Charlotte – 03

Charlotte - Shut up already

Nao can even get violent with her comrades

winter15-highwSometimes having a special ability is inconvenient as hell. You know, like when you have to get drenched in all your clothes to use it…

Filling Out The Band

Charlotte - I like where Yuu's looking

I like that Yuu is still looking at the other guy

That’s what this episode was about. We’ve seen in the OP that there is a fourth person in the group the show is following. This episode gets right on with the business of starting Yuu, Nao, and Joujirou on the trail of that person, but there’s again a little bit of a mystery to solve in finding them. Finally they bust up a guy who was chasing the student, and Nao once again gets to play both good cop and bad cop at the same time. The student he was chasing just happens to be the idol we’ve heard about a few times in the first couple episodes, Yusarin of Haro-Haro.

Charlotte - Firestarter

How about a little fire, Scarecrow?

But it’s not just Yusarin, it’s Yusa with a special power… and a piggy-back special power. She can have her body get taken over by her dead sister Misa, who in addition to being a delinquent also happened to be a pyrokinetic (the usage of which made me think about how broken that word is… let’s go with ‘Starting Fires’). Yusa has gotten herself into a little bit of trouble by learning some information about a producer from his cell phone, information about nefarious deeds and stuff that would get him in trouble. So the guy’s trying to silence her. They can’t just give the phone back because he’d still think she knew about it. So they have to concoct a plan to get the guy off Yusa’s back.

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Charlotte - The aftermath

Everyone’s taken out

I was kind of expecting the plan to go badly wrong, since it was The A-Team level planning: Throw something together, use everyone’s ability, scare the bad guys away, and everyone lives happily ever after. They even had a meeting in the dark on some dock or other. The only thing that was missing here was a cigar for Misa and firing thousands of rounds of ammunition at each other and not hitting anyone. It was clever how they worked the plan to get everyone’s powers in play, although I’d have not shown Nao at all, either take it as given that she’s the one beating the guy up, or just show her as normal, because it’s already been stated that’s what it looks like to everyone else. Go with something a little more unconventional and that gives the viewer a bit more credit that they can figure out what’s going on. Find a way to make the guy look super confused, or obviously not seeing Nao. I think that would have fit the show a bit better, and been something that you wouldn’t see in any action movie.

Charlotte - Could have been better

Could have done without this, tho

The last piece of Yusa’s story is that they’re going to get her to come to Hoshinoumi Academy. We’ll see how they work her into the group, since she would seem to be an important character, whether it’s as Yusa and she lets people possess her, or with Misa taking over and being an enforcer. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see. That means she has to leave her two buddies behind, tho, and one of them finally has his chance to confess his feelings for the deceased girl. I thought they handled that pretty well, without a whole lot of melodrama or tearjerking. Whether the guy will actually move on is up to him, but it was interesting to find out that Misa’s dangerous power wasn’t the cause of her death.

Charlotte - Saying it all

Sometimes you do get a chance to say goodbye

header-winter15-highw

Another good episode, although it was kind of hard to write about because it was all pretty much what you saw. More great production values, and we have a good level of thinking ahead and around a problem. I’m interested in seeing if there’s going to be another person, because there’s a suspicious open space in that one shot in the OP, and the eyecatch has five people, although one is Ayumi, I think. Will Ayumi be brought up on par with the rest of them? Or will she just be a plot device?

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Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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30 Responses to “Charlotte – 03”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Nao can even get violent with her comrades

    Aim a little wee bit lower… and that would be perfect. 😀

    • zztop says:

      He’ll be fine, it’s not like he wanted to have babies to continue his bloodline anyway. ^_^”

  2. zztop says:

    I wonder who or what the titular Charlotte is.

    • Highway says:

      Part of me hopes they never say. I kind of think it’s an interesting detail when a show just leaves you hanging on something like that. I doubt it will, tho. Before the series, I’d have thought it’s the code name for the project that gives kids these powers, or for the scientists that research them. But at least the first seems a bit too diffuse for it to be that. And the second hasn’t really felt like a big conspiracy, more of an ‘individual scientists doing under the table research.’

      • Krono says:

        I feel like Charlotte could be a codename for kids withs powers because that might have been the name of the first child these under the table scientists found and experimented on. Really it is anyone’s guess at this point since I feel they could still go in different directions with this anime.

    • skylion says:

      Charlotte can mean a lot of things. Queens of Europe, a dessert, a city in North Carolina, USA, or the female form of the given name, Charles.

      I only hope it isn’t some super-power patient zero in a series of test-tubes ala Akira, even though that’s the most likely of things…

  3. skylion says:

    although I’d have not shown Nao at all

    I can think of a reason or two why they wouldn’t do that.

    One, you’re paying coin to see, either in monies or character attachment or both, Nao kick some ass. So show it…

    Two, I think they wanted to avoid, in the moment, any confusion about who was doing what at what time. They established that Misa has two abilities surrounding her, and it might be confused that she suddenly has a third? As I said, that was for the moment, as it happened. Hindsight being 20/20.

    But there is something going on in Nao’s viewpoint that still sticks with me. She’s a teenager making plans. She figured this was one and done. Does it ever really work out that way?

    • Highway says:

      In rebuttal, I think they had established that it was a collaborative effort to take out the baddies. They showed Yuu getting injured (because that was a theme of the episode) but they didn’t really show Joujirou take out the other guy. I would have preferred that they pick one viewpoint and stick to it. Thinking about it, I’d probably have preferred showing Nao beating the guy up openly, but figure out a way to indicate that he can’t see her. Maybe a bit wider shot, with Nao running in to hit the guy (because she couldn’t have attacked before the others were taken care of, or they’d have reacted). I just thought the way it was done was a little cliched, and could have been done more innovatively.

      Nao was more circumspect about it than Misa was, and it’s a possibility that the guy comes back. But it’s also possible that the guy figures “It’s not worth the trouble” as long as his stuff isn’t exposed.

      • skylion says:

        To counter, given what little I know about production. They got only so much, time, effort, and resources to commit to give so much information. Innovation is probably thought about, but it’s usually the first thing sacrificed for being concise and clear. But, if it’s this early in the show, they could be saving their yen for innovation later in the show.

  4. JPNIgor says:

    I hate how each episode makes Jun Maeda’s influence ever bigger. I’m not sure if I like the direction this is taking. I mean, look at the red-haired guy’s line at the end. That’s exactly what I would expect to hear from something like Clannad. Oh, well. That’s me whining because this season’s P.A. Works show isn’t really P.A. Works-like.

    Not to say that the episode wasn’t great, it was. I just think that the plan was kinda bs in the sense that those were two high school boys (right?) taking out two adult guards with ease. I wish they would repeat the use of powers than put those two at risk of ruining the whole plan. The comedy is still good, but I just feel that the whole is episode is a 24 minutes-long mood swing… I feel kinda at lost.

    Also, is Joujirou’s power really teleportation or is he just messing with Yuu? Because recklessly ramming against stuff isn’t teleportation for me.

    • Highway says:

      It’s really not “teleportation” as we would define it as moving from one place to another and having the same momentum at start as at finish. It’s “instant movement” which usually translates to teleportation, but could mean something different also.

      As far as the two boys taking out the two guys, that’s not necessarily too farfetched. The guy’s a TV producer, not a mobster. He probably just had a few guys come to help intimidate a little girl. Meanwhile, the guys helping Misa were punks, so they’ve probably been in a few fights. It was a little too smooth, but not really out of the realm of possibility.

      And as far as worrying about it being Jun Maeda, try to let that go and just watch the show. If it was someone else whose name you didn’t know, you wouldn’t even think of it. I don’t think the story is that out of character for PA Works at all.

      • Krono says:

        I’ve been expecting our MC to point out Joujirou’s power is really super speed. That is the only way you can look at his power and I expected the MC to say that and have an ensuing banter with Joujirou defending his power as teleportation.

      • skylion says:

        Teleportation is widely regarded as moving from one spot to the next without physically occupying the space between. Joujiro is seen moving through the space from point A to B.

        • Highway says:

          This I know. I’m saying he’s being clever with what he calls it, as Instant Motion, but that gets translated to us as “Teleportation.” So we’re having this discussion that isn’t intended to be a discussion because the “usual” translation of 瞬間移動 (shunkan idou) is “teleportation”, but it can literally mean “Instant Motion”. So there’s nothing in the show for the characters to argue about with it. Yuu accepts that it’s shunkan idou, and is far more worried about the effect on Joujirou.

          • skylion says:

            …there’s a lot to worry about when it comes to Juojiro. The change from Yusa to Misa shattered his poor idol fantasy….

          • Di Gi Kazune says:

            The difference is…

            Is it Quicksilver or Nightcrawler?

            • Krono says:

              Pretty much. He definitely falls under a Quicksilver that cannot stop himself once he gets going.

            • skylion says:

              …it’s better to compare him to a teen-age knob-head with little thought of the consequences…Which is interesting since he came down on Yuu for using power irresponsibly…

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Just like Pringles. Once you pop, you can’t stop.

            • Highway says:

              Or “Bringles” which they had on the table in the room where they met Misa / Yusa.

            • Krono says:

              @Skylion I’d consider that a pretty accurate assessment.

            • Highway says:

              I think that he appropriately thinks of the consequences. He uses his power at the school, which is as much of a ‘safe space’ as he can find, and he uses it in service of Nao’s missions to find others. That’s a significant difference from Yuu using it to make himself top of the class and get a girlfriend.

              It’s a bit unrealistic that he doesn’t suffer more injuries, because ‘body armor’ isn’t going to do squat for blunt force head trauma or dislocated or broken ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows or other appendages. But that’s creative license I would say.

      • JPNIgor says:

        See, I like how past stuff made by P.A. Works usually had a much more fluid and natural dialogue. Here, every now and then some character seems to splurt some cheesy lines. My problem lies in the fact that these cheesy lines don’t really meet the expectations I created from a show by P.A. Works.

        An argument between the two of whether it’s teleportation or superspeed would be fun, but it makes sense when you look at it in japanese. Oh, translation, never diving deeper for lack of time.

        I dunno. I still can’t come to terms with it. They would probably make some kind of sound that would alert the others. It was waaay too easy.

  5. akagami says:

    So I just watched all three episodes in one sitting and my takeaway is… this is probably as close as you can get to having a show made by P.A. Works yet not be P.A. Works. That might be partly because of Jun Maeda’s influence, but it doesn’t give me any of the feeling I normally associate with P.A. Works.

    So like JPNIgor I’m somewhat disappointed it’s not the typical P.A. Works I was expecting, but on its own merits its still enjoyable.

    I was ok with Yuu until he did truck incident. Everything else was typical male teenager antics, but that truck incident? Total asshat move. It’s going to take me a while to start to like Yuu. But liking Joujirou and how he’s come to terms with his power. Using it to get lunch? Awesome combined with the aftermath and the lunchlady mentally facepalming.

    Ayumi is love. At least Yuu is taking his onii-chan duties like a man and eating that special sauce every day with a smile.

  6. akagami says:

    On a different note, I just noticed I’ve crossed into the top 5 commenters unknowingly. Where do I find the vendor with epics?

  7. Alexandre Martins says:

    Regarding what happened to Nao’s brother and the danger Nao and the speedster are trying to avoid for other mutants (might as well call them that, if not X-people), I find it disappoint that writers keep using this stupid trope of that all societies in the world (together with all scientists) are fascist sociopaths capable of torturing people with powers without a second thought. I’m okay with a world like the one in Code Geass, where England actually became a fascist state and was trying to conquer the whole world, but to say all governments are actually like that is so unrealistic that it ruins any involvement I might have in the story.

    • skylion says:

      …as I said during the FI, I think that “evil scientists” is something that Nao either thinks it is, using it as leverage, or a bit of both. It feels like something cliched, very reductionist, or over-simplistic explanation,that a teenager would come up with, and it looks like that is the soft sell the show has given us. It was all told from her POV and she’s quite pissy about it.

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