OP: 「NEVER SAY GOODBYE feat. Mummy-D」 by (ALI)
「あばよロシア」 (Aba yo Roshia)
“Rushin’ Outta Russia”
The return of the amazing wackiness and thrilling adventure that is Golden Kamuy! We may have had a break from Golden Kamuy, but time rests for no-one in the race for gold and we immediately plunge into the action. In an entertaining shoot-out, vanity (almost) comes in handy with Koito’s (Konishi Katsuyuki) hand-mirror (good idea, but unfortunately, gets shot down). I love that he checks himself out while simultaneously scoping out the enemy. As for Shiraishi’s (Itarou Kentarou) idea of attracting crows for decoys, I don’t think that would have worked any better than the sparrows that showed up instead, but his facial expressions were priceless.
Overlooking Sugimoto (Kobayashi Chikahiro) was the big tip off that the sniper wasn’t Ogata. Instead, he was a Russian with a grudge against Ogata. Ogata sure is popular- everyone wants (to kill) him. Narrowly escaping death thanks to a barrel of miso and some hand-drawn pictures, the Russian sniper connects with Sugimoto over a shared enemy. Truly, artwork and grudges are things that can transcend language and culture divides.
Sugimoto zeroing in on the sniper really showed how terrifying he can be. I’ve gotten so used to seeing him in the role of Asirpa’s (Shiraishi Haruka) friend, that I forget about the darker side of his nature. That darker side is always there, lurking and it goes to show how important Asirpa is for him as a restraining influence. If he didn’t have her in his life to remind him of the shards of innocence and goodness buried in him, my blood would run cold at what crimes he might have turned to.
Asirpa overheard Sugimoto’s conversation about her with the sniper. What is her reaction to being the light of childhood innocence in Sugimoto’s life? I almost get the sense that she is conflicted. Yes, Asirpa doesn’t want Sugimoto to cold-bloodedly kill. However, this is an idealized image she may not always be able to live up to-hard times might necessitate hard choices or unplanned things might happen, like with the poisoned arrow to Ogata’s eye. When she betrays that image (I say when, because no-one can stay completely pure forever, you’d have to live in a box), that will be an emotional road-block they’ll both have to work through.
We have a new crazy in our midst-an experienced poisoner, Sekiya Waichirou (Kase Yasuyuki), whose enjoyment in life is testing the luck of others. He had guts to try and play a Russian roulette game with Hijikata, who strikes me as someone who doesn’t put up with nonsense. Surprisingly, it works (for the poisoner)-I would have thought Hijikata would rip him a new one or walk away. Despite what he says about having Ushiyama’s skin copied, he still sees Ushiyama as an asset. Obviously this isn’t going to be the end of him-I wonder if one of the cocoons has antidote in it. The poisoner is a perfectly good example of why you never take food from strangers-that could have been the butt-hole peeker (what an awful job) Kadokura Toshiyuki’s (Yasuhara Yoshito) and Kirawus’ last meal. The one thing poisoner didn’t count on was encountering someone with such terrible luck that would unhinge his wheel of fortune. Too bad this “unlucky” fellow didn’t realize today was his once in a lifetime lucky day.
That scene with the ice skater seemed oddly specific like it was a reference of some sort, though I couldn’t pinpoint what it was exactly. The most I could find was that in the late 1800’s, an American introduced ice-skating to the Japanese in Sapporo- which is a bit of a ways from Hakodate. Hakodate was a port for foreign ships, so I could easily imagine him encountering Western dance or skating there. Also, apparently there was an early 19th century picture of an Ainu person ice skating (although the boy in the scene doesn’t dress as an Ainu and the time-period is off).
Overall, a premiere that did not disappoint and leaves me eager for more. The ED was clearly a budget-saver, comprised mostly of stills, but beyond that, I have no complaints. (Fun fact, the name of the newspaper in the ED is “Golden Kamuy” written in kanji).
ED: 「すべてがそこにありますように。」 (Subete ga Soko ni Arimasu You ni.) by (THE SPELLBOUND)