Golden Time Episode 22 & 23

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Recap

The breakup is official as Banri slips more and more away. 2D-kun tries to patch things up with the group, but Banri’s psychosis upsets plans once again. Seeing no hope, Banri submits to his fate.

Episode 22

If there’s something I’ve liked about this end, is that neither side comes out of these fights totally in the right. Koko seems to still not have learned anything from her time with Banri. She still snoops around his place, looking at things that aren’t her business. It does help her figure out the root of Banri’s problems, but it still comes from a place of deep-seated mistrust I thought was already over with. On Banri’s end, his constant lying has finally become too much. I remember a very pogniant line from Koko’s father a few episodes ago. “See, he lies, but I tell the truth.” To be honest it feels like Banri has been spending more of his time lying and misdirecting people than not, and it really is about time he sees the full consequences of his insecurity. It’s not just Koko that’s been hurt, he still is dishonest with the man he calls his closest friend, when those are the kinds of people he needs on his side the most.

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As Iro said, this episode was physically uncomfortable to watch, but in a good way. It’s clear from knowing Koko that she is trying to create artificial distance between the two of them. She is just as hurt as he is, and she thinks the only way to mitigate the damage is to try and go back to square one as if nothing ever happened between them. This in itself has many problems, but I think the worst is the fact that this leaves Banri with a vacuum in his support structure. While in the beginning, it seemed everyone was really close, it’s obvious that here near the end of the series, Koko and Banri have a way close connection to each other than to their friends, even beyond the normal romantic levels.

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That’s one place where Linda can come in, and boy did she ever. I never thought anything could top that visceral fight between Koko and Banri, but Linda’s disbelief brought things even higher. It’s obvious that she still has some feelings for him, and this fight brought all the feelings that have been bubbling the whole series to the table. Linda feels betrayed because she thought she could forget about Banri since he now had Koko, but now that he so easily gives up his feelings it makes her regret her own hesitations all over again. By bringing back the Amnesia Ghost it is basically wasting all the effort she took to change the roll Banri had in her life. Thankfully, Banri does start to cop to some of his lies, and we end this episode at least at a state of uneasy peace.

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Episode 23

Continuing from last week, this initial conversation was another painful thing to watch through. You can see just how much both sides have given up after all of Banri’s psychotic episodes. Banri, desperate to keep at least some part of Koko with him, resigns to her demands all too quickly. It just shows how low Banri has fallen. Koko, on her end, is simply hedging her bets, since if Banri truly does lose his memories, there really isn’t a future between them. It seemed like such a cruel thing to say to add that small hope of if Banri doesn’t forget her, she would immediately come back to him. It is placing an unfair pressure on Banri that is completely out of his control.

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Let no one ever speak ill of the name 2D-kun. Such a bro as he has rarely been seen in all of anime. While nothing has really happened to him, it’s hard to not feel sorry for his position. His friends have been caught up in their own petty squabbles for so long that they have neglected him almost entirely. I can definitely sympathize with the idea of being left out of the loop when all I ever wanted to do was help the people I care about. I thought he would finally get some redemption for his work with this episode, but then we see it squandered all too quickly by another amnesia attack. I find this one to be a bit more acceptable than the last, as it’s possible something about Linda triggered the attack. Still, the frenzies Banri finds himself in are getting very melodramatic.

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The future looks bleak, and to be honest I’m not even sure how they’re going to end it. Unlike Yuyuko Takemiya’s last work, Golden Time will not be finished by the completion of this anime. While I have faith enough in the writers and directors to leave us at a satisfying point, it remains to be seen how it will be played out. It seems that there are far too many plot threads to have them all wrapped up by the end, so my primary thought is that this episode will simply focus on Koko and Banri making up, leaving many of the other issues unsolved. I have heard no word of an anime-only ending, so there is hope we could see more Golden Time once next week is through.

2 thoughts on “Golden Time Episode 22 & 23

  1. Outstanding writing throughout for Golden Time. I believe this is the first entertainment medium of any kind that I have watched starring a protagonist with a mental illness and treated with an impressive balance of levity and seriousness. It is heartbreaking to watch Banri’s social circle collapse all around him, and I can only wish for a happy end to this.

    • Yeah, as much as our personal rally cry of “Get out Amnesia Ghost!” has been in jest, I really do hope Banri returns to normal in this final act.

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