[Review] Charlotte ep. 8 – A Healing Song

While this weeks episode of Charlotte may not be as emotionally dire as it was last week, it did portray very strong emotions and progressed the story in a very interesting way. And seeing that last week was so emotionally intense, an episode like this that will just make your heart melt is a good follow-up.

Quick Episode Run-through

Back at school, the student council is back together and everyone is going crazy over Yusa’s new single. The class is still in love with her than ever and Nao is turned off by this more than ever. Yu comments on how he thinks this crazy laid-back time will be good for him. And boy is he about to get more friendly laid back time when he’s roped into going to a ZHIEND concert with Nao.

And boy is it a coincidence when on his way from school Yu just happens to come across their lead vocalist, Sarah. And I guess Nao wasn’t kidding about her being blind. And with Yu being awkward and unable to say no to her whims of finding food, he becomes her escort on the search for okonomiyaki. After they get chummy, Yu decides to introduce her to Nao but Nao refuses not really caring to meet her. Then Yu decides to bring Sarah to see Kazuki hoping to trigger something.

When they get to the hospital Kazuki’s composing again and tearing up his pillows, Sarah starts singing and eventually calms him down. Yu quickly tries to ask him if he remembers anything and he’s able to repeat Naos name. The episode ends with Nao thanking Yu for what he did for her and her brother.

Thoughts

So now Yu is back at school and has come to terms with Ayumi’s death, more or less. Though he seems back to his normal self he still can’t get out of the habit of sometimes thinking that Ayumi is still waiting for him at home. And while he still remembers her fondly, it seems he’s trying to move on and hates that he can’t fully let go. I don’t know if any of his friends can see this, but Sarah surely can just by spending a couple of hours with him.

Even though she’s blind she has the typical heightened other senses, so she can tell what Yu is feeling by the way he talks and sighs. This relates back to Nao talking about how her music is so sad and lonely because she is blind. But oddly enough Sarah seems to be a very cheerful person. In fact she seems to have it all together when compared to these kids. I also like how she can take things seriously but not be so melodramatic about it. She acts like a well put together adult should, and because of that is able to help in the way she does.

Even when she talks about how she lost her eyesight, (in the most cryptic way possible) she makes it seem like she has learned and grown from the experience. And she also has a positive outlook when looking back on her rocky signing career. She doesn’t dwell on this things that happen. She decides to learn from them and move on. And while even though her explanation for losing her eyesight makes no sense, I loved it for the reason that it brought back the mysticism that was in the beginning of the show. I still firmly believe that these kids are getting these powers by some other force for a reason and with this hint at the supernatural, I think that is indeed the case. Also her english singing voice is beautiful. Even though some of the lyrics don’t fit when translated, the soft melody helps enhance the lyrics no matter what she’s actually singing.

But that can’t be said for Yusa’s new song. I guess its one of those barriers you run into because you speak english. Immediately when she started singing “I can’t do it! Not the side there you!” I was literally done with that song. No amount of good vocals or catchy instrumentals could save it. Like I’m sure that Japanese people think its okay but as an English speaker it just sounds like fucking shit. Which is sad because I think the japanese lyrics are a good indicator on how Yusa feels about Misa. And it can also be relatable to Yu’s situation now that Ayumi is gone. But I can’t get over that silly English chorus.

But thankfully this episode isn’t completely hanging onto its musical numbers, most of it is about showing really how Yu has changed. Even if at first he was being somewhat roped into it, he still goes out of his way to make sure Sarah has a good time. And he can feel comfortable around her and not try to act fake to get her to like him. This is a big improvement if you look where he was at during the start of the show.

Another example of Yu’s thoughtfulness is trying to get Nao to meet Sarah. I don’t think he does this to get grow in her good favor, like the old Yu would do. He does it because he knows she likes ZHIEND and that it would make her happy. Of course he ends up being wrong about that, but the fact and the motives behind his actions speak volumes about how he has changed as a character. And even after She doesn’t want to meet her, he still proposes that her brother should meet Sarah. This may be love growing and Yu just doesn’t know it, but he seems to be very invested in making Nao happy. And by the end of this episode I think Nao is starting to see that somewhat as well.

But even if Yu can’t see that his intentions may be because he’s in love with Nao and wants to see her happy. He does acknowledge that she is the one who changed him to be the kind of person he is. So maybe to him it isn’t love at all but a feeling of obligation to pay her back for all that she has done for him and helped him through. We need more thoughts from Nao directly to piece this together. Even though she has helped him, she still seems like an enigma whose feeling are hard to get a lock on. And we’ll probably get it the night of the ZHIEND concert.

Now this was surely a great episode and I feel that Charlotte continues to progress these characters in a natural way. But I would like to see more of the supernatural power plot come back into play. With all the build up of the scientists and the direness to help keep these kids with powers a secret, it seems like if it isn’t touched on in greater detail later it could ruin some parts the show has set up. And considering we only have five episodes left, the time to execute this plot is getting more and more tight.

Also, I’m all for the development for these characters and want to see them grow. But I think they need to incorporate their powers more into how it relates to their growth. And we need explanations and dissections on Jojiro and Yusa pronto. They’ve been back burner characters for too long and I’d really like if they contribute more to the show. It’s clear that something is going on with them and I don’t want their problems to be shoehorned in out of obligation. I want it to feel natural like it did with Nao’s back story and the Ayumi arc. I know I really shouldn’t be worrying, seeing how the show has handled everything so far, more or less perfectly. But it’s always in the back of my mind that it will fall flat on its face. Maybe this is my cynicism showing. But even with that I loved everything that happened in this episode and am eagerly awaiting everything to come. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way I want it to.

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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