Posted by SuperMario on 30 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Golden Kamuy

Wait, did we seriously just watch a guy who gets aroused with the idea of killing? I mean, what a way to explore his twisted desire and what a visual Golden Kamuy presents here. A glowing circle in his pant? Sure, why not? It’s weird, it’s whimsical in an awesome way. The idea is that this guy Henmi has a distinctive approach to killing (and be killed), and I’m pretty sure most of serial killers behave this way, whose killing patterns are influenced by traumatic events in the past. He reminds me a fair bit to Dr. Hannibal Lecter who become known as Hannibal the Cannibal because he witnessed his sister was cannibalized by a band of Nazi collaborators when he was young. The rest of the episode, however, can never top this. While on the topic, the appearance of this new tattooed character Henmi opens up too many issues. First, by focusing on his narrative in the episode’s last part, the show makes a tonal shift that is frankly quite jarring. We never know much about him except for his flashback, thus he just can’t carry the show compared to say, Sugimoto and Asirpa. Worse off, because this guy takes a central role in the last half, our duo behaves like walking sticks. I don’t see any personality in Sugimoto whatsoever.

In the big picture, with this episode I have a clearer idea of what kind of show Golden Kamuy is. I’m pretty sure now that Lt Tsurumi and the old man Hijikata are our final bosses, and to get there Sugimoto and Asirpa will have to face several smaller arcs involving particular prisoners with skinned tattoo. I’m not that fond with this approach to be frank. And now I don’t even consider on which side Sugimoto will destroy first. The way I see it, there’s going to be a three-way face off between the Good (Sugimoto), the Bad (Hijikata) and the Ugly (Lt Tsurumi. Note: purely subjective opinion here). These three forces are the only parties to know about the true size of the treasure to boost. At least in this episode the Bad and the Ugly have a brief encounter where Hijikata raids the bank in order to… retrieve his darling katana and earn some cash. Yeah, OBVIOUSLY it makes sense. What the Immortal and the Ainu girl need to concern, however, is their comrade Escape Artist gets himself caught by the prisoners. The gang, surprisingly, doesn’t treat him badly, at least not yet, in exchange for other skin tattoos. They underestimate Sugimoto at this point, mostly because they have never heard of him, so I suspect that this Henmi business will be when the prisoners take notice and see the threats in Sugimoto’s ability to survive.

Another change in plot direction and in the next villain also results in another change in Golden Kamuy’s setting, and this time, it’s a treat to watch. It might cost the show a bit of pacing issues (look, Sugimoto, let’s help us catch the whale first!), but the herring fish scene is a totally fresh air. We have boats floating on the sea as the fishermen try to catch the big whale, and much later when we see the red herring from fishes and Henmi briefly explains Sugimoto about all the works. I hope we get more of that, but the fact remains that Henmi is ready to throw himself to Sugimoto, quite literally, even at the cost of his own life. Although Sugimoto never seems thrilled to kill these kinds of nutcase, he only kills to defend his life.

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