From the animation house behind fan-favourite rom-coms such as Love Stage!!, Toradora, and Ano Natsu de Matteru, GOLDEN TIME is a mix of drama, romance, and supernatural that will leave you hanging on the edge (literally).
After getting lost on his way to the freshman orientation, Banri runs into another freshman, Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and they immediately hit it off at once. But this union was soon cut off when Koko Kaga ambushes Mitsuo and hits him across the face with a bouquet of flowers. It is then unravelled that Koko and Mitsuo once made a pact – as kids- to marry each other one day. Mitsuo, who has had enough of Koko’s childishness, attempts to escape from her by secretly applying for a position at a prestigious law college in Tokyo. But of course, Koko wasn’t going to let Mitsuo slip through her fingers as she decides to enrol at the same school as well.
Caught in the middle is none other than Banri Tada. Ever since Koko was dumped by Mitsuo, she soon becomes attached to Banri and they immediately start dating. The question is — how on earth does an ordinary guy like Banri end up with a sophisticated girl like Koko?
Banri may come across as utterly bland but there is more to him than what meets the eye. A few years ago, Banri was involved in an incident where he fell off the bridge and lost his memories. Turning Banri’s life upside down, not only did Banri’s soul escape from his body, but the ‘Spirit of Banri Tada’ eventually came into being.
But of course, life doesn’t make it easy for him when Banri finds out that his Festival advisor, Linda, was once his almost-girlfriend before the accident. As the story slowly progresses, his old memories begin to resurface, and so does his ‘old’ self. As he battles between the past and present, can Banri find himself before he loses his true self?
Brought to you by animation house J.C.Staff and directed by Chikai Kon, Golden Time has the makings of a rom-com spectacle that will excite romance enthusiasts. Contrary to most popular opinions, Golden Time is a rather generic rom-com with likeable characters and average animation. The show may emit strong vibes of happy-go-lucky romance and non-stop comedy but don’t let first impressions deceive you.
Believe it or not, what was originally a simple romance with comedic characters… somehow metamorphosed into a labyrinthine story with supernatural elements. While Golden Time must be commended for its sombre themes and its effort in developing the plot and characters, the show enthusiastically incorporates many puzzling twists and soap-opera drama to invigorate the plot. As a result, the storytelling becomes convoluted and anti-climatic in a preposterous sense.
Almost like a rollercoaster ride, Golden Time accelerates and decelerates over the course of the story with no sense of direction. With many interferences along the way such as 180° changes in character behaviours and Banri’s ghost attempting to possess Banri on various occasions, it makes it very difficult for the audience to take Golden Time seriously. In essence, Golden Time is a trainwreck that accumulates episode after episode, and while it can be frustrating at times, viewers are (ironically) still compelled to watch the show until the very end.
Overall: GOLDEN TIME has the potential to shine as a young adult rom-com series but with many hits and misses under its own belt, it is ultimately up to the fans whether they love or hate the show.
As we reach towards the conclusion of the series, we
honestly don’t care about the story anymore — except perhaps a happy ending for the characters for once and all. Even so, whether it is the fun-natured moments between Banri and Koko, or the emotional strain shared between Banri and his friends, Golden Time is (strangely) a highly enjoyable story despite the tortuous journey that befalls on the audience.