Charlotte first aired in 2015 July. With a mini sidestory that was later aired in 2016.
Reviews alone tend to be bad indicators of quality, but on average the anime is around 8/10.
Have you noticed when it comes to “superpower” anime there’s NEVER any limits to how strong a character can become?
Most anime powers don’t have a cost attached to them.
A character like Misaka Mikoto can infinitely use her electricity without paying any kind of price. And her best friend Kuroko Shirai can teleport to her hearts content, without it being restricted in some way.
And that’s why Charlotte is different: having superpowers comes at a cost (they’re flawed).
It’s this simple distinction that makes Charlotte special compared to 99% of supernatural/magic/superpower anime (or any type of superhuman character at all).
In most shows (DBZ, Railgun, etc) powers have no limits to the user. You can use a technique to your hearts content until you become tired and wear out. And it has no effect on your body or the use of those abilities at all.
But in Charlotte it feels more realistic, meaning: because it comes at a cost, it feels more authentic and logical.
After all , in real life nothing comes without a cost.
“There always has to be a price.” — Ai Enma
If you use a car, the cost is fuel and maintenance.
In the same way, Yuu Otosaka can only manipulate one person at a time with his main ability. So he can’t be “overpowered” like you tend to see in an anime like Code Geass.
And if Nao Tomori uses her power to become invisible (by messing with your perception) it can only work on one person at a time.
So if she were fighting against multiple opponents, she’d be at a disadvantage (the opposite of what we tend to see in these types of anime).
Also in Charlotte, powers will only last until the end of the characters puberty phase.
It’s these factors that distinguishes Charlotte from similar anime shows. The mechanics of how abilities work is refreshing and unique.
It’s a shame we won’t see any more seasons from Charlotte to expand on it, but maybe animators will adopt similar ideas and approaches to supernatural shows in the future.
It’s a nice concept most animators and writers haven’t explored enough.
Do you know of any anime with similar concepts?
Mikoto Misaka Image Credits — Source