Spoilers up to episode 8, but it’s another masterpiece article by me-sama, so read on anyway.
Primarily characterized by incessant reminders that you should be sad, Key series attempt to instill emotion in viewers by building up boring characters and then tearing them right the fuck down.
Though it feels like Key’s following a good template for Charlotte, the inefficient pacing/direction keeps it from living up to its potential.
Nearly every Key moment™ that would seem good on paper fails to impress in the anime. But rather than just taking my word for it, let’s go through the fucking list:
On paper: Characters & relationships are developed so that when the tragedies kick in, they will have legitimate impact on the viewers.
In reality: Nothing but filler.
On paper: The best character in the show accidentally kills herself while trying to avoid a yandere Nevada-chan, and MC-kun desperately tries to save her but finds himself far too late to help.
In reality: Both characters are “killed off” super awkwardly, to the point that you just have to assume they’re both alive, cuz if even Game of Thrones is shitting the bed on this front, who has any expectations for Japan?
For full impact, MC-kun shouldn’t have factored into the ending, and lolimouto should’ve died in episode 6, not in the opening scenes of ep 7. I’m watching the show for tears, not a semi-hard dick that I don’t feel like finishing off but emotionlessly do so anyway cuz that’s what being an adult means.
We’ve been over this. And also, R2 should never be emulated unless you plan on turning the MC into a god-king martyr that single-handedly redeems the anime genre with the sheer sumptuous fucking brilliance of his death scene.
On paper: Super Hot Blind Chick, who’s also the vocalist for a thematically critical band, fucks bitches and gets paid.
In reality: SHBC wastes an entire day mentoring MC Piece of Shit’s emo ass.
It’s all pretty much a joke at this point, and I’m almost out of hope for this emotional roller coaster to bring me where I wanna be. But luckily there’s another component to the show that doesn’t suffer from poor direction…
The Character Interactions
Charlotte’s mediocre melodrama is boosted significantly by the characters and how they interact with one another. Though, I should clarify that I’m mainly referring to the slapstick, since the only on-screen chemistry comes from the characters fucking each other’s days up.
Or, of course, Yusa being Yusa.
I find it hard to even crack a smile at most series these days, but damned if each episode of Charlotte doesn’t find me grinning like an idiot at the same joke being repeated over and over cuz the Stockholm Syndrome has my brain turned to dough. And I mean that in a good way.
The more I think about it, the more I realize this is what fucking Inou-Battle was supposed to be.
Likable characters getting into shenanigans: that’s about all you need. Well, except for…
Nao’s Fucking Mouth, Man
And the words that come out of it too…
Oh. My. God.
Puddi was well within his rights to turn his phone background into her open-mouth bitch face, cuz goddamn. When I got to see it in action at AniRevo, I was pitching more tents than a fucking boy scout camp.
It’s like Japan invents new fetishes every day, and as a legitimate anime journalist, I have no choice but to line up for my serving. Top job, Key, you sick fucks. Top job.
Charlotte’s not a good anime by objective measures, and I think everyone knows it. But it’s so endearing in spite of that, and Nao’s mouth is so hot, that I don’t feel ashamed for looking past its faults.
Currently, I gotta peg Charlotte at a solid 8. But when the inevitable Nao-related drama hits (you know it’s gonna be brutal), I’ll boost its score by 1 for each of my eyes that shed tears. Don’t let me down, Key.