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.
English: Golden Time
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 4, 2013 to Mar 28, 2014
Premiered: Fall 2013
Broadcast: Fridays at 02:35 (JST)
Licensors: Sentai Filmworks
Source: Light novel
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
Score: 7.741 (scored by 537801537,801 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.