Charlotte Episode 12: Without a Promise

As expected, Charlotte is rushing toward a surely emotional end. This 13-episode series has no time for long arcs and episode-long resolutions, so in quick order we see Yuu’s recovery (physically and emotionally) and Misa’s finale. But in the midst, we also have a plot point far more significant – that of Yuu’s decision to save everyone.

It’s no surprise that the proposal comes from Tomori, even if she only half-seriously suggests it. And while the suggestion of how to save given to a Christ figure from one I’ll later describe as more representative of humanity doesn’t fit the Jesus allusion, much of the proceeding portion of the episode does, especially when it clicks with us what Yuu plans to do, what it means, and what the ultimate conclusion will be.

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What Yuu is Doing

As the strongest mutant, Yuu is perhaps the strongest person on earth, the “best human.” In scripture, Christ is the second Adam, a demonstration of perfect humanity (and perfect godliness).  Indeed, while Christ is perfect in every way, Yuu is representative of different people in different parts of the story – the needful, condemned human in the first part of Charlotte and now the powerful savior in the second.

And in that way, it shows Yuu to be the fulfillment of humanity. For Christians, the Bible demonstrates as much – the Old Testament showing our sin and prophesying of the Christ who is to come, and the New telling of Christ’s saving grace. In this show, Yuu is that testament – showing the depths of humanity in his early selfishness, his need for a savior to save him from his sins, and now, like the New Testament, as the Christ who will take on the sins of the world to redeem it.

Which brings up point two:

What it Means

Notice that I equated our sins with the mutants’ abilities. And indeed, those two ideas feel very similar. These abilities that the young people have are not unique traits that make them special – they are instead conditions that move them away from being whole, as demonstrated by their arrival not from within, but from without, and how they only temporarily dwell in their bodies. Far from wonderful powers, they are in fact a curse upon the mutants.

Yuu’s ability to plunder allows him to take the curse away. Likewise, the holiness of Christ made him the only one capable of erasing our debt, our sins – our own curse.

When Christ did that, he became an atoning sacrifice – but what of Yuu?

What the Conclusion Is

Tomori and Yuu promise to meet each other again, but perhaps deep down, as demonstrated by trepidation and some of their words, they don’t expect things to end happily. In fact, Tomori states that after plundering all the abilities, Yuu might in fact become a monster who might destroy the world. Just as likely – maybe more so – he’ll simply die.

Christ, in a way, suffered both these ills. It’s perhaps blasphemous to say he turned into a monster, but for a moment in time, the Father’s face turned away and He had the burden of all the ugliness of all time upon him – the beautiful Savior had become monstrous for our sake. And He then died as the sacrifice for us all.

And in the end, setting aside a tricky Key ending, mustn’t that be Yuu’s fate as well? He must know that. So must Tomori. For if Yuu is able to plunder everyone’s abilities and still remain alive, he’ll be sought after to the ends of the earth for research and destruction. There is no happy end, barring some fabulous ability which Yuu discovers and uses. Otherwise, he will die.

Still, Yuu goes forward, partially propelled by his promise to Tomori, who will love him back when he does all he sets out to do. What a thing, though, to know that your love will be rewarded once you’ve accomplished an herculean task. Even though it sounds trite, it’s not at all – love is a powerful motivator.

And that’s where this allusion breaks down most significantly, for Christ made his promise to us without any guarantee of our love in return. He made it knowing that we would reject him, hate him, turn away from him, devalue him, step on his name, and treat him worse than garbage. Those he sacrificed for would not return his love – not in any way that would be even a tiny bit worthy of what he was about to suffer.

And yet, He walked the path because his love for us was incomprehensible and unimaginable. And by his burden, his sacrifice, his life and death, and plundering of our curse – we are saved.

2 thoughts on “Charlotte Episode 12: Without a Promise

  1. Powerful metaphors off the scale in this one. Great post TWWK, so true that Christ has taken our curse on His own so we can be free in His grace. God is too good, He’s great.

  2. I like the parallel with the acknowledgement of its differences. Key has written a lot of deep storytelling with same great Christ analogies, but this breaks down a little too quickly to be taken too far. But it’s good to think about, regardless!

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