Ani Nekko (阿仁根っ子, Ani Nekko) is the eighteenth episode of the Golden Kamuy anime series.
In Hitomai, Tanigaki, who is travelling with Inkarmat and Cikapasi, heads to the post office to receive a telegram. He tells Cikapasi that while they were in Yubari he sent a telegram to Huci in Otaru. Now there must be an answer from Makanakkuru, who used to work with the Japanese and knows how to write and read. In the telegram it says "Huci is making raikurushiyuku". Upon hearing this, Inkarmat explains that Raykur Siyuk is a burial shroud that an elderly Ainu makes when they feel their death is coming. Cikapasi mentions that Huci would always take care of him and say that children are sacred for the Ainu. Inkarmat adds that when an Ainu dies, their relatives and loved ones must perform a ritual so they can pass to the afterlife. Tanigaki promises Cikapasi that he will bring back Asirpa to Huci and cheer her up. Tanigaki once again thinks of Huci but then remembers something else about his own past.
- Months ago, at the 7th Division barracks in Otaru, Tanigaki asked Tokushirou Tsurumi if he ever heard of food called kanemochi — an Ani Matagi emergency ration. When Matagi go to the mountains they take two kanemochi with them: one round, representing the sun, and one oval, representing the moon. Tsurumi said he had never tried it, so Tanigaki explained the recipe in detail and that each Matagi village had its own unique way of preparing kanemochi. Tanigaki then revealed to Tsurumi that he created his own kanemochi, but there was a Matagi who found out about it when they were hunting a wild goat with a group.
- Tanigaki and another Matagi, Kenkichi Aoyama, played the role of seko — they drove the prey into the riflemen's sights. When following the goat, Tanigaki and Kenkichi were caught in a storm. They sought refuge in a cave but couldn't leave it for days because of the blizzard. When supplies started to run out, Tanigaki offered his kanemochi to Kenkichi. Upon eating, Kenkichi realized that Tanigaki had mixed something to the mochi. He asked Tanigaki what was the ingredient but then guessed himself that it were walnuts. Tanigaki asked Kenkichi to not tell his father about it, which made the two men laugh. Kenkichi then promised that they both were going to get out alive. Once the storm calmed down, Kenkichi and Tanigaki made it out safely and returned to their village. Kenkichi married Tanigaki's younger sister Fumi and they became in-laws. Fumi and Kenkichi moved to village in the mountains and lived peacefully.
- One day, when Tanigaki was cooking kanemochi, his older brother came in from outside with a panic on his face and said only one word, "Fumi". Shocked, Tanigaki ran to Fumi and Kenkichi's house but found the hut burnt down. Inside, Tanigaki saw Fumi's charred remains. He noticed a stab wound on her heart and Kenkichi's masuke, a Matagi short blade, lying nearby. Tanigaki grabbed the masuke and ran to Kenkichi's parents and demanded they tell him where he was. However, Kenkichi was nowhere to be found. Later Tanigaki heard a rumor of Kenkichi joining the 7th Division in Hokkaido and decided to follow him. Tanigaki's father asked him to stay and not abandon Ani and his life for revenge while Tanigaki's mother silently cried. Furious, Tanigaki declared he couldn't just let Fumi's killer live and that he would never return home. Tanigaki looked for Kenkichi in the army, but to no avail. Just before the war started, Tanigaki got a letter from his brother, in which he learned that his mother had died. Fumi's brutal death and Tanigaki abandoning his homeland damaged her health, so she died shortly.
- During the Siege of Port Arthur, Tanigaki saw a haggard soldier in the trenches. When Tanigaki examined the man's appearance, he realized he was a member of White Sash Brigade, a survivor of the last night's suicide attack. The man asked Tanigaki if he had any food, so Tanigaki offered the soldier a kanemochi. The man asked if it was some Akita meal, surprising Tanigaki. The soldier then explained that he had realized it was Akita by the way Tanigaki said the word "eat" in Akita dialect which a private from his division spoke. As the soldier told him more about the Akita man, Tanigaki realized that he found Kenkichi, his little sister's murderer.
- As the Battle of 203 Meter Hill continued, Tanigaki couldn't proceed with his plan. The Japanese troupes fought off Russians and pushed them further off. So the Russian soldiers invented a new strategy: they'd attach grenades to their bodies and jump into Japanese trenches, taking out up to 10 people at once. One of such Russians charged at Tanigaki's trench, but a Japanese soldier jumped out and tackled him. In that moment Tanigaki recognized the soldier as Kenkichi. His wounds were severe, but he was still alive. Kneeling over dying Kenkichi, Tanigaki took out his masuke and prepared to avenge his sister. Hyakunosuke Ogata, who was nearby, told Tanigaki that Kenkichi's eardrums probably had been destroyed so there was no use talking to him. When Keknichi drew his breath and said "Fumi", Tanigaki froze; the battle reached a stalemate and everything became quiet.
- Tanigaki dropped his weapon and asked his friend why he had killed his sister. However, Kenkichi couldn't recognize Tanigaki because of his injuries; without being able to see or hear, he could only ask the stranger to tell a message to a man named Tanigaki from Ani, in Akita. Kenkichi retold Tanigaki a story of how he and Fumi married and started living together happily. But one day Fumi became sick with smallpox. The illness progressed, and Fumi was dying. In her final moments she asked Kenkichi to not tell her family about the sickness. She also asked him to leave her, but Kenkichi couldn't bring himself to do that. Moreover, he knew that if anyone finds out about Fumi's illness, the villagers will shun the Tanigaki family and refuse to hunt with them. So it was decided that Kenkichi had to kill Fumi and leave the village. When he did, he spent the rest of his days bearing the guilt of killing the woman he loved. Finished listening to Kenkichi's story, Tanigaki took out the kanemochi he had on him and fed some to Kenkichi, who recognized the mochi he had tried years ago. Kenkichi realized that Tanigaki heard his confession and died contented.
- Tanigaki concluded his story to Tsurumi and said that, unlike Kenkichi, he still hadn't found a role in his life and couldn't go back to Ani to face his father and brother. Tsurumi replied that Tanigaki was the man he needed, then asked him to prepare his special kanemochi.
In the present, Tanigaki looks up in the sky, lost in thought. His group has reached the Kushiro marshes, and Cikapasi notices Asirpa in the distance. Sugimoto, Shiraishi, and Ogata watch as Asirpa is dancing sarorun-rimse, a crane dance. Ogata alerts their group that someone is coming, and Asirpa recognizes Inkarmat, Cikapasi, and Tanigaki.
- Saichi Sugimoto
- Yoshitake Shiraishi
- Hyakunosuke Ogata
- Kiroranke (Mentioned)
- Genjirou Tanigaki
- Huci (Mentioned)
- Makanakkuru (Mentioned)
- Tokushirou Tsurumi (Flashback)
- Houzou Tamai (Flashback)
- Naoaki Noma (Flashback)
- Kenkichi Aoyama (Flashback) (Debut)
- Fumi Aoyama (Flashback) (Debut)
- Kennosuke Mishima (Flashback)
- Hajime Tsukishima (Flashback)
- Kazuo Maeyama (Flashback)
- Fumio Okada (Flashback)
- Kouhei Nikaidou (Flashback)
- Youhei Nikaidou (Flashback)
|Sugimoto's Group||7th Division||Hijikata's Group||Skins found|
|6||7 (5 fake, 2 real)||7||12/24|
|Season 1||01 • 02 • 03 • 04 • 05 • 06 • 07 • 08 • 09 • 10 • 11 • 12|
|Season 2||13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24|
|Season 3||25 • 26 • 27 • 28 • 29 • 30 • 31 • 32 • 33 • 34 • 35 • 36|
|OVA||OVA 1 • OVA 2 • OVA 3 • OVA 4|
|ONA||Golden Douga Gekijou|