The team decides to make some money to replace the explosives Shiraishi lost. While Sugimoto and Asirpa go hunting, Shiraishi has a different plan – bet on the horse races with the help of an Ainu fortuneteller, Inkarmat. This goes swimmingly until Kiroranke is asked to fill in for a jockey that ran off somewhere. The local yakuza expect his horse to lose, but he pulls off a win in spite of them, costing Shiraishi his winnings. Meanwhile, Toshizou and company have started moving more overtly, leaving a pile of corpses in the town they’re visiting as they search for more tattoos.
Episode Review: It’s a little weird to have a show end on what’s basically a filler episode, but here we are. The majority of the episode focuses around Shiraishi’s attempts to get rich quick, and is probably one of the more comedy-focused episodes in the show.
That isn’t to say that there’s nothing of substance, though. We learn a little about Ainu fortunetelling…
…and another handy trick for turning local wildlife into profit.
With all the hunting and descriptions of different traps, I feel like I’ve learned a number of interesting things about an ordinary, non-supernatural/laser/giant mech-based skill, which isn’t something I normally expect going into an anime. Golden Kamuy: Edutainment at its finest!
On the negative side of things, I didn’t really have a good understanding of what Toshizou was up to. The episode literally starts with the following shot:
and by the end of the episode, we see this:
Now, up to this point, acquiring a new tattoo generally hasn’t required taking out large numbers of random people, and the only groups in this hunt with any numbers are Toshizou and the 7th Division… so I have no idea who all these dead people were. It felt kind of tacked on to the episode.
Despite the content-lite nature of the episode, we do get an interesting development towards the end: as Sugimoto stops Shirashi from futher gambling, he says something insightful:
The normally 100% comic-relief character isn’t just a punching bag for once, he has a strong point. Why risk your life for the gold when you don’t need even a fraction of it to accomplish your goal (Sugimoto needs about 200 yen for his personal objective). He answers that he doesn’t want to abandon Asirpa, showing how close the two of them have grown, but it did get me to thinking. Asirpa doesn’t actually seem that interested in the gold itself (what is her village going to do with it anyway? They already think it’s cursed and any dream of attacking and driving out the Japanese is much more unlikely than it was years ago), but more in finding her father. Shirashi would love to be rich, but he too doesn’t need that much – he’s ready to call it a day after a solid win streak at gambling. I can see more trouble ahead for the group in the planned second season this fall if there are more serious discussions like this one.