Golden Time – 06 – METANORN

Golden Time – 06

uncomfortable party

It’s everything but party time

There’s no other way to put it. This episode turned into a shitfest, and it’s all because of Banri. Talk about some of the ugliest drama I’ve ever seen.

 

While Sumairii might think this was a ‘shitfest’, I thought it was delicious. These episodes are the second category of the reason I watch shows like this (after the rabu-rabu confessions and acceptances).

Banri and Linda

Crying Banri Whiny Banri

Crying and Whiny Banri

Sumairii \\ This week Highway and I have decided to each focus on one of the two main heroines. As we’ve been learning more about Banri’s past lately, it’s only appropriate that we begin with Linda. Last time it was revealed that old Banri’s personality was separated from his body due to an accident. Now, we see more of the circumstances surrounding the accident as well as how old Banri used to be. Basically old Banri was an insecure and needy person. I can’t help but be harsh because honestly, he wasn’t exactly the nicest person. First he freaks out about his name not being on the class shirt and makes a scene when he could have calmly brought it to attention without the theatrics. Then he bluntly shoves the question of whether Linda loves him in the girl’s face and impatiently demands an answer. The former felt just plain strange and jarring, while the latter makes the guy out to be a selfish and impatient jerk. No doubt Linda and Banri had the sort of “more than friends” relationship going on, but I don’t believe Linda was just playing with or toying with him. So Banri had no real justification for being so demanding in what was technically his confession. If he were so serious about it, he could have asked her way before graduation and not be rushed about it.

Now Linda knows Banri knows

Now Linda knows that Banri knows Linda knows him

New Banri isn’t much better either, as he confronts Linda in present day with misplaced frustration and incomplete facts. If I understand correctly, he’s under the impression that he and Linda used to be a couple from those old pictures he found. Thus, he’s upset at her for pretending not to know him even as he acknowledges he’s guilty of the charge himself. But that’s enough about Banri. Linda herself is a rather fascinating subject. During said confrontation,we finally learn her reason for not bringing up Banri’s past. She already knew he had amnesia from their little midnight encounter at the hospital, and now that the guy is at school with her, she doesn’t want to remind him of the past in fear that he might blame her for the accident if he remembers. This, combined with her telling him to go to school at Tokyo during their rendezvous seems to me a pretty obvious hint as to what her answer would have been had she made it to Banri in time.

Linda's Breakdown

Linda can’t stand the idea of it being because of her

Clearly Linda recognized that she has romantic feelings for Banri, and the two would have gone out had it not been for the accident. So while Banri is off in his own little angsty world, Linda is suffering just as much as, if not more than him. Assuming my above intuition is correct, this is a girl who has to deal with the crushing fact that the guy she just realized she likes doesn’t remember who she is. There is no way she’s walked an easier path than new Banri, who has had to deal with the expectations of others for him to act like old Banri. In fact, here we see new Banri’s hypocrisy. He wants to preserve his new identity in the face of friends and family yearning for his old self, yet he himself is calling out Linda for setting aside his old self (no doubt painful for her) and starting anew with him. I know he thinks he’s going through a very hard time, what with Kouko acting the splitting image of Linda back in the day, but in truth he’s being very self-centered and inconsiderate of others’ situations. While Linda could have been more forward about explaining her relationship with old Banri to new Banri, I maintain that she’s as much a victim of the unfortunate scenario as Banri is.

Banri and Kouko

Kouko says no

Kouko tries to keep Banri from leaving

Highway \\ Kouko’s manic “good friends” schtick with Banri finally succeeds in ticking him off, especially as he realizes that all her thoughts are still of Mitsuo. So after being embarrassed again with Chinami by Koko, Banri decides it was mistake to try to be friends with Kouko after she rejected him. I really liked their interaction with Kouko using the conveniently plot-aware “Yes/No” fans from the Festival club, first as a joke, but then as a shield, to try to protect her feelings from Banri’s assault, to cling to him as he attempts to jettison his lingering attachment to her, the girl he loves but who won’t look at him.

Banri runs

Banri runs from everything, including Kouko

Which makes the last sequence of the episode even more interesting to me. Kouko was leaving before Banri, and seemed to be with a group. But for some reason, she stayed outside, stayed waiting for Banri, maybe even for hours, given that it went from light to dark. What was she thinking before she walked out of the room? And when did she decide that she couldn’t live without him, because that’s what she wants to tell him: that she loves him. But before she can confess to him, he uses those same words – Yes and No – as shields himself, trying to deal with the turmoil both from Kouko, the feelings he probably still has, and trying to understand what happened with Linda. And when Kouko finally chases him down (making me think that she was going to knock him off a bridge, again), her confession felt like the most sincere thing she’s said in the whole series.

Kouko kokuhaku

Catch and Confess

I know I’ve been pretty harsh on Banri, but I actually find him more tragic than unbearable. The truth of the matter is that all parties are being selfish to a certain extent in Golden Time. From Kouko using Banri as a friend to Banri wrongfully attacking Linda without knowing the entire truth to Linda manipulating Banri while keeping the truth from him, all three legs of this latest love triangle have their faults. I’m not sure where the show will go from Kouko’s confession, but definitely these three need to sit down and have a nice long chat about things. Yelling, hiding, and running away won’t do them any good.

High School Banri definitely feels like a much more problematic character to me: whiny, clingy, even a problem for Linda. So it’s interesting to think about what she thought when that boy that looked so much like the boy who loved her, but acted so differently, found her in the woods outside the hospital. Looking back at that scene, I wonder if his new positive attitude was instrumental in her encouraging him to go to Tokyo. If he had been the same person, would she have walked away? I certainly wouldn’t have blamed her.

And Kouko seems to be changing as well. How complete is her realization that she loves Banri? Is it just being manipulative, like Mitsuo accused her of multiple times? Or is she sincere that she loves him, and that she wants him to stay with her? And will she make the same mistakes she made with Mitsuo, not listening to his wants, not understanding that it isn’t all about her?

You know, taking the opportunity for a last thought, I realize that Linda’s worry that it was ‘her fault’ Banri was injured might be because she doesn’t know there was an accident or that Banri was run off the bridge by a bike. Does she possibly think that he jumped, because she was late? Imagine her feelings if she arrived to find this boy that she cared about, even if she was going to turn him down, bleeding and broken having fallen off a bridge. What kind of torture must that have been for her?

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14 Responses to “Golden Time – 06”

  1. skylion says:

    …as I said on my g+ page…

    They really do need some quite time. Compare notes. Maybe talk to a therapist? But then, where would the next 20 some odd episodes come from.

    I have to strike and accord between you both. It’s a shitfest. But it is very well done, evenly paced, for a shitfest. Indeed, a very ugly drama. But I’m glued to it. For the most part, I think if things progress from Kaga’s confession, given how all the characters are reacting now, it’s gonna get a bit uglier.

    • Highway says:

      I don’t know if Banri can make the u-turn from giving up on her to being in love with her again. And I wonder what Kouko thought to lead her to confess to Banri. And like I said, not just confess on a whim, but stick around for what seemed to be an hour, just waiting for him, to get a chance to talk to him. That seems both oddly out of character and also very in character for her. Is she just shifting from Mitsuo to Banri? Or does she actually feel something different for Banri than she does / did for Mitsuo?

      • MgMaster says:

        Um,I believe Koko’s confession was mostly out of fear of loosing her only friend.We know Koko’s has plenty of issues and after this episode,it look’s like Banri’s pretty much in the same boat.

        I very much liked this episode to be honest and I’ll give GT credit for these flawed but realistic characters.They might not be very likeable as they are now but given their situations,I can see where they’re coming from.

        • Highway says:

          Well, I definitely want it to be a sincere thing. She probably does feel at sea without someone, but perhaps she now realizes that her relationship with Banri has been very different from her relationship with Mitsuo.

          • skylion says:

            Well, he does rather pay attention to her…

            • Highway says:

              Definitely. And he’s been sincere about his feelings for her, which unfortunately for Banri led to his pretty broken heart when it seemed like she was just toying around with him, with all the ‘shinyuuu’ (very good friend) stuff.

              But I’m also willing to give Kouko a little slack, because it’s pretty obvious that she’s never really *had* a friend. So she’s an 18 year old girl who has never really had the chance to work out how you act with friends, what you do with them, where you should set your limits.

          • MgMaster says:

            In part maybe,Koko’s far from experienced when it comes to any type of relationship.I’m not really expecting her to realize that right away but rather do it step by step.At least,those are the vibes I’m getting so far.

            But I guess we’ll find that out eventually,heh.I actually haven’t been able to predict GT at all so far(which is great!) – for instance I didn’t expect Koko & Mitsuo to have their face-off so early,nor Banri’s confession,nor Koko’s.

            • Highway says:

              Yeah, it does feel like this show is moving quickly, contrary to expectations of a typical anime romance, where the two main characters dance around the subject for 22 episodes, almost getting together, moving apart, and generally frustrating the audience. Instead we get 3 confessions in 6 episodes, 4 rejections (counting Banri rescinding his friendship with Kouko as a rejection), and even an episode with a cult. It’s all been completely atypical, and yet still feels authentic, like this is stuff that can actually be happening.

  2. Joojoobees says:

    I felt better about Kouko’s confession than I had imagined I would. Part of that was that I am less convinced that Linda has genuine romantic feelings for Banri, and part of it is that I really want to give Kouko a chance to be a better person. Either of them could end up be self-involved and manipulative, but I was convinced Kouko was before, so that puts the two girls more on an even footing.

    And Banri himself has some serious problems as discussed above. Hopefully he can make better use of the can-do attitude he adopted in his amnesiac state, instead of wallowing in self-pity.

    • Highway says:

      I also don’t know if Linda has true romantic feelings for Banri, or ever has. Seeing how Banri was before the accident, and how Linda acted with him, it’s hard to think that she was in love with him as that person. But with that realization that I had right before I posted this (that’s why it’s tacked onto the end) that Linda thinks Banri jumped because she thought he wasn’t coming, I can understand all of her guilt at his condition, the ‘watching over him’ that came from that, and the fear that his memories would come back.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    The old Banri was whiny annoying and clingly so now I’m very much happy he’s been erased but sadly it’s a loss for Linda who blames herself when she shouldn’t. There was no way of knowing that an accident would happen. So far like Sakurasou’s Nanami, it’s going to be a pain to watch her suffer and be left out as I’m sure that is what’s going to happen.

    Banri gets props for steering clear of typical friendzones, twice in a row, though his methods are pretty harsh especially when he wanted an answer right away. Those kinds of things take time. I don’t know if it’s just me but Koko’s confession felt rushed for me and that it hasn’t been fully thought through. Not to mention we’re only 1/4 into the series so anything is fair game.

    Ooh, did I feel pity for Mitsuo getting rejected like that and with no hesitation. The one who takes the cake is Banri. Throwing innocent, heartbroken people to the Tea Club wolves/demons… Dude, that’s beyond low.

    • belatkuro says:

      There was some thought in her confession but mostly it was a spur of the moment. In the novels, Kouko explained in that same moment why she confessed and why she rejected Banri before. They just cut it off here to her confessing, for a dramatic effect I suppose.

      Basically, she didn’t want to get into a relationship almost immediately after getting dumped by Mitsuo. She likes Banri as well but she wanted to know more about him before getting in a new relationship. There’s also about Mitsuo lingering in her mind as well.
      But because Banri pulled this stunt that he doesn’t want to wait anymore and she’ll leave him, she confessed. She didn’t want to lose him as he’s the only one she has at the moment.
      And there are people who start dating and then develop their feelings for each other during that time. So yeah, it’s still a fair game and anything can happen.

    • Highway says:

      I don’t think that Banri wanted an answer right away that he didn’t get. He did get rejected by Kouko pretty much immediately (the next day, with the friend speech). What this episode was was the last straw of Kouko abusing (to his eyes) his friendship to act like a girlfriend without attachment *after* rejecting him (I think this is different from Setsuna in WA2 because she hasn’t rejected Haruki, and she desires attachment). Yes, it was harsh on Kouko, but if she wanted more time, she could have gotten more time to think about it. Or she could have wanted to take it slow. Instead, she outright rejected him at the time, defining their relationship as ‘good friends’ which ultimately didn’t work for Banri.

      I think Kouko, realizing that her choices are “Banri’s girlfriend” and “Banri’s Nobody”, picked girlfriend, because that’s closer to what she feels for him.

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