“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!