Golden Kamuy’s Truth-Filled Ending Leads To An Inevitable Sequel For The Live-Action Adaptation

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 19, 2024 (Last updated: last month)
Image from Live- Action Golden Kamuy for ending explained
Golden Kamuy (Credit - Netflix)


A majority of the live-action Golden Kamuy was good action, morality themes, and good humor, however, the ending provided much-needed context to the story, especially for newcomers. The ending also sets up the movie for a sequel and an assumed trilogy (or more). Finding out Saichi Sugimoto’s real intention to find the gold is heartbreaking, but it also makes sense for the kind of character he is. The conclusion to the film adaptation also solidifies the war veteran’s bond with Asirpa.

The Real Reason Why Saichi Sugimoto Wants The Gold

(L-R) Kento Yamazaki as Saichi Sugimoto and Anna Yamada as Asirpa in Golden Kamuy (2024) (Credit – Netflix)

Saichi’s motives for finding the gold were unclear throughout the first two acts. All we knew was that he had a taste for killing people and that his immortality had made him a legend. The humanity in him was seen through Asirpa, the woman from the Ainu people. She insisted he did not kill anyone as part of his quest, which softened him. This suggested from the start that the character had more meaning than being a war veteran.

Near the end of Golden Kamuy, Saichi tells Asirpa the reason he needs to find the gold after escaping from the grasp of the mad First Lieutenant Tsurumi of the 7th Division and Hijikata Toshizo (a historical figure and claimed as one of the last living samurai). He explains that before the Russo-Japanese War, he had two great friends in his life, Toraji and Umeko. He was in love with Umeko, but he felt like he was cursed and that everyone close to him would get hurt. And so, he broke Umeko’s heart and distanced himself from them. Toraji ends up marrying Umeko, and Saichi gives his friend their blessing.

However, during the war, Saichi battled alongside Toraji. In an act of bravery, Toraji saved his friend’s life, ultimately leading to his death. As he dies, he tells Saichi that he needs the gold for a good doctor for Umeko. At this point, I presumed he was saying he needed a good doctor to save himself, but that was not the case. When Saichi returns home, he visits Umeko and her family to deliver the bad news.

A blind Umeko walks up to Saichi, but she does not recognize him. Saichi believes she doesn’t recognize him because of the smell of blood on his war uniform. However, this encounter makes him realize his friend needs the gold to help Umeko and her eyes. Saichi decides to live up to a promise for Toraji and Umeko, alongside his companion and platonic partner, Asirpa.

The mid-credit scenes continue to hint further about what the sequel to Golden Kamuy will be about as various parties start brewing for the hunt for the treasure, with Tsurumi and Toshizo more determined than ever. It was not a dramatic ending to the movie, as all the action took place before Saichi’s truth-telling, but it was a good conclusion to the first movie either way, and it certainly got me excited for future iterations.


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