Golden Time – 21

Golden Time-Serious Kouko

Serious Kouko is Bad News

spring13-highwJust a few episodes left, so let’s screw everything up!

 Coming Clean

Golden Time-Apologizing

Apologizing for screwing up everything

Between Chinami and the guys, Banri’s been pretty standoffish lately, because he can’t figure out how to tell everyone that about his past. And even worse, after what happened at the festival with their club performance, the Festival Club is losing support from pretty much everyone, disinvited to further exhibitions, and having help with costumes pulled from other college festival clubs. Now, Banri’s not the sole reason for that, but he’s gotta be a huge reason. They say the poor preparation on the part of some of the other members was part, but seriously, how hard is it to do that ‘dance’?

Golden Time-Holding On

Kouko’s openly questioning Banri’s resolve and methods

It also seems that Kouko’s losing patience with Banri. I think she’s feeling like he’s hiding things from her, not just about his past memories returning, but about things like his trouble sleeping. She seems supporting, but she’s always had doubts in the back of her mind, and she’s always afraid of Banri running away and leaving her. But it seems like she buries these worries and wants to help Banri, so finally they plan to have everyone over for beef (because it’s super expensive) to soften the blow through pricey food.

Golden Time-Oka Confess

Chinami finally pours out her heart

And in the vein of coming clean, Chinami is the first person to arrive, and spills out her heart to Banri. Her jealousy of Linda, her regret over cutting her hair because she thought she’d lost Mitsuo to Linda, her realization that she actually did like Mitsuo when she first saw him together with Linda. She was even kind of happy that Banri might take Linda away from Mitsuo, because then she could have him. Finally she apologizes to Banri for doubting him, for lashing out at him. But when Banri tries to be honest himself and tell Chinami about his past, he has another memory episode. And this time it’s caught on camera. I think that fact directly leads to what happens at the end of the episode.

Asking for Help

Golden Time-Running away

Running away… again

Banri’s so afraid that his current self will cease to exist. But I think it’s important to realize that his memories of the person he’s been since the accident come back as soon as he is reminded of Kouko. He keeps thinking he’ll disappear, but he hasn’t yet, and just seems to need the reminders. And that’s exactly what Mitsuo and 2D-kun say when he tells them, that they’ll help, and of course he’ll have Kouko chasing after him. Because that’s exactly what she’d do, isn’t it?

Golden Time-Help from Mitsuo and 2D-kun

Bros on the Bench

Or not. I think she was broken by the combination of him running away and telling Chinami and Linda to not tell her. So all Chinami says is “He ran away.” The thing that Kouko seems to fear most of all, the thing she specifically tells him she’s afraid of, that he will run away and she won’t be able to find him, because he’s running away from her. And that’s exactly what he does. At what point does she try to do something different? At what point is she finally pushed too far? I think we’ve found that point, and even as Banri tries to promise her with the ring that he’ll always return, I think that’s what the key problem is. Kouko can’t live with him running away and returning. He needs to stay. He needs to be with her. Because running away plays on her biggest fears. Is she supposed to just wait for him to come back, worrying the whole time? That’s certainly not fair to her. I think she’d be overjoyed to be Banri’s support, if he didn’t run away. But he does, and that’s the problem.


I was stunned. That ending was just stunning. Truly one of those “wait… what just happened?” moments. But thinking about it, especially thinking about it as I write this post, it really seems to make a lot more sense. How much can Kouko be expected to take? And is this the kind of notice that Banri needs to make him take charge of himself, to focus on dealing with his memories better? Not to hide things from her, not to run away, but to face things and be with her? We’ll find out.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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14 Responses to “Golden Time – 21”

  1. skylion says:

    That was pretty darn amazing all things considered. The one damn thing she constantly asks him to do is the one thing she needs him to do; depend on her when he needs it.

    My dad used to tell me that the secret to a relationship it to make it matter. When the magic happens 1+1=2+. When it doesn’t, 1+1=1 or 0. I think Koko has come to realize that weaknesses combined tear it all down. She’s ready to confront everything Banri has to bear. Now, if only he would. If he can’t then they cannot progress.

    I think it was incredibly courageous of her to take that step back. Remember. She only said, “Goodbye”.

    • Highway says:

      Hmm, I took what she said as more final than that. It’s my understanding that “sayonara” is a pretty final word. At least the way she said it.

      And yeah, Kouko’s constant message has been “We can work through things together, I need you and I want you to need me, and if we are together then stuff will work.” So what does Banri do as soon as something bad happens? Runs off. What she was saying a day earlier and he denied so much, that’s exactly what he did.


      • skylion says:

        I am ever the fool.

        • Highway says:

          One thing that I thought was that Kouko was trying to convince herself almost as much as she was trying to convince Banri that she was walking away. That’s what I took that line about “That’s all I came to college for anyway” to be about. It wasn’t as full-court press as Setsuna in White Album 2 trying to convince herself of Haruki’s faults, but it was still aimed at her own thoughts, rather than at the person she was speaking to.

          That (and the fact that the show kinda would have a terrible ending if Kouko just walks away) is what makes me pretty sure that she’s not really convinced.

          • skylion says:

            …and like NnA pulls all the weight out by featuring her in the previews…

            • Highway says:

              I kinda wish they’d stop doing that, but I also don’t really mind a little reassurance that things might work out.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    I wonder how often these personality lapses are going to occur. They’ve been gaining momentum and becoming more and more rampant.

    As if Banri wasn’t already in despair trying to keep who he is. There’s got to be something behind the reason Kouko turned him down in so crucial a time because that was quite a slap to the face.

    • skylion says:

      I think it’s a very interesting concept to see Ghost Banri and Current Banri merge….

      • Highway says:

        Noooo! Not Ghost Banri! Fie on you! Never mention that pathetic loser!

        • skylion says:

          Past Banri?

          • Highway says:

            I’ve been using Old Banri, as an entity distinct from Ghost Banri. Old Banri is the entirety of his self from before his accident, while Ghost Banri seemed to be solely his old feelings for Linda. In addition, Ghost Banri knew of Kouko and rejected her wholly in favor of Linda, while Old Banri just doesn’t know about Kouko.

        • BlackBriar says:

          It seems just mentioning him has become taboo. How appropriate.

  3. sadakups says:

    I knew Chinami being mad at Banri was because she was jealous at Linda and that she likes Mitsuo, and not exactly what she meant initially. I admit, I really felt sad when she cut her hair, and I really felt her sadness…

    …only for Banri to steal all of it and freak the hell out. Seriously though, I don’t understand what’s going on now.

    • Highway says:

      Well, of course, I think it’s like I laid it out above. I think Kouko feels she just can’t handle Banri running away from her. As skylion says, she’s been harping on that one thing, her one major fear, that he will run away and leave her. And if him doing that rips her heart out when he does it, she’s going to have to find a way to keep that from happening, even if it means leaving Banri.

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