Golden Time – 24 [END]

Golden Time-Konnichiwa

Say “konnichiwa” to the best part of Golden Time

spring14-highwAnd two cours of Golden Time come to an end. We had what seemed like ‘The End’ last time, so what happens this week with Banri to deal with the fallout of the return of his memories? Hopefully this ending keeps up how great I think this show has been.

No More New Banri, Long Live Tada Banri

Golden Time-Realizing Banri's gone

Kouko and the rest mourn their loss

I haven’t mentioned whether things happened before or after the OP usually, but I thought this cold open was well done, showing the aftermath of the end of Banri at the university. As you can imagine, it’s pretty tear-filled, as everyone realizes that he is gone from their lives. And then the OP makes a clean break from that old life, starting in with Restored Banri back in his hometown, talking about New Banri as if he’s some other person, which of course he was. He even mentions the notes that Banri left for him, although it’s funny to me that the notes were from a day earlier than the end, so it was when he was broken up with Kouko, on the outs with Mitsuo, and Oka wasn’t a big fan of his either. So basically he thought everyone at college disliked him. And so he’s sliding back into his old life, as if nothing really had happened, seeing Linda when she comes home from school, still pining for Linda, who studiously rides the middle ground of not saying anything which, as he acknowledges, is probably her answer. But all that ends when Kouko, er “Oka Chinami” shows up to “return a DVD.”

Golden Time-Clear Golden Time-Cracked

A perfect visual device for representing Banri

I’ll admit it. I thought this end was great. I don’t know if Kouko flashing that “remember” in her trademark English loan word style was intentional, but Banri realizes he’s got that same makeup case upstairs… and that the one he has isn’t his. The fracturing of the glass was the perfect device to bring the two Banris back together, and remember that that person wasn’t Oka, it was Kouko. It had impact, and it hit me right then, because while you knew something was going to happen, it didn’t rely on internal monologue, or conversation, or anything. It was that moment that you knew that this broken person had been made whole, traded for the shattered glass he finally saw.

Golden Time-Grabbing his Golden Time

This is how a reunion should be done

While I thought that maybe their reunion on the bridge was maybe a little too long, I think the issue comes down to that I didn’t really like the music through that part where Kouko talks about how much she loves Banri (and maybe there was a little too much Cheeky Mouth). It felt too loud and just not right. And I’m still not sure about whether Linda really loved Old Banri, especially since she was given a chance again to get close to him, and she was still holding him at arm’s length. Maybe she was saying that ‘yes’, she would have been with him, but now she’s happy that Banri will be with Kouko, and it frees her from her guilt about him so she can move on herself. But overall, I thought they used this last episode extremely well, giving us the pain of separation, the new life, the remembering, getting back together, and even the explanation of how it happened, as well as a look into the future. That’s what I like to see in final episodes like this, not ‘getting back together at the end of the credits’ or with a final freeze frame.

Golden Time-2D-kun meddles

And 2D-kun gets a key role in the resurrection of Kouko x Banri

Overall Series Impressions

Golden Time-Kouko meets Old Banri

Poor Linda was kinda at sea here, not knowing what to say

Golden Time may move into my top two of Romance anime. That’s something I don’t really know right now, because I’ve learned to wait a little while before giving such a pronouncement. The positives it had were Kouko, Kouko and Banri as a couple, great friends in Chinami, Linda, Mitsuo, and 2D-kun, and a nice realistic depiction of a couple of people who aren’t really all right who are what the other needs. That’s something I said way back at the beginning of the series, when I would disagree with some folks who said Kouko was bad news, and ultimately I think I was proven right (shameless pat on back), because while Kouko was a mess when her entire life was chasing Mitsuo, with her new friends, and new boyfriend, she slowly became a much better person and girlfriend, losing a lot of the desperation, craziness, and abrasiveness that made her so alone at the beginning of the series. Of course there were some missteps, and she even talks about her mistake of breaking up with Banri because she felt that it would make it easier on him if he was losing his memory, but she just couldn’t stay away.

Golden Time-Linda comes clean

Even Ghost Banri got a happy ending, eradicated by Linda’s ‘yes’

Of course, the show had some negatives, with the grand poobah of negatives being Ghost Banri. Maybe, as a device, Ghost Banri worked like he was supposed to, adding in some uncertainty, giving Kouko and Banri some things they needed to work through, and ultimately fading into the past. But GEEZ was he annoying! I think I like the idea of Ghost Banri much more than the presence of Ghost Banri, and wish those parts of the show hadn’t grated so much. The other thing that kind of grated was Banri’s returning memories (gosh, is everything bad about the show related to Banri before the accident? I think so!), and the way he’d flip out every time they swapped in.

Golden Time-Looking toward the future

I thought this scene was so important:
The acceptance of both Banri and Kouko, individually and together, by his parents

Technically, the show was solidly in the ‘fine’ range. Not amazing animation, but never a huge slipup by JC Staff. The four theme songs that were used were all good, in my opinion, although I know that The♥World’s♥End, the second OP is one that not a lot of people liked. And I’m not sure if I’m even crazy about it as a standalone song, but as an opening theme for this show? I think it was about perfect, because it set that tone that there’s something unsettled for the show, especially with that animation with Kouko running around looking frustrated and upset. Especially after the upbeat Golden Time and Sweets and Sweet Cherry it was quite the change, but I think all the themes did their job admirably.

Golden Time-ri-mem-ba

Hopefully this is a show that we will “ri-mem-ba”


So overall? I think Golden Time was an excellent series that I need a little space to accurately gauge against the other great romance animes I’ve seen. I do think that I’d have a hard time rating it as a 10/10, but I wonder if that says more about my hesitancy about rating things that high anymore than the quality of the series. But is it up there? I certainly think so.  I loved Kouko’s character, and I think she made the show great. I realize there are quite a few people who disliked Kouko from the very beginning, and I think that many of those people didn’t like the show overall, but for me, Kouko was the driving force, an unstoppable storm in this show, and extremely enjoyable.


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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18 Responses to “Golden Time – 24 [END]”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    In the end, Golden Time was a disappointment for me. The first half of the series was alright but the second became dull and laborious. I stayed on hoping it would change in some way but to no avail.

    My biggest issue is Banri. At the start, he was okay but his scenarios gradually began to put me off. Mainly his extreme overreactions about his memories and his other self, whether or not he’ll be different person if his memories came back or not. Like when he went off when Chinami was filming him in his room and in the last episode where he threw a huge fit, coming off as really pathetic and hard to watch.

    The other characters get a free pass because they’re charming in their own way but as I thought, a series heavily centered on romance and nothing else, a two cour one no less, doesn’t do it for me. Especially when it has such a hopeless, irritating lead. I tried being optimistic giving this a try and kept an open mind but it’s just not my cup of tea.

    • Highway says:

      I didn’t have that much of a problem with it, but I’d agree that the worst part of the show was the alternate Banris: Ghost Banri, Memory Returning Banri, and Old Banri. And to be honest, it kind of bugged me that Linda said “yes” to Ghost Banri, cause that guy was a dick.

      But overall, I don’t really think Banri was “hopeless and irritating”, just the parts of him that were not the current one. And I think he can be forgiven for the fear he had that he would revert to those old ones.

    • MgMaster says:

      Heh,it’s a bit different with me. Romance is one of my favorite genres but at the same time,one of the most hated as well.

      I totally don’t mind an anime heavily centered on it as long as it’s done right. For instance,I absolutely adored White Album 2 but I pretty much hated Golden Time. One’s subtle & atmospheric while the other’s loud,in-your-face & simply annoying(just to name a few issues).

      • Highway says:

        I almost wonder how much I’d classify Golden Time as a ‘romance’ show. It’s certainly a ‘relationship’ show, but instead of it being about Banri and Kouko’s relationship growing, it was more about Banri and Kouko themselves growing, and the way the relationship strengthened the two of them.

        It’s almost backwards from most shows, in a sense. In most shows, you have people who are fine people who eventually making a better relationship. And in this one, the relationship was the good thing from the beginning, it was the people who needed work. I think the best thing about the show was the transformation of Kouko throughout, from a self-centered stalker with dreams of grandeur to the “ii kanojo” (good girlfriend) that she always dreamed of being, but didn’t even know what that meant. The way she learned about being a friend and a girlfriend is, to me, one of the best stories of a character’s development that I’ve seen.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I basically explained that romance is the last thing on my list of interests so if a show is heavily centered on it, I’m not likely to watch it but I went against my better judgment with Golden Time for a change of pace but it ultimately went unrewarded. However, I’m not totally against it and it works if it’s one of many genres and isn’t in your face and forced.

        If there’s a romance show around, a lot of reserved contempt is going to be on the lead. White Album 2 was alright even though it was somewhat heavy but was also 1 cour so it didn’t bug me. And Haruki Kitahara. Though he was arrogant, he was a tolerable lead. Much better than Banri has been.

        Here another choice that comes to mind: Nagi no Asukara. It’s long but more than one interest going for it and has greater appeal.

        These are the differences I found. In Golden Time, The adults are wishy-washy, cry a lot, and have problems kids could take care of. In Nagi no Asukara, though some of them cry, the kids are way more mature, actually have more sense to their thoughts and actions, and have more solid personalities.

        • MgMaster says:

          On that thought:

          Lately there’s been too much loud crying in Nagi as well(Okada just can’t seem to help herself). Still,I think it’s a much better show than Golden Time.

        • Highway says:

          See, I like Banri (and probably half of the bad Banris) more than I’ve liked Hikari in Nagi no Asukara. Hikari just rubs me completely the wrong way.

          But I still think that the people in Golden Time are very authentic. These are 18/19 year olds. They’re certainly not grownups. And on top of that, the two lead characters had led very sheltered, very inexperienced lives for their age. I think that was something Golden Time hammered on a lot early. Kouko had no friends, had no experience with socialization, had nothing besides a huge crush on Mitsuo. And in the space of a year in the show, she goes from that selfish spoiled kid to, I think, a very good person who does reason through things. Especially after her explanation of her ‘mistake’, that she thought she was causing Banri pain, and making it harder for him, so that’s why she broke up with him. Sure she’s loud and complains and is over the top, but her actions are great especially towards the end.

  2. MgMaster says:

    Should I even say anything? I have almost nothing good to say about this show,lol.

    • Highway says:

      Well, I do wonder what aspects of it you particularly didn’t like. I know that a lot of the other people I’ve read who don’t like the show primarily don’t like it because they don’t like Kouko, either due to her personality (mostly at the beginning of the show, because I think she’s a really great person at the end, but the people who didn’t like her from the start may not see the change) or her supplanting Linda (there are a lot of people who don’t like that Linda doesn’t get together with Banri, and blame Kouko for it).

      I don’t think there’s any argument that Golden Time is completely different from something like White Album 2 or Sukitte ii na yo or Natsuyuki Rendezvous. The style is very different, it’s not contemplative at all. But I thought that Golden Time was still fairly authentic, for as unrealistic a character as Kouko was. She is set up to be an outlier: loud, pretty, rich, not really in tune with the rest of the people in the show.

      • MgMaster says:

        Alright then,so to sum up my thoughts on Golden Time:

        – I found most of the characters downright annoying,with Kouko & Banri taking the cake here,making it hard to care about them which in turn makes it hard for the drama to work.
        – The pacing is HORRENDOUS. The show ruin’s it’s own atmosphere by trying to introduce comedy at the worst times. I’m not against mixing comedy with seriousness and I’m not saying this can’t work as I’ve seen it done properly a few times,the most recent example being in Noragami.
        – The music is average at best but I guess this is a more subjective aspect.
        – The animation is average at best too,although the character designs are good enough.
        – The comedy…never worked for me at all but this is a more subjective aspect as well.
        – Ghost Banri,nuff said.
        – It lacks subtlety in ANY shape or form.
        – Important side characters falling in & out of love off-screen. I see important off-screen events as an excuse for lazy writing,especially in a 2-cour or longer series.

        • Highway says:

          Hm, I would say most of those are eye of the beholder (and ultimately we’re all the final judge for ourselves :)). If it didn’t hold onto a serious atmosphere as long as you’d like it would reduce your enjoyment, but I found a lot of those shifts, especially at the end of arguments, were necessary to get out of the situation for the show, or nicely authentic. Sure, it would have been nicer if Kouko’s dad hadn’t interrupted her declaration of love, but I didn’t find it unnatural that he’d show up like that, given how he was.

          Music and animation were pretty average, there was quite a bit of off-model stuff (that you see more when you’re stepping through scenes to take screenshots), but I thought they did a *terrific* job with Kouko’s emotionality.

          And I thought that it handled the Chinami – Mitsuo – Linda triangle pretty well. I think it’s overstating it to say that any of them were ‘in love’ with how far it got, and we saw most of the important parts: Mitsuo liking Chinami, asking her out publicly and getting shot down. Chinami said that she didn’t realize how much she liked Mitsuo until she saw him with Linda. And Linda wasn’t really into him at that point, as she said later to Banri. She wasn’t really interested until that second to last scene in the series. And part of not knowing that Mitsuo liked Linda was because he was intentionally separating himself from the group.

          I definitely won’t argue it wasn’t subtle. 🙂

  3. Namika says:

    I’m still conflicted about watching this show. I watched the first episode and then just stopped and decided to wait for it t end, because my nerves aren’t the same as before, but now I’m a little hesitant. Uuuuuu~

    • Highway says:

      There was a study recently that being spoiled on a show or outcome didn’t necessarily correlate with enjoyment of the show. But I don’t think that’s what you’re worried about here. 🙂

      Was there a specific concern you had about the show after that first episode that makes you worry about the rest?

  4. skylion says:

    I do wonder. Was Kouko playing a gambit showing up as “Oka Chinami”? That really could have fizzled into nothing. The only thing, given what she was going into, was that she could have at least tied the relationship off and moved on.

    • Highway says:

      I think that her goal was only to deliver the DVD and see Banri. She didn’t even confirm that she was Oka-chan. She never introduced herself, only gave a bit of a head tilt that Banri interpreted as ‘yes’ (although I think it could also have meant “yep, he doesn’t remember me at all”) and when Linda was about to say something, she interrupted with “Don’t mind this, I’m fine with this.” And as she was leaving, I think that’s what she was saying. “At least I got to see your face again.” She was just confirming that he forgot her, and thus her promise that she would go on with life without him.

  5. akagami says:

    I enjoyed the show, while it wasn’t amazing or ground-breaking, I liked the characters and had a lot of fun following the show. I’m in the camp of liking Kouko, so that helped a lot as characters can make-or-break a show for me.

    But I really could have did without ghost-Banri. So beta and such a wuss, I can’t help but cringe every time. And I was half-expecting the ring scene to have more import, but otherwise, it was a good ending in my book.

    I do enjoy the romance genre, so I’m a bit biased. It delivered what I expected it to, which is a lot better than I can say a lot of the winter shows which didn’t do that for me.

    But hahaha, old-memory version of Banri cringing at the puppy-love emails? C’mon buddy, you were 100% worse in high school. “My name is missing from the graduation shirt, everyone hates me, waaah.” Kimoi~

    • Highway says:

      I really do think that liking Kouko is a bellwether for liking the show overall. And yeah, where does Renew Banri get off being so upset at email Banri? He’s back to his old beta tricks (dude’s so beta he might even be delta or omega), hanging around Linda, hoping that she’ll figure out his feelings (here’s a hint, she knows, and she thinks you’re too wishywashy).

  6. pluto says:

    The series started out fine.but truly it did become dull and boring towards the end.first of all a very much hyped up koko.but I still never found her that annoying . I acknowledge though that she loved mitsuo at the start but she didnt know how to approach him and unknowingly annoyed him.but if it were a typical shoujo manga the childhood friend would have sooner or later realized his short mitsuo misbehaved with koko alot.banri understood her.she was happy to have a friend that understood her.then he confessed his feelings right after she was rejected harshly by mitsuo infront of him.then banri kind of forced her in my opinion in confessing.and finally then what?banri became so passive after starting dating her that I thought it was better when they were friends.and koko became so obvious ecpressing affections because he was soooo passive.then banri’s tantrums,cowardness,linda’s prob.he really seemed psychotic whenever he started yelling linda linda nonstop.the series could have been much better if banri’s character or in my opinion every character was written with more depth and sanity.koko and linda are the victims of banri’s cowardness.i still liked the series though since the setting was different from typical animes airing.but the author’s other series toradora is so much better.toradora was awesome so I was expecting the same with golden time

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