people are familiar with ACCA-13 so they’ll understand when I say that P.S. is a worthy successor.
The subtle writing and minute interactions that made the first series so fascinating to me are all present in P.S. And what’s more, the characters are themselves. It’s always a little sad to me when a series I have enjoyed releases more material, and the characters seem to have changed personalities while they were away. It’s not the case here.
As for what P.S. actually is, well I would have known if I had bothered to read the synopsis. PS is actually a collection of short stories (in two volumes). These are either prequels to the events of ACCA-13 or side stories. The timeline is a little uncertain but you can piece everything together.
We get to see how some (not all) of the chiefs got their mandates and how they prepared for their position at ACCA. I really enjoyed this as it gives us much greater insight into their motivations and way of thinking It doesn’t really change the way I interpreted the events of ACCA-13 but it did give some moments much greater context and depth. It also made me appreciate certain characters a lot more.
The second volume is more concerned with the lives of the people caught up with the Otis family. Those who were watching over them and keeping them safe. It was at times silly, touching and I’m not going to lie, occasionally quite sad.
Much like I said in the previous section, ACCA-13 is a peculiar story with a peculiar style. And if you don’t like it, you won’t like P.S. At all, in fact. If anything, this book is even more subtle and devoid of BIG ACTION moments. It’s contemplative and brooding. But it’s also gentle at times and comforting. There’s a lot of toast.
I sort of wandered back into the things I liked. I enjoyed both ACCA-13 and P.S. quite a bit. Let me try to put myself in the mind of someone else for a second.
Oh, I know one drawback specific to P.S. It’s the stories of the supporting cast. And that means we hardly get to see the main characters of ACCA-13. I mean it. Some don’t show up at all while others get a single panel. This isn’t their story.
As such, if you are a fan specifically of the lead characters, and I don’t blame you, you’re not going to see them at all. We also never find out what happened after the events of ACCA-13. Well, we found out what happened in the hour after. The inspection department had snacks and talked about their next assignments. But we don’t get one of those, 3 years later types of epilogues.
That’s a weird thing to put in a drawback. I’m just a sucker for the happily ever after epilogues. I love it when I get to see glimpses of what the characters did after the adventure is over. I think it’s a nice place for the author to put some flair and easter eggs.
But P.S. doesn’t provide us with that. And in a way I understand. It’s the type of story and style that sort of feels too naturalistic for a clear endpoint or an epilogue. Life just goes on and the audience is no longer a part of it. That’s all. I’m just being greedy!
At the end of the day, ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department P.S. is a great companion to the ACCA-13 series. It adds to the story without changing it and makes the world richer. But it’s not a must-have. If you enjoyed ACCA-13, I have no doubt you’ll like P.S. as well. I sure did. I would have read more!