I forget exactly why I added this to my Crunchyroll queue. It may just have been the combination of the pretty girl on the cover art and the intriguing-sounding description, but it had been festering there for a while so, following the conclusion of Silver Spoon I decided to jump in and give it a shot.
Here's the elevator pitch from Crunchyroll:
Banri Tada is a newly admitted student at a private law school in Tokyo. However, due to an accident, he lost all of his memories. During his freshman orientation, he encounters another freshman from the same school, Mitsuo Yanagisawa, and they hit it off at once. Without any memory of each other, their lives become more and more intertwined as if set by the hands of fate. But what is their fate, and will it lead to happiness or another memory to forget…
The amnesiac protagonist hook is nothing new, but Golden Time handles it nicely by it not being the main thrust of the story. Rather, it's a tale of Banri's journey into adulthood as he starts his new life in Tokyo, and his subsequent relationship with the show's poster girl Koko Kaga, who is introduced as an obsessive stalker of Banri's new friend Mitsuo.
As the show progresses, we start to find out a little more about Banri's past, thanks to the presence of Linda, a girl whom, it transpires, went to high school with Banri and knew him before his amnesia-inducing accident. Banri's past is also represented as a "ghost" that is still in love with Linda, and which holds a grudge against the "new" Banri for his relationship with Koko, culminating in it apparently putting a "curse" on him -- though it's never quite clear if the ghost is actually real or if the bad things that happen are actually just bad luck.
Koko is the more interesting character, however. Initially depicted as a fairly "typical" (for anime) clingy, stubborn, overbearing stalker girlfriend-type, her hooking up with Banri (after one too many times of being spurned by Mitsuo) gradually reveals considerable hidden depths. Hailing from a background of privilege, Koko is struggling to find her place in the world and has difficulty interacting with anyone who isn't Mitsuo or Banri. Initially this isn't entirely her fault, as her good looks and clear "rich girl" aura intimidate anyone who comes near her, but in subsequent episodes we notice that she also has a habit of pushing people away, particularly if she feels jealous of them for whatever reason.
This is particularly apparent during her interactions with her young-looking peer Chinami, whom she initially calls "Miss Ultrasonic" due to her high-pitched voice, but eventually, slowly, gradually -- and via a rather rocky route -- strikes up what appears to be a genuine friendship. It's clearest in her interactions with Banri, however; she's quick to jump straight to telling him that she loves him, but also has a habit of running away when things get difficult. The clash between Banri's past and present selves makes for frequent drama, and their growing, changing relationship is the main "hook" for the series as it goes on, rather than the amnesia subplot.
I'm 17 episodes in out of the 24-episode run so far and looking forward to seeing how it continues. It's one of those shows that is fairly light-hearted on the surface, but which has a certain degree of dark undertones, so I'm intrigued to see which direction the whole thing goes in as it draws things to a conclusion -- if, indeed, it does reach a conclusion, as I believe the manga it is based on is still running. Either way, it's a good watch if you enjoy character-led drama, and I'm glad I took a chance on it for whatever reason I added it to my queue in the first place.