Genre(s): Supernatural, Drama, School
Age-Appropriateness: 13+ (Violence, profanity)
Platforms: Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation
TheAwersome Rating: 7.3 / 10 (Not bad, nothing great)
Premise: While on the surface Yuu Otosaka appears to be just another charming and intelligent teenager, he has a secret—he has the ability to slip into people’s minds and fully control their body for five seconds at a time. Yuu has been using this skill for years to gain the highest grades, which allowed him to enter a prestigious high school. When the enigmatic Nao Tomori catches Yuu using his power, she coerces him and his sister Ayumi into transferring to Hoshinoumi Academy, a school for students with supernatural abilities. The student council of the school, led by Nao, is tasked with secretly tracking down adolescents who abuse their powers. Yuu is forced to join the student council and together, they face formidable challenges in saving ability users from themselves, and others who would seek to exploit them.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: I wasn’t surprised partway through to find out that this story is from the same writer who brought us Angel Beats, and apparently Clannad. There’s campy repeated “anime humor” interspersed with heavy drama and serious character introspection. I feel the balance was better here than in Angel Beats, almost as if Angel Beats’ caffeine rush wore off so it wouldn’t swing as hard and fast from eye-rolling “humor” to emotional sad times. As such, I was able to appreciate the drama moments more, though there still were some very one-dimensional characters. I got some mild feels a few times, but the primary opportunity this show had to emotionally grip me got taken too far and it really cheapened it. Still was a neat story though, I never really felt I had to “get through” it.
TLDR: Like Angel Beats after the caffeine rush wears off. Bad points aren’t as bad, but the good parts aren’t as good. Overall a more palatable experience.
I feel that the story and setting for this piece are great, it just fell a little short on writing. Like Angel Beats, there are some deep, fleshed out characters with stories that will really make you feel something. It’s just unfortunate that some supporting cast with almost equal screen time are completely one-dimensional gag characters. If that isn’t as distracting for you as it is for me, it’s likely that you’ll really enjoy Charlotte.
Bonus prize: I watched this shortly after going through the long process of archiving 100+ hours of Magia Record, so I was able to quickly and easily notice that Tomori was voiced by Ayane Sakura, the same VA for Felicia Mitsuki in Magia Record.