It’s been a bit since my last post (but not nearly as long as some of them), so I figured I’d start writing this post while the anime is fresh in my mind. I will point out that this review may have spoilers, so readers, beware.
Here is a synopsis from Wikipedia, since I suck at describing:
Charlotte (シャーロット Shārotto?) is a 13-episode Japanese anime television series produced by P.A.Works and Aniplex and directed by Yoshiyuki Asai. The anime aired in Japan between July 5 and September 27, 2015. An original video animation episode was released in March 2016. Two manga series are serialized in ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki G’s Comic. The story takes place in an alternate reality where a small percentage of children manifest superhuman abilities upon reaching puberty. A focus is placed on Yuu Otosaka, a high school boy who awakens the ability to temporarily possess others, which brings him to the attention of Nao Tomori, the student council president of a school founded as a haven for children with such abilities.
While I will try my hardest not to put spoilers in this review, I will say that this show is better experienced knowing less. So once again:
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
All right, so down to brass tacks. Is this show “good”?
In short, I would say that it’s one of the best (if not the best) show this anime season – while I do enjoy Slice-Of-Life shows with bits of comedy, or hyper-violent series with emphasis on psycho-horror, this show falls more into the “Clannad” category of emotional trauma.
And by that, I mean that I actually cried.
That’s not to say that this show is all feels – rather, as stated above, it’s a Superteens show, with happy moments and dark twists. But without ruining the ending, everything ties up fairly neatly – there is not an “ending for a second season”, or even “what about this or that?” ending.
I feel that the ending closes everything nicely, even regarding my one problem with this series regarding the younger sister (which I won’t state).
But enough ranting about how I love it. Let’s review the show as a whole.
Plot: 9 out of 10
When I like a show, it’s usually superficial (as in, I like one character who seems to be the coolest character in the universe). But this show has thirteen episodes – and unlike a lot of shows, it feels like not a single one is wasted. As I stated before, everything seems to wrap up nicely, with the main character showing extremely dynamic growth through the show. The side characters have their own little growths here and there, but this story seems to know that it wants the main characters to stay that way – instead of fading into the background like in other shows. Even considering this, the one moment regarding Ayumi forces me to drop this grade by a point, but otherwise, I think this show nailed it.
Character Development: 5 out of 5
Like with the Plot segment, I have to give this show credit for its use of characters. None of the major characters seem to be forgettable, but the show still manages to keep focus on the “main” characters: Yuu and Nao. By episode 6, you think you’ve figured everyone out, but the show throws a curve ball, going deeper for character development than I’ve ever seen. I can’t genuinely state a single major character that I disliked.
Art / Acting: 9 out of 10
Let me say this: I absolutely LOVE P.A. Works. Every series I have seen them involved with has beautiful animation and powerful, accurate acting – the problem is, the series’ usually end up very boring halfway through (Hanasaku Iroha, RDG, Another… etc). However, this one had all of the above points; not only that, but every character seemed to have their own reason for using their powers… which makes some of the scenes a little more than upsetting (specifically during the last episodes).
Rewatch Value: 7 out of 10
If I am to give any low scores to this show, it would be here. While I did enjoy the show, it isn’t something I would watch over and over because of that. If anything, I would rather watch it again to clarify anything I may have missed (for instance, if the name Charlotte actually appeared before Episode 6…). But then again, I don’t like rewatching many series. My advice to you: take your time with this series. Otherwise, you’ll feel empty inside by the time you reach Episode 9. Trust me.
Overall Rating: 49 out of 50
With the one problem I have with this show, I can’t knowingly give it full marks. However, I have to admit that I absolutely loved this show. Never since Clannad: After Story have I shed an actual tear for a show or movie, but this show did its storytelling right. From the characters to the events, from the animation to the actors, and from beginning to end, this show was absolutely amazing. As I said before, I tried very hard not to put spoilers in this review, but I know that there are some things that are easier to tell now rather than later.
While I don’t know of any discs available outside of Japan and Australia, it seems like most streaming sites (excluding Netflix and Youtube) seem to have it – including Hulu. I wholeheartedly recommend this show to anyone and everyone who enjoys Superteen series (or people looking to jump into the genre). Just be prepared for the last two episodes… actually, just prepare yourself for the whole show.