Finales: CC, Charlotte

Classroom Crisis has a suitable ending that is rousing enough for the low-to-middle expectations I had of it.
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Most of it jumps between two different scenes going on more or less at the same time.  To start with, we get an odd bit where Mizuki stops Iris from going off on the new rocket, saying she’s not fit to fly it, etc.  Then the lights come on, workgirls come in to prep the rocket, and Misuki does a full 180 and practically begs Iris to fly it.  Right before Iris was about to reveal her big secret.  Then off they go (both girls), to rescue Nagisa.  The actual rescue scene is briefer than I would have liked, but appropriately tense.  Having some music that sounds like they stole it from Sidonia didn’t hurt.  Then they develop the love triangle a bit, and Nagisa starts making bold pronouncements from the rescue craft, to the other scene, the CEO meeting.
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While we’ve been jumping from space to corporate offices, it’s fitting that the action finishes here.  Kaito does his “Don’t dump A-TEC” speech to a skeptical group of suits who grow more interested by the minute, especially when they get live footage of the rescue.  The only argument against was “This new rocket is great in theory, but let’s see you test it first!”  After the CEO does his “hum-hum, we voted down A-TEC last meeting, hurr hurr,” Kaito does something he should have done in episode one.  He resigns.  Why this hadn’t occurred to him earlier I don’t know, apart from the well-being of his students.  But then I can’t believe he could be so dumb as not to know that the new, tested engine is Kirishina’s property.  What an idiot.  Nice timing then for the revived Nagisa to tune in …
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As for the show as a whole, Kaito’s character sums it up.  Ambitious, starry-eyed, attempting to be inspirational but seemingly blind to reality.  Also, he tried to take on too much.  In the show’s world, it’s okay because it’s fiction and we allow it if we buy into the story, but for this show, it tried to juggle too many things and dropped too many balls.  When did they suddenly come up with this new rocket design?  What was the whole point of the Iris/Nagisa identity switch, really?  Well, I’m going to give the show some credit for trying hard.  I don’t think they copped out on anything they put into the series, they just couldn’t handle them all.  It had some fun bits, not least the idea of small company turned giant and working to squash the independent spirit that created it in the first place.  Overall, not bad, but not great either.

The large group of undeveloped side characters give their opinion.
The undeveloped side characters give their opinion.

Charlotte‘s finale goes a long way toward redeeming the series.

The E.T. ability.
The E.T. ability.

Since they only had 25 minutes for Yuu to remove all the abilities in the world, they didn’t waste any time.  We spend all our time with Yuu as he goes from one place in the world to another, quickly picking up the ability to identify users and efficiently removing them, one by one.  While he does encounter some interference, he’s gained enough abilities by now to get through them.  Part of the fun is that we don’t know exactly what he’s picked up, so when he encounters some new threat it’s a surprise to see what sneaky trick he’s got to counteract it.  While I think in real life the users would band together more efficiently and get governments and other powerful people involved, the show makes it makes his success plausible, even with mundane things like getting on aircraft.  They even think about those people whose powers haven’t awakened yet.  Turns out Yuu’s picked up an app for that too.
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And while he goes around doing what he promised to do, he’s also slowly cracking up.  We are reminded of his earlier breakdown when Ayumi first died, except there’s no Nao around to keep an eye on him.  The question of whether he’ll turn and use his powers badly occurs to us, and to Yuu, but there’s that ring of flashcards he still keeps with him which reminds him of a promise he no longer knows the reason for.  At the beginning of the series, and even after his first crackup, he might have broken the promise.  That he keeps it now shows us how much his friends and sister have redeemed him.  And, at the very end, when we see the price he pays for his mission, I felt it was sad, but not hopeless.  He still has his friends, and even if he doesn’t remember who they are, they know who HE is.
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An excellent episode, really the best the show could have managed under the circumstances.  There wasn’t time to show much other than Yuu, and his adventures and slow breakdown were paced almost perfectly.  His rescue near the end by a girl about Mayumi’s age was a nice touch.  And any quibbles, like how Shunsuke found him, aren’t worth pursuing.  Maybe the episode felt a little too relentless, but I don’t think there was any room for the silly comedy the series could lapse into, not until the end, but there the characters have bonds to remake.  I frankly hadn’t expected such an optimistic finale, but I think Yuu earned it.  As for the series as a whole, this episode lifted it from good to very good.  If I had a complaint about Charlotte it’s that it wasn’t as consistently good, early episodes in particular.  But I feel much better about it now.

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