Having just got back from a six month vacation, Gintoki returns home but finds that he’s not exactly the protagonist anymore, that the other characters have replaced him with his blonde perfectly straight-haired antithesis, Sakata Kintoki.
Well this took me by surprise. Also Nakamura Yuuichi as Kintoki is just brilliant.
“LET’S GO OUT” by AMOYAMO.
Not sure of just what’s going on Gintoki then believes that he got a little too drunk and mixed up the timeslot, critcising that a main character shouldn’t be that well polished only to find that they really must have replaced him, returning to be treated as just another customer. Going on to agree and compare his situation with that which Kagura puts forth, going on a business trip and returning to find another guy with your wife and digging through your fridge. If that weren’t enough he also finds that Kintoki happens to be a better main character than he is, a seemingly more friendly and wiser version of himself who even pays his rent.
Gintoki then comes to realise that in six months this Kintoki was able to outshine the sixty DVDs worth of work he had done, and unable to hold back any longer beats Kintoki over the head with them. However Shinpachi hits him back and condemns how he would hit someone who was trying to help him, serving to only make it clear that he and Kagura have replaced him. What’s more it also turns out that Kintoki has replaced him in every one of the DVDs, other characters such as Otae, Kyuubei, Sacchan, Tsukuyo, Katsura, and Elizabeth only serving to cement this point. As such he comes to believe that his existence has been stolen and takes to drowning his sorrows in liquor, during which Kintoki of all people shows up. Revealing that all the other characters are trapped in his illusion but there’s nothing Gintoki can do to prove it, and in order to rub it in Kintoki even asserts that the world will go on just fine without him.
Having been completely and utterly defeated, Gintoki even comes to accept this as well and ends up being beaten by some local thugs. However just when it looks like everyone has forgotten him, Sadaharu and Tama find him in the trash, Tama revealing that she had been looking for him and that she couldn’t really forget him. Going on to note that while he argued, was lazy, and didn’t pay his rent regularly he still managed to outshine Kintoki’s fake gold, that his light was more genuine. So now determined not to lose he resolves to fight Kintoki, however is reluctant towards trashing his own place. Before he can confront him however, Tama pulls him aside to come up with a plan, handing him a manual for the Perfect Super Golden Alloy, Sakata Gintoki Unit 02. An android built by Gengai to replace and overcome all his weaknesses.
“Moonwalk” by MONOBRIGHT.
Well I must admit that this episode took me by surprise, I had heard that Kintama would be coming back but I thought it was only going to be reruns like the Yorinuki Kintama episodes, nothing entirely special. But what a great start this was, Kintoki being voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura makes it perfect.
Considering the friendship that he and Gintoki’s voice actor Tomokazu Sugita have (check out their Tokyo Encounter show for an idea, bros playing video games enough said), Nakamura being cast as Kintoki really just couldn’t have been anymore fitting. In a way it’s the exact same sort of dynamic they had between their roles in Blazblue, where two guys who are bros in real life play characters who are completely at odds with one another. It’s the sort of thing where you can only begin imagine just how much fun they must be having or if Nakamura had been intended to play Kintoki all along.
Furthermore the idea isn’t that bad either, when Gintama catches up with the manga the characters all tend to call it quits and take a long vacation and when they come back it’s just the perfect opportunity for jokes like these. With the last time happened resulting in a great timeskip joke that attempted to make fun of all the usual tropes that come with them (I still miss timeskip Kagura), while this one goes down the road of the characters just replacing Gintoki while he’s gone. Having all evidence of his existence effectively overwritten. It’s one thing that it ties in with all the Gintama jokes, but in the manner that Kintoki was able to crush him and Gintoki was able to rise again was great.
The message seemed to be along the lines of while the other characters didn’t necessarily need him, he still needed them and that to some extent they were even part of him. On his own he just isn’t the Gintoki we all know and love. Needless to say because of that it was really uplifting to see Tama and Sadaharu show up still remembering hi.m and make him realise that. Other than that it was also fun to see Gintoki steadily lose it over the course of the episode, the whole analogy about arriving home and finding your wife with another man eating your pudding cup couldn’t have been any better, he had stepped out for a while and someone quite literally hijacked his life. Either way this was a good start, balancing great jokes and a pretty nice message as well.