Golden Time – 04

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When Kuoko sees Mitsuo hitting on Chinami, she verbally attacks her. Mitsuo and Chinami walk away, leaving Banri with Kouko, who realizes she went too far. Mitsuo meets with Kuoko and Banri at a cafe, where he tells her categorically that he likes Chinami and intends to date her. Kouko’s protestations fall on deaf ears, as Mitsuo leaves her with Banri again. He follows her to a punk concert, where she climbs up on the stage to rage out; whe she falls, Banri catches her. He takes her home, where they talk, leading to Banri confessing to her. The next day Banri stops by his house to look through a box of high school stuff, and finds photos of him with Linda.

Early in this episode Kouko reverted right back to her obsessive possessiveness vis-a-vis Mitsuo, and we were worried about a regression, but on the contrary, Kouko’s character progressed more than ever this week, for which we are very glad. Ultimately, moving on wasn’t possible as long as she harbored a sliver of hope that Mitsuo would be her boyfriend and marry her. Once he utterly rejects her, it’s like a page turning in her life. Once the shock wears off, Kouko realizes that practically everything Mitsuo said to her was true, and she realizes she probably wouldn’t be happy even if he decided to date her out of pity. For the first time in her life, Kouko isn’t living for Mitsuo. So she does what any adrift soul would do: seek sweet solace at a punk show!

It’s on this crucial night that she notices the one who has persistently remained by her side, looking out for her, and when he says one day his original memories could return and overwrite the person he is there and then, she tells him she doesn’t want him to forget about her – which leads to him confessing his feelings for her. It’s a beautiful conversation that picks up on what was said in the woods last week, and there was great relief in hearing Banri pull the trigger right when he should have. The final twist confirms that Linda (not Kouko) knew Banri before his blackout, and may well be his childhood friend. Not an earth-shattering revelation, but a nice additional complication in Banri’s life. We’d been rooting for Linda despite her limited screen time, but now we’re just as engaged in the Kouko route; a testament to the excellent writing.

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Rating: 9 (Superior)

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