Once upon a time, there was a boy named Kopo. Kopo grew up with Dragonball Z, Hamtaro, Digimon, Pokemon; among others. It wasn’t until the end of May/beginning of June that he started to watch anime outside of what his cable provider established for him. He watched Deadman Wonderland with his buddy, then went on to watch Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, only to drop the series (for about a month) after the time skip. Depressed, he searched lethargically for a new series to cheer him up. He came across a certain series that piqued his interest, but never expected it to be anything beyond entertaining. The name of the series was Toradora. Fast forward to present day, by looking at his Favorites List on his profile page, you can assume how well that show held up for Kopo. So, being the flawed human that he is, how do you expect Kopo to react when he finds out that a new anime series, from the author of Toradora, is coming into fruition? I’d expect that he’d freak out like a little girl, too. I should know, I’m Kopo.
Now, here I am, pondering over what I had just watched (actually, I did this yesterday, but whatever). This is how Golden Time plays out: A boy falls off a bridge and gets amnesia. A year later, he goes to college and has a fairly happy life with friends and a beautiful, albeit psychotic and not funny, girlfriend. All of a sudden, his memories start trying to envelop his body like a boa constrictor in an attempt to regain the identity of who he once was. By the way, his memories take on the appearance of himself the night he fell off the bridge. By the second to last episode, he becomes fully enveloped in his past self, and he becomes who he once was, forgetting the life that he once had with his friends and (by that time) ex-girlfriend. On the last episode, his ex-girlfriend comes to his house and gives him a mirror that says “remember” on the bottom of it. He uses this retrieval cue to jog back the memories he had when attending college with her, along with all of his friends. He then runs after her in an attempt to win her back. He goes to the bridge that he fell off with and has a verbal dispute with the ghost of Chri- I mean, his past. Then, his friend and former love interest, Linda (not the one he was chasing), comes up and hugs his ghost and tells him that her answer is “Yes.” Elated, the ghost of himself feels happy, gives his current him a ring, and disappears. Then, Linda runs away and his soon-to-be-not-ex-girlfriend doesn’t see or hear any of this because lawl. The main character cries her name, and she turns around, astonished that he remembers her. They then whisper sweet nothings to each other for FIVE FUCKING MINUTES (I may have counted) and they live happily ever after, with the main character retaining both his past memories and the memories of his college days.
Now, on a scale of one to a thousand, how much bullshit was put into this story?
I looked it up. I looked it up because I was curious at the realistic claims made by this show. As it turns out, once you lose your memories to an accident and develop amnesia, YOU CAN NEVER GET THEM BACK. Seeing as Golden Time made this possible in their universe, I can only judge this anime in terms of fantasy. How many fantasy elements are there other than him being able to remember his past? Well, he talks to the ghost of himself and so does Linda…. That’s it. So, in essence, this show is a failure. I exaggerate, of course, but really, when you think of it this way (as only I do, I’m sure), you realize that this show is complete and total bullshit. It’s cliche, it’s melodramatic, and it’s pure bullshit. Not to mention incredibly dull in between. Did I mention his girlfriend isn’t funny? Neither is the show.
Perhaps I expected way too much from this show, as it was, in fact, written by the author of my favorite anime of all time. Perhaps, then, it is unfair of me to rate the series this low. But the fact of the matter is, despite the fact that I had had huge expectations for this show, not only did it disappoint, but overall, it’s just a really bad show. The characters are forgettable, save KO-KO; along with being WAY too sentimental towards each other. Seriously, get a fucking room. The design seems almost lazy, as the characters look somewhat scrappy from head to toe. The plot, as I’ve already made clear, is mindless. The entertainment value of this show is so devoid of anything special or entertaining, it’s almost as if the author couldn’t think of anything to put down, so she tried making some of the characters act intentionally weird or creepy. It didn’t work for me. Just a really dull (and stupid) plot.
The characters, oh, the characters. Banri is main character. KO-KO is his soon-to-be-girlfriend-but-then-not-then-so-because-happy-endings-yay. She’s KO-KO for Cocoa Puffs, but that’s really all she is. There’s this guy that Banri hits it off with in the beginning… he doesn’t really serve much of anything. Then there’s Linda, Banri’s childhood friend. I think she may have been the most realistic character, maybe. I don’t care. There’s Oka and her OKAMERA! OOOOH! PUNS! There are other characters, but I never cared for any of the rest of them, just like I don’t care to put anything else down for this paragraph.
ART. Wow, well, it was there. I wasn’t just watching a white screen with voices… I think. Anyway, it wasn’t exactly terrible, it just seemed somewhat dull, as with the rest of this series. KO-KO in a thong was interesting, as one of my buddies has since pointed out in his Twitter feed. You don’t typically see anime characters in thongs. The overall design of the environment seemed… realistic, I guess, which is a first for this series. At least the characters were distinguishable, now if only they had enough substance to be interesting.
I’m just fuming, really. Half the time I was writing this, I questioned my own rating for the show, because if you read my words carefully, I make it seem like I hate the fuck out of this show. But do I? No, not really. I’m just disappointed overall that it wasn’t better. The author’s track record speaks for itself! She can write good (if not decent) stories! So what happened here? It just turned into a sentimental, unrealistic mess of melodrama and bullshit resolutions. It’s almost like… it turned into all of Toradora’s bad points, without any of the good points. Now, asking myself seriously, was there anything that I genuinely enjoyed about this show? Hrmm. It kept my attention.