Review: Charlotte, Episode 1: I Think About Others

Screenshot taken from:

Screenshot taken from:


Yu Otosaka is a boy with a secret: for five seconds, he can possess another person and take full control of their body. Rather than find some noble use for this power, Yu decides to utilize it to have an easy high school life by possessing the smartest kids in his class during exams, copying their answers, and then submitting his own exam. This allows him to enter a prestigious high school as (seemingly) the smartest kid in school. Coupled with his good looks, Yu has no shortage of female attention, but he is only interested in the top girl, and he manages to gain her attention by the abuse of his powers. Just when things appear to be progressing according to plan, Yu is called into the student council room, where he is challenged to retake an aptitude test under suspicion that his first attempt was the result of cheating. The situation quickly falls apart as a strange girl shows up right after Yu attempts to cheat with his powers, and before long he finds himself being relocated to a new school, along with his younger sister who will attend the accompanying middle school. What kind of high school life awaits Yu in a school specifically designed for children with powers?
At first glance, Charlotte is a difficult anime for a Christian viewer to feel comfortable with. A guy who can not only possess people, but who also uses that power for selfish means, including perversion, revenge, and illegitimate gain? He certainly doesn’t sound like a character that a Christian viewer could root for. As a matter of fact, fans of Code Geass may see some similarities between Yu and Lelouch, though, granted, Yu’s ambitions are far less ambitious and his powers considerably less impressive. Still, Christian viewers may be tempted to quickly write the show off once they get a glimpse as to Yu’s character, but I urge you to stick with it, as the episode throws a wrench into Yu’s plans, which leaves the plot of the series wide open.
As an introductory episode, this one does decent job of introducing the viewer to the world. By the end of the episode, we have been introduced to several seemingly major characters (including the stereotypical annoying little sister) and to the general premise of the story, although what the ultimate plot/conflict/etc. will be is yet to be seen. Still, we can probably guess that this will be something of a redemption story given the fact that Yu has abused his powers and is now being sent to a school for children with powers.
The fact that this new series is from the minds of Key (Kanon, Angel Beats, Clannad, Little Busters) means it is almost guaranteed to be a festival of feels, and that viewers should not get so easily attached to the current lighthearted tone. Then again, Key’s penchant for emotional series is well-known by now, so wouldn’t it be a shocker to have them produce a purely comedic series when we’re all expecting something sad and dramatic? I guess we will just have to wait and see where this goes, after all!

A Christian Perspective:

Luke 8:17 – For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.
The concept of this verse is displayed very well in this episode. For as long as Yu has possessed his powers (no pun intended), he has abused them and used them for his own selfish gain (even going so far as to put a girl’s life on the line so that he could “save” her) without any thought as to how they might affect the people around him. What’s worse, he was certain that he would never be caught, so his shock at his grades being challenged (and the subsequent accusation from a third party that he was possessing people) is understandable.
The fact is, when we do “wrong” or “bad” things, they have a way of coming out, whether a few hours, days, or even years later. Whether we confess because we are consumed by guilt, are exposed because our lies fall apart, or have out secrets drug out by any other means, chances are that, someway, somehow, others will find out.
The other thing to remember is that, even if we do somehow manage to get away with a scheme for our entire lives, God knows what we have done, and if we do not repent of our actions then we will pay for them. I used to imagine this verse as referring to the end times, where all of the things we did in secret would be on display for all to see. Again, not sure if that is an accurate interpretation of Scripture, but it is a thought I’ve previously had. Either way, God knows what we have done, and He is the ultimate Judge who cannot be fooled, so instead of trying to conceal bad things, let us “Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5: 8b-10)

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: The fact that teenagers have special powers, although the source of said powers is not stated
Language: 1 “p*ssed”, 1 “b*stard”, 1 “d*mmit*, 2 “h*ll”, 1 “d*mn”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Yu possesses a girl and looks down her shirt while in her body (you can see part of her bra and cleavage); a boy is looking at an image of a woman with her shirt unbuttoned, which shows the sides of her breasts
Violence: Two boys engage in a fist fight; a boy kicks another boy in the face; Yu bumps into another student; lots of things explode; a girl beats up Yu
Blood/Gore: A bit of blood seems to come from Yu’s mouth as he is beat up
Other: Yu can take control of other peoples’ bodies for several seconds; another character can teleport; still another can hide herself from one target
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Rob M.

Christian, anime fan, and gamer are a few words you could use to describe me. I've been a Christian since 2012 (and thought I was one prior to that), although I'm far from having the Christian walk down pat. At one point I started thinking about how I could use various things for Christ, and eventually put my thoughts to action, resulting in Cosplay for Christ (my attempt at a cosplay ministry) and Christian Anime Review (my review blog). As you can imagine, I enjoy playing games, watching anime, and going to anime conventions. I also like to build Gundam models, fiddle with the guitar (occasionally), and listen to music (mostly Christian rock and metal).

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