She is incredibly gorgeous! That’s Kaga Koko. She definitely is the ideal person among men who are visually oriented – just look at those slender thighs and fashionable outfit . Despite being a close-to-perfection woman, could she really catch the one whom she really loves?

Meet Tada Banri, a college freshman studying law. He has lost his memory after his high school graduation due to an accident. One morning, he meets Mitsuo who is being lost in their college campus, and befriends with him meanwhile. Mitsuo has a childhood friend named Kaga Koko who is very obsessed to him, however, no matter how hard she shows her love, her feelings to Mitsuo are not reciprocated. Until such time, Koko starts to fall in love with Banri and starts dating with him. They both join a club, the Japanese Festival Culture Research Society, where they meet a sophomore named Linda. Without realizing, Linda is, in fact, a former high school classmate of Banri whom he had confessed to just prior to his accident.

Through watching the opening theme, you might view the series as another story of light hearted romance with never-ending roller coaster you’d expect to run in the series, predictable conflicts, and cliche scenarios among youngsters in love. As you go through the story, it’s no longer about a typical shoujo-like romance which you’d love to watch on screen, but instead, Golden Time has rather a more grown-up story of romance, considering how the characters view about  love in their young adulthood, how they interact with other people in the society, and how they live in their own way.

The series starts off with a large amount of comedic and light hearted events as you wouldn’t come to think that a serious romance is highly viewed throughout the story.  You’ll initially laugh at Mitsuo’s rejection to Koko’s undying love, you’ll be amazed of how Koko shows her obsessive sides to him, and above all, Koko’s elegant and gorgeous appearance is just enough to grab the attention of everyone around her. It seems that Koko’s personality is well-suited for a good romantic comedy series like those popular titles of the same studio such as Toradora, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, and the likes. At first glance, you would think that Golden Time is something that is ordinary which you’ll surely enjoy at first. However, the series has actually  a wide variety of intensive dramatic events especially when you reach the second half of the series where Banri starts to remember his past bit by bit, until everything results to conflicts not only to Koko, but also to the society he revolves around. The plot suddenly jumps off into something different which is, in fact, the main point in the story as Tada Banri grabs the spotlight and gradually develops his character, however, at some points, I got tired of watching the slow pacing of events as every episode, particularly the second half episodes, focuses on Banri’s development. I was supposed to describe the anime as realistic, but the presence of Banri’s spirit makes the whole thing so horrible. His sudden appearance from time to time is quite scary.

Romance and drama are well-blended throughout the story with some comedic involvement which is really entertaining. Koko and Banri are just like ordinary couple you’d witness in the sidewalks as going out for a dinner, movie date, etc. but Koko’s intimacy towards Banri reaches its highest level which is somehow an obsessive act that can not meet balance with Banri’s love in moderation. The presence of Linda is the root of Banri’s suffering so you’ll later on see how Banri’s past affects his relationship to Koko, including his interaction with his friends and everyone around him. You’d get pity on Koko and you’d start to get annoyed of Banri’s psychotic behavior, and while being indecisive, it takes a lot of time for him to think what is the best for him, whether he’ll rewrite the past with Linda or will preserve the present times with Koko. In the near finale, it is really hard to predict whom he’ll end up with because everything is messed up while conflicts are still running in the story and seems to be hardly resolved.

J.C. staff has never failed to satisfy the viewers with its good animation. High quality has always maintained throughout. Characters are rather decent with good style, especially of how Koko has been given the most attention from head to foot. Emotions of the characters are appropriately portrayed, realistically expressed that could reach the heart of the viewers. Settings are well-detailed enough considering of how they set the story in Tokyo.

The first opening theme sounds fine. It is well-suited for the mood of the series particularly the first half episodes, while the second opening theme sounds a bit dramatic which portrays the different emotions of Koko, and it makes the viewers expect that intense dramatic scenes will be shown in the series. Both ending themes are rather pleasant to ears and have cheerful ambiance. Background musics are good which fit appropriately with the tone of the scenes especially when it comes to dramatic events.

If you want something that is far from the average level story of romance, Golden Time is the one you’ve might been looking for. However, if you are those kind of viewers who easily get tired of watching emotional beings, this anime might be pretty boring. Overall, the anime isn’t really outstanding, it isn’t that bad either.

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2 thoughts on “Golden Time – Review

  1. Golden Time was a very enjoyable series for me, it may not be perfect and it does have its ups and downs but I think it’s a shame that a lot of the anime community doesn’t care much for it. I guess that’s in part because some people were expecting the next Toradora and it’s not quite that type of story. It is pretty overdramatic and I felt pretty conflicted about the inclusion of Ghost Banri where he didn’t seem necessary, but the characterization was pretty good and I found this to be an enjoyable series overall. It seems like most romance stories don’t really go in this direction (or at least the ones I’ve seen) so this was a pleasant watch for me and I liked it a lot.

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    1. The plot has unique points, and I particularly love how it avoids the feeling of watching typical scenarios of romantic comedy. Though they’re already in late adolescent period as becoming grown-up beings, they would rather think more than what they seem to be, from the way they view themselves and their interaction towards the society. Banri has a strong characterization which I thought, at first, he is a character to be neglected in the series compared to the overly narcissist Koko. I realized how the highlights of Banri has given a big blast on various events, mainly involve his memories with Linda. If the episode could have been longer, I would want the series to make quick focus on Mitsuo’s character development including his romance with either Chinami, or Linda.

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