Understanding the relationship between Takasugi and Gintoki
This is gonna be a long one, so please bear with me.
So from the very beginning of the series, we’ve been trying to understand the entire dynamic of these two complex characters, Takasugi Shinsuke and Sakata Gintoki. Up until the Tendoshu plot began unraveling, we’ve seen Takasugi as the primary antagonist. The trope is fairly easy to understand- two characters who completely contrast each other- we have Gintoki, a person who has a positive outlook on life, and forges relationships on the way. Shinsuke on the other hand, is focused on the entire “I will destroy this world” complex, and makes more enemies than friends (apart from his loyal comrades in the Kiheitai). Yet, these two share some very compelling similarities- the love they share for their teacher, and protecting what really matters to them. Having the same purpose, even if they carry out their way of fulfilling it differently (we’ll get to this later.)
If we examine their relationship from their childhood, we can see that they do share a sense of rivalry- especially on Takasugi’s end, counting the wins/losses. However, they do respect each other- their teacher is instrumental in instilling this realisation in them, that perhaps they aren’t that different. Katsura on the other hand acts as the mediator between them, because he can see both of their POV’s since he has personally experienced loss as well.
Fast forward to the time when Shouyou sensei gets arrested, and the three of them lose their father/teacher/guardian figure. We see two different reactions:
Gintoki, one of sensei’s earliest students, can immediately understand that Shouyou knows the implications of being arrested. He does try his best to prevent his sensei from being handed over to the Naraku, but seeing his teacher willingly leave, he can tell something’s up.
Takasugi, also having tried his best, but unable to save Shouyou from being taken. Takasugi is someone who was disowned by his family, and craves the intimacy he gets from being like a son to Shouyou. Seeing his teacher stripped away from him instills a huge amount of anger in him.
Fast forward to the Joui war, we have Takasugi, Gintoki and Katsura fighting for the soul purpose of avenging their sensei. In comes Sakamoto, and the Joui4 is born. Together they fight in what ends up ultimately being a losing battle. But one thing we need to understand here is that they aren’t fighting against the amanto for taking over the country- they’re fighting to get what matters to them back, and that’s Shouyou sensei.
At the end of the battle, we have Oboro giving Gintoki a choice:
Kill your teacher (and mind you this was the first time they saw him after he was arrested)
or, kill your comrades (Takasugi, Katsura)
Like I’ve said before, Gintoki understands sensei in a way that’s different from the other two- he knows what it is that sensei would want. He knows that above everything else, sensei’s dying wish would be to see his students alive. So he is burdened with the task of killing the man who raised him, fathered him, loved him. Takasugi doesn’t understand this- he can’t fathom why Gintoki would want to kill sensei, because he knows sensei mattered to Gin more than anyone else. The fact that he chooses his comrades over his teacher, is the point where their animosity begins.
Now coming to the Kiheitai’s debut, 20 years after the Joui4 went their separate ways. Mind you, we’ve seen Takasugi once before, when he attempted to assassinate the Shogun with Gengai’s robots. His efforts to destroy the Bakufu are ruined by the Yorozuya+Katsura’s joui faction. Here is where we see the “I want to destroy this world that took our Sensei away from us” story begin.
Takasugi continuously attempts to start a civil war within the Bakufu government- we can see this in the Shinsengumi Crisis Arc and the Baragaki arc as well. In between, we have the alliance between Takasugi and Kamui (Odds and Evens, ep 215)
In the Courtesan of a Nation arc, Takasugi slips into the jail where Tokugawa Sadasada is being kept. In a way, he avenges his teacher by killing the man responsible for what happened to Shouyou. In the end, we get a scene where Gintoki and Takasugi cross each others paths, but it’s only Gintoki who turns back. Gin still shows a slight bit of concern for his old friend- he knows the path he is on will only lead to his own destruction. Takasugi has no reason to turn back, because he still sees Gin as the man who made that wrong choice all those years ago.
Now we have Takasugi going in for the kill- allying with the Hitotsubashi faction to destroy the current regime in Edo, Kamui alongside him. And then, using the faction as a means to get to, and kill Tokugawa Shigeshige.
And now, we have a full fledged fight between Gintoki and Takasugi. Quite a considerable amount of their relationship is revealed to us- this is actually where we first see why this animosity exists to begin with.
Battered, the two part ways yet again with their respective Yato companions (Gintoki, Kagura; Takasugi, Kamui).
In the Farewell, Shinsengumi arc, the main Tendoshu/Utsuro/Altana plot is revealed. Gintoki is now aware of what his sensei really was. He knows that Utsuro is the man he will have to kill- the man who gave, and stole his beloved Shouyou sensei.
By the time the decisive battle on Rakuyou has begun, Takasugi is also aware of Utsuro. At this point, Gintoki and Takasugi share the same goal. Destroying Utsuro, and putting an end to his scheme of destroying the Earth. the arc ends with a Joui4 reunion, and again, the two part their ways.
The next time they meet, they’re on the same fighting side.
With the war done, we have the time skip (2 years later)
By now, Takasugi is fully able to understand Gintoki, and why he chose to save his comrades. He finally forgives him, and now the two try to save Shouyou sensei yet again- using the heart of Utsuro.
Gintoki is Takasugi’s alter ego- he is the part of Takasugi that would have done the same, 20 years ago. More than anything, Takasugi is fighting with himself. He’s fighting with the part of him that would also have chosen to save his comrades over Shouyou sensei all those years ago. Post the time skip he knows why Gintoki made that choice, because he himself faced death, only to have Shouyou sensei save him yet again (through Oboro’s ashes).
To sum it all up, we can split their relationship into parts-
1. Childhood rivalry
2. Joui war camaraderie
3. Post Joui war animosity and hatred
4. Protection (Gintoki) vs. Revenge and destruction (Takasugi)
6. Revival of brotherhood
If you managed to get to the end of this, thank you so much for reading!!!
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Gintama 629 spoilers
TITLE: Logic is really important in detective stories”
Sonroshi: So you are Hirata Genkai, I can’t believe i am getting to know the one guy, that helped the humans to archieve the defeat of the liberation army that way, the fact is that is quite surprising that the person we looked for in all galaxy that was able to sink such fleet in just one day and restore it back is someone like you
Genkai: Hey you old jeez, i don’t have any paper to wipe my ass, do you want to wipe it?? I only helped to kick the liberation army’s butt, aren’t you guys courious to see how they are doing where are they now?
Sonroshi: We are not interested to the situation in the main stroghold, they understimated the enemy, and we are not interested to fight alongside those idiots. If we stay with them we will be intossicated by their poison and our limb would rot and fall. But us, will by no means look down to you, It was on this planet that our compatriot.. the king of the yato was... Rearranging the army and defeat you will come later... But now.. genkai you have to stop that nanomachines.
Toshi; Big trouble!! THe old genkai!! Genkai fell in enemies’ hands...
Tsukuyo: eh? What do you want??
Toshi: No.. nothing
Matsudaira: Good job, thanks for providing us the enemies’ movments for all this time. Even if it’s night, such quiet is so weird, this is a good time for that party to cool their heard after all this heat. Watching without moving.. Keep their breath, they sure will come somehow, but we are waiting for them. We will rpvide tehm a bonus stage, how much it will last? But a little of rest will be good for us too.
Soyo: I can’t sleep, you too Nobume san?
Nobume: My injuries are keeping me up, i really can’t rest. But at least in this way I can keep watch over you princess and made you sleep without worries.
Soyo: I am so sorry, I ididn’t realized that, but I am ok, the one that should rest it’s you Nobume san.
Nobume: If the peincess will fall i asleep I will fall...ZZZ
Soyo: Well, you already sleeping Nobume san, I am sorry, you should be really tired, while I am getting more wake up.. When it comes to watcho over we can leave all to the yorozuya, and with such of a bodyguard we are just ok, he is looking over my bed now, so you can sleep Nobume san.... It’s ok!! Please don’t give him that kind of rest!!
Nobume: Awww.. it feels so goodz...
Soyo: I am sorry Nobume san, but I don’t knpw how to do tsukkomi on this... but this really feels so good. if we sleep near to this... That remind me.. we already did something like that. I was so selfish and couldn’t sleep alone, so i slept with all of you. Who could image that a night like that would come then.. A really lonley night.
Nobume: Princess, you two siblings, opened those eyes, we are Hitotsubashi’s faction, No one of us is useless, Shige shige sama.. me... I really have now the quaifications to be by your side.
Soyo:... This night we can have a proper sleep after a long time,from that time , i always have a good bodyguard next to me, i am not able to understand difficult things, but i know who was protecting us for all this time. Isn’t that good Nobume san? You know my pain and I know yours, Isn’t that a good reason to spend the night together? Isnt’t that enough? So let’s go throught this night togetherz...
Nobume: Princess, I don’t knoew how to tsukkomi too... WHAT!! A radio? Did someone of the guards put this radio here??
Dude: A..an... answear
Soyo: A communication? Weren’t all the communications in Edo down, cause all the machine were stopped?? And then.. this voice..
Dude: Someone.. there is some one? answer..
Dude: Rogetr that! You are...?
Soyo: I am Shigeshige’s sister, Nobunobu sama is that you?
Dude: It.. it’s back!! Communications with earth are back!! Form the analysuis it results that the nanomachines didn’t destroy all the machines! The collegues from the tech group prob thought of some means to contrast the effects in such a short time... maybe taking the central sistem that is being affected is taken in a different place..
Enshou: That makes me so happy!! I don’t care how!! Nothing is settled donw yet, Wwe can’t still get near that planet!! The grop letf behind is still in danger! Soon check the situation on earth and then decide how to move!!
Toshi: What? communications are back? Is that possible? That the enemy got it from Genkai? I can’t believe it, that gives to our enemies more weapons and chance of victory! Soon!! Doesn’t matter how !! Let’s go to search for Genkai, and take him away from the enemies!!
Gintoki: Calm down you idiots, ther eis no change that the old man told something to the enemy, the granpa is not like that. He is surely silent and cold now
Shinpachi; Do you mean he is dead???
Gin: I told it’s ok! His sense of community is hight both in space than in the underworld.
Shinpachi: So that means he is dead???
Gin: SO first of all, we should take some Heparize, prepare some vomit bag and go to sleep. God, all this shaking is making me feel sick gorgorgorgoro...
Toshi: Oi!! you bastard why did you drank until to feel so sick during war!!
Gin: ‘Cause I thought that i saved before to face the last boss! I thought I had recover all my HP!!
Yamazaki: Oi please, wake up...
Gin: But I fell into a pond of poison as i woke up... and instead to recover HP the screen became green.
Toshi: Real life doesn’t have save points! n life every progress hurts! And the damage zone is really wide!
Gin: And the fact that the old man is been took by the enemy is a proof.
Okita: Somehow he left a trace made of shit... where he is been caught he didn’t had paper and could not move...
Gin: Of course, that is such a proper way to die too, old man!
Okita: On the place there are still some remains of poop left, this is a proof that he didnt wiped his ass. SO the remains left on his ass is leading us
Gin: Somehow this makes so much sense... Did you called the old man by name? Did you put him on shame?
Shinpachi: SO do you really think that that was a way for Genkai to leave some trace?
Okita: His hands were cuffed, Somehow we been invested in luck!
Shinpachi: Okita san... actually we got invested in shit
Okita: Look there!
Shinpachi: The poop is keeping going..
Okita: While he was kidnapped by the enemies he showed his position to us. He didn0t had nothing with him, so he left this mark.
Shinpachi What kind of Hansel and Gretel is that??
Okita: If we follow that we can reach Genkai!
Toshi: Oi Sougo! Did you just called the old man by name? is that good??
Gin: What if that is just poop by a really big dog?
Shin: Other than that, isn’t all of this against every conventions?
Toshi: Is even possible for a single human being to poop tht much?
Okita: Probaly not in a normal situation, but now he is in danger...
Kondo: It was so long i didn’t meet that person and I drunk too much, to think it was prune’s juice... Anyway.. it doesn’t matter in how deep the forest where i am is, I knew you will surely found that out.. can you go to bu me some pants?
Okita: So it asn’t a poop trail
Toshi: Well it was a gorilla trail. There, there was no human, understand??
Shin: Well that was your general gorilla trail! Are you ok with that???
Gin: I thought from the start that he was running in strage way... but he was going headed from us just to wash his pants.
Toshi: Forget all of that!!
Gin: I wanted to.. but that made me feel sick again
Shin: What do we do now? We have no clue left.
Toshi: look there
Shin: Blood? that means...
Toshi: Maybe that is a trail left by Genkai.
Shin: That means that Genkai san is...
Toshi: I don’t know. ut this is a race against time for sure!
Okita: Hijikata san, call for some gopchang
Toshi: Why I should be the only one to call for intestines?? I want to call for the old man too
Shin: Look! the amount of blood is getting bigger!!
Toshi: That’s bad! move!!
Zenzou: I drank too much and my hemorrhoids exploded. But I knew that you would notice that... please move, put that into my ass...
Toshi: Oi! That’s all cause your drinking party!! You all have some leak, manly from your lover body!
Gin: Don’t deceive things with tsukkomi! Move! use some logic and pull out the intestines!
TOshi: So Okita should pull out the old man tho!
Okita: I am sorry Hijikata san, but my granpa died a really long time ago, so die now Hijikata san
Toshi: What logic is that?? You have no qualifications to tell mistery stories!!
Shin: Hey!! Are things to say in this situations!!
Toshi: If every one is abl to use communication of us is over!!
Kagura: It’s here
Shin: Kagura chan?
Okita: Do you know what it’s happening?
Kagura: It’s only my intuition, but I trust it.. a night like that yato become hunters
Enshou: Sonroshi, from Daikini to Shinra I collected the stronger, but in the end only the yato are left. Is that the man?
Sonroshi: Yes, he still have ears and mounth , but the only thing that we really need it’s his head and skills. As we will lead him to torture he will beg let us know where his companions are.
Genkai: SO you are the liberation army’s boss? happy to talk with you
Enshou: Yeah, where is the thing that is blocking all battleships. arms and communications?
Genkai: well, communications seems to be back. Prob you were once worshipped, you look to have such sweet establishment. A for the nanomachines they can be stopped only by the bees. And I can’t grant your wishes to come near earth cause I don’t know a way to stop them too
Enshou: Is that so? As I though, That means that weliberation army can’t be stopped too earthling. we, the altana liberation army, got this from the Tendoshu collecting it from various stars in order to release it against the one that will refuse this holy war, so if you don’t want to grant our wish and fight with us, the best thing will be to reduce to dust all the life in the entire universe.
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