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Golden Kamuy vol. 2 – Story & Art by Satoru Noda (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

October 14, 2017 by  



Satoru Noda’s “Golden Kamuy” is turning out to be a fantastic, action-packed manga series worth reading and no doubt, one of the more captivating series that came out in the U.S. in 2017!

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© 2014 Satoru Noda. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Golden Kamuy vol. 2

STORY AND ART BY: Story and Art by Satoru Noda

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: M for Mature

RELEASE DATE: September 19, 2017


In the early 20th century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi Sugimoto searches the wilderness of the Japanese frontier of Hokkaido for a hoard of hidden gold. With only a cryptic map and a native Ainu girl to help him, Saichi must also deal with every murderous cutthroat, bandit and rogue who knows about the treasure!


While Sugimoto and Asirpa are living on the land, they are unaware that soldiers of the deadly 7th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army are after them.  And how will Sugimoto be treated when Asirpa brings him to her Ainu village?

All this and more in volume 2 of Satoru Noda’s award-winning manga series, “Golden Kamuy”!

What is “Golden Kamuy”?

From Satoru Noda comes his award winning manga series “Golden Kamuy”.

Written and art by Satoru Noda, the mangaka also worked with Yu Nakagawa in ensure authenticity of the Ainu language.

The manga series won the 9th Manga Taisho award and with ten volumes currently printed in Japan, the first volume of “Golden Kamuy” will be available in the United States courtesy of Viz Signature on June 2017.

The series revolves around a soldier named Saichi Sugimoto who fought in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 and survived with savagery and toughness.  And because of his braveness, he is known as “Immortal Sugimoto”.

Because his best friend asked him before his death on the battlefield for Sugimoto to take care of his wife and children, Sugimoto hears of a story about hidden Ainu gold (the Ainu are the indigenous people of Japan).  One man killed the Ainu hiding the gold and stole around Y80,000 and buried the gold somewhere in Hokkaido.

While the man was caught and thrown into Abashiri prison, he was sentenced to death and the map of where the gold was hidden was tattooed on the backs of 24 prisoners.

This was told to Sugimoto by a drunken man.  When Sugimoto finds the man killed by a bear, he notices that he had a tattoo all over his back and that the story must be true.

But when the bear goes for an attack on Sugimoto, he is saved by an Ainu girl named Asirpa, a daughter of one of the Ainu men who was killed by those hunting for Ainu gold.

But as Sugimoto and Asirpa team up to find the gold, many dangerous hunters including the deadly 7th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army led by Lt. Tsurumi.


A soldier and an Ainu girl in search of gold stolen from the Ainu people.  The story is about a man named Saichi Sugimoto, a kind hearted man who was turned into a soldier known as “Immortal Sugimoto” during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904.

With a friend’s final dying wish for Sugimoto to take care of his wife and children, that would require money which Sugimoto doesn’t have.  But when he hears about gold that was hidden in Hokkaido, gold stolen from the Ainu people, he teams up with a Ainu girl, who knows how to hunt and also use the wild to heal people, but also her father was killed because of the gold.

Sugimoto is not interested in 50/50, just a small share and wants to give most of it to Asirpa but also to help her get revenge on the people who killed her father.

But immediately, other hunters looking for the gold, are now also hunting for Sugimoto and Asirpa .  Can these two survive?  And what will the two learn as they must take on other hunters and soldiers who are also looking for the gold?

In the second issue, the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army are on the hunt for Sugimoto and Asirpa.  Also, in this volume, what happens when Asirpa takes Sugimoto to her Ainu village and what will he learn more about Ainu culture?

And what happens when the the twisted Tsurumi has captured Sugimoto and tortures him?  Will someone rescue him?

The writing for the second volume manages to captivate me.  One for its details of Ainu culture, when it comes to hunting and their perspectives towards animal life and traditions and then you have this storyline of the bonding between Sugimoto and Asirpa, almost like a father and daughter relationship and wanting to see them survive through all this.

But most importantly, it’s great that Satoru Noda is consulting with Yu Nakagawa in regards to Ainu language and culture.  For those not familiar with Ainu in Japan, they have a similar unfair treatment in society (as Native Americans in the United States) and prejudice runs rampant in various parts of Japan towards the indigenous Ainu people.  So, it takes great care of making sure to capture the culture on the pages of “Golden Kamuy”.

Satoru Noda’s “Golden Kamuy” is turning out to be a fantastic, action-packed manga series worth reading and no doubt, one of the more captivating series that came out in the U.S. in 2017!

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