Golden Kamuy Ep. 4: Sugimoto, the food critic

I’m just tickled that this guy gets a new dish to try in practically every episode. 

Hell, in this week’s episode, he gets a two dishes:

And even a dessert:

Sadly, his attempts to convince the Ainu to try miso continues to fail. Anyways, this episode is just fine… it won’t bore you, but it won’t rock your socks off either. The first half is quite slow as Sugimoto adapts to life in the Ainu village. In other words, more knowledge about customs and traps. We can’t live on squirrel meat forever. We gotta get some fish in our diet too. And did I say traps? ‘Cause I really meant it. Sugimoto almost killed himself had Asirpa’s uncle not stepped in. Also, look at the guy tote that bear cub around like a teddy bear. Shit, now I want a bear cub for a pet as well. Other than that, however, Asirpa’s uncle merely serves as an expository device. He talks about the missing gold, he talks about Retar and how the girl came to know the wolf, and most of all, he talks about how lonely his niece is. Information, information, information. It’s a bit unexciting and dry to listen to, but the last part about Asirpa is important.

Everyone emphasizes how Asirpa’s mood seems to have brighten ever since Sugimoto showed up. After all, she hasn’t quite gotten over her father, and it’s not as though a wolf can live in a village. And we’ve already learned from previous episodes that Asirpa is different from the other girls. She prefers to go out in the wilderness and hunt. As a result, she lacks domestic skills that would make her marriage material… for a traditional Ainu man, that is. So what’s so special about Sugimoto? Well, he definitely doesn’t remind her of her dad, that’s for sure. After all, she has to teach the guy everything. Maybe it’s just as her uncle says: she’s lonely. And since Sugimoto is an outsider, he doesn’t treat her any differently for being a tomboy. Rather, he values her wilderness skills, since he needs them. Well, that’s just my guess, anyway. As far as I can tell, they just have a friendly relationship. Asirpa’s grandmother is desperate to marry the girl off, but I really don’t think either of our two main characters want anything to have to do with that. Sugimoto, especially.

Our Immortal Sugimoto has been in quite a few sticky situations, but ironically, he’s afraid to take Asirpa with him. Seeing how happy and carefree she is in this village, how can he possibly yank her away from her people and make her go on a foolhardy mission for stolen gold? Even if the gold used to belong to her people, this is not going to be some walk in the park. Every bastard out there is looking for the gold as well. Plus, Sugimoto and Asirpa have already had a few close brushes with death, and it’s only going to get worse from here on out. There’s the 7th Division as well as the countless number of vicious ex-prisoners that they’ll no doubt run into. Asirpa has proven to us that she’s tough, but she’s still just a kid. Compare her with the other Ainu children. She doesn’t look much older than them at all. Would I have abandoned the girl if I was Sugimoto’s shoes? I don’t think I could. Not without a discussion, at least. But having said that, I understand why he felt he had to bail. He doesn’t exactly have a way with words, and if he had tried to reason with the girl, she would’ve just steamrolled him.

But we wouldn’t have a show if it was that easy to leave the girl behind. As soon as she wakes up, she embarks on a mission to locate Sugimoto. She even enlists the help of her trusty wolf and his keen sense of smell. Unfortunately, this leads her straight to the self-proclaimed Escape King, because he and Sugimoto had swapped socks a couple episodes ago. Needless to say, Asirpa is not pleased. The guy tries to get away, but I mean… c’mon, you’re up against a goddamn wolf. Plus, it must be scary to open the window and find this giant ass beast staring right at you. Anyways, the guy still knows where she might be able to find her partner, and they gotta move fast. Sugimoto has fallen into Tsurumi’s clutches, and we already know how much of a bastard the lieutenant can be. Sugimoto repeatedly tries to play dumb, but he’s a little too infamous to pull this off. I enjoyed the attempt, though. And even with two skewers stabbed through his cheeks, the guy continues to put up a good fight afterwards. I don’t care much for the twins nor Sugimoto’s fight with them, but I enjoyed our hero’s exchange with Tsurumi. The villain tries to intimidate Sugimoto and fails. I wonder how the former must have felt.

Anyways, like I said, this episode is fine. We get some character development, some world-building, and (finally) some tension as our hero comes face-to-face with one of the main antagonists. Also, Sugimoto playing mama bear is pretty amusing. Also, isn’t this the plot to The Rock?

3 thoughts on “Golden Kamuy Ep. 4: Sugimoto, the food critic

  1. Pia

    This anime is turning into a Vanillaware videogame with all this food tasting antics lol

    I like this anime but its humor shift are insane, at one moment you’ve Sugimoto cracking some jokes and playing dumb and in the next instant bam he gets his mouth pierced by sticks, damn I wasn’t prepared for that!

    1. Sean Post author

      I dunno, I kinda expected it. Sharp object and crazy dude… it’s a match made in heaven.


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