The early 20th century Japan. Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto is a veteran of the Russo-Japanese war who is scrapping out a meager existence. This is also the postwar gold rush on the wild frontier of Hokkaido. Sugimoto stumbles upon the first “piece” of a map leading to a fortune in hidden gold belonging to the Ainu (an indigenous people of Japan and Russia). However, ruthless criminals and rogue Japanese soldiers are also hunting for the gold in the harsh northern wilderness. It will take all Sugimoto's talents and the help of an immensely-skilled Ainu girl named Asirpa to survive, let alone find the gold.
As Golden Kamuy, Vol. 6 (Chapters 49 to 59) opens, Sugimoto, Asirpa, and their ally, Yoshitake Shiraishi (“the Escape King”), take on a new ally, Kiroranke. He has some surprising information about Asirpa's father and his connection to the stolen Ainu gold. Now, the quartet has to survive Tatsuma Ushiyama and the murder hotel. Meanwhile, Toshizo Hijikata lays down his own brand of justice in the lawless town of Barato.
[This volume includes bonus manga.]
THE LOWDOWN: The Golden Kamuy manga remains a great read. It is so consistently exceptional as a comic book that it is almost unnatural, but I am naturally happy.
Golden Kamuy Graphic Novel Volume 6 contains two excellent stories. The first involves our heroes and a maze-like hotel of torture, cannibalism, and murder in which characters other than Sugimoto and Asirpa get to shine. The second story features the wonderful swordsman Toshizo Hijikata and his partner, Shinpachi Nagakura, also an exceptional swordsman. It reads like a blend of the samurai drama (“chambara”) and the American Western (or “cowboy movie”) with the result being a beautiful, bloody gem.
Dear readers, you need Golden Kamuy. It is such a high-quality series, from the impeccable research done by creator Satoru Noda to the sterling cast of characters. Yes, it is golden.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of Westerns and of Japanese historical dramas will want to try the VIZ Signature title, Golden Kamuy.