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"Whether it's a foolish ruler or a wise ruler, once a man shoulders an entire country, he can't die that easily."
Sakamoto Tatsuma
Qotd


Sakamoto Tatsuma (坂本 辰馬, Sakamoto Tatsuma ) is the leader of the trading fleet Kaientai. Despite being labeled a "natural idiot"[1] by everyone around him, Sakamoto was one of the samurai that fought alongside Gintoki in the Joui War.

BackgroundEdit

Early yearsEdit

Nothing is much known about Sakamoto's childhood, except that he was born to a family of wealthy merchants in Tosa Province.

Later on, despite being a pacifist, he decided to join in the Joui War in its last years, acting as a supplier for the samurai. In his first meeting with Sakata Gintoki, Takasugi Shinsuke and Katsura Kotarou, he vomited at the first two in the face due to being seasick. During the war, seeing his comrades die one by one, Sakamoto decided to leave the Earth, fulfill his dream of travelling through the galaxy and find a way that would benefit both humans and the Amanto. His dream was encouraged by Gintoki, even though the latter refused to go with him.[2]

At some point before he left, his right arm was gravely injured on the battlefield in an attempt to carry an injured enemy to safety, giving him permanent damage and making him unable to use a sword. He was taken off the front lines due to his injury, and by the time he had recovered, he discovered that Gintoki, Takasugi, and Katsura had disappeared. He spent some time searching for the three of them, but the only one he found was Gintoki. Shortly after reconnecting with Gintoki, Sakamoto left to pursue his dream of going to space.

Some time after his break from the Joui movement, Sakamoto was assumed to be raising funds, only to be tricked and thrown to the ocean. He ended up being picked up by the Chidori's Division 2, whose vice-captain was Mutsu. In spite of being a slave for them, he offered to buy the whole pirate fleet from her, yet she flatly turned down his offer. During his imprisonment, Sakamoto tried to do business with other slaves, which Mutsu gradually took interest in.

Later, upon learning of the Chidori supervisor's plan to kill her and the slaves, she instructed him to free the slaves and escaped, whereas she chose to surrender herself. Nevertheless, Sakamoto let the slaves take over the fleet and defeated the pirates to save her. The pirates were then thrown to the ocean. Afterwards, the fleet became Kaientai, with he and Mutsu being the leader and second-in-command, respectively.

Running KaientaiEdit

During their years of running Kaientai, the company made a business transaction with Dark Vader. Though, during the negotiation, Sakamoto did nothing but vomit. While Mutsu was out, he misunderstood Dark Vader's placards and eventually agreed with his offer, not knowing that the Amanto's true intention was to take over the Earth. When the negotiation had ended, although Mutsu pointed out his mistakes, Sakamoto ignored her, still believing that the Renho Tribe wanted to protect the Earth. It is presumed that he gave Elizabeth to Katsura at this time, as a gift from the business.

At one point in the present, Sakamoto went on a space-travelling trip from Earth. While waiting for the ship, he was bitten in the head by Sadaharu, but he ignored the staff's warning and left with the dog on his head. When the ship was attacked by Joui extremists, Sakamoto inadvertently defeated a shooter threatening the Yorozuya. However, he was kicked by Kagura, who accused him of stealing Sadaharu.

As soon as the bombs in the pilot room exploded, Sakamoto was dragged there by Gintoki, who had recognized him after the kick. In the pilot room, seeing the Yorozuya struggling to take over the rudder, he broke up the fight, but also broke the rudder in the process. After the ship fell into a planet, the passengers were saved by the Kaientai fleet led by Mutsu.

Though, the fleet's landing woke up a giant, native sand bug, which caught the passengers and Sakamoto. He shot the bug's tentacles to free the others, yet he let himself dragged to the ground, insisting Mutsu to fire cannon at the bug, even if it meant his death. Gintoki then interrupted the fire and saved Sakamoto successfully.

AppearanceEdit

He has a brown natural perm (similar to Sakata Gintoki) and wears a dark red coat, tabi-less geta, and round-rim sunglasses. His eyes, when not hidden, are blue. He has a scar on his right hand that starts at his palm and goes halfway up his lower arm.

His weapon of choice used to be a sword, but is now a gun.

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PersonalityEdit

His overly optimistic attitude sometimes leads him into all sorts of trouble, as he tends to brush off or even flat-out ignore bad incidents and situations. He has a habit of laughing at most times, even at inappropriate times. One of Sakamoto's main traits is his empty-headed thinking. He can be very spacey, and he often doesn't notice important details, like with his unawareness that Mutsu is from the Yato tribe despite spending years together and misinterpreting Dark Vader's plans to conquer Earth. Despite all this, deep down Sakamoto is really rather smart. He shows an excellent ability in giving inspirational speeches and is also a brilliant negotiator when he needs to be, convincing the entire Renho race to turn on their leader. Because of this, it's a possibility that his lighthearted personality is a ruse, as he has a tendency to start things and then seem to not to know what he did.

He cherishes his friends and subordinates; he was enraged when the Chidori supposedly hurt Mutsu, and he stood up for Katsura back in the war when other soldiers were ragging on him for being a coward. However, he feels insecure around his friends, as he states that if they knew his deeper feelings for them, they wouldn't like him anymore.

His business tactics, such as the 50 million yen bags, can be sketchy at times, earning him the nickname "con man." However, at heart, he wants to run a business that makes people smile. More literally, his ultimate goal is peace through mutual profit – a reflection of his pacifist nature.

Despite being a pacifist, he doesn't mind a good fight on occasion. He will often aim to maim or disarm before he aims to kill. He also has a tendency to start fights and egg people on, like when he teased Gintoki about his feud with Takasugi during the war.

Sakamoto can be blunt, almost rude at times, in certain situations, like when he insulted Nobu Nobu's behavior. He also can get incredibly angry in a short amount of time, such as when Katsura got himself and the rest of his crew captured despite Sakamoto's planning and when demanding the Chidori give Mutsu back.

He loves ships, but is very vulnerable to motion sickness. Whether it's a spaceship or a boat, ships are, ironically, his weakness. [3]

Strength & AbilitesEdit

  • Swordsmanship: During the Joui War, Sakamoto was shown to have great skills in using sword, having fought along with Sakata Gintoki, Katsura Kotarou and Takasugi Shinsuke and survived until he left the Joui samurai lines. He is unable to wield a sword now due to an injury to his right hand.
  • Shooting: Although he was a good swordsman in the Joui War, Sakamoto uses a pistol as his weapon after leaving the war, most likely due to the injury he sustained.
  • Leadership: He has displayed great qualities of a leader. In dangerous situations, he is willing to sacrifice himself to save other people [4], and he never abandoned his crew even when it seemed like they all abandoned him. His leaderships skills even convinced Tokugawa Nobu Nobu to right himself as a person.
  • Trading/Negotiating: It can be assumed that this is his main strength. According to Gintoki, in the Joui War, Sakamoto had supported the samurai's side by supplying weapons, raising capital and gathering money. At present, he was even able to convince the whole Renho Tribe to ally with him and fight against Dark Vader.[5]
  • Reading: Sakamoto is said to have superior reading skills.[6]

RelationshipsEdit

Friends & AlliesEdit

  • Sakata Gintoki:
    Gintama Episode 23

    Episode 23

    Much to Gintoki's annoyance, he persistently calls Gintoki "Kintoki" and often gets beaten for this, similar to how Gintoki calls Katsura "Zura". Though, it has been shown that he knows Gintoki's name perfectly well. His lighthearted behavior is also a great source of irritation to Gintoki, who, along with Kagura, has given Sakamoto a thrashing more than once. Despite their fights, Gintoki cares a great deal for his comrade, even going so far as to take revenge on the man who gave Sakamoto the injury that rendered him unable to use a sword, and encourage Sakamoto not to think that his life as a samurai was over, stating that there are other ways to fight and that his war was not a petty war that could simply be fought by swinging swords. In turn, Sakamoto evidently trusts and admires Gintoki a great deal. During the war, Gintoki was the one in whom Sakamoto chose to confide his doubts about the war and his dreams of going to space. Before he left, he even offered to take Gintoki with him, saying that Gintoki was too good a man for such a small planet. Although Gintoki declined the offer, he encouraged Sakamoto's own dreams once again. Sakamoto places his ultimate trust on Gintoki, stating that because Gintoki stayed on Earth, he felt safe enough to leave for the universe and pursue his dreams. Even if he falls from the sky, if Gintoki was there to "fish him up", he would have the courage to fly back up again.
  • Katsura Kotarou: Sakamoto and Katsura were comrades and friends in the Joui War. They lost touch for a time after the war ended and Katsura disappeared along with Takasugi and Gintoki, but at some point they apparently reconnected and they still seem to be on good terms, since Sakamoto gave Elizabeth to Katsura as a present. During the Renho arc, Sakamoto goes to great lengths not only to protect the Earth, but also to help Katsura retrieve his dear friend. And during the war, when their fellow men were debating over who was the strongest between Katsura, Gintoki, Takasugi, and Sakamoto, Sakamoto overheard the conversation and came to Katsura's defense when Katsura was accused of cowardice for his tendency to retreat, gently telling the men that Katsura possessed a courage and strength that he himself and the others lacked, showing an in-depth understanding and immense admiration of Katsura. They share a certain obliviousness and comedic stupidity, which hides two surprisingly sharp minds and knack for strategy. They place an extraordinary amount of trust in one another, which has not changed one bit since the war ended.
  • Takasugi Shinsuke: Sakamoto and Takasugi were comrades and good friends during the Joui War. Sakamoto was recovering from his injury far from the front lines at the time of Shouyou's death, and so he has stated that he doesn't know why Gintoki and Katsura have been fighting with Takasugi, but to him, it is not important. He had always taken the role of mediator whenever Takasugi and Gintoki fought, and he plans to continue that role. Even if only temporarily, Sakamoto wishes to see Takasugi return to his old self as the "little brat" that used to bicker with his old friends. Back when Sakamoto was first introduced, it is worth noting that he tells Shinpachi that he believes that Takasugi, Gintoki, and Katsura are all doing their best to protect the country, just in different ways, and he seems to bear Takasugi no ill will whatsoever, despite his actions.
  • Mutsu: During his imprisonment as a slave of the Chidori, Sakamoto encountered Mutsu and showed her a new, more positive perspective on the purpose of business and her value as a person. Inspired and intrigued by his outlook, she reexamined her own beliefs and actions and decided to make a change. She freed Sakamoto and the other slaves with the intention of sacrificing her life for them, but he once again stopped her and caused her to reexamine herself and the way that she valued herself. Sakamoto managed to outwit the Chidori and save the lives of Mutsu and the slaves, who became his Kaientai. Since then, she has followed him out of gratitude and respect for his ideals. In turn, Sakamoto considers her one of his greatest treasures, "a jewel called a comrade." However, his overly affable nature is less appreciated by her, as she tends to beat him with no mercy, to a point of firing cannons at him.[7] It is said that she constantly has to track down her wanderlustful leader, whose movements are totally unpredictable. As his second in command, she acts as a sensible and efficient foil to his eccentric antics and overly relaxed nature. She is highly respected by the other members of the Kaientai, perhaps even more so than Sakamoto himself, as they had no qualms about firing on their captain on Mutsu's command. But despite the bickering and over-the-top antics, when it comes down to it, the two of them place a great deal of trust in one another and form a very balanced partnership.
  • Tokugawa Nobu Nobu: While enemies at first, the two have become unlikely allies. Sakamoto's values as both a leader and a businessman is what influenced Nobu Nobu to change. When Nobu Nobu joined everyone to eat, instead of being horrified like the others, Sakamoto merely teased him for "finally eating Granny's cooking", not seeming upset by his presence in the slightest.

Enemies Edit

  • Pluto Batou: Batou purposefully injured Sakamoto in the war so that he wouldn't be able to hold a sword anymore. While Sakamoto remembers him, he has no intentions of seeking revenge, although Gintoki did that for him. No one is sure what his reaction was to learning that Batou was finally defeated by Gintoki.

StoryEdit

Memory Loss ArcEdit

In an attempt to visit Edo, Sakamoto crashed his spaceship into the Yorozuya's house, and was led to the police station as a result. Later, he sent two carpenter brothers, Unkei and Kaikei, to fix their house as an apology.

Renho ArcEdit

As a result of the Kaientai's deal with Dark Vader, the Renho Tribe carried on a plan to take over the Earth. Upon seeing the Renho takinng action, Sakamoto visited the Earth and took the Yorozuya, Katsura and Fumiko on his fleet, where he revealed his earlier business and got beaten as a result.

Under Mutsu's plan, everyone sneaked onto the Renho ship, whereas she bought more time by trying to make anothehr deal with Dark Vader. Nevertheless, on board, Sakamoto, Gintoki and Katsura made a fuss about their meals and somewhat attracted the Renho's attention. Luckily, they were covered by Elizabeth, who recognized them. Afterwards, the trio even gave tips to take over Earth and played Uno with them.

As soon as Mutsu's attempt failed and the Kaientai staff was imprisoned, a dispatch order was given to the Renho people. Sakamoto and Gintoki parted from Katsura, who attempted to fight with a Ginsam robot. However, it exploded, causing chaos among the Renho. Sakamoto and Gintoki tried to find Dark Vader, but the two ended up revealing their identities as samurai from Earth to the other Renho people. Though, Sakamoto managed to convince the Renho to ally with him, in exchange of a vast amount of Famicom games (which are luxurious meals to them.)

After the tribe opened fire on their own leader, the mothership's core, SAGI, revealed itself to be Dark Vader's true form. In reaction, Mutsu combined the Kaientai fleet into a gigantic robot called "Kaien," much to Sakamoto's surprise. Despite his disapproval, he was assigned to control the robot's left arm. Later, with Fumiko destroying the core from the inside, everyone united and shot the final blow to the core, causing it to explode. Consequently, everyone was caught in the explosion, and the Earthlings' memory was deleted by Eren.

Since the whole Kaientai fleet was destroyed in the explosion, it was temporarily replaced by a Renho spacecraft, making Sakamoto go off at Mutsu for modifying his ships without permission. Having his memory deleted, he wondered if he was forgetting something important. Fortunately, he still recalled of the events in time and bid a farewell to Eren with Uno cards.

Patriot Reunion Party ArcEdit

Having received an invitation to a Joui Patriot reunion, Sakamoto attended it, along with Katsura and Gintoki. Trying to recall his memory about the invitor, Kurokono Tasuke, he only came up with irrelevant memories, which greatly annoyed Gintoki. As Katsura came up with another story about buying Pocari, the two ended up asking Gintoki to pay their money back.

Takechi Henpeita then arrived and gave them a fake letter from Takasugi Shinsuke and a Pocari can, which triggered them to remember the true story about Kurokono's death. Although Katsura and Gintoki feared for Kurokono's ghost to come back, Sakamoto seemed to take it lightly. Later, with Katsura disappeared while going to the toilet, the other two searched for him to no avail, and Sakamoto abandoned Gintoki in the process. However, while returning to the room, he was abducted by the Kiheitai with sleeping gas.

Ultimately, thanks to Kurokono's help, the Kiheitai was forced to free Sakamoto and Katsura. They then woke up on the next morning, having no memory of what had happened the night before.

Kaientai ArcEdit

During another business trip of the Kaientai, Sakamoto introduced a bag containing 50 million yen as his latest product, even though it was only an ordinary bag full of rocks inside. He then gave these bags away to the hostesses in Snack Smile as a way to impress Oryou. An angry Mutsu arrived, threw a rock at his head, stuffed him into a bag, and threw him to the ocean.

Initially, he reacted to this cheerfully, believing that it was only a joke. Though, he grew panic after finding no one in the ocean, and was soon picked up by the Chidori for the second time. He was then held captive by the pirate, who wanted the whole Kaientai fleet back. In spite of their threat, Mutsu fired cannon at him, claiming that this was a chance to kill him off.

As Mutsu and Gintoki infiltrated the enemy's ship to save Sakamoto, he was kept inside the ship, at the end of a tunnel filled with former rebels. Seeing Mutsu seemingly dead after reaching his place, Sakamoto got angry and hit the Chidori supervisor in the head, asking to have her back.

As Mutsu stood up and defeated the pirates, Sakamoto and Gintoki were thrown into the enemy's cannons in the process, thus having their faces disfigured. Afterwards, he and Gintoki were left ashore while the Kaientai staff congratulated Mutsu's return. He then laughed at the matter and parted ways with Gintoki, with Mutsu watching them from afar.

Rakuyou ArcEdit

Silver Soul ArcEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Sakamoto was based on Sakamoto Ryoma 坂本龍馬, who was an Imperial loyalist. Another way to pronounce the "ryou" kanji in Ryoma's name is "tatsu" (kanji means "dragon"), but Sorachi cleverly used a different kanji to achieve the same results.
  • At one point, Ryoma envied the Westerners for their power and technology, but he eventually became familiar with them. Despite being a samurai and proficient in kendo, he preferred guns over swords.
  • In Gintama, Tatsuma is the leader of the Kaientai, which is also the name of the first modern corporation in Japan that was founded by Ryoma.
  • Historically, Ryoma was assassinated by unknown assassins, even though the Mimawarigumi officers Sasaki Tadasaburo and Imai Noburo admitted themselves and taking their responsibility after Kondou Isami was executed for the crime. However, in Gintama, with Sasaki Isaburo's death, it can be assumed that Sakamoto's and Kondou's life was saved.
  • Ryoma was married to Oryo. In the manga, Tatsuma had feelings for Oryou, yet he was repeatedly rejected by her.
  • Sakamoto has the same voice actor is James from Pokemon, Kisuke Urahara from Bleach, Toshizo Hijikata from Hakuoki and Takumi Fujiwara from Initial D.

BattlesEdit

Fight Outcome Time it Occurred
Kaientai, Yorozuya, Katsura and Elizabeth vs. Dark Vader Win Episode 235
Sakamoto Tatsuma vs Pluto Batou (Joui War) Lost Lesson 568
Sakamoto Tatsuma vs Uranus Hankai Win Lesson 567

QuotesEdit

  • (To the Chidori's supervisor, referring to Mutsu) The ones that threw her away like a stone twice was you. I'm a merchant. If you just pay up, I'll sell you a ship or a bag or whatever with a smile on my face. But no matter how big your sacks of cash are, as customers that don't know the value of that stone...as scum that doesn't know the value of a comrade, there's no way in hell I'd give her to you. Now may I please have her back, sir?
  • (To Mutsu) Until merchandise are on the shelf, they're always "just" something. No different from "just" a rock that's lying on the ground. A merchant is an alchemist that changes that "just" into something with value that can be exchanged for money.
  • (To Mutsu) Even a rock has something it can be used for. There's a way for them to shine that even a jewel can't compare to.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 4, Lesson 26, p. 20.
  2. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 4, Lesson 27, p. 17.
  3. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 4, Lesson 26, p. 21.
  4. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 4, Lesson 27, p. 12, 14.
  5. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 41, Lesson 358, p. 7.
  6. Sorachi Hideaki. Weekly Shonen Jump. Vol. 2016-02. p. 405.
  7. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 54, Lesson 478, p. 9.

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