WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 2 of Golden Kamuy Season 3, “Stenka,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.
The second episode of Golden Kamuy's third season is all about slugging it out and being manly! It’s almost like the absence of Asirpa is bringing out Sugimoto’s latent violence, although in a slightly comedic manner. Other than Sugimoto bringing out the big guns, we also get to see exactly what’s up with the new tattooed prisoner's fetishes... and Cikapasi learns the true meaning of "boner."
Sugimoto Goes Berserker
In this second round of shirtless stenka fisticuffs, Sugimoto planned to go all-out on the tattooed ex-con Gansoku. However, he takes too many hits to the head and completely loses his mind. In his unconscious rage, Sugimoto not only starts punching everyone around him but accidentally gives away that he’s there for the tattooed map and the gold. Believing he was only there to use him, Gansoku runs away, hurt.
In the end, Sugimoto finally comes to his senses after fighting with a naked Gansoku in the snow, who figures out that Sugimoto’s anger is actually directed towards himself for losing Asirpa. Although Gansoku’s affinity for being punched is admittedly a bit deviant, this moment is one of genuine sympathy. Tsukishima, worried about Sugimoto’s brain damage, tries to stop the fight but instead breaks the ice they were standing on and dunks everyone into below-freezing water. Luckily, this not only breaks up the fight but also brings Sugimoto back to his senses. Phew!
A Kinky Sauna Fight For Gansoku
You might be wondering how and why Gansoku ended up in the nude. Well, he was in a banya, (Russian sauna) having a hot and steamy whipping session with Tsukishima, Koito and Tanigaki. They're trying to get him to surrender, though it isn't working as they thought. If this sounds strangely kinky, it’s because it is: Gansoku is filled with joy as he goads the soldiers into whacking him. His fetish for fighting does get explained, though.
Due to a twisted upbringing, he comes to only want to understand others through punching, which landed him in jail. However, this actually worked in his favor: he thoroughly enjoyed both winning and losing prison fights, and low-key fell in love with the powerful Ushiyama. It only makes sense that he also came to love the violence of stenka as well.
Cikapasi Shows His Bravery
While all of this drama is going on, Cikapasi and Enonoka set out to retrieve their lead dog on their own. Although Cikapasi fails to use a stick to steal the keys, he gets the guard to walk into a trap, knocking him out cold. After they escape with the dog sled, however, they have an unfortunate reunion with the wolverine. Shaking with fear, Cikapasi fails to load the gun in time.
However, Tanigaki -- buck naked and still steaming from the sauna -- comes to the rescue. He guides Cikapasi’s hands and instructs him to shoot, successfully killing the wolverine. As a callback to the old Matagi hunter, Tanigaki explains to Cikapasi that this successful one-shot kill is what a “boner” is. At this moment, Cikapasi’s name (which literally means, to have an erection) might have taken on new meaning, alluding to a future in hunting. It’s a big moment for a young boy.
New episodes of Golden Kamuy premiere Mondays at 8:00 AM PST on Crunchyroll.