Anime Vice News

GOLDEN TIME #1 -- Special Review

BAD NEWS: there's an amnesia plot. GOOD NEWS: they forgot to put it in the first episode.

Dude, she's right behind you.
Dude, she's right behind you.

SHOGUN'S NOTE: We're taking a quick break from our usual slate of reviews to cover as many new pilots as we can for the Fall season. Sit tight - - we'll be back to regular series soon!

When Banri Tada starts his very first day of law school by missing orientation, he happens to meet the handsome Mitsuo Yanagisawa in the same situation. The two bro it up all the way to campus where Mitsuo's old flame, the stunning redhead Koko Kaga, appears out of nowhere and assaults him with roses. Koko has essentially claimed ownership over Mitsuo's entire existence to satisfy her perfect "life plan," and he's gone so far as to abandon his parents' university of choice to try to avoid her (to no avail).

Banri then meets several women who he's intrigued by, because--surprise!--it's a harem show. What's strange about this, though, is that the show's intro and Banri's reactions make it pretty clear that Koko is going to be the one who ends up meaning the most to him, so that initial "which one will he woo?" speculation never really starts percolating. And what's the fun of a harem show if you already have a solid idea of who the protagonist is going to pick?

There's still a fair amount to like in GOLDEN TIME. It's a nice change of pace, for instance, to see a show set in Japan's college system instead of high school. When Koko is introduced, she comes across as the product of a hideous union between Bill Murray in WHAT ABOUT BOB? and Kathy Bates in MISERY, yet still manages to be charming because she's nice to people who aren't Mitsuo. While an amnesia plot will be thrown into the mix shortly, how the two male leads deal with the nigh-omnipresent Koko will be key to this one's watchability down the line.

Watch this episode, “Springtimehere and decide for yourself, then read our comments on other anime pilots from the Fall 2013 season below...

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter @Murphix.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 16, 2013 at 9:13 a.m.

Its a watchable show.Good animation ,Good art style.Feels more slice of life/comedy than harem/comedy.

takashichea moderator on Oct. 16, 2013 at 11:51 a.m.

@Marshal Victory:

I got the same feeling, too. A friend of mine pointed out that this series has a Supernatural theme. I didn't notice it had one, but ANN listed it. I just got to watch episode 2 since episode 1 ended with the motorcycle that is about to hit Banri.

(If it turns out to be a harem) I'm all for bets. I'm betting my money on Kōko Kaga despite being his best friend's girlfriend.

Off tangent, I doubt that folks will review Walkure Romanze: Shojo Kishi Monogatari since it's a boring harem series. My bet is on the pink haired gal, Mio. The pinked hair ones tend to win a lot. For Golden time, their hair color is pretty normal.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 16, 2013 at 12:49 p.m.

@takashichea: Ya pink haired girl in a harem is almost a flag seting thing .

Walkure Romanze: Shojo Kishi Monogatari sufers from one big plot hole .Thats the duel.Once the knight was informed her opnent was not a knight mshe would lose honor for wanting to continue.No glory or honor in defeating a inferior oponent.An this is a key part of the plot. Rember her key reason for wanting the dual was because she thinks pink hair was a knight who wanted to knock her out of the torunament.

Animation is great tho.I could do with out the computer genrated knights helm on comerical braks tho.Great horse animation to.

Halberdierv2on Oct. 16, 2013 at 1:10 p.m.

I enjoyed this so far, though despite the opening, it does look like the other girls he meets has a "chance."

takashichea moderator on Oct. 16, 2013 at 8:38 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Watched the 2nd episode when I should have been studying. Hell, I'm wrong. It's not a harem series. It's like you said, a romantic comedy series. Since you avoid OP and ED songs, the OP and ED really focuses on Koko. None of the girls ever appeared. It's definitely not a harem.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 16, 2013 at 9:36 p.m.

@takashichea: Woot finaly right on someting today!

But for what it is its still very watchable.Does not feel soap opera-ish ,has light hearted moments .An again the animation is pretty good.

Oh to be off topic Coppelion got much better on the 3rd episode.Better than the 2nd by far an above 1st .

takashichea moderator on Oct. 16, 2013 at 9:38 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

A college student has no time to watch all these shows. Yeah, I forgot about Coppelion. I'm doing what sickVisionz does. Dropping them and marathoning them during winter break.

Edit:

Except for the shows I'm working on the wiki project. I can't drop the show. Otherwise, my wiki work will pile up.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 16, 2013 at 9:54 p.m.

@takashichea: Not a student ,even of life any more. But some times if a show doesnt holed my atention ill drop it an try a run at it later. Some shows even have tried 3 runs at.Darker than BLACK was one of those 3 atempt shows but ended up owning it on blue ray.

Beyond the Boundary i think will be one of those shows for ya later on.I know it didnt hook ya at 1st but it devlops fairly well like Golden Time has.

zaldaron Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:55 p.m.

So I watched the beginning episode with my law school friend (who lurks here but should really get an account and post) and it was funny but honestly if it wasn't set in law school not sure I would be interested. To compare American Law School to this, all the stuff about honoring the department and the school is actually in our American law system. On our opening day and ALL the way through orientation before then they drilled into us that we were now professionals and should act like it.

Now we didn't have nearly a large enough class to have an auditorium full of students somewhere other than the school (but were all of these law students wasn't sure)

I also found it interesting that they started the law school at the bachelors level and I hope they explore that more it wasn't clear to me if this was a pre-law thing or if all you have to do for law school in Japan is an undergraduate education.

However the worry about schools and the surprise that someone who got into a higher ranked school would go to a lower ranked one for any reason is very real. Lawyers are VERY worried about prestige and the "rank" of the schools you go to definitely matters.

It will be interesting to follow this reasonably to see differences in the way law school is presented in Japan and my experiences in America. Show itself will likely be mildly entertaining but not nearly as much zany fun as Kill la Kill.

takashichea moderator on Oct. 17, 2013 at 3:15 p.m.

@zaldar:

Watched episode 2. Without spoiling you, it doesn't really show much stuff about lawyers. I'll keep an eye out for that. It seems unlikely, unfortunately. I haven't seen any anime shows that have lawyers as a theme. This series is aiming for a college experience with a romantic comedy twist. Tada will probably fall in love with Koko. The show will just revolve around them and their clubs. The first 2 episodes really focused on clubs. That's my prediction.

Edit:

Golden Time Discussion for fans who want to continue the discussion. The staff have limited coverage of the shows since they are only going to cover the pilot episodes.

zaldaron Oct. 17, 2013 at 3:19 p.m.

@takashichea: Ah I expect you are right to bad about the second episode but thanks for the heads up. Not unexpected though. That is a nich someone should fill I mean why exactly hasn't that ace attorney game that is so popular not gotten an anime?

Daniel_Newton moderator on Oct. 19, 2013 at 9:44 a.m.
The two bro it up all the way to campus where Mitsuo's old flame, the stunning redhead Koko Kaga, appears out of nowhere and assaults him with roses.

...redhead? That's definitely brown hair. Heck if it was any lighter it would be blonde.

I'm up to episode 3 now and this show is a lot of fun and pretty nutty. The drunken antics episode 2 are pretty true to college life... the whole religious cult part was where it got craaaazy.

A college setting is definitely a nice change of pace, it's a less... restrictive environment than a high school.

What's strange about this, though, is that the show's intro and Banri's reactions make it pretty clear that Koko is going to be the one who ends up meaning the most to him, so that initial "which one will he woo?" speculation never really starts percolating.

In my experience that's pretty much every harem show ever. There's always a clear "winner" and it's often right from the beginning. There will be a rival -- likely Linda in this case -- who will make the protagonist turn his head but not quite enough. Any other girls will catch his attention once or twice but won't be serious contenders in the long run.

Unless it ends with Tada bridging the gap between Koko and what's-his-name to make them understand each other and then he ends up with Linda, but that's fairly unlikely. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

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