Weekly Digest 7/20/15 – Charlotte, Shimoneta

Charlotte - 03 -3 Charlotte - 03 -5 Shimoneta - 03 -13 Shimoneta - 03 -15

Two steps back here, big-time.

Charlotte – 03

Charlotte - 03 -1 Charlotte - 03 -2 Charlotte - 03 -4
Charlotte - 03 -6 Charlotte - 03 -7 Charlotte - 03 -8
Charlotte - 03 -9 Charlotte - 03 -10 Charlotte - 03 -11
Charlotte - 03 -12 Charlotte - 03 -13 Charlotte - 03 -14
Charlotte - 03 -15 Charlotte - 03 -16 Charlotte - 03 -17

To be honest, Charlotte always had to pull a bit of an inside straight to make the cut with me – there’s just so much about it that I normally just don’t find appealing.  The second episode was pretty good, but this one didn’t click, and I’m having a hard time mustering any optimism.

Here’s the thing: as much as I disliked Angel Beats (which was a lot), my only recourse in watching this episode is hoping things get dark and serious real fast.  And that’s because the comedy just isn’t working for me, even when the lolimouto isn’t involved.  Maeda’s humor is always hit-and-miss, but it’s missing right now.  It’s really a case of the devil I don’t know versus the devil I do, I guess – maybe once it fires up the angst Charlotte will surprise me (though with Maeda, tragedy is even more hit-and-miss than comedy).

For now, I’m out in terms of coverage – I’ll watch at least one more episode and re-calibrate if events warrant it.

Shimoneta – 03

Shimoneta - 03 -1 Shimoneta - 03 -2 Shimoneta - 03 -3
Shimoneta - 03 -4 Shimoneta - 03 -5 Shimoneta - 03 -6
Shimoneta - 03 -7 Shimoneta - 03 -8 Shimoneta - 03 -9
Shimoneta - 03 -10 Shimoneta - 03 -11 Shimoneta - 03 -12
Shimoneta - 03 -14 Shimoneta - 03 -16 Shimoneta - 03 -17

It’s pretty rare that a seiyuu can ruin a show to the point where I’d have to consider dropping it, but for Arai Satomi I can make an exception.  She’s an awful actor generally, though I suppose there is a tiny sliver of roles within which she can be tolerable.  Alas, Saotome Otome isn’t it.  It’s Arai at her most excruciatingly insufferable.  The character might not be so bad in different hands (though I think it would still be pretty bad) but in hers, it’s plain torture.

The equation for me is pretty simply at this point – if Saotome is a major character going forward (it looks like she is), Shimoneta is dropped.  If she’s on the fringe, there’s enough that’s funny and somewhat clever here to maybe keep me around. In an episode like this one, her presence infected everything so much that I really wasn’t able to enjoy a single moment of it.  And though it also felt to me like the humor was starting to become repetitive in general, I don’t quite trust my judgment on that given the special circumstances.



  1. R

    I'm also really confused as to what to make of Charlotte. It obviously wants me to take it seriously, but the attempt at a Haruhi-esque style of humor really kills the mood big time.

    The deal with Jojiro's injuries is a really bad example. It kinda feels like that issue with Kousei's injuries/faux injuries in Shigatsu. They want you to treat it as a serious consequence, yet the slapstick (with matching little fountains of blood from the head) around it just dumbs it down.

  2. D

    I actually found this episode of Charlotte funny, but that's not much of a compliment actually. I don't think Charlotte has anything else going for it and if I wasn't liking it for sheer entertainment value, I wouldn't be watching it at all. I'm also convinced I need to quit three minutes early every episode to avoid the imouto epilogues as the MC returns home every night.

  3. A

    I don't really have anything against Charlotte, I guess I'll continue watching it.
    But Shimoneta… I had really mixed feelings about the first episode, then I watched the second and started liking it and then this. It's amazing how much bad voice acting (actually more like bad pairing of character and voice actor) can ruin a show for me. To me she sounds like an old lady, which does not fit the character at all and rips me right out of the world of Shimoneta.
    I'm with you on this one Enzo. If Saotome is central to the plot going forwards (I fear she might be) I'm done.

  4. Well, I'd say it's both bad acting and bad casting here. We're spoiled for choice.

  5. E

    The green haired girl hasn't appeared much either so I believe there's still hope…

  6. Her I like.

  7. S

    Oh, well, I guess it comes from not being as much of a seiyuu-geek like you, Enzo, but I didn't even really pay much attention to Saotome's voice :D. I mean, yeah, I noticed it felt a bit granny-like but just assumed it was meant to be quirky. Not the best acting ever of course but not enough to make me drop the show on its own. Though dropped it may eventually end – Shimoneta has a fun concept but just too many incomprehensible or badly timed jokes to work as a comedy for me :/. I'll give it a few more eps though.

  8. S

    Ugh, why is Charlotte so bad? The MC went from being independent but twisted and unsympathetic (but at least interesting) to this insufferable punch bag with zero will of his own . Did he do a single decision on his own accord today? Except maybe smudging out a ketchup stain with a spoon.

    Also, based on your review, I'm skipping ep 3 of Shimoneta and going straight to ep 4. I don't feel like I'll miss anything

  9. C

    Charlotte is just all over the place. There's just something very wrong when, after speedbro subdues that guy who punched Tomori, they suddenly threaten him with death and whatnot, I'm like, what?

    Also who really cared about that dead girl? It takes a degree of competent storytelling and dialogue to present a character, kill them off and actually make the audience care about it in the span of one episode. Anybody remember that Bebop episode Waltz for Venus? Charlotte is not doing this right.

    And I completely agree with Stöt, the MC did fun things with his power in the first episode and just with that the show displayed a lot of potential. Now what? He's a bystander, a decoration. He completely lost all agency and was reduced to a boring extra.

  10. B

    Shimoneta might actually be a show that's worth waiting for Funimation's Simuldub.

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