Golden Time 12: You Pretty Much Deserved That

I’m getting really tired of your bullshit Tada Banri

I didn’t sign up for this

I didn’t sign up for this

For awhile now Golden Time has struck me as a show that has the potential to be great if it could just get out of its own way. Unfortunately the author and the people at JC Staff seem more interested in shirtless Yana and crossdressing Banri than they are in fulfilling the potential of this plot. I couldn’t help but wonder while Banri thought to himself about how he’s becoming more comfortable and more willing to try new things that the point could have been conveyed without the need for this absurd party arc. There’s a solid story here about love and coming of age but it’s getting lost in the boob jokes and insane party hijinks. I’m not saying that everything about Golden Time should be dead serious but I think it would benefit greatly if they toned the nonsense down just a bit.

But that frustration with the storytelling decisions pales in comparison with my frustration with one Tada Banri. I understand getting a little caught up in the moment and college students aren’t exactly known for their foresight but pulling that stunt with Linda was still pretty dumb. Even if that alone wasn’t enough to earn the spilled drink and slap from Kouko, lying to her about taking a job and then ignoring her text messages probably pushes things up there.  Sure Banri didn’t know he was missing all of those messages but the combination of that and the lying makes Kouko’s behavior understandable if not justified. Linda’s protests, while good natured did nothing to help this and if anything made things worse.

Really Banri? You thought this was cool?

Really Banri? You thought this was cool?

While she certainly is the victim here, Kouko certainly isn’t blameless. Stealing that picture from Banri’s room wasn’t the most upstanding thing for her to do in that situation. In general, her penchant for jealousy and meddling isn’t encouraging. Yet somehow Banri has managed to turn Kouko into the sympathetic one here. Banri’s the one lying and messing around with other girls but Kouko’s lack of self-confidence is such that she ends up blaming herself. What’s maddening about this that instead of reassuring Kouko, Banri somehow manages to play the victim here; painting himself as the unwilling victim of these unavoidable emotional flashbacks to his feelings for Linda.

This is completely bogus of course and further evidence that Golden Time would have been better off without the whole amnesia subplot. College students are by nature plenty uncertain about their own feelings without throwing in uncontrollable feelings of attraction for a high school friend. Banri’s protests sound more like excuses for having absolutely no self control. If it wasn’t for the supposed amnesia there’s no way we’d feel sorry for someone who claims to get these “flashbacks” to his feelings from high school. When you’re in what’s supposed to be a committed relationship I don’t particularly care what’s causing these feelings; you’re supposed to control yourself and not act on them as part of your responsibility as Kouko’s boyfriend. Conjuring up an amnesia mechanic to explain these urges doesn’t really do much to make my sympathetic to Banri’s so-called “plight.”

That you are

That you are

If playing the victim didn’t turn you off then maybe Banri’s idiotic plan to deal with the Linda problem by not dealing with it should push you over the edge. An ultimatum like this, even a self-imposed one, is asking for trouble and resentment towards Kouko for creating this situation. If the only way to deal with these urges is completely cutting yourself off from Linda maybe you aren’t cut out to be in a relationship right now. Cutting himself off from Linda seems poised to make the eventual fallout more explosive rather than actually preventing it. I previously compared Banri’s amnesia to a ticking time bomb but at this point I think a volcano might be the better metaphor. Banri will periodically vent steam in the form of making moves towards Linda eventually culminating in an explosive eruption that will destroy his relationship with Kouko.

Honestly I think the best strategy here for Kouko would be to break it off with Banri before things get too tough. I am more convinced than ever that this can’t last and the longer it goes on the worse it will be when it finally ends. Of course that’s easy for me to say, I’m not the one in love with Banri. Although to be honest, I’m not sure why Kouko is in love with Banri in the first place. We never really saw him sweep her off her feet or anything, she just was kind of in love with him when she thought she was going to lose him as a friend. I suppose when he’s the only guy who will give you the time of day you could get like that but for Kouko’s sake I hope she gets over it soon since Banri seems to be already well on his way to getting over her.

This entry was posted in Episodic Commentary, Fall 2013, Golden Time and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Golden Time 12: You Pretty Much Deserved That

  1. Boundless says:

    Now that you mention it, I don’t know why Kouko is so in love with Banri either. Beyond the “he does not mind my bullshit: he must be the one” knee-jerk reason.

    I will say though this was the first episode that I actually believed that she has genuine feeling for him. Her sadness and self-loathing after Banri returned to apologize for the Linda incident was what convinced me. Kouko was acting crazy, but here she showed enough self-awareness to know it. And she says she was consciously not acting as crazy as her impulses. She was genuinely trying her best to be the good girlfriend so that she does not lose him. Whether Kouko is good for Banri or Banri is actually good for Kouko is a separate issue however.

    Another way to explain Kouko’s effort to keep Banri is that she is still reeling from losing Yana. She latched onto Banri during her rebound to validate her self. Thus she might be going through all this effort simply to maintain her own self esteem instead of any feeling for Banri.

    It might just be good acting Kouko’s part, but I found her heart-felt dejection was convincing. That she really was depressed that she was failing Banri as a girlfriend instead of simply failing to give a convincing act.

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