Impression – Charlotte, Episode 05

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Episode 05 – “The Sound You Heard Sometime”

Saying that this is the best episode in weeks doesn’t really mean much, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. After all, how can anyone say no to earnest improvement? Still, the formulaic framework that has pervaded throughout the series up until now remains present this episode as our psychic friends track down another rogue esper. The only real variable to this constant is the camp setting and the slight development of Nao’s character.

Charlotte is trapped in a pretty interesting yet unfortunate dilemma. Its reiterative nature wouldn’t be such an issue if its characters were more engaging, but its character aren’t really allowed the room to grow and stretch their proverbial arms due to the series’s wicked formula. It’s a lot like how the characters from the Pokemon anime series will never be truly fleshed out because each episode revolves around meeting a new Pokemon and working through Team Rocket’s latest silly plan. As much as I like some of the characters, like Misa/Yusa, they’ll never reach their true potential if something significant to the plot happens.

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As I alluded to earlier, the only compelling development was learning about Nao’s dream to work with her favorite band ZHIEND, a deliberate denotation of the English phrase “The End” which may or may not have some thematic significance, who really knows at this point. Once again, it’s nice to get development, but it feels as if we’re building upon nothing, like constructing a building in the middle of the air. Five episodes in, and I feel like we know next to nothing about these characters.

And that opening bullying scene! That’s ostensibly the most powerful scene so far in the series, but yet again, we’re given no context to the events. I’m fine with how unannounced it is, but there’s nothing else that seems related to this event. No mention outside of it actually happening, this dire transpiration is quickly forgotten in lieu of another boring and predictable capture mission. Honestly, I would’ve greatly preferred some explanation for Nao’s predicament over this laissez-faire jaunt through the mountains.

The one saving grace was Joujirou’s callback to Angel Beats!‘s Takamatsu, who like his predecessor looks thinner with clothes on.

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“That’s right! The music ZHIEND creates is very vast and downright lonely.” ~ Nao Tomori

B.W.

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