Charlotte – 08

Charlotte - Visiting Yukihira

That Yukihira makes some great soba!

winter15-highwSometimes when you bag on a show for four straight episodes, it manages to say “Oh yeah, how about this!” and actually give you a surprise.

Didn’t See That Coming

Charlotte - Welcome back

Not everyone’s happy to see Yuu

From an ordinary start to the episode, Charlotte managed to go somewhere that was entirely unexpected. Yuu is trying to get back in the swing of his life now that Ayumi is gone, and that means back to school and the student council. And back to Yusarin’s charms, Joujirou’s fanboying, and Nao’s summons to the student council room. One thing that Yuu just barely touches on, however, is that now he’s become like the others in the Student Council. Having felt kind of bad for the others when he realized that they didn’t really have a ‘home’ to go to, he now realizes that there’s noone waiting for him either.

Charlotte - Arguments about Post-Rock are like this.

This is how most arguments about Post-Rock go.

There’s a little break in the routine today, tho. First it’s that Yusarin is putting out a new single, with a PV, and Nao makes everyone watch it. I don’t know exactly why, tho. She’s not a big fan of Yusarin, and she gives it a fair-to-middling score. Nor is Yuu a particularly big fan. And you’d figure that Joujirou would see it soon enough anyway. So this felt pretty tacked on just to get an insert song to sell with the show. But the other thing is that Nao has two tickets to see ZHIEND, the band that’s come up before. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that she’ll go with Yuu. And there’s some minor posturing so that that happens. Again, in the vein of the rest of the show, pretty obvious. But then Yuu meets someone unexpected: Sara Shane (and a continuity fail to PA Works here, having her sign her name “Sala”).

Seeing the Inside, Not the Outside

Charlotte - Meeting



Sara’s introduction is as kind of a kooky blind woman on the street, but as she spends more time with Yuu, we see her be more and more insightful as to what goes on around her. She can tell that he’s recently sad, and helps Yuu to examine his thoughts about Ayumi and his own self. But having met Sara, Yuu also feels like it’s an opportunity to help Nao and her brother. Given that ZHIEND was Nao’s brother’s favorite band, and that she likes them, he figures that she’d be a fan of Sara personally as well. I liked that they made Nao be not that interested. People can be fans of someone’s work, and not idolize them, just enjoy what they do.

Charlotte - thoughtful

Sara wonders about Yuu’s past

This is something that tracks my own thoughts about most famous performers. I generally like what they do, and am thankful that people make music for me to listen to. But performers are not their music. Liking one does not necessarily mean one idolizes the other. That’s why I always have trouble with those questions like “Who is the one musician you’d most want to meet?” I have no desire to really meet any of them. Would I turn down the opportunity? Probably not. But would I go out of my way? Definitely not. This makes me think about something else as well, with regards to Nao and Yuu in this situation. For Yuu, who has coincidentally met Sara and made a connection with her, the relationship is completely different from how it would be if Nao came to meet Sara. Yuu and Sara met and connected as an unknown stranger trying to be helpful. Nao and Sara would be meeting as performer and listener. But Nao doesn’t want that kind of relationship with Sara. Would she take one like Yuu has? Maybe. But it would be much harder for her to make in the first place. And to that end, I think she even works hard to make sure that Yuu and Sara don’t see her as they ‘miss each other’ at the hospital. Could it be that perhaps Nao even uses her powers to make sure Yuu doesn’t see her…

Helping Those Who Help Others

Charlotte - Traveling

Think that lady recognizes Sara?

And judging from Sara’s reactions and willingness to keep doing what Yuu asks, that’s something that she craves, that connection to people. It’s not that Yuu is ignorant of Sara’s fame and reputation, it’s just that by the time he learns of it, it doesn’t matter anymore. And Yuu has definitely lost his selfishness, thinking only of helping Nao’s brother, and having someone acknowledge the better person he’s become. Sara says it’s due to someone he’s met, and Yuu’s credit goes to Nao, although I think that Ayumi deserves a little bit of it as well, but it’s certainly true that Yuu has become much less of a selfish jerk since interacting with Nao.

Charlotte - The End

Great lighting, again

At last Yuu’s idea to have Sara meet Nao’s brother pays off as well. Sara seems to understand his “composing”, and though it’s unclear whether she’s singing along to it, or just singing to him, either way he seems to be touched, and becomes more lucid, a state that he hasn’t been since he was rescued from the “scientists”. And there’s one more nice reminder of the ways that Yuu has changed during his conversation with Nao at the end. He doesn’t gloat or take extra credit for helping. He just seems happy that his idea, and he himself, was able to help.


If there was one thing that kind of compressed the high that this episode reached, it was that easy resolution again. Not that they’ve set Nao’s brother back on the road to recovery, but that just 30 seconds of interaction seems to have totally turned him around. That’s the only real concession to the punchlist plot points that this episode seemed to make, tho, as I found the whole work to be wonderfully out of sequence, and a great examination into the changes that our main character has effected in his life. For me, there was more emotional impact in this episode, as I watched the last 5 minutes with damp eyes, than any shock happening from the rest of the show. I’d much rather have more of these.


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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7 Responses to “Charlotte – 08”

  1. skylion says:

    Would it be better to thing of Yuu’s change as something he has been waiting a very long time for. And lost most of those situations, it’s only as complicated as finding the right key to the lock, and perhaps the right time to open it?

    I think the only person whom I’ve idolized that I’ve met on multiple occasions is the writer Neil Gaiman. He’s one of those sorts of folks that have an amazing memory, especially for faces, or at least mine is memorable, as he’s recognized me on two separate occasions, after meeting him at three signings, all in different cities. And despite his superstar status, he always comes off as….just this goofy sort of nice bloke.

    I found it quite remarkable, seeing the contrast between idol music and other sorts presented here. One is very prepackaged, and very very replaceable, despite coming with prepackaged fans. The other, as expressed by Nao, comes of as having a more lasting quality. But, I should stress that no one should feel ashamed for liking what they like.

    Yep, you were patient and the show delivered for you. Think Chaos Dragon will do the same for me?

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Think Chaos Dragon will do the same for me?

      Unless it starts down the path of a complete LOLi orgy now till the end… Then no.

      That said, your other show will be starting down the path of angst, blood and tears that will not stop until… Chapter 29/30 of the following sequel. >_>

  2. Overcooled says:

    Yuu becoming selfless is something I feel like I should have noticed, but I didn’t until Sara actually called him nice. I needed that sort of explicit statement for me to make the connection. Not sure why I never put the two together because man, he’s really come a long way since episode 1. I always thought I would love to see Asshole Yuu throughout the season but I think I much prefer seeing him like this.

    As someone who works in a vision lab, I still find it amusing that blind characters are always given these special ~I can sense your feelings~ abilities in anime. Every time! Other than that, Sara was a great character.

    • skylion says:

      Well, I think half of understanding people is actually listening to them. Take into account the “magic hearing” often ascribed to blind people, it’s a trope that still has some mileage to it, depending on how it’s used; which was used quite well here….

      • Highway says:

        Adding to what skylion says, I think that some of the reason that blind people are portrayed that way is also because they’re kind of freed from some of the social strictures that might prevent someone from prying. Not only that, but Sara also has the “boorish American” excuse as well. So given those characteristics, Sara is allowed to breach the question, where someone else might just be limited to noticing “oh, he looks down, I shouldn’t pry.” I don’t think it really is any magical ability to understand feelings, but more of an allowable TV device to get the person with the feelings to talk about them.

        • Overcooled says:

          It’s a convenient trope, for sure. We needed to see Yuu vent a bit and having an outsider with enough excuses to pry into something so personal is perfect for the plot.

          My problem is just a personal issue with the trope as a whole. It bugs me when blindness is treated as an edgy, special ability with all these hidden benefits such as how Sara is frighteningly perceptive. But in reality, even though the loss of sight can allow for better hearing and other sensory compensations, it’s not exactly fun. I guess I shouldn’t be asking for an accurate depiction of the struggles of being blind in a show about magic powers though :/

          • Highway says:

            I can understand seeing ‘the usual’ in the character, but I thought they handled it pretty well as far as it being something that Sara didn’t want. She accepts it, but still believes it’s ‘penance’. And penance for something she feels was very bad in the first place.

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