Season’s greetings and welcome to this catch-up impressions of episode 10 of Golden Time. I hope you all had a happy and safe holiday with your families and didn’t over-stuff yourself like I most certainly did. But now it is time to get back to the anime and what better way to start with than my favorite drama series of the year.
We’re approaching Golden Time’s halfway point and already it feels like the makings of a climax are in the works. Banri lost his body to his spectral doppelganger at the end of last episode and things looked grim for his and Kouko’s lovey-dovey relationship. After episode 9, I expected 20 minutes of heartbreak and madness to turn the series completely on its head and drive it down the path of Banri realising that he has to let go of his past to be happy. However, what we got was a slow, but insightful episode about a bed-ridden Banri, brought on by his ghost taking a tumble in his body at his front door, knocking him back into reality.
The main purpose of this episode was to present Banri in a feverish state where only his brain’s true desires were allowed to shine through. As you can imagine, in a situation where he could meet both Kouko and Linda, some very awkward situations could arise, especially when you consider last episode where his memories of loving Linda began to really come back. One more slip of the tongue in a situation where Kouko could overhear it and Kouko’s delicate little heart could be broken once again and I know that is something that I would hate to see!
The amount of room for interpretation that Golden Time is making for us is simply amazing at the moment. Once innocent and kind, Banri now seems like a bad guy at times, but why is that? I struggled to come up with a more apt metaphor, but I feel like it is similar to the battle between cynicism and optimism made abstract by the glass half full vs half empty argument. Banri has two sides to him: the Banri from the past, and the Banri from the present. Which you see as the ‘real’ Tada Banri depends upon whether you see his ghost as a tortured soul, forced to watch unfairly as his body, which he can not control, runs about with another girl; or as an interference in the existing Banri’s life that is trying to (and recently succeeding to) force his way through to destroy everything that he has worked for since joining law school.
On the surface, Banri doesn’t seem like a deep character with his generic brown-hair-brown-eyes look and his be nice to everyone attitude. In the last few episodes though, he has become something that could almost be interpreted as a threat – A wrecking ball that is only vaguely in control of its actions and has only avoided causing damage thus far because the operator has been passed out in a drug induced haze. The potential for relationships to break down and this golden time to have its sheen stolen by a wrecking ball blocking out the sun is bigger than ever. Should we be excited, or should we dread the release of each new episode? I’ll leave that one to you.
As always, there was enough comedy to offset the feeling of lingering disaster keeping you on the edge of your seat. For a few brief moments, you were allowed to relax and simply laugh at the silliness of 2D-kun and Mitsuo as they proceeded to sell out Kouko, forcing her back into her flawless princess mode where she can blame any of her actions on almighty love. It seems that as we approach 2014 this series is going to have to eventually pick a path and I feel like it will be Banri leaning towards a relationship with Linda as his memories get restored. It has been treading the line between unconventional romcom and full on drama for a long time now and it is about time that it had to choose for fear of its current enigmatic formula becoming stale in the near future. How long will this golden time last? Stay tuned to find out.
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