Golden Kamuy is one of spring’s most anticipated series.
It’s an adaptation of Satoru Noda’s best-selling adventure series, which follows Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi Sugimoto and an Ainu girl named Asirpa searching for a stash of hidden gold. Asirpa wishes to avenge her father’s death while Saichi wants to earn enough money to save his dead friend’s wife.
Manga and anime are rarely set during the Meiji Era and it’s even rarer for the Ainu people to be represented in media. All of this paired with Noda’s great art and storytelling had fans hyped.
ppl going into the Golden Kamuy anime w/o any prior knowledge of it: pic.twitter.com/Wb686fEFxC
— fullmiddle malcolmist (@blakasmoko) March 30, 2018
— santhony chantano (@SantanaelChan) April 6, 2018
ok since golden kamuy is coming out tomorrow allow me to share the most sugimoto vine that exists https://t.co/Uz8RXLlxcT
— mar (@zippermar) April 8, 2018
Ah yes, Golden Kamuy is famous for its bears – which terrorizes and brutally kills unsuspecting characters.
Noda’s bears are drawn in a highly detailed fashion that stands out from the rest of the art, which is used to visualize the terror characters feel when facing the animals.
The anime used CGI, and it has been receiving backlash from fans.
me about an hour ago: PLEASE WATCH GOLDEN KAMUY
me after seeing 3D bear: PLEASE READ GOLDEN KAMUY
— rii abrego🐀 (@riibrego) April 9, 2018
The CG really clashes with the composite in Golden Kamuy…it's too harsh pic.twitter.com/6nbwkkQgG2
— YonkouProductions (@YonkouProd) April 9, 2018
Golden Kamuy fans right now. pic.twitter.com/wkfnsDBnMn
— DasTier (@DasTier92) April 9, 2018
Please tell me this isn't real. Don't do this, golden kamuypic.twitter.com/vM5A8Hu20T
— Jet, sometimes I (@overlord_jet) April 9, 2018
It sucks that the CGI bear has soured Golden Kamuy for some. I thought there were a lot of great moments in this episode that had nothing to do with CG. pic.twitter.com/BXF6EAGQZh
— triodug (@totallyNOTtrio) April 9, 2018
Apparently people are finding the CGI in Golden Kamuy to be un-bear-able pic.twitter.com/RTMNQK1CBK
— Chris Schultz (@theraggedyman) April 9, 2018
— ming (@jaestiy) April 9, 2018
— DOONA♡ (@DoonaDraws) April 9, 2018
How many more bears are going to appear in Golden Kamuy?
— A scoop of Vinhilla (@Vinhilla_Ice) April 10, 2018
something something golden kamuy pic.twitter.com/W2JNyWV5m6
— Sunshine Moon🏳️🌈 (@SunshineMoonRX) April 9, 2018
The negative reaction was so strong that director Hitoshi Nanba had to issue a statement. Basically, CGI was used to make the bears feel other-worldly and mimicking Noda’s detailed art proved too challenging. You can read his statement below:
“Since I wanted the bear to emanate a different presence than the humans, I undertook the challenge of visualizing the bear as giving an unusual atmosphere using 3D. It’s because when the animation is hand-drawn, we can feel the emotions of the artist in the show; it’s also difficult to draw the fur sufficiently like in the original work. However, if we purely only use 3D to make the bear, there will appear to be parts that do not blend with the surroundings, so we’re still trying to figure out how to fit it all.”
Other fans weren’t letting a few CGI bears ruin their view of the anime’s debut, and others felt people were over-reacting to the criticism.
Me sliding up to everyone at work to tell them how lit the Golden Kamuy anime is pic.twitter.com/nnHRTY6LS2
— 1800-r-u-slappin (@BluntLegion) April 10, 2018
— Wen Kamui (@YorozuyaBoss) April 9, 2018
*sees one CG bear in Golden Kamuy*
Everyone: Yep, definitely a contender for worse anime of the season. No. Of the year.
— Colton (I think I’m good???) (@sniperking323) April 9, 2018
Besides the Bear, the rest of Golden Kamuy anime is a good adaptation and has a solid production(besides that bear lol), but this is a case where you should Read the Manga and Watch the Anime(just for the full experience)
— Jay-Kun (@TheWireSopranos) April 9, 2018
So far, Golden Kamuy has been scoring praise for its unique setting and the chemistry between the two leads. The interactions between Sugimoto and Asirpa will warm viewer’s hearts and hopefully introduce the international community to the Ainu people.