Trickster Fox is the twelfth episode of the Golden Kamuy anime series and the final of Season 1.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

After the explosion in Sapporo World Hotel, Asirpa suggests they stay at her relative's kotan. In the Ainu village Sugimoto's group meets a strange fortune-teller, who seems to know something about them and their futures.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Toshizou Hijikata and Shinpachi Nagakura arrive in Barato, where they are immediately engaged in a fight. Hijikata shoots his attacker, blowing his hand away. Yamamoto, the local barber, closes the doors to his barbershop and gets back to his customer, commenting on how Barato used to be run by the Hidoro clan, which is now at war with Umakichi Kusuda, who used to be one of their own men. The barber assumes his customer is a bodyguard and wonders which side he is going to pick. The customer asks him whether he has seen men with strange tattoos and watches as Hijikata and Nagakura pass by the window of the barbershop. Hijikata meets the man's gaze, who turns out to be Hyakunosuke Ogata.

In Sapporo, Yoshitake Shiraishi passes a copy of Kazuo Henmi's tattoo to Tatsuma Ushiyama. Ushiyama asks Shiraishi to come with him and leads him to a room he has rented, where Kano Ienaga is recovering after the explosion of her hotel. Shiraishi is in disbelief, wondering why Ushiyama rescued Ienaga and if he truly is in love with her. Ushiyama cuts him off and tells Ienaga to share what she knows with Shiraishi. In the meantime, Asirpa, Saichi Sugimoto, and Kiroranke are looking for survivors in the debris of the hotel ruins. Kiroranke says that the fire department and the police didn't report any causalities, and the bodies of Ienaga's previous victims were buried underneath the rubble. Asirpa holds on to the fish cake she found earlier and hopes that Ienaga and Ushiyama made it out alive. Kiroranke laments that Shiraishi lost the explosives they bought and now they need to find money to buy more. Asirpa suggests they visit a kotan in Naganuma where she has relatives; there, they can hunt and earn money that way.

Inkarmat Episode 12 3.png

In Naganuma, Asirpa manages to catch a cironnup, a northern fox, in a trap. Asirpa explains how the trap works and that the Ainu have a legend in which red-pelt foxes do bad things to people, and that's why they are called ikkakar cironnup — trickster foxes. Shiraishi seems excited about selling the fox pelt and buying sake with the money, but Sugimoto scolds him for losing the explosives, saying that if it weren't for him, they wouldn't have to hunt now. Kiroranke then reveals that in Sapporo Shiraishi also borrowed money from Asirpa and then lost them while gambling at the races. Asirpa is furious with Shiraishi and hits him with a sutu while Sugimoto puts the bucket trap on his head.

Asirpa introduces others to Huci's younger brother, who lets them stay in his cise for tonight. Huci's brother tells them about a strange woman who came to their kotan earlier and is staying there now. She is said to be a clairvoyant, being able to see a person's past and future. The woman then walks up to the group, and Huci's brother reveals that her name is Inkarmat. Shiraishi is swayed by Inkarmat's looks and attempts to flirt with her. Inkarmat comments on his bleeding head, then says she has a weakness for men with scars, complimenting Sugimoto on his appearance and making him blush. The woman guesses the group came from Otaru and insists that she can see that they're searching for someone. Shiraishi is shocked by her clairvoyance powers, while Asirpa remains skeptical.

Inkarmat explains that she is a fortune-teller, a niouk, and that the Ainu people often come to her for help. She takes out a fox skull, Sirakki Kamuy, a skull of a white fox that is used for fortune-telling and is passed down in families for generations. Inkarmat elaborates on her divination method: the fortune-teller puts the lower jaw on their head and drops it, then predicts the future judging by the position of the skull, with teeth facing up being a good sign, and teeth facing down being a bad sign respectively. Inkarmat offers to predict the group's fortune and drops the skull from her head — it falls downwards, and she says that it's a bad sign. Asirpa is not impressed by it, saying she is a new kind of Ainu woman and she doesn't believe in fortune-telling. Inkarmat smiles and asks if it's Asirpa's father they're looking for. As she leaves, Asirpa calls her an ikkakar cironnup. Kiroranke translates for Huci's brother, saying that Inkarmat's predictions turned out to be very accurate and that the villagers would shower her with gifts for it. Shiraishi is seen deep in thoughts as he hears it. The next morning Asirpa tells Sugimoto that Shiraishi is missing, but Kiroranke says he knows where the man went.

Shiraishi and Inkarmat are at Naganuma Racetrack, making bets on the horses with the help of Inkarmat's fortune-telling. Inkarmats offers Shiraishi to buy an ekaeka from her, a talisman that will protect him from bad fortune. The horse Shiraishi bet on wins, so the man continues gambling and buying all sorts of amulets from Inkarmat, hoping it will bring him luck. Asirpa, Kiroranke, and Sugimoto find the two at the racetrack, furious with Shiraishi running away to gamble when he owes money to Asirpa. Shiraishi waves it off and smugly throws the money at Sugimoto, angering Asirpa who hits him with a sutu again. Asirpa realizes Shiraishi was using Inkarmat's fortune-telling for races and warns him not to trust her. While they argue Kiroranke observes the horses on the racetrack and comments that the winning horse must be either number 3 or 4. Shiraishi wonders if Kiroranke can also predict the future, to which Kiroranke replies that he grew up riding horses and knows a lot about them, so much that during the Russo-Japanese War he was allowed to take care of combat engineer's horses. Inkarmat agrees that number 3 must win, so Shiraishi bets his money on it.

Kiroranke picks up a jockey's cap off the ground and puts it on his head. He is then approached by two men who mistake him for a jockey named Takasaki. The men explain that the jockey they are looking for has run off and now they need someone to replace him. One of the men asks if Kiroranke can ride a horse, and the other tells him that the owner of the horse wanted the jockey to cheat and that's why he ran away. The horse owner is a yakuza boss who wants an unpopular horse to win the race, and the men say there will be dire consequences if they don't comply. Kiroranke then sees two other men hold another horse, forcing a rubber hose up the horse's nose and inserting stimulants in it. As he hears of the abuse the horses on the racetrack go through, Kiroranke scowls.

Kiroranke Episode 12 23.png

Dressed in jockey's outfit and with his face clean shaved, Kiroranke walks up to Asirpa and others and asks them to bet on him, choosing number 3. However, when Inkarmat performs her fortune-telling, Sirakki Kamuy says that number 3 can't win. Asirpa tells Shiraishi to stop it, insisting that fortune-telling is for those who don't know what to do, and she is certain of her journey. Inkarmat announces that number 6 will win and Shiraishi excitedly wants to bet everything on it. Sugimoto stops him, so he gives they money to Inkarmat, asking her to bet for him. Asirpa follows Inkarmat, and Sugimoto forces Shiraishi on the ground. Shiraishi questions how much money Sugimoto needs, insisting that there's no need to risk their lives looking for the gold if they can get rich here. Sugimoto is angered by the implications and states he wouldn't let Asirpa down like that. Inkarmat wonders if Asirpa would prefer Shiraishi to lose the money, as if those men get rich they won't need to help her anymore. Inkarmat comments on Asirpa's eyes, saying they're just like her father's, then throws the tickets in Asirpa's face and runs away.

The race starts, and Kiroranke is immediately hit with another jockey's whip. However, he quickly regains his senses and takes the lead. Asirpa looks at the tickets and realizes one of them bet on Kiroranke's horse. Shiraishi groans that he is going to lose while Sugimoto cheers on Kiroranke, who then comes first. After his victory Kiroranke joins the others, saying they need to leave as the yakuza boss must be looking for him. He wonders where Shiraishi is, and Sugimoto points at the man who is clearly having a mental breakdown.

In Barato the showdown between the fighting clans has come to its end — the streets are covered with dead bodies lying on the ground. Hijikata and Nagakura walk into a building to acquire a tattooed skin, but instead they meet Ogata who has already found it. Ogata offers his service as a bodyguard to Hijikata and hands him the tattooed skin.

Sugimoto's group is back in Huci's brother's kotan, getting ready to continue they journey. Shiraishi says he has something interesting to share and retells what Ienaga told him earlier. A month ago a man came to Ienaga's hotel. The man turned out to be a thief and he told Ienaga of a strange thing he saw in a house he snuck into in Yubari: taxidermized human mounts and a skin with tattoos that didn't look like yakuza's. Shiraishi suggests they should follow this lead, and so the group heads out to Yubari.

Tsurumi Episode 12 4.png

Late at night in Yubari, Tokushirou Tsurumi and Hajime Tsukishima are setting an ambush at the cemetery, waiting for a grave robber. Tsurumi asks Tsukishima to keep an eye on the fresh grave that was dug yesterday. Tsurumi expects the grave robber to appear, taking their bait. Kouhei Nikaidou distracts Tsurumi, saying his ear looks just like Youhei's and asks Tsurumi to give him his left ear. As they talk, the grave robber appears and Tsukishima alerts Tsurumi. Nikaidou steps on a branch and the noise scares the grave robber away. Tsukishima and Nikaidou follow the man, while Tsurumi picks up a glove the robber dropped. Tsurumi puts on the glove that looks like it's made out of human skin and smiles excitedly, planning to visit the escapee soon.

Adapted Chapters[edit | edit source]

Character Appearances[edit | edit source]

Tattooed Skins[edit | edit source]

Sugimoto's Group 7th Division Hijikata's Group Skins found
5 1 6 10/24

Hijikata's Group in Barato, Sugimoto's Group in Naganuma, 7th Division in Yubari

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode 12 has an associated gallery here.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The story Ienaga tells Shiraishi is different from the one she tells in the manga. In the manga, Ienaga mentions having two male guests, a middle-aged man and a younger man. After locking the younger man in the basement and torturing him, she learns that the older man is a tattooed prisoner too.

External Links[edit | edit source]

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