P.A. Works try their hand at an original anime this time around. Having just come off from a rather successful series (Shirobako), they went with something completely new, using no source material.
Now, on the surface Charlotte seems like a typical super powered, coming-of-age anime, but I like that misdirection. It lends itself on a lot of tropes, but adds some nice spice to it. The MC isn’t you typical good guy; he is in fact arrogant, manipulative, petty and uses his powers for person gain and enjoyment.
His actual power, while interesting, is incredibly limited. He can possess anyone is his line of sight, but only for five seconds. This limitation causes Yuu (our MC) to use the power for specific purposes: Be is cheating on his entrance exam, tests, disrupting those that annoy him on the street and even going so far as to cause a major accident so he could get close to a particular girl. You’re not supposed to like the guy essentially, and they portray that quite well.
Forward to him being the top of the school in grades (using his powers), and catching the attention of the most popular girl in school (once again powers), he’s suddenly called to the student council and told to retake a test, or else be expelled. Relying on his power once again, he’s suddenly caught by a girl who appears beside him, and knows he has a power and what it is. Fearing for himself, to bolts from the school, being chased by another student who also has a power.
Finally being subdued, we’re introduced to the two students who chased him. They are Nao and Joujirou, two first years and members of the students council at a different school; a school that handles those with super powers. We’re not introduced to the plot and story. There are a select few teenagers in Japan that manifest powers, but only during their teenage stages, as they can and will grow out of their powers.
Yuu, along with his sister are forced to attend this new school, which houses all known powered kids and keep a close eye on them.
I actually found the story quite interesting for a first episode, and of course the characters. P.A. Works are known for creating compelling characters and personal stories, but sadly it’s at the sacrifice of proper plot development and progression. Don’t expect a lot of growth in the plot, or being enticed by it. What you will get is some memorable characters, some fun comedy elements and bittersweet-to-downright-sad character backstories.
Also, typical P.A. Works, the animation is beautiful, especially their foreground/background detailing.