Inside the Belly (腹の中, Hara no Naka) is the seventeenth episode of the Golden Kamuy anime series.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The mission to save Yoshitake Shiraishi from the 7th Division goes wrong when Tokushirou Tsurumi sends his Second Lieutenant to the Regiment 27's Command HQ.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Kiyohiro Suzukawa and Saichi Sugimoto, disguised as Shirosuke Inudou and his bodyguard, meet Lt. Colonel Teruchika Yodogawa. Yodogawa asks "Inudou" about his unusual bodyguard, so Suzukawa explains that Sugimoto's face was bit off by a convict named Ienaga five years ago. "Inudou" then says he wants Shiraishi transferred to Abashiri Prison. Yodogawa, who is hiding Shiraishi, denies that the prisoner is held captive in Asahikawa. "Inudou" accuses Yodogawa of lying and illegally transferring prisoners from Abashiri and letting them all escape. A soldier that has been present in the room orders another soldier of lower rank to contact Lt. Tsurumi in Otaru.

Yodogawa is taken aback when he sees the money he thinks "Inudou" offers for Shiraishi. "Inudou" reveals the money is fake and shows the plate that was confiscated from the counterfeit artist they captured prior. He explains how counterfeit money can cause chaos during war and the army might be interested in a man of such talents in the future. Sugimoto, who's been standing beside "Inudou", is amazed by Suzukawa's impostor's skills. "Inudou" offers to exchange the counterfeit artist for Shiraishi, then wonders why Yodogawa wasn't promoted to full colonel after the Russo-Japanese war. He says this could be Yodogawa's ticket to promotion, which visibly agitates the Lt. Colonel.

Tsurumi gives a telephone call to the 7th Division in Asahikawa, Regiment 27's Command HQ. He tells them to ignore Yodogawa's decisions and to keep Shiraishi away from everyone. Tsurumi shouts that if Inudou left Abashiri Prison his men there would report to him; he then orders to dispatch the Second Lt. Koito to the Command HQ. Hyakunosuke Ogata, who's been watching the events in the HQ through binoculars from the distance, notices Koito running to the building where Sugimoto and Suzukawa are.

Shiraishi is led to the room with Yodogawa and "Inudou". At first Shiraishi is confused, but then quickly realizes that it's not the actual Abashiri Warden that is standing in front of him. He recognizes Sugimoto as well and figures out they're here to take him back. Koito enters the room and tells Yodogawa that Tsurumi gave an order to not let anybody in contact with Shiraishi until his arrival. The Second Lt. ignores Yodogawa's order to leave the room and instead imitates a conversation with "Inudou" in Satsuma dialect, expecting the Warden to speak it after his days in Kabato Prison in Tsukigata. Sugimoto gets ready to draw his gun, but Suzukawa suddenly speaks in the dialect fluently, surprising Sugimoto. Koito tells "Inudou" that he heard of his love for drinking, and Suzukawa replies that he doesn't drink that much now. Koito immediately shoots both "Inudou" and Sugimoto, killing Suzukawa in one shot. The Second Lieutenant says that the real Inudou doesn't drink alcohol at all.

Furious, Yodogawa grabs the gun from the floor and aims it at Shiraishi. Koito shouts at him and tells him not to kill Shiraishi or else Lt. Tsurumi will scold them. Yodogawa pulls the trigger, but Sugimoto takes the bullet for Shiraishi and shields him with his body. He grabs Shiraishi by his collar and they both jump out of the window. Ogata then takes out a soldier that wanted to follow them and leaves his sniper spot. Outside, Sugimoto tells Shiraishi to run as Kiroranke and others are waiting for them with horses. They meet up with Ogata, who tells them they need to go the other way. Shiraishi tells Ogata that Sugimoto was shot twice. Ogata replies that he is immortal and they can only run or die. When Shiraishi insists that Sugimoto can't keep running like that, Sugimoto asks him to take Asirpa to Abashiri Prison if he doesn't make it.

The three men then see the 7th Division soldiers around a big airship, so Shiraishi suggests they steal it and escape. Ogata threatens the soldiers with his rifle while Sugimoto takes a gun from one of them. Shiraishi commands another soldier to start the engine, and they take off on the airship. The soldiers, who can't shoot because of the hydrogen in the airship, try to hold it down and not let the men escape. Koito, who's been following Sugimoto and others, runs past a soldier and takes his sabre, then climbs up the manmade pyramid of soldiers and jumps onto the airship. Hijikata's Group and Kiroranke observe the airship from the ground, confused by what's happening, while Asirpa follows them on a horse.

Sugimoto asks Ogata to give him his bayonet. Ogata warns Sugimoto that Koito fights in Jigen-ryū style and Sugimoto will be no match to him now when he was shot twice. Koito notices Ogata and is enraged. He switches to Satsuma dialect and curses Ogata, accusing him of betraying Lt. Tsurumi. Ogata replies that he doesn't understand a word he is saying, which only further angers Koito and makes him attack Sugimoto. Ogata shouts at Sugimoto to not block Koito's lunges, but it's too late. Koito continues to attack Sugimoto, but is then distracted by an arrow which was shot by Asirpa. He is then kicked off the airship by Shiraishi, who has secured himself with a rope. Koito falls down while threatening the group that Lt. Tsurumi will scold all of them. Shiraishi laughs at him, but then gets slammed into the trees, where he is caught by Asirpa. Koito, who landed in the trees, takes out a bromide of Tsurumi and sighs, groaning that First Lieutenant will be mad at him.

On the airship, Asirpa examines Sugimoto's wounds. She says that one of the bullets passed through his shoulder, but the other one is in his chest and needs to be removed. Shiraishi, still in disbelief that Sugimoto risked his life to save him, claims he could have escaped on his own. Asirpa tells Shiraishi that everyone gave up on him, and Sugimoto was the only one who wanted to save him, while Sugimoto remains silent. Shiraishi blushes and asks if it's true, to which Sugimoto replies that he knows Shiraishi will help them in Abashiri and that he believes in him, prompting Shiraishi to bashfully smile. However, Sugimoto adds that he remembered something: he realized that the old man in the herring longhouse was Toshizou Hijikata and that Shiraishi was working with him all this time. Terrified and reminded of his nightmare, Shiraishi tries to escape from the airship, but Sugimoto tells him to wait and shows the copy of Kazuo Henmi's tattoo that he got from Hijikata. Sugimoto reveals he recognized the copy as a fake so Shiraishi never betrayed them in the first place.

Sometime later, the airship engine stops working, so the group has to rely on the wind that carries them. They fly past a cliff, and Asirpa calls it Pawci casi, "village where Pawci Kamuy live". She explains that Pawci Kamuy are malicious sex demons that possess people and make them undress and start dancing; Shiraishi laughs upon hearing it. Once they reach the ground, Sugimoto says they must be 40 kilometers away from the 7th Division HQ. However, Ogata says he saw soldiers following them on horses. He urges them to move forward, but Asirpa wants to treat Sugimoto's wounds first; she brings retannoya, alpine yarrow, to stop the bleeding. Sugimoto comments that Koito shot him with Type 26 revolver which is incredibly weak and can't kill a man like him; it did kill Suzukawa, however. Asirpa, who just learned of Suzukawa's death, is visibly worried.

The group travels further to the mountains. The 7th Division soldiers finally catch up with them, and Ogata notices them from afar with his binoculars. He tells the others they need to cross the Daisetsuzan mountains to escape the chase. In the mountains, the weather worsens. The cold and the harsh wind cause Shiraishi to act strange under the effects of hypothermia. Ogata tells others to look for shelter, and Asirpa notices a group of bucks. She orders Sugimoto to shoot three of them, but Ogata kills the animals faster, getting two in one shot. Asirpa explains they need to skin the bucks and hide in their carcasses. Meanwhile, Shiraishi runs naked and laughs; Asirpa says he is possessed by Pawci Kamuy and leaves to return him while Ogata and Sugimoto skin the deer. Sugimoto then finds Shiraishi lying with two yuks carcasses, so he follows Asirpa. The wind grows stronger, but Sugimoto keeps calling out to Asirpa. Finally, they reunite, but now they can't go back to Ogata and Shiraishi because of the weather. Asirpa notices a lone yuk and Sugimoto shoots it. After skinning the animal, they hide inside its carcass.

Asirpa asks Sugimoto if his wounds hurt, but he says he will be better by tomorrow. She then asks him about Suzukawa and how he died. Sugimoto states that Suzukawa was a bad man and bad men don't have human hearts. As those men feel less pain than normal people, they don't deserve sympathy and Asirpa shouldn't worry about it. Asirpa gets angry upon hearing this, accusing Sugimoto of treating her like a child. However, Sugimoto replies that it's what he used to tell himself during the war. He convinced himself that the enemy were not human like them. "On the battlefield, you need to destroy yourself and become someone else if you want to fight", he says. Asirpa wonders if anyone was able to return to their past selves after the war ended. Sugimoto answers there must be people like that, and that maybe returning home to your family can get back the "old you" that way. However, there are people who could never go back to normal after returning to Japan — their hearts are still on the battlefield.

Sugimoto notices that Asirpa is eating something and she offers him deer liver, saying he needs it to recover from his blood loss. Asirpa wants to eat the brains too, but they will have to wait until the wind stops. Sugimoto comments on Asirpa's love for brains, and she asks him what his favourite food is. He replies that it's dried persimmons, then realizes there are no persimmon trees in Hokkaido. Sugimoto says he hasn't eaten it in years, with the last time being before he left for the war. Asirpa asks why he never had any when he came back, and he somberly replies that it was spring and there weren't any persimmons yet. As they lie together, Asirpa asks Sugimoto if eating dried persimmons again will let him go back to who he was before the war. Overcome with memories of his old peaceful life and the people he loved, Sugimoto cries. Asirpa asks Sugimoto to take her to his homeland once the gold hunt is over so she can try dried persimmons too.

Adapted Chapters[edit | edit source]

Character Appearances[edit | edit source]

Tattooed Skins[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode 17 has an associated gallery here.


External Links[edit | edit source]

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