Review: Charlotte, Episode 3: Love and Flame


The student council is yet again tasked with confronting a new ability-user—a girl with the ability to not only channel the dead, but to also use pyrokinesis. A challenge arises, though, when they realize that the target is on the move and being chased by some unknown pursuers. When it turns out that the target is not only a high-profile idol, but one who has uncovered a dark secret about a high-ranking official in her country they realize that they have another issue on their hands. With the help of the target’s dead sister (the only person the target is capable of channeling), the dead sister’s pyrokinesis, and two friends of the dead sister, the student council decides to take on the pursuers.

Charlotte seems to have developed a pattern: it starts off lighthearted and amusing before delving into the more serious subject matter with the end ultimately focusing on an amusing scene between Yu and Ayu. While the episodes have been enjoyable thus far, hopefully this won’t be the pattern of every episode, as it could easily become boring. Again, Key is at the helm in this, so there is plenty of room for confidence that the show will ultimately be done right, but it’s still a pattern that I’ve caught on to. Honestly, my biggest gripe with this episode has nothing to do with the content or the events. It was altogether a very enjoyable episode. The problem is that there were several grammatical errors in the subtitles. Were this a simple fansub I wouldn’t have much room to complain, but I do all of my reviews from Crunchyroll, so seeing the number of errors I did is a bit upsetting, especially given the fact that some people (like myself) actually pay for this service. Of course this is more a complaint about Crunchyroll than the show, but if you consider yourself to be one who gets hung up on grammar issues then be prepared for this one.

The episode itself seems to fly by. While we are treated to another scene of Jojiro nearly killing himself to get lunch, the fun stuff doesn’t last long this time. Once the target’s location is identified it doesn’t take long to determine that she is in danger, and then the chase begins. The tension only builds as more and more tension builds, and while the action scenes here aren’t numerous, they are satisfying. It’s also nice to see the show bring what seemed like a minor detail (the idol Haro-Haro) and use it for a major plot point, going so far as to integrate the character into the main cast by the end.

Watching the different sides of the main cast come out is another high point of this episode, although their different sides may not all be commendable (Nao’s seemingly devious, violent nature that comes out is not particularly endearing). On the other hand, watching Yu actually put himself into painful situations continues to reveal his ongoing transformation of character (even if he does complain about the pain when it happens). Jojiro seems to be the only character whose personality is fairly static, and whether that will change or not is to be seen, but either way it is clear that the student council is learning to work well together. Perhaps it would have been more believable to see them struggle to coordinate their plans at first (seeing as they are new teammates), but the intended length of the show may not allow for that.

While nothing significant, this episode does also bring a small case of “the feels” between Yusa’s dead sister and one of her friends. It may not move viewers to tears, but it is still sad to watch, and is probably small down payment from our friends at Key for whatever they have in store for us later on. Wherever this is going, we can confidently say that the main cast is finally assembled (just look at the intro credits), so the real plot of the show is likely to get underway in the next episode. Where will all of this lead, and what will happen to our heroes? Well, I don’t know, but that’s why we have to come back next week!

A Christian Perspective:

Ephesians 5:15-16 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

I initially thought about talking about how Christians have hope of seeing those who have died in Christ again one day, but I remember applying that to another episode not so very long ago, and while I’m sure I’ve drawn similar lessons between shows/episodes before, that particular one seemed to be a little more unique, so I decided to take a different approach to this episode.

After everything is said and done, one of Misa’s male friends basically admits that he had feelings for her, and he expresses his various regrets for what he wasn’t able to do while she was alive. Misa seems to put him at peace with her response, but the reality of the situation is that this isn’t how real life works. If someone dies and we have regrets about that relationship, there is little we can do beyond learning to cope with those feelings and (eventually) to let them go. The best recourse is to simply make the most of our time, as Paul instructs us in Ephesians 5. Now, granted, in context I doubt that Paul’s primary purpose was to tell people to make the most of the time they have with friends and family, but as Christians we believe that Scripture is applicable to all areas of life, so if we are to make the most of our time in one area, then it stands to reason that we should make the most of our time in all areas. With that said, let’s do just that whenever we spend time with our friends and family, and let’s especially pray for the wisdom and courage to tell those who do not know Jesus about Him, so that we don’t live with the regret of knowing that our loved ones died without knowing Him as Lord and Savior.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: Yusa is able to be possessed by a dead person and can use pyrokinesis

Language: 1 “d*mmit”, 4 “b*stard”, 6 “h*ll”, 1 “g**z”, 1 “cr*p”

Alcohol/Drug Use: A woman is shown smoking

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A woman is shown wearing a dress that reveals some cleavage;

Violence: Nao is punched in the face; Jojiro slams into a suspect; Nao kicks Jojiro twice; Misa kicks a guy; Misa sets things on fire; Jojiro hits his head against a wall; Misa’s friends knock two guys out by putting them in choke holds; Yusa sets two guys on fire; Yu makes a man stab himself, Jojiro tackles another man, and Nao beats up a third

Blood/Gore: Jojiro has blood on his face; Jojiro’s slam causes blood to come from his victim’s mouth, and the man is later shown with blood on his chin; blood begins to squirt from Jojiro’s head; Ayu gets a nosebleed, and then rockets the bloody tissues out of her nose

Other: As usual, special powers are used

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