OP Sequence

OP: 「Golden Time」 by 堀江 由衣 (Horie Yui)

「スプリングタイム」 (Supuringu Taimu)
“Spring Time”

The Perseverance Effect holds that once the seed of first impressions takes root, shaking off that initial judgment is extremely hard. Lawyers use this knowledge often to support their case and it often will shape a viewer’s opinion of a show even before they see it.

I wish to use this effect for the benefit of us all, by giving a good first impression for this show. J.C. Staff has returned to deliver the romantic comedy we’ve been waiting for, and it surely hasn’t disappointed me yet. In fact, I haven’t been this excited for a show since Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun aired exactly a year ago. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for romantic comedies of this type, but I am unafraid to share my enthusiasm with all of you.

The excited blogger is back. Let me tell you why.

The Relationships

The clearest thing that Golden Time has going for it is the power of the various relationships it’ll portray. As Kairi pointed out to me, these aren’t just romantic relationships that scream naivete, but relationships between people, where meaningful mature connections are made. Deep friendships, jealousy, rivalry–all of it I expect to play out in this mature university setting, where people have definitely grown up, but not all the way. But of course, as a romance, people will get together, with the story unafraid to explore beyond the flirting and the naive surface issues.

For instance, if one pays attention really close to the OP, you’ll notice something charming about Tada Banri (Furukawa Makoto) and Kaga Kouko (Horie Yui) right off the bat–it’s a pull and accept relationship, rather than a push and pull. That smile, that acceptance from Banri. Such wow. There is no comedic pushing back of the character, or any weird faces or convenient stops to their connection. Just two people appreciating the other’s presence with a genuine smile. That is remarkably refreshing to watch, and though the show is already going ahead and shipping these two together, seeing how cute their chemistry is makes it okay. Though their connection hasn’t really been highlighted in episode one thanks to introductions, in episode two they’ll slowly start shaping up Kaga’s shift in attraction from Mitsuo to Banri, and Banri’s own self-realization of his feelings. Of course, all these developments will draw out throughout the show for maximum effect–24 episodes for a romance is no laughing or rushed matter.

As for the other characters, they too will follow the same suit–slowly evolving as characters to adjust to the new challenges that college life throws at them. I’m excited for how Nana Hayashida (Kayano Ai) probably will play an important role in Banri’s romantic maturity, while Oka Chinami (Kido Ibuki) will act as a gluing force between some of the characters with her kindness (and absolute cuteness). It’s exciting to see how Banri and Mitsuo (Ishikawa Kaito) will grow as friends, but also as possible rivals as Kouko undoubtedly switches her affections over. There are countless other dynamics that will probably occur, but the beauty about Golden Time is that we can’t exactly predict what’s going to happen with the characters. Though we do know what main couple will eventually succeed, what every other couple and dynamic will end up as is still a mystery, along with how everyone will get to that destination.

The Characters

The path to the destination is especially hazy for Golden Time because all the characters are definitely hiding something meaningful behind all of their first impressions. With the knowledge that the original creator, Takemiya Yuyuko, also made Toradora, we can fully expect some radical character developments and shifts all throughout the series. With Kon Chiaki also on-board to direct, we can definitely expect character-driven plot to be on the heavy side. There are hints that something already exists between Nana and Banri (fated encounter is usually a good sign) show something darker, possibly related to the motorcycle crash that Banri was involved in. Exploring Mitsuo’s past relationship with Kouko and his new bearings without her should prove fruitful for his characters. Banri himself may be a “beta” protagonist right now, but what softness he has right now will probably be made up in his genuine attitudes. Finally, Kaga is most definitely hiding something under that cheerful ignorance of hers, despite how funny it is to see her go meta and call someone a tsundere. With such a strong start to the cast, it’ll be a treat documenting how each character progresses through their own internal strife, where their actions will hurt one person for their own happiness and another’s. It’s all cute now, but again, with Yuyuko on-board, let’s expect some powerful drama to surface after the first few episodes.

The Presentation

Glorious. Absolutely glorious. While they can never really reach the glory that KyoAni and P.A. Works is providing this season, J.C. Staff delivers satisfactory results in their presentation. The drawing quality is of acceptable nature–it doesn’t break doors down, but it has a lively and well-crafted feel to it that shows experience. Actions are properly exaggerated for comedic effect, close-ups are pleasant to look at, and surprisingly enough, not many full-lengths are used–a sign of good production quality. The comedy is well-paced and with just enough ridiculousness (it took them that long to get noticed?) to make the point without losing sight of the setting. Though the audio does get muffled a bit by the music and SFX at times–presumably a new technique–the dialogue by the seiyuu is delivered excellently by the A+ cast. The OP and ED are excellent and catchy and will most likely be landing on my phone soon enough. Overall, presentation is not just passing, but rather augmentative of the story. J.C. Staff’s romantic comedy division has proven its skill and worth time and time again, and their continued commitment to producing good works still holds.

Perhaps I’ve become too excited, but from my perspective, things are off to a wonderful start. I look forward to blogging this every week and seeing what new facet we can see in the many characters in college. I hope you guys all feel the same way, but of course, welcome critique is entertained here as well. Here’s to a good romance in the making though, and here’s to two seasons of what will definitely be a Golden Time.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Sweet & Sweet CHERRY」 by 堀江 由衣 (Horie Yui)

Preview

98 Comments

  1. I wasn’t planning on watching this anime but I was pleasantly surprised. Thursday has so many shows coming out that i put this show on the back burner. It’s really refreshing to see an anime where not every single girl is jumping at the main character by the end of the first ep.

    chamelean75
  2. it was great debut of golden time.
    relationship and situation were genuine and much more mature than highschool in others romcom. plus the comic touch was really merge in to the situation, it was hilarious.
    characters merge in to the situation and there was really good flow for a pilot episode. there;s still a long way on the road, but I already wanna see some more golden time stuff.

    p.s
    as you said, JC are far from KyoAni or P.A, but they can put in great effort and bring us good series with their own presentation. we saw that in railgun and LB (and we’ll see in refrain). and I think they do have the advantage for this kind of series.

    thedarktower
  3. Wait. This is 24 episodes? Well damn. I’m either in for a good time or a bad time. But, hey, I love me some crazy anime chicks, and if there’s at least one crazy girl for the entire ride, I’ll be a happy camper. About the only thing negative I can say about the pilot is a few generic character designs and just wanting more.

    coolasj19
  4. It’s here! I’ve been following the manga since the early chapters and it’s just such an enjoyable series. The fact that we have the writer of Toradora on this one can only make it better, no?

    Crook
  5. God dame Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun was a good show, too bad second season most likely wont happen…

    Anyways, yeah. Golden Time seems like it will be a good romantic comedy that gets more serious latter on akin to Toradora, and since I like those types of shows I should like this.I guess.
    It is weird how they clearly show the obvious canon shipping in the OP, but hay. At least we wont be surprise, RIGHT GUYS?

    ILikePopCans
  6. ….mm. I’ll have to disagree somewhat.

    For the first thing, what was with that OP? The tune was banal and the animation repetitive – it all but pushes into your face the eventual relationship between Banri and Kouko, which immediately colours the perception of first-time viewers way too early – it fails to present any of the (rather important) other characters and expresses no subtlety whatsoever. A sight-unseen viewer would easily get the impression of a generic shoujo romance plot from that OP, and I wouldn’t blame them.

    Luckily, the episode itself is better, even if I feel they played up Banri’s naivete and overdid the comic effects – but that’s probably knowledge of the source material speaking. It still has nitpicks, though – it might have been the encode I watched, but the voices are too soft or the BGM is too loud. As for the ED, it might have worked better as the OP. It certainly sounds like a Toradora song, although that might just be because of the singer.

    The impression I’m getting is that Kon Chiaki is treating this like Nodame Cantabile, when it’s a somewhat different beast. It’s still generally good, but there are more than a few bits that don’t resonate harmoniously.

    Corin
    1. Thanks for the response!

      I actually think it was good that the OP didn’t spoil for us the introduction of characters–it’s a bit too common for the OP to reveal more about the plot than we should know at that point.

      Also, the focus on two characters–I can see why that doesn’t float your boat, but I suppose I saw it in a different way. It’s much like “hey, we’re not hiding the fact that we’re going to tease you with a bunch of girls who may like main guy, THIS is the OTP dammit!” While that indeed a detriment to shippers everywhere, I find it refreshing myself.

      As for the actual OP and ED by Hocchan, well, that’s a matter of taste that we can’t really argue on :P.

      I do agree with you on the BGM/SFX/voice balance though, but as I said in my post, I think it was the sound production guys trying out new experiments–it seems like a novice mistake for J.C. to do that accidentally.

      Zanibas
      1. I did find it a bit refreshing for a series to just beat the viewers over the head with the official pairing XD. Really a lot of series try to make everyone seem like they’ve got a shot here, but instead it’s just being honest. People with other pairing preferences might not be happy, but it’s a kinder thing to just be upfront about the truth.

        Plus if you like the main pair at all it will turn into a great OP to watch week in and week out. Plus they are going to introduce the cast in the episodes themselves so why bother wasting OP time for “just so you know, this is the whole cast here.”

      2. More about the plot than we should know at that point… Like you know, that the pairing of the brown haired boy and the long haired girl will be the outcome of the next 24 episodes, all before you even learn their names?
        .
        I doubt I’ll be carrying on with this one – foreknowledge has robbed me of the ability to speculate about where the plot is going. And with that taken away I find I don’t care too much about what will happen on the journey that leads there or the characters who’ll take that journey (especially haremettes #2 and #3).

        Qwzl
      3. Qwzl: this is assuming that the end-result is that “our main couple gets together.”

        What if it turns out that they get together well before the 24th episode and the rest of the episodes have to deal with what happens after the getting-together? For all that we know, that could easily be the case thanks to the college atmosphere and the fact that J.C. Staff generally does two OPs and EDs for a two-cour. Thus, what we think will be the end result may actually just be the intermediary in a much farther conclusion.

      4. That could indeed happen (though I’m not seeing it in the next 4 episodes at least), but my beef is that it’s being spoiled at all, regardless of when it happens. Why on earth not just let the story tell it, then swap in the love-love OP?
        .
        For a show whose theme is a “golden time” of the opportunities of college life, where anything could happen to the protagonist, and a point is made of introducing 3 haremettes before the first episode is out I just find it unfathomable that it says in the first minute that this is the couple to keep an eye on.

        Qwzl
  7. At first I was hyped for it. From the author of Toradora, a college setting.. What could go wrong?
    Well, quite a lot, from what I’ve gathered from the manga so far, but oh well.

    Not to mention this is YET ANOTHER adaption of an ongoing novel, so we will likely never see the conclusion anyway, why bother?
    I’m really getting tired of it. It’s like every second show these days is an adaption of incomplete source material.
    They might be doing this to get people to buy and read the novel, and for some that’s fine. But not for me. If I wanted to read the novel I would be doing so in the first place instead of watching an anime adaption.

    Access
      1. oh, and this “Receive call: Hospital” Hint..

        Looks like an Important Person to him, is in the Hospital. Perhaps one of his Parents, Childhood Friend or so…

        Lets see

        Germanguy
  8. Banri feels like the sidekick character in any other romcom shows. Seems interesting. I wonder why the strong emphasis on friendship on the first episode though. Probably a bad experience in the past; being an outcast or maybe had friends who died in a bus accident.

    Cybersteel
  9. Hmm,this series sorts of reminds me of another series.
    Very catch OP & ED? Check.
    Romcom elements? Check.
    Some over-the-top reactions with even a scream of desperation? Check.
    2-cour? Check.
    JC-Staff? Check.
    I have a feeling Golden Time could surpass Sakurasou :3

    Techim
  10. I’m a fan of the author, but this seems to be slated for a 12 ep run while the novel is still ongoing. This first ep barely covered 2 chapters, I think. Hope they don’t butcher it.

    Sol
  11. Her name is Kouko, she is loco. I said Oh No!~ Seriously… her smile is very, very charming. I feel like this is one of those romance anime that will make my heart go fuwa fuwa doki doki again.

    And that ED song is a must have on my playlist.

    tsukioniisan
  12. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!!
    BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!

    And all that time I was wondering like, how the hell is everyone NOT noticing him? Dude’s practically screaming his head off. Love that he didn’t notice Kaga seated behind him at all even when he turned to face Tada. :p

    INFERTakuya
    1. Oh yeah, forgot to mention; so this is Horie Yui’s glorious, triumphant return to the voice acting scene I suppose? She’s pretty much got a monopoly on this show: sings the OP, sings the ED, voices the female lead.

      INFERTakuya
      1. Hocchan is still active in voice acting. She’s been doing Hanekawa in Monogatari last season, plus some support roles like in Yuyushiki and Neptune.
        And actually she’s monopolized the main roles in JC Staff shows as well. She’s also doing Riki in Little Busters Refrain.

      2. I can understand reprising her old roles…

        But anyway, didn’t she announce that she would be focusing on her singing career a while back? I figured that was why she didn’t show up very often, and even if she did she’d usually just be a side character or an extra.

        INFERTakuya
  13. I have a feeling that this show won’t disappoint. It knows what it is, and what it wants to be. What I really want to see is the progression of Koko switching from Mitsuo to Banri. Will that be an emotional roller-coaster of awesomeness that happens as they get to know each other, or just some weird event like a lot of anime? I think this may dictate how much I will enjoy this show, and if I actually keep up with it. Right now, I’m totally on-board. Hopefully, I won’t need to jump ship.

    dytianquin
  14. I’ve been waiting for this adaptation for a while. I love Takemiya Yuyuko’s writing. I really love the manga she’s writing for, Evergreen. THAT needs an anime, badly.

    I really like Golden Time, too, but I had to warm up to it. It took me a few chapters to get into it and I didn’t start to really get a feel for the characters until the end of the first book/beginning of the second book.

    Koko is totally nuts, in case you hadn’t already noticed. She’s a fun character, but IRL, she’d be a total pain in the neck. Were I Mitsuo, I would have gone someplace much farther away, like Finland or something.

    s_w
  15. This show reminds me of Legally Blonde. Not in terms of character personalities, but in terms of things that actually happen to the characters.
    Girl and guy “go out” but guy ends up breaking it off to go to law school… girl applies for law school to be with the guy. Girl ends up going out with someone else in the end. Obviously not the exact same plot but the basic idea is there o_o Not to say that I’m not going to enjoy Golden Time. I haven’t seen a good rom/com in a while or a good romance period. I’m excited… but also hope that I don’t get my expectations too high =X

    1. As far as I am aware, one’s college days are sometimes referred to as “Golden Time.”

      I’ve never heard the expression before until I stumbled upon this, but hey that’s just me. Maybe I live under a rock, or maybe that’s a Japan thing.

      Access
      1. From what I’ve read, Japanese high school is exam hell, all geared to getting into the best colleges. Once your accepted, the students ease back and enjoy their college years before they have to enter the real world rat race, so “Golden Time” it is.

  16. I feel I am going to thoroughly enjoy this…
    Girl A follows Boy A into university he fled from her.
    Boy B befriends Boy A and in the process meets Girl A, Girl B and Girl C.
    Love Dodecahedron and Hilarity Ensues!
    Toradora the College Years? Count me in!
    Also, remember girls, always remove the thorns before flogging your BF with roses!

    ewok40k
  17. Definitely looks promising from the first episode.

    Mitsuo gives me a “you don’t know what you had until you’ve lost it” vibe with Koko.

    Also like the differences of the female characters; Koko with her outgoing personality, Chinami with her innocent cuteness (but not totally air-headed), and “Linda” having that soft, serene presence (and also not air-headed).

    HalfDemonInuyasha
  18. Damn, I so want this to be as good or better than Toradora. My expectations are so high I’m not sure that just a “good” story can even meet them, which is unfair to the author. This does have indications that this could be a real winner and one of the best of the year. Unfortunately for me I’m probably going to root for one of the girls he doesn’t pick, sigh.

  19. I also thought this series had a great first episode. Honestly it wasn’t a series that I had my sights on or was anticipating in any sense, but it surprised and impressed me. I like the setting since you can have some craziness (it’s University, crazy is the norm), but also show some maturity here and there.

    I like the main characters and your point about this future relationship with Banri and Koko really does make sense. Her intense energy can make some people push back, but in Banri’s case I think she can find acceptance. Even he talked about wanting to find love and giving his whole heart to someone.

    The current state of things between Mitsuo and Koko is just broken. I don’t know how long he’s felt that way, but by now Mitsuo can’t see any good in Koko. Just sees manipulation, control, and having no choice. She’s calling him a tsundere and not really fully facing the fact that he’s not going to return her feelings. He doesn’t feel nearly as strongly as she does and it’s hurting them both.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this series unfolds. Sometimes you have to give a series a 3 episode test, but sometimes first impressions are good enough to make you stay without any tests required.

  20. I’m just gonna get my hopes up for this one,even if it’s so early.Fresh is indeed the best word for this anime,at least so far.Just by watching that opening it really makes me look forward to Koko & Banri’s relationship unfold.But heck,even if that’ll be the meat of this show it also has the potential for more.I’m eager to see how Mitsuo’s gonna accept that when the time comes.Will he happily push Koko on to Banri or show some signs of jealousy?

    All in all,let’s look forward to having a golden time along with Banri in his college life 🙂

    MgMaster
  21. Yuyuko Takemiya’s work is once again adapted into anime form with Golden Time and a very nice premier episode!

    I love romantic comedies, and romance in general, and Toradora! was a blast to watch so I had really high hopes when I heard that Takemiya’s current Light Novel was going to be adapted into an anime. I also was really hoping that J.C. Staff was going to be on animation production because despite others’ scathing criticism towards them, I’ve always regarded the company as the best when it comes to romantic comedies.

    I’m quite pleased to say that I felt my hopes were met with this premier. It was a nice, slow beginning that eased us into the story and characters and did a good job setting up for the future. We have the beginnings of a variety of relationships and what may be the start of a great love story. The characters were entertaining and there was some nice humor interjected here and there that gave me a good chuckle. I thought the Animation was nice, especially when it came to our leading lady Kouko. All in all, I got all I could ever ask for from a romantic comedy and with this confirmed for 2-cour I’m excited to see what the future has in store!

    The opening and ending were delightful, especially all the Kouko shots, and it’s nice to get not only a confirmation of the main couple but some nice scenes of them as well. Having Yui Horie on vocals was also a great touch.

    Banri seems like a decent enough guy, just trying to get adjusted to his new life situation and start living the college experience which a lot of people, myself included, can relate to. He’s also pretty nice to his friends and a quick thinker, going by how he tried to downplay what happened between Mitsuo and Kouko. Though beneath all that appears to be something mysterious and possibly tragic, if phone calls to the hospital and that flashback are any indication.

    I have to say, I don’t know how Banri resisted joining the Latin club. If I had scantily-clad girls dancing around me, offering up a spot on their club, I’d probably join in a heartbeat!

    Mitsuo looks like he’s barely holding onto his sanity… poor guy. Though despite what he said about her, Kouko’s affections for him seem quite genuine.

    Kouko Kaga struck me as a lot of things in just one episode: Fashionable, lovely, cute, determined, and generally nice. And that’s a heck of a lot of good traits for an anime heroine, so already I’m quite impressed! I also have to give the girl credit for being able to run in those heels! Performance wise, I thought that Yui Horie did a wonderful job as her. One could certainly construe her relationship Mitsuo as creepy and befitting a stalker… but one man’s creepy is another woman’s passionate devotion! Still, I’m interested to see more of Mitsuo’s side of the story to get a handle on just how bad she was about their relationship during their pre-college days. I’m also very intrigued to see how and when her affections for Mitsuo will gradually shift towards Banri, and if the opening and ending are any indication, the relationship between those two is going to be very cute and hearwarming so I’ll be looking forward to seeing it.

    As for the other girls, I can’t say I have a good read on Chinami but Linda seems like a nice and interesting girl.

    I can’t wait for more!

    Frontier
  22. For someone that is a newbie in college, I sure can relate much to this show. Hmm, College: the “Golden Time” of one’s life, eh? Not bad, J.C. Staff. Like as always.

    Red HeartGold ZX
  23. Ah, found my seasonal dose of romcom. Enjoyed it a lot and I think the characters are fairly likable. Should be a fine addition to my growing(when will it stop) watch list.

    nhelraios
  24. Great insights about the chapter. They are appreciated.

    About the audio, sometimes it was hard to listen, sometimes you could feel the stereo working too forcibly there; the selection and placement of background music was great though it sometimes made difficult to hear the voices. I have the feeling they’ve tried really hard at the sound department but they couldn’t make it work perfectly at some parts. It’s been some time since I’ve felt this kind of hard work in the composing of the scenes using audio and soundtracks. 🙂

    Ebisu
  25. Love love love Golden Time!

    I’ve read the manga up to what is available to me, but I have a have a question for other manga readers. Nothing big but I’ll spoiler it anyway!

    Show Spoiler ▼

    cyprinious
    1. It’s a cinematography technique where the show pans through a (fairly) static image, thus getting away with animating costs.

      So while they may make for nice pictures at times, it’s a sneaky way of minimizing animation work.

      Zanibas
  26. I only watch 2 animes last season, Railgun S and KamiNomi: Megami Hen.
    Been wondering what to watch after those 2 were finished then I saw this.
    Boy, how happy I was!
    I’ve been reading the manga and light novels. I’m gonna follow this anime as well.
    Hope it won’t disappoint me 🙂

    hanapiers
  27. Finally an anime for non-otakus. Really, I’m a freakin’ otaku and I’m sick of all these recent shows (including these new ones) that are a poor excuse to show cute stupid girls.

    André
  28. Just ONE girl shows on each OP and ED…It’s already obvious with whom the MC will ended up.(Even though he met with 3 cute girls)

    So I expect it to be like this:
    -Mitsuo:Dude,please save me from this Blah Blah Blah Blah
    -Tada:Okay,leave it to me!

    Well,I’m looking forward to the next one!I’m wondering HOW this Golden Girl (Kaga Koko) will fall in LOVE with our MC (Tada Banri).

    NothingLess
  29. That was a statisfying first episode, I’m excited for more! Mitsuo going blahblahblah was hilarious 😉 And I knew I could count on Zani blogging this, my favorite romcom this season.
    And Hocchan singing the OP and ED = love~

    Torami
  30. Its been a while since I’ve seen a romcom where Hocchan is the main character. The last time I think is Love Hina. (12 years ago?) Definitely looking forward to this since reading the Light Novel and manga adaptation. The story, romance and drama’s top-notch and close to Toradora’s quality.

    Regarding the OP, it is pretty obvious who the pairings are, which I totally don’t mind. Its the same with Toradora – heck, the title alone tells you the main pair already, in a non-direct way. (Tora – Tiger- Taiga; Dora – Dragon – “Ryu”ji).

    Glad that this a 24 episode show. This is tons better than Iru Machi… (my 2¢)

    Akito_kun

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