I reviewed Charlotte Part One earlier this year and had some pretty favourable things to say about it, but all of that good-will is destroyed with Charlotte Part Two. Charlotte peaks with episode seven, then it quickly becomes evident that this was supposed to be more than thirteen episodes long.
It’s difficult to talk about the plot points of part two without delving deep into spoiler territory, so all I’ll mention is that the inclusion of time-travel is an awful one. Time-travel is already a tricky subject to work with, but in Charlotte it’s used naively with no real consequence. It’s used to erase character development and hard-hitting plot points, and Charlotte ultimately feels weak when it comes to story-telling due to its inability to stick with the things that helped to make it stand out.
I’m rarely so underwhelmed by an anime.
Jun Maeda and P.A.Works are capable of so much more together, I mean, just look at the outstanding Angel Beats!, but Charlotte is a step backwards. I’m rarely so underwhelmed by an anime, especially one with such pedigree closely attached to it. Considering that episode seven was, and still does, exhibit some masterful writing, it’s a shame to see it fall into such a mess.
P.A.Works do brilliant work with the animation as they always do, so Charlotte is easy on the eyes at the very least. Part Two has a lot more violence, blood and action than the first half, but there’s no visceral gore to worry about. Charlotte isn’t among the studio’s best works even if it does look great, but P.A.Works excel in expression and environments and the environments here are bland, and the only character who feels like they really have any impact by the end is protagonist Yuu.
Charlotte doesn’t feel very much like a passion project sadly and, as a company who focus on original works, Charlotte fails to be original. As was the case with the first half, the voice-actors and actresses here do a terrific, emotive job which is one of the highlights of the series.
Charlotte fails to be original.
Charlotte could’ve been an incredible but it ends up trying to do so much by the end that it begs the question as to whether or not this was always planned to be twelve episodes, or if it was halved mid-way through production. A mish-mash of poorly executed ideas sees Charlotte stumble over itself all too often, and it’s a sorely disappointing experience once the credits roll for the final time. P.A.Works and Jun Maeda have proven that they’re capable of producing fantastic works, but Charlotte is one that won’t come to mind when people talk about them.