Show: Golden Time— Genre: Comedy, Romance— Episodes: 24
This week we’ll be looking at Golden Time, a 24 episode dramedy about some college-age folks. It ran from October 2013 to March 2014 on Japanese television, and was simulcast on American websites like crunchyroll.
On his first day of college, Tada Banri just wants to fit in and be normal. An accident took his memories the previous year, and he spent a long time in hospital before getting back on his feet. Despite his amnesia, he’s trying to be an average college freshman. Of course, he’s already running late for his entrance ceremony, so he picks a likely fellow freshman and follows him. Mitsuo Yanagisawa is warm and friendly towards Banri, and they become fast friends. Just as they’re reaching the college, one of our other main characters makes her debut. Koko Kaga pops out of freaking nowhere and assaults Mitsuo with a bunch of flowers.
Seriously, this is our first introduction to Koko.
And so it begins. Koko is obsessed with Mitsuo, and everything unfolds as you expect it might. He’s not interested, she’s obsessed. I expected Mitsuo to come around, as that’s the norm for most romance shows, but at some point Koko realizes she’s becoming a stalker, and doesn’t like the direction her life is going.
Koko realizes she might be a tad shallow at the moment.
Banri tries really hard to fit in, but the only other friend he’s made is actually from his old high school. She goes by Linda, and there is a complicated subplot that unfolds with her. She’s extremely useful to Banri in helping him with his memory problem.
Everything you would expect is there. There is a beach episode, a festival episode, an episode where the freshmen all pick clubs. The depth here is in the characters, not what they’re doing. Amnesia is a tired premise, but they play it well. This show pulled me along for a variety of reasons, not least of which is because it’s set in college, not middle or high school. The characters already sort of know what they want to do with their lives, they know who they like and it’s not a new sensation for most of them. And it’s funny. This show sneaks into your heart when you’re not paying attention, and you don’t even realize you care until it’s too late. The sad parts are tragic, and the comedy is really on point. There’s a lot of this kind of thing:
Of course pieces of Banri’s memory come back to him here and there, and it gets complicated fast. The second half of this show is definitely way more interesting and better paced than the first half, although the first 13 episodes are interesting enough.
Also, this show is full of crazy surprises.
NANA is his neighbor? What?
My love for this show built up over time. By the end though, I was rooting for our characters to have their happily ever after. Bring tissues.
All in all, I give this show 7 out of 10 Golden Tanukis. In my opinion one of the better anime to come out of last winter/spring, but I had to get several episodes in to really get attached to the characters, and it gets really confusing at times. Details that should be pointed out as important aren’t, and not in a clever Sherlock Holmes sort of way. Some of it is really obtuse. The characters shine through, however, and all in all it was an enjoyable experience. And all the opening and ending theme music is done by Yui Horie, who I love.
On another note, it occurs to me that all of the shows I’ve reviewed I’ve rated pretty well. I suppose the first few weeks I just wanted to share my recent enjoyable findings with whoever cares to read them. Next week I’ll try to dredge up something truly awful, just to round things out.
If you have any suggestions on reviews, feel free to reach out to me here or on the gator anime facebook page. If I’ve seen it, I’m happy to write about it.
Until then, I love you all <3
Stephanie is a UF alumnus who enjoys baking, reading, cats, and the internet. Also anime. OK mostly anime.