Gintama (2013) 4 and 5 review (spoilers if you haven’t seen the episodes yet)

If you break it, you have to swallow a thousand needles!

MAH BAD!  Was sort of busy last week and didn’t have the time to do the 4th review for Gintama, so to make up for my folly, I’m doing a 2 for 1 review for you guys.

I promise you there was a donut there

I promise you there was a donut there

Goddamnit Sorachi, quit making new characters that I love

Goddamnit Sorachi, quit making new characters for me to love.

Starting off with last week’s episode, we saw the battle between our Furious Five and the Shogunate reach its climax when the Shinsengumi and Mimawarigumi enter the fray and under the orders of the current Shogun Shige Shige.  With the arrival of both police forces, our heroes have now turned the tide against the plans of Sada Sada and Oboro, and are chasing them down.  First off, Gintoki needs to get on his feet, so Iseboro helps out by shooting him.  …Wait, what?  Oh, it’s a syringe gun with the antidote for the poison.  I gotcha, Good Guy Iseboro.

Hey that antidote really did the trick there!

Hey, that antidote really did the trick there!

With his plans foiled and his arrest apparent, Sada Sada decides to go to Yoshiwara and finish off Tsuzuran for good.  However, Gintoki, Nobume and Tsukyo have caught them right where they want them and the final fight between Gintoki and Oboro takes place.

Yeah, that's Norio Wakamoto's character.  All the more reason for you to watch this show.

Yeah, that’s Norio Wakamoto’s character. All the more reason for you to watch this show.

Shige Shige steppin it up!

Shige Shige steppin it up!

Flashy fight sequences, yo!  After some well-timed moves and sheer willpower, Gintoki overpowers Oboro as the winner, while Nobume sabotages Sada Sada’s getaway ship and Tsukyo corners Sada Sada.  All seems well and good, but Sada Sada isn’t deterred for some reason because he still seems to have something up his sleeve.

WTF OWWW

WTF OWWW

Turns out that old raccoon is hoping that Tendoshu, who just arrived with their own ships, will come and protect him.  Not if Shige Shige has something to say about it!  Turns out the guy knows what he’s talking about and knows what is at stake.  He pretty much tells off the Tendoshu and says that “they” will handle their own criminals because it is “Samurai Country.”  Not bad, Shige Shige.  Normally he gets treated badly and has bad luck in all the other episodes he appears in, but I’ll give him props this time for handling his business.  He even GARs up and offers his resignation for failing to keep his uncle in check, meaning that with no one from the Tokugawa family acting as Shogun, Sada Sada loses all the influence he had built up, has no real power anymore AND the Tendoshu lose their puppet to control the nation. With all that said and done, Shige Shige is still kept around as Shogun for the time being, until the Tendoshu figure out how to clean up Sada Sada’s mess.  That’s because the influence of the Tendoshu starts to wane a bit with the loss of Sada Sada and the shift in power heads towards the Hitotsubashi faction.  You should recall them as the group that challenged Sada Sada’s influence in the Bakufu and thus was killing off their members.

Pretty tall order for Gintoki
Pretty tall order for Gintoki but he manages to pull it off.

As to what happened to Sada Sada?  Well, he’s locked up for the time being, but the Tendoshu planned on trying to use him in some other way.  However, karma is a bitch.  Thinking that he’s about to be released from his cell, Sada Sada starts a monologue where “I can’t be judged by anyone because I am absolute!”  Well, something along those lines.  Well, too bad for him, someone by the name of TAKASUGI comes along to murk his ass!  That’s right, the series’ actual bad guy makes his appearance and finishes off Sada Sada as part of ohis wn revenge for the loss of his teacher, Shouyo.

One of those "I just wanna see the world burn types."

One of those “I just wanna see the world burn” types.

(Yeah if you didn’t know by now, Gintoki, Katsura and Takasugi were all students of Shouyo, but Takasugi went off the deep end after the Joui rebellion.)

Now, what does this all mean for the Yorozuya going forward?  Hard to say, but I can say that the battle between Gintoki and Takasugi is inevitable.  In fact, the roles of the major characters will be questionable.  Just speculation, but the allegiances of the Shinsengumi guys will be tested because as you saw, Kondo and the gang aren’t exactly that thrilled to be the lap dogs of the Bakufu due to their own sense of justice, and Hijikata and Sougo serve in the Shinsengumi because of their devotion to Kondo.  That makes Kondo a bigger player in the power struggle because the Shinsengumi will only act on Kondo’s word, the lovable oaf.  Iseboro said before in a previous arc that he would more or less join up with Takasugi, and wherever Iseboro goes, Nobume goes.  I think she’s pretty much done with her affiliation with the Naraku, but I think she is a bit of a wild card because there’s a chance she may flip sides to the Yorozuya in whatever role they play in the power struggle.  The Yorozuya pretty much don’t care who is in charge of the country and would only step in the struggle if it involved people they cared about deeply and to stop Takasugi from whatever it is he’s doing… because he’s just batshit crazy.

inevitable

OH, I ALMOST FORGOT!  Jiiya had to be kept under medical surveillance because, you know, he had his other arm cut off and he’s pretty old as is.  Welp, that doesn’t stop Gintoki from fulfilling his promises because it’s one of his few good traits!  With the help of the Shinsengumi, Shige Shige, Soyo and Nobume, Jiiya was finally able to see Tsuzuran under the full moon for the last time.  I almost shed some manly tears at their reunion because it was just so bittersweet.  The feels man, the feels.

Aaaaaand we're playing kick the can again

Aaaaaand we’re playing kick the can again.

Nobume strikes again!

Nobume strikes again!

bittersweet

I gotta admit, Cyborg Sorachi really knows his stuff, man.  He literally knows when to tell a good story when he feels like it and I can’t wait till he comes back to this plot line.  Also, props to Sunrise for staying true to the source material and keeping Sorachi involved with the anime.  It was a really well done arc.  I’m curious to see which arc Sunrise will animate next because there are a couple of other interesting ones in the manga.  Based on the opening they used for the first 4 episodes, the Beam Sword Style will probably be the next one, which is also good with the wacky references and the growth of Shinpachi as a character.

Once that arc airs, I’ll do some reviews for that as well.

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