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Gintama

Episode 316

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Introduction

Goodbye Shinsengumi! And see you next time, Gintama!

Plot

Yamazaki writes his last report on what happened since escaping Kokujo Island and his thoughts on the matter. He confesses that he didn't know whether what they did, sparking a rebellion against the government, was a good thing or bad, but he understood that the Shinsengumi didn't want to exist without their leader, Kondou. After escaping, Kondou wonders if there was another way for he and Isaburo to both live and work together. Hijikata responds that in a sense, they are now working together, to move forward. That is the price of survivors. Meanwhile on the same ship's deck, Nobume looks out at the morning sun. Tetsunosuke walks up behind her, admitting his surprise at someone close enough to his half-brother to cry for him. He had wished to show Isaburo how much he had grown with the Shinsengumi, the family he never had. He also wished that both groups had bonded just as said police groups walked up behind him. Nobume thinks back to how Isaburo chastised her for refusing to answer his emails and sends her first and last text to Isaburo before throwing it overboard. The text is her thanking Isaburo for her new name Nobume and the police give the deceased Commissioner a final salute with the Yorozuya, Katsura, and Tae watching from afar.

Yamazaki tells that when Nobu Nobu learned of the rebellion orchestrated by Isaburo as well as how he manipulated most of the national police forces, the enraged Shogun dissolved the police to rebuild it. As a consequence, many retainers abandoned the Shogun's side and secretly joined the rebellion being led by Matsudaira. Yamazaki notes that in the three months since Nobu Nobu's reign, his problematic administration's popularity has plummeted, creating the air of rebellion in Edo. On a rainy day in Edo, Haji tries to stop Tae, who was both in hiding and taking care of Kozenigata's injuries, from leaving, but the hard-boiled detective lets her go. Tae, as usual, finds Kondou again stalking her, but instead of beating him, shields him from the rain. The former Shinsengumi chief, now sporting a permanent scar across his face, sadly wishes that Tae did her usual punishments as it will make him feel better as he leaves.

In an abandoned shrine, Hijikata grows upset with Katsura's suggestion of leading Edo. Katsura states that the rebellion symbols, Matsudaira, Kondou and the Shinsengumi were still in danger if they stayed as the Shogun would be desperately searching for them. The only way to protect Edo was to leave it to stay alive. The Shinsengumi inspector tells that their task was to find sympathizers across the country and establish a base with the ex police as the center. This, unfortunately, means that they must say goodbye to the city they called home and the people they established close relationships with. This includes Kondou's last visit with the Shimura's, Okita coming across Kagura on a bridge for the last time, and Hijikata hanging out with Gintoki in their favorite restaurant for the last time.

Hijikata is amused in the irony that in trying to remain the Shinsengumi, they can't remain the Shinsengumi; he wonders what Gintoki will do now since the Yorozuya boss is now a wanted man. Gintoki decides to remain in Edo, earning Hijikata's worry since the city is without a working police but cuts himself off when he understands. On the bridge, Okita comes to the same conclusions while talking to Kagura: by remaining behind, the Shinsengumi can leave the city with no worries as the Yorozuya can protect Edo in their place. Okita refuses to endorse the plan and an annoyed Kagura decides to prove to the sadist ex cop that they will be fine by throwing him over the bridge. She mocks Okita for being uncharacteristically sentimental and the older teen agrees, deciding that before leaving, he and Kagura will have one last battle to see who's stronger. At the Shimura residence, Tae tells Kondou that the Shinsengumi, Edo's protectors, will still exist wherever they go, so their leader shouldn't leave with a gloomy expression but instead with a proud smile. Otherwise she will break her promise to Shinpachi about waiting for them as she says "goodbye" or "welcome back". Shinpachi enters the room and tells the stunned Kondou that when the man returns, come through the front door, where they will truly treat him as a guest.

Back in the restaurant, Hijikata gives Gintoki his secret stash of alcohol and tells him to drink a little at a time so that when it's gone, Hijikata'll return and finish off his debt. Gintoki accepts but is confused about Hijikata's words of debt. The debt was for all the times Gintoki had personally helped Hijikata and he will never forget their tentative friendship. Remembering how he had helped Hijikata protect both his comrades and his friend/ leader in a way where Gintoki had failed in Gintoki's own past, Gintoki responds that Hijikata repayed his debt long before, adding when Hijikata returns, bring some alcohol to share with everyone. The owner makes Gintoki and Hijikata their favorite bowls, red beans and mayonnaise over rice respectively. Just for today though, the two men decide to eat each others' bowls. When they finished, the duo still hate it, causing the old owner to laugh; the two heartily join in. Back at the bridge, the exhausted Kagura and Okita stare each other down and accept that they're not strong enough, reminding themselves of their poor performance against Utsuro. The two swear to each other to not lose to anyone else before they become strong enough to defeat each other and Utsuro. Their fight ends in a draw. At the Shimura residence, Kondou salutes to the Shimura siblings with a smile and a goodbye and the two teens reciprocate.

As the Shinsengumi wait for their transportation, Kondou gives a speech: A group of ronin that became samurai and protectors of Edo. Even though they must leave the city, Kondou proclaims, they will make a promise that they will return to the city, to their home. As they depart, Yamazaki's voice-over finishes off with a statement that the Shinsengumi's adventures are just beginning and their true path is far off.

Characters

  1. Shinsengumi
    1. Yamazaki Sagaru
    2. Kondou Isao
    3. Okita Sougo
    4. Hijikata Toushirou
    5. Sasaki Tetsunosuke
    6. Saitou Shimaru
    7. Harada Unosuke (cameo)
  2. Mimawarigumi
    1. Imai Nobume
    2. Sasaki Isaburo (flashback)
  3. Jouishishi
    1. Katsura Kotarou
    2. Elizabeth (cameo)
  4. Utsuro (cameo)
  5. Sakata Gintoki
  6. Kagura
  7. Shimura Shinpachi
  8. Shimura Tae
  9. Matsudaira Katakuriko
  10. Hitotsubashi Nobu Nobu (cameo)
  11. Kozenigata Heiji
  12. Haji

Trivia

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