Golden Kamuy is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Satoru Noda. The story follows Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the early twentieth century Russo-Japanese War, and his quest to find a huge fortune of gold left by the Ainu people, helped by a young Ainu girl named Asirpa. The Ainu language in the story is supervised by Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University. The manga won the ninth Manga Taishō award in 2016.
An anime television series adaptation by Geno Studio premiered with two seasons from April to December 2018. A third season will premiere in October 2020.
The series has been licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media in 2016.
The anime television series adaptation is produced by Geno Studio. It is directed by Hitoshi Nanba and written by Noboru Takagi, with music by Kenichiro Suehir, art direction by Atsushi Morikawa, and CG direction by Yuuko Okumura and Yasutaka Hamada. Kenichi Ohnuki is adapting the character designs for animation, while Koji Watanabe designs firearms, Shinya Anasuma designs the props, and Ryō Sumiyoshi designs the animals. The series’ opening theme, “Winding Road”, is performed by Man with a Mission, and the ending theme, “Hibana” is performed by The Sixth Lie. Like with the manga, Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University, works on the anime as an Ainu language supervisor.
The anime was announced in July 2017 in Weekly Young Jump, and aired for twelve episodes starting from April 9 to June 25, 2018 on Tokyo MX, ytv, STV, and BS11. Golden Dōga Gekijō, a series of 25-second animated shorts based on extras included in the Golden Kamuy manga volumes and Weekly Young Jump, is directed by Kenshirō Morii and produced at DMM.futureworks and W-Toon Studio. It premiered on April 16, 2018 online.
At the conclusion of the first season broadcast, a second season was announced and aired from October 8 to December 24, 2018. The second season’s opening theme, “Reimei”, is performed by Sayuri and My First Story, and the ending theme, “Tokeidai no Kane” is performed by Eastern Youth.
On July 7, 2019, it was announced that the series will receive a third season. On March 13, 2020, it was announced that the third season is set to premiere in October 2020.
The TV series is simulcast on Crunchyroll, and an English dub started streaming on Funimation starting on April 30, 2018. The series will also be released across three DVD and Blu-ray volumes in Japan, starting in July 2018; they had originally been planned to release starting in June, but were delayed one month to allow for improvements to the footage compared to the TV broadcast version. The Japanese home video volumes will include the Golden Dōga Gekijō shorts, including four episodes that are exclusive to the first volume. An original video animation (OVA) based on the manga’s “Barato” arc was released on DVD in a bundle with the manga’s 15th Japanese volume on September 19, 2018. A second OVA was released with the manga’s 17th Japanese volume on March 19, 2019. A third OVA based on the manga’s “Monster” arc was released with the manga’s 19th Japanese volume on September 19, 2019.
A demobilized soldier and veteran of the Russo-Japanese War. He served a private first class in the 1st Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, and fought in the battle of 203 Hill. He was feared for his savage fighting style and amazing toughness on the battlefield, gaining the nickname “Immortal Sugimoto”. He seeks the gold to provide for Umeko, the blind wife of his dead comrade Toraji.
A young Ainu hunter who meets Sugimoto after saving him from a wild bear, and later partners with him to find the gold. She seeks to avenge her father, whom she believes was murdered by hunters searching for the gold. Her Japanese name is Asuko Kochoube.
A tattooed Abashiri convict and master escape artist. He is initially captured by Sugimoto, and later agrees to a truce after they need each other’s help to survive the bitter cold after they fall in a river. He is based on Yoshie Shiratori.