It makes me sad to see such negative reviews in the two review spots. This is definitely one of my favorite romantic anime out there. Yes, the whole amnesia plotline is rather wonky. Yes, the characters can be a bit overdramatic (although honestly, it's nothing I haven't seen in real life). But what really gets me is people claiming this show lacks depth. I firmly believe that this show has some of the most well-written characters I've ever seen. In fact, I think the people saying this show lacked depth just missed all the nuances (which, granted, were at times hard to see. But once
you saw them you were blown-away.) Unlike most romance stories, where the plot is "will the characters end up together?", and then ends with a "yes!" and a happily ever after, Golden Time's plot is two people working through the relationship, and realizing that there isn't a happily ever after. I found that really refreshing. I'll admit, at times the plot is so character-driven and lacking of actual motion that it feels like nothing's happening. And when it comes to the actual plot with Banri, there are many episodes where the problem could easily be solved by Banri just talking to his friends. But on the other hand, when it comes to his relationship with Koko, when there's a communication issue, the two will usually have the conversation you wish they'd have. And as someone who focuses mainly on character writing when watching/reading something, the way the two of them were handled was really all I needed in this show.
The ending, I admit, was fairly disappointing. They crammed into one episode what they should have put into at least two. And when I first finished watching it, I felt like they hadn't answered the main questions at all. Particularly with Linda - but it was only after I'd sat and thought about it for a while (particularly with some symbolism through tennis shoes) that I understood their answer. Yet there were many other characters whose plotlines got vague symbolistic answers, and you just sort of had to accept that. And with Banri's whole amnesia thing... I found it a bit ridiculous, so I decided to interpret it as past self v present self, with the amnesia creating a more defined divide between the two. And then it made a bit more sense for me, as well as was more tolerable.
Oh, and a quick other note - the voice acting, especially on Horie Yui's part, was amazing. There were literally some scenes where I just thought "DANG that's good acting", as dumb as that sounds. The OD/ED were both forgettable, unfortunately. I actually skipped the 2nd OD most of the time because I couldn't stand it. And while the music isn't a big problem, having songs I can add to my anime playlist is always a big bonus. Also, the art, for an anime, is perfectly fine. The OD/ED both have some great scenes, but I always skipped them, so... From what I've seen of the manga, that has truly great art.
Overall, I'd say, if you're not willing to put in the mental work to really understand this show, don't bother. Not that it's a ton, but... basically, if you're looking for a light, fun show that you can watch while doing other stuff, Golden Time is not that show. But a lot of the answers you need to be satisfied, you have to come up with yourself. The hints and tools you need to get there are all provided for you in the show, but you have to keep an eye out for them. Otherwise this show can easily come off as two whiny, overdramatic college kids who cause their own problems.
Every once in a while, you watch something bad that doesn't feel like a total waste of time, because it's just so bad that you learn from it exactly what you never want to see from any form of media again. Or teaches you exactly what NOT to do if you write something yourself.
Golden Time was honestly such a terrible experience that it was almost rewarding.
The entire show was like an empty shell; you could keep looking long and hard for a pearl as much as you wanted and nothing but disappointment would surface. I give them credit for at least trying to escape
the ordinary by setting the whole thing in a college instead of a high school, but in the end the scarce focus on the setting and the way the characters behaved like incomprehensible children instead of young adults made it all pointless. The use of tons of romcom cliches (amnesia as a plot device, sad childhood friend, half-assed love triangle, misunderstandings as source of conflict) was constant and just as poorly done as the attempts to make the whole thing stand out from other bad, stereotypical romcoms.
The entire plot revolved around Banri's amnesia and his relationship with Koko, with no focus or backstory for the side characters and relationships at all. Not only the whole thing got excruciatingly tiresome after a while, but it was clear that there wasn't enough of it to fill 24 episodes: the conflict dragged its feet for much longer than necessary, and there were lots of episodes that were so useless you could just cut off entirely and it would make no difference. They started to appeal to source of new conflicts that were so silly and uncalled for it was impossible not to question what the hell the author was even thinking. Also, the main conflict itself was done in a way that made it completely unappealing and dull; It's especially notable how they made Banri's "past self" a literal ghost that follows him around sulking, which let's face it, makes it hard to take everything seriously. Not to mention that they asspulled the most boring, predictable conclusion they possibly could for this storyline right on the last episode. Amnesia is a cliché that may work if done right, but in Golden Time it isn't compelling at all.
Moreover, the main couple's relationship and scenes were absolutely unnatural, forced and cringe-worthy. The show gives them no time to develop feelings for each other, forcing them together 6 episodes in. Their personalities don't mash at all, making all of their interactions feel extremely awkward. There was no enjoyment whatsoever in seeing them interacting, no heartstrings pulled, no fun, no cuteness, nothing. It wasn't organic, or realistic, and it sure as hell wasn't convincing. It just fails into delivering.
The main problem with Golden Time's writing, though, doesn't even lie on the awkwardly put together plot, no. It's on the characters.
It's no exaggeration to say that Koko and Banri are among the worst leads in any romance anime I have ever seen. Banri is absolutely plain - no distinguishing personality traits, no quirks, no ideals, no goals, NOTHING about him is interesting. He's the boy with amnesia, boyfriend of Koko, and nothing more. He's just there. The fact that he lost his memories is really no excuse for his boring character either - come on, even Elfen Lied's Nyuu had more personality than this guy, and she didn't even remember how to go to the toilet. Koko, on the other hand, is painfully unlikeable. She's an annoying cheeky brat who's always causing trouble and victimizing herself. Right off the bat she's shown to be stalking her childhood friend and wanting to force him into marriage, and then screams at him and acts like a vulnerable damsel who has been wronged when he shows to be uncomfortable and creeped out. Once she engages on her relationship with Banri and shows a kinder side and some acceptable character development, she becomes considerably less unlikeable, but still annoying, to the point where I caught myself thinking "Of course she's with him, only some boy with zero personality and sense of self would willingly spend time with this girl". It's that bad. And because of this, whenever the drama kicked in, it was really hard to care. Why should I? How can the viewer possibly relate with these two? Why would I get sad over characters who keep acting like dumbasses instead of like sensible human beings?
The other characters are barely worth commenting, with maybe the exception of Linda, Banri's senior and friend. She is infinitely more likeable than Koko, but her role in the story is confusing and unclear - is she supposed to be another end of a love triangle? Is she in love with him, is she jealous? Is her relationship with Banri only sister-like, and she really doesn't see him as more than a friend? We don't know (at least not until the final ten minutes of the last episode in a really plain and threw-this-scene-in-for-the-sake-of-explaining-her-feelings development - oh, well). Aside of Linda, the side characters might as well not even exist. Literally - and I mean that - every dialogue they have among themselves is about the main couple. Their personalities are pretty much non-existent, and the sad attempts of giving them some depth of their own are so fribble it's laughable. They're only there to talk about the main couple and act like idiots on their own accord.
The art and animation are savorless. It's pretty below average and there's nothing special about it, except if you count some dramatic scenes that were animated so exaggeratedly that became hilarious. The character designs are pretty flat and unoriginal, Koko looks pretty much like a grown-up Aisaka Taiga. The music isn't noteworthy either - Horie Yui did a good job voicing Koko, Kayano Ai's voice is cute as usual, but that's about it.
Golden Time was definitely not an enjoyable experience . Watching it every week felt like a task and I got bored regularly. But at the very least, it definitely reminded me of some of the things that can make a story dreadful, and taught me to avoid it. And maybe next time I watch a good romantic comedy, I can think back to this show and enjoy the good aspects of whatever I'm watching at the time even more.
Story: 3/10 - Empty, poorly written. Drags its conflicts for more time than necessary, doesn't know how to distribute its focus, suffers from melodrama.
Art & Sound: 4/10 - Below average.
Characters: 3/10 - Act stupidly for the plot's sake, are either unlikeable or have no personality at all, questionable character development.
"People would only wants the old me not the present me" - Tada Banri
Golden Time is something that tingles in my mind for a few days after i watched it. Back in the November, i was already put Golden Time in my plan to watch, since so many sites recommend that this anime is your-must-watch anime in winter season and so after it has finished aired, i watched it and i must say i have a really "golden time" when watching it.
As far as you can see, Golden Time is labeled with comedy and romance genre. The genre that we often said as the most
generic in anime industry. JC is one of those production house that often adapting romance-comedy manga into anime, Bakuman and Ano natsu is one of their success romance comedy anime. But how about Golden time?
Golden Time is anime that must we consider where romance-comedy anime is not all about cliche and the endless loop "would they be date or not". There is so many things that makes golden time is a worth anime to watch. One of those is how the story goes. The plot moves smoothly and with the narration giving a sense that Banri is showing and telling the story, its really make us understanding what Banri are thinking.
Golden Time is like a puzzle, each episode provide us a single piece that if we're combining all of them would make the completed one and so this one. This basically because Golden Time focussing on how Tada Banri collected his lost memories and how his amnesia affecting the people surround him including his friends or lover. And so we would be presented so many flashbacks that would tell how he was in the past including how he have forgotten the life before amnesia.
As i said before, Golden time is like breaking the endless loop of “would they be date or not” . In this anime, we would see a progression of romance relationship. This is not merely they would lovey dovey all the time but we would see the struggle and obstacle between them which is nice and represents how life is not always easy and there would be always some obstacles that blocks our way.
Other things that makes golden time interesting is the comedy. The humor primarily comes from the interactions between his friends and minor characters, In this anime we would see a comedy that basically happen in our real life like how we get pranked by our seniors when just enrolled in university or jokes that can only be understand by our circles. Golden time is realistically represent this in their show which is makes watching golden time like watching our life itself.
The art in this anime is not too good neither bad. But this is suitable with the anime. The background is quite vivid and colorful. But sometimes the art is kinda messed up, like how they drawn characters sometimes the characters look so weird. JC seems like doesnt do their best in this anime, there is just so many times when the characters look bend in the other way but despite of that, it doesnt decreasing the pleasure from watching this anime.
The sound in this anime is amazing, first from the seiyuu parts we would find a few famous seiyuu like Yui Horie as Kaga Koko or Ai Kayano as Linda, of course the quality of them doesnt need to ask, they perfectly fit with their roles especially Yui Horie as Kaga Koko. Her sound really loveable and the phrases “oh, wow” is kinda attracting. But thats not just all, one thing to notice is how Furukawa Makoto for being Tada Banri as seiyuu. As a new comer, his quality isnt like the beginner at all. His angry or serious tone are really magnificent and really suitable with Tada Banri.
Not just the seiyuu parts, the soundtrack is also good. From the opening we have “Golden Time” by Yui Horie itself. The song is quite lovely and easily grasp people’s heart. There isnt any problem with their OP and ED songs, it had a really nice combination of OP/ED to start the series off which helped with that great first impression. they were particularly is suitable with the themes of love. Moving to BGM, Yukari Hashimoto is the one who responsible for this. Honestly, she is the best when it comes to romance music. His works in Toradora is enough to represent his quality and this time he also success in this anime. The BGM is really mixing well with each scenes.
The other thing that is noticeable from this show is the characters or the whole cast in this anime. The entire character and cast is so realistic and full of "normal people" that would we meet in our real life not some overly attached-girl, the little sister that have a thing for his big brother, a girl who is expressionless, or anything that anime provides us oftenly. More than that, In other words, the characters feel real and human. They are filled with multiple facets and glaring contradiction, just like all of us.
In the end, this anime is a good way to represent what a romance anime is. The realistic views is probably the most prominent in Golden time and i think this is how all anime should be especially when they bring ‘romance’ tags. Unrealistic romance makes the love story become cliche and good things golden time isnt like that. So, if you want a good romance with realistic, light-hearted comedy, Golden Time is probably one of the anime that you should watch.
It is only natural to project grand expectations on any anime associated with a renowned classic. Penned by the original creator of Toradora!, the first six episodes had Golden Time primed as the next rom-com sensation out the J.C. Staff house. Unfortunately, the luminous promise soon became a glimmer of an afterthought. Repercussions relative to pacing, characterizations, and key revelations accumulated as the series imploded spectacularly to close out.
SPOILERS onward (based on final impressions).
The root to Golden Time’s problems stems from its peculiar inclusion of a supernatural element. Rather than a visible representation of this “alternate” Banri, an implied presence would
have been more effective. The circumstances triggering his condition were too variable and opportune, apathetic to foreshadowing and logical parameters. Banri had been shown taking medications after and not before his first relapse, so what should have been a smooth road for the narrative instead became one scarred by potholes (plot holes).
Progression between Banri and Kouko was woefully negated by incidents blown severely out of proportion. There was simply no extinguishing the fires of drama upon their ignition. With the exception of the rocker Nana, the cast was too momentum-based and capricious in complexion. Like puppets, their decisions were not made under their own accord - most notably with Oka Chinami. For someone who was once exemplified as a friendly, happy-go-lucky acquaintance to Banri, her whimsical hostility and irritability in later stages was unjustified.
It was dejecting to endure the constant stagnancy and artificial pretentiousness on display, from Kouko wrecking Takaya's car (when did she acquire a driving license?) to Banri getting torched for his amnesiac tendencies. Ultimately though, the finale was most unforgivable in its blindsiding convenience and blatant disregard of prior developments altogether. I would like to bury this series in similar fashion to Banri with his past, but sadly the damage will remain everlasting.
Disclamer: it is my opinion that your experiences in real life relationships will greatly affect your enjoyment of this show. As a married man with a kid and a few dramatic college relationships in my past, to me this show was an awesome representation of the ups and downs of a real relationship in college/adulthood. But those of you who are younger and inexperienced in love may not be able to appreciate the story as a whole. If you are skeptical then take everything after this with a grain of salt.
Golden time is a great example of a potential classic that is
hindered by a few missteps and poor production. Had JC staff put a better team on this show’s production (or some other more competent staff all together) it could have went down as possibly the greatest romcom anime of all time. Instead, it just goes down as a great romantic comedy anime that if you can get past the technical inadequacy and the flaws in pacing will surely please.
Golden Time is very strong here because of the freshness of the story as a whole, while still hitting all of the rom com target moments.. The story is more original than the usual anime romance setup. First and foremost it takes the usual setting from high school to college. Although it doesn’t fully take advantage of this, it still makes for a fresh sense of pace. The usual anime romance stretches out the “will they or wont they” (when we all know they will) game for the entire show capped off by their first kiss in the last episode. Golden Time gets over that within the first 8 episodes. The last 16 are spent looking at the ups and downs of a relatively mature and interesting relationship with some unique problems and challenges that are still relatable. This serves as a huge breath of fresh air for those of us who may have grown tired of the cliché’s and the idiot protagonists who can’t spit their feelings out. That said, the build up to the romance lacks the proper pacing. Although the main characters are pretty interesting and they make an awesome couple by the end, you kind of miss the escalation of their attraction to each other. There are scenes where the characters are clearly connecting with each other, but they fail to fully capture the budding romance of the moment to make their sudden relationship (and considering the circumstances it is very sudden) easier to swallow. When they do get together you get the feeling that something is missing which led a lot of the fandom to split into shipping other couples. This is probably due to the fact that this was an 8 volume LN broken down into 24 episodes. Still overall the story is engaging and satisfying with a unique twist on the “protagonist with amnesia” trope. There are some seriously tear jerking moments of drama and sweetness and a few laugh out loud moments, although some of the comedy scenes fall a bit flat.
This is the biggest failure of the show. I am not an anime connoisseur. My true fandom and crunchyroll account are only a bit more than a year old, but this is one of the most poorly animated shows I have seen in that time. There are some cool moments and flashes of color. The ops and eds are both great but there are so many ugly scenes and moments that they start to take away from the story. In one scene a character splashes another character with a drink and it’s supposed to be this highly dramatic moment but all I could think was “wow that was a horrible splashing effect” Those aforementioned scenes of connecting probably could have been better at getting across their growing relationship with better facial expressions and scene composition. Some of the facial expressions are horrible and any non dialogue action scenes just look stiff. If it were not for the shows great story this show would be almost unwatchable in my opinion.
The sound is not much better. Outside of the OP and the ED the music sounds really generic and forgettable. During the drama moments there is a track they keep playing that is so corny it sounds like something from an old B grade JRPG from the 8 bit era complete with a sappy whining violin and a sad piano. Furthermore the voice acting for all except for the female protagonist is rather forgettable. There are some moments of brilliance from some of the side characters but overall there is nothing to write home about.
Here is where the show earns a place on the all-time romance list. I personally find 85% of all anime characters to be either cliché but entertaining (Le Louch of Britannia), or cliché and annoying (insert any male harem protagonist pretty much). However this cast of characters is unique and entertaining. Sure there are some cliché elements (clichés are always going to be there because they work) but their stories interactions are so engaging that you don’t notice.
First and foremost is the star of the show, Kaga Koko. Koko manages to be 1 part Tsundere, 1 part Yandere, and yet completely fresh and original as a female protagonist in a love story. She carries the show and steals every scene that she is in. I never get tired of watching her and I find myself getting anxious if the show spends too much time away from her. Her arch is not anything super unique or special, but the execution of it is awesome and much more engaging than the usual female love interests in anime. On top of that she owns most of the funniest scenes in the show AND the best dramatic scenes. Unlike most love interests in anime, she is a fully fleshed out character with major flaws as a person, yet she grows over the show, you begin to understand why she has such flaws and by the end most of her critics will be cheering her on. A lot of people will be turned off by her bitchy veneer, but others will think about a girl they know in real life and immediately fall in love. Because of her I almost wish this were a shounen cause then I know I would get at least 150 more episodes of her. The (satisfying yet slightly open) ending leaves room for a sequel, and I sure hope we get one so I can get me more of Kaga Koko.
Next is the male protagonist Banri. Banri is a perfect audience surrogate who still manages to have a personality and an arch as a character. Most male protagonists in romances are bland featureless blobs so the audience can emote through them, Banri manages to carry the audience with him while also clearly having his own personality. He has issues and flaws along with positive traits and a penchant for the dramatic. More than anything HE IS NOT A WUSS OR AN IDIOT!!!!! You don’t find yourself asking why anyone likes him or even wants to be his friend. He doesn’t punk out on trying to get the girl he wants, and you NEVER EVER SEE A FRICKEN NOSE BLEED!!!!! The story doesn’t use cheap tricks to sucker you into thinking that he is good guy worthy of Koko’s time (there is never that stupid moment where the protagonist casually saves the female love interest from a dog or falling down some stairs or something else stupid followed by the obligatory blushing scene- IN FACT- I don’t think there is a single cliché blush in this whole show). He is not some super optimistic boy scout who never feels weak and never gets down on himself. He acts irrationally, makes mistakes, and at times he does things to hurt people’s feelings. Yet at the same time he does a lot to make you admire him and feel for his struggle.
In the most memorable scene in my mind (THIS IS A SPOILER OF A GREAT SCENE YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED),
After he has his confession rejected by the main love interest, she offers to be his friend. He begrudgingly accepts but after a while realizes that he wants and deserves more. So he puts his foot down like every man worth a damn should. The way he does it is so direct and honest I started clapping for him. He doesn’t linger around in the friend zone like sooooo many romcom characters do, he doesn’t vacillate between two girls (even though he definitely could have) he gives the main girl a choice to either choose him or lose him, and of course it works.
This is what makes this show so great. They challenge the viewer’s expectations of the by the numbers anime romcom plot. They don’t lie to the viewer by making the main love interest some non threatening gentle flower. No Koko is a lot to handle and would take a guy with balls and a backbone to handle her. They don’t make the main guy some loser who still gets the girl regardless of being worthless so that we can maintain our own fantasy world delusions. No, Banri is a guy who has imperfections but still acts when faced with a choice and sometimes he acts poorly. Their relationship is complex and outright mesmerizing at times (of course if you have never been in a real relationship this may not seem so interesting, just a thought)
The other side characters are all very colorful and add plenty to the experience, especially a “guest” star of sorts who serves as a voice of wisdom/beacon of awesome. I won’t spoil the surprise. However, I will say that the side characters in the author’s previous work Toradora were a bit stronger and more interesting.
If you are watching a romance anime you probably are not watching it for visuals and sound, so you need to see this show. A better studio for this type of show (like Kyo ani) would have taken this story and made it a masterpiece, but it is still a new classic because it is pretty much unrivaled in its depiction of a real mature relationship with ups and downs. I watched this show religiously because i couldn't get enough. Im sad to see it go.
Golden Time can be best summed up with two words: love hurts.
Of course, this could be an overstatement because love is supposed to bring joy and wonder. But what happens when the past comes back to haunt you? What happens when you’re caught in the middle of a love triangle where someone is bound to be hurt? It’s a tough world in where we live in and nothing should be taken for granted. Golden Time serves as a great example of an anime that explores relationships at a level dealing with the basic human nature and what it stands for based on love.
Golden Time is
an anime based off the light novel and manga of the same name written by Yuyuko Takemiya. She is perhaps best known for her previous work, Toradora, which has garnished worldwide attention. The anime achieved success but now it’s Golden Time’s turn to shine.
One thing that sets apart this series from most romantic comedy is built by the foundation of the setting. Rather than a typical high school life, this series sets in college which presents itself as a more mature environment. After all, college is where people enter the stage of adolescence. It’s a stage in life where people create themselves, build their futures, and explore relationships at a level like they have never ever before. For Tada Banri, it’s a fresh new experience at a new law school in Tokyo. One problem already arises for Tada Banri from the beginning as he suffers a case of amnesia as result of a past event. Cases of characters suffering amnesia is nothing new in the anime industry. Series such as Tsubasa Chronicles, Eden of the East, and Pandora hearts adapts similar themes in which a main character has a case of amnesia but goes on a journey to discover themselves by digging through the past. What sets Golden Time apart or rather differently is the way of presenting it in the form of Tada Banri’s past. Flashbacks are shown in various episodes and becomes an internal conflict for him. These often resurfaces in cases of episodic flashes where he shouts something out unintentionally. It becomes part of a battle in his mind with a reactive way that makes the show memorable and eye catchy.
What might even be more eye catchy is perhaps our main female protagonist in the series – Koko Kaga. From minute one she enters the show is given the presence that she is a walking billboard of elegance. She is extremely popular among the male population with her mesmerizing appearance, fashion style, and atmosphere of luster dignity. However, there’s a fact known that Koko has little friends because people finds her hard to approach. This is unsurprising because people expects themselves to be way out of her league. That’s not an understatement either thanks to her flashy entrance. With flowers in hand and a daring smile, Koko surprises her childhood friend Mitsuo Yanagisawa as she literally followed him to the university. Apparently, there’s some odd circumstances between them as Mitsuo seemed to have promised to ‘marry’ her when they were kids. But of course, this is just an illusion because all of them were in the past and wasn’t realistic. This format of setting up Golden Time is cliched with the beautiful girl (Koko) meeting the typical college boy Tada Banri. However, if we take a closer look, there’s a special emphasis on our main characters.
Enter Linda. Serving as a character that played a critical role in Tada Banri’s past, she becomes a main figurehead in the story. As the story unravels itself, we quickly find out her importance in the series as well as why Tada Banri keeps getting strange episodic flashes when he blanks out. More importantly is the concept of love being dealt here. Love hurts. It really can be one of the world’s greatest treasures but also a pain that cannot be healed. For one thing, Tada Banri’s past wounds still exists in the form of those memories and Linda serves as a driving factor. Golden Time deals with these flashbacks and structures them in a profound way to explore relationships at a deeper level. Of course, we can’t leave out Koko in the story because she always tries to get what she wants. For Koko, she is like a textbook with no answers. Her personality is extremely difficult to read because she often changes them depending on circumstances and whom she is with. Golden Time ties together our main characters and doesn’t go off track with its main theme. While it doesn’t always present relationship in a healthy way or realistically, the show builds itself with great characters with everyone getting their spotlights.
As serious as some moments of Golden Time can seem to be, it also offers a great deal of comedy. This is usually reflected in the case of other characters such as Nijigen (a.k.a 2D-Kun) that serves as a comic relief throughout the show. Other characters such as Chinami Oka and Nana (based off a character of the same name from the anime/manga NANA) also makes their own spotlights. On a more fun scale, there is also the well-known Tea Party that serves as a primary example of how college is like – party, drinking, and sex. Other humorous moments includes the various cosplay, English dialogues, and responses of our classic Koko.
The series does suffer some problems though in terms of its introduction. The first episodes serves as built up. In fact, the introductory episode is not only cliched but seems forced with its presentation. Some parts of the main story itself can also be predictable especially with the duo of Koko and Tada Banri. Koko can also be a character that is hard to get used to with her multitude personalities. It’s at various circumstances that viewers may question themselves exactly what she wants. Linda herself also suffers characterization in the past because of her indecisive actions. There are some obvious hints thrown in that she might be in love with Tada Banri but in most cases dismisses it as ‘just friends’; an overused idea in romantic comedies. Furthermore, the show focuses perhaps too much on the main love triangle at levels that can seem obnoxious especially with Koko being a clingy girlfriend. Jealousy might be an overused word but she defines it at its best at various episode stages.
Animation wise, Golden Time maintains a balanced romantic comedy presentation with visuals that matches its style. JC Staff adapts the series so expect some familiarity with their past works. Most characters are decorated with simplicity except for Koko whom is known for her fashion style; thanks to her rich family backgrounds. Mitsuo also undergoes some physical changes that might catch the eyes of its audience later on. Background wise, there’s nothing earth shattering going on because mostly everything is focused on our main characters. Nana does stand out as a supporting character to keep an eye on though for her unique style of dressing up.
The soundtrack is consistent on most parts. Both the first OP and ED songs are sweet with a melody to convey the style of a romantic comedy. However, the first OP song does fall under the case of major foreshadowing. On the other hand, the second OP song of the latter half adopts a more hardcore techno beat that doesn’t match the mood as done previously. Background OST wise, the series presents it well to match its comedy, emotional, and dramatic moments. But on voice acting, there’s a mixed bag here. Koko’s voice mannerisms can be annoying to listen to because of her jealousy. She also tends to get angry when she sees something not fitting so expect some dramatic tones coming from her. Tada Banri’s voice also seems a bit monotone at times with his dialogues. Other times, some of the dialogues itself represents a more cheesy way of delivery. Nana is perhaps the most mature of the characters because of her actions that speakers louder than words.
Golden Time can be a tricky anime to adapt and takes patience to get used to. The introductory episodes might not feel so groundbreaking but the reward is worth it once you get them through. It’s important to pay attention to the characters and see their progressing moments as each episode unfolds itself with revelations, reactive dynamics, and characterization. There will be moments where the show will surprise and catch you off guard. Then there are moments that makes you rethink what just happened or if it’s the right way that’s presented. There’s no right answer when it comes to love because everyone is born differently. Romantic comedies such as Golden Time often tends to shy people’s heads away but this is definitely something to keep an eye on. Love can hurt but pain doesn’t just go away without taking chances. Golden Time offers that chance.
Golden time being predominately Romance and School Life-themed doesn't stop it from containing other interesting elements peppered throughout, making this otherwise humdrum university romance story unique.
Complaint #1: The characters. The main character: Tada Banri is one of the least impressive characters in the entire show. As a viewer, it's absolutely frustrating witnessing the romance in this show and where Banri decides to take it. The romance only being frustrating because of Banri choosing one of the most invasive, clingy, and annoying characters I've ever encountered. Her personality along with the romance that surrounds her keeps each and every viewer's frustration
to a maximum. To top it off, the ending was extremely underwhelming. When watching the final episode occur, I became extremely irritated how the creator of this story could make it end the way it did. Is it to make a statement? That not all love stories end with the viewer pleased in the character's decision? Perhaps it's because the writer is showing that the character has control over their story, not the writer like most people think. Whatever the case, the characters and ending thoroughly disappointed me.
Complaint #2: The flow. The flow of the story is profoundly important. It impacts my decision as to whether I continue with the show or not, whether I enjoy the show or merely tolerate it. For this show, it was tolerance. It's hard to place my finger on, but something about this show's flow seemed off; each episode felt different from the last, almost like a discontinuation. The story should be just that: a story. Not a sequence of episodes. In a romance story, this overarching story becomes exponentially important, and the lack of it creates a difficult situation for viewers to see the progression of romance. When the flow of a show isn't good, the viewer becomes distracted from the plot and/or the message, hurting the overall reception of the story.
Commend #1: Interesting plot. I won't say much about the plot, but to be frank, this is the one and only thing about this show that kept me going. It was a very interesting plot that kept me wanting more, to see how the creators concluded it. Without this plot, there felt no reason at all for me to finish out this show.
Rating and Ending Thoughts
My disapproval of the ending, general flow of the story, the main characters, as well as the interesting plot, incline me to give this the mediocre rating of 5/10. The plot completely carries the entire show because, obviously, the characters can't do it worth anything. This plot kept me on the edge of my seat and powered me through to the end, simply to see how the writers decided to finish this dull, romantic story.
Nothing sets up an interesting story and fails miserably like Golden Time. Let me say this first : This anime was in no way a waste of time; in fact, it does have its moments, and it is enjoyable when it does do things right. Sadly, the overall anime lacked depth and true emotional link between the characters and the viewers which ultimately resulted on a sour ending.
The story of Golden Time is something quite unique. There are many stories that follow an amnesia plot line, but I had never really watched anything like this. Banri is split between his past with Linda and
present with Koko, and this internal conflict of finding his true identity is what drives this story forward. Sadly, the story fails in its progression and pacing. The beginning episodes up to around 13 or 14 have an incredibly slow pace. The story and the conflict doesn't truly develop until around episode 17 to 18, and most of the beginning seems like filler. Koko and Banri's relationship suddenly appears out of nowhere, and I was quite confused on how that even happened; while it is clear from the opening theme that Koko and Banri are the main couple of the show, the anime doesn't present their relationship with an appropriate pacing. Koko simply jumps into Banri's life, and he accepts her. The last part of the anime attempts to cram in everything important in the series, and this results in a rushed conclusion.
The art of Golden Time is crisp and good, but the character design for Banri seems too feminine for a guy character. While I didn't expect a "pretty boy" image like Yana's character, I didn't think Banri's design fit his role well. Overall, the art is sharp, and nothing much to complain there.
The sound is another aspect of this anime I found annoying. The opening theme was something I wanted to skip over every episode, and Banri's voice was a tad on the annoying side. This, of course, is a personal opinion I hold.
Characters for this anime bring so much to the table, yet they leave much to be desired. Linda's true feelings for Banri are not focused on at all during the anime, and Okami doesn't really achieve anything in the anime at all. The story focuses on these characters and their backgrounds, but then abandons these character progressions. The series leaves you wondering what happened to the characters' problems that were never directly addressed. The strong friendship between the characters is clear, yet they never express their feelings correctly to each other until of course, the end ( which is crammed into the last 20 minutes of the entire series).
Over all, Golden Time wasn't too bad of a series. It was potentially a very interesting drama anime, but it focused too much on love and trivial things instead of focusing on important aspects of the story. While some parts of the show kept me hoping that the anime would bring more depth, it never delivered the much needed impact. Overall, Golden Time is a mediocre ending that should be watched at an idle time when you have time to burn.
If you’re incredibly interested in romances, Golden Time’s plot will probably catch your attention. Its author, who also wrote another popular series, Toradora, has some pretty good premises for his stories. We honestly could have gotten a lot as an anime with Golden Time’s strong start. In fact, I would say this show starts on a strong note and ends on one as well. That said, the middle, the core parts of Golden Time, are filled with boring sub-plots that lead to nothing as well as a lot of time wasting. I can’t say Golden Time is bad, but it didn’t fulfill many of my
If you get to know the characters of Golden Time, you’ll see why its story does not work. The plot centers around Tada Banri, a college student: that’s at least more "original" than a highschool student. We find out he’s lost his memories and obviously has no recall of the details on how. College is where he meets our main cast, Banri’s group of friends, and though they are all unique characters, they have their own archetypes which occasionally makes their actions and reactions predictable. There’s is a love web going on between them, but it's made clear that Banri is interested in our main girl, Kaga Koko; the other relationship are in the shadow.
Here’s one problem with the characters though: Koko is obsessed with Banri’s new friend, Yanagisawa Mitsuo, who is her childhood friend. Banri immediately falls in love with her and they get together in the first quarter of the show. Then all the cast decides to forget character development and stick to their established personalities which is disappointing. What’s annoying though is that Koko eventually becomes obsessive over Banri, which isn’t a problem by itself, but the show, for who knows why, decides to focus on it for the majority of the episodes. Let’s also not forget that everyone seems to have mood swings. One minute there happy, another there sad, and then they get mad; whatever mood the show calls for. The cast isn’t bad, but they’re not notably entertaining and sometimes aggravating.
Plot-wise, Golden Time does not stay true to its original synopsis. Having the two main characters get together in the first quarter of the series essentially drove the author into a corner. Nothing happens for the majority of the series. Several episodes consist of Banri and his friends screwing around and you may argue it's for character development, but their personalities felt the same at the end of the series. Maybe they got a little moodier, but that’s it. Golden Time did a wonderful job at introducing us to itself and its ending was well done, but they should have just removed the 10-16 episodes in between. This should have been a 1-cour show with all the junk cut out. The show could have also simply not have Banri and Koko confess so early which would change the “screwing around” into “romantic development”.
I do have to appreciate the music, but it's mostly very "cutesy" (especially both OPs and EDs). There are more serious tracks, but I have a hard time noticing them because of the obviously forced reactions from some of the characters. I'd also like to point out the subpar animation. Its not bad, but it doesn't score Golden Time any points. Funny enough, the second OP seems more detailed than the rest of the anime.
The high point of this show is really the drama that revolves around Banri's past. It comes to haunt him (literally, but unfortunately, annoyingly) throughout the show and yet it still seems to be left out half the time. That drama is what would make Banri an interesting character and it prominently comes into focus only in the last quarter of the anime. Other than that, the writing could be better, but these are the only notable problems and they each seem so big and glaring that it confuses me why they weren't amended. I'm fine with comedy, but there's so little "plot" the majority of Golden Time that it's a waste of potential (and time).
Despite this show's popularity, its quality doesn't quite meet a good standard. Golden Time is one of those anime that disappoints you and won't meet many expectations. You could still like it despite your expectations though I doubt it. The storyline is incoherent, the characters aren't interesting enough and the voice actors simply do a fine job (nothing special). The author tries to force emotions on characters and doesn't have a solid "order of operations" for Golden Time to take. It makes the story boring and doesn't let our cast of characters develop. Overall, Golden Time is far from awful, but it wastes your time in some episodes and should be shortened. We'd also all appreciate better storytelling and writing, but that ties in with the unnecessary length. Its merit mostly stems from it being written by the same author as Toradora. As such I'd only recommend you watch Golden Time if you think that is enough reason, or if you're fine with mediocre RomCom anime.
How often have we seen anime set in high school? Yeah. A lot. But when it comes to anime set in college, there seems to be a huge gaping hole the industry has yet to leap into. In steps Golden Time, written by the same guy who made a little anime called Toradora!. With a unique setting, and a promising writer, does Golden Time deliver? Without a doubt, 100% yes. Golden Time is a wonderful slice of life drama that everyone needs to see.
Story - 8.1:
As stated earlier, Golden Time takes place in college, following our main protagonist Tada Banri and the roller
coaster of drama that follows him. Now, the first few episodes give off much more of a comedy vibe than a dramatic one which may have turned a lot of people away from the show. But after Banri's past is revealed, and his relationship with Koko blossoms, the show kicks into full gear. Yes, in this anime, the main character actually ends up dating the girl (and quite early on at that). Many people might think this is a spoiler, but anyone with a pair of eyes can predict Banri x Koko after watching 30 seconds of the OP. Golden Time's fearlessness in quickly establishing a relationship, and following it for the majority of the show is what makes it so special. That and the fact that the two leads are fantastic characters (which we will get into later) make Golden Time a truly special show. Now, there are plenty of head-scratching plot devices that don't really do anything but confuse the viewer until they are resolved in the final episode. Add onto this the questionable decision making of some of our characters, the the story is far from perfect. But the boldness to follow a relationship for 20 episodes and execute it in a way that made you thoroughly care about it is just too much to give the story anything less than very high praise.
Art - 6.9:
Now here is unquestionably the biggest flaw in Golden Time. By no means is the overall art-style bad, but you can clearly tell that this show was not given the budget it deserved. Movements were often very blocky and unfluid, and just the overall level of detail was very lacking at times. However, this show did have plenty of moments (particularly in darker/nighttime set scenes) where the animation was very good and well lit. The college setting was realistically put together, and the varied locations were all unique. Another plus was just the shear amount of varied clothing that everyone wore throughout the show which is uncommon seeing as many anime like to dress their characters in the same outfit every, single, episode. Overall, the art was severely damaged by what seems to be a poor budget, but the artistic style overcame this for the most part.
Sound - 7.6:
Particularly in the more melancholy and dramatic moments, the soundtrack could be very good. There weren't really any memorable tracks, but they all set the tone perfectly. The OPs and EDs were all very catchy as well. As far as the voice acting goes, the VAs did a great job of showing a wide array of emotion, ranging from serious or sad, to downright nutcase happy or excited. The dialog in this show was greatly exaggerated, with characters spitting out some of the most goofiest lines, as well as some of the most cheesy love monologues. However, this was all part of Golden Time's charm, as it can have you laughing one moment, and then leave you teary eyed the next.
Characters - 8.2:
This is the controversial part of the show. MANY of the characters can come off as annoying primarily due to their decision making and dialog. However, when it comes down to it, Golden Time made its characters feel human. They weren't perfect, they made mistakes, and they learned from them. The biggest cases are with Banri and Koko, who are relatively clueless when it comes to relationships and make countless errors when it comes to keeping secrets from each other or not reading each other's feelings correctly. Koko is a character who gets a lot of crap, but I absolutely admire her for the amazing amount of development she went through. She went from a crazy selfish stalker who distanced herself from anyone not named Mistuo, to a caring person and great friend who tries to do what she thinks is best for the ones she cares for (even if she is wrong). She started out as the type of girl who wouldn't give her boyfriend any freedom and wouldn't trust them at all, into someone who gives the one she loves full freedom and trust. Many people hate Banri and Koko's relationship, but I have one question for many of these people "Have you ever even dated anyone before?" One of the reasons Koko x Banri was so enjoyable to watch was because their relationship felt real and relatable. Not a cute, problem-free, perfect relationship that a lot of anime (and tv in general fantasize about), but a REAL relationship with its ups, downs, awkward moments, and realistic details. The supporting cast was strong as well with highlight characters consisting of 2D-kun and Nana-senpai who did the most with their limited screen time. All in all, the characters may have caused much frustration for the viewer, but in the end that's what made them human and quite honestly so damn likeable.
Enjoyment - 8.2:
For the longest time, Golden Time was my favorite show from the fall season. Over time, Nagi no Asukara passed Golden Time on this list, but that was in no way Golden Time's fault. From start to finish, I had a wonderful time watching this show. It ranged from hilarious, to intense, to depressing, to rage inducing, producing a wider range of emotions from me than the vast majority of shows out there can do. The beautifully done final episode also left me completely satisfied with my experience. Golden Time knows how to keep the viewer entertained.
Overall - 7.80:
Rarely does a show come along that makes you care this much about the characters. All I wanted was for Banri and Koko to be happy together, and the struggles they went through while trying to achieve this kept me interested. While other shows play it safe and garner your interest by leaving who the main character will end up with a mystery, Golden Time makes it clear that Banri and Koko are together, and instead captivates us with the struggles they have in order to stay that way. While some plot devices and the relatively weak production value may leave a lot to be desired, the end result with Golden Time is a truly wonderful anime, and a must watch for all fans of drama.
A wonderful drama filled ride that begs to be compared to Toradora! in terms of similarities and greatness
+ Great character development in the main characters
+ College setting unique
+ Relationship actually happens
+ Drama Drama Drama
- Animation is lackluster
- Plot devices can be questionable at times
If you liked Golden Time, watch...
Clannad ~After Story~
7.80/10 - Superb
*if you are wondering why this got in the high 7 range instead of an 8, 9, or 10 from me after all that high praise, please refer to my review scale on my pofile
In a world where romantic comedies simply use formulas that are tried and true, J.C. Staff brings us Golden Time. This is a story about Tada Banri, a student that had an accident after highschool graduation and lost all his memories prior to that, and the shenanigans that ensue during his first year at college. But is this really any different from anything we've seen in the past?
The original source material is written by the same author as Toradora! - which is the best romantic comedy I've seen to date - and has a similar style of comedy and story telling. One thing that
sets this apart is the college setting. College is where people go to find themselves and build their futures. It should feel like more of a mature environment but for the most part, I completely forgot until words like "lecture" were mentioned. Golden Time seemingly starts off as your run of the mill romantic comedy and it really remains just that for the better half of the series. It's funny and does the job so who's to say that's a bad thing if you know that's what you've signed up for when you pressed play on episode one? As a romantic comedy, I thought Golden Time could do no wrong and I was hooked.
Banri's amnesia and the issues involved with his memory returning ultimately serve as the overarching plot for the series and this is where I felt the real downfall of the story was. Each episode had a good miniplot but with each passing episode, they simply became rife with melodrama. The series lost it's charm and in the second half declined into more of a drama than a comedy.
The main protagonist, Kouko, is arguably the best character out of the bunch. She's beautiful, popular and intimidating and after her dramatic entrance in the first episode, took a little getting used to. Initially, she clingy, over the top, knows what she wants and nothing will get in her way but eventually mellows out. She's something a little different in a female protagonist. Other than that you've got Banri the typical college boy with amnesia, his friend Mitsuo, his childhood friend Linda, the comic relief 2D-kun, and the other girl to even it out Chinami. There aren't any notable side characters except Nana who seems to be based on the main character of the series with the same name.
I have a little soft spot for J.C. Staff because Shakugan no Shana is one of my favourite series but the animation in this series was disappointing. Often I'm too busy reading subtitles to notice but in this case, there were a lot of jerky, awkward movements and a lot of talking scenes where all you could see was the talking character's mouth flapping. Sometimes it didn't even feel like it matched up with what the were saying. With that said, I have no issues with character design. It's pretty easy on the eyes.
The soundtrack was something I barely noticed, if at all, while watching this. Obviously it was no Guilty Crown or Fate/Zero in terms of sound but it didn't detract from anything. I always skipped the OPs and EDs because I felt like the never fit well with the mood of the series. They really stuck out like a sore thumb, particularly the second OP.
Overall, Golden Time is definitely nothing new or fresh in terms of romcoms but I don't think difference necessarily makes something ultimately better. I found it enjoyable for the most part and would definitely recommend you give it a try if you're a romcom fan.
Golden Time is a anime with two fronts: what it is, and what, in my opinion, could've been/should've been.
I'm not a first timer to animes, I might be for the this type but not to the concept itself. Taking that into account, the fact that the two main characters are borderline irritating and stick to an almost stupid fragility and naivety doesn't help it either. The conclusion of the anime, or, let's call it, the "comeback" was way too fast when the whole thing took almost 22 episodes to deliver. The characters "evolution" was too late to actually start befriend them and accept them, and
even when it finally got to that point something stupid would happen that would send me right back to diskling them. The feeling I had throughout the anime could be summed as: "if only the main character would behave as a normal person and stop putting up with every single thing the other one keeps doing.
As for the "could've been":
When the last episode ended I started grinding my brain on the "what if"s the anime had, and by the end f it I ran to a conclusion: I would love it so much more, if not even label it as a favorite if certain events had taken place; if certain decisions were sooner, or the reverse of them; if if if if if... too many to count, and too many to say it would be the same anime. Maybe I'll run into one like that eventually. As for now, I can only think on how good this anime could've been. Again.
On a more analytical point of view there a few pros on this anime. A few short sketches and scenes in which we can relate (and very much) to our daily lives. It has quite a few more than what I''m used to, which was one of the nice surprises that this anime led me to.
Concluding, if you like an anime based on crossroads of "love", with high level of drama and almost an unhealthy obsession by one of the main characters, come right here!
Oh man, this anime hit too close to home way to many times. The relationship problems these characters had was just so familiar that I just had to be amazed by this show. The thing that got me though was the whole clingy stalker persona Koko had in the beginning of the anime. All I could do was laugh. Golden Time is that unique anime in its genre that actually portrays REAL relationships. Usually romantic animes have their show setup like a whore house. There is always one guy and 5 girls and he chooses one of them the
fuck at the end. Golden Time however throws that cliche bullshit out the window and paints a vivid picture of how fucking crazy real relationships can get. I'm pretty sure most people can relate to this anime to some degree but if you can't then you will just be confused about why these people are acting like maniacs.
Story: 7 (Good)
The story follows a kid named Banri who just started college in Tokyo. He would of had been a second year student at this point but he had to be hospitalized from a head injury. He fell off the side of a bridge and lost all of his memories prior to that point. His family, his friends, his girlfriends, and his childhood where all lost, so he decides to start anew and become a new person. However as the story progress Banri starts have an internal conflict with his past self and the new person he become in college with causes a lot of problems with his current relationships. The overall setup of the story is nothing special but the storytelling of the show is where Golden Time shines. The dialogue and the situations the main characters go through each episode is what makes this show. I wouldn't say Golden Times is episodic but at times it feels as though it is because there is always something different going on every episode. They don't dwell on problems for too long (except for the main psychological conflict) which i like. What really stood out was just the relationships ups and downs rather than the overarching story.
Animation: 9 (Great)
After watching Golden Time and other anime that came out this year, its clear that animation is getting better each year. Golden Times animation is sooo good. I used this phrase before in another review but the animation was so clean i could of ate off of it. The amount of animation in the setting alone was amazing. The city, inside of buildings, the school, and any setting the main characters were in had a considerable amount of detail in them. Even small things like water movement, barber poles, leaves, and even blinkers on cars were noticeable and moved naturally. The character designs were also on point. All you have to do is look at Koko and your mouth will drop. All you can say is that Mitsuo is an idiot for not wanting her because she..is..hot (even for animation)
Sound: 9 (Great)
The sound for this anime was also good. I listened to the OST after i watched the show and there was a couple of tracks i liked alone. However most of them were eclipsed by the opening/ending themes. With hat note, the songs in the themes where amazing. They grew on me even though its not really my style of music. I liked the songs in the first opening and the second ending the most. As for the sound in the show, they mostly used mood setting chords, and sound queues. They where subtle but where notable during memorable scenes. The sound queue i remember the most was the sound that Koko's breast made whenever they did a close up of them (yes I'm a pervert). It was a sound that reminded me of moving a sheet of hard plastic around lol.
As for the voice acting, i didn't expect it to be so good. The actor in the Japanese dub had a lot of talent and fit there characters very well. They also managed to used English in part of there speech which got me confused during certain scenes. All of this was insignificant compared to the emotional scenes however. As the characters started to yell and argue with each other you can feel the amount of emotion the actors had in there voices. It wasn't overpowering or unrealistic which i thought was amazing. Also during the sad scenes when someone would start crying, their voices sounded so realistic that you get completely captivated by the scene. The cast did an amazing job.
Characters: 8 (Very Good)
All of the main characters in this show had great synergy with each. This is mostly due to the fact that this show is so realistic but i thought that its worth mentioning. The relationships everyone had with each other was different for specific reasons. Everyone weren't just friends with each other because they knew each other like in other animes. There were ups an downs between all of them. As for character development, I thought it was well done for most of the characters. There was one character in particular that just pissed me off after a while but everyone else developed nicely as they had to face numerous situations. As for the character i was talking about earlier, it is the main character Banri. At first i though his development was great. He starts off as a clean slate and then gradually changes as time goes on. Towards episode 17, i thought Banri as a main character was at its all time high. He changed so much from the first episode. Then towards the end of the series he did a 180. I don't want to spoil anything because his change is caused by how the story is set up but he changed for the worst. He pulled a shinji from NGE out of nowhere which i just didn't like at all. That part could of had been executed better imo. As for Koko, i thought her development was the best throughout the series. At first she was just a crazy stalker then she turns into a character with so much depth and emotion. This only gets better towards the end while Banri development get worse. Linda developed in a similar way as well.
Enjoyment: 10 (Outstanding)
I loved this anime. It painted a realistic picture of how crazy real relationships can be at times which I appreciated a lot. Seeing something so familiar in anime pushed all the right buttons on me and made me laugh and smile whenever they came on. The blatant eavesdropping on my phone calls, blowing up my phone when I'm away leaving me with 65 unread messages, and the failed attempts at setting the mood made me burst out laughing during these scenes. Also the scenes that were actually meant for humor was well done and also made me laugh. The emotional scenes and the arguments almost turned on the waterworks but i managed to stay composed. There was just so much emotion in these parts that i found myself glued to the screen. I don't usually watch these type of anime but this one was worth it.
Golden Time is one of the best slice of life shows i've ever seen.
So, this review might be a little biased. I love slice of shows because they give you an escape from everyday life, and let you see other people's more entertaining everyday lives. While that might sound boring in context, there is usually a twist in the story that's supernatural/a character quirk/a character's dark past/an unrealistic setting/hell; possibly even a sister fetish (I'm looking at you "My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute") that keeps the story fresh and interesting. Golden Time is unlike a lot of slice of life shows
because it doesn't really rely on any specific plot quirk to tell its story, with little-to-no fan service, realistic character designs (okay maybe not the one pink-haired chick), realistic drama that isn't overtly melodramatic, and just in general unique characters that feel like real humans and don't rely on character tropes.
The plot for the show was really character-driven, and didn't necessarily revolve around the romance, as these shows tend to do. I'd say its half about watching these characters grow and develop, and half about the romance between Koko and Banri, with a bit of comedy nicely inter-spliced in between. I loved the college setting as there aren't too many of those in anime, and it allowed for more mature characters than what you would see in a high school slice of life. The conflicts were also spread out evenly, with the viewer getting rewarded with stronger relationships or new revelations, only to be crushed when things go downhill again. The show is a roller coaster of emotions, but if you survive to the conclusion, it is immensely rewarding and everything you could have asked for since you started watching the series. My only real complaint about the plot was the supernatural aspect, which basically made Banri innocent for all his bad decisions. It would've been more interesting to see Banri genuinely make mistakes in his relationships, and then try to fix them.
Speaking of Banri, his amnesia and how he struggles with deciding who he wants to be makes for some great drama. He is also an extremely relatable character, and you genuinely feel sorry for him and the situation he's been put in. Koko, while hateable in the first few episodes of the series, also becomes relatable and you easily fall in love with her character after seeing that there is more to her than the pseudo-tsundere/overly-possessive person she appears to be in the first few episodes. Linda was damn near-perfect in the first few episodes, but you learn that the reason she appears that way is because we are seeing the story through Banri's eyes. Even she has her faults, and gets some great character development as well. Mitsuo, 2D-kun, Chinami, and Nana don't get as much development ,but thats okay because they have enough development to satisfy anyone whose interested in their characters, and I loved how Banri's relationships with them actually mattered and had an impact on the story.
The sound was great, with an opening and ending that are both beautifully animated that have you excited to watch a new episode, and sad to finish it. The animation was ON POINT! The studio that animated this probably didn't need to try too hard considering its a slice of life show, but man, everything about the animation was above average for its genre. The college setting itself, the portrayal of the seasons like winter, and summer, the cool aesthetic they'd have with the flashback scenes, and last, but not least, the character designs. I loved the character designs in this show. As a dressy gentleman myself, i'm a sucker for nice outfits on anime characters, and they nailed it here. With Koko's intricate dresses, Banri's and 2D's more laidback outfits, Mitsuo's preppy style, Linda's girl-next-door look, Nana's punk-rocker look, and Chinami's down-to-earth look with her denim overalls and whatnot, everyone really has their own aesthetic that matches their personality. It might not be a big deal for everyone, but it definetly made the show more enjoyable for me, as not a lot of detail goes into that in most slice of lives since they usually just have them in school uniforms.
You also get to see some cool stuff that high school slice of life shows shy away from - like casual conversation about sex, college parties, being put into awkward situations, the exploration of relationships, jealousy, commitment, selfishness and selflessness in relationships, dorm life, and friendships. I thought that it was a breathe of fresh air and I wish the realism of this show was incorporated into other slice of life shows. It gave off a pseudo-americanized feel because it didn't feel too censored or innocent, and the conversations were natural and relatable. If you're looking for a great slice of life that is a bit americanized with unique, relatable characters, interesting sub-plots, a college backdrop, great animation, edge-of-your-seat drama and natural comedic moments that aren't forced, this is the show for you. (P.S. if you're a high school senior and you watch this show, its going to make you even more excited to be in college!)
Golden Time is yet another highschool romcom, except this time the setting is a university in Tokyo.
I'll compare it to Toradora! and Henneko especially, since they're from the same studio - J.C. Staff.
While it's decent enough, you notice that they didn't have the largest budget for the animation. The drawings look clean and sharp, but faces often lack detail, backgrounds are uninspired and animation is choppy sometimes. While it's not as bad as Bakuman, it's also definitely not on a par with Toradora!, even Henneko had more "soul".
That said these are only minor issues, overall the graphics are the series' strong point.
rather disappointed by the series' sound overall. The voices and background music are recorded and mixed properly, but considering that we've got 2014 and good recordings are cheap that's a given.
What's still a challenge even today is actually writing a good song, an area where Golden Time failed utterly. In Toradora I remembered many great pieces, melodies that amplified the mood and drew you in. Henneko, while being less remarkable, still had one or two good tunes. But in Golden Time all I ever heard was boring elevator music; the OP and ED theme lack any hook (like Toradora's "pre parade" or Henneko's "berry love" song).
Tada Banri, the main character, is a short, dark haired guy with PTSD. You can see this in his frequent mental breakdowns. He's weak-willed, but instead of being an endearing feature like in other series, it gets old really quick here.
Yanagisawa Mitsuo, short "Yana", is his sidekick and best friend. He is tall, calm and blond-haired.
Nana "Linda" Hayashida is Banri's romantic interest and highschool friend. She is cheerful but somewhat reserved around Banri because of their past, which she won't tell Banri.
Kaga Kouko(/Koko) is a tall, rich yandere and my pet peeve among the cast - she's just annoying, there's little to like about her demeanor and character.
Oka Chinami is your typical short, introverted loli with gloomy eyes (like Yuki Nagato).
All in all the characters don't make you emphathize with them.
Golden Time starts off good with a bunch of people finding themselves in a new city at the start of the semester, but takes a nosedive afterwards. There is little romantic tension and struggle. For a romantic comedy, there is way too much "drama", and I put this in quotes because most of the time it seems forced and inauthentic. After many episodes I felt like saying "did anything really happen in this episode except for Banri having yet another meltdown?".
Of course there's the obligatory swimsuit and cultural festival episodes, but they lack any depth like the rest of the story.
The story also doesn't end how you would expect and want it to end (not gonna spoil it).
I put these categories together since enjoyment is the main reason to watch.
As written above, Golden time lacks spice and could have been so much more if the creators had made Tada Banri less neurotic and replaced his crying with more comedy.
If you're a fan of romcoms or J.C. Staff in general, you can watch it but you won't miss much if you don't.
This will be a fairly short review, because I mostly want to talk about one thing which I've seen nobody talked about it in their reviews. This review WILL contain SPOILERS, read it only if you've watched the series.
This series had a very good start in my opinion, and could've easily became a really good romance anime. This didn't happen, and the main issue of why not is because the whole amnesia thing.
If you make a little research you'll find out that the proper name for the amnesia Tada Banri has in the series is Retrograde Amnesia (which is also written in the Wikipedia page
for "Golden Time", but whatever), and now you'll ask, "What's the problem with that?", the problem, which I'm very surprised nobody talked about it, is that to "cure" this type of amnesia it's not enough to simply be told personal experiences and/or his identity, -which in Golden Time is well done, Tada Banri didn't suddenly remember everything when Linda told him stuff about the past- instead this amnesia can be and is usually cured due to "Spontaneous recovery", which is described as "Spontaneous recovery is the reemergence of a response that had been previously conditioned", which basically means that he (Tada Banri) would eventually remember all his past due to the fact that he already lived it, which we all now that that happens in the last moments of episode 23.
Not seeing the porblem? The problem is that the only cure for Retrogade Amnesia, mentioned in the paragraph above, doesn't make the person (Tada Banri in this case) forget magically what happened after his injury (the motorcycle in the bridge thingy in Golden Time). What i'm saying is that when Tada Banri recovers his memory (possibly due to Spontaneous Recovery (because there aren't other cures to this amnesia)), he shouldn't have forgotten the year and a half he lived in university, instead he should've kept being Tada Banri (with his university memories) but also with the memories of the past. And this is a big mistake. A very big mistake. If the amnesia thingy would've been secondary in the plot, I could've forgiven the problem. But it isn't secondary.
The motor which develops the story of Golden Time is the amnesia, almost all drama the show has, conflicts between characters, entire characters, everything, revolves around the amnesia Tada Banri has, and if it doesn't have logical sense, how can this series have sense in itself?
Apart form that, which was the main issue I had with the series there are other things which bugged me, whole episodes in which nothing important happens (they feel a littile... filler), underdeveloped secondary characters (what happened with Oka and Mitsuo anyway?), bland main character (apart from the amnesia thing he has no personality), overly dramatic characters (which is also an issue in Toradora imo xD), completely "invisible" OST... and so on. I'm not going to talk about this things because there are already people which talked about them in their reviews (and I don't want to make any longer this review), instead I'm going to talk about what I liked in this show.
The male main character, aka Tada Banri, was a disappointment for me (with the charismatic MC Toradora had, why couldn't this show had someone like him?); Koko instead, was an excellent female main character for a romance (better than Taiga imo), atypical, doesn't fall in any -dere archetype and has nice moments throughout the series. From the secondary characters 2D-kun was the best one, sadly it didn't have much screen time :(
Art was fairly decent, although for an anime from 2013-2014 it wasn't exceptional, but the animation for the OPs and EDs I found them brilliant, colorful and bright. As I said, the OST is like it didn't exist, but the OP/ED music were decent (especially the second OP and the first ED).
What I liked about the story, is that it's not your typical romance which ends with a kiss (if you are lucky), instead explores (not very well sadly) the afterwards of the relationship (similar to CLANNAD AS, Nazo no Kanojo X and some others). The end could've been better (closing some loose ends), but still, it wasn't bad either, predictable from the first episodes though.
Overall: 6 (which in my list translates to a 7 because of my rating system)
Final notes: A nice anime to watch, which if you are a fan of Romances I recommend you seeing it, but don't expect something great, because you will probably be disappointed. I don't regret at all watching Golden Time, but I probably won't watch it again.
tl;dr: This anime could've been better if:
A. the amnesia thing was thought better.
B. the amnesia thing wasn't in the show.
C. the amnesia thing wasn't something in which the plot relied to move forward.
Alright, the series ended so why not make a review on how I think about the anime!
Story: This anime is about a guy call Banra experiencing a new life in college. He lost all his memories during his High school life because he got hit at the bridge and fell in the water. He lost his memories but from to time he start to remember. When he was in college he met many new friends and learn new things in life. He learn how painful it is and lonely it is when you lost your memories. It feels like you just reborn into another
person not knowing your past life. He also learn friendship and love. The story is pretty stable and I think from time to time the story might get little bit confusing or maybe shaky.
Art: The art is pretty amazing, the texture is pretty great. It's pretty smooth, the art matches the genre.
Sound: The opening and the ending is pretty catchy. I like it a lot, it's pretty kawaii for a series like this! The ost does matches with scenes mostly when things get pretty serious.
Character: The character development is pretty stable also. From time to time the characters learn new things. They learn friendship and love over time. Sometimes you just have to let go of your feelings for someone and move on. From time to time Koko and Banri can be annoying but hey everything isn't perfect.
Enjoyment: 9/10 I enjoyed this series a lot. It fill with comedy and love. It teaches you that sometimes you have to let it go or you're just going to end up with nothing. Sometimes letting it go means that you're strong but sometime letting it go can also mean you're weak. I think this anime is a pretty decent anime but the ending wasn't the best ending. I think the ending is pretty predictable so thats why I gave this series 8/10
What is with all of the hype with this show? Listen, this is just my own personal opinion. You can say I have awful taste all you want, but I stand by my opinion, and my opinion is that this is one of the worst anime I have ever had the displeasure of watching and I hope it is forgotten within the next few years. The art is absolutely piss poor, but I can't really blame that on the people who made this anime. Their budget wasn't all that high. The sound was okay. I actually really liked the first ending and both openings, but
all the soundtrack beyond that were mostly forgettable. Again, though, due to the low budget, I can let that slide. What I really hated about Golden Time, however, is the story and characters, and I'll talk about the story first, because I have to save the worst for last.
The script is a pathetic attempt at drama beyond my wildest dreams. This show is advertised as a drama, but it focuses on mostly unfunny comedy about 75% of the time. It seems to try and use Banri's old self's ghost for a cheap attempt at spicing up the story, but it just crashes and burns instead because I was laughing the entire way through about how ridiculous those sections were. For about the first three-quarters of the show, all it focuses on are comedy scenes that usually aren't even funny, and it crams in all of the actual drama near the end. It's like they thought they would be getting more episodes so they just postponed the drama. And here's another thing about the show: it switches genre spontaneously way too often. One moment is a super serious moment about Banri's memories or whatever, but literally about two minutes later the characters are all joking around, playing with each other as if nothing ever happened. No transition, no nothing.
And here's the second worst part about this show: THE ENDING. OH MY GOD THE ENDING. Not since the second season of OreImo have I seen an ending this lazily and sloppily thrown together. I won't spoil anything here, but they just shoehorned in pointless drama and failed attempts at symbolism which would actually work if the rest of the show wasn't so damn STUPID. The last few lines happened so suddenly and without warning. It was so lackluster that I didn't even notice that was the next episode until later. But anyway, that's enough about the pathetic story.
Ah, yes. Let us talk about the worst and dumbest character cast since School Days. First off, let me just start off by saying this: how are the supporting characters about ten times better than the main characters? They aren't exactly good characters themselves, but at least they have SOME semblance of likability to them. The main cast, however, awful. Simply awful. Tada Banri is an idiot, Kaga Kouko is a bitch the first half of the show and contracts Banri's stupidity the second half, and Linda is an all around indecisive...idiot! During the first half of the show, back when I still had hope for this show, I was actually pro Linda for a while, but when it became abundantly clear that that wasn't going to happen, it just started going downhill from there until eventually, I wouldn't even care if Linda ended up with Banri. It would not help the show, and it would still be considered horrible by me because of every other bad character design choices in this anime.
While the main cast is a blight upon humanity, the supporting cast are not much better. First up is Oka Chinami. Moeblob the first half of the show, and melodramatic bitch the second half. Moving on. Next is Yana Something, something, something. Yeah, his character got almost nothing in terms of development, so i can't even remember his full name. And then... 2D-Kun. Yes, 2D-Kun. For a while he was actually my favorite character because of his apparent awkwardness and friendly personality. He seemed like the kind of guy I would like to get to know. Unfortunately, as time went on, he just became another generic part of the group. Oh yeah, and his name is 2D-Kun because the show explained when his character was first introduced about how he only cared about the 2D world, and that he did not care for real life. I thought he was going to be like Katsuragi Keima, but unfortunately, that's not the case. They never used this unique character feature to their advantage and instead just made him another part of the group. Even though he never shows his otaku tendencies, the cast still calls him 2D-Kun, even during the most serious moments in the anime. I think I only heard his real name used once, and it was never mentioned again. What was the point?
Believe it or not, everything I wrote here only covers half of what I hated about this anime, but since my fingers are getting somewhat tired from all of the furious typing because of this abomination of an anime, I'll just leave it at that for today. Please, people. I can respect opinions, but if you can overlook all of these flaws, and still like this anime, you may have lowered your standards to ridiculously low levels, or you just turned off your brain while you were watching this. Either way, this anime is not that great. Not a masterpiece by any means, as some have been calling it. And to those people who give it a perfect score, I just have one question to ask: why?
Based off the light novel was written by Yuyuko Takemiya (best known for the creator of Toradora!).
The series started in a private law school, the school freshman Tada Banri found himself lost, then he encounter another school freshman Yanagisawa Mitsuo. They found themselves appear in front of a woman bringing a bouquet of flower, named Kaga Kouko, Mitsuo's childhood friend. Kaga Kouko slapped a bouquet to Mitsuo's face. From there the series begins.
Golden Time offers us an incorporate romance-comedy. For a romance anime, Golden Time has unique settings that set up in a private school (not in the usual High School). Golden time has
a well-thought plot that able to describe the true feelings of the story itself. Sometimes you can feel the light of this series, and sometimes it can bring you into a dense situation where there is nothing you can do but sit and watch. Golden Time has a medium pacing, which is fair enough. And there, we have a very typical conflict, the problem is not the typical fact, but the level plausibility of the conflict, various watchers maybe annoy by the conflict that inserted in this series, which can bring some soap opera in your brain + think this is a typical drama TV shows, which makes Golden Time have no originality in the conflict sides. And to make things worse, we have a less satisfy forced ending.
The animation of Golden Time done by J.C. Staff. The animation is clear, bright, and many good things. Although not the best, Golden Time animation is fair enough to control the feeling of the series.
As for the sound section, Golden Time has a fairly good sound settings, the seiyuu did a pretty good job in bringing such character to the screen. The 1st opening song "Golden Time" sung by Horie Yui is quite matched within the feeling of the series while the other songs are decent.
While the animation and the sound shine Golden Time perfectly, the character is another savior to cover the story.
One thing important we must remember in this series is "a well profound development". Golden Time successfully save himself, each character displayed to have their own role, making a reason to their presence. A very profound feelings within the main characters is able to balance the story up.
Golden Time brings us a real colorful of enjoyment, a see-saw feelings between bore or not. The series quite refreshing at the first, a bit dull in the middle, and ends with a lot of surprises and excitement. Golden Time is a weighted series, practically well recommended for the fans of a dark Romance-Comedy genre, and for those who seeks many surprises in their eyes.
Golden Time should have been called Cubic Zirconia Time.It might have looked extremely impressive and interesting at first glance ,but upon a closer inspection you clearly notice the blandness,"low cost values" and just overall sloppy work.
Adapted from a novel written by the same author who also wrote the massively successful Toradora! you would obviously have very high expectations from it or at the very least expect a great romantic comedy series in the same manner Toradora! was.
What unfortunately unfolds is a very decent rom/com who does have some genuinely good parts ,but because of its heavy reliance on tired and extremely used plot convinces
,problematic cast and also because of its unnecessary long number of episodes ,fails to deliver as initially promised.
Starting off with the story : its centered around a boy named Tada Banri who has just graduated high school and is starting off his college life .There he and his close group of newly found friends,one of which he is romantically involved with and another who is a high school acquaintance ,make it trough their first year of college.
The twist is that he was involved in a accident the day he graduated high school and can no longer remember anything up to the moment of the accident,so he has to start a new life with his new found friends.
At first you might be deceived when you hear that the anime is set in a college setting and not in the usual overused high school one,but unfortunately that all falls apart very quickly.With very few exceptions here and there,some minors details (having a drivers license,being able to skip courses with no consequences) ,the college years theme is barely used ,nowhere near its full potential. There was no reason whatsoever why it didn't take place in high school especially since the main characters join a classic dance club (you cant have a high school without any kind of clubs or club related activities) So don't expect something in the lines of Honey of Clover or Nodame Cantabile,because Golden Time will utterly disappoint you in that regard.
Secondly you would also naturally expect a more mature cast of young adults characters that have already passed their troubled high school years and are just 1 step away from adulthood.This again is completely thrown out the window right from the very start.
For characters that are 18-20 years old they act,look and talk like they barely are in their first year of high school (some even middle school) Angst,sudden change of moods in a matter of seconds ,indecisiveness,quick to judge and not listen afterwards .... its all here for the viewers (dis)pleasure.
Now lets touch upon the main problem Golden Time suffers: heavy reliance on amnesia as a constant plot device.I'm sorry but in this day and age making the very dated and used to the extreme amnesia mechanic and not even giving it a proper serious tone (its used as a on/off switch whenever the plot dictates) is just a recipe for disaster.
This is also if made worse by the stupid decision of making Tada Banri past memories take form as a haunting ghost and not just a spiritual/narrator type presence ,but instead as a active physical presence who gets in the way when the story progresses to much and needs a urgent "hand brake".Basically what happened in Natsuyuki Rendezvous anime with the ghost happens here,although to a lesser extent.
And finally the last straw is when your main character Tada Banri is just a bland ,uninteresting,spineless,no goals or dreams type of main character and you still focus most of your screen time on him.Yes to be fair the anime does try to make him sympathetic with his back-story and emotional struggle ,but its all handled very poorly and drags on for a unnecessary long amount of time. You just wish they would get it over it and give some of the secondary characters their turn with some much needed screen time.
These 3 things combined really take down Golden Time from the heights it could have otherwise climbed upon and straight into the depths of mediocrity.
The other main character is Kaga Kouko,she is initially introduced as Mitsuo childhood friend and also stalker ,but is extremely quickly turned into Tada's girlfriend.The process where she gets over Mitsuo and falls for Tada happens so fast and is so badly handled that it really makes you question her character altogether.
She is very jealous,obsessive,quick to judge and act out,but in contrast also is very lonely (although this is barely touched upon),devoted to the people close to her and genuinely has all the best intentions at heart.
Nevertheless she is still the best thing to come out of this anime and would have honestly deserved a better series for her to star in.
The romance between the 2 main characters is very hit and miss,like I said earlier it starts off much to fast (Banri instantly falls for Kouko at first sight) and doesn't take enough time for it to properly build up.There are some genuinely good moments shared between them ( the beach part,the Eiffel tower scene) but overall its not a very convincing romance ,mostly because of how bad of a character Banri is.
It also doesn't help that there aren't all that many scenes for only the two of them to share screen time.There always has to be another friend just popping up,boring club activity ,the usual funny bit during a serious moment part.... for them to actually develop like a normal couple would.
Secondary characters are very bland and underdeveloped : Linda is nothing more than a walking plot device meant to start and stop the story whenever things progress to fast,its never made clear what her true intentions are towards the main male character until the very end of the series.
Mitsuo ,the best friend character, is just there to take out screen time.He starts out as the reason why Kouko joins the same university in order to follow him around,but that quickly goes by.His romantic progression with Oka and later on with Linda is very basic ,completely forgotten and thrown out the window like nothing ever happened.
"2D-kun" is a comic relief type of character ,who does manage to get a few smiles and chuckles out of the viewer here and there.But like the other secondary characters is completely underdeveloped.
Notable mentions goes to the Nana character who is literally taken from another series altogether ,well its not exactly 1:1 Nana from the Nana anime, but its extremely close to her original form.I'm not sure if this was intentional by the author or not ,like some sort of inside joke of sorts ,but borrowing a character from a series that is much,much better than your current one is a disastrous idea imho.
Art and Sound are ok-good for the most part.Nothing to noteworthy to report ,production values are what you would expect from a anime made in 2013.Nice character models ,decent backgrounds,good animation...
The VA who voiced Banri was the weakest part sound wise though,its true that he didn't have much to work with in the first place,but he didn't help alleviate the pain that was Tada Banri to deal with.
ART & SOUND 7
In conclusion enjoying Golden Time solely depends on what your expectations are.Hopping for a second Toradora! will probably leave you slightly disappointed but still able to enjoy it depending on how much you can suspend your disbelief ,tolerate the characters and overuse of plot conveniences.
Hoping for something like Honey and Clove ,where it follows the lives of a close group of friends during their college years, will really make you disappointed.The way GT handled its group of friends ,out of which two are romantically involved, was nowhere the level of Honey and Clover where comedy and romance was blended superbly well.
By no means is it a bad series, but its still a shame that it ended up the way it did. A lot of unfulfilled promise that was just badly handled.