Charlotte – 06

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Ah, now that’s more like it. Just when I was hankering for Charlotte to mix up its ability user-of-the-week formula that was growing repetitive, it does just that in its midpoint episode. Things are different this week, as the ability user has a potentially extremely dangerous ability (called “Collapse” by Kumagami), and may not be a stranger, but Yuu’s own adorable little sister Ayumi, who had just suspiciously taken ill last week.

Yet with all the weight of these new adjustments to the formula, the show still finds apropraite moments of comedy, like the best way to exclude Joujirou from their trip to see Ayumi. Yuu is about to swap bodies with him so he can make him jump out the window, but Nao beats him to it by simply dropkicking him out the window. It isn’t the first time Yuu and Nao are of one mind on an issue, and it won’t be the last.

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A little more random peripheral comedy is found on their trip to the store prior to visiting Ayumi, in which Yuu’s practical purchases are augmented by Nao’s procurement of stewed mushrooms (apparently an excellent topping for porridge…Zane?) and most amusingly, a $20 tin of cookies Yuu has never seen removed from its dusty shelf, let alone purchased.

Yuu enters before Nao and Yusa, and finds a group of Ayumi’s classmates already there: the cornflower blue-haired and well-spoken class rep Nomura; the boy Ayumi rejected, Oikawa, and the gloomy, taciturn Konishi, who gives Yuu the evil eye on her way out. That look set off warning bells that she, not Ayumi, could be the Collapse user.

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While Ayumi’s nose predictably becomes a nose fountain even upon her first glance of a heavily-disguised Yusarin, far more heartening was her attitude towards Yuu and Nao. The two are constantly fervently denying her suspicions they’re dating, or her assertions they make a good couple, even as they proceed to work well as a couple. Methinks they doth protest too much, and out of the mouth of babes (well, middle schoolers) comes the truth that they really are gelling nicely.

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Yuu even heeds Nao’s suggestion Ayumi stay home an extra day even if she’s feeling better. But Ayumi is sick of being cooped up, and sneaks out of the condo complex and into school. There, she interacts with all the classmates who visited her, only now Oikawa is exerting more pressure for her to go out with him (What a creep!), forcing Nomura to swoop in and hold him back (Good for her!), and finally Konishi coming at her with a clicking utility knife (Yikes!)

Before she brandished that knife, I was still considering the possibility Konishi would use Collapse against Ayumi for stealing Oikawa from her. But once it appeared, it looked more likely that Collapse was Ayumi’s power after all, to use as a last-ditch defensive measure.

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Once Yuu and the others learn Ayumi is at school, they rush there with speed. I found it notable that Joujirou’s ability was not utilized, though perhaps they felt adding more chaos to an already chaotic situation wasn’t the best course. (Yuu and Joujirou were also delayed by pasta, of all things!)

The result of that choice is that they’re too late, and Ayumi’s ability involuntarily manifests before Konishi cuts her. Everything beneath her—concrete, steel, glass, everything—crumbles to bits. She’s saved from Konishi, but falls victim to her own ability by being apparently crushed beneath the debris it created.

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In a sudden state of panic and intensity we had yet to see in Yuu, he clambers to the debris pile that was once a corner of the middle school and starts desperately digging for his sister. In the process, an orange-haired girl who earlier flashed an ID to school security laments she too was too late (I gather she’s part of a team other than Nao’s charged with stopping ability users).

Then a concrete pillar falls on Yuu, and the scene cuts to black and the credits roll to a gorgeous, ethereal new ending theme that sounds like a lament, and an end to everything that’s come before. After those credits, we encounter Kumagami standing in the rain over debris stained with blood. This raises far more questions than it answers, to my considerable intrigue.

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

9 thoughts on “Charlotte – 06”

  1. I liked all of the comedic parts of this episode, but the whole yandere little girl thing set me laughing. To me it looked WAY overplayed. Little middle school girls do not just go YANDERE BOX CUTTER from crush! It felt forced and strained my disbelief. Lmao it’s kind of funny that glasses guy casually getting dropped kicked through a window and barely taking any damage is totally ok with me, but this development makes me go “Hm.”

    It really depends on the setting I guess. How things are established effects what feels real/acceptable in the anime.

    1. I think my post-beach glow and the excitement of new developments after a formulaic lull influenced a higher rating than if I was in a less peachy mood, but that’s how I felt when I watched it, so I’ll let it stand. I won’t deny that even I felt like that box cutter came out mighty suddenly. As Ron Burgundy said, “That escalated quickly!”

  2. I dunno. While I really love the surprising turn of events, the slapstick somehow kills much of the moment. I mean, the story treats Jojirou being thrown out of the window and ayumii’s nosebleed sputtering blood like a fountain as something funny, yet expects you to take the events of the last part seriously. That’s like the disparity between Kousei’s injuries suffered from parental abuse and his slapstick faux injuries in Shigatsu. Maybe if they actually toned the slapstick down in preparation for that twist of Ayumi unleashing her power, that would have actually increased the impact of that scene.

    Oh and Nao sending Jojiro crashing through a glass window just really made her the more unlikable.

    1. I guess neither Yuu nor Nao trusted Joujirou to stay put if they just…you know, asked him? I know the guy is tough, but in hindsight they were a bit harsh with him.

      Still, I appreciated the continuity of the window remaining broken when we see a blue tarp there in a later scene.

      As for that little dialogue about twirling pasta delaying the guys…that was such a gonzo entry point to the dark and tragic final act.

    1. Expanding on this a little, I’m finding the cast are developing a good ensemble feel in their work and are getting the timing just right in their interactions as characters. Not all anime casts get that ensemble dynamic – K-On was one anime that got it just right and maintained excellent timing and nuance throughout both series. Charlotte’s cast have got that dynamic developing now, which made this episode a pleasure. I particularly enjoyed Maaya Uchida as Yusarin (amongst her other work was Liliruca in Dan Machi recently), but the whole cast is putting in a very good performance I thought.

      1. Never watched K-On, but I agree the group is starting to gel, even if Joujirou receives the brunt of the physical abuse because of it (though he’s done a lot of that to himself simply by ordering lunch).

        I’m also enjoying Uchida Maaya as both Yusa and Misa, as well as Hajime in Gatchaman.

  3. In my opinion K-On is is one of the best anime for high quality ensemble work. Their timing and nuance is spot on and rarely misses. Of course for anime, the animators and director also are part of a good ensemble because unlike regular acting, the seiyuu are working with animation, so part of that timing is what we see in the actual animation. Its a meld between voice actor and animator, (and dare I say it at times Subs editor for those of us who watch Subs)..

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