“Driver, take us to the beach”
So the new OP for Golden Time. I’ve mentioned it in comments and talking to other people, but I think it’s good. Maybe it’s not super great music, and I wish that they had mixed the vocals higher, but it’s doing something more than that for the show. If the point of an OP is to resonate with the show and get you in the mood for it, this OP is definitely doing that. Restless, unsure, agitated, it really sets the scene for the episode to follow.
Wow. Talk about an intense episode. Well, it was really only intense in the very last few moments. But everything before then was essentially building up to that point.
Highway\\ You can talk about being the same with Mitsuo after seeing him with Linda (and after he’s told Banri that he wishes she could come along), but it’s not going to be the same. The dynamic of the group has definitely changed. And it’s not that people don’t like Linda. It’s that Chinami has some sort of feelings for Mitsuo. It’s that Kouko and Banri are both entwined with Linda, and not necessarily in a good way, even though Kouko still seems to look up to her. So she almost looms over the whole group, like a more tangible Ghost Banri.
Nice look for Banri
And even without that, the trip is under the black cloud of Ghost Banri, who is trying to make it as bad as possible for real Banri and Kouko. But even with whatever meddling he can come up with (can we actually blame a ghost of a guy for rain, or missed connections, or random happenings?) they still have fun on the trip. And that’s because, for all of Ghost Banri’s whining, Banri is actually a pretty good guy. He wants to be a good boyfriend for Kouko, he wants to be a good friend for everyone. Against expectations, maybe, with some crazy personalities like Kouko and Chinami in the group, Banri is really the mood maker of the group. And maybe it’s because he’s willing to wear a speedo, I know I wouldn’t.
A Day at the Beach
Wrong time for a nap
Sumairii\\ So I guess this episode was supposed to be a beach episode. Which it was. But all of the gang toughing it out through the series of misfortunes and making the most out of their day kind of just happened in passing. Not to discount Banri and Kouko continuing to act lovey-dovey, though the guy still won’t ask her to stay with him instead of go to Barcelona. Looking back, the episode title pretty much foreshadowed everything. The gang go to the beach. And there’s an accident. Simple as that. I’m sure most of us weren’t expecting a literal car accident last week though. Anyway, the latter is the most important part of the episode. I’ve seen complaints around that the concept of falling asleep behind the wheel is impossible. But that’s just stupid. People making such suggestions haven’t driven while truly exhausted (there’s a reason why laws and regulations are in place for the amount of time truck drivers can spend on the road).
Even traffic earlier in the day is tiring
The most I’ll give such detractors is the gang should have acknowledged that they were all tired and chosen to stay the night some place instead of attempting to soldier it back home. Anyone who’s been to a beach with friends will know that it really tires you out. As it should, because you’re spending several hours of nonstop physical activity without thinking about it. But it’s entirely possible Kouko was still pumped up from the beach fun when she volunteered, and it was the drive itself which drew out her exhaustion from the day. So I say the setup for the accident wasn’t totally contrived. But enough about that. The big question everyone is wondering is probably “which Banri woke up and hit the brakes?” My belief is that in spite of the preceeding Ghost Banri’s frantic regret, it was New Banri who pulled off the save in the end. Though I’m willing to credit the former for most likely alerting the latter to the situation.
Just let everyone have a good time
The way I see it, the odds of Ghost Banri ever regaining control of his body are looking slimmer and slimmer. I’d say given the escalating disparity between the two personalities, it’s almost impossible for them to ever merge. And the two aren’t going to switch places either; the show doesn’t have indication of going for that trope. So as it stands, the only thing for Ghost Banri to do is take this lesson to heart and finally stop meddling with New Banri and Kouko. As a prior victim of a road accident, surely he realizes the weight of what he almost caused.
I think it’s good that Ghost Banri regrets how far things have gone, even if he’s really not that responsible for everyone falling asleep in the car. As usual, the preview kind of takes away the cliffhanger effect since everyone is at least alive, it seems. But Kouko will definitely be feeling some shame from her role in the accident, even though everyone should share some of the blame. She was doing fine driving, just fell asleep after everyone else did. When Banri was falling asleep, he should have suggested that they stop for a while. Hopefully this won’t drive a wedge between them.
And before that, things were going really well. Something interesting was Banri and Kouko talking about their swimsuits that they wanted to show the other one. Maybe they weren’t thinking about sleeping together on this trip for their first time, but they’re definitely thinking about intimacy, and wanting to impress the other one.
The next episode preview has some pretty suggestive shots of drama. I’m not entirely sure what to make of Nana-senpai grabbing Banri by the collar. Maybe he just pissed her off as usual again. As far as Kouko’s apparent break-down though, that one should be easy. I’ve seen people saying things like “maybe Ghost Banri regains control of his body and breaks up with Kouko.” But again this idea is absurd. As I’ve mentioned, I highly doubt he will ever again possess his body. And him continuing to get between New Banri and Kouko does not make sense now that we’ve seen him truly regret his interference. Even I don’t think he’s that much of an asshole. So basically all that’s left is Kouko feeling guilty about almost potentially killing her friends. In the case of accidents and even near misses, guilt can become an almost consuming emotion for those who hold themselves responsible. And in this case it’s easy to quickly conclude that Kouko was responsible, even if the circumstances of the day were the real issue.