「我他人を思う」 (Ga Tanin o Omou)
“I Think About Others”
Ladies and Gentleman, meet Yuu Otosaka (Uchiyama Kouki). He’s good looking, at the top of his class, and can even take control of others for up to five seconds! The catch is he used that ability to get to the top in the first place, he’s committed countless lewd acts with that power, and he’s an arrogant jerk that thinks himself better than everyone else and does this when no one’s looking. It’s only fitting that a such a person be stopped as soon as humanly possible, and there was definitely a measure of satisfaction seeing his atrocities put to a sudden, swift, and painful end. Forcing him to transfer schools and causing him to get dumped by the girl he tried so hard to get are just additional icing to the metaphorical cake, and there’s much to be said about how enjoyable Charlotte’s first episode ended up.
With Maeda Jun leading things as the series’ creator however, that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, and the cheerful opening comes in as a likely cover for what should be a darker, more serious story. Needless to say, the clues are there—the question is which ones are the ones to follow—and there’s clearly more than meets the eye here, especially regarding the Otosaka family. The whole feeling that there’s a family member “missing” lights up the radar like nothing else, and one wonders—assuming his existence was real—just how much relationship there is between that missing family member has with the powers possessed by those in Hoshinoumi Academy’s Student Council.
The fact that Yuu was abusing his powers is a testament to the potential issues these powers can cause, and although imperfect in some way, the powers of both Tomori and Takajou are both game changers in their own right. Given the possible abuse, Yuu’s actions come across as relatively harmless in the big picture, and it’ll be interesting to see not only how he ultimately uses his powers, but the extent to which they can be used. One can reason the time limitation is the one imperfection his ability has, and in that case, would he actually be capable of doing more than just physical actions while in another’s body? Does he possess the capability of going through their memories while he’s at it? Or to push things further, would he be able to use his temporary possession to cause people to change their entire thought process regarding something—Inception style?
Given those possibilities and the fact he’s seemingly the main character here, there’s certainly a multitude of ways his powers could be used, and it makes you wonder if there’s not a more sinister imperfection present here. For this, the series’ first lines come to mind—
Why am I the only me and not anyone else?
Perhaps that person over there is myself as well…
—and it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think that this constant possession of bodies could either cause him to lose parts of himself over time, or cause others to lose parts of themselves instead.
Either way, Charlotte’s first episode leaves much to the imagination, and it reeks of potential as a series that can be everything from comedic to serious, and memorable to boot. The aforementioned are only some aspects the story can develop as it goes, and I haven’t even gone into how they can develop Yuu’s relationships with others and his distant parents, or the notion that the strings of fate may be play in regards to his current predicament. The series’ Maeda Jun foundations only help the series, and this was a premiere that succeeded in piquing my interest. I said it before, but this could very well be the show to watch this season, and this first episode certainly doesn’t change that.