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Golden Time Episode #01 Anime Review

5 min read
Golden Time Episode 1
Golden Time Episode 1

The first day of college can certainly be a traumatic event.

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…

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Golden Time is a series that I’ve been quite curious about since it’s announcement. It comes from a recent light novel property of the same name that also obviously has a manga adaptation that started with the light novels that began in 2010 written by Yuyuko Takemiya with illustrations b Eji Komatsu. The series has run for eight volumes so far and is still going on. The anime adaptation has a pretty interesting pedigree to it with Chiaki Kon directing it based off of scripts by Fumihiko Shimo while Shinya Hasegawa is on board to handle the character designs. Put it in the largely capable hands of JC Staff, who have often done some really great looking shows, and there’s a lot to look forward to here on paper.

While I obviously like anime, the one are that tends to grind on me a bit is the continual use of middle school students and their fluffy as hell or unrealistic romances that occur. High school stories tend to be a little bit better, but they still suffer in some ways. The college related ones often take it all to the next level, which works well since we’re dealing with kids that are truly transitioning into adults and the scenario, landscape and mood of it all changes, especially when you can ditch the uniforms. So, with Golden Time, that deals with characters at a private law school, it’s a very different series of events that can occur, even if it does deal with some of the same trappings since these kids aren’t that far removed from their high school days. While the chase is often a great deal of the fun, the older you get yourself, the more you want to see what happens after you catch the object of your affection to see what happens from there.

The series introduces us to Banri, a freshman who has come from Shizuoka to Tokyo and is adapting to this new kind of life on his own. It doesn’t start too well since he misses the orientation ceremony and is unused to Tokyo in general, but he’s excited about this new life of his. Luckily, while he’s a bit lost and unsure, he ends up running into another student at the school named Mitsuo. The two have a quick and easy connection and lightness about each other that makes it very fun to watch since there aren’t any over-exaggerated elements to it. It does go into disaster mode quickly though when after he reveals that he came to the school in order to get away from a woman that was a disaster in his life, she shows up, all rich in appearance and nature, and assaults him with a bouquet of roses. At least she took the thorns out. And this brings Kaga Koko into the series and configuration quickly.

Not surprisingly, Koko has tracked him down well using her connections and knowing him, and it doesn’t take long for her to insert herself into his life. Which drives Mituso crazy quickly since he was trying to get away from her. You can see how Banri understands why he’s like he is with her, but he’s also just trying to enjoy this new life of his and having Mitsuo as a friend that he does find ways to try and make things work with a positive feeling about it all. It makes clear his personality and approach to life that’s definitely nice to see. And that easygoing nature allows him to make friends quickly, which includes another young looking cute girl named Chimani that helps him out when things are just slightly difficult. It’s the kind of lighthearted moment that has that realistic feeling. Which, admittedly, is definitely needed before it gets to the big club recruitment sequence that’s over the top yet quite amusing.

While we get to see a lot of different clubs with a strong-arm approach to gaining new members, we also get another woman that enters Banri’s life when Linda helps him out after getting scraped up in it all. Being an older student, she takes the responsibility seriously and adds another welcome element to the growing cast. Removing the usual high school antics and keeping it a bit more realistic and level-headed, we get something that’s certainly more flirtatious and exploratory without being obnoxious. The only one that fits into that mold at this point is Koko, and based on what we get here, it’s easy to see why she’s like this. But part of me has this feeling that as we get more of what’s going on here and the back story, especially with Banri and his past, there will be more that will make her a sympathetic character, even if she can be hard to deal with at times.

In Summary:
Few and far between, I love anime series that revolve around college students. It’s such a welcome break from what we get with middle school and high school romps since there’s just a different series of expectations for it. Golden Time presents an engaging cast overall that I want to know more about, though Koko is the one that will take some getting used to. With its focus on Banri and Mitsuo and introducing a few other young women as the two men explore and settle into their college life in Tokyo, it has a good charm about it between the acting, the scripting and the animation itself. Something about the show is just clicking for me as it comes across as quite appealing, leaving me wanting to see more and explore what the series will really be about.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Golden Time Episode 1a