About This Item

Preview Image for Golden Time Collection 2
Golden Time Collection 2 (Blu-ray Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000174093
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 18/5/2016 17:15
View Changes

Other Reviews, etc
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Other Images

    Review for Golden Time Collection 2

    9 / 10


    It’s funny what can turn you on to a particular show. It might be the quality, the writing, the acting, the music, or a whole host of logical reasons. It can also be a wholly illogical reason too. When I watched Golden Time as it was streamed, I certainly appreciated its take on young romance, completely different from the usual anime romantic comedies, and I certainly appreciated the logical qualities that I mentioned above. But it was one episode, episode 15 that moved the show onto my must-own list. It’s the episode where the friends get together during the summer vacation to spend a day out at the beach, only the trip doesn’t go to plan. One May Bank Holiday back when I was in university, we loaded up my car with students and set forth towards the nearest beach. A seven o’clock start got delayed to eight due to us being lazy students, and driving through London and down the motorway on the way to Margate was a nightmare crawl I never want to repeat. We got to the beach around three, a ninety minute drive on any normal day taking us nearly six hours. So watching episode 15 of Golden Time was nudging sense memories that I had long since forgotten. Speaking of misplaced memories...

    Tada Banri is starting at university, practically a whole new life, although he doesn’t quite make the start he intended, by being late to the opening ceremony, and then getting lost on the way to the Law School that he will be attending. Following a couple of girls who seem to be heading in the same direction seems to be a good idea, if a little creepy, but he’s not the only one who has that idea. He bumps into Mitsuo Yanagisawa outside the store where he loses the girls, but he makes his first friend. They eventually find the school, where a wilful and flamboyant girl named Kaga Kouko walks up and congratulates Mitsuo on getting into law school, by repeatedly slapping him around the face with a bouquet of roses.

    Inline Image

    Mitsuo is Kouko’s fiancé. They’re eternally destined to be together. Kouko is Mitsuo’s childhood friend, whose overbearing affection was fine when they were kids, but is so annoying now that he’ll do anything to get away from her, including attending a different university. Kouko’s determined though, and she’s even gone as far as enrolling in the same law class. Banri’s first act of friendship is to help Mitsuo avoid Kouko. But the more time Banri spends with Kouko, the more he sees a lonely girl who is so devoted to Mitsuo that she’s missing out on the rest of life. Helping her find a social life draws the two closer together, and they start to fall for each other. But the problem is that Banri isn’t the person that he used to be, and the person he used to be wants to come back. On top of that, the girl that the old Banri loves, Linda, also goes to the same university. Annoying thing, amnesia!

    At the end of Part 1, it had seemed as if Tada Banri had dealt with the spectre of his past self, and could comfortably pursue a relationship with Kouko, but as this collection of episodes begins, it becomes clear that his past self is not ready to let go of his life.

    Inline Image

    The concluding twelve episodes of Golden Time are presented across two Blu-rays from Animatsu.

    Disc 1
    13. Summer Has Come
    14. Ladies Talk
    15. Accident Beach
    16. Wake Up Call
    17. Return to Yesterday
    18. My Hometown
    19. Night in Paris
    20. His Chasm
    21. I’ll Be Back

    Disc 2
    22. Paradise Lost
    23. Last Smile
    24. Golden Time


    Golden Time gets the usual 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer, common to most Blu-ray anime series. The image is clear and sharp, the animation is smooth, and there are no problems with visible compression or artefacting. Even the usual complaint about digital banding can be dismissed, as Golden Time is a series mostly set in bright, daytime locations and scenes, while the few darker and night-time scenes aren’t particularly marred by it. That’s all good as Golden Time is a decent animation, although it lacks the usual fantastic elements of more esoteric fare. This is a show that takes place in the ‘real’ world, so chances for imaginative flourish are fewer. But the character designs are great, and memorable, while the world design has the detail that you would expect from a more realistic story. Where the animators go to town is in the costumes, as in the real world, people are prone to change their clothes, and Kaga Kouko certainly has the kind of fashion sense that has people scanning the credits for a costume designer.

    The images in this review have been kindly supplied by Animatsu.

    Inline Image


    Golden Time is a subtitle only release, so as you might expect, these discs offer DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo Japanese, which are accompanied by translated English subtitles, and sure enough, unlike the first half, the subtitles here are locked during playback. The audio is fine; the stereo offering enough space and separation for the few effects in what is really a comedy drama, light on action. The dialogue is clear throughout, and the voice actors are well suited to their roles. Central of course is Yui Horie, who plays Kaga Kouko, and also sings the second set of theme songs to the show. She certainly creates a memorable character, but the other actors deliver performances that are equal to the bar that she sets. The subtitles are accurately timed, and free of typographical error.


    Golden Time is presented on these discs with silent, static menus. Each episode is followed by a translated English credit reel.

    Both discs autoplay a trailer for Beyond the Boundary.

    The only extras are on disc 2, and amount to the textless credit sequences and trailers for Engaged to the Unidentified, Maid Sama! Beyond the Boundary, and The World God Only Knows Goddesses.


    How you receive Golden Time Part 2 will depend on your appreciation of classic daytime soap operas. If Part 1 of Golden Time was the romantic comedy, then Part 2 is the soap opera, and you can’t get a more classic soap storyline than an amnesia storyline! Not for me the kitchen sink ‘realistic’ bleakness of Eastenders and Corrie, I’m more of a fan of the over-the-top histrionics of the US shoulder pad era shows, and the Aussie daytime soaps. So you can bet that I lapped this stuff up in Golden Time. As much as I enjoyed the unconventional (for anime) romantic comedy of 1, a love story between just two people of more than high school age, I really appreciated the story that unfolds in Part 2 as well. It’s a narrative requirement that love stories need an almost insurmountable impediment to the eventual happy ending, and you can’t get much more insurmountable than having one of the lovers’ personality and memory erased.

    Inline Image

    Aside from the curse, it all starts off pretty much as it left off, in fairly light romantic comic mood, the friends having a whole lot of fun together, as well as the odd moment of angst and heartache. It was at the end of Part 1 that Banri made a conscious decision to leave his past behind, and the feelings that the old Banri had for Linda. It’s this that induces the curse. His past self has been hanging around in a spectral form, watching over the new Banri, and at times willing him to remember, especially the feelings for Linda. If you want to put a psychological spin on things, you could say that ghost Banri represents his subconscious, rather than being an actual spectral form, the urge to act against one’s best interests. Either way, being ‘forgotten’ causes Ghost Banri to curse the conscious Banri, and especially his relationship with Kouko, and so things start going wrong, things like a fireworks display being rained out, their Festival Club Summer Camp being cancelled.

    This quickly comes to a head during their summer trip to the beach, when everything that could go wrong, does. That includes the traffic jam out of the city that so resonated with me. It’s a potentially lethal accident that convinces Ghost Banri that the curse has gone too far, and the litany of calamities comes to an end, but the damage has been done, and a degree of negativity casts a gloom over Banri and Kouko’s relationship, and it’s from this point onwards that the soap opera begins to outweigh the romantic comedy in the balance of things.

    Inline Image

    Initially it’s Kouko’s depression that follows the accident that puts a strain on their relationship, but things change for Banri when he is persuaded to go home for a high school reunion. That is the trigger for his buried memories to return although they start doing so sporadically, and temporarily. The problem is that at those times, the present Banri disappears to be replaced by past Banri, and a high school student suddenly finding himself in the middle of Tokyo tends to be a traumatic experience. It’s no less unsettling for Kouko and Banri’s friends to suddenly see a lack of recognition on his face. On top of that, other than Kouko, Linda and 2D-Kun, he’s been keeping his past a secret, and that causes no little stress for their other friends, Mitsuo and Oka; especially when they are in the middle of a relationship mess of their own. Mitsuo asked Oka out and she shot him down. As is typically the way, Oka only started to notice him afterwards, by which time Mitsuo had turned his affections to Linda. Only Linda spends a lot of time with Banri, which makes both Mitsuo and Oka suspicious. With friendship between the five becoming increasingly strained, Banri’s mental state more and more fragile, and Kouko finding it harder to cope with her boyfriend’s issues, it certainly doesn’t look like a happy end is due, not without a miracle. And in a show that has, despite its light-hearted touch and odd moments of fantasy, stayed relatively grounded in realism, there is room for one miracle at the end.

    Your mileage may vary on how you see the shift from romantic comedy to light, soapy drama, but I thought it was very well done, and helped sell the precariousness of the central relationship in a way that would have felt forced, if the show had remained of a comedic bent. Golden Time is a rare romantic comedy in anime, one that is character focused (not fan service), where the writing is strong, and where the central couple are flawed but likeable, easy to empathise with and root for. Indeed, all of the characters in Golden Time seem far more nuanced and complex than the usual anime characters, and the story feels more real as a result. I can’t wait to watch this show again!

    Your Opinions and Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!