After a long delay, we finally have the first season of Golden Kamuy, an adaptation of Studio Geno’s thrilling Satoru Noda manga. Is it worth the wait? Let’s find out!
Set in Hokkaido against the backdrop of the Russo-Japanese War in the early 20th century, Golden Kamuy is a suspenseful Japanese-style Western adventure that pits various factions against each other on a hunt for hidden Ainu gold.
It largely follows former warrior Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto, who enters the hunt after hearing a strange story from a man he met while searching for gold to raise money for a fallen comrade’s wife. Supposedly, after stealing gold from the Ainu and landing in Abashiri prison for it, a man named “Nopperabo” tattooed a map pointing to gold on the bodies of other prisoners. After escaping from prison, the prisoners are scattered all over Hokkaido, which means that in order to find gold, each one has to be hunted and stripped of its skin. Of course, this man was one of the former prisoners and tried to snap at Sugimoto for overhearing but ended up being molested by the bear. After seeing his body and becoming convinced that Ainu gold is out there, Sugimoto begins his quest to hunt down all the prisoners and claim the gold, joining a group of trash friends he picks up along the way, including an Ainu girl named Asirpa. and the comedian Shiraishi.
Even though I haven’t read the manga, after reading all three seasons of Golden Kamuy to date, I’d say it’s a show that continues to evolve and get better over time, as the first season often looks a bit awkward. This is in large part because he has to prepare a lot of plot and characters, and as a result, his pace can seem quite sluggish. The opening episode is heavy on exposition and it only takes a few moments to get it all worked out and unite each of the major factions we’ll see fighting for the prize. When cutting and changing between different characters and plot points, it can often seem very unfocused, and first-time viewers and those with no knowledge of the source material may struggle to fit the pieces into the larger narrative because much of it doesn’t. ‘t feel relevant. They are, however, necessary for the later series; You don’t know it yet.
Nonetheless, it was still quite gripping as Sugimoto and the rest of his gang gradually faced several prisoners and ended up in a fight to the death with not only them, but the other factions who also wanted gold. I really like the execution of the action sequences, and there’s a real sense of threat where you don’t know if Sugimoto will actually make it or not, leading to some hilarious scenes of him screaming, “I’m the immortal Sugimoto. !” and pull out the victory against all odds.