Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie Review

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Golden Kamuy is a Japanese action-adventure movie. Its fictional tale delves into the history of gold belonging to the Ainu community. The Ainu natives are indigenous folks of the Hokkaido and Northeast Honshu islands.

It is worth noting that this film is based on the Japanese manga (comic book) series Golden Kamuy, written and illustrated by Satoru Noda. So far, Satoru Noda has written twenty-nine volumes of this book series.

‘Golden Kamuy’ Is An Entertaining Action-Film About Gold Hunt

Trailer: Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie

Official Trailer – Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie – Netflix Asia | YouTube.

Spoiler Free Review: Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie

The storyline/plotline/summary/synopsis

During the late Meiji (1868–1912) period in Hokkaido, Japan, Saichi Sugimoto (Kento Yamazaki), a war hero known as Immortal Sugimoto from the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), decides to begin a new chapter in Hokkaido. To finance his endeavours and new life, he takes up gold panning. Intrigued by the legend of stolen gold nuggets that once belonged to the Ainu people and were hidden by Noppera-bo, he sets out to uncover the truth as well as the gold.

Just before his capture, Noppera-bo allegedly concealed the gold nuggets. While imprisoned, Noppera-bo tattooed the secret location onto the bodies of 24 prisoners. Each prisoner possessed a fragment that, when combined, would unveil the whereabouts of the gold nuggets. Noppera-bo successfully escaped from prison alongside these 24 prisoners.

One day, Saichi Sugimoto finds himself under attack by a wild bear. In the nick of time, he is saved by Asirpa (Anna Yamada), an Ainu girl and an expert huntress. Asirpa’s father was murdered by the individual who stole the gold nuggets, igniting her thirst for revenge. Saichi Sugimoto and Asirpa, driven by their distinct motives, join forces and begin working together. As the hunt for the hidden gold nuggets intensifies, more individuals join the pursuit.

To summarise, a war veteran Saichi Sugimoto and an Ainu girl Asirpa race against misfits and military renegades to find the gold treasure mapped out on tattooed outlaws, somewhere on the Hokkaido frontier.

We liked the historical and cultural aspects of the film

First things first, before watching this Japanese movie, we knew that there are four main islands of Japan; from north to south are Hokkaido (Hokkaidō), Honshu (Honshū), Shikoku, and Kyushu (Kyūshū). So, we wrongly assumed in our minds that the residents of different islands of Japan belong to the same ethnicity. But, soon enough, we learn that the protagonist Saichi Sugimoto (Kento Yamazaki) is Japanese. Whereas, the deuteragonist Asirpa (Anna Yamada – her photos are shared at the top) belongs to Hokkaido Ainu. The lead pair of Sugimoto and Aspira looked good on-screen. The comic sidekick as well as the villains kept us involved in this fictional (social and historical) tale. The Japanese cultural aspects added a unique flavour to the film.

To be honest, we did not know about the indigenous Ainu folks. Kindly pardon our ignorance. Therefore, for us, it was fascinating to watch this film steeped in the history of the Ainu people, we learned so much about them. Sometimes, it is good to go back in time and look at the lives of people in that era. Moreover, in this film, the fictional tale touches upon the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and the Meiji (1868–1912) period in Hokkaido. Hence, we discovered the unknown and lesser facets of society and culture in Japan.

Also, the action sequences are awesome to watch

The film kicks off with elaborate action sequences about the Russo-Japanese War, which set the scene with its realistic battle scenes. The fight scenes in the film are top-class. However, sometimes, they were far too violent for our tastes and preferences. The war hero Immortal Saichi Sugimoto (Kento Yamazaki) set the pace with the opening military fight shots. Then soon enough the skilled huntress Asirpa (Anna Yamada) joined the fight.

It was exhilarating to watch them showcase their (Japanese and Ainu) unique fighting skills on-screen. In the past, we have seen, a good number of films and series about the search for gold and treasures. The snowy and rugged forest landscape provided the perfect setting to tell this adventurous story set in unexplored Japan. The ensemble cast played their part in making it an exotic and engaging film to watch.

Spoilers Alerts – who all (broadly divided into 3 teams) are searching for the hidden gold treasure?
Team One: Sugimoto and Asirpa.

Team Two: Tokushiro Tsurumi, First Lieutenant of the 7th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Team Three: Toshizo Hijikata, vice-commander of the Shinsengumi military police force and his ally Shinpachi Nagakura

The conclusion

We disclosed earlier that the film is based on the popular Manga book series of the same title, so many more movies (film franchises) can be made on it. Therefore, most likely in the upcoming movie series, Sugimoto, Asirpa, Tokushiro Tsurumi, Toshizo Hijikata and their teammates will find themselves locked in an intense clash for the gold treasure. Thus, the battle for survival among these people is going to commence in the magnificent northern wilderness of Hokkaido, Japan. We liked this entertaining film made in Japan, as it offered a new tone and fresh style. Also, it has a very rich source material. Now, we eagerly wait for the next movie of the series.

Rating: Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie

FM Rating3.50/5
FM Rating – Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie.

Posters: Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie

Key Details: Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie

GenreAction, Adventure, History
Original languagesJapanese and Ainu languages
Duration2 hours 9 minutes
WritersTsutomu Kuroiwa & Satoru Noda
DirectorShigeaki Kubo
TaglinesDo you have a mission to fulfil?
CastKento Yamazaki (Saichi Sugimoto), Anna Yamada (Asirpa), Yûma Yamoto (Yoshitake Shiraishi), Gordon Maeda (Hyakunosuke Ogata), Ryôhei Ohtani (Genjirô Tanigaki), Shuntarô Yanagi (Yôhei), Katsuya Takagi {Tatsûma Ushiyama(as Katsuya)}, Katsumi Kiba (Shinpachi Nagakura), Hisako Ôkata (Huci), Makita Sports (Takechiyo Gotô), Asuka Kudô (Hajime Tsukishima), etc.
About – Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie.

Posters and Featured Images of the Golden Kamuy (2024/Japan) Movie are credited to Netflix.

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