Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Golden Time and Outbreak Company

I already covered the part of Thursday I was looking forward to. Long story short, it could have been better. Here’s hoping there’s a sleeper in the other two shows, though there’s a reason I didn’t watch them first.

Golden Time was a show I had very flat vanilla coke expectations for, owing mostly to the fact that it was helmed by Chiaki Kon, something of a mediocrity expert. It didn’t do much to counter those expectations, starting off with a bland OP and a generic character-late-for-somewhere intro sequence that didn’t do much to establish the male lead. However, it did get more interesting once the female lead drove in, the set pieces broke down, and the main guy started improvising with the bouquet of roses. That he chose to bluff off the situation handing one to every female passerby like it was nothing says a few encouraging things about his character. That Koko was casually shown in the background like it was nothing says some promising things about CK’s potential to make the series work with small potatoes smart plays. Since the show did pack both cleverness and energy, I think it’s worth 2 more episodes of test-running to see whether or not the gilt rubs off.

Outbreak Company’s premise, an otaku using otaku culture to bridge a highly unusual culture gap, doesn’t exactly leap off the page. However, the show itself quietly played the hand it was dealt and ended up looking something like a contender. It still wasn’t bursting off the screen, but packed into the first episode were some legit cool bits, like a flashback to a first-contact situation that got handled by rational people and a perfectly timed halfway eyecatch to punctuate awkward silence. Enough to get my attention, at any rate. I think the key to the show is this; how does the main character respond to being placed in this situation? If he actually acts somewhat like a Marbury-style quirky ambassador and not a bum, it could produce results worth following. It definitely seemed to be heading in that direction, and I’m willing to wait for another 2 weeks before passing judgement on this one.

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