Episode 03 – “Love and Flame”
Charlotte is taking its sweet time with its exposition, but with only one cour to run, I’m not sure it exactly has the freedom to proceed at such a leisurely pace. My only hope is that this slow build will somehow be expertly incorporated into a grander scheme that I have no way of seeing at the moment. This type of trepidation both excites and worries me, if only because I cannot recall the last time a series completely caught me off guard in a genuinely positive way.
Unlike most of the other works by Jun Maeda, Charlotte is an entirely original anime series outside of the 4-koma manga that began serialization this past May, meaning there is no excuse that can be made for a bad adaptation of good source material. For all intents and purposes, this IS the source material; Charlotte is built around being an anime series first and foremost. The fact that it hasn’t already knocked it out of the park is a bit disconcerting, but perhaps I’m just having too high of expectations.
As for the actual episode, we finally meet who turns out to be my favorite character in the series so far, Yusa Nishimori. Though, I suppose it’s more appropriate to say that my favorite character is her alter ego, Misa Nishimori, her recently deceased older sister. Yusa’s ability is to be possessed by the spirits of the dead, but she doesn’t have any control of it at all. This allows Misa, whose personality is the complete polar opposite of Yusa’s, it take control of her living sister’s body whenever she wants. Coupled with Misa’s own ability of pyrokinetics, she’s arguably the most powerful character we’ve meet thus far.
Yusa reminds me of S-sha from the new game Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II, another character with split personalities and also voiced by Maaya Uchida. She typically voices the bubbly, goofy characters, but I think she really excels with the more cool roles as well. Here, she does a great job with Misa’s yakuza-like demeanor. I’m in no hurry for the inevitable, depressing moment when Yusa’s power disappears and Misa can no longer return to the land of living.
“Oh! The marshmallows turned into freshly-roasted marshmallows!”~ Yusa Nishimori