Ah! A Ghost!
You know one thing that I really like about Charlotte? In the OP, when they put the title up, it slides over to the left just a little bit when they put that star on the right side. Just a little bit of dynamism really helps.
Not Your Ordinary Date
She certainly seems to be enjoying her time with Yuu
This episode starts out with a nice bit of normal anime date stuff. Yuu trying to decide what to wear to the concert, going to meet Nao, a nice reveal of Nao’s cute non-school outfit, Yuu blushing at Nao’s outfit. Pretty much your 100% standard date episode goings on, although tempered by Nao’s usual personality and a brusque “Ok, let’s go.” However, despite her no-nonsense attitude and her admonition to Yuu to NOT buy a matching smartphone case to the one she wants, she still seems to be having a more fun time than usual being at the event, and even enjoying Yuu’s company. Yuu wonders if Nao hates him, but I think that it’s been pretty clear that despite there being aspects of Yuu’s former personality that she hated, primarily the ones that led him to use his power for his own self-aggrandizement, Nao really hasn’t ever even disliked Yuu. And since he’s excised most of that narcissm, there’s nothing for her to really dislike about him at all. I’d even say that she likes him because he never earns the dreaded “Gross!” outbursts for fawning over Yusarin like Joujirou does.
Nao she looks really happy
But Yuu just doesn’t seem to be enjoying the concert as much as he could be, instead feeling out of sorts as the band rolls through their hits. And when they world premiere their new song, the (to me almost excruciatingly, eye-rollingly) obviously-named ‘Trigger’, that finally pushes Yuu into remembering what he wasn’t supposed to remember (appropriate for a song that he self-describes as “Something I couldn’t possibly forget in the future, no matter what happens”). Here is the big plot twist, here is the big reveal, here is where it all gets explained (well, mostly). Because this isn’t the first time through this rodeo. Well, THIS rodeo, yeah, but any rodeo, no: they’ve lived their lives before.
Dystopian pajamas… check
The real meat of the story is that Yuu and Ayumi, and many, many other teens, were locked up in a facility experimenting on them. There’s no sugar-coating it here, like it was for Nao’s benefit. This is a restricted, fairly prison-like place, where kids wear plain outfits (inexplicably with pockets, tho), and follow a regimented schedule of eating, sleeping, taking medicines, and getting called for experiments. This is where we get the rest of the exposition about the missing member of Yuu and Ayumi’s family, their brother Shunsuke. We also meet some of the other people in the facility, such friends as they have, such as you can make with the ever-present possibility of someone being taken away from you forever on the whim of someone else. But the part of his past life that we see is the critical time where Yuu was able to use the abilities of others, via his “true” ability, “plunder” to affect a rescue of that older brother, whose ability, so strong that he has to be permanently restrained, is “Time Leap”.
The linchpin to the story
I think it’s good that the show then goes back to the timeline we know, rather than spending too much time telling the story of the happenings of the past (even if it is technically ‘now’, not ‘then’, to use Spaceballs nomenclature), instead going back to advance our storyline. Now is when the real big players start to reveal themselves, including Kumagami, the guy who always gets soaking wet and points out the new comrades, who turns out to be a close person to Shunsuke. And in another kinda surprise, Shunsuke turns out to be the one who Nao referenced earlier, the person who she can trust. We also get an answer about the mysterious pair that showed up “too late” to save Ayumi, as the driver is the same one that delivers them to meet Shunsuke. And also the reasoning why Yuu doesn’t remember anything, since he’s had his memories erased (but that’s apparently not a permanent procedure).
A confusing reunion
Bonus You Know You Wanted To See
Next week, we’re scheduled to get the backstory of Shunsuke’s Time Leap. We’ll see if it takes the whole episode, or if they fit it all in to less than one episode, and get us started on the rescue of Ayumi. I can guess at the rough shape of Shunsuke’s story, but I think it’ll be interesting to find out how far back he jumped, and how he managed to divert the things that happened which led them into being all test subjects in a lockdown facility. The difference in the timelines is pretty severe, although I wonder if such a facility still exists (and was the one that Nao’s brother was in). This one leans pretty heavily on the ‘evil scientists’ again, who apparently think nothing of killing someone and dissecting their brain to find out why they had a power, not to say spiking all their food with such medication as to bring out and strengthen any latent powers. It does make you wonder what they planned to do with kids who went along with their program.