Golden Time Review: Identity Crisis

golden timeHigh school romance, made by J.C. Staff. Is this a masterpiece or the complete opposite?

I was hesitant about Golden Time. I knew it was produced by J.C. Staff, so my expectations were as low as can be. The rating on MyAnimeList was rather positive, which I still cannot comprehend. Even the former creator of ToraDora couldn’t safe this train from crashing.

golden timeTada Banri suffers from memory loss after being tossed of a bridge during high school. His memories are gone and he is accompanied by voices in his head that keep him bound to the past. Apparently hospitalization is not required when you suffer from multiple mental disorders. Instead you go to university to live your romantic fantasy.

In university he meets hot bodied Kaga Kouko, who instead of chasing her childhood friend to make him her husband, falls in love with train wreck Tada Banri.

golden timeAs said, Tada Banri suffers from ‘memory loss’, with voices. Every now and again the voice returns, making Banri panick, making him scream for his former harem member, Linda. Banri keeps switching between his former love Linda and girlfriend Kouko.

This mechanic is supposed to be the harbinger of a harem anime, apparently. Only Linda herself doesn’t know what she wants and is only there to pet Banri when his former self comes back. The former self that is dying to be with Linda.

The parts when Kouko and Tada were having fun, were actually quite entertaining. Nonetheless was it so sugarcoated at times, that it became dreadful. The sudden occurrence of Banri’s alter ego at the most inappropriate of moments, was equally dreadful. Every sane member of his friend group would’ve already redirected him straight to an asylum or a doctor.

golden timeGolden Time came out in 2013, which is interesting since the visuals look like they’ve come straight out of 2004. The character animations are inconsistent and there’s almost no depth of field. The only remarkably good animation/frames where the city shots, which even surprised me. It is obvious that the character design team needs some help from the pro’s at the background/scenery team.

golden timeMy review may feel like sarcasm, but it honestly isn’t. Golden Time is such utopian idiocy, fighting for a genre to fit itself in. The romance isn’t credible and it’s not ‘incredible’ enough to be a harem. The drama is forced and seems to only lean on Tada’s memory loss with not much else going for it. The characters, apart from Kouko, are beyond annoying. I rate this series a 5 out of 10 for its bad performance.

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10 thoughts on “Golden Time Review: Identity Crisis

  1. Ruki says:

    I remember dropping the series after three episodes while it was still airing and I was thinking I should get to it now after seeing that it’s scored pretty high. Now I’m not so sure anymore. XD

    • ninetybeats says:

      If you want to watch a romance anime I can suggest:
      5 Centimeters per second, Plastic Memories, Isshuukan Friends, ToraDora, Clannad, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or the more harem orientated Nisekoi.

  2. Silvachief says:

    After having talked to a few people about Golden Time it seems to be an anime that your either love or that simply doesn’t resonate with you. I haven’t posted my own review yet, but i’m firmly one of the former.

    For me, Golden Time represented a relatively mature take on romance compared to what we normally see it anime. Rather than love at first sight (though i’ll admit, Banri is pretty enthralled when he first meets Kaga) or forced harem relationships it presents two people who need time to learn about and grow on each other, and has that all happen while they struggle to deal with some intense emotional issues.

    One point i’ll agree with you on is regarding the “Ghost of Banri Past”. I was fine when it showed up to give a perspective on how the pre-amnesia protagonist was feeling about events, but the angle of him causing the car crash and various other misfortunes was unnecessary, because they could have all occurred without him.

    As far as Banri’s mental state goes, I agree and disagree. He didn’t display any signs of schizophrenia whatsoever (though I understand what you’re talking about when you mention split personalities) but instead faces an ugly situation in which he has two sets of memories vying for dominance…and whichever one doesn’t win effectively dies. That’s incredibly scary, and Banri has an intimate understanding of what’s at stake which makes things even worse. The reason ye olde Banri is always crying out for Linda is because he’s suddenly in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and she’s his only point of reference – we know that he was incredibly timid before his accident, so that all fits.

    Should he have been hospitalized? In an ideal world maybe, but the truth of the matter is that he wasn’t a danger to himself or others so the likelihood of being admitted to a mental hospital is incredibly low if he himself doesn’t want to go (and you can understand being scared of being place in the “looney bin”, right?). In any case, he’s reverting to the “true” Tada Banri, so there’s a pretty big chance doctors will just sit and wait to see what happens anyway.
    From a real-life perspective on a soundly fictional situation, I think every single character reacts in a believable way, which I found to be fantastic.

    But I know what it’s like to not enjoy some and have someone try to convince you that it was actually good, so I acknowledge that if you didn’t enjoy watching it no amount of argument will change your mind and it’s safe to chalk it up as a difference in taste. I just wanted to argue some points mentioned in your review that I felt differently about.

    As a side note, I really enjoy the title and subtitle pictures you use in your articles. Keep up the good work!

    • ninetybeats says:

      A review is always subject to one’s personal opinion. It’s never based solely on facts alone, the emotions of the writer always come forward one way or another.
      I spice up my reviews with sometimes triggering language if I really disliked the series. But I understand your line of thinking. Nonetheless thanks for your feedback. It’s just like I enjoyed Guilty Crown and many others didn’t.

  3. spitzsoapbox says:

    I didn’t care for this series, either. There were maybe two good moments, but overall it felt like they were trying too hard, which made the vast majority of the situations and dialogue feel contrived. Some good OPs/EDs though.

  4. sindyblue10 says:

    You’re being pretty lenient with 5/10. I would of expected you to give it a worse score since you didn’t like or so much.
    I tried watching the first episode last year but i stopped there.

  5. Black Ragdoll says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t like Golden Time! You’re being very harsh!

    Although I can understand that sometimes you just don’t connect with a show. (Much like I personally didn’t connect with Plastic Memories, which I see you’ve recommended in the comments).

    I’m going to get behind Silvachief on this one though. Golden Time shows a maturity that other romance anime don’t, and is closer to realism that any other romance I’ve seen. It depicts the process of going into and being in a relationship so realistically, with all it’s intrigues, complications and miscommunications.

    However, the whole Ghost aspect of the anime was a bit over the top. Had there not been a ghost, and instead just Banri struggling to move on from his past, I think the show would have been much better. But hey, it’s anime, what can you expect?

    Very interesting to read your take on GT, I’m intrigued by how an anime can create such a variety of opinions! 😀

    • ninetybeats says:

      The story in itself had potential, may it be that Banri was terribly executed and the memory loss felt forced instead. It is from the original creator of ToraDora. I compared it to the previous work that was in the same genre and was able to be way more convincing.

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