Golden Kamuy

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Golden Kamuy
The cover art shows Sugimoto, a man carrying a firearm equipped with a bayonet, in front of flames.
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Saichi Sugimoto
ゴールデンカムイ
(Gōruden Kamui)
Genre
Manga
Written bySatoru Noda
Published byShueisha
English publisher
ImprintYoung Jump Comics
MagazineWeekly Young Jump
DemographicSeinen
Original runAugust 21, 2014April 28, 2022
Volumes31 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
Produced by
  • Satoshi Tanaka
  • Ryousuke Mori
  • Kazuaki Takahashi
  • Naokado Fujiyama
  • Toshihiro Suzuki
  • Rie Ukai
  • Shunsuke Hasegawa (1–12)
  • Yukitoshi Suyama (13–24)
  • Rei Kudou (25–36)
Written byNoboru Takagi
Music byKenichiro Suehiro
Studio
Licensed by
Original networkTokyo MX, ytv, STV, BS11
English network
Original run April 9, 2018 – present
Episodes42 + 4 OVA (List of episodes)
Original net animation
Golden Dōga Gekijō
Directed byKenshirō Morii
Studio
  • DMM.futureworks
  • W-Toon Studio
Released April 16, 2018 December 14, 2020
Episodes33 + 3 OVA (List of episodes)

Golden Kamuy (Japanese: ゴールデンカムイ, Hepburn: Gōruden Kamui) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Satoru Noda. It was serialized in Shueisha's seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump from August 2014 to April 2022, with its chapters collected in thirty-one tankōbon volumes. The story follows Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the early twentieth-century Russo-Japanese War, and his quest to find a huge fortune of gold of the Ainu people, helped by a young Ainu girl named Asirpa. The Ainu language in the story is supervised by Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Geno Studio aired with two seasons from April to December 2018. A third season aired from October to December 2020. A fourth season produced by Brain's Base premiered in October 2022. A live-action film adaptation has been announced. The manga has been licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media since 2016. The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll and Funimation.

As of June 2022, Golden Kamuy had over 22 million copies in circulation, making it one of the best-selling manga series. The manga won the 9th Manga Taishō in 2016 and the 22nd Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2018.

Synopsis[edit]

Background[edit]

Golden Kamuy takes place in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, primarily in Hokkaido and the surrounding regions, detailing the many real-life political, technological and cultural developments of the era; several key parts of the series, such as the character Hijikata Toshizō, are fictionalized versions of real-life people and events. Specific focus is given to the indigenous Ainu people and their culture, such as exploring their language and the way they respectfully use all parts of nature to thank the Kamuy that they believe provide them. Later parts of the story also explore the different subcultures within the Ainu, and the hardships they suffered by being caught in Japanese-Russian territorial conflicts. The plot also explores the severe struggles of soldiers and war veterans, with moral ambiguity, survivor's guilt, honour, penance and virtue ethics being common themes.

The central MacGuffin comes from an in-universe tall tale of a gold discovery by a group of Ainu miners, said to have yielded 20 kan[b] of gold[c] that ended with one man murdering the others. Hiding the gold and racing to tell his comrades, the survivor was discovered and captured by Japanese authorities who falsely claimed his execution and hid him in Abashiri Prison, hoping to torture the location out of him. Hobbled and watched closely to stop him escaping or communicating with the outside world, the survivor tattooed many parts of a ciphered map onto his fellow prisoners, offering them a cut of the gold for sharing it with his comrades outside. Eventually recognizing but unable to read the code, the prison attempted to transport the tattooed men elsewhere, only for the convicts to overpower and kill their captors before scattering into the night.

Premise[edit]

Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the Battle of 203 Hill, works as a panner in Hokkaido in order to provide for the widow of his dead comrade. Sugimoto is approached by a drunk old man, who tells him a dubious legend of gold that can only be found by following a map of tattoos, ones located on a group of convicts who escaped Abashiri Prison. Laughing off the story as a tall tale, Sugimoto wakes the next day to find the old man pointing his gun at him, apologizing for saying too much. Overpowering the old man, Sugimoto pursues him into the woods, only to find him disemboweled by a bear and with a large map tattoo across his chest, back and shoulders. Saved from the bear by a young Ainu girl named Asirpa, Sugimoto realizes the story is true and suggests they recover the Ainu gold together; Asirpa is uninterested in the gold but wants vengeance for her father, one of the Ainu miners who was betrayed.

Examining the body, they realize by the tattoos have seams, meaning that the prisoners were always intended to be murdered and skinned; due to her opposition to needless killing, Asirpa suggests they try to co-operate with prisoners they find by simply tracing their tattoos. Soon recruiting Shiraishi, an escape artist and tattooed convict, Sugimoto's group soon finds themselves in conflicts with First Lieutenant Tsurumi, the insane leader of the 7th Division, and Hijikata, who is touted as the last living samurai. Due to the significant allure of the gold, as well as the traitorous nature of multiple parties, each group routinely forms and betrays truces to prevent any one party collecting all tattoos and deciphering the map.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Written and illustrated by Satoru Noda, Golden Kamuy was serialized in Shueisha's seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump from August 21, 2014,[6] to April 28, 2022.[7][8] Its 314 individual chapters were collected into thirty-one tankōbon volumes, released between January 19, 2015 and July 19, 2022. [7]

Viz Media announced that they licensed the manga at New York Comic Con 2016,[9] and they have been releasing volumes in North America since June 2017.[10]

Anime[edit]

The first opening theme is performed by Man with a Mission.

The anime television series adaptation is produced by Geno Studio. It is directed by Hitoshi Nanba and written by Noboru Takagi,[11] with music by Kenichiro Suehiro, art direction by Atsushi Morikawa, and CG direction by Yuuko Okumura and Yasutaka Hamada.[12] Kenichi Ohnuki is adapting the character designs for animation,[11] while Koji Watanabe designs firearms, Shinya Anasuma designs the props, and Ryō Sumiyoshi designs the animals.[12] The series' opening theme, "Winding Road", is performed by Man with a Mission, and the ending theme, "Hibana", is performed by The Sixth Lie.[13] Like with the manga, Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University, works on the anime as an Ainu language supervisor.[12]

The anime was announced in July 2017 in Weekly Young Jump,[14] and aired for twelve episodes starting from April 9 to June 25, 2018, on Tokyo MX, ytv, STV, and BS11.[13][15] Golden Dōga Gekijō, a series of 25-second animated shorts based on extras included in the Golden Kamuy manga volumes and Weekly Young Jump, is directed by Kenshirō Morii and produced at DMM.futureworks and W-Toon Studio. It premiered online on April 16, 2018.[16]

At the conclusion of the first season broadcast, a second season was announced and aired from October 8 to December 24, 2018.[17][18] The second season's opening theme, "Reimei", is performed by Sayuri and My First Story, and the ending theme, "Tokeidai no Kane", is performed by Eastern Youth.[19][20]

On July 7, 2019, it was announced that the series will receive a third season.[21] On March 13, 2020, it was announced that the third season would premiere in October 2020.[22] The season aired from October 5 to December 21, 2020, for 12 episodes.[23] The third season's opening theme, "Grey," is performed by Fomare, and the ending theme "Yūsetsu", is performed by The Sixth Lie.[24][25]

On December 5, 2021, it was announced that the series will receive a fourth season. Brain's Base is producing the season, replacing Geno Studio.[26] Shizutaka Sugahara is serving as the chief director, and Takumi Yamakawa is designing the characters. Noboru Takagi is returning to write the scripts.[27] The season premiered on October 3, 2022.[28] The opening theme, "Never Say Goodbye," is performed by ALI featuring Mummy-D, while the ending theme, "Subete ga Soko ni Arimasu You Ni," is performed by The Spellbound.[29]

The first season of the series was released across three DVD and Blu-ray volumes in Japan, starting in July 2018; they had originally been planned to release starting in June, but were delayed one month to allow for improvements to the footage compared to the TV broadcast version. The Japanese home video volumes include the Golden Dōga Gekijō YouTube shorts, including episodes that are exclusive to the video release.[30] An original video animation (OVA) based on the manga's "Barato" arc was released on DVD in a bundle with the manga's 15th Japanese volume on September 19, 2018.[31] A second OVA was released with the manga's 17th Japanese volume on March 19, 2019.[32] A third OVA based on the manga's "Monster" arc was released with the manga's 19th Japanese volume on September 19, 2019.[33] A fourth OVA based on the manga's "Shiton Animal Record" arc was bundled with the 23rd manga volume on September 18, 2020.[34]

The TV series is simulcast on Crunchyroll, and an English dub started streaming on Funimation starting on April 30, 2018.[35][36] Crunchyroll streamed the third season in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.[37] Funimation streamed the third season with an English dub later.[38]

Live-action film[edit]

On April 19, 2022, it was announced that a live-action film adaptation has been greenlit.[39]

Reception[edit]

Manga[edit]

Golden Kamuy won the 9th Manga Taishō award in 2016.[40] It was nominated for the 20th and 21st annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2016 and 2017;[41][42] and won the 22nd in 2018 in the Grand Prize category.[43] It was also nominated for the 40th Kodansha Manga Award in the general category;[44] and for an Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia.[45] It was ranked second in the 2016 edition of the Kono Manga ga Sugoi! list for male readers.[46] The series won the Social Impact Award at the 24th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2021.[47] The series also won the Grand Prize at the 51st Japan Cartoonists Association Awards in 2022.[48]

The British Museum in London used an image of the character Asirpa to promote The Citi Exhibition: Manga, which ran from May 23 to August 26, 2019.[49]

Sales[edit]

Golden Kamuy had five million copies in print as of April 2018.[50] It charted on the Oricon Japanese Comics Rankings for the week of April 18–24, 2016, with volume seven placing eighth place.[51] As of June 2019, the manga had 10 million copies in circulation;[52] over 17 million copies in circulation as of August 2021;[53] over 18 million copies in circulation as of December 2021;[54] and over 22 million copies in circulation as of June 2022.[55]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Credited as Chief Director (チーフディレクター, Chīfu Direkutā).
  2. ^ ^ 112.5 kg or 248 lbs
  3. ^ ^ Valued in the 2014 manga at around JP¥800m, approximately US$7.7m

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Freeman, Nik; Silverman, Rebecca; McNulty, Amy (June 3, 2017). "The Spring 2017 Manga Guide – Golden Kamuy Vol. 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  3. ^ マンガ大賞2016受賞『ゴールデンカムイ』は、8年ぶり2度めの"異変"だった. Livedoor News (in Japanese). Line Corporation. March 31, 2016. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Hazra, Adriana (July 16, 2022). "Muse Asia Streams Golden Kamuy Anime on YouTube". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  5. ^ Pineda, Rafael (March 27, 2020). "Animax Asia Airs Golden Kamuy Anime on April 8". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  6. ^ 野田サトルの一攫千金サバイバル、YJで始動. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. August 21, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
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  8. ^ 「ゴールデンカムイ」最終話掲載のYJに"通知表"付属、キャラへの作者コメントも. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. April 29, 2022. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
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  33. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (March 13, 2019). "Golden Kamuy Gets 3rd Original Video Anime With 19th Manga Volume". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  34. ^ Mateo, Alex (March 11, 2020). "Golden Kamuy Manga's 23rd Volume Gets New Original Video Anime (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  35. ^ Ressler, Karen (March 28, 2018). "Funimation Announces 9 Titles for Spring Season Dub Lineup, Including Same-Day Tokyo Ghoul:re Dub". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on March 28, 2018. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  36. ^ Ressler, Karen (April 12, 2018). "Funimation Announces Spring SimulDub Premiere Dates". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
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  41. ^ Ressler, Karen (February 25, 2016). "20th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Nominees Announced". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  42. ^ Ressler, Karen (February 23, 2017). "21st Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Nominees Announced". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
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  44. ^ Nelkin, Sarah (April 4, 2016). "40th Annual Kodansha Manga Awards' Nominees Announced". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
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  49. ^ Osmond, Andrew (December 5, 2018). "Manga Exhibit at British Museum from May 2019 (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
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  53. ^ Golden Kamuy (Official) [@kamuy_official] (August 25, 2021). 【シリーズ累計1700万部突破!!】9/17(金)発売の『#ゴールデンカムイ』最新第27巻、心弾むカヴァーが完成しました! (Tweet). Retrieved March 27, 2022 – via Twitter.
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]