Charlotte – 09

Charlotte - She's back!

Ah! A Ghost!

winter15-highwYou 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

Charlotte - Enjoying themselves

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.

Charlotte - Are you happy Nao

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.

The Unlocking

Charlotte - Typical

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”.

Charlotte - The savior

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).

Charlotte - A confusing reunion

A confusing reunion

Bonus You Know You Wanted To See

Show ▼


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.


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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25 Responses to “Charlotte – 09”

  1. skylion says:

    I can’t imagine this show having a Super Sentai or X-Men style approach to it. So perhaps the experiments are a Phase One of an overall plan? Or it’s one of Maeda’s extended metaphors?

    Goodness. I come across a Time Travel episode after a few weeks of negotiating a treatment of my own. So, I’m kinda brain baked on what Charlotte is going to attempt vs. the stuff I came up with for my own thing.

    So, the only thing I’m concerned with is what they’ve shown so far for power limits. If you alter time, does it stick? For how long? That would be a neat way to look at things…

    • Alexandre Martins says:

      My big question with time leaps and time stops is how big an area is affected. If you change something, does it mean that you move to an alternate timeline? Or do you change the whole universe? Even worse, if you stop time, does it mean that you stopped time for the whole universe? Even if it’s just for Earth, it would mean a slight shift in the planet’s orbit, which might eventually be disastrous. So I just tend to ignore the consequences of time stops, as clearly no author I’ve ever encountered has thought about them. It’s rather nice of this show to have The Flash (Ze Furashu?) instead of somebody who teleports or stops time, because moving fast doesn’t include these kinds of problems. 🙂

      • Highway says:

        Moving fast has other reality problems, such as snapping bones and tearing muscles, but it’s not necessary to go into them.

        I always consider altering the ‘speed’ of time to be more of an individual effect. In essence, the person who ‘stops’ time is instead speeding their own self up so much that it looks like everyone else’s time has stopped. This wouldn’t necessarily have a cascade effect like you describe.

        • Alexandre Martins says:

          Yes, I agree with that. However, I tend to stick to what they say in the show (or book, or whatever), because I try to avoid reading ideas into something as much as I can (total objectivity being, of course, impossible). So, if they say a guy can stop time, until somebody else in the story says otherwise, he can stop time. But, of course, as you mentioned, superspeed involves a lot of problems. It’s like the Superman/Flash competitions of who is faster. It’s easy: the strongest one, as speed is a function of muscle strength. But as superpowers, mutant powers, etc. are just magic by any other name, I tend to ignore physics as much as the show does. Because, let’s be honest, a totally realistic anime (or movie) would be boring as hell!

          • Highway says:

            For me, there are times when physics must be observed and be realistic. Unless you have something that can handwave the natural universe we have away, then you are beholden to the properties of it that we know. That’s why Attack on Titan is such a huge fail for me, since the two major things in it rely on ignoring conservation of mass and basic physics (and also because the lead character is such a twit).

            If a show has a handwave property, like “We’ve advanced science enough that we can travel through the universe”, I don’t expect them to have to explain the foundation of their artificial gravity or anything. They do need to be consistent about it (something that shows just blithely ignore when convenient, such as Sunrise mecha anime or Classroom Crisis), but the mere presence of something that we don’t know how to do doesn’t invalidate their advances. Similarly, magic works as a handwave property for me.

            • Alexandre Martins says:

              Yeah, makes sense. But the main thing for me is that the show follows its own rules, however absurd. I agree with AoT problems because sometimes they use the laws of physics and others, they just throw them out the window, which is irritatingly inconsistent. And I detest Eren. Micasa (es Sucasa?) should be the main characters.
              Agree about magic. I just find it funny that you have To Aru Kaganu no Railgun and To Aru Majutsu no Index, as if psychic powers weren’t as magical and non-existent as, well, magical powers.

            • skylion says:

              …I really like the extrapolations of magic vs. psychic powers in that background. You can do magic cause you relive part of a story, or the whole story.

    • Highway says:

      We will see what the mechanism for Shunsuke is, but I have a feeling that it’s more of a ‘transmit your consciousness from now back to a past self’ kind of thing. Then if you have the ability and resources to affect a change, you can probably do so.

      Although there is a confounding factor in the fact of other people having ‘memories’ of events that don’t happen. Perhaps for most people, because the events that happen in their life happen exactly the same way the second, third, or 278th time, it’s more just a ‘deja vu’ thing, and it’s only the people involved in the change who get something different (and maybe then in dreams like Yuu did). I doubt that time would be as resilient as something from a Terry Pratchett novel in trying to snap back to the way it was otherwise.

      • skylion says:

        I’ve heard of some theories that state that memories are far more plastic than most people would care to admit. That the mere act of remembering a past event that we keep in our head, changes the memory; present context overriding past context…cause past context is done and over with…

        But in my own treatment, it’s “narrative causality” that’s king. Reader expectations are either pandered to completely, or subverted…all for dramatic effect. So yeah, the hows are usually ignored.

        • Highway says:

          I agree almost completely with the research that has recently come out into memory, it’s fallibility and sensitivity to what the person remembering wants the memory to be. I consider it a travesty of justice that so many people are wrongly convicted based on memories / eyewitness testimony accepted and given more weight than exculpatory physical evidence.

          However, I don’t know if that really is what we’re talking about here. The details of the memories aren’t really important, just the fact of their existence as actual memories, rather than fantastical dreams.

          • skylion says:

            Plastic Memories (no, not the show, but that does kinda play in…), The Myth of Fingerprints, and DNA Evidence. Criminal Justice has some challengers, I agree.

            I would like to see them play with memories in this fashion, as it pertains to time travel. Part of me kinda likes the “persistence” that people have invested in their memories.

      • Alexandre Martins says:

        And Shunsuke is now blind. Does that mean he lost his power? Because the evil scientists stated he need light to get to his eyes to use his power, that’s why he was blindfolded. Guess we’ll find out next episode, on the same Charlotte Channel!

  2. Wanderer says:

    …Please save the girl.

    That is all.

  3. Highway says:

    Here’s something I just thought of:

    So in the timeline of the show, Nao introduces Yuu to ZHIEND, referencing it as music that her brother loved. But apparently it’s not an amazingly popular or well-known band, despite the ardor of their fans.

    If we posit that the majority of the world isn’t changed by Shunsuke’s Time Leap back, then it follows that ZHIEND isn’t a particularly big act in the flashback, either. And the time in the flashback is some date in the ‘future’ of where Yuu and Nao et al in our story are. Yet, somehow, Yuu knows about ZHIEND enough to be listening to their new release. But he wasn’t introduced to them by Nao, so how did he come to like them?

    Show ▼

    • skylion says:

      Show ▼

      • Highway says:

        Well, I got the impression that they were letting the kids in the facility basically have access to anything, except the actual outside. It’s not supposed to be necessarily a punishment thing, so it’s not like they should be deprived.

        • skylion says:

          Yah, that’s a thing too…

          • Alexandre Martins says:

            And why is the band called The End (either they did ZHIENDO on purpose or, as usual, they can’t write in these complicated squiggles we Westerners use)? I think that will have some meaning later or. At least, it should.

  4. JPNIgor says:

    Is it only me or ZHIEND songs are awesome and I want to eat them with my ears? Are they gonna release them at some point? Please tell me they will.

    I’m still wondering if ZHIEND’s vocalist (yeah, I already forgot her name, god’s sake) has any more relevance to the story than singing a song named Trigger to (guess what) trigger his memories. Is it just coincidence that both Shunsuke and her are blind?

    • Highway says:

      I know that they’ve got plans to release at least a couple of the ZHIEND songs. Personally, I get kind of annoyed at the “non-english speaker singing in english” quality of them, because the scansion is frequently just wrong and ends up grating.

      I doubt there’s more to Sara than being a convenient mirror for Yuu to see things that he hadn’t realized about himself. I just don’t think that the story has that kind of depth to it. It’s possible they could link them together somehow, but I just don’t have any faith in Jun Maeda doing that, because it’s not his style.

      • skylion says:

        I think I’m more to your side of fence on ZHEIND and Sara, JP. Dunno why, really. I just find the quality of the vocals more fascinating than anything else.

        • JPNIgor says:

          Exactly! And it’s not like she’s the worst japanese person singing in english. It’s somehow an annoyance when you stop to read the lyrics and they just don’t make sense, but I’m already used to it by now, with all the White Ash that I’ve been listening to recently. And the voice is really something else.

        • JPNIgor says:

          Just looked up and they found out that they are going to release Trigger together with five other songs as a single on the 9th of this month, and an album is planned for October 14th… My birthday *-* arigatooou.

          And found out the name of the actual singer, her name is Marina, who also sang as Iwasawa in Angel Beats… Not like I’ve actually watched it, though.

          • Highway says:

            I think she’s done a good job as a person to sing along as Miyuki Sawashiro. It’s not at all like Macross Frontier, when Aya Endou’s character opens her mouth and May’n’s voice comes out.

            I think Marina did some other songs for Jun Maeda KEY games. They mentioned in a ‘preview video’ I saw that she had some for Angel Beats.

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