In the early 20th century, Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto is a veteran of the Russo-Japanese war and is scrapping out a meager existence. There is also a postwar gold rush on the wild frontier of Japan's Hokkaido region. 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). 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.
Golden Kamuy, Vol. 9 (Chapters 81 to 90) opens in the aftermath of the run-in with psychotic taxidermist, Yasaku Edogai. Now, Sugimoto, Asirpa, and the rest of the gold hunters must prove the validity of the human skins with tattoos that form a map to the gold. Yoshitake Shiraishi, the “Escape King,” knows someone who can, the very talented art forager and counterfeiter, Choan Kumagishi, whom he knew as a fellow prisoner. Our heroes aren't the only ones looking for Kumagishi. Also, learn how Shiraishi earned the name, “the Escape King.”
THE LOWDOWN: The Golden Kamuy manga is certainly one of the best historical fiction comic books that I have ever read. It is so intense, yet creator Satoru Noda often tells segments of the story using humor and broad comedy.
Golden Kamuy Graphic Novel Volume 9 offers two intense battle scenes. However, one of them involves intimate details concerning the way Ainu treat guests and other tidbits. Much of Vol. 9 deals with the history of “the Escape King,” and it is a rather nice turn of humor. I don't think I have ever come across a character who deliberately found a way to be imprisoned so many times.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of Westerns and of Japanese historical dramas will want to try the VIZ Signature title, Golden Kamuy.