I should have probably ate something before reviewing Golden Kamuy. Even thinking about this show makes me hungry and it’s not what I had in mind. But hey, seeing this golden egg return again for a sequel is such a welcome delight.
Remember, this sequel continues from the first season and now indulges on the continued quest of Sugimoto and his ever daring adventures. It makes a memorable return with the first episode introducing Edogai Yasaku, a taxidermist. Right off from this season, he shows his true colors with his expertise related to human skin. While not being an actual killer or sadistic as Tsurumi, I
dare say that he’s not someone to be underestimated. An early alliance also sparks between him and Tsurumi. Speaking of which, do you remember Tsurumi?
Serving as the lieutenant of the 7th division, Tsurumi is one of the key antagonists in this show. Many words can be used to describe him such as erratic and unstable. In the second season, he shows his ruthless behavior again although at the same time, I find his sarcastic tone and unpredictable personality to be most welcoming. It adds surprising elements that makes the plot much more fluid. But of course, who can forget about our Saichi Sugimoto and his companion, Asirpa. The pair became inseparable and their adventures continue with even more stakes on the line. Joining them is also Yoshitake Shirashi, the goofball butt monkey. While many see him as a comic relief with his carefree attitude, he does play valuable roles in this season. It’s easy to sugarcoat him as the middleman between the two main characters as well.
However, I believe the second season is both plot and character driven. Early in this season, Suigimoto’s group deals with Edogai but we also shouldn’t forget about the man known as Hijikata. His past with Shinpachi is important to recognize due to their similarities during their younger years. In addition, we also take a deeper dive into his past when he was once a prisoner at Kaboto. And I think it’s one of the many things that makes this show stand out. It makes the audience care about characters like Hijikata. Even though he isn’t a prominent figurehead like Sugimoto, his past made him evolve as a person to where he is today. I should probably warn you though. This show is not light on violence, whether physically or mentally. But by showcasing its content in such way, it makes this anime that more realistic.
Speaking of the plot, Shirashi gets caught that puts his life into jeopardy. While the audience may dismiss his capture as lesser importance, we should remember that he is in the hands of the 7th division. That’s the same group known for their sadistic tendencies thanks to their charismatic lieutenant, Tsurumi. The plot also brings in new characters like Kiyohiro Suzukawa, a deceptive man who is able to slip into the ranks of enemies. I should probably also mention that while Kiyohiro is more or less a con artist, his role brings in suspense to the plot. It makes me want to see them succeed in recusing Shirashi regardless what dangers await them. Eventually, the plot turns into a cat and mouse game. We get to see the main conflict escalate into fights for survival. Thankfully, Sugimoto still retains his military skills and we see them in action against the 7th division. On the other hand, the show also explores the character connection between Tanigaki and Kenkichi. I’ve mentioned before but this sequel is also very character driven that explores the past relationships between important characters. Kenkichi may seem like a minor character at first but the show reinforces the idea of how human lives can be so fragile. The second season establishes an important concept about how broken their world is and what characters can do to change it.
Now while I can say this season can get deep and emotional, there’s also a decent amount of lighthearted moments. If you remember from the first season, food is a part of the show that eclipses more than just a gimmick. That’s because food is essentially for survival and we get no shortage of those from this season. Asirpa brings in her knowledge of the Ainu culture with her as well those survival skills. We even get woodcock hunting as a showcase of one of her many talents. I should say that Aspira is a breakout character. She and Sugimoto has been through a lot together and despite some of their personality differences, they work together well as a pair. My impression of Aspira this season is no less different than the first season as she continues to educate viewers about Ainu culture. In later episodes, her eyes also play important role in a case that adds suspense to the story. But don’t let that fool you from the show’s motives. It has a great amount of balanced content between the light and dark. In other words, this season has an emotional and serious story but always has time to find moments to make fun of itself. If you don’t believe me, just check to see how much man service this season really became.
Thanks to what it has established, I say without a shadow of a doubt that Golden Kamuy Season 2 is more than just watchable. It’s a show that manages to capitalize on its variety of genres and bring in a exhilarating story. It has a larger-than-life character cast with important purposes. With each passing episode, I felt more compelled to watch more. And so should you.
The legendary series that is Golden Kamuy has had its shares of greatness, starting with Season 1 in Spring 2018, and now the sequel this season, which expands upon where Season 1 left off, but with more refined balance between the comedy and action. In more ways than one, Season 2 solidified everything that was lacking in Season 1, and made it tenfold better IMO.
We continue on with Immortal Sugimoto, Asirpa and Co. on their journey to find not just the gold, but the man responsible for the whole fiasco in the first place: Nopperabo, the big eyes Ainu of a traitor, which is also
Asirpa's father in cold spirit and truth. In the context of having watched Season 1, Season 2 here is more grim, fast-paced, and the amount of violence and action doesn't hold the series back, with some of the greatest scenes designated at moments where predicted but last for as long as it should be, so long as the balance was held. So, with the new season, you're getting twice the action, twice the excitement and worries that are just chillax; the surface of the iceberg.
Golden Kamuy's characters are always the crew that we always find it intriguing, solely at first with people like Hijikata, Ogata, whom get their characterizations more heavily involved. And with how Season 2 ramps up the ante, along with the alliances of everyone working together for a common goal, the risk of betrayal is something that cannot be taken lightly. Quite possibly the biggest detractor is Lt. Tsurumi himself, looking through Season 2 lists quite a good range of capabilities of the 7th Division captain himself, from being the model for other calefares to being more relentless in the final stages of the cat and mouse chase to Sugimoto and Co. I'd say that with everything out of the bag this time, Lt. Tsurumi is the most fearsome character (even more than Season of 1), but everyone has upgraded their game into the series, and it's a firm foundation.
Once again, Geno Studio did an amazing production on Season 2 here, omitting the awful CGI bears in change for some great action and backgrounds. However, the drawback is that for the night scenes, the entire show goes into entirely black mode and it's barely discernable when put in comparison to Season 1. Maybe some lighting would have been fine, but for what it is, I'll take it any other day.
The music got a good upgrade and a better follow-up over Season 1, with Sayuri and MY FIRST STORY's collab for the OP, that not just sounds a whole lot bad-ass and better in every regard, but also aesthetically. With that said, the ED, featuring some loud-banging and bashing uncle that's on drugs, most would find this very noisy and distracting. Golden Kamuy is a series that just needs a good balance of substance, not some over-the-top values that cue the series. But on hindsight, it couldn't have been the perfect ED but hey, it's better than nothing.
What an amazing series from start to end. Definitely would recommend this series to historical action fans, but first, go watch Season 1 then come back for the sequel.
I like Golden Kamuy. It has the slice of life charm with its episodic nature, there's great animation that works in tandem with the narrative, and most importantly, it is unapologetically itself. I think this show is unique, meshing Japan's historical periods together and bringing cultures to life. Golden Kamuy never gets away from what makes it stand out. There are witty jokes, there is great interactions between characters, each character is consistent in many different moments. There is the interesting mix of Japan's history coupled with very flamboyant characters and creates an interesting contradiction to what is typically shown on TV. What you can
expect to get out of this show is twisted humor, animation that complements the narrative and interactions, and a whole lot of confusion.
Why I say confusion is that the narrative has a rollercoaster trend. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to always get closer, then farther, then closer, then farther. It isn't clear whether you can determine if the next episode will get you to the promised land or if we will see another hinna hinna episode, but frankly that is the charm of the show. I can feel the passion and charm of the characters when they just interact with each other over nature and survival of the fittest tactics. The down time really brings out the characterization and gives a nice break to high, fast paced scenes regarding the end game. All of a sudden, it is hard to determine each character's true goal and when the plot twists hit, they hit hard. They kept me on the edge of my seat and I started appreciating the seemingly pointless down time scenes because of the little things that we can see in characters. This confusion of the narrative actually made me enjoy the show more, because it diversified the content while also jumping themes/tones. I'm more of a fan of the light hearted side, where we can just learn the history of the Ainu and learn more about cultures we otherwise would've never hear of.
However, the animation overall is not part of Golden Kamuy's strong points. *CUE CG BEAR*. There are a lot of shortcuts with stills with slightly moving animated blood or things like that. The face animations are great though. Each character display their emotions and disgust so vehemently, it is hard to not appreciate them and just laugh. Some scenes were more gorey than what I expect from TV Anime, but they weren't as appealing as it could be. It got the point across though and I can appreciate why in certain areas in the narrative, they upped the gore. It displayed the stakes and importance of the respective scenes.
Golden Kamuy took me by storm, I wasn't sure if it was going to hit the right notes for me. But I soon realized how much charm and passion went into the writing, especially developing the characters, who carry this show. The plot is interesting, but loses steam in certain parts. It overall hinna hinna'd all over me though and I can't get enough of the witty humor, the stupid jokes, the idiocy of the characters, the food wars like eposodic episodes, and its charm.
Golden Kamui returns with the second cour/season which imo is better than the first season. The story, characters and plot have improved a lot and what I liked in this season is how they focus more on the side characters.
The characters maintain their unique traits and the enjoyment is better with the addition of the new characters that are introduced.
If you were familiar with the first season one of the main themes that is executed is the insatiable hunger for war/fight that the human nature is capable of. Our characters despite the Japanese-Russian war is over are still living in the past on
that blood-dyed battlefield were many lives were lost and heroes emerge.
Being unable to escape their past that hunts them every night our characters seek something that can prove their meaning and existence during those times. That thing is the Ainu gold which is said that with its value you can buy a country. It's ironic but is the raw truth on how a common goal can bring together people with different ideals and principles and make them work together as a team. In regard of that season 2 dives deeper into that matter and adds different obstacles and conflicts to test out their teamwork but also their trust in each other. It has a slow start but after a couple of episodes everything becomes a roller coaster of enyoiment, maniac laughing and plot twists that you don't expect to happen.
Now let's take a look on our characters which I must say this season has done a good job at making them memorable. While the first season made us familiar with the knowleadge and cuisine obsession for Asirpa, the toughness and recklessness actions of Sugimito and Shiraishi's slipperiness, season 2 brought foward new stories and revealed the reasons and motivations for Ogata and Tanigaki in seeking the Ainu Gold.
We all know that Ogata is a skilled sniper from Tsurumi's 7th division who wanted something new thus leaving the division on his own will. But we never knew what were his reasons on doing that? What was the reason why Tanigaki was going on that journey and what were the real intentions of Hijikata and his men? Why was Tsurumi and his men a torn in their back all journey long?
Well all of this questions are answered in this season by the characters themselves. They tell us the viewers in a form of a monologue their past choices and what made them end up the people they are today. Some of their stories are hilarious (I gotta mention that Tsurumi's was the one that I laughed the most and the one that fitted his twisted personality so well), some of their are filled with regret, some of them with vengeange and finally some of them managed to stir up some emotions (especially Tanigaki's conclusion to his story).
Regarding the bear- cgi complains from the first season this season managed to solve those problems and the animation improved. The ost is the same (great) and the animation for the opening song manages to mix the knowledge of Asirpa's cuisine with the traits of our characters. As a conclusion I gotta mention that Tsurumi's men are damn awesome and their twisted personalities are damn enjoyable. And I love how they mix up the craziness and smart decisions depicting a unique trait in Tsurumi's character. His qoutes are damn juicy, here is a example to know what I mean :
(To Sugimoto)"I'm your Shinigami. Your life is a candle, and I can blow it out anytime I choose".
If you wanna find out more about what I wrote in this review you gotta check this season out!