Directed By: Yoshiyuki Asai Written By: Jun Maeda Produced By : P.A.Works Watch it now at Crunchyroll !
Charlotte is the second original anime production created by Visual Novel brand Key, coming to us five years after Angel Beats! ended. Having experienced only one episode of a Key anime, the first episode of Little Busters!, I have no idea what to expect from this anime as it unfolds each week. Charlotte is the first anime featuring Yoshiyuki Asai as director, although he has directed and storyboarded individual episodes of other anime, such as Fairy Tail, Nagi No Asukara, and Soul Eater. Jun Maeda is the original creator of Charlotte, and will likely be best known as the creator of the previous Key anime, Angel Beats!.
Some spoilers present below…
Charlotte is an anime about an alternate world, in which a small number of adolescents are capable of manifesting some mild forms of superpowers. These superpowers are never quite what they seem, being imperfect in execution. The anime starts with main character Yuu Otosaka explaining his power, the ability to temporarily possess a person in his line of sight for 8 seconds, and how it has little practical use. He does realise that it can be used to cheat in exams, by means of possessing those known to be intelligent and memorising answers, 8 seconds at a time. He utilises this to enter a prestigious high school, but Nao Tomori, a girl with the power to be effectively invisible to a singular person, discovers his cheating and forces him to transfer to Hoshinoumi Academy, where he is to join the student council.
The first half of the premiere episode leads us to believe that Charlotte is to be an anime about a guy abusing his power to benefit himself, somewhat in the same vein as Code Geass; this is cast aside by the end of the episode as he is forced to join the student council to find other people with powers and prevent them from being discovered and experimented upon. The first episode is enough to generate interest in the anime, but the glimpse into Nao’s backstory in episode two is tear-inducing, ensuring you want to know more about this world and watch the student council “save” others with powers. The little sister character aside, I find the main characters likable and will be sticking with this anime through to the end. That I really want to know *why* it is titled Charlotte probably plays a bigger part in that decision than it should, but as long as each episode draws me in, I see no reason to fight that.
The first two episodes are live over at Crunchyroll, so give it a try. Let me know what you think of it, or at least why you think it’s called Charlotte.