Kouko is the worst spy ever
Thankfully no Ghost Banri! Well, that little bit at the end doesn’t count, really. What we did get is the rest of the gang coming back, and that was definitely nice to see.
We’ve been getting so much Linda/ghost Banri drama recently that this episode came as a breath of fresh air! It’s nice to see Golden Time hasn’t forgotten it has more than just three characters.
“Who just comes over and strips?” Obviously Kouko.
Highway\\ One of the things I’ve felt was an important theme throughout Golden Time has been Kouko growing up. I’ve mentioned before that I think her emotional development has been stunted by years of overly focusing on Mitsuo. Combined with her stunning looks and rich family, I think it’s likely that she’s never had any other just friends. So with her symbolic step over Chinami’s threshold, having Chinami recognize her as a friend, even if she acts resistant, is a big step for her. Of course, they’ve probably been close to ‘friends’ for a while, but Kouko is just resistant to someone else having some of the attention, although after they spend any time together Kouko always seems to calm down and get along with Chinami.
Having a time for girl talk is important
But the big key to Kouko being friends with Chinami is that she now has someone she can talk to about Banri. And that means it’s someone she can air her fears and concerns, her worries that Banri doesn’t love her, her insecurities about being a bad girlfriend. I think Chinami has a good quality of being disarming, which is what Kouko needs to be able to open up. And she really does worry about her relationship with Banri. Which as we know, Banri is worried about as well, from the other direction. Neither is confident enough in themself to really accept that they are in this relationship. So having that outside observer, especially one who’s not interested in anything from either of them except friendship, is a really key thing to come along at this point. Ultimately, nothing was decided right now, but the mere fact of Kouko opening up to Chinami is a big step for her.
Chinami denies everything, again
Sumairii\\ Chinami is back with a vengeance! Kouko may protest all she wants, but she isn’t fooling anyone. It’s clear that the two are good friends. Especially when the latter goes out of her way to visit the former for love advice with the excuse of trying out swimsuits. As far as Chinami goes, I still wonder if her cheery personality is just a facade. We’ve previously seen her get upset in episode eight when the gang visit an amusement park; the source of her problems being, of course, Mitsuo. But that blew over so quickly and the ghost Banri stuff hit so hard that we didn’t really have time to think much about it. Now, we see Mitsuo hanging out with Linda suspiciously and Chinami doesn’t seem to thrilled about it. This, in combination with her depression over Mitsuo telling her never to speak to him again, suggests to me that perhaps she might have romantic feelings for him after all.
That was a surprise couple
Why, then, did she turn him down without batting an eye at the bar in episode six? I would say probably because Mitsuo’s feelings weren’t as genuine as he claimed them to be and she knew it. Given that he only did it over a bet with Kouko, I can’t fault Chinami for not even taking his confession seriously at the time. So really, Mitsuo has only himself to blame for picking such a poor circumstance to announce something so important. That’s just insulting to any girl receiving the confession. Of course, the guy then has to take the hit too hard and distance himself from Chinami when actually she might have been waiting for him to redo it properly. Or so it might be assuming my belief that she has feelings for him is true. Anyway, I wouldn’t read too much into Mitsuo hanging out with Linda for now, so there might still be a chance for things to be fixed between him and Chinami.
One heck of a look to get
I really liked the girls having some alone time in this episode, as it allowed Kouko to be extremely frank about everything she’s been holding back on for Banri’s sake. As far as I’m concerned, the problem between those two is that they don’t quite see eye-to-eye when it comes to expressing affection for their partner. Kouko wants Banri to take the initiative with more physical demonstrations of his love for her. However, Banri thinks he’s being considerate by not taking things too far with Kouko. So while it’s nice that Kouko has had this time to bond vent with Chinami, the one she really needs to have the conversation with is Banri. Those two lovebirds just need to get over their reservations and be more open with each other.
Looks like we’ll finally get to the beach next time, although “Accident Beach” is not the most positive name for an episode. I know they’ve talked before about getting intimate at the beach, but having a ‘schedule’ is pretty mood-killing if you’re not ready for it. And these two just aren’t ready for it, because they can’t get over themselves yet. You keep hoping for that breakthrough, when they both realize that they’re holding themselves back from each other, that each really is in love with the other, and they can get past the hangups they have about it.