Golden Time – 08

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Banri rescues Mitsuo from the aggressive Reina, and learns that Mitsuo told Chinami not to speak to him again. Banri, Kouko and 2D-kun arrange a day at the theme park to cheer Mitsuo up. Kouko invites Chinami too, and when she arrives, Kouko upsets Chinami to the verge of tears, but they make up. Everyone has fun at the park, and Mitsuo and Chinami also make up. Later, the five party at Banri’s house. At 3 AM, when everyone else is asleep, Banri meets Linda on their adjacent balconies, and they talk more about the past with fondness.

With the focus on Banri, Kouko, and Linda, Mitsuo and Chinami had gotten a bit of a short shrift, but that changes this week, as both characters get some very nice development, as well as repair their impasse. It may be so that Mitsuo is overreacting to the embarrassment he suffered, but we’re not insensitive to the fact that someone in his position could end up over-thinking things, panicking, and self-destructing something that had a lot of potential. Luckily for him he has friends who won’t let that happen. It was also great to see Chinami not cheerful and baudy for once, as Kouko directs one too many barbs at her, not fully aware of the situation. The whole scene at the station with Chinami, Kouko, and Banri showed us a new side of Chinami, and we liked it. In fact, this is one of those rare shows where we can declare that we like every single character in the cast.

They’re all great right now. Banri and Kouko, Chinami and Mitsuo, Nana and Linda…even 2D-kun has his charms, despite being the odd man out (maybe he can meet a nice tea club gal…). It’s telling that the episode begins and ends with Banri and Linda alone, talking about the past. It’s a fascinating dynamic, with Linda knowing so much and Banri remembering nothing. In that past Linda assured her friends she didn’t like him at all, when the opposite was true. We wonder if that also applies when she planned to say “no” to him on the bridge? The present Banri seems happy and content, but his past self is restless in Linda’s presence, even seemingly regaining control in the the moment Banri falls asleep, wishing everything could simply reset. Present Banri’s Golden Time is now, but Past Banri’s was back when it was just him and Linda.

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Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • That was a nice and surprisingly playful save by Banri, waving off Reina by proclaiming he and Mitsuo were lovers.
  • We liked how Mitsuo and Chinami got more visibly comfortable with each other as the day at the park and Banri’s house went on.
  • We’re trying not to read to much into the preview for next week, which shows Kouko and Banri troubled by something. As much as we like Linda, we wouldn’t mind them dating a little longer. 
  • That’s right: we’re rooting for both Kouko and Linda. And why not? They’re both likable. Banri—and we—win either way. Such is the quality of this show and its characters so far.
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Kyoukai no Kanata – 08

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The “Calm” arrives, a time when all youmu are weakened and spirit hunters enjoy easy pickings. In a video postcard Akihito’s mother urges him him to be careful. Fujima tries to wring info out of Mitsuki about the Nase clan’s plans regarding the powerful emergent youmu called “Beyond the Boundary”, but Hiromi rescues her. Akihito takes ill, apparently due to the Calm, and Mirai wants to stay with him at the Ayaka’s studio. Fujima comes to take him away, but Ayaka holds him back until Izumi arrives.

Ya know, we never liked this Fujima dude. The show never tried to hide his smug sliminess, but it’s still gratifying to see him show his true colors, and see that like us, no one else is surprised in the slightest. Like Mitsuki, we’ve been in the dark about his intentions, as well as those of Izumi and the Nase clan in general, but now it seems like it’s their duty to subdue the titular “Kyoukai no Kanata”; the latest Big Bad. Fujima is the slightly smaller but still powerful Bad trying to gum up those works, sow discord amongst the clan, and claim the rare half-youmu Akihito for his purposes…whatever they are.

Funnily enough, Fujima wouldn’t have been able get Mitsuki to easily had she not wandered off in preemptive disgust for her big brother. Still, Hiromi doesn’t shrink from his duty as his sister’s protector no matter how many times she shuns him. It’s also notable that both Fujima and his apparent Izumi both get uncomfortably close to people. Fujima’s just messing with Mitsuki, but it’s strange that Kanbara’s condition deteriorates significantly right encountering Izumi, and even though she saved Mirai from the Inamis, we still don’t know why. Until we learn more, we can’t really trust her much more than Fujima.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • This episode is called “Calming Gold”, referring both to the Calm, a “golden opportunity” for spirit hunters everywhere, as well as the gleaming golden sunset preceding the evening the Calm commences.
  • We failed to mention Mirai’s role in this episode: struggling with her feelings for Akihito, the one guy who treats her normally, no matter what. Her new roomie Sakura doesn’t let her sidestep the issue, either.
  • Fun to see Shizuku take time off work and really get into the spirit of the Calm. She needs to do a better job minding her surroundings though.