Charlotte – 11

Charlotte - Retread

“So you see, we took half of one movie, and then half of another movie, and came up with this plot…”

winter15-highwHow much can go pear-shaped? How about everything?


Say Goodbye to Your Life as You Knew It

Charlotte - Loneliness

The loneliness sets in fast

Yuu doesn’t get a lot of time to bask in the glory of saving Ayumi’s life. After going to visit Shunsuke and reintroducing Ayumi to her big brother, he gets the bad news that he’s now too dangerous to let out of the secret bunker. And so is Ayumi. Oh, and she can’t get her memories of Shunsuke back. So basically, all the good things that had happened to Yuu in the past couple months, all the relationship development with Nao, all shut up in a stupid futuristic research facility. Even worse, all the research facility could come up with is a retread of the crummy 80’s movie Night of the Comet (the abilities are caused by particles from the tail of a comet), mixed in a little bit with the overarching tension of X-Men (the abilities are actually a ‘disease’ that needs to be cured).

Charlotte - Traitor time

“So, you care about your family more than hundreds of kids, why’d you take this job again?”

And you can tell that it starts to chafe on Yuu really quickly, especially when it feels like Shunsuke is both ignoring him and diverting Ayumi away from him. It’s not hard to sympathize with Yuu, who feels like his reward for going all out to save Ayumi is to lose the life he had, and have to start over, yet again. He can’t even go out with Kumagami to see Nao and the rest of the student council friends. But he’ll get his chance to go out soon enough.

Super Bad Guys

Charlotte - Time to leave

You know what this means?  It means they should evacuate this whole place
because you don’t crack the walls like that and have it be safe to live in.

(Not-so-) Happy days in the bunker don’t last long, tho, because the weak link that everyone thought would be ok turns out to be the weak link after all. So the driver guy’s family gets taken hostage, delivers Kumagami to the bad guys, who then go nab Nao. Of course Yuu has to go out to try to save her, even though he’s at first overwhelmed by the whole idea. But it doesn’t go well, and he ends up collapsing the whole place when attacked by the token bad guy special power user and he can’t go back in time. The end result is a dead Kumagami, a half-blind Yuu, an out-cold Nao, and a line I have no idea what it meant: “So the name Pooh was a lie?”

Charlotte - Game Over

Because somehow he got out of being tied to the chair.

I really didn’t like this whole thing. And it’s pretty much the same thing that has annoyed me the whole run with this show: It’s too obviously written. Nothing ends up feeling natural at all, because everything happens exactly the way it should. The slight change this time was that everything happened the way it should for the bad guys. It was like they had the chance to read the script, and then come up with the exact countermeasures to beat Yuu’s attempt to save them. On top of that, it was so two-bit. The muscle to soften up Kumagami and Nao, the “truth serum”, the pulling off of the fingernails, the hanging in her underwear. All of it completely cringeworthy and unnecessary. And at this point I’m starting to wonder if Japanese people can’t actually understand foreign English, so they make sure they have Japanese VA’s speak the English parts. I can’t think of any other reason you have an American character, who doesn’t speak Japanese at all for his 4 lines in the show, speak in that kind of English. Would it really be so hard to get an American to do it. Heck, you just need to find one guy and he could probably cover all these parts.

Charlotte - The Bad Guys

Bad guys… check

Charlotte - Everything goes wrong

Screamy time ensues


This episode had all the same problems as the other episodes of everything being on rails, plus the added detriment that it was the episode that the bad guys ‘win’ on. If you can call all dying ‘winning’, I guess. But it just continues to leave me feeling ‘meh’ about the whole enterprise. We’re still checking off the boxes: “Kill major supporting character… check! Have Yuu lose confidence… check!” And that just makes it feel like in the finale next week, we’ll get “pick up the pieces” and “life goes on…”


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 – 11”

  1. skylion says:

    I’ve been waiting for the show to pick back up on the thematic trail it lost around episode three. Angel Beats had some of the same problems for the first three that I watched. Interesting things happened, cause that’s what they wrote.

    I really liked this one upon watching it, but Fridge Logic just caught up with me. I didn’t get Night of the Comet right off the bat (cause sometimes having a bad memory comes in handy!), but it crept up on me. Nor did I get the X-Men references (same reason).

    Well, I hope PA Works’ Winter 2016 show about supernatural mysteries and the wind ensemble club is better.

    I’m not in a forgiving mood for what this one did to Nao…

  2. DP says:

    I completely agree with everything you say here EXCEPT about “Night of the Comet,” which is a really good, really funny movie!!

    • Highway says:

      Then I sincerely hope you keep on enjoying it! 🙂

      Thanks for commenting! And not just because you agree with me.

    • HannoX says:

      I also thought Night of the Comet was really funny. It was meant to be cheesy fun! Although if you thought it was supposed to be otherwise then it would come across as bad.

  3. Foshizzel says:

    I haven’t heard of Night of the Comet, but the idea of the kids getting powers from a space rock is fine I mean how else would you have the characters get their crazy powers? I like the X-men style of them just being born with them because they don’t have to create some dumb backstory for the origin of the powers.

    He can’t even go out with Kumagami to see Nao and the rest of the student council friends

    Well he kinda has no choice but stay hidden away because his time travel power is huge if used by the wrong people! Yeah it sucks that he saved his sister but lost all his connections to his friends…

    I took pooh’s death as the whole butterfly effect Yuu saved his sister so someone else pays the price because that always happens when you screw with time travel+saving someone from death.

    Anyone else thinking Yuu will travel back in time to prevent the meteor from hitting earth? IDK how he will pull that off, but for some reason I get that feeling.

    • Highway says:

      This is one of those things, like midichlorians, that they should have just kept their mouths shut about. “We don’t know why kids get these powers” is plenty good enough for the scope of this show. It’s already dumb enough that only teenagers get them, and that they go away before they finish high school. So it turns into a throwaway point.

      What the show needs to do is get Sara back, and maybe it will in the last two episodes (once the dummies on the show get to the part in the script about realizing that Yuu remembered his past future – yes, I just wrote that – while listening to her). But I have faith that once Jun Maeda is done with a character, they’re not coming back. If he pulls some 11-dimensional chess maneuver on us and brings Sara, or even those kids from the early episodes, back on us, I’ll be amazed. But it’s not gonna happen.

      • skylion says:

        I’m fine with only teenagers getting powers and losing them as they reach adulthood. There’s a neat metaphor there for a sort of personal power you can only have during those years. Now, has the show really done anything with that? Oh, heck no. But it’s still there.

        …and YAY for a Sara subplot!

    • Foshizzel says:

      Why Sara? Are you saying if Yuu never met her none of this would have happened? Like him remembering that he had a brother and taking his time travel powers from him? I could see that or nope? I’m trying to figure out why you both want Sara to return I like her too but IDK what she could do since shes powerless.

      • skylion says:

        Sara was there to open a new chapter of the story. It would be a neat bookend for her to be part of ending that chapter…

      • Highway says:

        Is she powerless? Somehow she made Yuu remember a timeline that *never even happened* (let’s not delve too deeply into the complete impossibility of that, tho). Plus, she had the most compelling backstory that was partially told throughout this entire show, with her “I got famous, but now I’m serving the penance by being blind, and am happier for it.” Plus, she’s the best character that the show has had. The two episodes she was in were by far the best episodes of the series, and the only ones that felt like there was any sort of natural story unfolding.

        • skylion says:

          I dunno, I groove on comic-book style stuff, but remember a past that never happened is interesting; I mean, that’s what fiction is for…

          • Highway says:

            No no, not a *past* that never happened. He remembered things from in the future from a timeline that could not happen now. But he’s the only one who has these memories. Haven’t we been talking about plot convenience? That may be the biggest one so far.

            • skylion says:

              Well, when put that way it’s a different sort of rabbit hole…like one burrowed into water?

        • Foshizzel says:

          Didn’t Sara explain to Yuu that she “had” powers at one time but lost them? Her singing wasn’t her power as far as I understood the song itself triggered their memories.

          • Highway says:

            Supernatural abilities never came up with Sara. What she had was fame and success, but apparently that didn’t turn out like she wanted it to.

            And it’s not that she has some supernatural power to make you remember things. I’m just saying that’s the only thing that’s made anyone remember things like that, if the goal is to get Ayumi’s memories back.

            • Foshizzel says:

              I guess we watched different episodes…I clearly remember Sara talking to Yuu about having powers once and lost them making her go blind, but I think were talking about two different things lol

            • Highway says:

              You’re talking about the conversation on the bus, no? I’m pretty sure she was talking about wanting to be famous, and her band at the time getting famous, but it came at the cost of… something. And now she’s blind, and she feels that it’s deserved penance for what she blithely gave away or did to make her other band famous. Those are the things she said she ‘lost’, but I really don’t recall any sort of supernatural power coming into that.

            • Foshizzel says:

              Hmmmmmm yeah I guess maybe I just assumed lol

  4. Rathje says:

    Another good relationship story hijacked by obligatory plot.

    It’s always frustrating to see shows do this. They build up some good character relationships we are interested in – then they sideline them in favor of massive plot exposition and villains that we are supposed to magically care about, even though they’ve spent zero time on either up to this point.

    To put it bluntly, what was good about this show was what made Chuunibyuo a good show. This show is NOT good for the same reasons Code Geass was good, and it shouldn’t try to be.

    • Highway says:

      If they’d come up with some story about Nao and Yuu and some bigger thing they have to deal with as they get closer together, that would have probably made a much better story. Leave Ayumi dead, let her death be the final signpost on Yuu’s turnaround into a good person, and move on.

      But as you say, it feels like they said “We have to come up with some big nefarious plot to deal with.” and then jammed the characters in that. And it’s just about ruined the show for me.

  5. zztop says:

    It’s too obviously written. Nothing ends up feeling natural at all, because everything happens exactly the way it should.

    Clearly the problem is Maeda Jun’s writing style.
    The man has talent in writing emotional scenarios, but has problems tying them together so the scenarios flow naturally like a literary story.
    Instead it feels like he’s writing out the progress of a visual novel’s route he so commonly works on.

    • Highway says:

      The thing is, this would be bad writing in a VN, or a LN, or a manga, or anything. Don’t think that VNs should get a pass because they’re ‘choose your storyline’. A good VN will flow just as much as a regular novel does. Think of an ordinary book as a VN story where someone else made the choices for you. The fact that a lot of VNs don’t flow smoothly isn’t because they’re VNs, it’s because they’re poorly written. There’s nothing inherent to the medium that makes it impossible to be well-written. If it turns out that way, it’s just that the quality of the writing and editing isn’t good enough.

  6. Overcooled says:

    I wonder if I’m gonna have to brush up on my “Winnie the Pooh” lore to understand what Kumagami meant when he died….

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