Sugimoto and Asirpa chase down the deer Sugimoto wounded last episode and finally bring it down. Meanwhile, Tanigaki (the soldier who is hunting the wolf) and newfound hunting compantion Nihei discuss what it means to be a hunter and prepare a trap for the wolf. As the episode closes, the two groups come into conflict.
I’ll be honest – this episode didn’t really hold my interest. We didn’t get much in the way of new cultural insights and there wasn’t really any advancement on the “finding the gold” front. Instead, the whole thing consisted of Sugimoto’s slow, painful hunt of the injured deer, and of Nihei shouting phrases similar to the top picture at the stoic Tanigaki.
I think we’re supposed to be learning about what makes a Matagi hunter (which Tanigaki is) tick, but oddly, most of the dialogue is Nihei saying something like “You Matagi like to do X to go hunting”, and Tanigaki will answer “Oh yeah. I suppose we do, don’t we?”
It really feels like Nihei knows more about being a Matagi hunter than the Matagi hunter himself does… and I can’t figure out why it’s framed this way. It makes Tanigaki look like a clueless rube 90% of the time, and it doesn’t seem like that was the intention.
Meanwhile, on the Sugimoto side of things, there’s no new Ainu stuff to learn from Asirpa, so the episode relies on the other established legs of the triad:
I’m not sure why, but this time around it all felt haphazard and poorly paced, like the show was doing these things to stick to its formula without a real plan. Here’s hoping for things to get back on track.