When I think Jun Maeda, I think next level manipulative drama. This is not a bad thing, unless you aren´t trapped by it and become aware of its bullshit. Up until now, I´ve been captured by all Key adaptations except for Little Busters, I assumed it was just a studio thing, now comes Charlotte, produced by P.A Works, I´m starting to think Maeda is just running out of ideas.
Yuu Otosaka appears to be just another average boy with not so average grades. Little do the people around them know he actually has the ability to slip into another persons body for a few seconds, using this to his benefit, Yuu has been living arrogantly and selfishly, until Nao and her friends catch him in the act, and force him and his sister to transfer into another school for people with these abilities which only last in their teenage years – and asks him to join them in the student council to save other ability wielders from themselves. Thus begins a strange tale of growing up and the meaning of family.
So yeah, Charlotte is definitely not winning any awards for originality, and all Key shows are definitely the same in their roots, and to be honest, if the formula works from a business stand point, why go out of your comfort zone to change it? I get it, guys, I really do, and I honestly did enjoy Charlotte, it was entertaining, it wasn´t really especially good, but I don´t regret spending aproximately six hours on it.
It hits all the notes of what I think an anime should be and really, it was just mindless entertainment with some angsty moments, just like a Key anime should be.
So on itself, Charlotte is definitely in the top tier of the season for me – though judging by the season, that doesn´t say a lot -the characters have a nice dynamic and it tells a complete story – the thing is, you would probably enjoy it a lot more if you take the “Jun Maeda” “Key” and “Clannad, Angel Beats and Air” tag away, because in comparison to those shows, Charlotte will just dissapoint you, like comparing Fullmetal Alchemist to Arslan Senki.
Clearly Charlotte isn´t for everyone. As I´ve said, you have to really be captured by its drama or you´ll be too cynical and see through its bullshit – not liking or even getting Charlotte is perfectly understandble, it´s definitely something for the sensitive viewers, and lucky me I cry very easily with fiction, so this show was made for people like me.
All in all, Charlotte is a nice little show with some nice aesthetic that doesn´t do anything crazy or out of this world, the implied drug use and time skips made me side eye the show but in the end, I think it stands above Little Busters, under everything else by Key – I didn´t cry once, but it was fun.
Tl;dr: For people feeling sensitive, the imoutos voice gave me a headache, it was entertaining enough, would recommend. 6.5/10.