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Golden Time – 05 »« Golden Time – 02

Golden Time – 03, 04

Episode 3

「ナイトエスケープ」 (Naito Esukeepu)
“Night Escape”

Episode 4

「ブラックアウト」 (Burakkuauto)
“Blackout”

About an 15 hours ago, I was excited to watch the show I was looking forward to every week. 15 minutes into the show though, I felt despair and a dissonance within myself. Golden Time is a show with marvelous potential and a good setting, but what’s going with the pacing and development? I’ll admit, I got too much into a rage and disappointment that I had to sleep it off, but let’s proceed forward seeing what the rundown on this show is so far.

Golden Time is Fresh.

Before I go into what’s wrong, let’s focus on what the show has done right. For its college nature, Golden Time correctly strikes just how college life is. There is less of a struggle to worry about formalities and having good grades in a high school and more a focus on developing meaningful and authentic connections, whether through extracurricular activities or perhaps romance. The drama matures as people phase away from their high school years, and are less about lashing out in emotion and more about talking things through in a constructive manner. In fact, I was surprised when Mitsuo didn’t outright slap Koko when she was harassing Chinami, but instead sternly told her to get lost (without yelling too).

It’s also grand how each of the characters has many layers to hide or display, where those layers are constantly changing as the story progresses.

Mitsuo, despite his distancing away from Koko, admits that their bond isn’t something to be taken trivially and that he does care for her well-being. However, he still cannot deny the fact that Koko is an unstable and clingy individual that constricts his freedom. Both of them are displayed to us as a seemingly dissonant perspective, but it’s definitely understandable.

Banri, though still pretty beta-type at this point, is a great representation of how outsiders view this dissonance with maturity. Banri understands both Koko and Mitsuo’s concerns, and though his struggle to support them both ends up in a whole lot of inaction, it is clear how much time he’s put into considering each character’s scenario.

Meanwhile Koko…I’ll get to her later. The fact is that the show does a great job, even a superior job fleshing out these mature characters who are constantly developing and exposing their inner thoughts, that it’s a refreshing break from the naive “let emotion reign” style that often encompasses romantic comedies. However, this is where my own conflicting emotions about the show begin, where I begin to despise the director for throwing off the flow of this show. Once I reminded myself that Kon Chiaki–who happened to direct the show Arcana Famiglia *shudder*–I realized this show could possibly be going in a very bad direction.

Golden Time is in the wrong hands.

I don’t normally dislike staffers. Really I don’t. I’ve managed to avoid most disappointments in the staff for ruining a production, but Kon Chiaki…perhaps she is the first that ruined my expectations. She is a controversial director, whose works can range from being pretty good to outright clunk. Unfortunately, I’m seeing that this show may be leaning towards the latter, where only the source material is holding up the quality of this show thus far.

Let me explain: the pacing is unacceptable. The character developments are clunky and forced. Developments of the side characters are happening behind the scenes, leaving out key development points to flesh out their traits. Hell, even some scenes seem so randomly placed to progress the story, where it ends up being abruptly cut by the ED.

In short: the pacing is out of whack and the focus is blurred.

For the long of it, let’s focus on Koko. She holds potential to be a great transforming character who learns from her mistakes, and she most likely will as the story matures a bit more. She even has many moments where she self-reflects and admits the facets of her character. However, in her current state, it is really hard for me to sympathize, much less emphathize with her. Though it astounds me that Koko can act like such a well…high schooler in college, her problems as a character go well beyond that.

I wouldn’t have a problem if Koko was a complete asshole or a saint, but I do have a problem with painting Koko as an ambiguous individual without properly explaining why her less desirable traits pop up. We’ve been “told” Koko acts the way she is–Mitsuo has been her anchor for who know show long–but in reality we haven’t “seen” it at all. Amidst all attempts to make Koko likable is a downpour of her stubborn and purely emotional character. It’s hard to start investing in her character when the show feels the need to keep jumping from sympathetic moments to reprehensible ones, even if it’s supposed to make a point of her volatile nature. What I want to see from the story is illustrating why she focuses on Mitsuo so much, instead of telling us through long bouts of dialogue. When Koko brought out those books, it felt less about explaining her actions but rather a forced attempt amping up her crazy dedication.

Though I can’t clearly articulate it myself, the pacing of the show seems to have trouble flowing from its comedy to its drama, as well as from one scene to the next. In transitioning from episode three to four, we transfer over from the aftermath of escaping the cult to returning back to school, where the only transition was a panning shot of our couple being saved. Immediately after that, we are suddenly presented with Chinami and Mitsuo getting along quite well, and right after that, we see Koko getting in the way, even after her long exposition last episode of self-realization. It is hard to attach to one image of Koko when the show tries showing us so many faces of her in rapidly alternating scenes, where each scene seems so detached from the others. I really do want to sympathize with Koko, but the show leaves no time for us to digest any new developments. Even I’m still digesting Banri’s sudden departure back home after confessing to Koko, which seems to have started a whole new thread of drama right after this one ended.

What do you guys think? Am I just being crazy here with my discomfort with the show’s pacing and development, or do you guys share some of my sentiments? For a different perspective, I suggest reading Enzo’s take on the episode–I think he articulated his thoughts much better than I did.

Sorry again for the delays, but things should sail smoother from here on out.

 

Preview

October 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm
54 comments »
  • October 25, 2013 at 4:48 pmR334

    ROFL at the Nana cameo.

  • October 25, 2013 at 4:56 pmpimpolla

    NANA!!!

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:04 pmxfyux

    I do agree. Episode 4 made me rage so hard that I was about to close the video midway through Koko’s rant. I don’t know why but I eagerly wait for this show more than any other shows this season. Other than that, NANA!!!

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:07 pmZhinvu

    Enzo nailed when he said it’s hard not to dislike Koko after what she did in that scene. After that talk with Banri I’d thought she’d at least change a bit for the better, only to do a complete 180 with her vocal lashing at Oka (complete with toe stepping). On the other hand she did regret it, but that was after the damage was done. And yes I felt was something off with the pacing, and fortunately a buddy direcdted me to the manga chapter it coincides with, Show Spoiler ▼

    And speaking of Nana, I really wonder if this is really Osaki Nana making a crossover cameo or she just happened to look like her. I’ll say it’s the latter.

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:08 pmBear

    Having read the two translated LN volumes, I don’t think you’d see much difference. Koko is what she is. Some things related to Banri are getting short changed IMO, but I won’t spoil that. The main thing about the anime is compression of events and some sanitization. For example,the cafe scene has them winding up in the smoking section with NANA offering Koko a cigarette. The nightclub scene is much longer and involves copious drinking on the part of Banri and Koko. The reason why Banri went home is spelled out in the LN (not knowing how to deal with his confession and lack of response from Koko) which was missing in the anime.

    Why do directors have to make changes that have no real effect on the story, nor have any bearing on the effort to animate things? Linda and her group were out looking for Banri and Koko, not stumbled upon while dancing. The change makes no sense either animation wise or artistically.

    • October 26, 2013 at 12:52 ampahlavi5312

      thanks for supplying that missing link. I was always wondering why he went home so suddenly

    • October 27, 2013 at 10:11 amgh

      Well, i oso feel that they skipped a lot of scenes especially during night time part of the story and the confession (i guess…). The other parts are just acceptable…

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:09 pmtsukioniisan

    Wow. As someone who read the manga/light novel, this sure escalated quickly. And dw Kouko, I know how you feel *pats*.

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:17 pmJ_the_Man

    I honestly don’t understand the distress over Koko. I don’t really get why people are letting that ruin the show Perhaps we aren’t supposed to understand who Koko is yet. It’s entirely realistic to be self-aware of your flaws and not change them. I have that problem. Sometimes old habits die hard, and all Koko has ever known was Mitsui. Life isn’t always about slow progression. Sometimes life hits you hard in the head with a rather large mallet from hammer space in the span of a moment.

    Koko, with someone whom she can confide her feelings in for once in her life, finally understands her behavior is harmful. I think the text from Mitsui only encouraged her to pursue Mitsui again, only to be struck in a situation she doesn’t know how to deal with. Mitsui wants to date another girl. How do you respond to that? I dunno.

    I don’t think we’re meant to draw a conclusion about Koko yet. She’s an emotionally wonky person who doesn’t really understand herself. I don’t think this is actual character development we’re seeing. This is the starting point, and at the end of 20 some episodes we’ll get the finished product.

    • November 5, 2013 at 7:36 pmMochan

      This exactly. What’s with the hate on Coco?

      There’s no need to get hung up on the “show not tell” directive. So what if Koko’s reason for being so hung up on Mitsuo isn’t shown? Would you prefer one of those cliched flashback scenes showing them as children and having some kind of “meaningful” childhood interaction? Or you want a flashback of Koko getting left behind by her parents or something, developing into separation anxiety issues? That’s so ridiculously common and trite in anime, manga and LNs that I’m glad we don’t have to deal with it here.

      I still don’t like Koko, her type of chara is just annoying, but I don’t think this is a reason to think the show is doing a bad job of developing her character. I got plenty if ideas why she’s what she’s is. I think the direction of the story just doesn’t need to expound on it any further than it has. You complain about the dialogue “telling” us she’s so hung up over Mitsuo, but its clear that everything she’s done “shows” well enough what a Mitsuo nut she is — from the opening bell rose slap I think it was quite clear.

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:31 pmTopboy

    For me,Episode 3 mark first step of relationship between Banri & Koko (Banri reveal first part to her)

    And Confession come out so early (4 out of 24 Episodes) from Banri in the most vulnerable time of Koko after her been rejected complety by Mitsuo.

    I agreed with u about the pace is mess up.Ep 1 pace is OK.Ep 2 pace is slow.Ep 3 is ok while Ep 4 is goddamn fast.It should be 2 Ep at least,not 1.

    Still now the story is progress to intesting point;Banri saw picture of him and Linda,must mean something.Banri confessed his love to Koko,must change something.Look forward for Ep 5.

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:38 pmSkylaris

    Wb zanibas!
    I didn’t find that the pacing was that bad, but it felt a bit rushed which prompted me to read the manga. So far (not really spoiling but tags are nice), Show Spoiler ▼

    Either way, I still find the anime entertaining and that’s good enough for now. They have many episodes left which they can explain and pace better.

  • October 25, 2013 at 5:40 pmSol

    Don’t worry. You’ll learn to love Koko.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    I must admit that the author’s writing style not often translates well to anime. As a LN author, her work is top-tier, a few light-years the LN average. I think it’s time she moved on to full-on novels.

    I’m sticking with the anime, though, since I’m probably just a volume ahead of the events in this latest episode.

  • October 25, 2013 at 6:05 pmmac65

    I like the underlying premise, but I agree too, it’s difficult to
    follow and its flow does seem a bit random.

    But the story line is trying to articulate a complex person and I’ve
    met / known Jekyll and Hyde personalities so I can see Koko in that light.

    I think it’s worth following to see where it all ends up…

  • October 25, 2013 at 6:14 pmberrish17

    NANA! <3

  • October 25, 2013 at 6:57 pmMagoiichi

    I stopped caring about Kouko at episode 2. If anyone didn’t know by now Kouko is loco, oh noes.

    This story is about Linda and Banri. Mitsuo is a boss for how he handled putting Kouko in check.

  • October 25, 2013 at 7:18 pmflap

    Hmm, this episode didn’t bug me at all. I don’t know what to expect from the show other than what I’ve watched so far (haven’t read any previews or looked into the source material), but the OP says it’s about Banri & Kouko. I’d rather not half of the series drag on about Mitsuo ditching Kouko, I don’t think that’d be fun.

    Maybe they’re sacrificing something important by not letting more character development sink in, but I’m happy with them getting on with the story, which I think is about the love triangle that’s developing, and the amnesia. Episode 4 is over and we’re just scratching the surface of that, finally. Taking shortcuts to get into that story doesn’t bug me that much; that’s the story I’m looking forward to.

  • October 25, 2013 at 7:37 pmMgMaster

    I think you’re being a bit too harsh.I mean yea,two episodes would’ve certainly been better for everything that happened in this 4th one but even so,I wouldn’t I didn’t really see that many problems until like,after the cafe scene.I agree with J_the_Man in that it’s one thing to be aware your flaws and another to change them,especially after a lifetime of living by them.That scene,among many others,could’ve certainly been handled better but I believe it would feel even more rushed if Kouko changed her way of aproaching Mitsuo right after she told Banri on how she’s very awaren of what she’s doing.Like Enzo said,she’s got some serious problems that really need to be adressed but I’m in no shape or form expecting those to go away easily.

    I also thought that Banri’s confession came out of nowhereat first but after thinking about it some more,I realized that he just saw an opportunity and decided to go for it.We got a much more down-to-earth romance story here where we shouldn’t expect a wishfull pure love that’s present in the average RomCom.

    Even with the problems the 4th episode had,Golden Time is still one of the better romance shows this year and quite a fresh one at that which alone makes it worth seeing it through if you ask me.In any case,I think you shouldn’t distress too much over one episode :P

  • October 25, 2013 at 7:40 pmdaikama

    @Zanibas: I was excited to watch the show I was looking forward to every week. 15 minutes into the show though, I felt despair and a dissonance within myself…

    Sorry to say I can completely empathize with you. I had a very similar experience regarding a different show which aired earlier this week – though you need to replace “dissonance” with anger and frustration to be completely accurate. Sadly, for me that’s by far not the first time an adaptation failed to capture the essence of what made the source material special.

    I’ve been on the fence about this show for four weeks. I still am. IMO the shows “main characters” Banri & Koko so far are not interesting and/or likeable enough to carry the show. I disliked Koko up until this point. Now that she realizes that maybe, just maybe, she might have been going about things the wrong way (>_>), she’s been upgraded to “tolerable/not so bad”. Banri is a nice buy, but simply too bland/boring/generic for me.

    My impression of either/both might have been better had the show given us greater background information. There’s been some of that for Koko, though I wouldn’t call it sufficient to have more than just an educated guess as to why she acts the way she does/why for her there’s no one but Mitsuo. For me, Banri’s amnesia is being played as too much of a hidden card. I was shocked by the fact that he’s never looked at photos/yearbooks etc. post-accident until now. Wouldn’t that kind of stuff be part of his treatment (i.e. jog his memory)?

    Zanibas nailed a second problem I have with the show in stating: Developments of the side characters are happening behind the scenes, leaving out key development points to flesh out their traits.. Even if I had a better understanding of Koko’s and Banri’s backgrounds, it’s still quite likely I would prefer Chinami and Mitsuo who I find much more interesting and likeable. Yet the couple I prefer so far has been given the equivalent of footnote treatment in terms of screen time. Wait…couple? When did this happen? I almost expect the next time we see the two will be at their wedding. Linda is another character who I wish had more screen time.

    I haven’t read the LN so it’s possible that these “side characters” don’t get much “story-time” compared to the two leads. At this point, I suspect the lack of balance for character screen time is mostly due to director decision rather than the source material. Perhaps I’m mistaken. LN readers please feel free to comment on this.

    I also agree there are definitely some material cut/pacing issues. The club scene was whittled down to what I though was some out-of-nowhere, random event. After reading Bear’s post, the scene makes more sense. Rushed pacing and excessive source material cuts are nothing new (IMO) for 12/13 EP adaptations, but this show is scheduled for 2-cour from the start. That should be plenty of time for proper pacing – so what’s the rush? Is there really no “good” LN stopping point for which the anime to end until several volumes into the story?

    Obviously there are things I like about the show or I wouldn’t stick with it this far. However, so far Golden Time isn’t making it very easy for me to do so. My hope is that with much of the “intro/story setting” done, the show will improve.

  • October 25, 2013 at 7:53 pmsadakups

    So much shit happened in two episodes that I’m not sure if it’s good or the pacing is questionable. Especially episode 4. It involved a bitch fit, a rejection, a breakdown, a confession and a past revelation. I’m not complaining, but I like what happened in the episode.

    With regards to Koko, I’ve been patient with the character since there could be a good reason for her being what she is, but it’s just that she’s really an Overly Attached / Self-Proclaimed Girlfriend. Well, Banri is there to change that.

  • October 25, 2013 at 7:58 pmbelatkuro

    Yeah, this was pretty rushed. To put in perspective, the first 3 episodes each covered 1 chapter of the LN while this covered 2 chapters, just stopping short of that bridge scene in the preview that is the end of volume 1.
    There was a lot more that happened after that cafe exchange with Mitsuo. Kouko went totally crazy in that concert and got drunk so much she was vomiting all over. It was pretty much a breakdown for her there, with Banri in tow to keep her in check. That concert also had some development for Banri as well, as he found Kouko to be a frail girl after all and couldn’t help to look after her and like her for the strength she was showing all the time, thus his sudden confession.
    They also skipped most of the trial dance in the Omaken. There were some funny parts there, especially with Kouko’s dancing that Banri commented on.

    Despite that, this was still a great episode. It was still enough to deliver the major points well. Plus the cliffhanger is more appropriate than the actual end of the volume.
    Props to Hocchan for her overall performance so far. And it kinda feels weird for Oka’s seiyuu to play a college student when she herself is still a highschool student. Seiyuus normally(always) play roles that are younger than them. Just a fun thing I noticed.

  • October 25, 2013 at 8:17 pmThe Story You Don’t Know

    I have to agree, I have not read the source material but it gives off the feeling of forced character development and rushed pacing. To be honest, I had chills when I first saw the OP. I knew at least about Banri and Koko’s eventual relationship because a friend told me spoilers but I was surprised how the OP was pretty much straightforward about it. But of course, Golden Time is one of the few shows that I’m watching this season so I’m not gonna drop it just like that.

  • October 25, 2013 at 9:07 pmtossop

    Guess there must be a lot of source material considering how rushed this episode was. I mean they have 24 eps to work with right?

    All that talk about Banri losing his current self is starting to make me think that that will be exactly what happens after Banri and Koko get together. Oh the drama.

  • October 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm7godeohs

    Zanibas, your insights are spot on. The entire episode seemed extremely rushed and it felt like they were just going through dialog to get it over with. The confession scene should have contained some important internal dialogue from Banri, but instead it came out with no explanation as to why he felt the need to confess right there and then.

    One reason I feel like Toradora succeeded (same author btw) was because there was quite a bit of internal dialogue to give insight to flesh out the characters. Development doesn’t necessarily happen during verbal communication, oftentimes the time between spoken words are the moments where the development truly occurs. With Golden Time it just feels like the spoken conversation is all we are supposed to care about and the studio is just trying to get to the end of the material.

    Side note: They need to replace the OP with the ED and get something else that isn’t bubbly J-pop (or whatever genre the OP music belongs to). That drives me nuts. Yes, I know I have problems.

    • October 26, 2013 at 6:12 amDan Go

      Add to that the fact that Toradora was directed by JC Staff’s best director. They should’ve used him for Golden Time too. ;_;

      • October 26, 2013 at 2:12 pmYause

        Nagai has been so busy with Railgun S and the Ano Hana movie. I doubt he was an option; generally, he only directs one series a year.

    • October 26, 2013 at 2:06 pmYause

      There are different ways of tackling time constraints. In anime, one strategy is to shorten the length of each scene and increase the speaking rate of characters. This is common in light and visual novel adaptations.

      Another strategy is to maintain a steady vocal pace, while cutting away non-essential elements that interfere with the general flow. This means the removal of exposition, as well as side information/developments that aren’t required for scene coherence. There’s just enough info for the viewer to fill in the blanks (and that’s very much intentional, and in some cases, it’s decided that the blanks aren’t particularly important to overall understanding of the story developments), even if one’s inference isn’t entirely the same as in the original. Chiaki Kon tends to favor this approach, and I suspect that it’s the rule of thumb when doing live action movies and dramas.

  • October 25, 2013 at 9:18 pmJ-Luke

    I too expected Mitsuo to slap some sense in Koko, but his vocal rejection was making up for that somewhat. There are still 20 episodes left so there is plenty of time for things to fall into place (probably with background info).
    There may be some interesting developments regarding Banri’s relation with Linda and Koko, as Linda is part of his old self but Koko is part of his new self; this might be source for some clashing…

  • October 25, 2013 at 9:53 pmMormegil

    I have no idea how to feel about her. Sometimes I hate her, and other times I feel bad for her.

  • October 25, 2013 at 10:19 pmFlareKnight

    I haven’t really had that kind of problem with the series. The episode just kind of slammed me out of nowhere, but I was alright with where they went with it. This showdown between Mitsuo and Kouko needed to happen at some point. And the gap between their last meetings was large enough that it was rather shocking when you saw how she behaved around Mitsuo and Oka. A perfectly good trigger as well for Mitsuo to push for this meeting.

    Pacing is certainly worth commenting on. But at the same time I expect a bit of quickened pacing here and there with it being an adaptation. I didn’t think it was too bad though you had to infer some things.

    I do like where the character development can go from here. Kouko had her worst moments in this episode. What happened with Oka, the blowup with Mitsuo, how she lost it at that concert and considering her behavior probably got decently wasted at some point.

    Maybe I’m just crazy, but I’m still enjoying the series.

    • October 25, 2013 at 11:11 pmSenjougahara Hitagi

      Well, you can call me crazy anytime, too, if that’s the case.

  • October 25, 2013 at 11:03 pmBreedo

    I don’t mind this pace because it’s at least consistent. Not knowing source material it seems to flow well to me. The show is subtle in developments like how we see Mitsuo call Oka by her given name Chinami. To me as a viewer this show expects you to pick up the hints at full speed as well as the main focus. I like the way they are portraying Koko since she’s really never … created a self she can be happy with, it was all about becoming Mitsuo’s companion. Losing traction to a life’s dream (really wake up lol) is like debrainwashing yourself. Just like Banri doesn’t know who he was and fears the unknown I think Koko is also afraid to scrap her “safe” planned path to do what? So far it all makes sense since she’s afraid. Looking forward to seeing what Linda’s stance will be if she finds out Banri’s aware of her being in his past. I wonder if she’s just a friend who didn’t date or more.

  • October 25, 2013 at 11:08 pmSenjougahara Hitagi

    4 episodes in, with all the ruckus with the pacing and all: with 2 cours and more episodes to come, I think it’s still in the right track. There might be a good enough reason why they let things develop as it is, may it be with Mitsuo’s declaration, Kouko’s character or Banri’s confession.

    Anyway, this is still one of the shows I eagerly wait for every week, besides Monogatari Series. Kouko is also gaining a spot in my heart. That ending sequence, oh DAT ED. So damn cute.

  • October 25, 2013 at 11:26 pmcelebrinen

    I face-palmed when Banri confessed to Kouko, then head-desked when I saw the photo of Linda and Banri. Still, the final couple is pretty obvious so I’m inserting my own reality:

    Hayashida Nana is initially heart-broken but meets a guy named Celebrinen. He heals her and they fall deeply in love and live happily ever after.

    Meanwhile, every time Banri and Kouko get intimate she accidentally calls him Mitsuo.

  • October 25, 2013 at 11:38 pmthedarktower

    I think your feeling are ok. I also feel cheated due to the rush devlopment, especially in terms of characters.
    I remember Mitsuo from ep01…now with ep04..without us to notice..he suddenly able to dump Kouko so seriously and defend Chinami. and when did he start to have feeling for her?if it’s something within the film club..then show it to us!
    and Kouko somehow finally aware that Mitsuo won’t be there…what happen suddenly?

    so..there many problems and questions – why the high-pace when we are only in ep04.

    yet there good things as well, especially in terms of story and college life. the story behind Banri, and how he is being honest with himself for loving Kouko.
    the stuff with Linda really is surprising. I bet they were this close to be in relationship or were in a relationship before the accident. and I won’t be surprised if Kouko is somehow turn out to be involve with the accident.
    if that’s the twist in ep04..what will be the twist in ep 20? :S
    so clearly things are just in the beginning and there is still a lot to happen.
    it’s a good thing that the story is formed early and not after 13-14 eps.

    tl;dr – high-pace make me feel cheated. yet there alot of things still need to be said and done. it’s 2cour, so I am sure it’ll be enjoyable (as long as they’ll give us time to digest)!

    p.s
    how Kouko dare to scold our beloved Chinami??unacceptable!!

  • October 26, 2013 at 12:10 amSixFlags

    I have the hope that this fast pacing in the beginning is to focus more on the drama between the relationship of the old Banri and Linda and new Banri and Koko afterwards (it is 24 episodes after all), since this setting around Banri’s memory loss and changed personality is quite fascinating.

  • October 26, 2013 at 1:16 amAlec

    I miss reading Nana

  • October 26, 2013 at 2:30 amewok40k

    Oh well, Koko is such a mess… I can see her as self-centered, clingy, jealous, borderline on yandere – or lonely, misunderstood, unhappy and rejected. But trying to get her to be both at same time makes for a jarring mismatch.
    By comparison, Mitsuo acts quite mature, and so does Banri. But Banri getting to remember Linda by photo album is really a bit forced.

    Oh and what does NANA do in Golden Time? WTF? (makes a silent prayer for continuatiuon of the awesome manga…)

  • October 26, 2013 at 3:17 amTheMoondoggie

    Told you guys Koko’s a retard. I got plenty of downvotes for my troubles, LOL.

    Well at least you guys know now: Koko’s character is totally out-of-whack.

    But you know, that’s just the beginning of it. They finally revealed here that Linda is a childhood friend(or maybe girlfriend). A Banri who is looking for the past sees Linda, while the new Banri is in love with Koko: This plot just reeks of suffering and “lol, wut?” moments.

    • October 26, 2013 at 3:29 amGermanguy

      Koko is to fixed on “play the Perfect role, even if it hurts!”. That was so clear to me, when she could not stop her Rant, and has go trough with it…

      She is just laying herself extremely Bad. If she continues she will hurt others around her and most herself. She will end up Alone

  • October 26, 2013 at 3:55 amdanny zeto

    The toe-stepping is probably the only thing that bugs me. I wasn’t feeling down on the 4th episode as the reviewer did, however I also felt the pacing was…weird. I’m still looking forward to the next episode.

    Now that I think about it, most of my rage were directed at another anime I am catching up recently – I actually in the midst of watching the old White Album series (WHY GOD WHY~).

    • October 26, 2013 at 5:48 pmJ_the_Man

      What are you? Some masochist?

  • October 26, 2013 at 9:17 amMeldoy

    Poor Oka-chan. She didn’t deserve that :(

  • October 26, 2013 at 7:59 pmReaper

    Completely off-topic, but each time you say Beta-type I can’t help have but think of Muv-Luv.

  • October 27, 2013 at 1:41 amtheirs

    I guess I’m one of the few who doesn’t find Kouko’s actions to be surprising. What she did to Oka-chan was unexpected, but it was in-line with her obsessive character. She’s been tormenting Mitsuo for most her life, after all. Judging from her reaction afterwards, it was fun to know that she really did mean to give Banri money for information back then. She’s definitely the most interesting character so far.

    As for the episodes themselves, I find episode 3 to be a comedic twist on what is a really scary topic in real life. Those things existed in my university a few years ago, and the results weren’t pretty. Though I can see why they might find Banri to be a convenient recruit.

    Episode 4 did feel fast, I wished they spent more time on the matsuri club, but kinda glad the underground concert didn’t take too long. Oka-chan’s confusion was interesting to see, I wonder what she thinks of Kouko now? Definitely a mixed episode for me. Though it does explain Linda’s actions in episode 2. Here’s hoping they connect it better to the next episode.

  • October 28, 2013 at 12:12 amCorin

    ..mm. Yes, that’s pretty much what I was afraid of back when I made my comment on episode 1.

    My impression is that Kon Chiaki is treating Golden Time like it’s Nodame Cantabile. Which it’s expressly not. The latter, for the various aspirations and neuroses of its characters, was still relatively light material for the most part, and relied heavily on slapstick humour. It also used the standard manga tactic of entire chapters to exposit on important developments for various side characters.

    Golden Time, however, is totally different. The setting is different, humour tends to be more understated and dry (though not always), and both of the main characters have subscriptions rather than ‘issues’. As the source is a LN, Banri is clearly the ‘viewpoint character’, and thus developments with side characters are introduced organically rather than shoehorned in or with whole manga chapters like a manga (as noted above) periodically does. It is writing that works based on its subtleties. Subtleties which Kon Chiaki, treating this show like it’s Nodame Cantabile, fails to convey.

    tl;dr – I totally agree that this show is in the wrong hands, and more or less said as much during episode 1. Heh. And to whoever said that the OP should be replaced with the ED or just replaced entirely – you are a person of decent taste. ;)

  • October 28, 2013 at 6:37 amlifesongsoa

    I’ve been enjoying this show for some of the same reasons you take issue with it I think. Kouko’s ambiguous nature is what make her interesting. The many different faces of Kouko are all still her and personally I don’t think her motivations are that hard to understand or follow. She is an emotional mess, surely we all have a friend or relative who is something like her even if we aren’t ourselves.

    As for Banri x Kouko and their character development I feel like this show has been cohesive so far which is a large part of why I’ve been enjoying it. Personally I don’t really want to know all the little details of Mitsou’s background or how Kouko first became involved with him. This story is from Banri’s perspective and personally I think it’s a wise choice for the director to keep that perspective in mind. We shouldn’t have the whole picture when Banri doesn’t.

    I’m not really feeling the complaints people are throwing at this show. It doesn’t feel rushed to me and while I haven’t read the original the directing seems pretty awesome from where I stand. It is currently one of my favorite shows of the season if not the whole year. It may be a bit early for that second claim… We will see I guess.

  • October 29, 2013 at 4:24 amKerrahn

    I started reading the manga between episodes 3 and 4, and found that while enjoyable I didn’t like the manga Tada Banri as much as anime Tada Banri (a bit too random in the manga at times).

    But after seeing the images here for episode 4, and then watching it, I was disappointed on how rushed it was. Episode 4′s material should have been extended across episode 5, especially considering how much was missing from the manga, including some more interactions with side-characters like Nana and Chinami.

    That, and how conveniently he worked out it was Linda in the photo (sure, not a common name in Japan, but really?). At least in the manga he worked it out by one of Nana’s comments, and seeing her name under her photo in the school year book, and didn’t feel as forced.

    • October 30, 2013 at 6:46 pmMaxwell

      Please stop comparing anime with other version.

      • October 31, 2013 at 7:11 amamado

        lol dude, you have no idea how adaptions work, do you?
        so its fine if I end up getting rid of some scenes/characters from the original novel/manga for the anime? yeah no, they are of the same origin so comparison is warranted.

    • October 31, 2013 at 10:02 amBear

      Actually, her name isn’t Linda, it’s Hayashida. How common a name that is I don’t know. Linda is a nickname she has because the kanji in her name can be pronounced multiple ways. To make it even more confusing, her first name is Nana, and Hayashida is her family name. The kanji for her name is 林田 (forest, rice field). 林 is pronounced “hayashi” or “rin” and 田 is “da” so you also can pronounce it “rinda”. R is only close to the actual Japanese pronunciation which sound a bit like L in English, so you get “Linda” as her nickname.

  • October 30, 2013 at 3:11 amJinzilla

    Indeed pacing felt pretty rushed in the episode, so props on you for pointing that out. No, you’re not crazy Zanibas, you’re just being critical like how a reviewer should be.

  • October 30, 2013 at 8:51 pmAlbaabla

    It’s not the J.C. studio’s fault that the pacing and the development is a little awkward. It’s how it is in the original Light Novel. I actually think it may have been done on purpose by the author because I remember Toradora! having decent pacing and good character developments overall. The sometimes fast, other times slow pacing may reflect on the hectic schedules of college life. The lack of character development? It perfectly captures real life college students – swept up by an overwhelming deluge of a brand new life.

  • October 31, 2013 at 4:50 amMilkfishCop

    I was considering dropping this series because of how Koko can be irritating and how slow the story picks up. I’m glad I watched episode 3 because this is what I’ve been waiting for! They should have done this an episode ago. Now it’s gotten to a point where Koko is less irritating and more interesting. Tada’s amnesia adds that needed spice. In episode 4 it’s even better. Koko realizing she’s wrong, Tada confessing and that ending! What will Tada do? How will he act in front of Linda? Will Koko change on how she views Tada? This show just got interesting! :)