If there is one anime I hope you all have watched this past season it is Golden Kamuy. This anime by Geno Studio game out in April and has really blown me away with its blend of history, action, and comedy. There aren’t any spoilers so feel free to read this before watching the anime. In fact, my reason for writing this should help you understand the motivation behind several of the characters.
So for those of you who have not read my Lime-iro Senkitan post, the Russo-Japanese war (1905-1905) was a war between Russia and Japan over controlling influence on mainland Asia. The nexus of this war revolves around Port Arthur which was under the control of the Russians. Japan launched a surprise naval attack on the port and later blockaded it. This set the stage for the land battle to overtake the port. The problem the Japanese ran into was that there were two hills overlooking the port that the Russians had heavily fortified. These hills were (incorrectly) labeled 203 Meter Hill. The Japanese had to take the hills before they could take the port. The first Japanese assault on September 20th resulted in over 6,000 casualties and decimated the 3rd division. It wasn’t until troops from the 7th division arrived that they tried another assault. After extensive sapping and artillery, the newly arrived troops from the 7th were ordered to charge 203 Meter Hill with General Yamagata knowing that they would suffer incredible losses. On December 5th the Japanese finally took control of 203 Meter Hill but the cost was high. Almost the entire 7th division was lost in the assault.
So, for those of you who have seen the anime I hope this sheds some light on why the characters with ties to the 7th are motivated to do what they do. For those of you who have not seen this amazing anime, keep this event in mind when watching.