Farewell, Shinsengumi Arc is the 62nd arc in Gintama, continue after the previous arc immediately. It is also one of the most important arcs, following the rebellion of the Shinsengumi and Jouishishi samurai in order to help their leaders get out of the prison and ruin the darkness caused by Hitotsubashi Nobu Nobu, who had become the new Shogun after Tokugawa Shige Shige's death.
Following Tokugawa Shige Shige's death, Matsudaira Katakuriko is suspected of the former Shogun assassination, Nobu Nobu ordered an investigation on Shige Shige's death, which was carried out by the Mimawarigumi. As a result, Matsudaira and Kondo were sentenced to death for being unable to protect Shige Shige. The Shinsengumi was disbanded, and its members became homeless.
In reaction to the former's Shogun's death, Katsura claimed that he would keep his promise to Shige Shige no longer as his enemy, but as his friend. Later, disguised as a hostess in Snack Smile, he helped Sakata Gintoki (who was to be arrested for punching the new Shogun thus making him lose his memory) and his friends flee from the Mimawarigumi, and was imprisoned as a result. In jail, Katsura convinced Kondo to join him and freed him, as well as Matsudaira out of the prison. Meanwhile, the Shinsengumi agreed to ally with the Jouishishi to rebel against the new regime.
As the prisoners managed to survive the Naraku's assassination attempt and successfully escaped, the newly-formed Alliance went on sea to the Kokujou island to rescue them and were attacked on the way. Upon reaching the island, the Alliance climbed on a rock wall surrounding it, only to be attacked by the Naraku again.
At the same time, Katsura and Kondou, having parted from Matsudaira, tried to reach their allies, yet Katsura was gunned down by Sasaki after shileding Kondo. Soon, the two were ambushed by the Mimawarigumi. Luckily, the Shinsengumi arrived on time and managed to save Matsudaira and Kondou before Sasaki could shoot the latter. Hijikata and Sasaki then engaged into a vicious battle, during which the past of Sasaki and the Shinsengumi was shown:
Four years ago, the Shinsengumi was established as the "Roushigumi" as an attempt to get rid of the Jouishishi and any potential signs of a revolution by the ronins. After several days, under Kondou's lead, the organization quickly got into order. In their first mission, they had to guard the Hitotsubashi family, let them be assassinated by the Naraku and commit seppuku for their "failure." However, Sasaki foiled the plan and saved the Shinsengumi. As a result, the Tendoshuu had Mukuro killed his wife and unborn daughter, whom he named "Nobume."
At the scene, he spared Mukuro's life and requested her to kill him as his own revenge, since he could not protect anyone nor cut down the current barbarous era. After the tragedy, Sasaki served the Hitotsubashi Faction, conspired with the Kiheitai, brought down the Tokugawa Family's reign and acted as the people's enemy, while his true purpose was to ignite a revolution to end the samurai's era and himself.
In the meantime, the fight between the two police forces was interrupted by an explosion from the Naraku Faction's arrival, and Sasaki used all of the Mimawarigumi to fight back, revealing his true intention to Kondou and Hijikata.
At the Alliance's battlefield, Utsuro, the founder of Naraku, showed up and attempted to kill Nobume. With Gintoki's timely aid, the enemy was unmasked, showing his resemblance to Shouyou-sensei. As everyone retreated, Nobume claimed that Utsuro was the one who killed Shouyou, not Gintoki. In the forest, under Sasaki's request, Kondou used a pill Katsura gave him earlier and faked his death. The two Chiefs were soon rescued by their surbodinates.
On their way to Matsudaira's rescue ship, Sasaki admitted to Nobume that he knew she did not kill his family, but tried to protect them from the Naraku assassins. However, before he could be safely brought onto the ship by Tetsu and Nobume, the ship's entrance was blown off by Utsuro, causing Sasaki to fall to his death after protecting them.
In the past, whilst naming his daughter, Sasaki came up with the name "Nobume" in hope that he could trust his child as long as she grew up healthy. Before his death, Sasaki was glad that he believed Nobume as she possessed all of the traits he had hoped his daughter would have.
Following his death, Sasaki was blamed for igniting the revolution, and all police forces, as well as any organizations under his control, were dissolved. This had led to more people fleeing to Matsudaira's anti-Bakufu faction, as the Shinsengumi and the Mimawarigumi, departed Edo to join the force.
Characters in order of appearance
- This is the first time an important arc continues from another important arc immediately until onwards.
- Sequeling from the Shogun Assassination Arc, this arc is based on the first part of the Boshin War, which subsequently led to the downfall of the corrupted Tokugawa Shogunate, as well as the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in the near future of the latter arcs.