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.
A great continuation to an already great series...
The anime's main flaw is actually the art and animation, character designs are really basic and are constantly recycled throughout the anime, backgrounds look terrible and the effects seem cheap and out of place; in addition the animation is very rough and has very little flow which makes the show seem like a coloured manga with voice acting and music rather than an actual anime. However, when it comes to sound, this anime is fucking phenomenal! The OP is probably one of the best this season (Both OPs probably top 20 this year) and the soundtrack is
perfect for every scenario; but we can't continue without mentioning the voice acting which is fantastic and helps to bring these characters to life and repairs the flaws created by the mediocre and borderline bad art and animations!
The continuation to this already very intriguing story has been continued to be excecuted well and eventhough no major plot points have happened yet in the first episodes; there is nothing I can fault either. Furthermore, the characters are fucking great! I love EVERY character in the anime and most of them get a decent amount of development; it also helps that there are constant comedic moments throughout the show that make you love the characters even more. I also love how eventhough we get to see the funny side of most characters (especially the 2 main characters and even some "villains") every single character is a badass at will and the transition from comedy to drama is done very well, it's Gintama-like.
Golden Kamuy's second season has delivered in every aspect aside from the dodgy animation/art and because of that it's definitely a top 10 anime this season (maybe even top 5).
PS: Sugimoto is probably one of the most badass MCs you will see this year!
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.
Continuing from an already amazing first season, the second season does not disappoint at all. Even though the start to this season is very slow, I believe it was a good choice as things have not been rushed and new characters' introductions have been handled quite well.
Art has improved vastly from the first season. No more CGI bears, that's right. However, compared to other shows currently airing, the art and animation is still very lacking for such a good animation. This is the only drawback from this amazing anime.
Just as in the first season, the OPs and EDs are still great. Although this season doesn't
jump right into action, it instead gives a lot of time to character development. This is the standing out point of Golden Kamuy. Almost characters are given enough screen time to develop their own unique traits and personalities. The characters in this show are so lovable, even the antagonists.
Overall: 8/10 . A really great show that deserves a lot more attention. Definitely top 5 anime of this season.
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!
I regard sequels as an 'obligatory watch' since there's always an itch inside of me that yells at me telling me that I better finish what I started. Sometimes I hate that itch cause sometimes things I loathe get the coveted second season. But usually I get stuff like Golden Kamuy to watch a sequel of. And my reaction for these moments are always: Yes.
Golden Kamuy continues the journey of Immortal Sugimoto's (and co.) journey towards finding the fabled Ainu gold hidden on the tattoos of freed prisoners.
Really that's about all I can give for a prior synopsis cause any more information would complicate the
already massive narrative that's being tackled at here. The name of the game for this season involves a mix of backstories, plot progression, truths, betrayal, and several (that means more than one) prison escapes.
The end result of this mixed bag is a meshed narrative where clear opposing sides established in the previous season are more or less thrown out the window as the end result to everything is similar yet converging interests contrasted by different ways of doing things, unlikely alliances, different groups converging and diverging, swapping with different members of each other's group, ultimately making the entire cast more or less a gray area in this war for the gold.
Sugimoto and Asiripa at least don't take the show's primarily protagonist role this time, offhanding that opportunity to multiple members of the sidecast so everyone gets fleshed out and their time in the limelight. This gives us A or B parts of episodes entirely devoted to various backstories featuring the historical impact of the Russo-Japanese war that presides over the cast, as well as how other characters impact each other, either through conflicting interests/information or similar goals with different ways to reach there. It feels complicated explaining it, but the one phrase that I find explains Golden Kamuy's narrative is "It just works."
That phrase even extends to the comedy as very often even enemies or at the very least opposing characters crack jokes at each other, and the show so often doesn't take itself seriously, giving brevity to the more serious aspects, striking a neat balance of serious, complication, history, culture, comedy, and mystery. Really, I just want more.
As previously mentioned, both Sugimoto and Asiripa don't get that much added to their characters. Asiripa a little less cause she is at the forefront of this plot trying to find her father and much of the plot this time around is focused on determining whether or not her father is the fabled Noppera-bou or not.
Really the shining characters are the sidecast we're introduced to this time around. This is the kind of cast that even if their names escape you, their mannerisms or their story as to why/how they got to this point in their lives stick in your mind. The backstories shine for only a select few members of the cast, like the fortune teller Inkaramat and Ogata, serving to give a full dump on what they're all about after a small trickle from what we've seen before with their previous actions. These characters get what they do put into perspective and really stand as some of the show's more shining moments because they start to feel more like characters, and given the cast's overall dynamic, really only adds to it.
Of course that's not all the sidecast has to offer, as to make sure you remember them, the show gives some of its more less important members (primarily those in Lt. Tsurumi's camp) qualities of insanity that are both hilarious and actually really unsettling given how out of their mind some of these people are. Ranging from a crazed taxidermist to members of the 7th who have such a hard-on for Tsurumi that it's both hilarious and extremely unsettling, you really won't forget them simply because of the kind of shit this show manages to pull without batting an eye.
+ Memorable sidecast
+ Overall extremely memorable cast
+ Really fucking weird characters (that are also entertaining as hell)
Part of me really wants to ask whether or not anyone in Geno Studio ever questioned the kind of crap they were drawing. Cause half of Golden Kamuy's comedic routine is in the visuals, and my god is the absurdity factor skyrocketed.
Much of the art is the same as season one (with much less CGI animals, we swear), with only slight inconsistency issues that I've noticed in a few frames. Aside from that, everything is good. Which is what I would be saying if not for the absurdist and surrealist visual comedy that's being shown off here. First off, there is an abundance of manservice here, so much so that I couldn't help but laugh at just how dumb everything becomes. Couple that with some unsettling imagery played for laughs and some surprisingly homoerotic scenes for a show about an underground war for a precious metal, and what you end up getting is Golden Kamuy, which for some reason all makes sense in context. I swear, it does.
Considering how good 'Winding Road' was in season one, I was prepared for what was going to come next to not be as good by comparison. "Reimei" by Sayuri and MY FIRST STORY I don't personally believe is as good as Winding Road. It's a good song, but putting it next Season one's, I just thinking the first was better. "Tokei-dai no Kane" by eastern youth is by comparison a little bit more similar to season one's Hibana. A little more rock than I prefer, but it's not a bad listen. Personally though, they're not as good as season one's group, and for that reason I don't really care for them that much.
I was not at all prepared for what was to come watching season two of Golden Kamuy. A part of me was aware of the absurdist qualities of the show, but never in my life did I ever expect the kind of shit that I saw here. And yet, I'm ok with it.
Golden Kamuy is one of those shows that has become more of a favorite of mine in recent history. It's a consistently good show with a well written narrative coupled with a likable cast and good pacing, mixing its story up between backstories, plot progression, comedy, action, and mystery. It's such a varied show with so many highs that I really cannot come down from the high horse that I've gone on watching this show and enjoying every moment of it. They even managed to throw in a love subplot, a freaking love subplot into this thing that still works in context to the story. Seriously, there is just so much stuff in this show yet it all just works. It baffles me how all of this just functions as well as it does, but that's the reason why I just really like this show and wait with bated breath for the third season to come.
This is one of those shows that really bears watching. There's so much going on that works, and it's a great shonen series that isn't afraid to do whatever the hell it wants. The amount of creative freedom here is astounding, and I'm just really glad to have a series that's this good to watch.
I almost dropped this season halfway through. After a strong start with similar bouts of tension and comedy, I was really wavering halfway through. However, it turns out I almost dropped right before the real stuff began. Golden Kamuy season 2 really brings out the tension, visceral violence, and heartfelt plotlines that makes it a unique series in it's second season. We had more double and triple crosses, alliances, twists, and exactly what made the first season great. They toned down the poor CGI from the first season and brought in even more great and unique characters than before.
Honestly, with little to chose
from for historical anime (at least in my opinion) this still remained one of my favorite of the winter 2018 season. The plot thickens with the journey to find Asirpa's father, and with the connection between her and Sugimoto deepening on a long and winding journey. It's one of the few anime where I feel side characters aren't "of little consequence" to the whole plot, and new characters can add a whole host of interactions and depth to what would otherwise be a bland show. It's one of the few shows this season I feel isn't simply driven by a cast of good characters, but also a compelling plot that you can't wait to see solved.
The cliffhanger at the end is hard to take, so all I can do is hope this isn't a manga commercial and that a third season will be in the works as soon as possible. The only thing really bringing this show down is still the CGI, however the way they present food, clothes, and set pieces still outpaces many other shows. Every new area looks similar, yet has it's own local flair that can tell you it's a wholly unique location with it's own food, culture, and history.
While this review is a bit shorter, since they seemed to have capitalized on what made season 1 good even better than before, I highly reccomend those that watched the first give season 2 a go. Even if you were brought down a bit, I doubt you'll leave disappointed.