Not to spoil things too much, but this is another anime that is still ongoing as I write this. The deeper I get into this list, the more I feel like I should be less concerned with years of release and when things ended. Maybe I should just look at what I watched and enjoyed over the course of the year. Again, any of the more veteran anime bloggers out there want to throw some ideas my way, feel free.
In this year of getting into watching Anime in a way that I never really have done before, I’ve come to realise that I have a pretty pretty strong appreciation for the ridiculous and the absurd. And nothing does this brand of over the top silly quite like anime does. This number seven entry in particular has kept me coming back mostly thanks to how weird it is, and the fact that it manages to top its own weirdness over and over on a pretty consistent basis. But then again, that could apply to a good number of the shows I’ve watched this year.
Here’s the list as it stands thus far:
#7: Golden Kamuy (Seasons 1 & 2)
Originally Aired April 9th to December 24th | 24 Episodes | Written by Noboru Takagi | Adventure, Historical, Japanese Western
What sold me on watching Golden Kamuy is the farthest thing from what kept me invested in it.
Set during the early 1900s in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War, to begin with, Golden Kamuy seems like a semi-historical account of Japan during this period, detailing the stories of Saichi Sugimoto; a veteran of the war and his unlikely friendship with Asirpa: a young Ainu girl and one of the indigenous people’s of Japan.
Many of the early episodes detail the lives and traditions of Ainu culture, always seeming to dedicate some amount of time to their hunting methods, and show how much they all love to eat. As the series progresses though, we are introduced to the concept of a lost hoard of Ainu gold, hidden by some imprisoned mastermind and that the location is tattooed onto the bodies of his former fellow inmates.
Thus both Sugimoto and Asirpa begin their journey to find these men and piece together the map to find the location of the gold for the good of the Ainu people.
As the show progresses, the cast grows in size, as does the travelling party. As this party grows, the series dedicates less time to historical lessons of the time, and focuses more on the the weird and wacky adventures of this gathering of completely insane people.
As I was watching an episode the other day in which all of the men get trapped in a cabin with only some Sea Otter to eat: A powerful aphrodisiac. As the men all started to find one another sexy, strip down and sumo wrestle with one another, I pondered on how far we’d come.
Nearly every member of this cast of this show are completely out of their minds to some extent. The main villain is a unhinged Lieutenant with a metal plate on his head whom all of his men are seemingly in love with, despite the fact that he does things like pierce people’s faces with skewers and wears a suit of the tattooed torsos, skinned from the prisoners they’ve found.
Amongst all of these characters, and their factions coming together, who end up betraying one another before teaming up again, I have since lost all semblance of what the hell is going on. With there being so many characters, all allied with their own aspect of Japan’s historical culture, and their own weird backstories, I have trouble keeping up with who wants what in the moment to moment. Although it doesn’t end affecting my enjoyment of the show. It just feels like Sugimoto and Asirpa’s stories have gotten lost in the mix a little.
I could spend the rest of the day talking about each individual character and why the show makes me love them despite how utterly, utterly crazy they all are. But I’ll just sum up by saying that Golden Kamuy is both “educational” and incredibly entertaining. I don’t know how accurately the series is depicting the culture of Japan’s indigenous culture, but It has a running joke of Asirpa calling a guy dick sensai and her thinking miso is poo.
This show is really weird… I love it.