Golden Kamuy

Title:Golden Kamuy
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Geno Studio
In the early twentieth century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto scratches out a meager existence during the postwar gold rush on the wild frontier of Hokkaido. When he stumbles across a map to a fortune in hidden Ainu gold, he sets off on a treacherous quest to find it. But Sugimoto is not the only interested party, and everyone who knows about the gold will kill to possess it. Faced with the harsh conditions of the northern wilderness, ruthless criminals and rogue Japanese soldiers, Sugimoto will need all his skills and luck—and the help of an Ainu girl named Asirpa—to survive.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

12-episode TV anime that premiered on April 9, 2018.
Animated by Geno Studio.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3505#628]
(Three episodes watched):

I initially found this to be an interesting and unusual story, set back in the early 20th century and involving a race to find a trove of hidden gold and also Ainu legends and culture. The Ainu are sort of the Indians or aborigines of Japan, a culture which existed before what we know as the Japanese arrived, and which was then marginalized and pushed to the remote regions. Character designs are very simple, and I was kind of annoyed by Sugimoto's too-good-to-be-true strength and luck, at least as it was revealed on a battlefield. But his goal of helping the wife and children of a fallen comrade are admirable (and I hope the show goes into some detail about that). I was curious about how this would work out, and decided to watch some more to see if the story continued to expand and if the whole would be as clever as episode one had seemed.

Episode two left me feeling that this would be an OK show, but not a brilliant one. I wish we got to know the main characters, Sugimoto and Asirpa, better. We learn a number of tricks and customs of the Ainu, but so far not much about Asirpa herself. She wants justice for the murder of her father as well as some fellow Ainu, and is a skilled hunter, but other than that we know very little about her as an individual. Sugimoto is a good guy, is tough and doesn't like taking orders, but again that's about as far as his personality goes. And if the main characters remain simple, no doubt the villains will be two dimensional. As a result I can't get completely engaged in this story, and if I can't get completely engaged I tend to forget things.

Making things plausible doesn't seem to be a high priority. All sorts of amazing strokes of luck occur which make it difficult to suspend disbelief--like the white wolf that saves Asirpa or the bear that saves Sugimoto (two rescues by animals, almost simultaneously?). If a little more care had been taken with the writing it would have been much easier to take these events seriously. I decided to quit this show. There's no sign of serious character development, just lots of tricks and nonsense, and as a result I don't really care whether justice is served or who gets the gold. This turned out to be about as sophisticated as a children's show.

Last updated Friday, May 25 2018. Created Wednesday, April 18 2018.

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