Now fully free from the curse, Hijikata battles against Itou. Meanwhile, Gintoki is forced into a confrontation with none other than Bansai, right-hand man to Takasugi.
As he fully unsheathes his sword, Hijikata declares himself the last line of defense for protecting Kondou and the Shinsengumi. After seeing him breaking free of the curse through his own will, Gintoki tells Kondou they can't take his request since they're still doing Hijikata's; Kondou chuckles as he jumps on the car's hood. Bansai senses that both Hijikata and Itou's souls had changed as they stare at each other with battle-hungry grins. In amusement, he tells them to fight on as he drives up to the car; the two strike, leading to Itou's shoulder being cut. One of the car's wheels blow out, leading to the car slowing down to the point that the train cars behind it rush towards it. Hijikata was force to become a bridge between the trunk and the cars. A tired and injured Okita comes out to call Kondou to his side; he had slaughtered Itou's entire faction within. He asks the smirking Hijikata to defeat Itou and warns him that if he ever shows weakness as a vice-commander, Okita will kill and replace him. A worried Kondou walks over Hijikata to Okita while Gintoki tells him go on. Gintoki is promptly attacked by Bansai on his motorcycle and both men fall down the hill. Shinpachi is surprised by the attack but he and Kagura are forced to flee to Okita's side before the police car is crushed by the colliding train cars.
Itou stands at the other side of the crushed car and calls out to Hijikata about being his only equal. He laments that Hijikata became his enemy and believes that he wouldn't have sparked this rebellion if Hijikata was in charge. He also remarks that they both understood each others' caliber; he draws his sword and calls out to him to fight. Hijikata slices through the police car to fight Itou. Meanwhile, Bansai and Gintoki strike at each other, leading to Bansai's motorcycle being destroyed and Gintoki being slightly injured. Bansai is amused by Gintoki's unpredictable soul and wonders why Gintoki, the Shiroyasha, was working with the Shinsengumi. Gintoki wonders if the Kiheitai was going to use Itou to spy on the government for them but the Kiheitai member remarks that they had no use for a traitor and a hypocrite. Bansai declares that by the time he truly understood himself, it would be too late. Just then, the train starts to cross a bridge, just as it is destroyed.
In a flashback, Itou meets with Takasugi while declaring that no one understands his genius or his worth, so he will force them to understand. He asks the Kiheitai leader's help in a Shinsengumi coup to make himself known to the populace. Takasugi ask if he wishes to do this even though the present leader, Kondou, had been nothing but kind to him but the bespectacled man remarks that the talentless Kondou should be happy that Itou was working for him. Takasugi mocks him for his pompous attitude and responds that the truth was that Itou was lonely. Before he can state what Itou actually wants, Itou awakens from his memory/dream in the destroyed train car. He notices someone's arm in the corner that he believes to be Hijikata's and declares his victory until car shakes. The car he was in was half destroyed by the blast with him barely hanging on with his jacket caught by a peace of metal. He then realizes as he struggled for balance that he was missing his left arm and screams. Bansai tells Gintoki that his boss knew that Itou was just a egotistical man that wants recognition yet doesn't even know or understand his own strength. Takasugi simply exploited him for use in neutralizing the Shinsengumi and with the force weakened, they and Itou will be killed in one fell swoop.
A Kiheitai helicopter hovers in front of Itou and machine guns him, loosening him from his metal hook and he falls out the car, calling out that he shouldn't die here. He thinks back to his past, where his strive to work harder and be acknowledged stems from his parents doting on and caring only for his sickly twin brother and heir. He tried to work harder so they could see his success but he alienates the other students with his high marks and swordsmanship talents. He mentally wails that no one wishes to see him and be by his side, so he cries out for someone not to leave him. Someone suddenly grabs his hand and Itou looks up to see it was Kondou, with Okita, Shinpachi and Kagura making sure that he doesn't fall. Itou wonders why the commander saved him, the traitor, but Kondou blames himself for everything that has gone wrong. He admits not being leader material and mainly cares about having drinks with friends, which includes Itou, and he would like the bespectacled man to teach him more things. Itou realizes that instead of accepting his loneliness, he blamed others for being inferior to him and shunned them. This resulted in his single-minded dedication to be better then everyone and be known, losing his original reason along the way, to have someone by his side. The kids and Kondou try to pull Itou up while under fire but they are saved by Hijikata slicing off the helicopter's propeller. As Itou grabs a hold of Hijikata, he understood that he had already gained people by his side, the Shinsengumi. The two rivals again declare their hatred of and intent to kill each other but add that they shouldn't die here.
Meanwhile, Bansai and Gintoki fight each other on their way to the stationary train. Bansai struggles to predict Gintoki's moves while Gintoki yells at him and some of the fighting Kiheitai swordsman to move out his way. Before reaching the train, the silver haired man's arms and legs are bound by Bansai's steel wires. He tells the samurai not to struggle as he may lose a limb plus his friends are going to be killed. Gintoki continues to struggle to the point the strings dig into his flesh but also start to break. Gintoki tells the stunned Bansai that he didn't fully understand why he was trying to reach the people he's connected to, his "rotten bonds", but if his enemies want to cut it, they can try. Gintoki breaks the strings an runs to the train just as another machine gun mounted helicopter flies towards it. Hijikata, Okita, Kagura, Shinpachi, and Kondou (carrying Itou), who was able to climb up to the more intact parts of the train, fights past some Kiheitai until confronting the firing helicopter; Gintoki almost reaches his destination but Bansai again attacks him. When the helicopter stops firing, Hijikata and Kondou are shocked to see that the injured Itou had protected the two from the bullets and is now on the verge of death. The helicopter is then knocked back as Bansai is stabbed through its front window by Gintoki.
- Hijikata Toushirou
- Itou Kamotarou
- Kondou Isao
- Shimura Shinpachi
- Sakata Gintoki
- Okita Sougo
- Itou Takahisa (flashback)