Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - P.A. Works
Special abilities occur among a small percentage of boys and girls in puberty. Yuu Otosaka uses his power without others knowing, and lives a fairly normal, average school life. Before him suddenly appears a girl, Nao Tomori. Due to his meeting with her, the fate of special power-users will be exposed.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

Series premiered on July 4, 2015.
Animated by PA Works.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3059#628]
(Eight episodes watched):

The premise of a number of teens each with a unique paranormal power reminded me of last season's Yamada and the Seven Witches. My first impression is that Charlotte might not be as good, but it still seems to have a strange twist which grabs my attention and makes me want to watch more. Yuu has been using his ability to briefly switch bodies with other people to his advantage, but he hasn't done any physical harm to anybody who didn't deserve it, or stolen anything, and seems to be a decent brother, so I sort of like him. The fact that he was somewhat humiliated and took a bit of a beating himself might be making me feel that he has already done his penance for his bad deeds. The question is, what will the secret group of teenagers with special powers use them for in the remainder of the series? I'm a little unnerved to see Yuu holding what seems to be a lightsaber in the image above, but so far so good, and I will be watching episode two.

It looks like this show will be more serious than Yamada, which was largely comedy. The theme seems to be that teens with paranormal powers need to be found and hidden away in this safe locale before heartless government and industry people find them and exploit them. But I was not all that moved by this premise. The 'good guys versus bad guys' theme was simplistic and the whole premise was hard to take seriously. I also found that I had largely forgotten what powers the different teens possessed, which is a sign that episode one hadn't exactly intrigued me. I don't recall any serious laughs--except maybe the super-fast guy getting injured and hardly noticing it. My guess is that this show will be worth watching, but it will indeed only rate a 'Watch', not a 'Rent' or anything else.

In a way, this seems like another re-make of the old Harry Potter 'persecuted wizards' premise; that is, that wizards are the good guys and a repressive system is trying to exploit them. But that never made much sense to me, since people with fantastic powers seem to hold most of the cards and are more likely to have the upper hand than to be exploited. The scientists/government faction wasn't explained very well here, just stereotyped as the bad guys; and when a show tries to generalize the factions into good guys and bad ones, that sets off an alarm in my head about the danger of a simplistic plot and uninteresting characters. I have already largely forgotten the details of what has happened so far, because they weren't very intriguing to begin with. I missed episode five because I couldn't find a DVD convertible fansub and was too apathetic to watch the show at my computer--I can just barely muster the interest to carry on here. In contrast, I still watch the remaining episodes of Yamada (though it is taking me a godawful long time) even though I have to watch all of them at the computer. I guess the most obvious difference between the two shows is that I like the characters in Yamada whereas I am indifferent to the ones here. Yuu's little sister is just that, the stereotypical little sister who feels she has a duty to cook him a good breakfast every morning and feels guilty if she doesn't. I noticed while watching episode six that I hadn't laughed once during the episode and couldn't think of much of a reason why I was watching in the first place.

I almost gave up on Charlotte after episode six, but I watched number seven and was mildly intrigued. At the beginning Yuu is in the hospital and is told that his little sister has died--this series had been so dull up to this point that I didn't remember anything happening to her, and had to check my anime viewing log to make certain I had watched episode six at all. I have a feeling that she is in fact alive and well somewhere, since she has played such a large part up until now. Yuu runs away from home and is in a grief stricken daze which changes to a sadistic streak--if he has to suffer, others should suffer too. This episode was fairly powerful and reinvigorated my interest in Charlotte--I think I'll go rewatch the scene in episode six where something happens to the sister.

Otherwise, Charlotte relies on the all too common gimmick of a popular Idol star somehow happening to be one of the cast (another common gimmick, not employed here, is a girl who happens to be the daughter of a highly wealthy family). In episode eight we basically have to watch this girl perform an act which I thought was unremarkable. And yet another popular performer shows up. What was the basic premise of this show, again? Something about Espers being persecuted? It wanders away from that and I wonder if any sort of conflict will be resolved at the end.

Last updated Sunday, September 13 2015. Created Thursday, July 09 2015.

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