(watching these episodes on separate days, so there’s not much connection between the episode reports)
Charlotte 2 doesn’t tell us a lot we didn’t already know. We get some of Nao’s backstory, how her brother was turned into a lunatic by the experiments the government did on him, and that she escaped. I can understand wanting to escape the people who want to ruin her life to develop weapons, or even just to experiment on her. It’s an old trope and a good one. But why the hell is she still running around? I can’t believe that “special person” has that much power to hold off all the forces who want to exploit her. I was also intrigued by Yuu’s attitude toward Nao and the others at the new school. He’s completely against working with them, thinks they’re crazy, but winds up helping without hesitation when they take down archer-guy. Maybe he was disgusted by the guy using his photos to take dirty pics, or he sensed the danger in the situation. The rest of the show was comic bits that felt odd compared to the seriousness of everything else.
Episode 3, though being little but a character(s)-introduction episode, is more entertaining. It’s off to find another power-user and it turns out to be an idol named Yusa, whose ability is apparently to be channeled by the dead. Despite the contrast of cute Yusarin being used by something nasty and ghostly, it’s not terribly interesting because she can’t assert the power. The dead channel her whether she wants them to or not. More of a plot device than a character, really. But we’re in luck because the only dead person using her at the moment is her late sister Misa, a foul-tempered piece of work who can start fires and is a lot more fun to watch. Much of the episode (apart from the sight of Joujirou cheerfully injuring himself again) is about tracking down Yusa/Misa and winning her over. Fortunately Misa is headstrong but not stupid. Then it’s off to threaten a bad guy (rather creatively, I might add), and witness a nice, unexpected confession scene. I hope that doesn’t mean Misa’s going away forever. She’s more entertaining than Yusa is.
Shimoneta 2 didn’t make me laugh as much as episode 1, but the novelty had partly worn off, and it didn’t do much except get Okuma discovered by a new character, who might be fun but we don’t know because it happens at the very end. Everything before it is a bit of talk about how unhealthy the modern ban on lewdness is, emphasize the government’s worsening surveillance state (which works because it resonates with real-life events), and briefly show the somewhat sad figure of Fuwa, a dedicated would-be scientist who can observe the mating of flies so closely she can identify the specimens, but isn’t permitted to know anything about human reproductive biology.
And then there’s the desire to draw dirty pictures, but their arm and body movements can be recorded now … wait, so if they want to find out who placed the dirty pictures around the school, couldn’t they just look at movements, or see who was tracing nuclear symbols on the field, or any sort of suspicious behavior? I try not to take this show too seriously, but that’s too big a flaw to ignore. And finally, what the hell was that injecting protein into the boys’ urine samples business? What does it prove, or imply? I can’t figure that one out.
Episode 3 brings us Saotome, voiced by Arai Satomi, so she’s great to listen to especially when she gets excited. As a character I don’t know how she’ll fit in. Kajo wants her in SOX to draw dirty pictures (but, wait, she’ll get caught, right? I wish this show would stick to the rules it sets up), but, well, it’s complicated, so much so in fact that I really didn’t understand. Anyway, the events churn away until the episode finally decides that catching Anna’s stalker will be the story. The fake date and stalker attack is entertaining enough, and I especially liked that these two rival forces, the student council and SOX work together to save the day, even if the former didn’t know it. As for Saotome, I hope she gets more to do and doesn’t wind up in one brief comic-filler scene per episode like poor Fuwa.
Rokka no Yuusha might still be a worthwhile series, but not if they’re going to pace the show as they do in the second and third episodes. Again, I guess they’re following the light novel faithfully, but that means a long, long journey in ep2 where Adlet and Nashetania (whom I’m going to call Nash from now on, because I’m lazy) do little more than talk and tease each other. At least the scenery is nice. The only thing of interest is that Nash, while able to defeat the strongest warriors in her country, panics a bit when confronted by demons, not that she doesn’t kill them. It’s only near the end when Adlet goes off to rescue a “traveling girl” who certainly doesn’t need rescuing that things get interesting. Too bad it’s the end of the episode.
In ep3, we get to know Flemy, the saint of gunpowder, or rather, we try to figure her out. She wants to work separately from the other braves and demonstrates this by pointing her gun at Adlet a lot. Adlet manages to get her to accompany him to the meeting place, the entire time muttering that he’s stupid, he’ll try to kill her one day, and the other braves will try to kill her. In other words, she’s full of foreshadowing. Like the travel scenes in episode 2 this goes on for too long. But one of her predictions is correct, as we finally get some action. Nash and, er, Goldof (an idiot warrior devoted to Nash) take one look at her and start trying to kill her. Now, a group of heroes who don’t like each other is a good idea for an epic quest, but unfortunately it’s the end of the episode again and we have to wait another week to get the details. Stupid show.