Golden Time ep5: ghosts and prisons
Well, things are off to a fine start this episode. After the revelation that Banri has known Linda since high school, he rushes to the bridge to see if it can jog any of his memories, but that fails. And when Mitsuo calls him, he starts crying.
On the way back, we get a bit of a disturbing monologue from Banri’s “ghost”, as it details its “birth” and how it shadows Banri constantly now. Banri can’t see or hear him, but he’s definitely there. Yeah, I don’t like that at all. I was really hoping Banri was just talking nonsense in previous episodes when he talked about his old self floating around somewhere. I could have done without the stuff about this ghost hanging around.
When he gets back into town, Koko wastes no time letting him know that, despite his confession last episode, they are still FRIENDS. She even gives him a matching mirror to commemorate the night they escaped that swindling cult. It’s some of the harshest friendzoning I’ve ever seen in an anime. And the awkwardness in this episode just doesn’t stop either.
The next day, Mitsuo and Banri run into Koko on the way through the cafe. She runs up to them putting on a ridiculous display and talking about how her and Banri probably had a great (and platonic) relationship in the past, and how Mitsuo and her probably never met. The animosity between Mitsuo and her is very clearly still there. It’s a good thing that Linda breaks it up from a distance, as she’s helping Koko register properly for classes. When she finds out who one of Mitsuo’s main civil law professors is, she warns him to stay away from the notoriously harsh and strict professor, which prompts Mitsuo to take off in a hurry to fix his classes. But not before calling his antagonist acquaintance that she’s an idiot. With just Linda, Koko and Banri still hanging around, they get to the business of the Festival Club. Koko volunteers her and Banri for the group, though it doesn’t look like Banri wants to join. Perhaps he’s too distracted by Linda’s presence, and the question of why she acts like Banri’s a stranger when she clearly knows him.
There’s no distracting from the awkwardness of Koko mentioning how she rejected Banri’s confession though. All these new friends, and already so much animosity and mistrust building up between all of them.
During the practice for the festival club, we learn that Koko actually has no talent for dance, and she has a break down afterwards in front of Banri. As per her personality though, she recovers rather quickly and they have a talk over coffee at a restaurant. There she tells him about all her known faults and apologizes for taking advantage of his kindness. She mentions Linda and starts going on about how she wishes she were more like her. But for Banri, her name brings back a strange memory.
CHIME-CHIME WAVY LINES! IT’S TIME FOR A FLASHBACK!
It’s a memory of him still in the hospital, fresh off his accident. He tells the nurse that at night he keeps seeing a light around 11 pm. She scolds him for not going to sleep on time and heads out. That very same night he sees the light again and decides to do something about it. He sneaks out of the modest little hospital and through the woods, falling down a small hill and into the street. There he sees – Linda! She’s there with a scooter and a flashlight (I’m starting to put the pieces together for this story), and they talk. He reassures her not to call the hospital staff on him and then tells her how he thought the light was a signal for him to escape and laughs it all off. Linda says she’s actually looking for a friend in the same hospital, but she can’t see them. She says the friend is from Tokyo and that gives Banri the idea to go to school in Tokyo, that way he can escape all the strange relationships he has with people he’s forgotten.
CHIME-CHIME WAVY LINES! END OF FLASHBACK!
Banri wonders again why she never mentioned any of that to him, nor why she has not mentioned their relationship. But coming to another memory dead end, he doesn’t press any farther and goes to bed. As he does that, we see the ghost again on the balcony. It mentions how it wishes it could tell how much Linda meant to it.
End of episode.
Not one of my favorites so far for this series, and not one of the most engaging either. If I were previewing this series on a rental DVD or blu-ray, I could take or leave this series, as the main mystery isn’t enough to make me want to keep going. Nor are the characters really that engaging so far themselves. And right now, my only hope is that all this built up mystery, animosity and awkwardness leads to good amount of character development and interesting relationships down the line. Currently, everyone just feels like they’re in limbo. And they’re not showing much in the way of potential progress either. And with the ghost also leaving a bad taste in my mouth, I have to say that I’m somewhat disappointed in this show after five episodes. I in no way have any intentions of dropping Golden Time. But this episode bored me and sapped energy from me. Episode 6 is really going to need to pick things up.