Charlotte – a copy of Angel Beats?

repost from old blog.

I don’t like the word “hype” much, as it is really overused and doesn’t really describe anything, but Charlotte, is indeed one of the most hyped anime of Summer 2015.  But does the hype really have any backing?  Here I’ll try to justify whether or not Charlotte lived up to the hype.

charlotteCharlotte is set in world where certain teenagers for an unknown reason gain special abilities.  Our main character – Otosaka Yuu has the ability to possess someone…but only for 5 seconds.  He uses his ability to cheat his way into one of the most prestigious high schools.  However he soon is caught by a girl named Tomori Nao.  He realizes that he is not the only one with a special ability.

When I first began watching Charlotte, I have to admit I was not impressed.  Charlotte is another Key/PA Works collaboration… as well as Jun Maeda holding the pencil again.  The director and sound director are also the same from Angel Beats.  I watched, and I guess what I got? Angel Beats.  As I wrote in my first impressions post, I hated this.  People loved it for this because they all loved Angel Beats (as do I) and wanted more of Angel Beats.  But I don’t want a carbon copy of Angel Beats.  The story telling was completely the same.  I wanted something different, something that I could differentiate from Angel Beats.  I wanted something new that could stand on its own and not be a copy of something else.

This review will contain spoilers…you’ve been warned.  Click here to watch Charlotte.

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The first 6 episodes were practically useless and chock full of repeated jokes and Ayumi being really annoying.  It wasn’t until Episode 7 where the show finally started to pull it together.  Episode 7 is when I actually got interested in the show.  The show took a very dark turn…but where it went for the next few episodes was vital.  If it went back to the status quo, it would’ve made the dark turn useless and pointless, but luckily the show takes on a new route and has a plot twist…aside from the random antics in between.

The ending in general was kind of iffy for me.  The ending of “I’ll promise to come back after stealing all of these people’s special abilities that I dont know where they are while I’m one of the most hunted men for the enemies and my potential girlfriend waits at home” was just not cutting it for me.  The whole situation just seemed kind of unreasonable and cliche to me.  It seemed extremely impractical for the moment in the plot it was placed at…and realistically someone like Yuu is probably unable to pull it off.  What was episode 13 going to be than?

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yup he’s collapsed on the ground with two possibly dead people behind him…what do you mean this needs more screentime and explanation?

Again the story as with Angel Beats is left with too many holes, too many spaces unfilled.  They could’ve condensed the first 6 episodes to maybe two or three and perhaps spent more episode on this last bit of plot, because as it seems to me, there are a lot of important character revelations and a lot of explanation to be done, but instead they’re just like: yeah he was going psycho for a sec there but we’ll just skip over it.  The last episode was rushed and to be honest, the ending seemed too good to be true to me.    It didn’t seem realistic at all.  He was completely over powered, running flying around and taking on massive amounts of people at once.

The plot was poorly paced and wasn’t well executed.  They spent more time explaining Yusa’s “magic tricks” and her TV shows than Yuu’s moment of insanity while he’s mysteriously dragging two corpse.  He’s contemplating if he should take over the world, should we be concerned about his sanity? – psyche, let’s just cut to him protecting a bunch of kids and taking on an RPG and pretend that never happened.  Maybe the show would’ve been better if they’d just stuck to the slice-of-life and bad jokes style at the beginning, taking on a plot like this would require better execution and thought.

charlotte5Let’s talk about our main character – Otosaka Yuu.  For the first 6 episodes, perhaps he was the only stand out of the show.  I really enjoyed his character.  He was a different character from all our standard male characters.  He was cynical, dark, and sarcastic.  The character development he goes through is great, especially in his revelation after his sister dies.  But a lot of his development is neglected afterwards just to turn him into a plain character – Yuu minus his sarcasm and dark nature.

Tomori Nao – I had mixed feelings about her, at moments I enjoyed her character, but she didn’t seem to bring anything new to the table.  I enjoyed her moments on screen, but I didn’t particularly get excited about seeing her.  I never quite got a full grasp of her character.  I’ll also mention, she’s the appearance of Kanade, but with Yuri’s character.  I also thought that her character design didn’t quite fit with her character, but that’s not too important

The other characters don’t really have any points of interest to me to discuss.  None of them really get the screen time to develop.

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The music and art was very nice, but nothing particularly special stood out to me.  People always gush about PA Works art, and I used too as well, but it seems to have worn out.  To be honest, while it shines from time to time, it for the most part is average and doesn’t have anything that sets it apart from the rest.

Overall, this show was, indeed an enjoyable watch, but to me it doesn’t leave a lasting impression.  The show’s pacing was really what shot itself in its toe.  I know I spent a lot of time bashing this show, as I do with many shows that I pick apart, but this show was fun to watch and I did look forward to new episodes.

Charlotte, while it didn’t fix the issues that Angel Beats had, it eventually went on to have it’s own feel…

I can’t say whether or not it lived up to its hype as that is purely something that is opinion based, as with all reviews, but to me personally, I didn’t think it was as phenomenal as people are putting up as.  It was something fun to watch, but it wouldn’t be an anime that I would say one must watch.

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Authors Note: I’m really sorry for this really poorly written post.  I’ve been having troubles trying to find the right words to convey my thoughts. (I’m having issues literally right now as I’m writing this part).  I’m trying to improve my writing style as my writing style seems really hard to read.  Thank you to anyone who reads my reviews!

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