Midnight (almost) rendezvous.
And suddenly things get supernatural. Honestly I wasn’t expecting this, but at least it’ll make for some interesting story telling.
Golden Time is not really going the way I expected, but there’s certainly nothing bad about that. If the concept seemed predictable, the execution certainly isn’t.
Meet Banri and Banri.
Sumairii \\ We know that Banri suffers from amnesia and doesn’t have any memories from before he was 18. Turns out those memories didn’t just disappear. Instead, the old Banri’s consciousness was separated from his body during the accident. I’m not sure how that works, but let’s just roll with that. Now, you may be wondering what the whole point of having a Banri in spirit and Banri in the flesh is. The two don’t interact, and no one else seems to be aware of the former’s existence. But I think it is exactly one of these two points that we will see. Maybe eventually the Banri we know and the Banri of the past will be able to communicate with each other. Or perhaps they’ll merge somehow and become a “complete” being. On the other hand, it’s also possible that someone on the cast can perceive spirit Banri; I’m looking at Linda here.
Ramblings of a broken girl.
There wouldn’t be any point to spirit Banri aside from stuff like this, so the fact that he has been introduced suggests he won’t remain as a disembodied consciousness isolated from the rest of the world. But of course, there is a lot that could be done with such an unusual setup that I can’t possibly predict with any certainty what will happen. It might even be possible that spirit Banri is just here to narrate Banri’s past to us viewers. That would be rather boring and a waste of an opportunity for intriguing developments, but again, who knows?
Well, this is all going to shit.
Sumairii \\ Last time Banri confessed to Kouko abruptly. So it comes as no surprise to me that he gets turned down here. Kouko is very proactive about their friendship though, so I’m certain our hero still has a very good chance of ending up with her. While it’s true that some of Kouko’s over-the-top enthusiasm is probably to spite Mitsuo, I would not use that to discount the possibility of her looking at Banri in a different light. She just needs a bit more time to get Mitsuo off her mind. Then, when she’s truly over the guy, she can give a relationship with Banri more thought. And speaking of relationships, spirit Banri confirms that there really was something between old Banri and Linda, as I suspected. Nothing is explicitly stated as of yet, but I’m willing to bet they were a couple. That would be the most dramatic course.
The Mysterious Linda-senpai
What does she hide and why?
Highway \\ Banri’s finally taken a look at some of his old memories, and after finding that picture of himself and Linda, seems to finally have a crisis of his new self. Throughout the show, he’s been confident in his current self, but this is the first occurrence of him wondering whether what his old self knows is better than what he knows now. And even more confusing is why, if Linda knows who he is, and knew him before, why does she persist in not revealing that fact to him? She seems friendly and interesting, but what is she hiding. And having the revelation that he knew her before his accident brings another memory: the night he tried to “escape” from the hospital, beckoned by the light on the hill that might have been for him. Again, it was Linda, but she played it off as if she was trying to contact someone else. Why did she change her mind? Is she feeling as unsure of herself as Banri? But she does plant the idea that he should ‘escape’ to Tokyo, a place where he can get away from the oppressive feeling of his old self hanging over him.
The Mecurial Koko
Better luck next time.
Highway \\ Koko definitely seems to be flailing a bit in this episode. From vamping about her new close friend Banri and their mythical past lives, to putting on a brave face in the Matsuri club, she definitely seems to be trying to hard to both forget about Mitsuo and play down the fact that she’s rejected Banri. And it’s definitely a difficult thing with Banri, trying to friend-zone him to the satisfaction of both of them. We don’t really know what kind of guy Banri is (not like he really does either), so while he’s obviously disappointed at the indirect rejection (Koko even works really hard to not outright turn him down, instead focusing on how he’s a good friend), he’s not going away, and still acts friendly. Is he just being a friend? Or is he just biding his time? It’s pretty obvious that Koko is an emotional wreck right now, and even breaks down right in front of him. But Banri is still supporting her, even as she brings up the other enigma in his life, Linda, and says she wants to be like their senpai.
Things are really moving along now with the continued addition of Banri’s past. The pieces are slowly coming together, and our hero’s past and present will likely collide sooner or later. The unexpected introduction of supernatural elements also up the interest at the risk of being gimmicky. That said, I’m really liking how the show is unfolding in spite of its rather unexciting premiere. The relationships are clearly setting up for some drama, yet it doesn’t look like a completely convoluted clusterfuck dramafest like in a certain other show under the sea.
Banri’s world is getting more confusing by the day, not least because of the mystery of Linda. The question really is what he will do about it. He’s interested in Koko, but she’s seemingly shutting him down, at least as far as a romantic partner goes. And while Linda is nice to him, he’s never gotten any message from her that they could be more than just friends, in their past or present. Why won’t she say anything? My guess so far is because Banri’s consistently made it clear that he does not care to think about his past self, and the ‘oppression’ that he feels because of it, even referring to it as a ‘prison’. What should Linda think about that, hearing that he would consider her one of his ‘jailers’? But that conversation was a while ago, so perhaps his attitude has changed, especially given the way she hasn’t tried to push it on him. From seeming to be a pretty cut-and-dried series on rails, with Banri and Koko getting together and living happily ever after, it seems there’s quite a bit of doubt now.