Sugimoto, Asirpa, and Shiraishi are being followed by a crazed bear hunter who is trying to kill Retar, Asirpa’s Ezo wolf.
Japanese Title: 猟師の魂
Asirpa and Sugimoto are hunting down a deer Sugimoto injured in the previous episode. They try to ambush it, but Sugimoto feels his will to live is shared by the deer, who is staring at him in the eye as it runs away. Sugimoto fails to shoot, the deer gets killed by Retar, and Asirpa once more starts yelling at Sugimoto for being incompetent. He puts his cold hands in the deer’s carcass and somehow this makes everything better.
Retar feels the presence of the hunters around him and rushes them to go, so the hunters find nothing but a dead deer when following the wolf. They stand by the carcass hoping for the wolf to come back, yet only get to find a pile of his shit (no joke) sitting on the carcass the morning after. Nihei the bear hunter burns the shit hoping to outrage the wolf. He also likes to talk about his dick, like a lot.
Back in their hut, Asirpa and Sugimoto find Shiraishi who is bringing news on the tattooed prisoners and a bottle of sake. As they’re getting drunk, Shiraishi explains that when he was in town, he heard of a bear thief that has the tattoos they are looking for. They track the guy down as he is trying to kill Retar, and the episode ends with a one to one combat between him and Sugimoto.
Asirpa snowboarding: Maybe it’s just my overall hate for winter sports and winter itself that makes me say that but seeing Asirpa sliding down the mountain was so poser-ish. It reminded me of Legolas sliding down the stairs on his shield in the Lord of the Rings. And that is not a good comparison, mind you.
Cool tree hut: How awesome was that quick hut Asirpa built out of that fallen tree? I would love to try that. Even though I’m probably completely inept to be doing such a thing and will end up being eaten by bugs or something.
Sugimoto’s killing preferences: I can’t remember specific names, but I’m pretty sure Sugimoto is not the first hardcore killer/warrior who has a soft spot for animals. He seems pretty ruthless when it comes to killing people, but if he accidentally injures a dear, he freaks out.
Dick jokes and references: About 95% of everything Nihei the bear hunter says. The majority of his dialogue is about the size of his penis, the way in which it is erect and how all this has somehow something to do with hunting. I’m pretty sure ‘boner’ is his favorite word.
Good character design: One thing I often dislike about anime is how badly they portray Asian populations, and how massive eyes and colored hair fail to represent the beauty of the Japanese people in particular. Golden Kamuy is really good at that; it manages to offer variety in the illustration of its characters without basing it on hairstyles or outfits; the only one who looks different is Asirpa, being a young Ainu woman. All the soldiers wear the same clothes and have dark hair and eastern-Asian face features which can be clearly distinguished in the drawings – and that is great.
Deer poop trivia: Another irrational obsession of this show: poop. Just, why. I laughed at the fact that the word ‘shit’ was censored. How ridiculous.
Themes and Trivia
Useful linguistics: ‘Bokki’ means ‘erection’ in Japanese, or ‘boner’, if you prefer. For those of you who are kanji enthusiasts: 勃起, with 勃 meaning something along the lines of a sudden powerful rise and 起 meaning cause or genesis.
Akita: Super cute large dog breed originating from the mountainous northern regions of Japan.
Good cliffhanger right there
I can’t wait to see that battle between Sugimoto and Nihei.
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!