These past weeks have been a big held breath of anticipation, waiting to see what happened with Ayumi and Yu. And though we may not know what exactly happened we skip to Yu waking up in the hospital. When he awakes his only thoughts are about Ayumi and he frantically asks the doctor about the status of her condition. Unfortunately Ayumi didn’t make it, and from here on we start to see him slowly deteriorate throughout the episode.
After the funeral and memorial session are done a lady tries to console Yu saying that time will heal most wounds and that he has to keep moving forward for Ayumi’s sake. But this person doesn’t seem to be at all close to Yu so he doesn’t really respond or acknowledge her advice. I think even though this is something he may need to hear to get better, it doesn’t matter that’s its coming from her. Yu needs to hear those words for someone he knows who cares about him.
Back in his house Yu sets up a memorial picture of Ayumi on her desk and this is where regret starts to well up in his heart. He starts to look back on the time they had and feel like he did not do enough for her. He also acknowledges all of the things she did for him, and not being able to pay her back makes him feel terrible. Unfortunately none of these thoughts surfaced until it was too late, which is something Yu also realizes. He can’t change the past but instead of moving forward from it, he can’t help but wallow in it.
While half of the episode he sits in his room eating ramen and sulking in the dark. The other half is him running away and going on a rampage with his power, taking out everyone who tries to mess with him. He even goes so low to where he’s almost about to take some sort of drugs until Nao steps in revealing that she’s been watching him the whole time. She then takes him back to Jojiros house, with no one there, and prepares him omelet rice. Yu eats it all as it reminds him of all the things that Ayumi did for him and the way it made him feel. Not knowing where to go from here, Yu agrees to Nao’s suggestion of coming back to the student council, hopefully where his friends can help him heal.
Well if last episode was a game changer then I can’t really call this one that, can I? So I guess the best way to describe this episode is like a dream. From the very beginning we have no concept of time. The events that happen and the people involved seem to be there, but to Yu everything seems distant and separate in a way. This is to represent Yu’s mind set and how he is interpreting the world after Ayumi’s death. Seeing that he’s lost the will to live without his sister, he is losing touch with reality and his will to live.
Now while he’s losing touch with reality, Charlotte throws it a seemingly pointless throwback to Jun Maeda’s last work Angel Beats. But this can help the viewer greatly understand whats going on in Yu’s mind if you are familiar with Angel Beats. In Angel Beats a group of kids have to come to terms with dying and have to overcome the regrets in their lives in order to pass on. We can take this as an indication that Yu is feeling dead inside as well and continues to wallow in the regret of not being able to be there for Ayumi until is was too late. We can also defer that the only way for Yu to come clear of this current dead state he finds himself in, is to forgive himself and be reborn again, which is eventually what happens once he eats Naos omelet rice.
But Yu isn’t competely dead inside yet, and two emotions start to grow inside of him. One is the regret that he’s been feeling since Ayumis death. The other is powerlessness. He wasn’t able to do anything for Ayumi up until she dies and this makes him scared and angry at his powerlessness. This anger and need for power initially is quenched by violent video games, but once that sensation gets less effective he switches to real people instead. At the later part where he’s brutally beating up gang members, he comments on how it’s so much better than the video game. Because showing power over other humans is so much satisfying than over something like a video game that can’t really be dominated. Yu wants other people to feel the same powerlessness he feels and hopefully get rid of his own in the process.
This episode is also good for showing the inherent contradiction between Yu’s power and how he uses it in this episode. During the slice of life episodes every time Yu would use his power it would end up being a way for him to get closer to someone and to maybe help them. But now he’s only using it to get farther away from people and cause pain. This shows just how much Yu has devolved from the progress he was making and shows what sort of anchor Ayumi provided for his life. Maybe his sister was one of the main reasons that Yu wanted to be a better person, and having her gone he can return to being selfish and revel in other people’s pain. Maybe he’s trying to inflict some amount of pain that he feels is equal to the pain he’s feeling. Since he can transfer his mind he may have some hope of transferring this pain he’s feeling.
Now it may seem that Nao showing up at the end and being able to get Yu back home seems sort of cheap, but I think the entire episode is leading up to this and its secretly what Yu was wanting all along. Like I said before even though Yu needs to hear certain things, it greatly matters to him who those words are coming from. I think all episode he was waiting for Nao to help him come to terms with his situation.
And while I knew that Nao would be the one to sort of guide Yu onto the path that he needs to take, there was another who could have helped. Yusa seemed like the perfect choice here, I mean recently her sister died and I thought she could be able to relate more. But Misa’s words concerning this subject enlightened the situation as to why that doesn’t happen. Because even Misa is taken aback by her inability to relate and know what to say. And I think this is because of two reasons. For one I think that Misa and Yusa themselves haven’t really come to terms with losing each other yet and so they don’t have the words to console Yu with because they haven’t found out those words themselves. The other reason I think is because Yu and Ayumi had a very special relationship, and that even though people go through seemingly the same things, the remedies can be different. So while this episode is mostly about Yu it opens up and reminds us that things aren’t cleared up between Yusa nd Misa.
While Yu’s journey may seem short and quick considering its only one episode I think the emotion was real enough that it got its point across in that time. Also like I said the dream like pacing of this episode helps a mass amount of time pass while still being believable that this is the way Yu is seeing the world right now. And it’s not as if Yu has completely come to terms with it either. All he did was be able to accept all the things that Ayumi did for him and not look at it as regretful but as fond loving memories of his sister. There is still a long way for him to go in his healing process. And now that Nao is there I feel that she can not only help him heal, but in the process they can start to realize just how much they need each other. While secretly I think they both already know that.
Like last episode I think its safe to say that this show can go anywhere at this point and I sure can’t wait to see where it does. This episode of Charlotte was amazing all the way through and as long as this show doesn’t keep missing the right emotional beats it will continue to be just as great.