It’s rare, but sometimes Nao can be genuinely happy
Two more episodes of Charlotte, two more episodes of ‘random power of the week’.
Episode 4 has the student council, now up to four people with the addition of Yusa. But really it’s not Yusa they added, it’s Misa, and Yusa kinda just comes along as a mascot. I have to say that I was kind of hoping that it wouldn’t be that way, but the show seems pretty adamant that Yusa’s just like the little sister they have to drag along just to get Misa to come. Maybe at some point in the future, Yusa will show some independence or provide some of her own value, but I’m not seeing it. The only value she’s provided so far are hokey magic ‘spells’ to smooth over other people’s feelings. This time she uses it to help calm down the pitcher for her own team to keep him from storming off after being insulted, but that’s pretty much the sole contribution. And given that she turns Joujirou into a creepy fanboy again and again makes her total net value pretty close to zero.
Baseball kid was boring, so let’s look at Joujirou’s bod
But as for the Troubled Kid Of The Week, this time it’s the star pitcher for a local team, who can control the flight of the ball after he throws it. It’s a plausible thing, and the real key is the boy who is the catcher, the friend of the pitcher who he’s trying to help get noticed. The game goes down as you’d expect, with the Hoshinoumi team winning after some use of their powers, but to me the “buck up” speech by Nao was a little overly optimistic. Yeah, there are scouts that look for guys playing, but the pitcher is right: If there’s nothing to get them to a particular school’s games, they’re not going to be looking. And if they’re not looking in high school, they’re probably not going to find him. But either way, it’s another kid who’s been ‘convinced’ to not use his powers.
And Nao gets beat up for unspecified reasons
No, Not THAT SkyHigh
Hey look, the guy appeared just as he was supposed to
Episode 5 may be the Charlotte version of the summer trip, as Nao has them camping out in the woods up in the mountains to ‘smoke out’ a boy who’s been flying around. This gives us an episode of the group hanging around for a few days waiting for this kid to show up, and they don’t really go into how utterly boring this trip would be. What they do go into is Joujirou’s hot body, as there’s some bathing in the stream for the boys. As predicted by Nao, eventually the boy shows up, and is convinced by Yuu’s takeover of his body that what he’s doing is a bad idea, but that’s about it. The real plot interest shows up after Yuu returns home to Ayumi, who has been upset that he couldn’t come home, but she actually makes him some good food without pizza sauce. But she’s picked up a cold or something instead, and I’m still thinking that it’s related to the overly sweet food that she eats, as she started coughing when the pizza sauce ran out. Not that that’s that hard to conjecture, given the way the show has made things obvious.
Sick imoutos always need some love
“Obvious” might be my biggest problem with the show so far. I think if I was going to say what the drawback to a Jun Maeda story was, it wouldn’t be the melodrama or tears, it’s the lack of depth to the story. Even when it’s a story with multiple layers, it’s almost like they don’t overlap. And everything just happens the way it should, always. Nao gets the pitcher to agree to never use his power again through the power of baseball. She traps the kid who can fly in the well, because of course this guy would fall in the well even though he is supposed to have been flying around this mountain. Everything works out just right, but it’s not that Nao is some tactical genius like Inaho or L-Elf. It’s just that the story is really basic. Things happen because they have to happen to move the story along. I had hoped that PA Works having a hand in this would help give it some depth or guile, but it looks like that’s not going to happen. Even Nao getting beaten up by the other girls doesn’t give me much hope that there’s a story there, just “Nao’s not liked, see, the other girls beat her up.” Make it be about “You brought Yusa to the school, and now the boys that we all like are ignoring us.” At least that’s at a different angle. But everything’s pretty much on rails: If the writer wants it to happen, it’s going to happen. And that’s just poor writing.