Comic Picks By The Glick

Golden Kamuy vol. 10

August 19, 2019

This is one of the most satisfying volumes I’ve read in this series after a while.  Not because of any one thing it does. No, this volume is a case of mangaka Satoru Noda throwing a lot of stuff at the wall, plot-wise, and having it all turn out pretty well.  I’m talking about bits like Kiroranke and Hijikata teaming up to rescue Shiraishi from the 7th Division. Only the catch is that the Escape King doesn’t want to be rescued. We also have the sole survivor of the gang of criminals who took over an Ainu village in the previous volume turning out to be a master of disguise and deception.  Which is good because Sugimoto is going to need his skills to actually get Shiraishi out of prison. Then there’s Inkarmat who gets “persuaded” into posing as a fake clairvoyant while Tanigaki and Cikapasi have to rescue her. Tanigaki by using his rifle, Cikapasi by using his Dinky. I definitely can’t forget about how Nikaido, recovering from losing his leg in the previous volume, gets a very welcome gift from a very loud man.

 

As odd and disparate as these elements sound, they all work completely on their own terms.  The stuff involving Shiraishi at the beginning is great goofy fun, as his very good reason for not wanting to return helps fuel the comedy.  Even better is the hospital chapter where Nikaido’s response to the true nature of his gift winds up being the funniest thing I’ve read all year.  Even when Noda dials down the wackiness for the bits involving Sugimoto and the conman, he still manages to make the tension gripping even before the bullets start flying.  It all leads to a final scene that unexpectedly references “The Empire Strikes Back…” Okay I’ll admit that it’s probably closer to similar scenes from “Rob Roy” and “The Revenant,” but it was still unexpected.  As was just about everything I read in this volume which was the best kind of experience I could ask for.

 

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