For those in the medical profession, Golden Time, (or the Golden Hour), refers to a time period lasting for one hour following traumatic injury being sustained by a casualty or a severe medical emergency, during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent death and/or minimize damage. Our anime series, “Golden Time”, follows the aftermath of such an event, although the title can have a double meaning
We start off with Banri Tada. While in his last year of high school, he suffered a traumatic head injury in a traffic accident that flung him off a bridge, that nearly killed him in the process, that effectively erased his memory and personality, so he recalls nothing of the event, save that it did happen.
He transfers to a new college to start a new life, but it is already fraught with peril. Late on the first day, he runs into Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and they immediately hit it off. As they get to school, a gorgeous blonde presents Mitsuo with a bouquet of roses….which she proceeds to smack him with. This is Koko Kaga and she and Mitsuo have been childhood friends since childhood and she is to marry him. But Mitsuo fled his hometown to start a new life here….without Koko. Not going to happen, dude.
As it turns out, she starts to have feelings for Banri, as he is a nice goof (oh, understand that Koko comes from a very wealthy family, so she always looks runway ready, whether it’s a Parisian catwalk or a Parisian airport). But there is the rather mysterious Linda-senpai, who seems to know something that Banri doesn’t.
This show becomes a romantic dramedy love trapezoid. This is another entry into the “Love Stinks” category. “Love Stinks” is a marvelous song by the J. Geils Band and it opens with:
“You love her but she loves him
And he loves somebody else you just can’t win
And so it goes till the day you die
This thing they call love it’s gonna make you cry”
And that is the whole show in a nutshell. Of course, things get complicated when Banri starts to get his memory back, but in bits and pieces and love gets really complicated. One nice feature is Banri’s Ghost, his former self, who watches over his current self, but cannot intercede in any aspect of it. We see Banri struggle on all fronts, as since there is something missing within him, there is something missing for him, so he runs pillar to post, seemingly unable to do what has to be done.
For me, the show took its bad turn when Banri learned the truth about Linda and that really colored and affected the show from that point. That may have been the Deal Killer for me. The show does take a good look at relationships, but Banri is such a nebulous person, even with the memory loss, that you can’t feel anything for him. And Koko! That is one double high maintenance lady. Forget the designer clothing she sports (I mean, my monthly rent is just one pair of shoes for her); she’s got some major serious relationship/possessiveness issues that would wreck anything, and it does.
The show fizzles at the end, as it completely falls into standard romance tropes, but it is still work a look, just because it is always a treat to see Koko make her grand appearances.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Koko is amazing)
Plot 7 (Nothing new)
Pacing 7 (Gets a bit jagged)
Effectiveness 7 (Too many cliches)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 3 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 6 (Too much trauma)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. “Every move you make”.