「刹那の本気」 (Setsuna no Honki)
“Earnest Moment”

No matter how we act, as long as you’re part of the Student Council, you won’t get any demerits toward your grades or school reports.

I’ll say, that’s a sweet deal if I’ve seen one. If anyone knows one I can join with those perks… It’s just too bad I’ve graduated already.

All jokes aside, Yusa joins our crew as the latest addition/transfer student, and it’s full speed ahead as our group embarks on yet another quest to scare the living daylights out of someone ensure the scientists don’t get their hands on another ability user. As it turns out, our group’s next target is none other than Kannai Academy’s pitching ace, and I’ll say I should’ve expected this sooner rather than later. Key’s propensity to put in a baseball themed episode have been well noted given its prior usage in Little Busters! and Angel Beats! (to name a few recent series), and it ends up a decent way to both ease Yusa/Misa into the cast and move things along.

The only issue is, nothing much happens here aside from our group’s usual antics—Takajou practically killing himself, Ayumi cooking nothing but food with “special sauce,” etc.—and one wonders if this might not be the calm before the storm. The full cast—according to the OP anyway—is assembled at this point, the general premise and background have been set, and with a load of questions just sitting there waiting to receive answers, it’d certainly be the right time to start escalating things—or so one would think. This wouldn’t be the first time Maeda Jun’s toyed with our expectations though.

Either way, there’s one thing this episode does make me want to talk about, and it’s the concept of “intent” and “motive.” Given the nature of the powers they wield, one would think that there’s someone out there hell bent on using their powers for nothing but personal gain, yet we’ve seen nothing of the sort. There’s been some personal gain as a side result for sure, but they end up only a side effect of the overall motive (even in Otosaka’s case), and it’s interesting to think about in regards to whether or not this is intentional, and what it’s meant to imply.

One could argue it’s merely a way to set things up for a future antagonist, but is that really it? Or could there more to it? Part of me wonders if this isn’t a commentary on human nature as a whole, and there’s much that could be said about how it’s difficult to get a full grasp of someone without having actually talked with them. Toward this end, many of the ability users we’ve encountered so far turned out differently than one would’ve expected of them initially—whether in regards to motive or behavior—and it goes to show that one shouldn’t ever judge a book by it’s cover, however cliche the statement is. There are as many reasons for doing something as there are people on this planet, and no matter the goal—even if you’re technically trying to save their lives—it’s important to approach things with an open mind, and to take the time to understand where someone’s coming from.

That said, it’s taken a few episodes to really sink in, but despite her blunt approach, Tomori does actually have a knack for saying what needs to be said. Her words toward the end of this episode were merely one example, and it certainly feels like there’s something more to her underneath the many faces she seems to put on. The question is whether or not they’ll develop her in time for us to erase the impressions we’ve gotten of her so far, and I guess that’ll be one we’ll re-visit towards the series end. Until then, it’s nice to see that Misa’s still around as well—I’d go nuts if all we got were magic spells from her idol sister—and I suppose we’ll see how things progress as we approach the mid-point of the series. Count me in as one of those still waiting to see what “Charlotte” stands for…


    1. One of those small, but endearing annoyances that will come back to hit right in the feels when something, inevitably, happens to the little sister. She’s a walking tragedy waiting to happen.

      Ryan Ashfyre
    2. I think we’ll have to stop treating them as gags; if the show can do more to make them provide more depth for the cast, great. If not, it’s just an emphasis on normality (which Maeda will at some point dramatically break) that’s in danger of becoming uninteresting.

  1. Can’t remember the last time I saw a show where the characters were this uninterested in each other. Four episodes in and we have zero camaraderie. I don’t know if it works because the plot is so patchwork or what. Hell, I don’t even know if it works.

    This episode was so superpower of the week that I couldn’t help but think “That was it?” by the end. Zero progression, aside from whatever Nao was trying to figure out at the end. Did Yuu’s power not put him in control, or did we just not see it?

    1. Well, it’s not entirely fair to say that there was no progression. Yuu did show some personal growth when it came to accomplishing something through his own power. Baby steps, y’know.

      Maeda Jun, as those who follow his works know, has something of a habit of taking small, seemingly insignificant moments that are easily relatable and expanding from there. We’ll see if this turns out to be like that.

      Ryan Ashfyre
  2. This episode was a so-so, but I was able to tolerate until next episode. If the next one is gonna like overuse some unrequired gags, I will drop this series.

    P.S. I was expecting a student named Setsuna, which refers to this episode’s title to have a special ability. But I guess the title refers to Arifumi using his special ability to help his friend to get recognition which can be an “earnest moment”?

  3. Charlotte, please don’t make me lose my patience. It’s now the fourth episode and what I got are still the basics you shown from the first two episodes. Well, for a baseball match from Key, this is the dullest I have seen.

    Now, to my rant.

    The humor is now stale due to repetition. The bread joke from Clannad (although there was a more endearing reason why the Furukawas do that) and the jam joke from Kanon 2006 were effective because these were presented differently whenever shown and these were not shown literally on every episode. In Charlotte, it’s like Maeda is shoving the food joke in front of us. Don’t even mention the megane guy, the show’s attempt to make him a comic relief failed either. The imouto becomes annoying.

    Yu (who is supposed to be the main character, I think) is now more relegated to the sidelines. And for Nao, I don’t like her as a character although I think I’ve been saying this for the past three episodes.

    Also, what is their basis for prompting a kid with special power to transfer into their academy? I understand the reason for Yu and Yusarin but for those two (the archery captain and the pitcher), I am still baffled until now. This is for the fact that these two are kinda famous on their own and can be easily noticed should they not listen to Tomori’s warnings.

    They only have nine episodes left and the ‘caught-by-the-scientist-thing’ is yet to be elaborated further. I think that would be a more interesting plot point to show.

    1. I think the humour is getting stale more because its repetition isn’t telling us anything new about the cast each episode. The characters are developing a comfort zone with their abilities without surroundings or situations that provoke them to reveal any more about themselves.

      Yuu should be shoved to the side considering who’s actually in charge of the plot (Tomori), but the show really should be decorating his supporting role with more hints towards the depths of his character. Else he’ll become too much of a comeback machine (which is the most he seems to add to the comedy) once the feels train reaches full speed.

  4. Since this is 13 ep series, I am kinda expecting that typical classic Jun Maeda trolling episode BEFORE THE STORM which also happened in angel beats. And this episode has proven me right.

    Anyway, that Yusa magic is effective for me… Too much cuteness as Yusa does the “casting”

  5. God, is this show aiming for maximum annoyance or what?

    We already had a barely tolerable imouto character and an obnoxious main heroine and now they proceeded to add a dimwit idol and deconstruct megane dude into your standard lame idol fanboy all the while having transformed an otherwise interesting protagonist into stock secondary character material.

    Like, realy??

    How am I supposed to care about them when tragedy starts?

    1. Be less judgemental?

      They all have reasons for being annoying in the ways they are, just like real people make a lot more sense when you get to know them underneath whatever is weird/annoying on the surface.

      If your empathy only goes to those you think deserve it, you aren’t doing it right. Often the people you want to help least are the ones that need your love the most.

  6. From what I’ve read on other sites the plot won’t actually be kicking in until episode seven. Apparently Maeda has stated that the first six episodes will be slow with episode seven being where the plot really kicks in.

    That said this episode was another good one. Maybe not as good as the last one but I certainly prefer it to episode two. I loved that we got to know more about Yusarin and her sister even if it was mostly for comedy. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of the others as well.

  7. Did I miss something? I thought all the superpowers were supposed to be flawed in some way? What was the flaw in the telekinesis? Or is it linked to the reason why Yu was asked to possess him at the end? (Another unanswered Q I’m assuming is a hint for a future ep).

  8. I’m still confident about this series because my patience was awarded at the end of Clannad, where the best bit kicked in at the second half of After Story. Before that the first season was just an ordinary series.

    Repeating gags is normal for maeda jun whether its Air, Kanon, Clannad, Angel Beats… once these gags disappeared, you know its a signal for something serious is going to happen.


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