Updated March 14, 2019: Added Golden Kamuy OVA 3 announcement.
Hinna, hinna! Golden Kamuy Season 3 is a necessity for anime fans wanting to consume more episodes. Especially after Episode 24 blew audiences’ brains, fans want to watch the end of the quest of Ainu girl Asirpa and Saichi “The Immortal” Sugimoto.
Thankfully, there is just enough source material available for creating a third season sooner rather than later. Many story arcs were skipped so it’s possible even more OVA episodes could make the wait feel shorter.
In the third season, Sugimoto will be searching for Asirpa all over the Karafuto area while being chased (multiple times) by vicious wolverines. There will be Russian wall fighters, traveling performer troupes, harakiri acts, samurai showdowns, and the history and true motives of Asirpa’s father will be revealed.
Already, both a second and third Golden Kamuy OVA episode have been confirmed to be coming out soon. The release date for OVA 2 is scheduled for March 19, 2019, and OVA 3 comes out on September 19, 2019 (see below for more details). But when will Geno Studio be given the green light for producing Golden Kamuy Season 3?
This article provides everything that is known about Golden Kamuy Season 3 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Golden Kamuy’s creator Satoru Noda is almost as quirky as his creation
Golden Kamuy may be an epic action anime but it’s not necessarily a story of good versus evil. The interesting characters all have their own competing motivations for their actions and the plot always keeps audiences guessing what may happen next.
The intensity is balanced out by crazy comedy, history, Ainu culture moments, and the occasional step into Food Wars territory. Thoroughly underrated, the catchphrase is “a Western where you never know what you’ll get” and it could be argued it’s a Tarantino movie in the form of an anime.
The clash between Japanese and Ainu culture is a pivotal part of the series. Creator Satoru Noda is not an Ainu himself but he’s a Hokkaido native so he researched and interviewed the Ainu people for about a year before starting the manga.
“The only request I got is, ‘Don’t make Ainu pathetic beings, and draw strong Ainu,’” Noda said. “I always try to depict characters fairly and carefully to render (the way Ainu people lived) as faithfully as possible.”
The anime production staff traveled to Hokkaido and worked with the experts to make certain they got the details correct. What’s more, the original creator provided oversight for the project.
The story for the anime is based on the Golden Kamuy manga series, which was originally intended to be a story about hunting in Hokkaido. From the beginning, Noda had planned on incorporating cooking elements.
“I think ‘hunting’ includes everything from catching an animal and eating the meat, using the fur and bone to make daily goods, to selling the goods to get money. So depiction of food was naturally part of it. … But if it’s only about hunting, I would quickly run out of materials, so I decided to throw in various other elements,” he explained.
Noda was also inspired by the fact that his great-grandfather took part in the Russo-Japanese war but it quickly evolved into… something else. His editor was excited when Noda pitched the concept, saying, “This is it!” Everything clicked into place and Noda recalls being certain the manga would be successful in its first run.
“There is no way it doesn’t sell!” he said.
Like many of his characters, Noda is something of an odd duck. He’s tried eating many things including badgers brains, which are supposedly hinna-hinna. When the characters react to different foods their reaction is usually based on how Noda himself reacted.
But it’s not just the weird foods that make this creator a little odd. Noda seriously once said in an interview that his favorite scent is “cat’s balls” and that Marilyn Manson was his favorite imaginary creature.
He also claimed that if he was forced to spend 1 million yen in a single day then he’d buy “penis enlargement surgery that’s worth 1 million yen.” Noda does not consider himself evil, but he admits he’s the type of guy who will walk his dog and not clean up the osoma.
Golden Kamuy manga compared to the anime
The manga has been serialized weekly in Weekly Young Jump magazine since August 2014 and the series is currently up to Volume 16. The next volume is scheduled to be released in Japan on March 19, 2019.
VIZ Media has been publishing the English translation of the Golden Kamuy manga series. The English manga was up to Volume 7 as of December 18, 2018. Volume 8 is scheduled to release on February 9, 2019, while Volume 9 will come out on April 16, 2019.
— Golden Kamuy Central (@KamuyCentral) December 11, 2018
Like many anime, Golden Kamuy condensed the story by skipping some chapters and certain scenes. Some of the story arcs skipped included chapters 55 through 59, 63 through 70 (the Monster Bear story arc of OVA 3), 83 through 85, 87 through 91, 102 through 107, and 108 through 113 (the crazy/censored Shiton the Animals’ Friend arc). However, some of the skipped funny moments were released online on YouTube as animated 30-second shorts while lengthier story arcs were released as OVA episodes (see below for more details).
The ending of the first season lined up roughly with Chapter 62, but Episode 12 also summarized future elements in order to create a solid stopping point. Golden Kamuy Season 2 picked up the story again with Chapter 70, which meant that several stories of escaped convicts were skipped entirely.
The second season is significantly faster-paced in comparison to the first but that’s because Geno Studio is apparently trying to reach a shocking, critical plot juncture involving Sugimoto and Nopperabou, Asirpa’s father.
Episode 22: On The Night Of The New Moon is named after manga Chapter 128 and covers the story events up through Chapter 130. Golden Kamuy Episode 24 found the best possible stopping point by ending with Chapter 139 of Volume 14.
The bad news is that when Golden Kamuy Season 2 Episode 12 aired in Japan the manga did not provide enough source material for immediately creating Golden Kamuy Season 3. In addition, U.S. fans will also have to wait years until the official English manga catches up with the anime.
The good news is that the manga is released weekly, so it’s conceivable that there will be more than enough chapters available for creating a third season by the end of 2019. Impatient English-reading fans can turn to unofficial fan-made scanlation projects, which are not too far behind the official Japanese release.
Golden Kamuy OVA 2 and 3 episodes continue the story
The anime has been covering missed story arcs with Golden Kamuy OVA episodes. In September 2018, manga Volume 15 came bundled with the first OVA episode.
The Original Video Anime showcased skipped story events from the Barato story arc in Volume 6. Chapters 55 through 59 included a battle between the sniper Ogata Hyakunosuke and Bakumatsu hero Hijikata Toshizo.
Golden Kamuy OVA 2 will be all about Escape King Yoshitake Shiraishi. OVA 2 will ship with manga Volume 17 on March 19, 2019.
The 24-minute OVA called I Escaped Because I Fell in Love depicts Shiraishi’s backstory from Volume 9 that the main anime skipped. The OVA is being advertised as a “pure love story” about the wily character. The disc also adapts Chapter 104 with an included mini-episode
The Escape King will get even more love when the first of the Season 2 Blu-Ray and DVD home video releases on January 30, 2019. Those who pre-order will receive an audio drama CD which includes an original story by creator Noda Satoru.
The story will give more details about Shiraishi’s love of jailbreaking and how he came to be so skilled. It will describe how the Escape King encountered the other convicts in Abashiri and decided to join their plan.
Golden Kamuy OVA 3 will ship with manga Volume 19 on September 19, 2019. Director Hitoshi Nanba at Geno Studio will return. The third OVA episode focuses on The Monster Bear & the Yakuzas story arc from skipped chapters 63 through 70.
Golden Kamuy Season 3 release date
As of the last update, Geno Studio or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Golden Kamuy Season 3 release date. Nor has the production of a sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Golden Kamuy Season 3 premiere date will occur in the future.
When the anime finished airing the manga just happened to be coming up to a big climax. Assuming that the third season does not skip any chapters this time around it should be possible to begin production in late 2019 and release in 2020. But that possibility largely depends on Geno Studio’s schedule and whether Season 3 is already in the early planning stages of anime project development.
Financially, the anime Blu-Ray and DVD sales have been doing well enough but not amazing. Assuming the second season stays on course a third season is justifiable. The manga itself has also sold over three million copies in just 2018 alone.
A live Golden Kamuy event is planned for July 2019. It will feature guest appearances by the voice actors and musicians The Sixth Lie will perform the ED theme song. Perhaps the event will be the golden opportunity for news about Golden Kamuy Season 3 being greenlit for production?
Golden Kamuy Season 3 spoilers
The manga’s story seemingly has a long ways to go. There are 24 Abashiri convicts tattooed with the map leading to the gold and although more than half have been collected, Asirpa is the only person capable of deciphering the coded skins. Although the treasure quest seemingly is getting closer to an ending, Noda has way more craziness in store for anime audiences.
Noda once explained how he comes up with these crazy scenarios.
“I think things that occur to us suddenly can also be easily expected by readers, so I drive myself to a corner, and before I’m cornered, I find an escape route that is unexpected,” he said. “Contrary to expectations, what’s needed is the boldness to create s**t, not to create the highest-grade curry prepared from various high-class ingredients.”
In addition to being bold, the ending of the second season was probably unexpected. Wilk was not so lucky, but the
plot armored Immortal Sugimoto miraculously survives being shot in the head by Ogata but now Asirpa is missing.
The Ainu girl is traveling on a ship toward Karafuto with Kiroranke’s group. Sugimoto declares he will find Asirpa and kill Ogata and Kiroranke. He tracks them to Oodomari and begins asking around for anyone who has seen an Ainu girl.
A shop owner points them in the direction of an Ainu village where they meet a Karafuto Ainu girl named Enonoka (lingonberry). The girl tells them she had seen a Hokkaido Ainu girl, but before she could say more they are attacked by a
hopefully not CGI bear… and then a wolverine attack turns into a sled chase!
Enonoka’s help leads them to a village full of Russian people. While they’re in a Russian bar, their lead sled dog is stolen and the only way to get it back is for Sugimoto to participate in a Stenka na Stenku (wall on wall). It’s a form of Russian fist-fighting where teams of half-naked men form a human wall to fight against other human walls based on varying rules.
A large bespectacled man Gansoku Maiharu has turned the Russian entertainment into a gambling pool and it turns out he’s an escaped tattooed convict. All of the Japanese soldiers are galvanized into forming a Stenka team when someone declares that the Japanese cannot possibly beat the Russians.
The Japanese begin doing well in multiple Stenka fights yet they’re told to throw a match. Meanwhile, Sugimoto is trying to lure Gansoku into the Stenka. Sugimoto’s plan causes an all-out brawl to break out, which then turns into a foot chase and yet another wolverine attack. Somehow the chaos results in all the men being forced to relax in a Russian steam bath called a banya.
After a third wolverine chase (does this thing ever give up?), a fight between a berserk Sugimoto and Gansoku causes Sugimoto to confront his feelings about being “useless” to his friends. A plunge into freezing ice water brings Sugimoto to his senses and he convinces the Senka fighter to help.
Gansoku tells Sugimoto that he overheard Asirpa and Shiraishi talking and they believe he’s alive since he’s “immortal”. While this is good news, it’s not long in their travels before running into trouble in Toyohara when a kid steals Sugimoto’s bag with Gansoku’s tattoo inside it.
Meanwhile, Kiroranke’s group had been hunting sea lions. They visit a fox breeding farm and Asirpa is shocked when Kiroranke reveals that her father Wilk had been in a nearby Ainu village. Most of the Ainu in Wilk’s village moved to Hokkaido because of a territory exchange between Russia and Japan, but Wilk had stayed because his father was Polish.
Asirpa is beginning to question her father’s motives. Wilk may have taught her survival training and hunting, but he was secretly grooming her to become a freedom fighter against the Japanese government. Kiroranke claims that he and Wilk are fighting for the independence of ethnic minority groups in the far east.
Kiroranke is hoping that by allowing Asirpa to discover more about Wilk and her family that she will be willing to give up the code necessary to decipher the tattooed skins. He doesn’t want to force Asirpa and instead hopes she’ll cooperate of her own volition.
By Chapter 149, Tsukishima’s past is revealed. He was the son of a murderer and a girl with unruly hair named Igogusa was the only person who treated him right on his home island of Sado.
When Tsukishima fought in the war, he communicated with Igogusa via letters but then the letters stopped coming. Without spoiling the story, the Japanese soldier goes home to untangle a web of lies, murder, and marriage.
The story then focuses on the elderly Manslayer Youichirou (Shinzou Doi) and Hijitaka Toshizou. Events conspire to create a confrontation where the two old samurais have one final showdown.
Getting back to Sugimoto, chasing the young thief ends with him running into a magician named Choukichi. Sugimoto gets the idea to create a traveling show that would cause Asirpa to learn that Sugimoto is alive and nearby. Called Sugimoto the Immortal’s harakiri act, the show uses a trick sword with fake blood. And thus Sugimoto and his friends find themselves part of the traveling Yamada Troupe.
The harakiri act eventually goes horribly wrong when the fake sword is swapped out with a real one. Things get even more complicated when Russian operatives and Japanese spies become involved. In the end, Sugimoto’s group ends up learning about Alexandrovskaya Prison and it’s believed Kiroranke may be heading there to break out certain inmates.
The story continues in this vein with audiences learning about the Orok people and Russian history. Reindeer hunting turns into a duel with a Russian sniper. There is an opportunity for Shiraishi and Asirpa to run away, but Asirpa stays because she wants to know more about her father Wilk and why he became Nopperabou.
But it’s quite the journey since manga readers really don’t find out too much more until Chapter 177 and beyond. The truth behind Kiroranke will eventually be revealed and events culminate in yet another prison break… that’s complicated by a tiger?!
Eventually, Sugimoto should catch up with Asirpa and a confrontation will result. Unfortunately, anime fans will need to wait until the Golden Kamuy Season 3 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!