What time is it? Is it that time? Yes, it is. YES, IT IS! OGATA BACKSTORY ΥΑΥ! Also, it may have been crystal clear to some of you, but I just realized that Lt. Tsurumi is probably gay. MIND-BLOWN.
Japanese Original Episode Title: カムイホプニレ
After their groups have come together once more, Asirpa and Sugimoto are invited to a nearby Ainu village that has just slayed a bear and are having a feast to honor the bear… then eat it. Yeah. Lots of fun is had by all the members of the group. They get well drunk and fall asleep while Tanigaki Nispa is informing Asirpa on her grandmother’s situation. Asirpa hesitates for a moment, but she is dedicated to fulfill her own goal – so she decides to stay with the group and go to Abashiri to find answers to her questions. Tanigaki promises to stay with her to help her.
In the meantime, at the 7th’s headquarters, Koito, the guy that speaks in intense Satsuma dialect, is about to meet Lt. Tsurumi to explain his failure in stopping Shiraishi from fleeing. He is well prepared for the meeting. When Tsurumi confronts him about his error, he undresses and shows his the flayed skin of the prisoner pretending to be Inoudo Shirosuke, conveniently shaped as a T-shirt. Tsurumi is proud and asks him to join his team of prisoner hunting (is that like a promotion?). Through their conversation on the politics of the military, we get a reference to Ogata’s backstory; apparently, he killed his own mother, father, and half-brother; and I am not surprised at all. He is still my favorite character. Also, he probably had an affair with Tsurumi, just saying. But then again, at this point I’m not really sure who didn’t…
Ogata: I mean, this guy is a legend. First of all, FYI, he is the most popular character in polls. No shit, Sherlock. He’s a damn psychopath. Regular people (like myself…) are naturally attracted to psychopathic behavior. I am not really gonna go into detail why – read your own damn psychoanalysis papers – but the charm psychopaths display is a thing, and definitely applicable to Ogata’s case. His backstory – fucking awesome. No morals, no feelings, no real goals either. He just gets by. Also, his voice actor, Kenjiro Tsuda (Devilman Crybaby, One Piece, Attack on Titan, Violet Evergarden, My Hero Academia and a lot, lot more) is a legend too. His voice gives me the chills. His sly reply to Tsurumi’s advances on Ogata in the carriage made me melt inside. I genuinely think these two are my favorite male couple ever, and, believe or not, I’m not even into yaoi. They’re just really cool characters and the tension built around them has been so good – their affair is just a cherry on the cake.
Ainu and the bears: It’s interesting how in contemporary societies the Ainu’s practices on bear hunting are considered savage – it’s not that they’re not violent, as they do involve the glorification of an animal’s death – but the philosophy behind their relationship with their environment is much healthier than that of a modern man. ‘If we don’t respect the animals, they won’t come back to us.’ Gold, and so is the fact that they see them as equals.
Humor around drama: Golden Kamuy has quite a particular tone. It gets from really dark to really cheerful and sometimes both at the same time. That mostly happens around Tsurumi, and to me that must be how things seem in his head, as he is, well, crazy. All the blood and death around him cannot be anything but funny business, laughs, and sex to him. And it’s all manifested on how his harem of male soldier feels about him.
Themes & Trivia
The first Sino-Japanese war: The First Sino-Japanese War (25 July 1894–17 April 1895) was fought between the Qing Empire and the Empire of Japan, primarily for influence over Korea. After more than six months of unbroken successes by Japanese land and naval forces and the loss of the port of Weihaiwei, the Qing government sued for peace in February 1895.
Asakusa: Asakusa (浅草 shallow grass) is a district in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan, famous for its Buddhist temple. The development of Asakusa as an entertainment district during the Edo period came about in part because of the neighboring district, Kuramae. Kuramae was a district of storehouses for rice, which was then used as payment for servants of the feudal government. The owners of these storage houses initially stored the rice for a small fee, but over the years began exchanging the rice for money or selling it to local shopkeepers at a margin. Through such trading, many fudasashi came to have a considerable amount of disposable income and as result theaters and geisha houses began to spring up in nearby Asakusa. Hence Ogata’s mom being referred to as an Asakusa geisha.
Well done, Golden Kamuy. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
What did you think of this Golden Kamuy episode? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Fall 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!
Spring 2018–Fall 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast