“In the Mirror”

It’s hard to comment properly on Golden Time when it comes to deciphering the ambiguous intents of some of its scenes. For example: Banri hits his head again. Is he now back to New Banri, is Old Banri still there, or maybe have the two morphed together into one personality? The third one, jokes aside, strangely rings true for myself, as the show made it very hard to distinguish who our current Banri is. He states that he has to see Linda and that Koko is a fading dream, but at the end of the episode he’s totally fine consummating their relationship (most likely in sex) on the beach! It also doesn’t help that Banri suddenly gets sick to the point of fainting–requiring the assistance of every single character minus Chinami up to this point. It was a sad sight to see Nana have to take care of super-beta Banri, even if he was sick. The specific scene where everyone gathers at Banri’s place was both helpful in developing Koko’s jealousy but also in developing…a whole of nothing.

Normally, a whole lot of nothing would be alright–every romantic comedy has to have its plotless moments–but I’ve realized something about Golden Time’s execution. Many moments that are supposed to be funny…just aren’t. They don’t even bring a smile to my face, which is a problem in itself. Feel free to disagree, but the comedic execution of this romantic comedy is dearly lacking, instead bringing unwanted awkwardness to the table. What’s supposed to be an excellent opportunity to connect the characters more turns into another Koko-mocks-Mitsuo and 2D-kun-derps moment. We’ve seen the Koko mockery enough times to be sick of it and 2D-kun is simply inconsequential to the show, both in terms of humor and story. They’ve underdeveloped him as a character up to episode 10 that it’s sad really–even Sakurasou managed to develop its cast of characters much more robustly by episode 10 than here. The only good things this scene serves is to provide a trigger for Koko to espouse her worries, as well as integrate the group very weakly, through a very obvious hinting of everyone attending the beach and getting into all sorts of drama.

Enough complaining though, because the final scene of this episode was…honest and well-done. After all the crap that Koko has done for Banri (aka nothing substantial), it was nice to see not just another change of heart–one of many up to this point–but also to see Koko actually honestly reach out to Banri not in her super-hyper attitude, but in this more honest mellow attitude that shows that she truly cares for Banri. Many of a cloud of jealousy does hover over these two during this scene, but those sentiments quickly melt away in the face of an honest Koko and an honest Banri. That hug, that honest hug and admission of one’s faults without cloudy drama–that is the couple development I’ve been looking for. Best of all, the show doesn’t immediately jump to another cliffhanger, but rather ends on that sweet note, allowing us to finally absorb what was a good stopping point to begin the next arc from.

Thus, I’ll be going into the next episode with more faith than I usually have had for this show. If they can portray a nice no-strings no-drama and stable date for these two, allowing us time to breathe from all of the dramatic nonsense that’s been going on, I’ll be a happy camper. It’s been drama and awkward scenes from episode three onwards, but I have faith that the studio can turn this around and give us the stable developments and growth these characters need! Again, feel free to disagree in the comments–I like to see healthy discussion about this show!




  1. I was very disappointed with this episode. Plot-wise, this was pretty underwhelming. I agree with you that the comedy is getting a little old since it’s just a bunch of recycled jokes. The character development could’ve been better and I think I would’ve preferred if Kouko went all out on calling Banri on ‘cheating’ with Linda since it perfectly emotes why she’s been ‘sick’ lately but even that was brushed off quickly with some bad Mitsuo jokes.

    Old Banri didn’t really relapse (seems to possibly have some lingering emotions instead of a take over) like the end of last episode implied. I was looking forward to what would happen if he did.

    The last scene was pretty nice but it doesn’t outweigh the negative aspects from the rest of the episode.

  2. Ok people, forget Paris. The seaside’s where the party’s at.

    But, man, this will pose problems. Tada Banri must forget Linda. It’s not healthy and it won’t do him any good. The ghost should just die.

    1. I was very glad and happy its ended so fast. I dont want drama about it yet. Better if they build it slowly, let Banri become aware something happening.

      But seriously his blushing “shoujo expression” was kind of disgusting lol. And it went all day. Its good he stayed in his room all the time, I am sure if he run in some tug they would have gang raped him. 😀 Lets just leave the “innocent girl” expression to the innocent girls. Or the Yaoi genre. 😀 😀

  3. I’m a bad person because I find it funny for the wrong reasons. The first scene was a crack up:
    Banri 1.0 “Hey, I’m back and this is my big chance to see Linda”
    Trip, thud.
    Banri 2.0 “What just happened? Screw it, I’m going back to bed.”

    In more important news, Nana beach episode?! Do it now! Do it, do it doit doit!

    1. I honestly thought it was Old Banri throughout the entire episode so this makes a lot more sense now, lol.

      …the show made it very hard to distinguish who our current Banri is.

      You can say that again, Zanibas. (I was lazy to make a second post so these two comments are merged into one post, sorry if there was any confusion.)

    2. But it did shake things up. Now new Banri “feels” like he’s in love with Linda, he just doesn’t know why.

      Some helpful research on amnesia I pulled up from wiki:

      There’s two types of amnesia, retrograde amnesia and anterograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is the one from 50 First Dates where the brain is no longer able to store new memories but retains past memories.

      Retrograde amnesia impacts what was already stored in the brain. This memory is split up into two types of memory: declarative or explicit memory and procedural memory. Procedural memory refers to memory that is unconsciously retained, namely skills such as how to ride a bike. Declarative memory refers to memory that must be consciously recalled like facts and knowledge.

      Declarative memory is further split up into two parts. Episodic memory and semantic memory. Semantic memory deals with memories of understanding, concept, and knowledge. Like knowing Tokyo is the capital of Japan, or what “cat” means. Episodic memory, is the memory of autobiographical events, places you’ve been to, and the feelings associated with such memories.

      Apparently, if the parahippocampal cortex is undamaged, it is possible for a person to retain their semantic memory despite a loss of episodic memory. Which would be what happened in Banri’s case.

      Now, considering the above, it would seem that who one “loves” would be stored in the episodic memory. But consider that who people are as individuals can be shaped regardless of whether we remember specific details of events. Say you were pushed in line as a kid by some other kid. It’s possible to completely forget about the event, but in your semantic memory you’ve learned to not push other people. I mean I certainly haven’t had amnesia, I think, so I can’t speak from experience. So this poses a question: despite losing episodic memory, can we store who we love in our semantic memory?

  4. @Zanibas: Again, feel free to disagree in the comments…

    The problem is that I agree with much of what you say – particularly regarding the hit and mostly miss comedic timing. Not only do some scenes come off flat, at times I can’t tell if a scene is supposed to be taken as a joke or not. Even so, if I had to list my biggest issue with the show it would be the male lead himself – Banri. v1, v2 or v10 – doesn’t matter which version because rather than form some sort of attachment or even a bit of sympathy, I like him less and less with each passing episode. At best I’d say I’m neutral, but “somewhat negative” is probably more accurate.

    The transition from the end of last episode to this one was not good IMO. I’m still trying to figure out what happened. Last EP ended with Banri v1 clearly in control – no confusion whatsoever. This EP opens up with Banri v? stumbling around, dazed and confused like he just polished off a fifth of Jack. I get that he was ill, but the way it transpired seemed rather heavy handed to me rather than something natural. Fine, whatever. So I guess Banri v2 is back in charge except now his relationship with Kaga seems like a dream. He wants to see Kaga because otherwise their relationship isn’t real? O.o…?

    Didn’t think it was possible, but I actually feel a little sorry for Kaga. Poor girl is even willing to XXX in order to keep him. Can’t say for sure, but my guess is that she found that photo of Banri & Linda together in HS. Probably overheard the balcony conversation as well. After that, it wasn’t too hard for her to put it all together. Add in her personality and no wonder she feels insecure about the relationship.

    Previously, I was shipping Barni x Kaga more than Banri x Linda. After this episode, I’m shipping Banri v1 x Banri v2 in a vain hope that maybe Banri v3 can decide once and for all what he wants. He “forgot” to call her? OK… pretty sure he wouldn’t forget to call Linda if Nana hadn’t done so already. IMO, it’s clear that Banri doesn’t love Kaga. Of course that doesn’t prevent him from accepting Kaga’s offer of “Paris at the beach” despite pining away for Linda all the while. I wouldn’t be surprised if he cries out Linda’s name while they are going at it.

    For me, Nana was the highlight of the show. Still shipping her w/ 2d-kun since at this point, those are my favorite characters along with Chinami. I really hope the entire group goes to the beach because 20 minutes of just Banri v? and Kaga doesnt’ sound all that attractive at this point. Comparing the show to Sakurasou, I would say that all the “side” characters are under-developed. Sakurasou had much better balance in terms of screen time for the characters. For me, given the weakness of the two leads in Golden Time, more screen time for all of the “side” characters could only make the show better.

    1. So I guess Banri v2 is back in charge except now his relationship with Kaga seems like a dream.

      Well,it was always kind of a dream.Him & Kouko were just fooling themselves in believing otherwise.It was only a matter of time until both both of them acknowledged it.I mean,just compare it to how natural it feels when Banri’s with Linda.

      However,that’s not to say that Banri & Kouko’s relationship can’t become reality.Kouko in particular definitely seems to want that,slowly coming to realize how things stand & trying to do something about it.

      I do hope we’re done with this ghost Banri business though…

    2. I wouldn’t even bother trying to fit this into the romantic comedy category. It’s just a romance or maybe even a soap opera. Any humor that exists is incidental. Certainly, Kouko’s fights with Mitsou fall flat as comedy. I lost all respect for Banri v2 after his admission that he was still in love with Linda, but jumped at the chance to do a “Paris” with Kouko at the beach. Kouko is desperate to keep her boyfriend and can see that Banri and Linda have an emotional connection. This is a bad situation. A lot of it is Banri’s fault and he can’t use his amnesia as an excuse for everything he’s doing.

      Now I’m all for shipping Nana with 2D-kun. That could be a hilarious matchup. They are so wrong for each other that they’re right.

      Finally, I’m annoyed at the author for giving us the impression that Banri v1 was coming back for at least awhile and then pulling the rug out by having him almost immediately revert back to v2. Sleazy writing IMO.

      1. I feel like you guys are misunderstanding (or perhaps that’s me). What I got from Banri V.2’s longing for Linda (and him feeling as if his relationship with Koko is simply a dream) is that his feelings are muddled due to the brief moment when V.1 took control.

        The reason he wants to see Koko is because he knows what he’s currently feeling is weird; he doesn’t understand his sudden ‘need’ for Linda. The only way he feels he can get rid of this strange feeling is by seeing Koko, the one he (Banri V.2) really loves.

    3. @MgMaster: IDK here. The way it was phrased (or at least translated) came across quite literally. Like Koko was some sort of imaginary girl friend similar to Haganai’s Yozora and “Toma-chan”. For me, the whole “reality” vs. “dream” scene just went too far (credibility issue). They ARE dating – doing couple type things (holding hands, kissing, etc.), viewed by others as a couple and acknowledging that fact. Maybe if Banri had said something to this effect a few times before and now that feeling was even stronger, I might be OK with that. Instead, his comments come out of nowhere.

      I enthusiastically agree with you regarding the “ghost of Banri past”. Sooner we are done with that the better IMO.


      @Bear: IMO a “soap opera” is a good way to put it since the series does heavily feature the generic soap opera amnesia plot line. I also agree with you that Banri can’t keep using his amnesia as an excuse. IMO, some of his issues are independent of any symptoms caused by loss of memory. Just consider how he was in HS before the accident. Lastly, I feel like I was trolled by the author (or director if this is anime only) with the way Banri v1 says “I’m back” and then almost immediately disappears apart from some “inexplicable” desire for Linda. Why even bother with Banri v1’s “return”? Why just not have Banri suddenly remember bits of the past which cause this new “uncertain” desire for Linda? Meh. :/


      @Kuma: I agree completely with your first statement. I’m sure Banri v? (whatever version he is now – v1.5? v3?) is confused.

      The only way he feels he can get rid of this strange feeling is by seeing Koko, the one he (Banri V.2) really loves.

      JMO, but I honestly don’t think Banri v2 loves Koko after watching this EP. Barni v? claims he “wants” to see Koko, that he “misses” her, but he does nothing to make that happen. No text, no phone call, not even “hey, can you contact Koko for me”. NOTHING. I wonder how long it would have been before Banri did contact Koko had Linda not done so on her own. “Actions speak louder than words” as the saying goes so I don’t buy into what he says. I used to think there was something of a romantic spark, albeit a small one, between Banri & Koko. In retrospect, I was too optimistic in that regard. Once again, it seems Koko has entered one-sided relationship.

      It’s easy to understand why Koko accepted Banri’s timely confession, and why she very well could be in “love” him. Apart from the obvious physical reasons (Banri is clearly very interested in Koko’s “Paris”), I find it difficult to understand why Banri found Koko attractive to the point he confessed. Is it simply that Koko, like Linda, became his sole female friend? I’m starting to think that on a subconscious level, Koko is Banri’s attempt to find a Linda substitute. Of course, she’s not Linda by any means, and with Banri v1’s quasi return, that fact is now becoming more and more apparent to current Banri. Until Banri’s feelings for Linda and their relationship is decisively defined and settled, I don’t see how he can have anything but a superficial relationship with Koko (or any other girl but Linda). Banri and Koko may “always have Paris”, but that will be it.

  5. I’ve become a Linda shipper after the last couple of episodes but little by little,I’m starting to appreciate Kouko too as she’s shown to be self-aware and is trying to change for the better.With enough developments,I might end liking her almost as much as Linda,as long as they’re presented in the realistic fashion that this show set the bar for.I knew I should’ve left shipping for harem shows only…

    I find it curios how I’m not paying attention to much of GT’s flaws that you mentioned,even though after reading such a post,I realize they’re there.It’s probably the effect of enjoying a show enough so that you won’t give too much attention to it’s flaws until you’re done watching.

    Don’t get me wrong though Zani,your posts are fine! I’m not a fan of sugarcoating,even if it’s about a show I really like 😛

  6. “sick visit” ep, as Keima (TWGOK) would like to say (:
    Banri got some love points with both Kouko and Linda (you can even count Nana if you’d like to, THO it might be more hate points LOL).

    let’s dismantle the parts of the trio here, starting with Banri, it’s confusing – when is it the real and when is it the ghost (besides the part the ghost entered his body)..but being clear and decisive when it’s the real and it’s the ghost, would ruin the whole issue we have here in terms of Banri’s character development (not to mention the trio complex might be ruined). ever since we discovered about his past life and the accident, it was implied that Banri is conflicted. we can’t throw it away just like that, simply because we can’t distinguish between them. so what?I think of the ghost a “separate subconscious”, raising to surface from time to time, making Banri being blurry about himself. and here comes that great analogy he made between dream(Kouko) and reality (Linda).
    I do hope he’ll regain his power after the illness, and we’ll see the usual and more decisive Banri, but I still want him to be conflicted, it’s also important for the trio.

    Kouko. what’s with her this time?when she entered dramatically with the flowers, reminded me of ep 1 when she throw it on Mitsuo. I was like “oh no, she and her moods again” (guys had issues with girls’ moods all the (golden) time).
    but Banri isn’t Mitsuo, and Kouko knows it. she knows Banri is delicate and honest, he isn’t the kind to betray or abandon her like that (right?). moreover, in contrast to her “relationship” with Mitsuo, she is like..she needs him. and at end of the ep we also got a change in her behavior when she was with him alone, and that’s is a relationship.
    at first I was thinking she is jealous, which might be true, but it’s not the pure jealousy we had with Chinami back there. not only she respect Linda, but she sees her as a more perfect GF. and it’s true, she is a bit jealous, but more than that, she wants to fulfill the love with Banri in the best way, but it’s not going on so well, and Linda seems a better choice in her eyes(especially if we consider the fact she is the prime suspect for stealing the photo!)

    speaking about “sick visit” event and love point. Kouko won the jackpot in the end (I guess at least we can expect “beach episode” in addition/instead of paris-ep). but more than the love points, we got some nice development in their relationship. both Kouko and Banri are conflicted, yet together they try to stand strong for each other. so back to the analogy of dream and reality. maybe with Linda it’s all real, but with Kouko we also see the features that are essential in relationship. remember, every relationship is in a different way and unique, but here and there, there are some common elements.
    unlike with Linda, we didn’t get to see a real development. sure, we see Banri interacts with her and it all looks so nice and optimal, but in fact, nothing really going on in this direction. it more happens in Banri’s mind, we don’t get to see how Linda percept the entire issue here.

    I must agree with you about the comic relief. most of the time (after 10 eps), it’s just not funny enough (like now, the scene of everyone gathered up in Banri’s place). I know I am supposed to laugh, but most of time it’s not happening.
    well, I thought time is needed for golden time (HaHa) in that matter…but I am not so sure anymore. even the well known “Toradora!” had issues with that (agree or disagree..whatever, but it took a lot of time for toradora in that matter, and even that is questionable).
    I hope it will get better. we need more Chinami for this XD

  7. I thought the first half of this episode was quite pivotal in developing Banri’s no-longer latent feelings for Linda. And the directing in that scene was quite well done too. Plenty of Banri x Linda romance all round.

    Then when his friends crash the place we get a brief confrontation. It’s certainly not a massive fight between Linda and Kouko, but don’t forget the Banri x Linda relationship’s only really been going on for about two episodes or so. I actually found it quite impressive that they went from Kouko’s “You’re cheating” to a different topic of conversation rather quickly – none of the main characters are really blind to what’s going on with Banri and his two girls, but they’re not here to fight. They’re here to nurse Banri back to health. It’s perhaps a pity that Mitsuo and 2D-kun aren’t particularly funny, but this show hasn’t really been funny since episode one. Their joking around should be attributed to an aspect of character and not a serious attempt by the author to entertain.

    Kouko nursing Banri in the final moments was impressive in its own way. The last few episodes have been very Linda focused, with Kouko either sulking at home with her ‘cold’ or just out of the way; this brought her romance back to the fore. Aside from pleasing all the Banri x Kouko shippers, this also shows that Kouko’s not a bad person in her own right, no matter how annoying she can sometimes get.

    So I have to disagree, Zanibas. This episode was a very character focused one which built romance for both girls in the show, and it’s a sign of the writer’s genius that she can write characters and situations as complex as these. There is no right choice for Banri, because Kouko, no matter how much she likes him, is a deeply flawed as a character, and Linda, no matter how natural they can be around each other, is a part of his past. This episode acted to present Banri and the viewer both these routes, and to show subtly that neither of them is necessarily better than the other.

    That’s what I think. It could just be that the writer’s doing an amazing job of shipping both sides to get maximum fan appreciation, but I’d like to hope otherwise. Golden Time’s been a very impressive series once it got over its initial directing slump, and I hope it keeps being one.

  8. Is every damn guy in the series gonna do an impression of Kou-oh wait, every guy in this series already has done an impression of Kouko at least once. Nothing beats Banri’s “my boyfriend <3" impression though.

    And the episode previews are usually pretty funny. This week we have Banri annoying the hell out of Nana. "FROM ME! FROM ME! Whatcha gonna do?"

  9. Totally agree with you Zanibas. Aso, I keep feeling like the direction of this show has been a waste of good source material. IMO it’s never going to be another Toradora (same author). In both works there were often quick changes from lightheartedness to drama, but the execution here is lacking. That being said I still like Golden Time and am interested in seeing where it will go.

    I also feel that Banri (and Koko to some degree) shouldn’t be in relationships at all, with anybody. Koko and Banri especially don’t seem to really know who they are and you can’t be in a healthy relationship if you’re using that relationship as something to define yourself. I think this is why it’s sometimes awkward to see interactions between Koko and Banri, they seem to be searching for who they are supposed to be within the constructs of the other persons expectations.

    I believe this is why sometimes their relationship comes across as fake. Thankfully, they seem to becoming more honest with each other, and facing their true feelings will allow them to define themselves as individuals. This should strengthen their relationship.

    Side note: It’s interesting see how Koko and Banri have switched places in my mind. Initially Banri was the honest one and Koko hid behind a mask so I couldn’t tell what she actually felt. Now Koko is being honest with her feelings and Banri is the one behind the mask (two of them 🙂 ).

  10. Nana-sempai (the neighbour punk rock member) is such a nice person despite her scary appearance, no wonder she shares the same VA as Chitanda Eru and Tainaka Ritsu. 😀

    Though they have the same names, this Nana is not to be confused with Hayashida “Linda” Nana. In fact, the novel passage states that this is only a stage name, in reference to a certain shoujo manga carrying that name.

      1. You should see footage of Satou Satomi in person.

        She said her friends were dumbfounded when she told them she was cast as Ritsu in K-ON as Ritsu was completely different from her personality wise, which was closer to characters like Chitanda and Manami in OreImo.

  11. hurmm…i dont like how they “portray” Nana-senpai here. I mean, i dont mind if she’s only appearing briefly in the background and nothing more. But they are making it more obvious as the story goes on. I watched the NaNa anime, and this version of “Nana” kinda ruined the original image of Oosaki Nana whom i greatly loved 🙁


    Wow, Kouko made a big move there! I can see she’s really afraid of losing Banri and also his past relationship with Linda, and the only way to make him stay is to make love with her…

    onion warrior
  12. With True Tears it was pretty easy, Toradora was not bad either, Ano Natsu de Matteru really easy and Kokoro Connect was just bs, but WHY IS IT SO DAMN HARD to pick the right girl for this show’s love triangle, why are the consequences so well constructed, and both of the girls so damn likable. Why is it so hard to choose between the two..

      1. XD that would be something in it’s own way, but Makoto was a genuine douche bag and all the characters kinda sucked. In Golden Time it’s the opposite. Banri is a cool guy and all of the girls are so damn likeable. A school days route would be a real tragedy instead of a lol sensation if it occurred. Giving a bad end to likeable characters is a really good way to enrage fans and a huge money loser.

      2. I agree with Flame strike. Both Koko and Linda Senpai are complex well written characters, especially Koko, and I love how she’s voiced by the VA of Hanekawa from monogatari, it brings up her deeper side.

  13. I find a striking contrast between the haughty, jealous persona Koko shown amongst the friends and the warm, slightly unsure of herself girl when alone with Banri.
    Banri is both lucky and unlucky – lucky because he has 2 such caring girls loving him, unlucky because he eventually will have to make one unhappy and live with it.

    1. Two words: Harem Route. Girls can be so possessive, they could just share him. I’m sure there’s plenty of Banri to go around. Just hit him in the head if you want v1.0, hit him again if you prefer v2.0.

  14. Why am I not excited over the “Doing It At The Beach” thing?Maybe because of the fact that I was used to those crappy CLIFFHANGER!!!
    Anyway,I’m going to enjoy it even though there’s no “You Know What” here.

  15. I’m kind of on the bandwagon of ‘Banri should forget his old love for Linda’. I dunno, but Linda just kind of screams of being way too perfect. Plus it honestly looks like the love that Banri V.1 has for her is really hurting Banri V.2’s current life. When you stop and think about it, it’s driven a wedge of indiscernible size in the BanKo relationship that, from what we saw a couple episodes back, didn’t really exist before that. I’m trying not to heap on the shipping goggles here, really. (This is just based on how we’re show a pretty unhealty obsession on part of Banri V.1.) It just looks like this could end badly for Linda and Banri if things don’t pick a status quo for them.

    Glad we’re out of the flashback section, though. Was getting a tad old, even though we got a lot of back-story.

    Oooooh…sex on the beach. 😀 (Seriously, I think this is one of the few anime I’ve seen in a while that approaches sex in a normal light, rather than the ecchi/super-perv one. And I greatly appreciate it.)

    P.S. Nana is best non-harem character. Throwing that out there right now.


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