Golden Time – 19

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Is Tada Banri really The Worst? Nah, but he’s certainly quite fallible. This week he keeps his friendship with Linda a secret from Mitsuo, doesn’t tell Linda that Mitsuo would be at festival club filming, doesn’t even know what Linda is mad about, and later disgusts Chinami, who happens to catch him being all too friendly with the girl Yana-san likes. He even jokes that he doesn’t know who Koko is when she rushes to his arms upon his return to town, and…all right, we’ll admit that was pretty funny. But it wasn’t very nice.

So yeah, Banri messed up here and there this week, but one can’t place the blame entirely on him. After all, when you’ve decided not to run form your past anymore, difficulties and missteps come with the territory. Doing what he’s decided to do was never going to be easy, especially he isn’t even sure he can coexist with his past self; it could come back and take over at any time. It’s all to easy to shrink in the midst of existential fears, and thus it’s understandable he’d overlook the affairs and feelings of others now and again.

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That being said, his actions have consequences. Mitsuo is really into Linda and wants to make a go of it, while Linda is unsure of how to react to his interest in her. She’s a lot of fun to watch this week, as we get many a hilariously angry-face and scary voice out of her. It’s a little goofy, but her tangled emotions are strongly felt.

As for Chinami, we’ve never seen her so pissed off, and while it’s true she was being a bit nosy and doesn’t have the whole picture, she’s not wrong that Koko would not have liked the scene of Banri and Linda she witnessed. Linda and Chinami form a tag-team of punishment on Banri, and it’s oddly satisfying to behold.

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Speaking of Koko—she’s decided it’s time for her and Banru to become one. Her gift of the Eiffel Tower sculpture (which beyond its obvious phallusy bears a resemblance to many an ancient fertility statue), and its subsequent role in the failure of her mission (along with her full stomach) are all brilliantly dorky, cute, and very Koko. It’s also notable that she presents him with the tower as he’s debating whether to give her his mother’s ring.

He tells himself and Koko they have plenty of time, but what’s so agonizing is that we simply don’t know if that’s really the case. When we saw that ring, we immediately considered the possibility that it may never see Koko’s finger. We hope we’re wrong. In any case, Banri can’t be careless with his secrets, his omissions, or his time. This is his golden time.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

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Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren – 07

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Let’s get down to magical brass tacks: Yuuta kinda screwed up here. Yes, helping Satone when she lost all her money and phone was the right thing to do, and it’s clear he can always be counted on to help his friends in time of need. BUT, when the girl he’s helping is a girl he has a history with, which intimidates his girlfriend, that’s a rather different story. This was a crucial day he and Rikka were supposed to spend together alone, strengthening their bond of love, and Satone’s arrival couldn’t have been timed worse.

We were well and truly annoyed at Chu2Koi for so neatly tossing that pink-haired wrench into its own works. While it isn’t particularly far-fetched that Satone’s school would be visiting Kagoshima on the same day as Yuuta and Rikka’s, the odds of her just happening to bump into the two in her vulnerable state struck us as far too convenient; enough to question early on whether she followed them there intentionally. But with Yuuta’s promise not to get close to other girls ringing loudly in her ears as Yuuta gets close to Satone, Rikka’s patience runs out quickly, to the point she accuses him of breaking their contract and storms off. Trouble in paradise.

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But we never forgot that Satone seemed willing to walk away and not bother the couple when she first found them; and when she’s alone with Yuuta, she apologizes. They part ways, and then she sets into motion what Rikka believes to be a showdown by the waterfront. But rather than engage in a Chuunibyou battle as one might expect, Satone drops the delusions and gives it to Rikka straight. The truth is, she used to be in love with Yuuta; but with emphasis on the “used”. She didn’t like how “powerless” she became while obsessing over him, so she decided to stop doing so. She never told Yuuta her feelings, so things could remain as they were.

The confirmation that Satone has no intention of being her competition is surely relieving to Rikka, but she’s not all that upset over what Yuuta did after all. In fact, the kindness he exhibited is a main reason she fell for him in the first place. To Yuuta’s credit, he offers up a full apology (after being chastened by many other girls) and surprises Rikka with a new umbrella and pendant for her birthday, which she didn’t even know he knew. She thanks him with a decidedly un-Chuunibyou, confident “I love you.” While they may not have spent as much time together as they’d planned; it’s ultimately a case of quality over quantity. And while Satone may have felt weakened by her love for Yuuta, Rikka clearly draws strength from it.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • The B-plot involves a phone conversation between Shinka (who thinks Sanae built the Mori Summer website) and Sanae (who actually didn’t, but is impressed by said site, and finds something shocking on it we’re not privy to). We’ve grown fonder of their love-hate relationship, but frankly would have preferred more Yuuta-Rikka time.
  • Kagoshima seems like a nice place to visit. Dig the volcano.
  • A “Do Not Rush At Feral Monkeys” TV disclaimer was conspicuously missing from this episode. Seriously, some punk kids might try that and get themselves bitten!
  • Good to know that the other girls in Yuuta’s life were just as outraged as us that he’d essentially ditch Rikka to help Satone. It means the show knows he erred as well, despite his good intentions.
  • We don’t use this term lightly, but Rikka’s “I love you” was totes adorbs.