One Star down, two to go; next up, it is Sakamoto vs Hankai. As he struggles to save ship and crew from the android's machinations, a certain character gains development.
Nobu Nobu flees from the mind-controlled Kaientai crew into a dead end while thinking about his past where both his father and faction continuously instill in him being the true hope of the country. The “zombies” corner and attack him; he dodges and runs just to see more confronting him. Nobu Nobu freezes when he imagines his former retainers in the crew and they attack. He is saved by Mutsu and Sakamoto, who apologies for what is happening. The trio hide watching the shambling zombies and concluded that only they and the people in the control room were unaffected, not helped that the infected were transferring the nano-virus to the rest of the crew by bite. They can’t fight back against their brainwashed allies and they must also protect Nobu Nobu. The shogun demands to understand why Sakamoto was protecting him as he was responsible for many of the troubles the Kaientai captain and his friends were involved in, plus he was supposedly useless to them. Sakamoto’s response is that Nobu Nobu had no right to die; he must live to see the future of Japan and how his deeds affect it, the price of taking the burden of leading a country. Mutsu gets a call from the bridge stating that they were unable to find Hankai and the duo had no choice but to find him themselves, until Nobu Nobu speaks up about seeing him.
Later, the trio sneak pass the wandering zombies by crawling above them on air ducks. The captain and vice-captain realized that Hankai was in the Kairinmaru the entire time releasing his virus, but ponders why he hacked the Kaientai’s other ships to attack the main ship. They were following Nobu Nobu’s directions to where he saw the android go to. The duo conclude that the virus and hacking were distractions so Hankai could try to hack into the Kairinmaru’s highly advanced and protected core. Thus, the trio were on their way to the engine room where the core resides. Nobu Nobu struggles to understand Sakamoto’s actions and personality, but Sakamoto mistakes his brooding for staring at Mutsu’s butt. Mutsu breaks the duct Nobu Nobu was on, with the shogun barely hanging on, and demands that she switches with Sakamoto. With Mutsu leading, Sakamoto happily proclaims that he will stare at Mutsu’s butt, resulting in the Yato breaking the duct the men were on in retaliation. She leaves them to the zombies while she goes to the engine room. The two flee while arguing with Nobu Nobu demanding that Sakamoto do something; he declares he won’t shoot his brainwashed allies but he decides to do something else. Nobu Nobu begins to wonder if the captain was a wise or foolish man even when Sakamoto produces a gun that shoots a net both encasing them and keeping them from the zombies and some steamed buns to snack on while waiting. Mutsu berates her foolish boss, uses their net to knock the zombies out and drags them away. Nobu Nobu agrees with the woman, admitting that both men were fools who can’t control their men but he jealously wondered why Sakamoto still resists as if he still had his men. He then suddenly twitched, unbeknownst to the others.
The trio reaches the engine room but don’t see Hankai. Hankai reveals himself by trying to stab Sakamoto but Mutsu takes it instead. The captain is shocked to see the tendril returning to Nobu Nobu and the robot confirms that he was inside the shogun. Nobu Nobu realizes that when the 3rd division commander infected Nobu Nobu’s guards and attacked him, he was also infected but wasn’t taken over until this moment. Hankai’s true body was his small core that was now inside and controlling Nobu Nobu and his true goal was to kill Sakamoto and seize control the his entire Kaientai fleet. Mutsu, now becoming a zombie, kicks Sakamoto into a pillar then goes in for the kill. Suddenly, Sakamoto shoots at Mutsu, commenting that he should have researched more about his company if the robot wanted to take over. The shots hit the ship’s core, malfunctioning the Kairinmaru that will lead to it crashing, and Hankai is shocked that Sakamoto would go this far to protect his crew. Sakamoto responds that someone who wasn’t prepared to go down with the ship don’t deserve it and wonders if Hankai will do so. The falling Kairinmaru shifts and Hankai decides to connect with the core to fix it, starting to leave Nobu Nobu’s body while Sakamoto is grabbed by the zombified Mutsu. Nobu Nobu realizes Sakamoto’s plan to force the robot to leave his body so that the robot can be killed while saving the shogun. Sakamoto gains distance despite the extra weight and shoots… but Hankai, still connected to Nobu Nobu, overheard his deduction, grabbed the bullet and flung it back at Sakamoto’s forehead.
He then mocks the shogun for being alone after another person who tried to help him died and for being used by others and propped up at the shogun seat. Nobu Nobu admits that he used others too in the same way they did but ultimately found himself alone at the top, wondering why he was here in the first place. Hankai coldly remarked that he was an empty ambitionless shell that absorbed others’ goals as his own. Truthfully, he was on top of his discarded playthings, a graveyard of junk and he deserves to rot and die. Nobu Nobu grabs the tendril in his throat and bites down on it, again wondering why Sakamoto saved him. Alarmed, Hankai sends a smaller tendril further down the human’s throat and painfully hooks himself through the flesh. Despite this, Nobu Nobu completely bites off the tendril and throws him, mentally concluding that he will find the answers himself and he will work his way to the top on his own as this is his fight. Hankai is stunned to see Sakamoto still standing then realized that Mutsu fought off his control long enough to catch that return bullet. Sakamoto shoots the defenseless robot, finally killing him.
In the control room, the remaining uninfected struggle to pull up the Kairinmaru without success. And worse, they were surrounded by their hacked allies; instead the fleet shoot hooks at the main ship to stabilize it. The ships’ crew contact the main ship to help restore the core while they hold on; they will help their captain after he helped them. And a crewmember noticed that the infected returned to normal. In the engine room, Mutsu and Nobu Nobu watches as Sakamoto and the crew try to fix the core. The shogun muses in the irony that the fight between leaders with no soldiers was decided by their soldiers. He admired the fact that Sakamoto and his crew never abandoned each other; their bond more precious than the greatest leader or most loyal retainer. Mutsu compares a leader to an empty ship: it needs a crew so it can sail wherever they all want to go; thus, the crew won’t abandon the ship and the ship will protect its crew. Nobu Nobu’s ship couldn’t handle its responsibilities and will no longer go anywhere with one person on it. Nobu Nobu asks where was this rickety ship (Sakamoto) going, but Mutsu didn’t know, maybe the shogun was its goal. With nothing to guide them, a ship’s waves can be a guide, even accepting Nobu Nobu, and will take in all emotions, morals and ideals. This ship will continue going to search for a future where everyone can smile. A humbled Nobu Nobu leaves as he sees that Sakamoto never thought of him as useless.
Sakamoto watches the shogun leave and quietly admits that this was the only way he can fight before pulling up his right sleeve revealing a deep scar from his palm to his lower forearm. He thinks back to the Joui Wars, where he was carried away on a stretcher with some of his men worried about him with the wound. Takasugi arrives and asked what happened, a soldier reports that Sakamoto and his soldiers retreated while being bombarded with enemy fire. He was carrying a wounded enemy soldier until said soldier was stabbed from behind through the head by a light saber wielder. Sakamoto barely survived the encounter but was injured especially on his sword arm. Takasugi chastises him on helping the enemy but sadly confirms that Sakamoto will never be able to wield a sword again. Gintoki appears and tells Sakamoto that he is still a samurai and can still do things beyond just using a sword and killing. He and Takasugi leave to find the light saber wielder to avenge him.
In a battlefield, Gintoki encounters the wielder first, introducing himself; in the present, Batou repeats the introduction back at him. Gintoki instead believes that his third eye and sewn eyes were a prank by the Harusame and tries to “wipe it off” for him; Batou retaliates by striking him. He tells Gintoki that even if he didn’t remember his face, he should remember his light saber sword of the Star Sword King as a fellow swordsman. He attacks Gintoki, Bansai, Shinpachi and their allies, destroying the area they were in the process. Bansai tells the others that Batou was the strongest fighter of the Harusame and had traveled the universe fighting and defeating swordsman. He was most likely here to defeat the swordsmen of Earth, or more accurately, the Earth swordsman that got away. Gintoki stops to confront the approaching Batou and tells the others to go on. Bansai tells him that the pride of samurai was on the line if Gintoki fights him; Gintoki instead states that samurai pride had no interest in him as he and Takasugi had beaten each other countless times, it’s that pride he will put on the line. Seeing his boss in him, Bansai kills some Harusame and tells Shinpachi to come. They will all live and survive this.
Gintoki and Batou fight while the 2nd division commander commented on how he waited for this moment to fight him again and wonders if Gintoki remembers this feeling. He strikes Gintoki into the ground and the samurai wonders why the Amanto appears to predict his movements. Reading his thoughts, Batou confirms that his third eye, called Enlightenment, can see into minds. His species’ legend states that having no mouth or ears, they communicated with the eye. So, he sealed his eyes and ears to strengthen this psychic organ. Gintoki then recognizes him… as the man who stole his 300 yen. Batou denies this, even pointing out they look completely different despite some similarities. Gintoki then realizes… that he owed Batou the 300 yen. Batou again denies this and feels insulted that Gintoki didn’t recognize him, while he himself remembered him in that battle 10 years before, that samurai named… Pakuyasha. Gintoki angrily berates him for also having the wrong person.
- Hitotsubashi Nobu Nobu
- Takasugi Shinsuke (flashback)
- Sakata Gintoki
- Shimura Shinpachi
- Kawakami Bansai
- Sadaharu (cameo)