Charlotte – 07

Charlotte - Bad guy

Aw yeah? Bring it!

winter15-highwIt’s tough dealing with the loss of a loved one, but it’s something you have to expect in a Jun Maeda story.

Ayumi no More

Charlotte - The Bad News

The bad news right away

Well, there’s no anime magic to keep Ayumi alive after the building falls on her, as Yuu is told as soon as he wakes up that she’s passed away. This starts the spiral of depression for Yuu, a story that (again) is not exactly the most original, but it works well enough. Yuu has been amazingly self-centered in his life, and the loss of Ayumi makes it clear how much he took her for granted, and how little he actively gave her back.

Charlotte - Losing it

Poor girl

And he doesn’t really have the strength to get himself out of his downward spiral. Staying home, cooped up, watching crappy television and eating cup ramen, he ignores the people who come to visit him, hoping they just go away. They even bring back Shirayanagi, the girl from the first episode, to maybe try to spur some life into him, but all he does is berate her about not helping him by bringing him more cup ramen. I give her a lot of credit for even trying, because this is a guy that she knew for all of a week, and who was never particularly impactful to her life. I almost expected him to spill the beans about the incident he ‘saved’ her from, but he didn’t go that far. I get that it was a long shot, but just like Yuu, I had to rack my brain to even remember who Shirayanagi was, so it’s not the best they could have done, I don’t think.

Charlotte - more despair

Sometimes you’ve just given up

A Life of Petty Thuggery?

Charlotte - the new tough guy

Taking down the big dog

After the incident with Shirayanagi, Yuu decides he needs to run away, because we’ve pretty much exhausted the audience empathy available in his apartment. Heading out to some unknown town, he starts living in a manga cafe, playing a shooting game, and eating Mitarashi dango. And after some toughs try to teach him a lesson for interrupting them on ‘his’ game, he starts being the guy everyone tries to take down, but he’s figured out how to use his power for a different cause now: Sowing confusion and winning fights.

Charlotte - Nao's had enough

Nao with the roundhouse kick

Once again, tho, we’re kinda let down by the obvious in the show’s writing. The only thing that surprised me was that they waited so long to have Nao reveal herself to Yuu. It was obvious from the moment that Joujiro and Yusa / Misa came to visit him that Nao was observing him without him seeing her. One can quibble with the specifics of whether she would have been able to live in his apartment without him figuring it out, but I personally think there is enough opportunity for that that it’s not breaking the show. What brings Nao out of hiding, tho, is the evil specter of drugs (I’m guessing cocaine). But when you’re desperate to escape the crapfest that you’ve made your life, I guess you’ll try anything. Of course Nao brings back Yuu to the fold with Pizza Sauce Omurice, and now we’ll get on with the rest of the crew.

Charlotte - Breaking him out of it

Memories through food

Bonus Plot Discussion

Something occurred to me right at the beginning of the episode, but because it could be spoilery, it’s up to you whether you want to see it. Please also put discussion of this part in spoiler tags in comments.

Show ▼


They went for the depths of despair here, but I don’t know that it resonated all that much for me. The idea that Nao was watching Yuu kind of took the edge off of it because you knew that he’d get pulled out of his emotional plummet somehow. It started to get a lot like this (and if you haven’t seen the MST3K Space Mutiny episode, I think it’s one of their best, and certainly my favorite. So Move!Move!Move!). And then she did, of course, with the fairly cliched “Your sister’s cooking was trying to be your favorite recipe of your mom’s.” And on top of that, I’m kind of hoping that my idea of what the rest of the series is going to be is wrong, but I’d put it at at least 80% that I’ve got the outline right.


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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15 Responses to “Charlotte – 07”

  1. zztop says:


  2. JPNIgor says:

    Awww yeah, that’s Maeda Jun alright *turns table* FU*K THIS SH*T MAN! And suddenly watching the OP theme is painful…

    Yeah, Shirayanagi wasn’t a good bet. I really thought they just brought some random girl, maybe the class rep or something.

    I was surprised that the whole episode was dedicated to Nao acting like a thug, abusing his power and stuff and at some point I really thought he would be taken by scientists at some point. But your point in spoiler makes a lot of sense. In fact, a lot people thought the same in the site I watch anime, as if it was a matter of fact.

    • Highway says:

      You mean Yuu acting like a thug. 🙂

      And that’s how obvious it was, right from the beginning of this episode. And I know that it’s going to be fairly disappointing if it goes that route. A lot of shows, you know what’s going to happen in the end, in a broad sense. The good guys are going to win, the bad guys are going to lose, people will be alive, etc. You kind of know what the end point is. But there’s a variability in the pathway to that end point. This show feels like there’s no variability, there’s one path, and it’s straight through set plot points. And the acting and visuals aren’t enough to make up for that deficiency in writing and plot, even if it is PA Works art.

      • JPNIgor says:

        Yeah, that’s it ><'

        Considering it's Maeda Jun, you're probably right about the lack of variability in the path, but I feel like we still have to see the exact outcome. See, this guy, he likes to fu*k around with your favorite characters just to hit you in the feels. It's almost too cheap.

  3. HannoX says:

    Nao can only make herself invisible to one person at a time and of course that was Yuu. But no one else seemed to act like she was around either. The punks are going to try beating up a guy with a pretty high school girl standing around watching and they’re just going to ignore her? Or was she hiding and peaking around a corner watching?

    If she was staying close to him and observing him you’d think there’d been some hints throughout the episode like someone reacting to her presence in some way. But no, she just suddenly appears out of nowhere like a dues ex machine. Or did I miss the hints?

    I think the spoiler theory is probably right. I’ve seen it elsewhere. And it would finally give the show a direction rather than just being a series of random episodes about a new teen discovered with a power.

    • Highway says:

      I figured she just asked the other people around to not pay any attention to her. And there was no need to be in the middle of the action with the fights. It’s not like she had to stay within 30 feet of him or something.

      And maybe it was just me, but the idea that Nao was with him was so obvious that the show didn’t even need to give hints. The hints were all in the previous episodes, when she did that to other people, including Yuu.

  4. skylion says:

    If other episodes underplayed their hand, this one overplayed.

    I think the quibbles about how Nao fit into the scenes is secondary to what was really going on. It all makes her look like a really bad person; which I don’t think was the intent as she is supposed to be seen as the nice one that save’s Yuu from going further down his spiral. I mean, she gave him a pass about abusing his powers cause “He had a very very really bad day”.

    It kinda feels like they were going for maximum despair and hitting us over the head with it until the folks in the cheap seats could hear it.

    So why not have him mope for a couple of days, with Nao observing him as she did. We could see her find the recipe book, and see the effect it has on her. He could still be part of the student council, but they could play it as “he’s not really there”. He sits out a mission, they could have used his ability as it would have helped them gather information about that mysterious girl. He could have been right on the verge of abusing his powers and that’s when Nao steps in.

    But no, drugs are bad….There would have been lots of ways to show he had a disconnect, and they did that toward the end…

    • Highway says:

      Hmm, I didn’t think that it made Nao look bad. She was giving him a lot of rope, but that’s part of giving him opportunity to turn things around. She only intervened when she felt he was doing something that would be irreparable. Plus, that moment could be considered one that was a ‘low’, rather than the ‘high’ of feeling powerful after the video game or beating up the other thugs. And she pretty much only had one chance to make an impression on him.

      • skylion says:

        He shoves wooden skewers into a guys thigh…..twice…Sure the dude was a thug, but that doesn’t give her much high ground, morally speaking; especially when the dude was background character B, and did nothing wrong that is illustrated. I don’t give Maeda a lot of credit for coming up with a Grey vs. Grey Morality, so again, this doesn’t play into her being the good guy.

        • Highway says:

          I dunno, she’s never really held the moral high ground. She cares about who she cares about. She doesn’t care about anyone else. She violently attacks people from ambush. Yeah, she takes her lumps when she deems it ‘necessary’, but that’s about it. But she’s certainly not anything close to squeaky clean.

          I think the ‘wrongness’ of the thugs who got skewered was established well enough, at least for this group. What I didn’t understand was why these street toughs kept coming after him.

  5. zztop says:

    Once again, tho, we’re kinda let down by the obvious in the show’s writing.

    The problem could be that Maeda Jun’s writing the story using the plot structure of a visual novel, instead of the usual literary story structure.

    PS. Googled a picture of Maeda Jun the other day. Surprisingly, not as otaku-looking as I thought he’d look.

    • Highway says:

      I dunno, at its heart, a VN is still a literary work. It can be well-written and engaging, or it can be by the numbers. I mean, White Album 2 is a VN, but is more of a straight story, and manages to have more emotional depth than these ginned up scenarios (I don’t think that the WA2 introductory chapter even has choices, to be honest).

      • zztop says:

        No, the WA2 intro chapter (which the anime adapted) doesn’t have any choices.

        Have you ever played Parts 2 and 3 of the source WA2 game?

        • Highway says:

          I haven’t played it, but I’m pretty sure there’s only Introductory Chapter and Closing Chapter+Coda. So just a second part, not a third. There’s an all-ages rerelease for PS3 and Vita as well, that might be considered a separate game.

  6. Foshizzel says:

    I was on a podcast with some youtube friends and we talked a lot about Charlotte and there were some great theories as to what happened with Ayumi or what else her power can do! Check it out.

    I also learned one of the other characters in the OP has “time leap” ability sooooo expect that to come into play soon and I have a feeling they will use it to bring Ayumi back and reset everything…yeah…clannad AS all over again if you know what I’m talking about…

    I like this so far yeah Jun Maeda is recycling old material/writing, but come on he is known for doing things for emotional reaction so you can’t really complain because if you follow his previous works you kinda already know what you’re are gonna get.

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