Golden Time, Episode 08: I Walk a Lonely Road

I have this fragile sort of love for Golden Time.  As each episode progresses, I’m almost afraid to admit to myself how much I enjoy the show – enough to be among my favorite series – because I also see flaws that lead me to think the entire show will eventually come crashing down.  The last two episodes tested me particularly, because I thought they were both pretty abyssal.

However, I’m back on the path to cautious schoolgirl-like glee optimism.  While Koko plays a minor part in this episode (perhaps that’s a good thing), character development does progress as we hear a lot more of dead Banri, who narrates a large portion of the episode.  It could be confusing, but it isn’t as Banri’s former self guides us through a flashback that shows more of Linda’s feelings toward him and just how lovestruck Banri was (is?).  By the end of the episode, we also find that perhaps spirit Banri can physically affect new Banri.

There’s a hint of melancholy in this and previous episodes as we dig into Banri and Linda’s past.  It doesn’t hurt that Linda is the most likeable character in the series, and that she seems to be hurting as much as anyone because of Banri’s memory loss.  She’s lonely, but so, too, is Banri in some fashion.  He has a new girlfriend, a new best friend, and a new school, but truth be told, he barely knows any of those.  Heck, he barely knows himself.

tada banri
Banri’s quite beside himself (Pixiv ID 39535368)

Most of us will experience this ironic sense of loneliness in life as we’re surrounded by people.  When thrust into new relationships because of life changes – a move, a new job, a complete and total memory loss – we find ourselves at once excited and scared, befriended and depressed.

It’s no different for new Christians.  While teaching a class at my church, I mentioned the idea to my students about how when we become new converts, we sometimes put up a wall, intentionally or otherwise, with our pre-Christian friends.  We start hanging out less with them and have less to talk about.  We may even become snooty toward them, further putting up a divide.  At the same time, we’ve gained a church family, but a new one that doesn’t know us like our longtime friends do.  It’s a strangely friendless situation in which to be.

Of course, transitions are always difficult.  Sometimes, oftentimes, we don’t approach them smartly.  We lose touch with family.  We shun those that no longer act like us.  We become isolated.  But if we approach our transitions with empathy and wisdom, we might make decisions that continue to shine love to those around us.

Now, it’s left to see what kind of decisions Linda and Banri make.  I’m fond of the two, so I would hope for a storyline that leads to a loving resolution, but it certainly seems like some (more) missteps are on the horizon.


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