Impression – Charlotte, Episode 11

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Episode 11 – “Charlotte”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger jump in insanity in an anime before, and I’ve seen Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (which I like a lot). Sure, the episode where Yuu lives out a possible life in a world where Ayumi is dead was quite out of left field, but this episode makes an even bigger leap of madness with the sudden presence of torture, sexual assault, and an irreversible character death. None of these things could have possibly been predicted by anyone following the series up to this point, and I think this reckless unpredictability actually works in the series’ favor.

Note that neither Joujirou nor Yusa appear in this episode. I’m not going to say that I don’t like their characters because I actually like them quite a bit, but their presence has only slowed the series down so far. When the series omits them from the story, the plot takes off like a rocket, and I don’t think that’s entirely a coincidence.

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I, and probably a bunch of other people, had been wondering how the name “Charlotte” would come into play, and it only makes sense that it refers to a comet. Not just any comet either, but a particular shooting star that rains particles onto Earth, in turn giving birth to psychic teenagers. Title reveals like this can be fairly hit or miss, either generating a genuine “ah ha!” moment or cause an aggravating roll of the eyes. Personally, I’d say the revelation surrounding the name “Charlotte,” while not incredibly mind-blowing, falls closer to the camp of the former option.

Charlotte is the thread that connects the events of the entire series, and it’s more or less the glue that I’ve been looking for, as its significance is hinted at from the very first episode when Ayumi announces her interest in stargazing. For perhaps the first time in the series, there is deserved tension, left at the end of this week’s episode. Backed into a hopeless situation and left with seemingly no options, the fate of Yuu and all of the psychics hangs in the balance, and I’m sure Charlotte will continue down the road of entirely unpredictable consequences.

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“Have you ever heard of a long-orbit comet named Charlotte?”

B.W.

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