The short review: Golden Kamuy is simply amazing and one of the best things out right now. I think you should read it.
The long review: Intestines. Please take those skewers out of Sugitmoto’s cheeks. Asirpa has the BEST reaction faces. I found out that no matter how ancient Hijikata gets, my fangirlness knows no bounds and he will always be so fuckin’ cool. His whole “Kill them all!” scene gave me goosebumps and I got way too excited.
On a personal note, I absolutely love the portrayal of hunting in this manga. I think it’s so important to the story and I’m really intrigued as to how it’s being received by the readers. One thing in particular that stood out to me is after injuring the deer, as they’re tracking him Asirpa says, “Since the buck is injured, he’ll be trying to avoid climbing any slopes…” And my immediate thought was, “Uh, you’d think that, but you are WRONG.” (Unfortunately, I know this from experience. Not Ezo deer specifically, but still.) So then when their ambush goes awry and the deer escapes by going up the slope, I was oddly satisfied that such a silly but factual thing like that was included.
And at the risk of sounding like a total nutter (or giving away my super secret hunting technique?) Tanigaki’s conversation with Nihei about the “bloodthirsty odor” and the Matagi saying “become one with the trees” made me laugh out loud. I have actually done this. Not become a tree, of course, but tried to have “tree aura.” And for the curious reader, yes, I did end up with elk all around me, some within about four feet. And for the curious reader still reading: at four feet away, one of the elk did finally realize I was, in fact, not a tree and totally freaked out and bolted.
But I digress. READ GOLDEN KAMUY! It’s incredible.
I. LOVE. DRIFTERS.
I cannot tell you how many times I got goosebumps or flailed around and splashed water everywhere or wanted to shriek with excitement or just laughed out loud as I read this volume.
And omg look who has the cover. [trying not to scream] I thought I might just burst with excitement. I opened this today and I was so happy I kinda wanted to cry.
I know this sounds like a bunch of hyperbole, but I really, really, really love this series. And volume four has been a long time coming.
So, in this volume, we catch up to where the anime ended. We get the coup of Orte’s capital and Toyo’s fight with Hijikata. We get the introduction of St. Germi’s very brawny and topless warriors. Nobunaga’s excitement at his musket crew. Hannibal eating raspberries. I love the drama and the expressions and the cartoony reactions and the action and the violence and the humor and the history and every single panel is perfect…It’s all perfect.
We also go a little beyond the anime in that we see Toyo’s condition after his battle with Hijikata (spoiler: he looks like a mummy); we get a peek into Gumbinnen, where Tamon Yamaguchi is with the Hiryu; and while Nobunaga and St. Germi are speculating why the dog-men and cat-men tribes have risen up, I turned the page and laughed so hard. So we get to see what Scipio’s up to as well. 😉
I loved it all.
I WAIT ALL YEAR LONG FOR THIS ONE DAY! KAZE HIKARU RELEASE DAY!
If you haven’t read it and you’re looking at that “25” number…buy all 25 volumes now. It’s totally worth it. You’ll want to have them rather than starting with one or two and waiting for the rest to arrive.
If you have read it, rejoice: here is another blissfully wonderful volume of Kaze Hikaru. This volume picks up where 24 left off with Hijikata’s flashback to his youth and meeting Kondo. It’s fitting that this volume was released on 8/1 aka “Yaoi Day” because volume 25 gave us some really smirk-worthy but so sweet Hijikata/Kondo panels. (We’ve seen how flustered Hijikata gets when people stay stuff like this, though, so please don’t tell him I said he and Kondo are adorable together.) Later in the volume we have some financial shenanigans in the Shinsengumi and as usual, Sei is a bit too naive and straightforward. But that’s what makes her lovable, right? Just ask Soji… heh. (And Saito, wherever he’s presently lurking…)
I have been reading this manga for a long time and I attempted to learn Japanese JUST to read this manga because it’s only published ONE VOLUME PER YEAR in English. I had to laugh at the author’s note in the back of the volume, specifically: “After all, the story is gradually reaching a climax, so perhaps it’ll be ending by around volume 28..? Then again, I also have the feeling that this series is nowhere near its end (haha)!”
“Haha” indeed. Volume 40 was released in Japan in late May of this year. So at one [English] volume per year…I might spend the rest of my life reading Kaze Hikaru.
AND YOU SHOULD TOO.