Home > Check-in Station > Check-in Station: Golden Time ep1 (I want to fall in love – with this show)

Check-in Station: Golden Time ep1 (I want to fall in love – with this show)

My first impressions during the first few minutes of this show was that it felt really good to see anime characters with problems I could more relate to. Problems like living on your own and finding your way around a city or college for the first time, and just trying to find a comfortable spot to fit in at with other people.  My further impressions of the show are that this could potentially be the show I enjoy watching the most.  Yeah, I’m kind of high on this show right now.

OK, the opening for the show is kinda famous already at this point.  Our potential hero, Banri Tada arrives late for his law school entrance ceremony.  A clear sign that he’s a lost person in a big new world.  And he says as much himself.  The map that’s supoosed to show him to his actual college does no more than confuses him, and he ends up tailing a pair of female law students from the orientation, to see if they can lead him to his destination.  He follows them to a convenience mart, where he loses them, and decides to at least finish the popsicle he bought outside.  And that’s where he meets Mitsuo Yanagisawa, a guy who had the same exact idea as him, and ended up in the same spot.  The two are both completely lost and this helps them become fast friends, though when Banri gets to know Mitsuo a little better, he realizes that his new friend comes from a very distinguished background.  It makes him wonder why he ended up at their current college, when it’s actually a step down (or two) from where Mitsuo would’ve gone.  Mitsuo’s excuse is that he had a falling out with a female, though he would not call her his girlfriend.  And overall, he would like to just avoid the subject.  It seems to be quite the traumatic memory for Mistuo.

Well too damn bad, that’s when a taxi pulls right up to them and a gorgeous woman steps out in a gorgeous white dress, while carrying a full bouquet of red roses.  She walks right up to a stunned and frozen Mitsuo, and an awe-struck Banri and beats Mitsuo about the face with the bouquet!  She looks down on the fallen Mitsuo and tells him that it’s basically useless to run away from her.  And walks back to her cab, though before stepping in, she takes a errant rose petal that was on her face blows a kiss with it towards the pair.

Mitsuo is sure that his college life is already over, quickly slipping into a panic and depression at the same time.  But in the meanwhile, Banri has taken the opportunity to play off the situation by handing the roses out to the women randomly passing by.  And Mitsuo decides to join in, and try to save himself some dignity.  After all, a scene like that has no chance of going unnoticed.

Finally at the college, and in their orientation, Banri and Mitsuo start talking about the woman that just rocked their worlds.  Mitsuo’s story is one of a man running away from set expectations.  The set expectations set by a woman.  And that woman’s name is Kōko Kaga.  A woman who has had a plan for her life, and his since they were children.  And apparently she’s gotten so controlling and annoying to Mitsuo that he changed schools, risked the wrath of his parents and abandoned his own secure life to be away from her.  (By the way, at this point, Mitsuo is basically yelling.  I don’t know how anyone in class doesn’t notice this.)  Banri doesn’t really see the big deal, as the roses weren’t really dangerous, and she seemed like nice enough person to him.  But Mitsuo will have none of it, he finds her to be an utter calamity, and eventually he gets so loud that the professor ends up yelling at him and Banri.

As the orientation ends, Mitsuo and Banri are treated to the surprise that Koko has been sitting behind them the entire time.  She hits them with the news that she’s actually changed colleges and is attending this school now, and it’s just to be with Mitsuo.  Law school isn’t even her planned career choice!  It’s fashion!  Sheesh!  This chick actually is a little bit crazy!  And at this point, I’m starting to understand why Mitsuo took such extreme measures.  Despite Mitsuo’s clear and loud signs, she can’t even accept that he’s not happy about the situation!  Calling him tsundere, despite him not showing the slightest signs of dere around her at all!  Eventually, poor Mitsuo just flips out and runs away, with Mitsuo closely following in tow.

While Banri tries to clean up the mess, he runs into a cute woman (who looks more like a girl) named, Chinami Oka.  Good lord!  She even has a loli’s name!  She helps him pick up the scattered papers and asks him if he’s friends with the two beautiful people that just ran out of the room.  Apparently, she likes looking at beautiful things, which to me makes her sound like an idiot who also likes high places and tasty food.  Seriously!  How vague of a statement can you get?  That’s like me saying I appreciate AIR!  Or that water makes me not die!  *ahem*  It’s not really a problem, so let’s move on.

Anyway, Chinami and Banri manage to become friends before departing.  Banri heads out of the building only to run into complete mayhem that can only seem normal in an anime.  Outside, the different clubs are practically at war with each other, attempting to snatch up any new members than can, by force if need be.  At every turn Banri is blitzed by a new, more aggressive group.  And he’s eventually cornered by a group of sexy ladies into Latin dancing.  Actually, I don’t see the damn problem!  These are grown ass men!  Why are so many male anime characters afraid of women?!  Regardless, Banri is scooped up by a beautiful woman in festive wear, who takes him to a quiet corner and bandages herself up.  Her name’s Linda, actually it’s Nana Hayashida, but she prefers Linda and so do I.  She shows Banri great care and attention, and it’s easy to see why he’s almost spirited away by her attitude and good looks.  The encounter is enough to make him think about his day, and his potential time here.  He even states that he hopes to fall in love while here.  Something that has been apparent from the beginning because of how wide open he has been to every pretty face that has come along.

With the sun setting, and the day concluding, Banri runs into Koko on his way home.  She’s of course waiting for Mitsuo to leave school.  And who just so happens to call Banri as they begin talking?  Mistuo!  Koko quickly snatches the phone away, yells at Mitsuo to stay where he’s at, and runs off to get him.  Wow.  She even almost takes his phone, but regains her senses soon enough to turn back around and place it in his hand.  She even says that she hopes they can continue to be friends, and then runs back off again.  When Banri looks at his phone, he sees that he’s received a call from a hospital…

In the last scene, we see Banri waiting for someone on a bridge over a river at night.  As he checks his watch, he turns around and is apparently run over by a scooter.

End of episode.

Damn it!  I like this show!  I like this show a lot!  And that opinion is almost exclusively based on the characters and their interactions.  I like how Mitsuo and Banri interacted with each other.  I like Banri’s simple, optimistic, yet smart attitude.  They way he helped Mitsuo recover from Koko’s attack by handing out the roses to the women passing by was just a great, smart moment for me.  He won a lot of points in my book as a good person based on that alone.  Koko is just a mesmerizing, beautiful force of nature (probably a calamitous hurricane if you asked Mitsuo), who I can see stirring up a lot of trouble.  I will say, that I am feeling a little sympathy for her.  I get the feeling that she may not be as vacant as she seems.  And I hope I’m not wrong, because I really think it’d be a shame if she really was just a vapid, spoiled selfish character.  I want to believe there’s depth behind her.  Just like I suspect there will be with all the characters featured in this episode.  It’s all a very nice set up.  Now it’s just a matter of what they do with it.  A solid foundation seems to have been laid with this first episode.

I’m going to be clear and fair here as well.  I’m a huge Toradora! fan!  It’s undeniably a Top 10 anime for me.  So finding out that this show has Toradora!’s pedigree has made me super excited for this production.  I have a soft spot, and deep seeded need to see an anime with a good romance and relationship component to it.  It’s why I hold Toradora! and Kare Kano in such very, very high esteem.  When a show nails a romantic relationship right, it makes the show as close to perfect in my eyes as humanly possible.  So yes, I may have impossibly high hopes for this production, but I’m not gonna my want, or need to fall in love with this series.  This is a very humble beginning, but it doesn’t and won’t keep me from hoping and dreaming.

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  1. October 12, 2013 at 21:20

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