Golden Kamuy

TV (12 eps)
4.172 out of 5 from 3,502 votes
Rank #828

In the early twentieth century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto scratches out a meager existence during the postwar gold rush in the wilderness 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.

Source: Viz

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Episode 1

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Reviews

JohnLaertes
10

Golden Kamuy is nothing short of a masterpiece. There is no single element to which I attribute sole responsibility for my love of the series. Its grandeur is in the harmony of its parts. The story is straightforward--a hunt for gold on the Japanese frontier inundated with trials both human and otherwise. It's essentially a western in an eastern setting. The plot is easy to follow, but not so simple as to make it boring. Golden Kamuy is devoid of the typical tropes that make for a predictable ride. What this anime provides is something both fresh and original.  The characters are extremely well-written. Each character is fascinating in his own way and each has motives, a personality, and flaw(s) that convey a sense of three-dimensionality. This, combined with the many dramatic and humerous interactions they have with one another, really makes the series shine. If I had to assign to Golden Kamuy a flaw, it would be the animation quality. It's not terrible, but it isn't anything remarkable either. The appearance of a certain ursine eyesore is an unfortunate disclaimer that I must issue when recommending the series, but once acknowledged it can be easily overlooked. To the credit of Geno Studio, the atmosphere they have created is fantastic. When the characters trek across the snow-laden countryside, I feel the coldness. When said characters huddle around a campfire, I feel their warmth. The animation provides a fantastically immersive experience. Whether you love seinen and/or historical anime, or just want something unique, Golden Kamuy is the anime you've be looking for. I recommend it to all.

ThatAnimeSnob
5

Golden Kamuy seems to be something made for those who got tired of the usual anime tropes. No high schools, no forced romance, no videogame battles, and so on. On top of that, it is heavy on history and culture during the Russo-Japanese war, to the point it can become educational instead of yet another disposable fighting shonen or harem. And yet it messed up big time. It’s too damn different and it tries to be too many damn things at the same time. One moment it can be a serious action adventure, the next it can be a goofball comedy, and then it turns into a cooking slice of life. I know there are many who will consider this as a positive thing for having variety, but there is no smooth transition from one thing to another and thus comes off as a serious case of immersion breaking tonal whiplash. The chemistry between the two main leads, Sugimoto and Asirpa, is fantastic, and it’s main appeal of the show. For once there is no shipping going on between a man and a loli, as they are together just for increasing their odds of survival by combining their talents. One for war and the other for survival in the wilderness. It’s never about luring horny teenagers with the promise of steamy kissing scenes. As such, the adventure portion of the story is great and really lame when it halts for stupid jokes or cooking lessons that makes you eye roll with how pointless they are. Educational? Yes. Flavors the cast of characters? Sure. But constantly stopping the main quest for this nonsense makes it feel like there is no urgency. They are supposed to rush to find a treasure before the other factions do and yet they constantly stop for food lectures and silly-wily comedy. I know many who will claim that the anime’s main focus is not the treasure hunt, but the National Geographic-style look into the lives of the Ainu people. Bullshit! Everyone was in it for the action adventure. If they wanted a documentary, they would watch a documentary. This is anime dammit, it’s supposed to be fun and exciting. And then there is Tsurumi, the main antagonist who is a complete nutjob. He is very memorable thanks to his crazy personality, but just like everything else, when he is crazy for the sake of comedy instead of getting closer to finding the treasure then it becomes bothersome. The comedy is not integrated into the plot and can easily be comical skits that take place after an episode is over.And speaking of comedy, lots of serious action scenes can unintentionally turn into that because of the atrocious CGI they use, mostly for animals. It’s no joke when I tell you people often refer this show as “The one with the CGI bear”. The action adventure part which is where the actual plot takes place in, is constantly breaking your immersion with these awful 3D models. And when they are over, you move to even more immersion breaking scenes about dumb comedy. As you can tell, the show does its best to not let you enjoy it and as such I can’t recommend it as anything but an oddity amongst typical anime tropes.

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