In my opinion and through my own experiences Love can be complicated. Every romance anime will feature complications that take two potential lovers on a journey. The journey can be emotional and heartbreaking. Hopefully your faith in love will be rewarded with a satisfying ending to the journey. The best romance story makes the audience feel invested in the two lovers. Will they be together? Will they drift apart? Will they pull an Archie and have him end up with Veronica instead of Betty?

I’ll start by saying Golden Time made the audience aware that with love you have to take the good with the bad.

In every romance anime you want the two potential lovers to establish wonderful memories, but what happens when one lover loses all of those memories? Golden Time for me represented a special bond between two lovers and that bond was unbreakable despite memories being lost and found.

Love & Memories

Kaga Kōko and Tada Banri join hands and come together in a celebration of love.

Golden Time understands and exemplifies two key things throughout a magnificent 24 episode run: Love Is Acceptance and You Always Need Friends.

Golden Time has plenty of suffering, but the point is you don’t have to suffer alone. Your friends will be there for you when you’re feeling down. For example, when Tada freaked because his memory was returning Linda rushed to his aid and calmed him down. Tada has lots of breakdowns, but like true friends Mitsuo and 2D-kun accepted him for who he is. They are not judgmental and encourage him to be with Kaga. Kaga learned to accept Oka-chan’s friendship and the two girls bonded big time during Episode 14.

Golden Time demonstrates that if you can make sacrifices for the person you love then any turmoil will be conquered. Love conquers all when you are willing to make sacrifices and accept your significant other for who they are. I have no doubt that Kaga and Tada by the end of Golden Time accepted each other and are willing to make any sacrifices to maintain the promise they made to each other.

The promise between Kaga Kōko and Tada Banri was as long as they remember one another; the two will stay together for the rest of their lives.

I strongly recommend watching the video below and see if you can feel all warm inside.

Now, let’s get into the plot of Golden Time.

Tada Banri has just got accepted into a private law school in Tokyo. How wonderful right? Well, not exactly since the guy suffers from retrograde amnesia.

(Yes I had to look up what retrograde amnesia is, don’t judge me!)

In short, retrograde amnesia is a type of amnesia that makes someone lose memories that revolve around a very traumatic event. Thankfully, this amnesia is temporary.

In Tada’s case the traumatic event was falling off a bridge shortly after graduating high school. But, instantly you have to wonder what was he doing on a bridge at night? Well, Tada was waiting for high school sweetheart Linda to either accept or reject his declaration of love.

Linda is Tada’s first love, but I’ll proceed with the beginning of our plot.

Tada as a result of falling off this bridge is unable to remember anything from before the accident so naturally Tada looks at college as a fresh new start. He even meets a friend named Mitsuo Yanagisawa as the two dudes instantly get along. I’m talking bromance. You think sometimes everything happens for a reason and the memories of the past belong in the past.

Enter Kaga Kōko

Kaga Used Rose Smack… It’s Super Effective!

So, yeah when I first saw this lovely girl smack Mitsuo with a bouquet of roses I was applauding and laughing. That’s one heck of a first impression and I believe Tada fell in love at first sight.

Kaga has style, and yes she can be extremely emotional. There were times where I hated her actions and other times where I loved her actions. Kaga can be impulsive, but she makes up for it by genuinely learning from her mistakes. I will say that Kaga like a lot of the characters in Golden Time are not perfect and they acknowledge their own flaws which is a major strength throughout Golden Time. These characters want to be good people, but they are human and make mistakes so the audience can sympathize with them.

Now, naturally Mitsuo wanted nothing to do with Kaga during Golden Time’s early acts. According to Kaga they were supposed to get married and they were childhood friends so it made sense. Mitsuo promised her, but someone forgot to tell Kaga that he made that promised when he was a kid. You cannot hold him to that and Mitsuo got pissed off. He told Kaga to get lost and that he wanted nothing to do with her.

Kaga’s first heartbreak…

Thankfully Tada was there on the rebound and expresses that he does not want to be in the friend zone. Kaga decides to date him and the two of them fall in love.

Everything is going perfect.

Plot Twist in 3… 2… 1…

Do I know you? You look familiar.

That’s right folks the picture above is Tada meeting Linda again. She’s attending the university and she’s a sophomore in the Festival Club. She invites both Tada and Kaga to join the club and now we have ourselves a love triangle.

The rest of the cast of Golden Time are great supporting characters. When everyone is together and hanging out I’m reminded of the sitcom Friends. We get comedic moments to balance out the drama and I sing the praises of the supporting characters because they care about Kaga and Tada. Golden Time did an exceptional job in making these friends crucial to Tada and Kaga’s character development.

When Kaga and Tada broke up the supporting cast was hurt and that’s what I like to see. The main characters actions having a direct impact on the supporting characters. Oka-chan, 2-D-kun, Mitsuo, Nana, and Linda were left to pick up the pieces, but good friends don’t only pick up the pieces. They put them back together because they want the Kaga and Tada to be together.

I applaud how the supporting characters stand up for themselves whenever Kaga or Tada waiver and they give the two lovers strength when they need it the most.

The Past is History. The Future is a Mystery. But, the Present is a Gift.

Who would you choose?

Golden Time’s love triangle was another strong aspect of the show and I love the symbolism of the bridge during the final episode. In some moments we were introduced to The Ghost of Banri’s Past. The final episode features Tada watching his past unfold, before being able to move onto his future.

I’ll add that Tada had a Forest Gump moment and Linda encouraged him to run to Kaga.

Without detailing the entire finale the bridge was symbolic of Tada’s two different paths. The path of the past needed closure and The Ghost Banri’s past was still waiting for Linda.

Golden Time gives fans Linda’s answer as she accepted Banri’s declaration of love. The Ghost of Banri’s past receives closure and therefore, Tada Banri can truly accept himself and be with Kaga Kōko.

Final Verdict

Do your best Senpai!

Golden Time has Golden moments and as a whole this anime won my affections. There’s something special about this group of friends and I cherished every moment they had together. Tada Banri with his memories conflicting found a way to overcome his identity crisis and accepted himself. He found the love of his life in Kaga Kōko and the two live happily ever after which is good.

You cannot appreciate Golden Time without understanding that every love story is a journey. The complications of Tada losing himself, his friends, and the love of his life were compelling and heart wrenchingly satisfying. Thankfully, there are fun moments like their trip to the beach or Kaga’s exorcist walking that balance things out.

There are a few flaws like the supernatural element can get confusing. Since, The Ghost of Banri’s past was a real jerk sometimes, but then decided to let Banri live his life? Not sure what changed.

Then you consider that we should have gotten an ending that was even more “Golden” with Tada and Kaga getting married. Something like five years later we are taken to their wedding scene and we find out where everyone stands.

Golden Kiss Activate!

Grade/Score: 9/10 (Good)

Faith in Love Rewarded

Love Triangle between Tada, Kaga, and Linda

Supporting Characters

Balance of Drama and Comedy

Happy Ending is Good…

But, we deserve more of a Golden Resolution

The Ghost of Banri’s Past can be confusing