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FEATURE: What You Need to Know Before Golden Kamuy Season 4

Golden Kamuy

The adventures of Sugimoto and Asirpa continue with the fourth season of Golden Kamuy. Nearly two years since Geno Studio’s Season 3, the anime adaptation of Satoru Noda’s manga is now spearheaded by In/Spectre’s Brain’s Base.

A lot has happened over the course of 36 episodes and now that the new season is here, here’s what you need to know about key events and characters.


The Hunt for Gold

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Rumor has it, there’s a huge amount of gold hidden in some mysterious, unknown location… but there are clues if you know where to find them.

The gold belonged to the Ainu people, who sought to finance and build an army to fight against those who seized their land (the Japanese). Someone killed those who guarded the gold and stashed it somewhere. This person was sentenced to death and detained in Abashiri Prison, the most heavily guarded prison in Japan.

He couldn’t get a letter out to his comrades to inform them of the treasure’s location so he tattooed his fellow death row inmates’ backs, offering them half of the gold. The prisoners managed to escape, and the hunt for the treasure began from every side.


Who’s After the Gold?


golden kamuy


Saichi Sugimoto

A soldier known as Sugimoto the Immortal because he survives just about any deadly situation he finds himself in. Stabbing? Gunshot? Torture? A vicious attack from a bear? War? He survived them all.

His journey begins when he returns from the Russo-Japanese War determined to fund treatment for the failing eyes of his late friend’s wife. Working as a hunter does not provide enough money, so fate leads him to the gold rumor. He becomes convinced when he actually sees one of the prisoners’ tattoos and sets out to search for the rest of the tattoos in hopes to find the treasure. On the way, he encounters…

golden kamuy


A huntress known as the beloved daughter of the Ainu. Despite her young age, she possesses a wealth of knowledge in everything related to hunting, travel and Ainu culture.

Asirpa’s goal is to find her father’s killer. She believes her father’s Ainu name, Horkew Oskoni (catching up to the wolf) is related to the tattoos and that he was one of the Ainu who guarded the gold so she agrees to join Sugimoto in search of the treasure.

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Shiraishi Yoshitake

Shiraishi Yoshitake aka The Escape King because no matter where he’s imprisoned, he “will escape it like smoke.” As one of the tattooed Abashiri prisoners, he agrees to help Sugimoto and Asirpa’s in exchange for a share of the gold.

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Tsurumi Tokushiro

The First Lieutenant of the 7th Division of the Japanese Army, Tsurumi Tokushiro has a shrewd personality with exceptional skills in seduction and manipulation, which allows him to recruit an elite group of soldiers to help him seek out the gold to obtain weapons and build an independent military force under his rule.

He’s a strange character whose unpredictably violent behavior could be erratic more often than not due to suffering a brain injury which explains the plate on his forehead.


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Ogata Hyakunosuke

Ogata’s purpose for obtaining the gold is unclear, he seems to work alone and his loyalty lies with himself. He believes that no one is pure, which is fitting considering how many people he’s betrayed during his time on the show.

He was part of the 7th Division before betraying Tsurumi and joining Sugimoto’s group… which he also betrayed by killing Noppera-bo and unsuccessfully attempting to take Sugimoto’s life. Ogata lured Asirpa away from Sugimoto and tried to pressure her with manipulation to tell him how to decipher the tattoo code. Finding this strategy to be a dead end, he tried to get her to kill him. Asirpa accidentally hits Ogata’s eye with a poisoned arrow but Sugimoto steps in to prevent his death. Ogata was taken to the hospital from which he devised a successful plan to escape, leaving his whereabouts unknown.

golden kamuy

Hijikata’s Group

Fierce Shinsengumi warriors who sought to get hold of the gold to create a republic. The group is headed by Hijikata Toshizu and includes swordsman Nagakura Shinpachi, the judo fighter Ushiyama Tatsuma, and others.


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Abashiri Prisoners

Abashiri Prison holds Japan’s most dangerous criminals, 24 of which are tattooed with clues to the whereabouts of the legendary gold treasure. So far we have seen 14 of these tattooed inmates, including The Escape King Shiraishi, the fighter Gansaku Maeharu, Hijikata, Ushiyama, and Ienaga Kano. Sugimoto and his group are actively hunting and skinning these prisoners to obtain the map and find the gold.



Who is Noppera-bo

golden kamuy

The man responsible for the prisoners’ tattoos and Asirpa’s father, Noppera-bo’s face was disfigured while he was being arrested and imprisoned in Abashiri.

Born in Karafuto Aina to a Polish father and Ainu mother, Noppera-bo’s real name was Wilk. He was one of the revolutionaries who opposed Karafuto becoming a Russian and dreamed that the ethnic minorities who lived in the Far East would come together and unite. He lived as a fugitive with two other revolutionaries after the assassination of the Russian emperor, Alexander II.

While fleeing, they met Koichi Hasegawa, who taught them the Japanese language until he discovered their past and asked them to leave immediately. Police arrive to arrest the Japanese spy who turns out to be none other than Lieutenant Tsurumi, killing his wife and daughter in the crossfire between the officers and the revolutionaries.

Wilk goes off on his own to have a family and teaches his daughter everything in the hopes that she will one day become the leader of the Ainu.


The Revolutionaries

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A Tatar-Ainu and old friend of Wilk, Kiroranke becomes an ally to Sugimoto’s group until they disperse after the attempted assassination and murder of Noppera-bo by Ogata.

He covered up for Ogata and together they lured Asirpa and Shiraishi away from Sugimoto and lied about his death. After a struggle with Tanigaki and Koito that ends with Kiroranke on the brink of death, he entrusts Asirpa with the future of the Ainu.


The head of the Russian Revolutionary Movement and a comrade of Kiroranki and Wilk. She was imprisoned in Ako Prison after their separation but Kiroranke reached out to her again through secret messages and helped her escape from prison. Their reunion was interrupted by the events that led to his death.



Where Are We Now

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After surviving Ogata’s assasination attempt, Sugimoto was forced to cooperate with the 7th Division to find Asirpa, but asks for a share of the gold and assures that he does not follow their orders but rather their interests converge — especially now that the tattooed skins are in Tsurumi’s possession.

Sugimoto and Asirpa meet again, and despite everything that happened, the quest for gold continues as Asirpa realizes finding the gold will lead them to whoever killed the Ainu — and to the truth of what happened to Wilk.

Many secrets have been revealed throughout the previous seasons but there are still answers to lingering questions, new prisoners to meet, like Botaro the Pirate who was teased in the recent visual, and much more to look forward to in the new season which you can catch right here on Crunchyroll.

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Nada Ali is the Arabic Editor at Crunchyroll.