Thursday, 27 March 2014

Golden Time - Episode 24 (Completed)

Just as he'd expected, Banri Tada's memories are about to vanish as if they were never there, and the end of the school festival sees all of his life since his accident simply dissolve as he returns home with his mother, leaving nothing more than a distraught group of friends in his wake.

Although Banri has plenty of notes from his "other" self, upon returning home he seems more than happy not to pursue any recollection of those missing memories - after all, what's the point of trying to rebuild something you can't even remember, and what would the use of that be?  Thus, the only carry-over from that period of his life is Linda, who continues to see Banri even if she, too, seems to be stuck in time from the moment of his accident and her missed meeting with him.

If Banri isn't going to chase after his recent past though, perhaps it might just chase after him instead?  A knock on the door as the New Year approaches sees Koko paying Banri a visit under the auspices of returning a DVD.  Although Banri has no idea who she is, and makes a (mistaken) blind guess at who she might be, a certain effect upon her person seems familiar, and upon further inspection Banri's memories of his former girlfriend come flooding back.  It seems that this is the moment to make good on his promise to her, if he can only catch her before she leaves town...

Having made what seemed like such a final statement of intent in last week's episode, I have to admit that I wasn't really expecting to be served up a happy ending here, but I can't really begrudge it for going down that path rather than just shrugging off the past six month's worth of viewing as forgotten memories.  In a sense, this finale was a good representation of Golden Time as a whole - something funny, sometimes hugely emotional, sometimes a complete mess in the delivery of important elements of its plot, but somehow just about coherent and entertaining enough to remain satisfying.  Make no mistake, this is no Toradora, but it does manage to rise above its use of the tired old amnesia cliche to bring life and purpose to such a concept, and with some characters who you couldn't help but root for into the bargain.  It may not be one of the highlights of the past two seasons of anime, but Golden Time is still a worthwhile show that had plenty to offer viewers willing to forgive its moments of insanity.

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