Post Reply Golden Time
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Posted 12/6/13
Written by Eclipsed_Oblivion

Out of all anime genres, never has one saturated the medium as much as school life, particularly high school life. The genre may seem to be doomed to monotony, but this doesn’t have to be so. Golden Time proves it by means of acknowledging the potential of other school settings and establishing itself within a university. Based on light novels written by Toradora! author Yuyuko Takemiya, Golden Time is a romantic comedy with the incredible character development and relationships expected by fans of the author, and, because of its distinct university setting, it also has a refreshingly high level of maturity while remaining accessible for all audiences.

The comedic side of Golden Time unleashes itself from the start when protagonist Tada Banri, having just moved to Tokyo, gets severely lost trying to find his university faculty building. He manages to make friends with another lost classmate, Yanagisawa Mitsuo, but that is when a glamorous girl suddenly blocks their way and repeatedly smacks Mitsuo with a bouquet of roses! Her name is Kaga Koko, and she is utterly obsessed with Mitsuo. Mitsuo subsequently forces Banri to help him avoid Koko, but, while still dealing with the consequences of an accident, Banri starts to fall in love with her. The maturity of Golden Time’s characters softens what would otherwise be irritating character traits, and it also establishes increasingly intricate, captivating relationships between the characters.

Both these relationships and the individual characters themselves are part of what make Golden Time so gripping. The characters may seem slightly generic at first, but this impression doesn’t last long; detailed histories and fleshed-out motives quickly add extra dimension to the characters’ behaviour. The characters also develop substantially by interacting with several other sorts of characters, which in turn reveals numerous different sides of them not always so obvious. Being able to see these complex characters’ development makes them incredibly charming and their stories thus more compelling. As well, the ample time devoted to the characters’ relationships with each other creates considerably more intricacies and details in these relationships, and, since Golden Time is so very character driven, this makes both the plot and romance unpredictable and, as a result, profoundly captivating.

It isn’t just the characters that make Golden Time so captivating; its distinctive, but realistic setting of a university is also a factor. The university setting still captures many of school life’s key elements, but it also has the chance to explore the world outside school - the flexible school day lets characters spend more time outside of the classroom, and club events often occur at venues elsewhere in the city. Seeing the characters in so many differing places is refreshing for a school life series, especially as it shows aspects of the characters not so obvious in class. Considering that Golden Time is targeted at young adult men, the university setting is also extremely relatable to the target audience, and its inherent maturity is free of elements found in other school settings that an older audience may find tedious. For those younger than the target audience, the series does provide a very accessible transition from high school to university, which allows Golden Time to be enjoyable for everyone.

Since a university setting results in a cast slightly older than typical of a school life series, Golden Time has an overall higher level of maturity that is refreshing while still being accessible. The main characters are, on average, nineteen-years-old, and they are all responsible for themselves, which has given them the heightened maturity to react more maturely to situations. It’s a refreshing change to see what may cause younger characters to react angrily be a nonissue, but other more subtle, yet significant problems being more significant. This, in turn, creates new twists on familiar plot devices and tropes, such as the familiar love triangle. Golden Time takes it further and uses the love triangle as a metaphor to consider philosophical questions, such as whether one should look toward the future or the past, and this makes the series both unpredictable and thought-provoking. The characters’ maturity also compels them to reflect on their own actions and strive to be better, which makes every character at the very least tolerable, if not both likable and sympathetic.

Ultimately, Golden Time is more than just another school life romance. Not only are the characters quite intricate and well-developed, the university they attend remains a distinctive setting within the genre while still being realistic, and it is very accessible for both younger audiences and adults alike. The resulting maturity is also quite refreshing, as the characters have different problems and viewpoints compared to other school settings, and Golden Time takes advantage of this and is able to advance the use of literary devices so that they feel fresh. While it may be more mature than other love stories, Golden Time is also still a comedy and, whether by throwing the main characters into a chaotic party against their will or even just making word puns, it never forgets to make us laugh.
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20 / M / Dublin
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Posted 12/11/13
I love Golden Time, I'm totally hooked on it's surprisingly mature cast and it's strange familiarity with real life. I could not tell you without reading the short stories where this show is going next! Really good review of the show, and of a show worth watching!
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Posted 12/12/13
Its ok, the school setting has never been my thing.
Posted 12/22/13
Loving this anime so far, just hoping the ending meets my expectations
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24 / M / Australia
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Posted 12/29/13 , edited 12/29/13
I'm quite enjoying this anime so far, I'm quite a fan of Toradora so that's probably why
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