Now We Know About Nao – Charlotte Episode 2

Well, was this weeks episode of Charlotte full of interesting things, or what? While last weeks episode built up the world and sort of delved into Yu’s circumstances. He sorts of takes a back seat in this episode. And in all honesty it’s for the better. We can’t have Yu just be torn apart at the seams this soon. We need to see him interact with more people to really understand the reason for the way he acts. But for now we get a heaping helping of Nao. And that definitely isn’t a bad thing. But before I talk about Nao I want to talk about an interesting scene from the opening credits.

Broken Clock

The scene plays out with two hands reaching out for each other with the clock hands spinning by very fast. As the hands come together they are seemingly torn apart and can’t get a good enough grip. They continue to be torn away and fall to different corners of the screen. Then immediately a crack appears covering the whole shot. Now I know its weird to talk about something in the opening, but as I said before in a Jun Maeda show there can be things hidden everywhere so I think its worth thinking about.

The way I interpret this short three-second scene, is a slight view on how we see the past. Or maybe how the main characters see it. The hands not being able to grasp one another obviously represents being so close but not being able to reach one another in the end. Which is represented in this episode, so I’ll talk about that later. The speed of the clock is how we see just how quickly time moves and that everything that happens cannot be undone since time is moving ever forward. The crack I think means that when we look back at the past we see things skewed because of how it affects us. It could also represent the scar we carry in to the future because of a past experience. Now again I know this is just a piece of the opening sequence but I think that it may represent how one or more of the characters deals with past experiences. So I thought it was at least worth giving a little thought too. But now I’ll get onto the meat of this episode, Nao.

Nao Wandering

I’m usually not one to just fall head over heals for a character design. There needs to be something else there to keep my interest besides a cute face. So last episode I didn’t really have any feeling towards Nao. But after this new episode of Charlotte, Nao is really hitting all the right notes for me. Which is weird considering I usually don’t like any girls in a Jun Maeda work that way. But I really am being won over by her charm. Which doesn’t seem really hard given this episodes content. Because like I said before this episode is really all about her. Well it’s not directly about her but a lot can be deciphered about her character and why she acts the way she does by this episode.

But before all this deepness into her character we are treated to some more nice world building about how in fact the student council tracks down students with powers. Sure it may seem a little convenient that they have a student whose ability is to track down other ability users. But if anything it shows that the person running this school is in constant search for kids who can help the cause. Which may be one reason that Yu was invited into the school and the student council. Honestly all I could think about when I saw this scene is Professor X and Cerebro.

Cerebrum

So once they get a hit they go the school and do a little sleuthing to find out who the kid with the power is. Yu is reluctant to help at first but after an intimidating stare by Nao he pitches in. And what I found strange is that once they confronted the boy, they just warn him about the scientists and leave. They don’t invite him to their school like with Yu. Did Nao only accept Yu into her school because his ability would be useful or was there some other reason? During theses scenes and earlier we get some good humor involving Jojiro and his imperfect teleportation. And I laugh every time it happens. I do enjoy that they can keep it light even though the risks they are facing are truly dangerous. It’s  also good for the viewer to be able to get a quick laugh to gauge how they are supposed to be feeling about a certain scene. And it helps especially in this episode because boy do things get tragic.

After this incident we learn about Naos brother and how he was an ability user who was experimented on by scientists after they found out about his ability. They were tricked by their mother to go to this boarding school where both of them were immediately experimented on. Nao just had a few tests every now and then, but her brother went though some horrible shit. And every time Nao would try to see her brother her friends (who we find out were just placed there to be her friends) would stop her and direct her attention elsewhere.

Guenie Pig

Now its this scenario that I’d like to relate back to the clock scene in the opening. Nao is trying to reach out to her bother but at every chance she gets she is pulled away from him. Also having people who you think are your friends and then having them be the reason you couldn’t see your brother can really mess up someone. But seeing that Nao tells this story so monotone and emotionless, it seems that she may be repressing her feeling of the event in a big way. She is definitely not being her true self in more than one way. And it’s probably going to take something huge to give her the trust she needs to be that open again.

But for now she still is able to see her brother (who is basically a vegetable on drugs and a psychopath while off them) anytime she wants. She takes Yu to see him after he asks about his condition after the experiments. It appears this is routine for her so she probably visits him a lot. And its obvious that she feels some guilt for the way that he’s turned out. This also shows why she decided to be student council president and make sure she can help and warn kids with powers, so they’ll never end up like her brother. Having characters being motivated by reasons that are explained and make sense are real nice.

Charlotte View

One last thing Nao brings up in this scene is a person that she owes a lot too for helping move her brother to such a nice hospital. She considers him the “one person she can trust.” Now while it may be the person who made this school that’s a safe haven for kids with and with the potential for powers. It also may be Yu’s lost brother. Considering that Nao mentioned that the rate for siblings getting powers is high, it might mean that Yu’s brother had powers. It may also relate to why Yu and his sister got accepted into the school and why Yu is in the student council. So obviously he may still care about his family but something causes him to keep his distance from Yu and his sister. Also I’m pretty sure that if he has a power that it has something to do with erasing memories, or changing them ala time travel or something.

Now that’s it for the episode but there is still one thing I want to talk about and again it has to do with the opening and ending. It has to do with the fact that Nao’s brother was in an up and coming band and the fact that Nao is always seen listening to music. Her brother talks about how he wants to be like a certain band called “ZHIEND” which obviously means “the end”. And that probably means something in itself. But we can see that the poster in her brother’s room shows a girl on it.

Zhiend

In the opening we see Nao at her current age after her brothers experimenting and we see ZHIEND on a building in the background and supposedly the same female singer. From this we can imply that the music Nao is listening to is ZHIEND. Maybe this is a way for her to stay connected to her brother even after she lost the artistic side of him. It also may be seen as a crutch. So eventually if the band stops making music Nao may feel like she’s losing a part of her brother in some way. But that’s kind of reaching, just a possibility.

ZHIEND billboard

And then again at the ending we get a good look at Naos MP3 player and see that she is in fact listening to ZHIEND. I’d like to think that after this long of time Nao has a deeper relationship with this band but I guess I’ll have to wait and find out. And while it may be some time until we get anymore development on this, just know that its most likely coming.

Naos Tunes

So if you can’t already tell, I loved this episode. There was so much depth to it and everything, from the visuals to the appropriate tone, was on point. All I can do at this point is take what I know and bring it into the next episode hoping for everything to pay off in the end. And even if I have to wait a while, I’ll most likely enjoy the ride.

As far as I can see it, Charlotte is nowhere near going to disappoint and is shaping up to be the best show of the season. And maybe has the potential to be best show of the year.

Logan Peterson
Logan Peterson
My names Logan and I love writing about Anime. Other art is guchi too. When I'm not writing gonzo reviews I'm writing books. *If interested look up The Dream Sequence on Amazon.* I usually write more editorial stuff than just plain reviews. I like my writing to be more big picture. I feel consumer reviews are a thing of the past and more personal reviews are the most valuable nowadays.

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