I’d preordered this quite a while ago and was pretty excited about it. I’ll admit, I don’t hesitate to judge a protagonist by his facial scars. So “Golden Kamuy” looked super promising.
And volume 1 was phenomenal. I loved the shit out of it. I kind of worried I was too stoked about it and had set the bar too high but that was ultimately not the case. Volume 1 is exciting and clever and violent and beautiful. I read it way too fast because I just couldn’t stop. I love how the premise seems quite straightforward (looking for gold in Hokkaido) but is made tricky (tattoo map, anyone?).
I also really enjoy what Asirpa brings to the table; I love her practicality and feistiness as well as the flavor her Ainu heritage imparts to the story. I feel like I’m seeing something new. Along with that newness, I felt like we saw a more “wild brutality” in this manga compared to others. Growing up in the mountains, I kind of appreciated that “shit out here in the wilderness can kill you” feeling that this manga does very well.
Lastly, I freaked out at the final pages. I don’t think I blinked. I had a tiny suspicion at the line “old political prisoner” and then I read “Battle of Hakodate” and I was thinking, “No. Fucking. WAYYYYYYY…” and when I turned the page–
well, if I screamed and did a small fist pump of victory, thankfully I was in the tub where I didn’t bother anyone.