Inside the Palace!!
Oh Lord Sadasada, with a face like that, you could conquer my nation any day.
Oh Lord Shigeshige, with a face like that.
Okay, so I’m a tad conflicted here. On the one hand, this was great. On the other, holy geez does this feel a little fast? It’s not as if there isn’t any of that important silence time to let scenes sink in, but there’s really not all that much. Thankfully enough it’s fairly fitting here, considering how quickly the situation ramps up, there’s really no time before we’re at a level Gintama has never approached before. Or maybe it’s the eternal curse of being a manga reader. The pacing is never going to be exactly what you expect it to be. And without skipping a beat, former Shogun Sadasada is here to pay a visit to his favorite Shogun nephew Shigeshige.
The Shogun remains beautiful in every way, and the scene is pure gold.
Nobume in particular, who today gains some semblance of a personality, as the one showed during Thorny was indicative of nothing. Congrats Okita #2, you are now your own person. It’s only appropriate you’re one who goes along with seemingly anything. Her joining on Gintoki’s, and later Kagura’s, gags is just about the sweetest cherry to top a cake. Nobume growing on me aside, Tsukuyo takes the chance and asks the former Shogun of his relation to Suzuran, in tandem with Kagura and Shinpachi grilling Sasaki for the same. Sasaki, you’re such a lovable little e-mail addict. It is a shame you got stabbed right now.
So it is, the relation between Sadasada and Suzuran is revealed, and it’s not savory info to have a taste of. Suzuran was indeed in the former Shogun’s favor, however the relation was as you’d expect of a power mongerer. Yoshiwara was a center of politics, and none other played that game better than Sadasada. Her enticing features were the fatal weakness for many a’ leading individuals, and her beauty was to become their grave. Bottom line: Sadasada is a major creep. The bait-and-switch with the drool is also nasty.
Which makes Sadasada a first for Gintama. With all the villains we’ve run into thus far, this guy is the first to land himself into legitimate icky villain territory. Well. The vixen from the Harusame space pirates might apply. But even Hosen, the man who used the women of Yoshiwara most extensively, never fit the role of an immediately disgusting man. His secret yearning was hinted at since his conversation with Kamui, there was a personal reason as to why Yoshiwara and Hinowa in particular were so important to keep chained. He was absolutely a bad guy, this is the guy who landed Hinowa in a wheelchair. But Sadasada is deplorable. Yuck, even. Unlike the bad guy who couldn’t get to terms with himself, he’s a good guy revealing to be absolutely rotten to the core.
But it’s probably a better thing he decided to lock the gang up, before they left the palace with no way back in. As is with the Mimawarigumi, driven out of the compound, having let in the supposed murderers and their boss under the knife. Which means there’s no choice but to rely on the other cop force, our good ol’ buds, so cross the Shinsengumi right off the arc appearance list. They might have ideological differences regarding how to handle a great power on the Shogun’s level, but after 60 DVD volumes, these guys have enough personal connection to the Yorozuya to trust them on this one. Also Princess Soyo’s story, that was pretty incriminating.
So it is, the second half to the story. While Sadasada consolidates his power, his retainer Maizou finds himself smitten by Suzuran. But as Suzuran’s usefulness reaches its end, the fresh Shogun has no choice but to dispose of the lethally endowed information bank. But he cannot harm the one he loves so truly, thus they plan a moonlight escape. However the Shogun has caught wind of their plans, and decides a punishment crueler than death. Suzuran may live, as long as Maizou never pays her a visit. Suzuran will suffer alone as Maizou lives on an oathbreaker.
The guy is just a big bully. And then he asks Maizou to cut open his belly. The most biggest bulliest guy out there.
We hate this guy now, right? Sweet, let the action role in next week.
P.S. The awkward group laugh never works for me. Not even here does it feel natural or even good. This episode was great. And the promise makes up for it. That was a good promise. But still… sigh.