Review: Charlotte, Episode 7: The End of the Exodus

Review:

Yu wakes up in a hospital bed, only to find that Ayumi did not survive the accident. As a result, his life comes crashing down around him, and he secludes himself in his apartment, eating nothing but cup ramen. Despite visits from friends and an old flame, he doesn’t snap out of it, and only leaves the apartment when a group of men show up to take him by force. After withdrawing what appears to be his life savings, Yu ends up staying in an anime/manga cafe and getting addicted to a shooting game (and then to street brawls). He seems to hit an all time low when he pilfers some drugs from a thug and prepares to use them, only to have an unexpected savior step in at the last moment….

This could truly be a gut-wrenching episode if you will allow it. Yu completely falls apart, and for the first time we see how much Ayumi truly meant to him. Of course, this whole series of events could have had a greater impact had we seen Yu’s attachment to his sister earlier in the series, but unfortunately the first part of the series didn’t spend much time really examining Yu’s character. Still, while this could have enhanced the emotional impact of this episode, the lack of such events do nothing to diminish the blow that is there. It’s easy to wonder if everything that happened up until this point was all for naught—is Yu going to throw away all of the growth he has experienced so far and devolve into something worse than when the series started?

While not a whole lot happens in terms of plot progression (we basically just follow the repetitive nature of Yu’s days for most of the episode), the writers manage to go about it in a way that allows the viewer to come up with his/her own suspicions as the plot progresses. Yu’s reckless use of his ability later on in the episode certainly causes concern that he may end up kidnapped as a test subject. Thankfully, the ending of the episode brings with it some light in the otherwise dark atmosphere that permeated the rest of it. All-in-all, this episode certainly makes up for the shortcomings of its predecessor and provides an experience that one would expect from the show’s creators.

A Christian Perspective:

Proverbs 18:24 – One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

This verse couldn’t be more perfect for this episode. As Yu continues his steady decline into insanity—eventually resorting to stealing and almost using drugs—it is revealed that not only did Nao show up in time to stop him from making such a mistake, but she was was actually there the whole time. It is easy to overlook the fact that Nao can hide herself from one person’s vision (honestly, the idea didn’t even occur to me), yet it also feels so obvious once revealed. Regardless, Nao stays near Yu the entire time of his isolation, watching over him but letting him have his space at the same time. She is almost a literal embodiment of the above verse, because no one could have possibly stuck closer to Yu than she did during his time of grieving.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 – A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. (NASB)

I include this one because it clearly draws a distinction in the fact that there is a time for everything. There is a time for weeping and a time for mourning, but also a time for laughter and dancing (or we could possibly summarize that by saying a time for joy). Those who are familiar at all with this passage (or even the old song that sort of quotes it) will know that Ecclesiastes 3 also states that there is a time for everything. So what happens when we exceed that time? Well, it would seem that you get Yu in this episode. His mourning is, of course, expected—we’ve all most likely lost loved ones at some point in our lives, and we can all attest to the need to grieve over their loss; however, we can also attest to the fact that healing eventually comes. We eventually accept that this person is gone and, though we may still be sad, we carry on with our lives. Yu does just the opposite. He halts his entire life, isolates himself from the world, and pushes away everyone who tries to help him, eventually descending into self-destructive territory. To me, this speaks to the importance of seeking healing from loss and moving past painful events so that we don’t lose ourselves in our grief and sadness.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: None

Language: 1 “d*mn”, 1 “p*ssed”, 3 “b*stard”, 2 “h*ll”, 2 “d*mmit”

Alcohol/Drug Use: Yu appears to be wrapping some kind of substance in paper

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: Yu throws a noodle cup at Shirayanagi and then kicks a stack of similar cups; Yu possesses a man and makes him punch his comrade before making him jump over a railing; several scenes show a violent shooting game; Yu gets into a fight with three guys and possesses them each one-by-one, causing them to hit (and in one case stab) each other; Yu stabs a man with two wooden sticks; Yu possesses another group of guys and makes them beat each other up (and stab one of their own) again; several montages show him doing similar things; Nao kicks something out of Yu’s hand; Yu grabs Nao by the shirt

Blood/Gore: A man is stabbed and blood is shown; Yu shoves two wooden sticks into a man’s leg and blood is shown; a guy is stabbed in the second group that Yu possesses, and he bleeds

Other: Use of special powers

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