Tada Banri and company try to make the best of their beach trip as their “mysterious” string of bad luck continues. This includes getting everyone in the same car with Mitsuo after their previous awkward encounter, but that may be the least of their worries as the day goes on.
This episode may have had my blood pressure at an all time high, which is to say it was pretty great. It’s been obvious Amnesia Ghost’s stint as a God of Vengeance could only go on for so long, so I found myself jumping at every little hint of adversity: 2D-kun being late suddenly becomes “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH 2D-KUN!?!?!”, Koko slipping in the rain turns into “OH GOD DID SHE BREAK SOMETHING?!?!?”, you get the idea. As an extra layer of evil, Golden Time even tries to lull you into a false sense of security once everyone starts having fun, but it was clear once 2D-kun handed over the keys to Koko, it was finally going down. The writer and director did a fantastic job of mirroring the audience’s feeling of helplessness with Amnesia Ghost, and while I will be shocked if there are any severe consequences to the accident — just look at next week’s preview — you can’t help but have knots in your stomach after watching it happen. Well played, Golden Time, well played.
On top of the tension, we also got some fantastic friendship building, as the crew finally seems to have gelled as a tightly knot group. For once, Tada Banri isn’t making terrible life decisions and actually saves the day! The scene with everyone prancing around in the rain was one of the most natural, beautiful moments I’ve seen in an anime in a good long while. It was the perfect release of all the tension and negative energy up to that point, and really showed the inevitability of Banri and Koko’s relationship. They belong together and what’s in the past is in the past; this episode did a great job cementing that fact.
As I already mentioned, I don’t suspect the final scene will result in any permanent damage, but I am guessing it will do a number on Koko’s already fragile psyche. I also assume this will make Amnesia Ghost back off a bit, at least until the next time he sees Mitsuo with Linda again. Besides, there’s also the question of whether Koko will actually go on her trip to Barcelona now, especially after Banri couldn’t take the hint at how much she wanted to stay in the first place. As much as he played the role of a good boyfriend this episode, did anyone else find it strange he didn’t kiss Koko during the fireworks? There’s still plenty of drama left to sort out, so I can’t wait to jump back into Golden Time next week.
I’m still not sure if I’m comfortable with the sheer amount of power Amnesia Ghost is apparently able to wield. It’s an interesting narrative device in order to create strife — especially now that Tada Banri and Koko are getting closer — but it still feels so cheap. We have never seen any evidence of his apparent ability to manipulate any object in the world for much of the show. Even in the episode where he momentarily took back his body, it seemed like his power was limited at best. Now we see him affecting weather patterns and casting hypnosis on everyone the moment his body goes against his old feelings? It’s a bit of a stretch.
That said, Amnesia Ghost aside, this episode was pretty great. It’s great to see my Best Bro For Life 2D-kun back in the game, even if his creeper factor was flaring up. Everyone played off each other well and it genuinely felt like the kind of conversations you’d have between friends. I loved the “this is not a taxi” bit, as that’s definitely something I’ve had happen when driving couples. Tada Banri also got to not be a horrible person for once, creating a really cute and organic scene, well at least if you ignore the weird pee jokes. Despite the requisite “Get out, Amnesia Ghost!”, this was still another solid episode.