Golden Kamuy Episode 19: Finding out more about the crew

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Asirpa is disgusted

This week’s episode acted as a pretty seamless reintroduction of Tanigaki back to the cast with a surprise Nihei appearance. Additionally, we got some background on Ogata of all people. I guess the series is finally getting around to showing its characters’ pasts. Surprisingly, Ogata’s story worked really well in my eyes. I’ve been having trouble placing Ogata’s character in the main cast, and his story did a great job of bringing out his unique personality, even if he’s kind of a psychopath.

Asirpa talks about the bears that are seen as gods by her people

Having been raised in a Western culture surrounded by highly anthropomorphic deities, I found Asirpa’s descriptions of the kamuy incredibly fascinating. We’re used to the concept of animals as sustenance, but this idea that bears are gods allowing themselves to die for humans is cool.

Sugimoto tries to convince Asirpa to return home

The scene where Asirpa refuses to return home without meeting her father felt to me like one of those scenes that’s probably necessary even if it didn’t feel too impactful.

Nihei's dog returns

Wow, what a good dog.

Ogata kills his mother to try to find his father

While it’s pretty disturbing that Ogata would go so far as to kill his mother to see if his father cared, it’s admittedly memorable as a character trait. It’s actually jarring as a scene, since I didn’t see him as that kind of character before this flashback.

Ogata's father asks about his mother

I also like how Ogata’s father reacts when learning about Ogata’s mother’s death. The fact that he sees it as an act of pity seems like a nice way of showing the same thought process as Ogata. It might make Ogata’s behavior make a bit more sense. At least, that’s how I saw it.

Ogata searches for answers from his father

Ogata’s last question to his father actually comes off as surprisingly pitiful. At the end, I’m not sure whether I’d lean more towards calling this story sad or disturbing.

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