Genre: Comedy, Drama, Supernatural
Director: Yoshiyuki Asai
Studio: P.A. Works
Original Airtime: July 4, 2015 – September 26, 2015
The plot of Charlotte revolves around Yu Otosaka who while on the surface looks like an ordinary charming and good-looking school kid, has a strange ability, which is to possess someone’s body for 5 seconds. Thinking he is unique he takes advantage of his ability and uses it for his personal gain. From getting the top position at school to getting the girl we wants, he acquires them all. But soon he is faced with one Nao Tomori and learns that he is not the only one with such ability and is forced to transfer to a school where teenagers with these strange abilities are enrolled to keep them safe from becoming guinea pigs for research. He is forced to join the student council that specializes in tracking down teenagers with these abilities and persuades them to either transfer to their school or stop using these powers for unjust causes. In the process Yu learns that there is more to his seemingly imperfect ability and his life takes a huge turn as he learns some shocking secrets about his past. Thus is the premise of the anime.
I had my doubts starting this anime. I mean the plot is SO X-Men. Still I started it with a skeptic mind. Half way into the anime I was still unimpressed and it was your typical peculiar high school anime. It was when I reached about episode 7/8 the real plot started to unravel. It turned into something so exciting and intriguing that I couldn’t sleep without finishing the anime. It drew me in and it was a great experience. Now the issue with the story is that it wasted some of the first episodes in showing typical Hoshinoumi High School Student council activities like hunting people with strange powers down and rushed towards the end. I believe that they could have spared one of two episode from the first portion of the anime and use it to make the ending smoother. Other than this slight pacing issue the story was well executed and was used to its full potential.
Charlotte has a fairly good amount of characters. It has one set of characters that stays with us from the beginning and another set that comes into focus 7 or 8 episodes into the anime. The main focus is still on a handful of characters though all characters have some role to play in the progression of the story. We have our main protagonist Yu Otosaka who gets the most amount of character development. Not only does he get a backstory but he also changes as the show progresses and he starts to realize the harsh reality of life. He goes from a selfish arrogant narcissist to a compassionate and selfless hero. Then we have or heroin Nao Tomori. She has a decent amount of character development. We get to know about her past and she also changes over the course of the anime as she experiences love. Then we have our Super Kawaii Imouto san Ayumi Otosaka who is also my favorite character from Charlotte. She is just a bundle of joy! And finally we have our typical comic relief Jojiro Takajo and Moe Teen Idol Yusa Nishimori. We also get a really good set of supporting characters in the second half like Shunsuke Otosaka and Kumagami, two of my favorite supporting characters. Most of the characters were likable but the show focused on a very little handful and they got decent character development.
Here are some notable characters from the anime:
The animation and visuals of Charlotte was pretty good. It is definitely not top notch like Fate Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks or Death Parade but it was good enough. The colors were good, bright and vibrant, perfect for a high school anime and suitable for the comedy and moe moments of the anime. Overall the animation was good. P.A. Works did a good job with it.
Here are some screenshots from the anime:
The soundtracks in this anime was decent. Being a musician myself I keep an ear out for good music in anime and pay special attention to them. Yet I didn’t find anything too exceptional in the sound department. I have mixed feeling about the opening song “Bravely You” by Lia. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. I guess I was expecting a lot from her since her song “My Soul, Your Beats” from Angel Beats was so good. I loved the ending theme “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa” by Aoi Tada. I also loved the insert song “Fallin” by Zhiend. Overall the music department of Charlotte was decent.
In terms of enjoyment, I would rate Charlotte pretty high. I absolutely loved the second half of the anime and how the story panned out. It was a great experience. The only possible hindrance to the enjoyment is the first few episodes and the rushed ending. But I’m really glad that i didn’t give up on this show and stuck till the second half which made up for these flaws. Otherwise I don’t see why one will not enjoy this show.
Charlotte is a really great and enjoyable anime. It has quite a few surprises and you will not be able to guess what will happen. It has a good story and a lovable set of characters. My only request to the viewers would be to please have the patience to sit through the first few episodes. It gets really good in the second half. I enjoyed it and I’m sure you will too, Charlotte is undoubtedly one of the best anime of 2015.