While perusing a list of upcoming anime planned for summer and autumn 2013, I took the time to make note of sequels to shows I enjoyed, original content, and adaptations their with source material readily available. Golden Time fits in this last category; several chapters of the original light novels and the manga adaptations have already been translated. Based on what I've read so far, Golden Time seems very promising. If the anime adaptation is at least competent, this should be a layup. The biggest single draw is that it's a romantic comedy set in college, so it's free from all the high school and middle school bullshit that plagues nearly all anime romantic comedies. The original work is by the author of Toradora! and appears written at least as well (again, with the additional benefit of being free from high school rules of engagement). Golden Time is medium wacky, so your receptiveness to its antics will depend on how you feel about that sort of thing. However, if the anime balances the comedic elements with adequate emotional resonance, Golden Time stands a good chance of being closer to Honey and Clover than Toradora! with regard to how it navigates the minefield of anime romance.
I'm watching fewer shows autumn 2013 than I usually do. I suppose on average it's still about one episode each night, but with less time watching anime and less attention devoted to The Twitter, I do have noticeably more time to pursue other interests—to include updating an anime blog that's nearly in its 13th year.(more…)
I was looking forward to Golden Time because I felt both the manga and the original light novels successfully combined the two components I claim critical to a romantic comedy's success: Medium-Wackiness and Emotional Resonance. The Golden Time anime does not deviate from the source material, but the way it covers some significant events is haphazard and rushed.
From a narrative standpoint, watching Golden Time is sort of like hearing a synopsis from a reader who only skimmed the books. All the key points are there, but getting them from this type of storytelling isn't conducive to understanding how they relate. The viewer is less likely to appreciate the moments themselves.
The biggest problem so far is episode four was clearly rushed. A lot of important events occur shortly after Banri's and Kouko's night in the woods, but episode four of the anime runs through them all without conveying their gravity. Specifically, the confrontation with Chinami, the subsequent encounter with Nana, Kouko taking the stage, and the departure from the club are all important events that the anime basically glosses over, skipping to the morning after. (Significantly, the anime also entirely omits the binge drinking that occurs throughout those events.) I was also dissatisfied with how the anime covered Kouko's struggle at Banri's club and with how it handled Banri's unexpected journey.
Before the Golden Time anime started, quite a few people expressed their reservations after learning Kon Chiaki is at the helm. (She's the director perhaps best known for "ruining" the Nodame Cantabile sequels.) Through four episodes, I have to grudgingly admit that these pessimists were right.
Despite all the criticism J.C. Staff attracts these days, I still consider it a very capable studio when it plays to its strengths. Emotional resonance is its bread and butter. Unfortunately, compared to its deft execution in other adaptations such as Toradora! and Honey & Clover, Golden Time is an underachiever. Maybe episode four was just a aberrant one-off, but it was ham-fisted even compared to the Nodame Cantabile sequels Kon Chiaki herself directed, let alone compared to the brilliant first season. One-off or not, it's troubling that such important parts of Golden Time didn't get better treatment.
Nevertheless, despite the flaws in how Golden Time is presented, I do still like the show. I think this is a testament to the strength of the original source material. It's a real shame the anime isn't taking a bit more care with how it covers the events, because it has the potential to be very good. It seems merely slowing down a bit would suffice, Kon Chiaki notwithstanding. I suspect it's likely the rush is inspired by desires to hit a milestone by the end of the season, but this makes it more difficult to simply enjoy the ride.
The best part about having a $2400 laptop suffer a hardware failure while you're away from home is relying on dubious bittorrent clients on your phone to stay up to date with currently airing anime. Turns out Golden Time was worth it this week, though.
I only watched five shows from the autumn 2013 anime season. It really should have been six, but subs for Detective Conan lagged again.
Autumn 2013: KILL la KILL (1-12) > Golden Time (1-12) > DokiDoki! Precure (35-46) > Kakumeiki Valvave [13-24] > IS Infinite Stratos 2 [1-12, OVA2]. Dropped: None.(more…)
KILL la KILL and Golden Time continued without interruption from the previous cour. Both remain about as good as they were previously, and for pretty much the same reasons as before. Thus, if you liked the shows the first time around, you'll probably still like them now. Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon) took a short break after its first cour, but also proves to be as good as it was now that it has resumed for winter 2014.(more…)
I just wanted to point out how pleased I was to see this tribute to Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strips. A single shot isn't quite as dedicated as the Evangelion parody strip drawn in the Peanuts style, but it's something. Incidentally, I'm pretty sure the last man standing at Studio ADTRW translated that manga to English before the site fell off the World Wide Web.