The anime Charlotte revolves around the lives of its core members, all part of the Hoshinoumi Academy’s student council. Yuu Otosa, Nao Tomori, Jōjirō Takajō and Yusa Nishimori (aka Misa Kurobane) all have a special ability. The student council’s main objective is to search for other gifted youth; their club room is equipped with maps, boards, and a computer so that the operation can run smoothly.
Apart from his pretty face, there isn't anything particularly remarkable about his appearance. He has maroon eyes and black hair, is of average height and is rather slim. Girls find him attractive!
Role in the anime
Yuu is the only character to have appeared in every single episode, making him the protagonist. The whole story of Charlotte illustrates his growth as an individual.
Yuu has the power to take over the body of a person for about five seconds. There are two side effects to his power. When he fixates on an individual, his pupils change color to light teal and his iris to lime green then the moment he possesses them, he looses consciousness.
During the first episode, we see a self-centered prick who isn’t shy to use his power to achieve his goals. He doesn’t have any remorse in possessing unwilling people to achieve better grades, escape fights, or even to get a girl. Speaking of hooking up, he didn’t blink an eye when he used the body of a driver to nearly kill his desired partner so that he could save her, becoming a false white knight. Later in the anime, we discover the root cause of his unlawful conduct - he’s a poor child abandoned by his parents, and all of his efforts were aimed at achieving a better life for him and his little sister (Ayumi Otosaka). His behavior is mostly the result of his losses. Yuu believes that by becoming a model student, he can protect his sister and himself, so it's difficult to dislike him completely. We should ask ourselves what we would have done if we had nothing. As the anime progresses, the Otosaka siblings enroll at Hoshinoumi Academy and as their financial situation improves, we see him mellow down. Yuu sees that people around him appreciate him for who he really is, not just for his fake persona.
Nao's appearance perfectly complements her cold and often distant personality. She has white skin, blue eyes, and grey hair tied in small twin-tails. Her wardrobe mostly consists of her school uniform.
Role in the anime
As does Yuu Otosaka, Nao also has screen time in all of the episodes, we know equally as much about her background as we do about him. The two of them often have long monologues and alone time. These characteristics qualify her as the second lead character. The world of Charlotte gravitates around two suns.
Nao Tomori has the ability to become invisible, however her ability is limited to only one person at a time. She can sustain her invisibility indefinitely.
From the get go, we see that she’s goal oriented and goes out of her way to achieve what she wants. She uses a camera to record convicting evidence of ability use. She studies day in and day out to get into a prestigious university. She doesn’t find anything wrong with lying to accomplish her goals. Her current demeanor is cold and distant, but we learn later on in the anime that she wasn’t always this way, that her behavior is the result of an unbearable betrayal in the past. Although her heart is left with many scars, she survived her traumatic childhood and is stronger because of it. She also has a short temper, often screaming and shouting when she doesn’t get her way. We also notice that she has the tendency to catalog people according to their usability. We rarely see her ask about the personal lives of her colleagues. The noticeable exception is Yuu for whom she has repeatedly shown true compassion towards.
Takajō has blue eyes and hair, and wears glasses. At first glance he appears slim, but after taking off his armor and clothing, we see that he's quite well-built.
Role in the anime
Out of all the members of the club, Takajō has the least amount of dialogue; animators often use caricatures to portray his emotions. We don't know much about his life outside of school, his family and financial situation have yet to be discussed. At times, he helps his colleagues, at other times, he simply provides comic relief.
Jōjirō Takajio has the ability to run at an amazing speed, but because of the force it takes to accelerate, his stops are harsh (to say the least). The use of his power often leads to injuries. To compensate for this, he wears protective armor under his clothing, however his head is unprotected and is prone to injury. Perhaps his true power is that he hasn't sustained permanent brain damage due to this repeated head trauma.
He appears to be calm, gentle and quite submissive. He’s very kind, using his power to get the best meals from the cafeteria and sharing them with Yuu Otosa. The interesting thing is that when he gets his desired dish, he doesn't seem to care that the shock wave from his power turns all the other pupils up-side down. This particular aspect has me wondering if he's selectively kind or he simply doesn't notice the harm he does. Unlike the other children, he seems to be intent on mastering his power, going as far as doing hard training to power-up his body. I was surprised to see how little he cares about his well-being, and how much he wants to master his super-human speed, particularly when I saw blood gushing out of his head as if it was water from a fountain, and he acted as if nothing had happened. He's dazzled by the super-idol Yusa. The fact that she doesn't share his feelings doesn't affect his caricaturist outbursts whenever she's near him. The attitude he has towards the other members of the club, especially Nao, is submissive. He gladly follows her orders and likes to please. Whenever Nao asks him to attack a target, he happily complies. One other thing we learn about him is that he loves giraffes. All in all, Jōjirō remains an enigmatic figure, it's difficult to tell what makes him tick. He makes us hungry for more details about his life. Hopefully in the future we will see where he comes from and if he's had any traumatic experiences as did the two leading characters.
Yusa Nishimori and Misa Kurobane
Yusa, nicknamed Yusarin is a blue-eyed blonde, with her hair tied up on the left. Her eyes turn scarlet when she's possessed by her dead sister, Misa.
Role in the anime
Yusa/Misa appear after the third episode, both of them play a main role. Their screen time is pretty much split equally.
Yusa has the special ability to channel the dead. We don’t really see her using this power extensively; there aren't any Victorian-style gatherings in the student council room to call on the dead. However, we can assume she is, potentially, capable of channeling deceased people. Her dead sister’s spirit enjoys using her body. Yusa has no recollection of being possessed and believes she’s been sleepwalking. Misa also has the ability - Pyrokinesis, which can be used to invoke and manipulate fire.
Unlike Yuu Otosa and Nao Tomori, Yusa doesn’t have financial problems, she’s the lead vocalist of How-Low-Hello, and a teen idol of sorts. Her manager considered her original name Kurobane(black feathers) unfitting for a celebrity, so he named her Yusa Nishimori. In spite of the fame and fortune Yusa gained, her behavior doesn't seem to have been affected. She’s no shameless diva out there to complain about tap water, in fact she has a true happy-go-lucky attitude to life. Most of the time, she has a smile permanently glued to her face.
Her sister is the complete opposite. Whenever Misa takes over, we know we’re going to hear hard core lines. She seems like she actually enjoys screaming at people. We see her acidic personality from her first appearance (when she suggested to burn down a recording studio) and she would have done it too if she wasn’t stopped by Nao.
Characters outside the club
There are two important characters that exist outside of the student council: Ayumi Otosaka (Yuu’s younger sister) and Kazuki Tomori (Nao’s older brother). Ayumi is present in most episodes while scenes with Kazuki in it are rare and usually pretty short.
Ayumi is energetic and cheerful, often providing moral support for her big brother. Because their mother is absent, she’s taken it upon herself to do housework, which includes cooking and splattering their mother’s pizza sauce over every dish she makes. Eventually she awakes her dormant, special ability of Destruction - an ability that causes her surroundings to collapse.
Kazuki was once an optimistic teenager, a member in an upcoming band. This all changed when, due to certain heart-breaking circumstances, he was sent to a horrific boarding school.