Baz is comin’ to get’cha, boy!
I’m not exactly sure what kind of driving force pushes me onto the school-based anime hypetrain, but ever since late 2012 I’ve loved watching these kinds of shows. Of course as a kid I started with the entry anime big guns, Dragonball, Sailor Moon, One Piece and Naruto, along with Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! among other shows, however it was school-based anime, K-On! to be exact, that got me so into this wonderful, lively world and even now, 3-4 years later, I love watching them just as much as I did back then. So, to continue on from my recent trend of ‘big anime that we missed from 2015’ I decided to move onto a show that the community had mixed feelings for and a show that I’ve been holding onto in my back catalogue ever since it was announced, Charlotte.
Now let me start off by saying I have never seen or played Angel Beats!, Kanon, or Air and I’ve never seen all of and never fully completed the VN of Little Busters!. However, I have seen all of the first season of Clannad and I’ve heard on the grapevine about the tear-jerking work that Jun Maeda, Na-Ga and the rest of the team over at Key tend to put out, so I was quite prepared for any low blows or hard hits to the heart that were coming my way. But by the end of episode 3, I was definitely feeling for a few of the characters.
DON’T CRY, DON’T CRY, DON’T CRY
The story of Charlotte is set in an alternate reality from ours and focuses around four teenagers who attend Hoshinoumi Academy, a school that was built to protect children that have special abilities, who seek out other people who have these abilities to protect them from being taken and setup as lab rats. The plot line is actually really, really good and I like where they’re going with everyone’s abilities only being semi-perfect, say the main character Yuu’s for example. He can take over someone’s body to do whatever he pleases, but it only lasts 5 seconds and his body becomes empty, being prone to anything. On top of all that these special abilities apparently disappear as time goes on, so when you’re 30 say you won’t have your powers anymore.
Speaking off Yuu, the characters in this story really stand out to me. Yuu for example starts the show off by being really full of himself, using his power to take out competition and get perfect marks by cheating off of others tests. When the show progresses however, you can see him slowly starting to change and be more caring of others, and that is only in 3 episodes. And that’s just Yuu, there are plenty of characters in just the first 3 episodes where we get to see things like backstories, what makes certain characters tick and so on. Of course it’s not all serious stuff, throughout the episodes there is added humour that is used to lighten the mood, and the best part is that it’s not even forced.
The animation for the show is fairly decent, not bad but not completely orgasmic. Well, unless we count the opening of the show and take a look at the ‘power using scenes’, in which case they are absolutely amazing. The opening song isn’t one to go bonkers over, but it does suit the visuals really well and I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoy watching it. Just the way the animation is all weaved together…it’s kind of hard to explain it in words. Just trust me when I say it is really, really good. Of course, don’t hype it up too much in your mind as well; this isn’t Fate/Zero Budget after all.
Soundtrack wise Charlotte has been really impressive with it as well, with key scenes having amazing music to back it up. The emotional scenes increase tenfold with the tracks used, and when things become dramatic or action packed they can quickly swap to suit the tone and mood of the situation. I’ve really enjoyed the tracks so far and I am hoping that they only go up from here. Well, except for when things start getting emotional. At that point I hope they turn into some out of place rave dance tracks so that I don’t turn into a water bender of the eyes.
*DARUDE SANDSTORM INTENSIFIES*
In the end Charlotte is a must watch, both for ‘beginners’ and ‘experts’. The way this show is, I can easily see this as being a major ‘gateway to anime’. No excessive, and hardly any, fan service, a great story, both dramatic, action packed, and sprinkled with some humour, amazing animation and sound and to top it all off it shows that anime can be an emotional thing. Of course with this, I’ve only seen three episodes of the show. For all I know, it could quite easily come crashing down around me and I’ll be forced to eat my words, however I’ve got a strong feeling that Charlotte won’t let me down with this. Seriously I cannot say this enough, if you haven’t already then go check it out and if you have then re-watch it again anyway. This is definitely a show that you need to see at least once.
Charlotte is available to watch in Australia and New Zealand over on AnimeLab and on Crunchyroll over in the U.S.
Now that I’ve beaten my point to death, what are YOUR thoughts on Charlotte? Like it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments section below!