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I am sorry! I know there may be a lot of people who love Charlotte as an Anime, but I for one am not that person. For a number of various reasons, I didn’t like the Anime. Yes, the whole concept of the Anime came from Jun Maeda, who created Angel Beats and Clannad, but how the studio went about animating that story really flopped in my opinion.
STORY – 5/10
Being an ardent fan of the superpower genre, I loved the idea behind Charlotte. A story about young teenagers possessing mystical powers and putting them to use for a cause seemed to be my ideal anime. Unfortunately, Charlotte was simply too rushed to truly appreciate. From as early as after the third episode, many parts and scenes in the Charlotte storyline requiring in-depth elaboration to enjoy were packed and compressed rather tightly into just a mere 24 minutes.
Shall we ignore the plot holes and way too conveniently timed incidents that seemed to poke out every so often? Although overlooking its dreadful pacing and somewhat ridiculous incidental occurrences, there were still various interesting bits and pieces in the entire anime. Having just 13 episodes does this anime a disservice, mostly because the fascinating plot behind it might have been a revelation if expanded into a 2-cour series or even more.
ART & SOUND – 9/10
Art & sound may just be two of the greatest, if not the best points of Charlotte. As expected of PA Works, the studio behind recognizable titles like Nagi no Asukara and Shirobako delivered, bringing the crisp animation and beautiful backgrounds that I had relished from their previous works. The soundtrack was largely on point as well, but I have to give special mention to How-Low-Hello, or rather, Maaya Uchida, whom I felt did a great job with the second ending theme ‘Rakuen made’, as well as the insert song ‘Hatsunetsu Days’.
The regular ending and opening themes are also fantastic and fit the anime very well. We can’t forget about ZHIEND either, a post-rock band in the anime also responsible for a few of Charlotte’s many insert songs. I can’t profess to be a fan of post-rock, but I enjoyed ZHIEND’s tunes and I’m sure I’m not the only one. All in all, Charlotte possesses some very splendid art and sound, and it is perhaps those that make this show stand out in a positive manner.
CHARACTERS – 3/10
Can the same be said about the people that make up the Charlotte universe? Far from it. The characters weren’t bad, no, but most of them received little to no development and insight into their personality. As a result, most of the characters in Charlotte came off to me as extremely bland, forgettable, and plain uninteresting. This made it hard to feel emotional and empathize with the characters whenever they had tearful and dramatic moments meant to stir and make an impact on the anime’s viewers.
I shall refrain from going through every single character in Charlotte, but I can list one prominent example of a character not getting his deserved screen time and background information. Under this anime’s MyAnimeList page, you will see a certain Joujirou Takajou being listed as a ‘main character’. That, I can assure you, is one of the biggest lies I have ever seen.
If you’re reading this at this very moment and you’ve already watched Charlotte, you may even question: who in the world is Joujirou? Indeed, this character was so easily forgettable that I had to look in the Characters section to remember his name. In spite of the other main characters receiving at least a decent overview of their backstory and history before the events of the anime, this guy suffered the fate of being the comic relief character from start to finish, and no one really knows who he is except for ‘that one dude who runs fast’.
There isn’t much to say about the rest of the main cast either, with about half of them quickly losing their importance within the anime and fading out to become just another background character, which is a pity, because the entire set of main heroes and heroines really piqued my interest at first glance.
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