Over six months after it was postponed due to the passing of a key staff member, Golden Kamuy marks its stirring return with the long-awaited meeting between Asirpa and Lt. Tsurumi in Karafuto. While he’s cordial with Asirpa, his insistence that he fights for a happier world for all—including the Ainu—doesn’t convince Asirpa.
Before they meet, Tsurumi says under his breath that he’ll keep her detained indefinitely in a dark, filthy cell furnished with a bucket and a stool until they find the gold. At the sight of Asirpa’s dazzling blue eyes, so much like Wilk’s, he can’t stop leaking…er…fluid from the brain. So Asirpa makes a break for it, with Sugimoto right beside her.
Tsurumi’s men fan out and search the town, with Usami finding them first and Tsukishima training his rifle at them. When Sugimoto keeps running, he shoots him, but that only unlocks Immortal Sugimoto, who goes to absolute town on Koito and another 7th soldier.
Asirpa holds Sugimoto tight throughout his rampage, and while he was shot a few times, he assures her he’s not hurt bad enough for “his soul to escape his body”. Tsurumi shoots a disapproving look at Tsukishima for letting Asirpa get away, while she and Sugimoto encounter the hooded Russian sniper, who takes them away on a horse.
Shiraishi and Tanigaki catch up to them, but only Shiraishi hops on the horse. Tanigaki has to protect Inkarmat, so he stays behind. They make it onto the ferry back to Hokkaido, but a single 7th soldier follows Sugimoto’s blood trail. Asirpa tells him to shoot the soldier in the leg, but the sniper goes for the headshot, and they’re home free…
That is, until Tsurumi gives chase in his destroyer. The ferry captain, pissed off that a warning shot was fired at a ship full of civilians, agrees to help Sugimoto, even sailing the ferry directly at the ice floes. When Tsurumi’s destroyer opens fire, it blasts away the floes, allowing the ferry to slip past.
When the gap closes and the destroyer attempts to blast its way through, Asirpa, Sugimoto, Shiraishi, and the sniper disembark while wearing white sheets, making them invisible to Tsurumi’s men as they complete their journey on the ice fields.
When they first ran from Tsurumi, thus spoiling any potential deal they might have had with him, Asirpa tells Sugimoto not to tell her not to do things anymore. Instead, he should be thinking of things they can be doing together in the future.
On the boat, Sugimoto tells Shiraishi that he’s heard both him and Asirpa, and has decided to believe in her as she tries to protect the Ainu the best way she knows. He knows that this will be a far more difficult path than simply killing their way to the gold.
Asirpa, meanwhile, withholds the secret of the code to Sugimoto, believing that will keep him with her. Where he was once so obsessed with protecting her that he wanted to keep her out of the search for the gold entirely, now she is determined to be a “powerful shield” for him.
Our pals manage to encounter a group of Ainu on a wooden boat who take them the rest of the way to Hokkaido, but days after they fled Karafuto, Ogata manages to steal the dead soldier’s uniform and gun, along with some salted cod, and tells a sob story about coming home after being wounded in the war that the ferry captain eats right up. Always good to see Ogata lucid and focused.