This week’s Golden Kamuy is back with some really fast-paced progress in terms of storyline and of finding the prisoners tattooed with the treasure map.
Japanese Title: のっぺら坊
Immortal Sugimoto and his little Ainu friend, who are now eating squirrels, are going to Otaru to look for the prisoners with the map tattoo. After looking around in bathhouses, brothels, and other places where one is expected to encounter nudity, they manage to get followed by one of the prisoners. His effort to kill them proves rather futile as he gets easily trapped and captured by the odd pair. Just as Asirpa has finished copying the guy’s tattoo, he gets shot in the head, staining everything with blood, and Sugimoto is being hunted down by the assassin, who proves to be a 7th Division soldier. It is of the most hardcore army divisions from the war. After a brief battle, the unknown soldier falls in the water and is found by his peers, while Sugimoto and Asirpa manage to find yet another prisoner (they’re pretty good at finding people, okay?). The guy escapes and Sugimoto falls in the river with him, while he’s hunting him down. They make a pact to escape death by hypothermia together, so the guy helps Sugimoto start a fire by puking a bullet, and in return, he lets him go.
Squirrel eating: I mean, why not. Because they’re cute? All animals are cute. I can imagine squirrels must taste pretty good as they eat all these delicious nuts and run around all day.
Intro: Very standard and imho unimpressive. I kind of understand how experimenting with styles and storylines in the anime market has gone pretty stale lately because of… reasons, but the intro is the one thing where producers should go all out and make something really polished and crazy rather than intense staring and walking into the distance.
Bad Drawing: I’m not entirely convinced about the choice of blue lines in forest environments (even though I guess it is supposed to convey a feeling of… cold?) But the overall art of the show is once more so disappointing. Flat, dry, and regular. I wish a bit more effort had been put into it.
Ainu geekery: Not knowing anything about the Ainu and their culture, I do enjoy the random bits of fun-facts that jump around while the show develops.
Themes and Trivia:
Shogunate: In pre-modern Japan, the shogun was Japan’s supreme military leader, awarded the title by the emperor.
Hadokate War: The Battle of Hakodate was fought in Japan from December 1868 to June 1869, between the remnants of the Tokugawa shogunate army, consolidated into the armed forces of the rebel Ezo Republic, and the armies of the newly formed Imperial government. It was the last stage of the Boshin War and occurred around Hakodate in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō.It is also known as the Battle of the Goryokaku.
Otaru: A port city on Hokkaido, northwest of Sapporo on Ishikari Bay. The city is known for glassworks, music boxes, and sake distilleries.
Menoko Makiri: A menoko-makiri is a knife for women. It was an essential tool in a woman’s daily life such as for gathering edible wild plants and bark. A menoko-makiri is smaller than a makiri and it was always carried at one’s waist.
I am not amazed but at least the show’s story is pretty entertaining. I don’t want to say that I’m hoping to see the animation improving because that’s very unlikely, so there.
What did you think of the Golden Kamuy’s second episode? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Spring 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!