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REVIEW: Golden Time Episodes 1-6 Streaming


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vashfanatic
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:46 am Reply with quote
I noticed this with the preview guide as well, but when did you (Carl) become obsessed with directors? Have you been reading auteur theory lately or something? Because many of your reviews there and now this one here, lay all blame or praise entirely on the head of the director, as though they're the only person responsible for everything and not the writers or the series creators, or editors, etc. etc.

Maybe I've just been burned on auteur-theory because of conservations with my cousin who works in Hollywood, but I'm just curious why this has become your "thing" in recent months.
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Dimlos



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:54 am Reply with quote
I went into this with no expectations, because I'm generally not into romance/"slice of life" shows and almost dropped it because of how terrible Kouko was, but it's turned out pretty decently so far. The drama is pretty predictable and the opening seems to give the direction of the romance away, but it's certainly a huge improvement from how it started out.
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zensunni



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:12 am Reply with quote
To be perfectly fair, back when I read the light novel section of the scene where Kouko spoiler[uses Banri's peculiar condition as a curse, telling Mitsuo that if their childhood memories mean nothing, then forget everything. Make it as if it never happened] I had to re-read it at least five times before I figured out why she kept saying "I'm sorry!" over and over. It took me a while, as it does for Banri, to figure out why she is so upset and why she is apologizing to Banri. It is written in a very, very subtle manner. I just didn't expect that kind of depth of character from Kouko at that point. After all, if it wasn't about Mitsuo, there was nothing that should have upset her, right?

It also happens to be the moment (for me) that Kouko became a real girl, not the "childhood bride" archetype. I realized, even more than I did when she came back for Banri during the cult trip, that she actually does care for Banri. It drove home that she really has come to view him as a very close friend. In fact, you might say that he is her only friend at that point.

One thing that I felt the anime did very well is facial expressions and body language. The look on Linda's face when she first sees Banri in episode 1. The look on her face when she realizes that Banri has fallen for Kouko. The look on Kouko's face when Barni gets the shoes from Linda, which makes you wonder if she is a bit jealous of the sempai she idolizes. spoiler[This happens before the drinking party where everything falls apart and Banri ends up telling her he can't handle doing the friend thing anymore and she tries to tell him that he is wrong, but he is done listening, done waiting, just DONE!] And then that masterful scene after the Freshman drinking party, when Kouko uses the Omaken fans to try to communicate her feelings to her friend.

Actually, about the directorial missteps, I recall feeling the same way Carl describes while reading the light novel, so I am not entirely sure that the fault lies with the director. Though I do agree that some things were handled poorly and many of the scenes would have been more effective if handled differently... However, I think it is partly how the story is written. It doles out bits and pieces of information, giving you just enough to question motives and be uncertain about how people feel about one another, and then cashes in all of those tickets for the big emotional scenes near the end of the volume. This happens in both volume 1 and 2. (The only volumes I have read and the point we are at at the end of episode 6.)

In any event, I am loving this show! It is my favorite of the season, but I have been looking forward to it since I learned that Toradora!'s author had a new light novel series she was working on... So, yeah, I'm not an unbiased viewer. I loved it going in...

Oh, and I absolutely, positively, LOVE Kouko Kaga! She is one of my all time favorite characters. No mean feat for a girl that started out as one of my least favorite archetypes! Banri too! As Carl said, the way the clichés "alchemize" (GREAT wording by the way!) and turn into realistic, believable, and entirely lovable characters is a work of art!

Dimlos wrote:
I went into this with no expectations, because I'm generally not into romance/"slice of life" shows and almost dropped it because of how terrible Kouko was, but it's turned out pretty decently so far. The drama is pretty predictable and the opening seems to give the direction of the romance away, but it's certainly a huge improvement from how it started out.

As the lyrics near the end of the OP say:
"Not too close, not to far. Even if we have to take the long way to get there, I'll cherish every second."

It is a long road, but what is important is not the destination, but the journey!
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Fronzel



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:32 am Reply with quote
zensunni wrote:
Actually, about the directorial missteps, I recall feeling the same way Carl describes while reading the light novel, so I am not entirely sure that the fault lies with the director.

That is really something the director should fix, not just passively allow to happen, but the whole industry has made a fetish of being conservative with adaptation for a long time, even if the original material is badly written or could stand a few simple improvements.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:46 pm Reply with quote
Chiaki Kon directed Hanasakeru Seishōnen, Makai Ōji: Devils and Realist, La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, and the disastrously-adapted Umineko: When They Cry. Sure, she's done some other stuff, but nevertheless that's not a good resume.

Golden Time isn't too bad - especially considering the other title the Light Novel author wrote - but it always drags itself down right as things are about to get good. And besides making Koko loco and unlikeable it hasn't really done anything different either. Except the tea ceremony club; they're hilarious. But everything else is so by-the-book - even Banri's condition - that nothing really stands out on its own. That means the show lives and dies on execution which has been . . . er, a little bumpy.
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maximilianjenus



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:54 pm Reply with quote
this show kind of reminds me of ah megamisama so I guess that' s the main reason I watch it, it actually feels like college and not a higschool with a different name.

I just had one quirk with the translation and it was translation koko's shinyu (best friends) as just friends , which makes banri look like the crazy one because a person he has been haging aorund for a few days calls him friend, when actually that person is calling him best friend.
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danilo07



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:15 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Because many of your reviews there and now this one here, lay all blame or praise entirely on the head of the director, as though they're the only person responsible for everything and not the writers or the series creators, or editors, etc. etc.

I am glad that Carl is mentioning directors ,since anime industry is very director-centric,probably more than any other medium.Not to mention that Chiaki Kon is infamous on anime forums.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:32 pm Reply with quote
^
Directors are important, but they're hardly the only important person involved with making a show. The series composition role is very important too, as is the original mangaka or L.N. author. Then of course there's the producer who wants to bring in as many people in the target audience as possible, and the various other financial stakeholders.

Basically, the production committee format does mean that blame (and praise) cannot be heaped on just one or two people, unless those people are consistently bad (or good) across multiple productions. And despite what I said in my previous post, many directors have worked on both crap and good shows. So its hard to know how skilled they really are since there's so many variables and we aren't privy to the inner workings of any of the production committees they were on.

I mean, Mari Okada frequently turns in crap scripts but she has also worked on some well-written shows, so even with her huge work history to analyse it is still difficult to figure out how much influence she had on each production's quality. It is equally hard to assess the same for directors, auteurs aside.
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Leebo



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:36 pm Reply with quote
I'm still watching the show, but I can't say I like many of the characters. The characters I do like are mostly likeable because they have been given less screentime, and therefore fewer opportunities to be unlikeable.

Somewhat related: spoiler[What was with Banri bursting into tears in high school because his name wasn't on the class shirt? It's the kind of reaction you'd expect from a 3rd grader.]
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zensunni



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:26 pm Reply with quote
Fronzel wrote:
zensunni wrote:
Actually, about the directorial missteps, I recall feeling the same way Carl describes while reading the light novel, so I am not entirely sure that the fault lies with the director.

That is really something the director should fix, not just passively allow to happen, but the whole industry has made a fetish of being conservative with adaptation for a long time, even if the original material is badly written or could stand a few simple improvements.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that it is a sign of bad writing. It is extremely effective in the novel. It avoids giving away too much of what is going on, while doling out information at a pace that keeps you guessing about why the people are acting the way they are. My guess is that Carl would say that that style of writing doesn't lend itself to anime as well as it works in print.

That is one of the big issues with adaptations of this story. While there is a lot of physical humor and such that benefits from the adaptation and just seeing Kouko on screen week after week is pure enjoyment, there are a lot of aspects of the story that are hard to adapt or would ruin surprises later in the story if adapted in exactly the way the light novel presents the story.

For example: spoiler[The prologue to the light novel shows a scene, as yet not shown in the anime, and possibly skipped altogether, with the high school aged Banri and the "vice-captain" of their track team running over "the bridge". It is very careful to not even say what gender the vice-captain is, other than to comment about doing something with a ponytail, which implies a female. However, it is clear that they are very close. While running across the bridge, Banri sees a man crouched down on the bridge, looking like he is in pain or in trouble, but nobody else sees him. Later in the novel, the scene is shown again from the perspective of the current Banri, when he collapses on the bridge when he finds out about Linda. The scene with the track club happens again, and Banri's ghost is positive that the high school Banri saw them, somehow. Since that part of the story has not been revisited in the novels, I am guessing the anime staff decided it was something that took too much time to do and, though it heightens the supernatural aspect, seems a bit weird... ] In BOTH visual adaptations of the story (manga and anime) this scene is handled very differently. spoiler[It is presented much later in the manga, and the ghost is never really "shown" yet. In the anime, it is not really done. We don't see the high school track team scene. Of course, if it were done in the same order in either the anime or manga the viewer/reader would know as soon as they see Linda that she is the same person as the vice-captain. She just got her hair cut. That would change the entire reveal of Linda as an important person from Banri's past, which the anime did quite well, I thought.]

So I guess what I'm saying is that the feeling of piecing things together after the fact and figuring out the meaning of many of the earlier character interactions is one of the strengths of the novels. It tries to make Kouko as hard to like as possible at first, then drops bread crumb after bread crumb of "she's not so bad", "she's actually a nice girl", "she cares for her friends a lot", etc... Likewise with Banri it leaves you guessing about his past, having spoiler[his ghost] toss out tidbits as the story goes on, then dropping the spoiler[Linda shaped] bomb and blowing open his current life with the shards of his former life. All of a sudden it makes sense. It is a great "AHA" moment. Those are hard to do in a visual medium.

The other aspect Carl seems to be having issues with is tone. There I agree that the anime has some issues, but I like the way the anime has handled it better than the manga. In a way, they are almost opposite. The anime tends to lean toward a heavier, more ominous tone, as he mentioned about the cult sub-plot. The manga tends to go the other way, emphasizing the silly too much, leaving an impression that the characters are too shallow. In my opinion, the original source material gets the balance just right, but that is usually the case.

In any case, I am enjoying the anime a ton! It has reached the point where, in the next episode, it will go beyond what I have read in the light novels, so I will have to keep an eye out for whether I start to think less of it when I don't know what is going to happen ahead of time... LOL
Leebo wrote:
I'm still watching the show, but I can't say I like many of the characters. The characters I do like are mostly likeable because they have been given less screentime, and therefore fewer opportunities to be unlikeable.

Somewhat related: spoiler[What was with Banri bursting into tears in high school because his name wasn't on the class shirt? It's the kind of reaction you'd expect from a 3rd grader.]

spoiler[I think that was supposed to be showing that he was a pretty weak willed individual, with extremely low self-esteem. Remember that by that point he had failed his college entrance exams and the girl he was in love with was about to head off to college in Tokyo without him. He was pretty down in the dumps. But most fans of the story identify that as one of the primary reasons they like the "new" Banri more than his previous self. He was a whiner and pretty much an idiot. Now he is more just an idiot... LOL]
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danilo07



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:32 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Directors are important, but they're hardly the only important person involved with making a show. The series composition role is very important too, as is the original mangaka or L.N. author. Then of course there's the producer who wants to bring in as many people in the target audience as possible, and the various other financial stakeholders.

Anime directors mostly don't write stuff they direct,but they can and do control scripts given to them by writers.Every written script is controlled by director,and his own wishes and thoughts are what lead the production.For example Urobuchi complained how he was simply collecting and writing Ichiro Itanos ideas when working under him.Some directors let writers do whatever they want,but that is completely theirs decision and if they wanted to interfere they could.Every single aspect of anime(voice acting,music,sound effects ...etc) was at some point inspected by director.As for what influence the producer has,that is really speculative.Mostly a person is chosen by producers to be a director and then they can suggest to him to add some elements to attract more fans,but still I wouldn't say that overall they have such a gigantic influence like you make it out to be.
Even when a good director is adapting material that is not good or even if animation is bad,you can always see the talent behind it.Just look at A Town Where You Live TV series.
Quote:
I mean, Mari Okada frequently turns in crap scripts but she has also worked on some well-written shows, so even with her huge work history to analyse it is still difficult to figure out how much influence she had on each production's quality.

Again we can blame a lot of her successes and failures on directors.If you look at the list of her best written animes those always have good director working on them,they have the authority to know what to put in or out and if they are very clear about what they looking for ,that will certainly help out the writer. I am reminded now of how Mari Okada wanted AnoHana to to be erotic comedy,but Tatsuyuki Nagai turned that down and told her to write drama.Look its not like directors are this totalitarian figure controlling every part of script,but good ones can always bring the best out of writer.
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Leebo



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:00 pm Reply with quote
zensunni wrote:
spoiler[I think that was supposed to be showing that he was a pretty weak willed individual, with extremely low self-esteem. Remember that by that point he had failed his college entrance exams and the girl he was in love with was about to head off to college in Tokyo without him. He was pretty down in the dumps. But most fans of the story identify that as one of the primary reasons they like the "new" Banri more than his previous self. He was a whiner and pretty much an idiot. Now he is more just an idiot... LOL]


spoiler[I agree that new Banri is better than old Banri, but like Carl points out, he's pretty much a non-entity in his post-accident form. This is understandable, since he's trying to find himself, but it doesn't make me want to root for him. I have a hard time wanting any of the suggested relationships to actually happen, because I just find most of the characters unpleasant.]

We'll see how things go as the series progresses.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:13 pm Reply with quote
danilo07 wrote:
Look its not like directors are this totalitarian figure controlling every part of script,but good ones can always bring the best out of writer.


Oh, don't get me wrong, I definitely agree. Directors may not control everything but they do set the tone for the production and are important for morale, quality control and scheduling. If a director holds everyone to a high standard and can effectively lead and manage his/her staff then the show's quality can be greatly increased from what it otherwise might have been. A bad director on the other hand might not work well with the screenwriter or not give them proper oversight, which was the case with Gundam SEED Destiny. Mitsuo Fukuda was the director and he did not exercise any real control over screenwriter Chiaki Morosawa. She frequently turned in scripts late which caused massive production delays, plus the scripts themselves were crap anyway. That Fukuda and Morosawa were (and still are) husband and wife might have something to do with it.
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Stark700



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:16 pm Reply with quote
I really like how this series takes place in a college life setting as opposed to middle or high school. Nothing against those but it's more refreshing and brings out a more mature style to Golden Time.

As far as the series goes, I think it's entertaining so far but some cliched moments especially with Kouko. I also feel a bit sorry for Linda with everything that has happened so far in the first few episodes.

As far as spoiler[Kouko and Banri's relationship goes, I find it a bit unreal and seems to be forced with no real connection between the duo. I think she just doesn't want to be lonely as people in her life has avoided her because she's supposed to be unapproachable. On another note, I find the comedy of this series to be very done and I laughed quite a bit every episode with the tea club, Nana appearance (reference to one of my favorite anime!), etc. On the other hand, I find Kouko's behavior towards Chinami to be quite cruel especially during their first encounter where Mitsuo had to step in directly to stop her.]

But yeah, I have good hopes for this show. The first episode wasn't earth shattering for me but it's caught my interest for now~

I also started reading the LN as well.
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meiam



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:03 pm Reply with quote
After watching episode 7, I really hope the lovely-dovey part is only temporary and instead it'll either go toward more slice of life or more serious drama.

Imo the best element of the series is the college setting, with young adult character. Which isn't all that impressive, I mean it's just picking a setting, but then again its probably pretty hard to get the okay for airing a college setting considering those are almost non existent.

I don't see anything too wrong with the directing, if anything my main problem with it is that it's forcing everything on the watcher and not letting us figure it out ourself, there's no subtlety in it, but that seems to be the opposite problem that this review had. Seems like it also goes contrary to the way the novel was initially written from what I read here.

Now if I had any creative pull in the series, I'd rush head first into a school days like ending, all that character are basically set up for it, beside they're much more entertaining when they go nuclear.
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