After receiving a whole crab from Otose the Yorozuya set about splitting it between the three of them, however there’s ten legs and three of them.
As if by fate there’s also a blackout, so after taking it out on Sorachi for working on a one shot they manage to get the lights back on only to find that one of the legs is missing. This happens a few times but while it’s obvious who’s been taking them, they blame it on a gorilla that broke in. Shinpachi then lights a candle to stop this and reveals that he has plans of his own to take the crab for himself.
However as he’s splitting it up he finds the legs gone, realising how foolish he was not to look at the bigger picture that Gintoki and Kagura had been looking at, to take all of the crab. So with the power back on he thinks ahead as to how things are going to carry out, looking back at Gintoki’s grab for the claws as an attempt to inflate their worth, and so he uses this against him to take the body for himself. Which Gintoki sees as an attempt to take the crab paste princess, Kanimisuhime. Unfortunately in doing this he’s fallen into Gintoki’s trap of cooking the body meet with rice, however Kagura sneaks up on him and takes the meat within the claws for herself, and while he still has Kanimisuhime, Shinpachi counters him by using the crab shell for flavour with vegetables. Seeing through how crab on rice only looks appetising on the surface.
But before the battle is over Kagura intervenes once more and takes it all for herself by combining the two, creating a castle in the sky and revealing her true identity and going one step further by adding an egg. However while all hope may be lost for them, Kanimisuhime appears before Gintoki and Shinpachi and tells them how crab is meant to bring everyone together, not divide them, so by using her they must remedy this situation. Making Kagura lose her appetite and allowing them to have a crab party themselves, only to realise that the cheap crab imitation meat tastes better than the real thing.
In a way it’s kind of amazing how Sorachi can transform things, from simple visits to the public pool like in the last episode to psychological battles over crab like this one, they all seem kind of mundane at first but end up being a lot of fun to see as he adds his own spin on things. And with that it was great to see one of these types of episodes again.
Being almost reminiscent of when the Yorozuya battled over hot pot almost two hundred episodes ago, the difference being that the competition had been whittled down and what they were fighting over was a whole crab instead. But none the less, the psychological battles and backstabbing were still there as the characters tried to stay one step ahead of the others. It was actually kind of nostalgic due to that as well, the twenty-fifth episode is usually regarded as the point that hooks you, the turning point at which you can’t get enough of it. So because of that, this aspect alone made it a welcome sight.
And really that alone made this episode a good one, simply as these ploys were made and represented in insane ways, starting off as simple attempts to seize the legs through gorillas and blackouts, to off the wall grand plans to take the whole crab which were represented in a similar fashion to the Sengoku period. Portraying Shinpachi and Gintoki as rivals attempting to conquer the crab, but unbeknownst to them Kagura was a third party who would come in at the last minute and turn everything upside down just as one of them had managed to get the upper hand. Even going a step further with these off the wall representations by having Kagura’s final move be of a ‘castle in the sky‘.
Just how repetitive and sudden they were was also a pretty fun, as soon as one of them managed to grasp the upper hand another would suddenly turn it all on its head and take it from them. For which while the repetition may have come across as dull at first it got to the point where it actually aided it, you were actually expecting someone to pull the rug out from under them, and even then how it all happened would still come as a surprise. It was almost impossible to guess what was coming up next. In all it was really something that aided it all.