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Golden has everything going right at the moment. I wasn’t sure if episodes focusing on the new material that came from Golden would work, but it really is. This was an extremely entertaining episode with some good laughs to be had along the way while continuing to develop the new character in Marie.

This episode felt like the anime giving a nod to how difficult it is to max out the social links in the game. You really have to manage your time properly in order to get the best result. Gave it a comical spin in Yu having to balance everything with Yosuke and also with Marie. Of course he gets the advantage of actually being able to double-book and try to bounce between both options.

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This episode did a good job advancing the Marie side of the story, showing some new events and throwing some comedy in on that. Actually not a bad idea to combine events together so they can make the most of each episode. It was nice to combine everything right through the episode. Having Yu studying for his scooter license while spending time with Marie, Chie, Yukiko, and Yosuke. Also having that conversation about Scooters with Dojima while they were also putting together the little gardening area.

Can’t say I’m surprised that Yosuke came up with something called the “Up Close and Personal Plan.” Seems very much up Yosuke’s alley to try and expand his horizons and get some girls. Of course naturally his plan has numerous problems with it. The first being that they couldn’t have two people riding a scooter. Nice move by Yu to avoid letting him know that until Kanji pointed that out. And of course the second issue being that just expecting people to hit on you just because you have a scooter seems rather flawed.

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It is nice to see how Marie is getting integrated and accepted by the group here. While explaining her backstory is difficult, the group is certainly getting along with her. Sure she’s spending some time with just Yu, but the others are glad to spend time with her also. Glad someone pointed out to Chie and Yukiko their issues with colour XD. Certainly Marie seems to enjoy spending time with others even if her words sometimes don’t give the impression that she’s enjoying herself.

She also saved Yu at the end there by helping to coordinate Chie and Ai so that their clothing war would finally come to an end. Certainly has a good sense for picking out outfits, which certainly has its irony since she only seemed to receive one set of clothes from Margaret. Not a bad thing in the end to have Marie creating friendships that aren’t outright dependent on Yu. While I still think the friendship concept is a bit strange to Marie, she seems to be getting into it.

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That was quite the time crunch that Yu was working under though. Having to consider spending time with Yosuke and Kanji, spending time with the girls, travel time and getting back in time to help Nanako get dinner ready XD. Nice how some of Yu’s responses in game come to play in this kind of situation. Suddenly him saying he can get it wrapped up in 3 minutes isn’t as much a boast as it is being said purely out of necessity.

Had to be quite the insane job to rush between judging outfits while also hitting on pretty much every girl in sight. Probably didn’t help him that he was constantly in a rush so couldn’t legitimately make a move on anyone. You could see little by little how Yu was just driven to the brink by this episode and that had good comedy potential to it.

Though I have to say Yosuke remains the one who suffers the most from this episode. It was all his plan, but wow it sure went sour in a hurry. Thinking he had it won only for it to lead to Otani busting his bike up. That girl really just causes untold chaos wherever she goes. Causing some trouble during the Mystery Food X incident and now really leaving a mark. Going to be a bit costly for Yosuke to get his bike fixed up. If Yu can say anything at least he got lucky there. Dojima giving him a nicely tuned scooter while Yosuke…yeah.

OP [Next Chance to Move On] by Shihoko Hirata: (B)

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The OP is a pretty good one. The song isn’t the most memorable, but still feels like a good choice. It builds up pretty well and keeps the focus strongly on the main cast since it will certainly be all about them. Has the same kind of style overall as the Golden OP and that’s not bad in my view. Not a great OP I think, but pretty solid.

ED [Dazzling Smile] by Shihoko Hirata: (A-)

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A pretty nice ED for Golden I have to say. Sounds very much like it fits in the show and really is all about Marie. They aren’t holding back in saying she’s the key figure in this. Having her ‘singing’ isn’t bad, it’s the kind of touch I’ve seen in other EDs in the past and is nice. Some good visuals with some interesting interpretations you can make from them. A feeling of being trapped to some degree and also very isolated. It seemed like a big moment at the end with the full team approaching her like that. Of course we already know she isn’t a normal person since she is from that Velvet Room and they play that up also. Overall I’d say it’s a really enjoyable ED.

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Golden really is getting off to a good start. They are really just focusing on the new material and jumping around as they wish, but I’m perfectly ok with that. We have a full anime already that touched on that and it feels less rushed since they can narrow the focus. While last episode was Izanagi awesomeness this was pretty fun in its own way. From how it started with Marie’s poetry to Yu barely making it home to Nanako in one piece XD.
Score: A

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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