Here it is: the final episode. We pick up right where the previous episode left off, as Banri loses his memories. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t seem to panic like he has in the past, but instead runs to his mom and hugs her. As you probably anticipated, much of this episode revolves around the fact that Banri has finally regained his old memories, forgotten everything that’s happened since the accident, and ultimately returned to his home town. Honestly, the vast majority of it wasn’t a bad episode. We see what Banri’s life is looking like, as well as what happens with the other characters once his memory is gone. It isn’t until some where after the halfway point that things get weird.
Koko, of course, shows up at Banri’s home, although she doesn’t put on a big production or even try to tell Banri who she is. In fact, she even allows Banri to believe she’s someone else when he guesses wrong. It’s actually Banri who remembers Koko’s identity, and as a result he takes off after her, knowing that she wanted to visit the bridge that he fell off of. When he gets to the bridge, things get weird. Banri ends up in some kind of distorted reality, where he sees images of himself, and ultimately confronts “Ghost Banri”. Okay, this would all be fine and dandy if it was all metaphor, or a mental delusion of some sort. It certainly makes for a better ending to have Banri at peace with himself. The trouble is, this seems to be some kind of physical manifestation, as not only does “Ghost Banri” return the ring which real Banri had dropped earlier, but Linda also rushes onto the scene and confesses her love to “Ghost Banri”.
Now, maybe you’re thinking that she was really just talking to the real Banri, but I don’t think there’s anything to suggest that. “Ghost Banri” and real Banri are standing opposite each other, and Linda is clearly facing and talking to “Ghost Banri”. The whole thing is just weird, surreal, and strangely supernatural. It’s kind of out of place, especially when there was never any hint of other characters being able to see “Ghost Banri” throughout the series. Once this little oddity is out of the way, the episode continues normally and brings us to the conclusion we’ve all come to suspect. It would be a fairly decent—if not predictable—episode if it weren’t for the strange events at the bridge.
Maybe this should have been a two part episode—some tension could have been built before Koko finally faced Banri again. I don’t know. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Could it have been better? Yes. In the end, though, the final episode is almost like a summary of the whole series: A fairly strong beginning, a weird and kind of weak middle(ish) section, and a decent ending.
Now Golden Time has officially come to its end. It was a bumpy road, with its high points and low points, but it ultimately made me care about the characters, and I think I can safely say I looked forward to it more often than not.
A Christian Perspective:
Not really a whole lot to say here. Other than one use of language, it was a fairly clean episode.
Language: 1 “d**n”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Violence: Two characters head butt