I was delighted to have the chance to review Golden Kamuy’s second season. The show had already earned my favor with its witty characters, intriguing scenario, and historical facts that made my nerd senses tingle, and to my absolute delight, Season 2 was even better than the first. Having established a style of its own, Golden Kamuy is exactly where it needs to be at the moment.
In the second season, we are following three groups of people during this season which seem to change members and sizes as the story flows. The main group is led by Asirpa and Sugimoto; then there’s the 7th led by Lt. Tsurumi; and finally the followers of Hijikata. They seem to be running around in circles, slowing down in their hunt for the tattooed skins but having the clear target of breaking into Abashiri prison and getting Asirpa to meet Nopperabo. Naturally, nothing goes as planned.
Plot & Story
Golden Kamuy’s plot is one of its strongest points. A key element that manifests itself during both seasons is its link to Hokkaido and Ainu folklore and traditions that become a part of the show, educating the viewer on the history of the land. Some events of the show are inspired by real ones. The story advances steadily during the second season even though it sometimes feels as if the story flows a bit… slow?
The thing is that, looking back at this season, I realize that I can’t remember many key events. There were, however, some important character interactions; Inkaramat and Kiroranke, Inkaramat and Tanigaki Nispa, Shiraishi and Sugimoto and Hijikata, Tanigaki Nispa and Asirpa’s grandmother. The way this season was advancing was not by quickly pacing important events but by setting a strong ground for character development for what is about to happen next. I suppose the balance between the two could have been a bit more stable, but I can’t complain – I didn’t get bored watching it even once.
In terms of character development, I think the personal highlights were:
- Ogata’s backstory, because he is awesome and we had to know why
- Inkaramat x Tanigaki because we need some adult romance
- Kiroranke’s betrayal because betrayal is the salt and pepper of every shonen show.
Art & Music
Even though it won’t blow your mind, the animation in the second season is better than the animation in the first one. First of all, that weird blue sheen thing is gone (I had actually forgotten about it). Second, less CGI – even though it’s still there – can we stop though? Please? I don’t care about seeing digitally drawn boats. Get some work done. Invest in animation. Make your show’s art significant and unforgettable, it’s so important! The beautiful character designs are of course even better and Inkaramat is probably my favorite example of this: she is gorgeous and her character is designed in such a modest yet unique stylized way. There’s also an increased amount of fan service with some pretty buff male nudes going on, if you’re into that sort of thing (they’re slightly too buff for me).
The voice actors are absolutely great. Inkaramat wins the prize again here (Mamiko Noto) closely followed by Hijikata (Jouji Nakata) who makes me feel like I’m listening to him narrating a Noh performance. Catchy songs at both OP and ED – both in different ways. I particularly liked the ED ‘Tokeidai no Kane by Eastern Youth‘ and its scream-o vocals. Even though I’m not into that sort of thing, they were nicely done.
Themes & Trivia
If I understand correctly (and forgive me if I don’t), a key thing that I have missed when reviewing the previous Golden Kamuy season is that it is implying that Hijikata did not die according to history in 1869 but was instead imprisoned and tortured for not joining the government. The show also refers to the fact that he was supposed to be quite a hot piece of ass during his youth (something that history also verifies) and even refers to his iconic photo which you can find by simply googling his name. Interesting.
The Ainu fun facts kept running too, with my favorite part being the salmon fishing process in Hokkaido. Not just because I like salmon, but also because I LOVE ROE. OMG WHAT WAS ALL THIS FREE ROE GOING AROUND.
Did we like it? Oh, yesss…
- Fun characters and more buildup
- Crazy laughs
- A new chapter of the story ready to unfold
- Animation better but can further improve!
- Some redundant characters and incidents
Yeah, I loved it. Not much more to say. It’s not the best show I have ever watched, but it is fun and consistently entertaining. Also, the fact that the improved their animation is very promising. Looking forward to Season 3!
What did you think of Golden Kamuy’s second season? Let us know in the comment section and don’t forget to check more anime reviews here on MANGA.TOKYO.
Spring 2018–Fall 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast