Final Impressions: Golden Time


Happily ever after? Maybe?

We're finally here. The finale of the hottest amnesia-driven romantic comedy aired last week, and while it feels like it's taken several days just to digest what on Earth happened, I feel we've left the show in a good place. But hey, that's just my opinion. What I'm certain of is that Golden Time has been quite the ride, and I'm definitely sad about it ending. Yep, that's me being selfish!

Episode 24 was not without a few more head-scratching moments, but then, would you want it to get this far only to watch it play out any other way? No, if we're going to finish this series, then we need a few explosions to go with it. 

If you were hoping that Banri was going to begin this episode by yelling "Psych!", I have some bad news for you. He was bang on the mark with his parting comment, claiming that his post-accident memories were lost after the festival dance, leaving twenty-three episodes worth of characters to gaze on helplessly as he's led away by his mother. Allow me to be a miserable grump for a minute, but I think we felt the impact of this at the end of the last episode. Not seeing Koko and/or friends tear up at his departure was a little disappointing, but then it didn't dawdle on this scene waiting for a reaction either. Not to worry though, there's plenty of tears-a-comin'. 

During the Banri-Backlash is when we finally see all the crying, with Chinami's footage from the Okamera pushing people's feelings past the tipping point. The mirror that Koko gifted to Banri soon becomes a focus, as we wonder why Banri would have left it behind. Sure, he may not know where it came from, but how did his friends end up with it? We find out a little later that Banri actually does have a mirror, albeit Koko's unbroken mirror for some unknown reason, but then why wouldn't Koko know he had it? If she knew he had it, she shouldn't get upset. If she didn't know, why didn't she know? It seems a little strange to get upset about Banri leaving a mirror behind while not knowing the location of your own. Meanwhile, Banri loses his ring on the bridge, which is probably important so remember that. 

Scooting forward a little, we see Koko visiting Banri at his parents' house. Seeing him with Linda must have been soul crushing for Koko, but she soldiers through the meeting, even when he doesn't recognize her and assumes she's Chinami. This was probably the point in the episode when I went from barely keeping it together to full-blown blubbering mess, so I'd like to think this scene was well done even if I was kind of irrationally hating Banri for it. Seeing him decline the mirror also did a number on me, but it turns out his decision to do this was for the best. It must have got that little mouse inside his head running in its wheel again, as Banri has a eureka moment and regains his post-accident, pre-festival memories.

Being honest, I'd have been quite content summarizing my thoughts on Golden Time with a few sentences, had it not been for the bridge scene towards the end of the episode. Banri confronts Ghost-Banri about the whole memory situation, which is fine. With you so far show, as that's not too surprising. Then somehow, Linda runs in and declares that she loves Ghost-Banri, all while regular Banri watches her hug and talk to him. Linda's voice does not have the distortion that Ghost-Banri's has, so it seems unlikely that Banri was imagining all of this. Does that mean Banri was arguing with himself? Did Linda run up to a solo Banri that was going insane, confess her love to him, then run off with a smile while telling him to go to Koko? I hope! I wish.

What really blows my mind is how Ghost-Banri hands regular Banri the ring, which we'd seen fall into the river earlier. Seriously, what happened there? Did Banri retrieve the ring from the river earlier, forgetting that he'd done so, allowing him to imagine the hand-over scene? Is Ghost-Banri actually a ghost with super powers? Maybe I'm missing something major, but even if Banri was just having a mad moment I wish it was actually explained realistically, as I'd like to believe that Ghost-Banri is entirely a figment of his imagination. But seriously, I'm stumped. Theories in the comments, please! [Editor's Note: Chris, we know the Ghost has the supernatural mojo. Have you forgotten his terrifying power over Tokyo traffic?]

And the rest, as they say, is history. You certainly don't need me trying to describe the happy ending scenes after Banri confronts Koko, memories and all, so I don't think I'll try. What I will say is that Golden Time's ending, in general, didn't disappoint. The bridge stuff was crazy, but it doesn't really mar the story in any meaningful way. Koko didn't give up on Banri, as much as she wanted it to look like she did, and Banri came through in the end with a little nudge from the mirrors. I'm going to dredge up Toradora once again, only to say that I don't think that the two shows are really comparable.

Golden Time treads unfamiliar territory instead of reiterating on your typical high school romance plot and niches, while also keeping the story somewhat believable. You've got amnesia, stalker girlfriends and ghost-memory doppelgängers that can influence the weather, yet it's also been quite some time since we've had such a relatable cast. To say that's an achievement is an understatement. 

With that, we have just one last thing to address. Linda, our fallen goddess, tonight we raise a glass to you. 

[Meet your Golden Time lover over at Crunchyroll.]

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Chris Walden
Chris WaldenContributor   gamer profile

Some say that he can breathe Some say that he can jump over a All we know is that he's Brittanian, and that we are all He's on Twitter though: more + disclosures



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