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Manga Monday Review: Golden Kamuy Vol. 1

In the early twentieth century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto scratches out a meager existence during the postwar gold rush on the wild frontier of Hokkaido. When he stumbles across a map to a fortune in hidden Ainu gold, he sets off on a treacherous quest to find it. But Sugimoto is not the only interested party, and everyone who knows about the gold will kill to possess it! Faced with the harsh conditions of the northern wilderness, ruthless criminals and rogue Japanese soldiers, Sugimoto will need all his skills and luck—and the help of an Ainu girl named Asirpa—to survive.

Satoru Noda‘s Golden Kamuy Vol. 1 is a fantastic debut manga volume that fills in the backstory, provides depth to characters, and delivers a solid crime story. The concept of the story is simple, a soldier attempts to find a map to a treasure that involves convicts, crooked soldiers, and a young girl to help him along. And, all of that is set upon the backdrop of the Russo-Japanese war fallout. It’s a series that crosses a whole lot of genres and pulls them off quite well.

While the story has “heist” elements to it, this first volume mainly takes place in a forest giving it a survival aspect to it all. It defies expectations in many ways and it kept me on my toes by doing so.

What’s even more interesting is its two main characters, Sugimoto and Ainu, have a lot of depth coming out of the first volume. You get a great sense of who they are, what motivates them, and their general personality. You get a backstory to them as well. That’s a hell of a lot packed into one volume and by the end you get a sense you really get these two and their dynamic.

The art by Noda is fantastic as well. There’s so much detail to everything and the juxtaposition of the nature in which a lot of the first volume takes place and the fact material wealth is the driver is fascinating. There’s an ominous feeling throughout that industrialization is right around the corner and that the encroaching technology will destroy what we’re viewing. War comes home and brings advancement and destruction.

A fantastic first volume that’s a familiar genre matched with an era you don’t see too often. An absolute must get and a great read for manga fans and those new to it.

Story: Satoru Noda Art: Satoru Noda
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

VIZ Media provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here so who’s doing geeky things? We’re prepping for San Diego Comic-Cin with so much to do! Anyone seeing any movies? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Newsarama – New The Batman Director Abandons Affleck/Johns Script For ‘New Story’ – Wait until the credits for the film…


Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Bloodshot’s Day Off #1

CBR – Calexit #1

Talking Comics – Dark Days: The Casting #1

ICv2 – Golden Kamuy Vol. 1

The Spectator – Other Russias

CBR – Spider-Men II #1

Talking Comics – The Unsound #2

VIZ Media Launches Acclaimed Action/Adventure Manga Golden Kamuy

VIZ Media has announcesd the forthcoming launch of the acclaimed manga series Golden Kamuy on June 20th.

The series debuts in print under the VIZ Signature imprint, is rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers and will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN. Future volumes of Golden Kamuy, which is ongoing in Japan, will be published in English by VIZ Media on a quarterly basis.

In the early twentieth century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi Sugimoto searches the wilderness of the Japanese frontier of Hokkaido for a hoard of hidden gold. With only a cryptic map and a native Ainu girl to help him, Saichi must also deal with every murderous cutthroat, bandit and rogue who knows about the treasure!

Golden Kamuy was the winner of the 2016 Manga Taisho Award and was nominated for the 40th Annual Kodansha Manga Award.