Anime Review – Charlotte

Charlotte-(S)Forget periods and pubic hair, in Charlotte puberty is all about powers! From time travel to teleportation, Charlotte breaks free from the typical classroom environment to bring you along its epic supernatural adventure. While it can’t be denied the pacing is as awkward as a toddler racing Usain Bolt, it should be known that overall the anime stacks up well. “How?” You ask. Well, lets fly into action and find out.

Charlotte’s premise stems from unique powers manifesting in individuals during their years of teenage angst. The catch? Let these powers become widely known and be subject to years of torture by knowledge-hungry scientists. So be quick and put up your forcefield, for this tale of protection has enough twists, turns and emotional tugs to keep you hooked. While for the most part it’s enjoyable it unfortunately isn’t quite flawless. Along with its huge pacing issues there are some plot holes to boot. While I take plot holes with a grain of salt and think…well, nothing’s perfect (except for you of course), it may be a fiery deal breaker for some. But if you’re already thinking “Charlotte, not for me,” then freeze that thought. This anime is definitely worth a try.

This is an anime that likes to merge the serious with the comical. While sometimes it feels as odd as searching for fish on dry land (slow down there Dora the Explorer), other times it leaves you with a big grin on your face and feeling just that little bit happier as you go forward. The animation is done really well, even in relation to some of the extremist approaches taken. Like kicking someone through a glass wall tumbling downwards to a near death for the sake of it. Crazy, yes. But it did make me laugh. Sound kicks in nicely and really ramps up some of the emotional aspects. Likewise it adds to the atmosphere and just generally makes it all run smoothly.

The least efficient but most entertaining way to remove a character from an episode or two. Source: P.A. Works
The least efficient but most entertaining way to remove a character from an episode or two. Source: P.A. Works

When looking at the characters in Charlotte we witness a hybrid between archetypes and originality. Character progression flows well with the main protagonist Yuu slowly becoming less like an audacious ‘Grumpy’ from Snow White and more like an actual human being. All the characters are likeable and while yes, some take or seem to be based off typical archetypes, none of them can be classed as a cookie-cutter character. My personal favourites have to be Yusa and Tomori who hypnotised me with their charisma and lack of it respectively.

Overall this 13-episode series is an enjoyable one. I know what you may be thinking – isn’t there an angry mob of people who hate the show? You’re right. And while a lot of the points they make are true, whether you enjoy or turn away from this anime depends on what you value and prioritise. All things considered, this anime clearly isn’t for everyone, but I believe it’s worth giving a shot. As an anime that peaks at the end you may need to push through the first few episodes, but you’ll get there. And hopefully you’ll find it as enjoyable as I did.

Thank you for reading my review!

Rating 7/10

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