Thursday, 30 January 2014

Golden Time - Episode 16

Things early take a fatal turn, as a tiring day at the beach turns into Koko falling asleep at the wheel, only to be saved from major disaster by Banri... or, perhaps more importantly, his ghostly subconscious.

Although the physical damage is limited to a dented bumper, a bent crash barrier and a cut lip for Chinami, the psychological fallout of this accident is far greater.  While all of the group are shaken up for a spell in the aftermath of the incident, Koko shuts herself away from both Banri and all of her other friends, becoming uncontactable as they find themselves increasingly worried.

It's clear that some kind of intervention is needed, and thanks to Mitsuo her address is passed to Banri to pay her a visit.  Unsurprisingly she's in quite a bad way mentally, not only blaming herself for the accident but also seeing it as evidence of her immaturity in spite of her no longer being a high school student.  Worries soon turn to accusations and a full-blown argument between Koko and Banri as we get to the real crux of the issue however - Koko is terrified of losing him, and particularly scared by the prospect that another accident could erase his memory and see him up sticks and leave as he did with Linda previously.  A mixture of home truths and over-bearing misgivings combine as everything comes to the surface - probably for the best, as it allows for reconciliation and the chance to move forward.

Although "ghost Banri" saving the day irked me in last week's episode, I will give this week's Golden Time full credit for how it handled the fallout of the accident - from Banri's shaking hands through to Koko's realisation that, university student or not, she's still a kid in a lot of ways, there were plenty of moments that rang true, sullied only by Koko's father who went from horrific villain who slaps his own daughter to the ground to "generic comedy Dad" in a single episode.  The row that underpinned the second half of the episode was also fantastically well-written and framed, with simple words of comfort being misconstrued and turning into an ever-escalating to and fro of accusations and uncomfortable statements that ultimately cleared the air.  This is the kind of thing that I originally turned to Golden Time for, and even if it doesn't always deliver I'm certainly glad I stuck with it for those moments where it does get everything right and deliver a strong and interesting take on human relationships.

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