Daily Archives: October 14, 2020
Alright everyone. I watched an anime today that doesn’t match with the usual suspects that I review. But that’s all good and well. I watched episode #1 of Golden Kamuy, season 1 available on Crunchyroll.
Golden Kamuy stars Saichi Sugimoto as the main character and is set in the Meiji era, that is the late 1800s into the early 1900s. Sugimoto arrives home from the war in desperate need of money. To accommodate that need, he begins panning for gold. While panning, an old man tells him the story of a prisoner who slaughtered an entire tribe of Ainu people and took all their gold. Tried for his crimes, the murderer hides all his gold where no one can find it. Placed on death row, the man quickly makes friends with the other death row inmates. He tattoos hints or clues to the treasures location on all the inmates. The inmates escape and thus the treasure map has now been separated over all their bodies. This anime is Sugimoto’s adventure to find all the inmates and track down the treasure.
Okay, there’s your synopsis. Let’s dive further into it, shall we?
The first thing is wow. Is that plot morbid? I mean, it is kind of implied Sugimoto will be killing these people and skinning them for the clues… So yeah, it is a gruesome version of One Piece. Hey, I’m all for that part of it. However, to find out why I am stumped, we have to examine Sugimoto a bit further.
The opening scene is of the Russian and Japanese war. Boy, is there a lot to unpack here. Our introduction to Sugimoto is on the front lines fighting for Japan in the war. He eats an ant out of desperation for food. When the order is given, Sugimoto rushes from the trenches to find a Russian to vanish and presumably eat, winters are tough after all. At this point, Sugimoto makes it clear his main objective is to survive.
He invades the Russian trenches and grotesquely slays all the troops. When he has flashbacks of the war, they are pretty gruesome and the soldiers are always decapitated. I bring this up to say, Sugimoto is one disturbed individual. He clearly has a bloodlust. He appears to crave inhumane and clever ways of annihilating the opposition. I question if his main goal is just survival anymore.
Now, let’s back it up a bit. While at war, his best friend asks him to raise 200 Yen and take his wife and kid to the United States to seek doctors who would help her with her vision problem. Just 200 Yen. Remember this.
Later in the anime, he runs into a native Ainu girl, Asirpa, who is out hunting bears in the wood. Long story short, the two must defeat a bear in order to save one of the former inmate’s bodies from being eaten by the bear. Finally, they slay the bear. This prompts Sugimoto to ask Asirpa to join him in finding the treasure. She humbly declines him saying she does not kill people. After hearing Sugimoto’s story about the wife with bad vision, she removes the bear’s gallbladder and tells him it is worth a lot of Yen.
Do you think this is enough for Sugimoto? Literally, yes. Of course it is. In his head? No. He wants that fortune. It is funny how Sugimoto seems like a cool, level headed guy until money or killing gets involved. After that a switch is flipped inside the man.
As a result, Saichi Sugimoto is one of the more interesting main characters I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. The anime’s art and premise definitely interested me. But it the yearning to discover who Sugimoto really is that is compelling me to continue the adventures of Golden Kamuy. This is an anime I see myself slowly chipping away at.
Well let me know what you guys thought of this anime down below. And what is with the CGI bears?
Thanks again for reading! Have a great day!
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