Review: Charlotte, Episode 13: Memories to Come

Review:

Having committed to his mission, Yu begins his travels to collect the powers of every ability-wielder in the world. Though he is on his own, he still has contact with his brother, and he has the comfort that he finds in Nao’s vocabulary cards. As planned, he manages to find an ability-wielder with the power to locate other ability-wielders, and from there we are presented with a montage of scenes that show Yu traveling between different countries (and a few states, once he hits the USA) and collecting powers. We see that he faces his share of challenges along the way, both from outside forces and himself. Occasionally the narrative even pauses to bring us more fully into a particular moment before returning to montage mode. One thing is clear: the absorption of powers is taking its toll upon Yu, as his mental stability begins to waver, and the only thing that seems to bring him any comfort is the small book of flash cards. Despite all of that, Yu seems to be determined to finish his mission or die trying.

Generally speaking, this was not a bad episode or conclusion to the series, but it does manage to showcase just how much wasted potential the show had. The events of this episode alone could have contributed to at least a few individual episodes instead of being crammed into one fast continuity. Instead, we witness Yu set out on his journey, become powerful, begin to lose his mind, and almost die all in the course of 24 minutes. On the plus side, the writers didn’t make this easy on Yu—he starts out vulnerable with only a few powers, and then begins to go crazy and become something of a threat to himself when outside forces seem to have no effect on him. Unfortunately, we don’t get the suspense that we otherwise could have had if this had happened over the course of the series.

As previously stated, this is a showcase of Charlotte’s wasted potential. Previous episodes revealed that there was a rise in the number of syndicates around the world that wanted to use the ability-wielders for their own gain (and this, presumably, is on top of the scientists who wished to gather these children and study them for research purposes). Yu’s journey also reveals that at least one country is collecting children who will eventually awaken as ability-wielders (and that he is able to even seek them out), which is a plot point that could have served to make his journey all the more difficult. Granted, this couldn’t have been stretched for too long, as Yu becomes more or less invincible over time, but it would have provided for at least a few episodes of content, instead of almost half the show being taken up by episodes focused on the Student Council going after random targets. Still, growing attached to Yu and observing his mental breakdown over a period of time would have been more gut-wrenching and heartbreaking, but we get it all in one episode.

At the end of the day, Charlotte was a bit disappointing. To their credit, the writers did manage to work in some truly great moments, but the overall package falls short, and this finale suffers for it. While not terrible by any means, it highlights how much their really was to this story, and how much potential there was in this world of children with special powers. Had more effort been put into focusing on that, along with Yu’s personal growth, this could have been a very memorable show. Sadly, that is not the case. The series does wrap up nicely with a happy (albeit slightly bittersweet) ending, but it would have felt more rewarding had we journeyed with Yu in greater depth.

A Christian Perspective:

The Bible talks a lot about persevering in our faith. Hebrews 10:19-12:29 is a good example. Although there may be tough times ahead—times where being faithful will either cost us something or where faith itself just feels hard—we are promised it will pay off. In this episode, Yu is a good example of perseverance, though his is a physical perseverance as opposed to spiritual. Still, we get a good idea of what it looks like to persevere despite hard circumstances. Leaving everything and everyone he has ever known to embark on a solo mission to track down every ability-wielder on the planet seems hard enough, but when the strain begins to take its toll on his health and sanity he still presses on towards his goal. Granted, he struggles with temptations, but he still continues on his path. Even when he gains the ability to heal and realizes that he could easily heal his eye and time jump to save Kumagami, he resists the urge and instead pushes forward with the present plan.

During those times where he feels extra tempted, Yu ends up finding strength in a particular item—namely the flash cards that Nao gave him before he left. No matter what happened (even when he tried to throw them away), Yu would always find some sort of motivation to keep going when he looked at those flashcards. As Christians, we can look to Jesus for our strength and motivation to press on:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: Yu begins to lose his mind and claims that he is God

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Language: 1 “d*mn it”, 1 “g*dd*amnit”, 1 “g*sh”, 1 “d*mmit”, 2 “h*ll”

Violence: A man punches someone; a man hits others with a gun; men open fire on Yu; Yu uses his ability to fight; a character is shot with arrows

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Use of special abilities

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One thought on “Review: Charlotte, Episode 13: Memories to Come

  1. Pingback: Something More: Concrete Revolutio’s Moral Relativism, Evangelion’s Atheistic Approach, and SAO’s Virtually Christian Worldview |

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