Monday, January 25, 2016

Charlotte review

Charlotte is one of the most hyped anime of this season, mostly because it is written by Jun Maeda himself who made brilliant anime in the past. While at the surface it looks good, the anime itself had visible flaws that ultimately shatter my expectation for it. It does not feel original, full of plotholes, rushed to the core and lacks of interesting characters end up in what I think one of the most disappointing anime this season.

The story follows Yuu Otosaka, who appears to be just another charming and intelligent teenager, yet he has a secret—he has the ability to slip into people's minds and fully control their body for five seconds at a time. Yuu has been using this skill for years to gain the highest grades, which allowed him to enter a prestigious high school. When the enigmatic Nao Tomori catches Yuu using his power, she coerces him and his sister Ayumi into transferring to Hoshinoumi Academy, a school for students with supernatural abilities. The student council of the school, led by Nao, is tasked with secretly tracking down adolescents who abuse their powers. Yuu is forced to join the student council and together, they face formidable challenges that bring him closer to the shocking truth that his own, seemingly incomplete ability, might be more powerful than he could have ever imagined. An original story from Jun Maeda, creator of Angel Beats and Clannad, Charlotte explores the supernatural lives of these teenagers and the price they must pay for being special. (Source: MAL Rewrite)

The first few episodes of the anime show promising start, a narcissistic looking guy get thrown into a school where he is forced to use his power instead. Afterward, half of the story went on with his usual routine with his peers and capturing people misusing their powers, repeating the same pattern over and over again. At this point onward, the show start to crumble. While it is understandable that it merely serve as a build up for the latter part of the story, it drags too long with no purpose and unclear goals. And then at the middle, the shows start to drastically change into a darker and serious tone, with a major plot device that unfortunately feels very forced. The shows get worse after that with more convenient plot device introduced one after another, along with plot holes here and there. They even throws some nameless bad guy at some point in an effort to make it look more dramatic, which to be fair does not seem to be necessary at all.  Finally, as the last straw, they go turbo boost the last episodes and clumped a single arc in it, forcing a happy end and lead the viewer in complete disappointment. It has it own good point at time, like how they manages to show how it feels like to lose someone, and some hilariously fun comedy scene. Some recurring themes include family values, magical realism, and his intention to draw tears from the viewers with emotional scenarios. Yet for the most part, the show are just full of massive plot holes and random ass pulls that makes the overall viewing experience to be ruined. The romance part of this anime are just outright terrible. The hero and heroine of the story does not show any connection toward each other,  and the feeling they show feels really superficial. Overall, for a story who supposedly written by a great writers, it fails to delivers.

The characters in this anime are another major problem this show have. Yuu Otosaka start off as an interesting character, using his power to benefit himself and pretending to be a nice guys while inside he is really cunning. I mean, who would think that hitting a girl by literally (almost) hitting her with a truck is a good idea right? But after the first episodes, his personality are reduced into your generic main character that follows the story instead of shaping the story itself. Nao Tomori in the other hand, while looks interesting at first glance with her smug personalities at time, have a complex personality that devoid of emotions at time, mostly makes some emotional scenes to feel empty and uninteresting. The other character are mostly to fill in the archetype, with predictable personalities and insignificant role in the main storyline. Heck, some character refuses to stay dead making all the emotional build up invested in previous scene to go down the drain. It is evident that this anime fails to bring memorable characters into the fray and just recycled familiar character archetype form similar show.

The great thing about this anime however, are the beautiful art and animation, saving this anime from being horrible beyond saving. The level of details are astounding, with vibrant colours pleasing to the eye. The animation are very smooth and fluid with no major quality issue could be detected. The music are also really amazing. From the beautiful OP and ED, to the good usage of OST, the quality of sound are just impressive.

On a whole, so much of Charlotte goes unexplained that you just sort of have to fill in all the holes yourself, or watch purely for entertainment purposes without connection to the characters. As a show that tries far too hard to induce drama or tear-jerking moments, it really didn’t succeed in such a way. Thankfully, Charlotte’s comedy can make the fans laugh a bit and the premise can seem to be interesting. Should you watch it? Sure, if you could blatantly enjoy an anime without thinking too much about it. It is a beautiful anime and enjoyable to a certain extent, but fails to live up the hype.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this anime and i really recommend it. There is also a sad scene which made me cry. Not only that, however, I found this really motivational how Yu kept carrying on though he didn't know why.



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