Don’t Look Back
While Golden Time wasn’t my absolute favourite show of last season, it’s been the one that I’ve been keeping up to date to the most. So here goes, a review of the cour that aired during Fall Season before we move on to the second cour.
This review will mainly talk about the last five episodes of the cour since the previous seven episodes have been reviewed already, but I’ll make sure to not talk about specific plot developments to avoid major spoilers.
The later episodes goes deeper into the triangle drama that the show has been leading up to. The show explores both Linda and Koko to new depths, revealing more of their past and personalities. It’s done in quite a spectacular way to be honest, with Linda finally coming into her own and fitting in as a potential love candidate for Banri. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved Linda since the first time she appeared on screen, but I always felt the connection between her and Banri was not all that great for the first few episodes. I mean, it’s obviously going to be a case of best-girl-always-loses, but I’m still happy to see them trying to make it seem like it’ll be a contest.
More surprising perhaps, is the fact that the show keeps building up the side characters as well. Both Oka-chan and 2D-kun are now part of the main cast as full fledged characters with personalities, motives and side-plots. Episode eight in particular does some great job when it comes to this and truly shows off how well written the show can be at its best. Though most of it is a side-story that doesn’t further a lot of the plot, the developments of every single character in those single twenty-two minutes is just spectacular and beyond what many other shows can do over a stretch of episodes.
The events that go down over the last few episodes impacts the story a whole lot and saying that the show ends on a tense cliffhanger moment is an understatement. Golden Time shows time and time again that it can be mature and serious with its depiction of a relationship, even if it’s still overly dramatic for the sake of having the story work as it should. While I won’t mention anything that happens, I challenge anyone to watch the last two episodes and not be ensnared by the wait for the second cour to start.
Though the increase in flashbacks in later episodes is a bit jarring, if just because of the lack of them being around for the earlier episodes. They’re well paced and they have good reason for being there, but it’s like the show decided to tell its story in a different way half-way through the writing.
Though this doesn’t end up hurting the show in the end, but it’s certainly a thing that could be somewhat of a nuisance if you’re watching the show, or just many episodes, in one sitting.
The art isn’t all that great either. While it never looks outright bad, it often cuts corners for budget or time and it’s often fairly obvious. While the use of CG is at a minimum, the few times it’s there, it looks quite silly when set next to the 2D art. On the other hand, the art direction itself is great as always and the character designs are just splendid. The soundtrack is also a delight, even if nothing in particular stands out a lot apart from the Opening and Ending theme. I wonder if they’ll be keeping those songs for the next part or if we’ll get something new. We’ll know soon enough.
There’s a very simple answer to the question why I’ll be keeping up with Golden Time in 2014, it’s possibly my favourite love story of 2013 and I can’t wait to see how it’ll unfold. Sure, it doesn’t make me constantly cry like Say “I Love You” did a year before it, but when that’s the meanest thing I can say about a show, it’s pretty damn spectacular. I could easily see it be in the lead for Winter 2014’s best show if it keeps this quality up.
Cour Rating: 10/10
Golden Time is licensed by Sentai Filmworks for localized distribution.
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