Johnny Bullet
Golden Kamuy: Volume 5 manga review
By Leroy Douresseaux

June 14, 2018 - 18:05

Publisher(s): Viz Media
Writer(s): Satoru Noda, Eiji Yasuda
Artist(s): Satoru Noda
Letterer(s): Steve Dutro
ISBN: 978-1-4215-9492-7
$12.99 U.S., $17.99 CAN, £8.99 UK, 200pp, B&W, paperback
Rating: M (Mature)

Golden Kamuy Graphic Novel Volume 1 cover image

Rated “M” for “Mature”

It is 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. 5 (Chapters 39 to 48) opens, Sugimoto, Asirpa, and their ally, Yoshitake Shiraishi (“the Escape King”), take on the mysterious serial killer, Kazuo Henmi.  The ending to this dark (mis)adventure, however, turns out to be a whale of a time.  Meanwhile, Private First Class Genjiro Tanigaki, of the 7th Division, learns that there is a conspiracy against their leader, First Lt. Tsurumi, but these traitors are formidable.  And Tanigaki is down to a rifle with only one bullet.

[This volume includes bonus manga.]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Golden Kamuy manga is absolutely golden, so much so that I thought that both the first and second volumes were flukes – because they were just too good..  This was one of the best graphic novels of 2017, and it is one of the best comics of 2018.

Golden Kamuy Graphic Novel Volume 5 is filled with the series' usual excellent heart-stopping action and edge-of-your-seat thrills.  However, this volume is a treasure trove of information on how to make clothes out of tree bark and fish skin and how to cook a number of exotic seafood dishes.  Golden Kamuy is a historical adventure, but it is also like a series on the National Geographic Channel.  Dear readers, you need Golden Kamuy.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Westerns and of Japanese historical dramas will want to try the VIZ Signature title, Golden Kamuy.

9.5 out of 10

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