Episode 12 – “Promise”, Episode 13 – “Memories to Come”
You know it’s a bad sign when you look at an anime’s title and say “I really don’t feel like watching this right now.” Underneath the rubble known as Charlotte‘s plot, there’s probably a good anime hidden within. I’m sure there’s a camp of fans for the series, and I’d be curious to hear how they defend something with composition that is so visibly poor. That’s not a jab at anyone who likes Charlotte but rather me admitting my lack of understanding. Still, it’s hard to deny the massive pacing issues that seemed to plague the series from the very beginning, due to an apparent lack of foresight. So in celebration of poor direction, I’m going to combine the last two episode impressions into one haphazard display of satire.
I should make it clear that I don’t hate Charlotte. I just hate what was done to Charlotte. There was a handful of great avenues that could have been explored or could have taken the spotlight if the writers actually planned ahead accordingly. For instance, Misa’s entire character is criminally underutilized. The bitter fact that Yusa is unable to properly communicate with her dead sister is only briefly touched upon, and even before we can formulate any sort of meaningful emotional reaction to the sisters’ predicament, Misa is lost forever. Imagine if the story focused solely on these two. How great would that be?
Charlotte then has the audacity to cram an entire international excursion that would make Carmen Sandiego jealous into one episode. Once again, this action-packed journey could’ve been exciting, interesting, and meaningful if it felt like the series had actually accommodated accordingly for its existence, rather than tacking it on in its final moments. And like with Misa, an incredibly curious character gets totally wasted as the final special ability wielder gets thrown in our face, but we learn nothing about her. Even if her part in the story is largely inconsequential, her willingness to stand up for Yuu, even after her ability of courage is taken, is perhaps my favorite part of the episode, I want to know more about her and what she did with that power.
Charlotte is a series with great ideas, which further draws attention to its pacing problems. The beginning suffers from repetitive stagnation, while the road to the finale is a rushed mess that fails to capitalize upon any of the good that Charlotte might have had.
“And now, a dead person will act like a dead person, and bid farewell now.” ~ Misa Kurobane