Golden Time – 12

One heart grasps for love. But where does the other lie?


Wheeeeeeew! Let me see if I can catch my breath from this episode. Got anything to say, Sumairii?



spring13-sumairiiWow. I thought this was going to be an absolute shitstorm, but all things considered it actually didn’t turn out that badly.


Kouko Unhinged

And then the storm hit.

Sumairii \\ Knowing Kouko’s past behavior (though she’s clearly making effort to change) and the setup from last episode, I’m pretty sure all of us were expecting things to go right down the drain this episode. And it sort of did, but nowhere near what we would have imagined. So after seeing how things really turned out, I have to say I’m very impressed with how well Kouko handled the situation. She didn’t whine and complain unreasonably beyond what you might expect from any typical girlfriend who’s just caught her boyfriend red-handed with another girl. In fact, her reaction was very normal and understandable. I can understand people complaining about her insisting Banri tell her the whole truth and then doing a 360 and regretting it immediately. But when you think about it, how was she supposed to know how much pain knowing everything would cause her? Banri revealed it all with good intentions, but at the end of the day, the fact remains that it hurt Kouko and he was the one who should have known better. Still, this was something that ultimately had to be done in order for their relationship to stay strong, so I’ll excuse him for it. Plus, the situation at hand was pretty ridiculous so you can’t quite pin all the blame on him either. Anyway, I maintain that Kouko’s weathered the storm admirably. She could have really exploded at any moment in the episode (beyond just giving Banri a slap), but she held it in with great effort for his sake. Bravo.

Passion and Storm

Everything combined at this moment for impact

Highway \\ I loved this episode. Absolutely loved it. These are the types of emotions that I want to see. I don’t really go that much for people getting sad because people are dying and stuff, but this? This was great. Very authentic, very real. I said last week that Banri’s problem was the lie. Well, he got caught in it, and I think Kouko was completely justified in what she did. My opinion is that this wasn’t stalker behavior. This was “concerned girlfriend” and “girlfriend who has a legitimate worry” and ultimately “girlfriend who finds out she’s been lied to” behavior. Pretty much every reaction was spot on. I’m not quite sure how she ended up at the club (besides the fact that Banri mentioned they’d seen Nana play there), but she did. And I think a drink in the face and a slap is something that Banri deserved. Not out of bounds at all. And what makes it better? That she gave him a chance. She had that reaction, but then went to his apartment and waited for him. I’ll admit, there was that “Will the door open?” tension for just a second, where you wonder if she just walked out of his life with his key. But she didn’t.

An unexpected, but appropriate, time for a first kiss

And what was she doing while she was waiting for him? Tearing herself up. Yes, she was mad at him, and she should have been. But she was also so angry at herself for being the things she was trying not to be, even though I think she was spot on in her reaction. This was Yui Horie being sublime. I had a knot in my chest through that whole scene in Banri’s apartment, it was so raw and forceful for me. The animation of Kouko in profile contributed significantly as well. And when Banri explained about Linda, that he can’t remember her, but has feelings for her that come out of nowhere, another perfect reaction. What girl would want to know about that? Again, I don’t think Kouko’s plea to Banri to not remember anymore is wrong. Her explanation is perfect. How can she compete? They have no memories together, they don’t have that weight of experience together. I was really struck by the sincerity in her voice when she told him she loved him. And the fear that she’d lose him, and lose him to, essentially, a ghost.

Linda’s Truth

Doing the right thing?

Sumairii \\ Another big event is Linda laying it down for Banri that she never once saw him as more than just a friend or a little brother. This comes at the guy’s own request, of course, and I have to give him a hand for attempting to use her answer to lay Old Banri’s feelings to rest at long last. But lo and behold Old Banri refuses to disappear and persists in making things worse than they need to be. It’s no secret that I never liked the guy, but he really needs to learn when to give up. As much as I personally believe that Linda is still lying both to Banri and to herself, Old Banri is just too much of a needy asshole to deserve her. If there’s anyone that we should direct our ire at, it should be him. Everyone else, including New Banri, Kouko, and Linda, are just victims of his selfishness.


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Maybe my favorite episode of anime this season. Raw, authentic, passionate. From trembling hands to worried voices, Kouko and Banri’s scene was just great, and I even wonder if that was their first kiss as a couple. But I think it’s indisputable how much Kouko loves Banri, and that he really does love Kouko as well, despite Ghost Banri’s best attempts to screw it up.

But about Linda… This isn’t easy on her. I think she was actually happy to have Banri as a platonic friend. It may have been what she’s wanted for years. There’s probably a whole bunch of BanrixLinda shippers who think she was just lying when they were talking on the bank, just like they say she was lying on the balcony, when she says she didn’t love him, and maybe it’s because I’m a Banri x Kouko shipper that I believe her, but I really haven’t seen that kind of spark from Linda: not in flashbacks, not in the present. She wants to be friends. She wanted to be friends before. And it even seemed in the flashbacks that she was uncomfortable being anything more than friends. Of course she didn’t want to *lose* him as a friend, and that’s why I think this episode ending is so difficult for her. She’s had the Banri she wanted, the friend, and not the guy trying to woo her. And now he’s going away. And what will Kouko’s reaction to Linda be? Will she hold some ill will toward her? I wouldn’t think so, but she might not be as friendly as before.


Golden Time really wow’d me with the strength Kouko showed and New Banri’s resolve. Obviously we’re not yet through this mess, but the fact that the two were able to pull through it indicates to me that their relationship is the real deal, if you’ve still been doubting it. The only question is if Linda will have the good grace to continue to stay out of it as she has been doing so far. Without the influence of Old Banri, this should be a straight shot, but the troublesome guy is here to stay so things still have the potential to get even uglier than they did in this episode.


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12 Responses to “Golden Time – 12”

  1. MgMaster says:

    I’m like,positive Linda is lying but at the same time,she’s probably content with being just friends too.

    I’ve been enjoying GT more & more each week and I definitely loved this episode as well but for me,it’s becoming one of those shows that’s making it’s ending decide if the journey was really worth it.

    That’s mainly because we’re half-way through and I’m not buying into Kouko & Banri’s relationship.I used to think that they’d overcome their disfunctionalities with the help of each other & strengthen their bond in doing so but with each episode,I’m feeling the exact opposite in that two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Seeing how unpredictable this show is to me,I’m very curious(and a bit worried at the same time) to see how things go in it’s 2nd cour.We’re in for a two-week break though,or so I hear.

    • Highway says:

      They do make it very difficult to completely dismiss the Linda x Banri pair. And yeah, that look was one full of doubt. But the more they tease this kind of Linda focus, the more I wonder what she’s really doing. If she liked new Banri more, why didn’t she actively go after him when he said Kouko wasn’t his girlfriend? She was friendly enough, but after he (and Kouko) joined the Festival club, Linda seems to have backed off. Maybe it was that obvious that Banri was still after Kouko, but Linda never really seemed to try.

      I took this episode as doing exactly what you think they’re not doing. This was all about Kouko trying to suppress her dysfunction, and about Banri having to learn how to deal with his own problems. I really liked the clarity he introduced about Ghost Banri this time, that he doesn’t have memories, but sometimes there is just this feeling that he HAS to see Linda. While you’re right that two wrongs don’t make a right, I don’t think we’re seeing a wrong answered with a wrong. I think Banri’s two issues – hiding his former relationship with Linda and lying to Kouko about working – are almost completely separate. They just happened to smash into each other here.

      Thinking about that scene where Kouko gets up, and we don’t know what she is going to do, Kouko could have walked out right there. She could have hit Banri again. She could have done so much. She could have extracted promises, blackmail from Banri. And yet, I think she went with the best way. She declared her love for Banri, seemingly the most sincere declaration yet. It really seems to me that she realizes how different her feelings are for Banri than they ever were for Mitsuo. And her plea to Banri to ‘not remember anything else’ to me works on two levels. There’s the literal, in that her wish is that he doesn’t remember more, like some reason to go to Linda. And there’s also the figurative, that even if he does remember things, that it doesn’t change the way he is, the person she loves.

      • MgMaster says:

        I’d say Linda was unsure of her feelings towards Banri but I’m not even gonna try to predict GT anymore.I really have no idea what’s going through her head.

        And this is yet another thing that must be adressed in the 2nd cour.I’ll correct myself in that it won’t just be the ending,but most of the 2nd cour that will make or break the show for me.

        • Highway says:

          Yeah, Linda’s a total wild card at this point. But she also doesn’t seem like the person who is going to try to break up Banri and Kouko.

          Hmm, I wonder if Linda is hoping for the same thing that Kouko is. A break from the past is better for her as well, if she didn’t like Old Banri’s clinginess and chasing after her. And if it doesn’t work out with Kouko, then she’s got a chance at New Banri.

          I’m encouraged at the trajectory the show has had. This was an excellent mid-season climax, and I think the show’s been very even in its quality throughout. It hasn’t really been up and down, just very consistent. And there are so many places it could go, and a whole cour of TV is a lot of storytelling time, especially since they don’t need to spend time on character introduction and exposition now.

  2. skylion says:

    Oh, yeah. Linda is lying to herself and Banri. She didn’t want to be woo’d by Old Banri, but New? I think she likes the new guy. But how does she approach him? And why is this Koko in the way?

    • Highway says:

      I think that’s almost exactly it. New Banri is the guy that Linda wanted Old Banri to be, but instead he was that moony, whiny wimp. But I think she had her chance. Kouko rejected Banri, that was the time to move in. I don’t think Linda had anything to do with Kouko confessing, I think that was 100% Kouko realizing Banri was right, and she couldn’t be his ‘not girlfriend’ and have him act like her boyfriend.

  3. skylion says:

    Was Linda concerned Old Banri would come back in form, trumping New. If the Ghost’s monolouge enforces that. And I agree with tha last part.

    • Highway says:

      Possibly she was, and possibly that’s why she was shocked at his exclamation earlier. Does Linda want to put a lid on, to lock Old Banri away completely? I think that’s better for her too.

      The thing is, given time, Linda could get some of that old relationship with Banri back. Kouko liked Linda, and I don’t think that’s really changed even with Banri’s confession of his past. She’s just uneasy about Banri’s connection to her. It’s *possible* that if Banri is completely committed to Kouko, that she’ll relax about Linda (hah! what am I talking about? Once jealous, always jealous).

      • skylion says:

        Locking away Old Banri should be a default by now. I had two cats that used to cicle me like that, hissy fits…

  4. BlackBriar says:

    How did Kouko even find Banri and Linda that quickly? It’s like trouble just draws her in, making her lose sight of herself and the result ends with her reacting by impulse rather than thought. But this time she can’t be totally blamed.

    • Highway says:

      Quickly? It took her hours to find him. She tried a whole bunch of places, including the police and the hospital. It was well after 1 AM when she finally found him.

      And one problem was that Banri picked a terrible alibi. Writing a report? That means you’re home and by yourself, so there’s no reason you can’t at least respond to the phone once an hour or something. Everyone knows that, so when he doesn’t respond after a couple hours, of course Kouko thinks something’s wrong.

      Not that I’m a master of sneaking around, but if he wanted to make it more Kouko-proof, he should have said something like “I need to concentrate on this work, so I’m turning my phone off, but I’ll read your messages and text you each hour.”

  5. Pluto says:

    WoW many things happened.
    I just watched Golden Time till ep 7-8 and then stopped watching.I actually was waiting for it to finish so then I’ll just marathon it.
    I really don’t want the angst to develop this much honestly.
    Many things in my opinion started out wrong.
    Ghost Banri expressiveness felt by the real banri mostly after Koko confessing?or was it due to the fact that the real Banri saw the picture around the same time that now he can feel his old self’s feelings?

    First of all even if Koko wasn’t as calm as we never thought she’d be in this,if she expressed her obsessive,almost stalker like personality,it would have been fine,why because she was always like that.Banri knew about her from the start and he fell in love with her knowing almost everything about her.
    Banri really did confess to Koko very quickly,it’s true that he couldn’t hold it back but seriously even after them being in a relationship,only Koko seems very much into it,yeah she has this expressive personality but Banri just felt like he’s the same as when he was her friend.

    Linda must have felt a little hurt when she saw the new
    Banri longing for Koko.And now Koko was hurt seeing the old Banri longing for Linda.
    Sometimes I think things may would have been better if it was Linda x banri and koko as only a friend of Banri.
    Though I personally would like the banrixkoko pairing and hope that it’ll be the case in the end.

    It just reminds me now of a korean drama that just ended Mirae’s choice.This drama was hopeless.IN this the Future one came to the past to stop herself from marrying the guy she’s married too and forcefully tries to pair her present self to the other guy,even though her present self loved the same guy again but *sighs* it ens with her present self not choosing any one of them

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