It appears that Jun Maeda has a thing, not only for tragic pasts, but for baseball too. No matter what show it is, he always seems to incorporate baseball into an episode. Now while baseball is a big importance in this weeks episode of Charlotte, there are some interesting things that occur in the earlier parts of the show. So before I get into the Baseball stuff, I’d like to cover that.
As promised from last episode, Yusa is introduced into their school. And naturally everyone in the class goes crazy over her, with some boys taking it a little too far with their reactions. This might be equated as to how energetic and happy Yusa seems to be. You always hear about people not being the same as they are on T.V. and such. But Yusa is pretty much the same, she even refers to herself as Yusarin to the class.
Now I’m not really buying this whole personality from Yusa. She seems to have had way to many things happen, to be this happy and go lucky. It could be that she’s been playing as an idol for so long she forgot how to be herself or something. Or she just finds it easier to put on a front because that’s what people want to see. Either way I don’t think she’s being true to herself, almost in the same way Ayumi acts concerned about Yu almost like a mother would. I see similar characteristics in both these characters, so it’s not surprising that Ayumi is a huge Yusarin fan-girl. Both of them may put on a front not because they want to but because it’s for other people.
So with Yusa’s introduction we get a little more time in the classroom than we have had in previous episodes. And because of that we get some subtle hints about Nao and how the other classmates look at her. One noticeable thing is that she is very cold to Yusa when she is assigned a seat next to her. It’s clear that they planned out beforehand to pretend not to know each other already, but Nao’s greeting seems out-of-place and way too cold. The classroom comments on it as if it’s just the way Nao is. This happens again when they are about to get another users location. Yusa is in the middle of friendly classmates when Nao interrupts and pulls Yusa away. The classmates are all agitated at her but Nao on both these occasions doesn’t really seem to care. This is weird because she’s the complete opposite when they are out hunting for ability users. But something about being at school and in class puts Nao in a rather apathetic mood, and I hope we get to find out why. Maybe its just because she hates school.
With a strong hunch Nao deduces that the telekinesis user is a baseball pitcher at another school. They confront him and Nao is pretty straight with him, as she is with all the ability users she confronts. She goes on to explain that abilities only last while in adolescence, so its useless to think cheating will get him in the professional league. This comment here relates to the ending so I’ll talk more about it then. So even though it doesn’t make much sense Nao challenges his school to a baseball match. The catch being if Nao wins that he won’t use his telekinesis anymore. Also the student council members will be participating as well alongside their schools own baseball team. This is basically so they can even the playing field with people who can use abilities. A little underhanded, but if the opposing team is cheating, you might as well follow suit.
While the game isn’t all that interesting a few character things are revealed. One is that when Nao tells Yu to take control of the batter to make him mess up, Yu has a little reluctance towards it. With this being the same Yu who would cheat on every test, it seems that he’s steadily growing and not wanting to be like he used to. This sort of thing comes up again when he’s happy that they win the game. He’s slowly starting to enjoy being with people and having fun just being himself. He’s also slowly learning that everyone has flaws and its okay to reveal those. This is why its a great scene where he almost strikes out. By all means he should have struck out but by the combination of the rest of his team, they won. More people coming together to fix problems, which is probably why the baseball was incorporated in this episode. Sports are always a great way to represent the benefits of teamwork and the need for others. Both being things which Yu needs to work on.
The other thing is the ability user himself revealing that he was using his ability so that his friend the catcher would get noticed. He felt bad that his friend had to play for such a bad team so he thought if they got noticed as a team then the scouts would see how good a catcher his friend was. Of course Nao gives him some good advice to build on what she said when they first met. Basically saying that if someone works hard long enough in the dark, there will be people who find them there. So even if you think no ones watching, keep trying your best because someone eventually will take notice. This is another very adult thing to learn because of how easy cheating is. It may seem like an easy means to an end but it will eventually catch up to you and hurt you as a person. And if you stay there and keep supporting your friend instead, eventually things will turn out great for the both of you.
Of course this weeks episode of Charlotte may have felt a little weak but I think most of that is just because it was a transitional episode. While there still was quite a few things to take note of, this episode was basically about Yusa integrating into the student council and seeing the impact she has on the groups dynamic. Charlotte knows how important and delicate dramatic tension is. And it also knows when to use it. This episode was not the time or the place to use it. And in a show like this, we sometimes need a good time to cool off and just play ball.