Golden Time Episode 4
Facing the reality of a love who doesn’t love you is one of the hardest things ever.
What They Say:
Banri Tada is a newly admitted student at a private law school in Tokyo. However, due to an accident, he lost all of his memories. During his freshman orientation, he encounters another freshman from the same school, Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and they hit it off at once. Without any memory of each other, their lives become more and more intertwined as if set by the hands of fate. But what is their fate, and will it lead to happiness or another memory to forget…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Golden Time’s dip into the cult aspect last week was definitely a double edged sword for me. While I liked the character bits we got from it as Koko and Banri ended up spending time together and really talking while in the woods, we also got the cult time itself. And that simply came across as strangely forced and out of place, even if there is a ring of truth to it in a lot of ways. The progression of events felt a bit forced and stilted, but the result was getting a lot of time between the two leads that really helped to flesh each of them out a bit more. Koko in particular is growing nicely as she falls into that category of once you know her and understand her, you realize why she is the way she is and it makes a lot of sense. And it softens as well since it’s not just a passing stranger acting crazy.
Recovering from all of this, everyone has made out well and Mitsuo and 2D are all glad to see them back, safe and sound. When Koko gets involved at one little gathering though, it goes badly since she gets all accusatory towards Chinami who is with them. She has such a jealous and protective streak that she can view anyone as trouble, though she may not really realize why she’s doing it. So much so that even when talking with Banri afterwards about it, she admits it was stupid, dumb and just reactionary. It’s a startling admission from how most characters of this type act in that they never, ever, truly realize how they are perceived or that their actions just aren’t welcome. She knows it, admits it, but can’t do anything about it at the moment. That’s just striving so much farther than others.
Where it gets truly interesting though is when she has a sit down meeting with Mitsuo, having Banri there as well, and basically tries to plead her case with him. The two of them have had an awkward relationship as it’s peeled back here where Mitsuo even says they never dated. He’s simply cold towards her, distant, but it stems from the feeling of being overwhelmed by her when he never made any moves towards her. It’s all been here and he’s never wanted it. She does her best to hide part of herself here, being defensive in how she pushes Mitsuo away, but the ache and pain is most certainly there. It’s rough to watch and it’s hard to imagine how Banri would really be feeling while taking some part in this, trying to comfort her while she wants no comfort.
Koko does a great job in letting some of those emotions out though through a very lucky happenstance of a flyer to a club where it’s pretty much all sorts of screeching music. Seeing her tear down her clothes and just cut loose is fantastic to see. But it’s also given the flip side as we get some very quiet time later in the dark of night as she and Banri spend time together and as she copes with the acceptance part of her relationship with Mitsuo, Banri reveals his interest in her in a very plain and direct fashion that hits her hard. But his reasons for saying it are intriguing as he’s scared that his old personality could resurface at any point and wipe out who he is now, so he’s trying to make the most of now. Which is difficult considering what we get at the end here in seeing him discover something about his past he was unaware of.
Wow. Really, just wow. Golden Time has managed to come from the previous episode that underwhelmed in some ways and to just hit out of the park. Mitsuo is the minor character here to be sure, but the emotions painted onto him by Koko are fantastic and seeing how she reacts to him and realizes her own situation comes through beautifully. Whether it’s taking her frustrations out on others, realizing it but being unable to stop it and admit it or just trying to berate him into accepting her, she’s doing everything she can to get the one she loves, not understanding why he doesn’t love her. And in the middle of all of this is Banri, who is coping with his own fears but is still trying to seize the day and find what happiness he can. It’s a great pairing of characters here that have some significant struggles that may find true happiness with each other, but will have to fight for it because of their own issues and things done in the past. I’ve been keen on the series from the start, but this episode just moves it forward in a fantastic and smart way.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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