Kouan’s Master (徨安のヌシ, Kōan no Nushi) is the 579th chapter of the Gintama series. The chapter focuses on the encounters between Umibouzu and his wife before they got married and settle down on Rakuyo.
As the punishment for losing a bet, Umibouzu went back to Kouan to pick up ladies. He was stunned to find a woman standing on top of Orochi as he did not expect to meet anyone, for the dead planet has been long abandoned by the Yatos ever since the attack years back. Mesmerized by the woman’s beauty, Umibouzu has an erection.
He exclaims his astonishment of meeting a living human on the dead planet to which the woman begs to differ. She explains that there are still life forms on Kouan; only the human species have deemed it inhabitable because of their incapability to survive its harsh conditions. She then tells Umibouzu to leave the planet so as to not disturb the lives on Kouan by intruding.
Undeterred by her hostility, Umibouzu gave chase to the woman while defending himself from Orochi’s attacks along the way. He flirts by requesting her to tame his orochi instead, earning the wrath of the woman. Without looking, she aims her parasol at the lustful man and shoots him. Despite this, Umibouzu continues to follow her as she battles to tame the parasite for three days and three nights, hoping to ask her out on a date. Orochi started to retreat after the woman defeated its 59th head, while Umibouzu managed to control his instincts by crushing his own testicles.
He began introducing himself to the woman and, believing that she is the master of Kouan, apologises for intruding and seeks for her permission to be allowed back the next time. The woman, bemused by Umibouzu’s antics, welcomed him back to his home planet. She is rather pleased to know that someone remembered the planet’s existence and visiting it. The woman also denies being Kouan’s master, introducing herself as Kouka. From then, Umibouzu started making frequent visits to the planet, and Orochi no longer attacks him as time goes.
At one point, Kouka states that Umibouzu has been recognized as one of them, or even Orochi’s new owner which suits him. However, Umibouzu questions the reasons for Kouka to stay on despite the harsh conditions and being alone on Kouan. She merely replies that it’s her fate to stay; she has long forgotten the feeling of being lonely after adapting to her current lifestyle for so long, and has come to enjoy the freedom to do anything she wants on the abandoned planet.
To entertain Kouka, Umibouzu often tells her stories of his trips to the different planets during his frequent visits in hopes of piquing her interests, to which he did. At Kouka’s request, he brought her onboard his spaceship to see the planets from afar. He went on to describe the planets’ beauty (specifically Earth) and hinted his feelings to Kouka by inviting her to partner him on his alien hunting business. The woman liked the idea, thinking it will be fun if possible. After getting back on Kouan, Kouka unprecedentedly sent Umibouzu off till his spaceship disappeared into the sky.
When the man went back to Kouan the next time, he found Kouka missing. Realising the reason for her actions, Umibouzu spent twelve days without food or water searching for her but to no avail. As he collapses on the ground, the exhausted man notices Orochi standing quietly not far ahead, and heads towards it. He eventually found a surprised Kouka, who couldn’t understand his devotion. However, despite getting used to her lonely fate, she couldn’t help but to be reminded of the emotions once lost upon meeting the devoted man. Overwhelmed by emotions, Umibouzu hugs Kouka and confesses his love.
- Kouka: (On Kouan) This planet is not dead. The soil is dried out, the water is rotten, and people can no longer live here. But those ones that eat dried out soil are alive. The ones that drink rotten water are alive. I am alive.
- Umibouzu: U...um, m-miss? How about instead of suppressing these Orochi, you suppress the orochi in my pants?
- Kouka: Lonely? I could never conceive of such a thing. I would not leave this place for some reason like that. Even if I had such an emotion, I would have long forgotten when it was I was feeling it. I was born and raised on this planet. No baby feels bitterly about the cradle they sleep in.
- Kouka: I told you, didn't I? I'm part of the clan that dies with the planet. I've always lived alone. I need to live alone. So...Why did you make me remember these emotions?
- Umibouzu: Sorry, Kouka. But you are I are the same. No matter how busy a planet I'm on, no matter how surrounded by people I am, without you, I'm lonely.
Characters in order of appearance