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Golden Kamuy 2nd Season Anime Cover

Score: 8.15/10

Golden Kamuy 2nd Season

Synopsis

Second season of Golden Kamuy.

I like Golden Kamuy. It has the slice of life charm with its episodic nature, there’s great animation that works in tandem with the narrative, and most importantly, it is unapologetically itself. I think this show is unique, meshing Japan’s historical periods together and bringing cultures to life. Golden Kamuy never gets away from what makes it stand out. There are witty jokes, there is great interactions between characters, each character is consistent in many different moments. There is the interesting mix of Japan’s history coupled with very flamboyant characters and creates an interesting contradiction to what is typically shown on TV. What you can expect to get out of this show is twisted humor, animation that complements the narrative and interactions, and a whole lot of confusion.

Why I say confusion is that the narrative has a rollercoaster trend. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to always get closer, then farther, then closer, then farther. It isn’t clear whether you can determine if the next episode will get you to the promised land or if we will see another hinna hinna episode, but frankly that is the charm of the show. I can feel the passion and charm of the characters when they just interact with each other over nature and survival of the fittest tactics. The down time really brings out the characterization and gives a nice break to high, fast paced scenes regarding the end game. All of a sudden, it is hard to determine each character’s true goal and when the plot twists hit, they hit hard. They kept me on the edge of my seat and I started appreciating the seemingly pointless down time scenes because of the little things that we can see in characters. This confusion of the narrative actually made me enjoy the show more, because it diversified the content while also jumping themes/tones. I’m more of a fan of the light hearted side, where we can just learn the history of the Ainu and learn more about cultures we otherwise would’ve never hear of.

However, the animation overall is not part of Golden Kamuy’s strong points. *CUE CG BEAR*. There are a lot of shortcuts with stills with slightly moving animated blood or things like that. The face animations are great though. Each character display their emotions and disgust so vehemently, it is hard to not appreciate them and just laugh. Some scenes were more gorey than what I expect from TV Anime, but they weren’t as appealing as it could be. It got the point across though and I can appreciate why in certain areas in the narrative, they upped the gore. It displayed the stakes and importance of the respective scenes.

Golden Kamuy took me by storm, I wasn’t sure if it was going to hit the right notes for me. But I soon realized how much charm and passion went into the writing, especially developing the characters, who carry this show. The plot is interesting, but loses steam in certain parts. It overall hinna hinna’d all over me though and I can’t get enough of the witty humor, the stupid jokes, the idiocy of the characters, the food wars like eposodic episodes, and its charm

The legendary series that is Golden Kamuy has had its shares of greatness, starting with Season 1 in Spring 2018, and now the sequel this season, which expands upon where Season 1 left off, but with more refined balance between the comedy and action. In more ways than one, Season 2 solidified everything that was lacking in Season 1, and made it tenfold better IMO. We continue on with Immortal Sugimoto, Asirpa and Co. on their journey to find not just the gold, but the man responsible for the whole fiasco in the first place: Nopperabo, the big eyes Ainu of a traitor, which is also Asirpa's father in cold spirit and truth. In the context of having watched Season 1, Season 2 here is more grim, fast-paced, and the amount of violence and action doesn't hold the series back, with some of the greatest scenes designated at moments where predicted but last for as long as it should be, so long as the balance was held. So, with the new season, you're getting twice the action, twice the excitement and worries that are just chillax; the surface of the iceberg. Golden Kamuy's characters are always the crew that we always find it intriguing, solely at first with people like Hijikata, Ogata, whom get their characterizations more heavily involved. And with how Season 2 ramps up the ante, along with the alliances of everyone working together for a common goal, the risk of betrayal is something that cannot be taken lightly. Quite possibly the biggest detractor is Lt. Tsurumi himself, looking through Season 2 lists quite a good range of capabilities of the 7th Division captain himself, from being the model for other calefares to being more relentless in the final stages of the cat and mouse chase to Sugimoto and Co. I'd say that with everything out of the bag this time, Lt. Tsurumi is the most fearsome character (even more than Season of 1), but everyone has upgraded their game into the series, and it's a firm foundation. Once again, Geno Studio did an amazing production on Season 2 here, omitting the awful CGI bears in change for some great action and backgrounds. However, the drawback is that for the night scenes, the entire show goes into entirely black mode and it's barely discernable when put in comparison to Season 1. Maybe some lighting would have been fine, but for what it is, I'll take it any other day. The music got a good upgrade and a better follow-up over Season 1, with Sayuri and MY FIRST STORY's collab for the OP, that not just sounds a whole lot bad-ass and better in every regard, but also aesthetically. With that said, the ED, featuring some loud-banging and bashing uncle that's on drugs, most would find this very noisy and distracting. Golden Kamuy is a series that just needs a good balance of substance, not some over-the-top values that cue the series. But on hindsight, it couldn't have been the perfect ED but hey, it's better than nothing. What an amazing series from start to end. Definitely would recommend this series to historical action fans, but first, go watch Season 1 then come back for the sequel.

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