If the last episode, had been a whole anime. I would of watched it in a heart beat. If the entire series had been Yu slowly loosing his sanity as he plundered the abilities from everyone around the world, I would of loved it. If it was his reputation as the one eyed Reaper built up over time and we discovered everyone trying to kill him, painting him as the bad guy and then flash backing to the events of earlier in the series showing that he had a noble cause all along? That would of been amazing!
Alas that was only the last episode, is that to say that the rest of the series was bad? No, not by a long shot. I’m just saying the concept for the last episode would of made an amazing anime! On that note, let’s discuss the last episode of Charlotte in detail. So the episode starts with Yu going on his journey to plunder every last ability in the world.
Which slowly drives him insane, with thousands upon thousands of powers and voices in is head. This is why I am adamant in my belief that this episode could of made it’s own series or at least a mini-cour with the rest of the series around it. He gains a reputation as ‘The one eyed reaper’ by all the other ability users and gains a huge bounty. The guy who almost kills him at the end says that with that money, he could play around for life.
As he loses his sanity, he also loses his memory. He can’t remember what he’s doing this for, whining at one point that he’s tired and someone else should take over. Why was it him? Why had this burden fallen on him? At this point, he’s working off base instinct. The only thing keeping him from losing it completely is the little thing of flash cards that Nao gave him before leaving.
That’s his anchor to his sanity, an emotional connection to someone that he doesn’t know. A promise that he can barely remember making.
At the end of the episode, he gets saved from being killed by Shunsuke at the moment he is going to be killed by the bounty hunter. So wait, with Yu’s cell phone being broken earlier in the episode, nobody left with the ability to track ability users, and Yu not even remembering his brother so much less the idea that he could of contacted him to tell him what country he was in…How did Shunsuke find him?
I mean, it’s not like I wanted Yu to die. I was nearly crying and I was REALLY happy when Shunsuke came down in the helicopter to pick him up. My question here is, how!?
There is NO explanation for this other then Dues ex Machina.
Setting that aside for now, we then cut to Yu waking up with Nao at his bedside. Of course, he can’t remember her, which hurts her but she’s glad when he mentions that the only thing that kept him going all the time he was gone was the thing of flash cards. No matter how ripped up, or beaten or dirty they were. They were the one thing that he couldn’t get rid of.
When he was ready to give up and become a God with all the power he had, it was the thing that drove him on the right path again. It’s alright though, with Nao’s tendency to record everything, she can show Yu memories from the past and create a new future with him. Overall we’re left with a happy, if not a little bitter sweet ending.
At the beginning of the season I was caught between two shows to cover. Either Charlotte or Ranpo Kittan and in the end, I settled on Charlotte. Why? Because in the first episode I saw a lot of promise for this series. In particular in Yu, he was not exactly like the main character that you would expect in a series like this. I suppose, what I was expecting from the main character was some Chuuninbyou nut job like the guy from the other student council with superheroes show I covered.
I ended up with the love child of Lelouch and Light Yagami for a main character instead.
Charlotte was interesting for sure, entertaining and fun. Is it a good show though? Well yes and no, it’s got a lot of good things going for it but It also feels a little bit rushed or contrived at points. Certain elements should of been given more time to be explored, some aspects should of been talked about more. In the end, it comes down to the fact that this anime was 13 episodes long and it couldn’t completely tell the story it wanted too in that amount of time.
If it had brought in the time travel story sooner, or he terrorist, or the scientist or had the terrorist and the scientist working together. If Yu’s sociopath tendencies had reared their ugly heads more often. There was so much keeping this anime from being the anime that it COULD of been. I would of liked to see more with time travel, causality, if they saved Ayumi but had to pay an even higher cost. Something along the lines of a Steins;Gate arc.
Not to say that the loss of Pooh was a light one. I am exceptionally glad that Yu did not decide to heal his eye so he could time leap to save him. I am very glad that they dealt with at least the finality of one death in this series. Even if it was one of the more minor characters, even if it negated the point of Yu having to come to terms with the death of his sister.
How would the original timelines Nao of handled Yu’s memory loss. That’s something I’d be sort of interested to know.
I think another big problem is the huge tonal shift the series goes through in it’s short run time. You go from a supernatural show about High School students keeping others like them safe from experimentation. To the last episode reading like something from a sci-fi thriller, akin to Darker than Black! Sure, you know that there are high stakes at the beginning from the moment that you’re introduced to Nao’s brother.
It’s nothing like watching a man slowly lose his sanity as he travels across the world stealing abilities from people and becoming public enemy number one!
If I had to say anything about Charlotte is that I wish it was longer. It had a lot of really good ideas, it was always entertaining. I loved the atmosphere and the characters, I loved the dynamic that the entire student council had. Wait a second, I never got a Takajo arc!? Was he really that happy!? He didn’t have any sort of dark past or anything!?
I feel jipped!
So let’s see, an overall rating for Charlotte is hard. It’s not a bad anime, by any stretch of the imagination and I would recommend it for sure. I just feel like it could of been more, with that being said….I think a 7.5/10 is in order. It’s beautiful, entertaining, moving, with great characters that you come to love…but it’s not the anime it could be. Which is sad…which is sad.
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About that “Dues ex Shunsuke”:
Shunsuke suddenly couldn’t contact Yu anymore, what would’ve been his next course of action? I think that might answer one of your questions. Another thing to note is that the girl went to call the police, and Shunsuke was in that police helicopter. Don’t think it’s as bad as you think.
Omg, your idea of an anime sounds amazing xD. I love it.
But I do like the whole “switching from Inu-Battle like plot to the-world-may-end-due-to-feels” thing. I like surprises. 7.5/10 is a very fair grade, but I would probably upgrade it to an 8.5/10 in my mind just because I enjoyed it so much (not critically) and the ending was exactly what I wanted. I mean, damn, I have not sobbed (not cried, legitimate sobbing) for an anime since Afterstory. I mean I didn’t cry every episode or anything (freaking Shigatsu wa kimi no uso) but some parts really packed a punch. Of course, the pacing was still an issue and I would have liked to see how they cleared him of the powers.
This review conveys my thoughts exactly about Charlotte. It had a lot of great moments, great characters and potential, but suffered from pacing issues. Honestly, pretty much the same problem that had happened a few years ago with Angel Beats. Oh well, there’s still a lot to love in Charlotte, so it’s something I’d still recommend to others. (Btw, If the plot of the final episode had been given its own season, I would have watched the hell out of it).
There’s a final Bluray-only episode coming this March 2016.
They could use that to answer some unexplained plot points like Sara Shane, or they could use it for more fanservice. (“- -)
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