The Yorozuya haven’t been getting much work recently but with Kagura bringing some friends over to show them what they do they have to come up with something quickly, so they just start making up titles and what they do.
Is it weird to want a Patriot after this episode?
As part of this Gintoki dons his fake beard and creates things he dubs as “Patriots”, asking them whether they prefer Calcutta or Meso Gear, in reality being coffee or strawberry milk. But when asked what they do they tell them how they build and sell Patriots, which are in fact completely useless, however they rationalise this by explaining that there are plenty of other useless things in this world. This isn’t enough for one kid however and he sees them as being equally useless, and after taking a few hits to the head with one he becomes hardboiled. Following this Gintoki gets depressed about how useless his invention is and when Hijikata is faced with the flaws in the law by another bunch of kids he takes the Patriot approach as well and joins Gintoki.
As it would just so happen, Tsukuyo is also being faced with a group of kids about what the woman do in the Yoshiwara and faces a barrage of questions from Sacchan, later bursting into tears. And if that wasn’t enough Kondo is giving a factory tour on what it means to be a stalker, and when he talks about how you have to love your job Hasegawa counters this by telling him that sometimes you’ll have to do jobs you hate, after all he is a Patriot. However he completely understands him, as after all he is one himself. At the end of the day they’re all dragged down to the riverbank and Shinpachi tells them that they can’t end a factory tour like that.
Because of this they send out invitations for the tour and give the false impression that Patriots are top-secret and that they don’t really have a choice. Shinpachi and Kagura then give a speech on the history of the Patriot and they then head to the assembly line to see how they’re made, but first they’ll need to fix the factory chief and they do this by giving a run through of his life. He started off with the hope of being a factory chief at a tissue factory, however because his father owned a toilet paper factory he wasn’t having any of it and kicked him out. Following this he went on to fulfill his dream and he and his father refused to use the paper the other worked with, filling it’s purpose with the one they did. However when his father died he learned that his father had been proud of him and so he sought to combine the two products, resulting in the Patriot.
Through this the message is that jobs shouldn’t be compared or looked down upon, in the end everyone has their job to do and the world needs them to do it. That every job is worthy of respect. However the kids haven’t appeared to have learned this at all and give him a good kick before reflecting on how useless this all was.
And the Shogun returns to go to the pool.
It was good to see things shift back to the comedy side of things with this episode but while it may have not been as good as other episodes in that aspect, I think it was overpowered by the message that it all had to it. That while some things in this world could be considered useless, it doesn’t truly mean that they are.
It’s kind of a nice message when you think about it, it’s as if the episode was trying to defeat that prejudice associated with these sorts of things. As if to deal with those moments where people come and give speeches and explanations, so called ‘factory tours’ on what they do for a living and the recipients of these speeches raise their hand and tell them that their job is a pointless waste of time. And it was through these things the episode turned out to be pretty nice in a weird quirky sort of way, by pointing out that when it comes down to it a lot of things are useless but in the end it’s still up to us to do them, that they’re not as useless as you would first expect them to be.
But even then it seemed to take this sort of message even further, by going on to explain that no one should really look down on anyone based on the job that they do because of this. That all these so called useless things all come together and make the world that it is and so are all therefore worthy of respect. Whether you have a good job (well at least one you like) or a shitty job it still doesn’t mean anything either, it’s still something you have to do. So all up I may have been taking all these things way too far but I thought that even amongst all the comedy, this was a nice message and made the episode all right in its own right. It’s kind of funny how Gintama manages to do these things, let alone with some made up on the spot story of a factory chief.
Finally however as far as the comedy itself went I liked the way that the Patriots were worked into things, it was as if they were the solution to those awkward moments where you have your ideals shattered and you’re faced with a question you don’t want to answer. Like an “Okay, shut up now,” solution. Next to that how varied all of these things and the factory tours were was also kind of fun in its own way, it started off with fairly reasonable jobs like the Yorozuya’s odd jobs or the police but soon spiralled into the ones that kids shouldn’t really aspire to be, such as a stalker. And with all of that I also loved how we were able to see Tsukuyo again.