Golden Kamuy Episode 7: Complication
Well, that was easy. Would have thought Nihei would have lasted longer. As anticlimactic as the first half kind of was, there were also some revelations this episode that made this series even more interesting not just for us but also for the characters.
As Nihei was killed by Retar’s wife, the group take Matagi’s body to Asirpa’s home and he tells them that the gold that they’re after is a lot bigger than they believe it to be. He also tells them about why Tsurumi wants the gold so badly. At first, we had just believed that maybe Tsurumi had just wanted to control Hokkaido for whatever reasons. His actions and his strange mind easily make him seem like a villain our main characters will have to fight against. But upon learning his story and his real reasons for wanting the gold, it kind of changes everything. Now being part of a group of underappreciated soldiers somehow responsible for their superior’s suicide (though it was his own guilt for the losses he caused), the 7th division soldiers are in a rut for not receiving any money or medals. Tsurumi being part of this group wants to take over the 7th division HQ and start up a weapons factory. He legitimately wants to help those affected from war, giving jobs to those who lost their husbands, sons, and fathers, not wanting them to toil out in the frozen weather. Of course that doesn’t excuse his previous actions of killing his own men. He’s definitely the type of man that will do absolutely anything to get what he wants, and with that brain injury that just makes things worse.
There was something I saw someone post from the mangaka, saying that there aren’t really any villains and it’s not really right to call Sugimoto’s group the “good guys”. What there really is are just different groups with different wants. For Sugimoto, it’s to help his childhood friend’s wife and child. For Tsurumi, it’s to help his group of men and those affected from the previous losses. And for the Shinsengumi, it’s to bring the samurai back when the government has cast them aside. Who’s right and who’s wrong? To each person and group, they’re all right.
Even Sugimoto was affected from that story. It’s makes things more complicated. I love when stories do this with their characters. Of course with their violent actions it causes us not to like them, but it’s easy to understand this. An example that I can think of at the top of my head, since I have Marvel in my head because of Infinity War, is Erik Killmonger from the fantastic Black Panther. Villains like him are so great. While, yes, he killed lots of people and did other things I won’t mention for people that haven’t seen the movie yet, he had very legitimate reasons for his actions that affected T’challa to make a huge decision at the end of the movie that changes the future of him and his country. It also can be very unfortunate, because when all these characters have their own wants and dreams that aren’t necessarily bad, only one can be accomplished. Like I said, it’s pretty complicated. This just made Golden Kamuy more interesting.
I juuuuust wish that the pacing would be a little bit faster. While Ushiyama chasing after Shiraishi was entertaining, that cliffhanger probably won’t amount to much next time. Last week ended on an intense cliffhanger, but Nihei was handled so easily that it was pretty…meh. Especially since I didn’t even care for the guy. I just wish that the story can pick up the pace a bit. I like Golden Kamuy, but I have to admit that I’m becoming a little bored. We’ll see where things go next time.
Note: I’m going to be out of the country and won’t be back until June 8th, so my coverage of Golden Kamuy and Persona 5 are going to be put on hold. Of course, Shadow will be taking over Persona until I get back, but Golden Kamuy will be put on hold when I get back. I’ll make sure to get my double post of the next two episodes out when I get back!