With Gintoki still in shock that Kintoki is a robot, Tama explains how Gengai’s plans to build an assistant had gradually evolved into creating the perfect leader for the Yorozuya while he was on vacation, the blonde straight-haired Kintoki being the end result.
From there Kintoki quickly gained the love of the people and manipulated their brainwaves to overwrite their memories of Gintoki with him, as such Tama and Sadaharu were left unaffected as he resolved to replace him, pitting Gintoki against his friends if he intends to face him. Tama however intends to make use of memories and the differences between the unpolished Gintoki and Kintoki.
To do this they put together their own Yorozuya Sepia and confront the Yorozuya at Otae’s workplace, Tama and Sadaharu replacing Kagura and Shinpachi, by attempting to steal their work fixing the karaoke machines which ends with Gintoki beating Kintoki over the head with them. Because of this Tama is forced to take over but her attempts to find out what’s wrong result in little more than a talk about love which Kintoki is able to hijack and solve. Going on to confront them over and over again until it comes to trying to convince a jumper not to do it, Tama believing that Gintoki intends to fake an attempt only to have him turn it into another attempt to hit Kintoki.
Unfortunately this jumper turns out to be Sacchan, and in throwing herself between them he sends her flying over the edge. But while Kintoki revels in his victory, Gintoki leaps after her in an attempt to break her fall. From this point the characters begin to have doubts in Kintoki being the Yorozuya leader they know while Gintoki seemingly gives up on winning them back, proud that Shinpachi and Kagura would leap to save someone without second thought. Alongside this Otae notes that something is missing in her impression of Kintoki, Sacchan appears to have fallen for Gintoki all over again, while Hinowa notes that the Yorozuya leader used to have a peculiar worn out sort of feeling to him. At this point Gintoki also can’t help but admire the Yorozuya leader that Kintoki is but swears to take his friends back while Tama heads back to the others but runs into Kintoki.
This arc is lasting a little longer than I expected it to but even so I’m enjoying it all the same. Gintoki’s attempts to win his friends back were amusing and at the same time this episode provides an interesting reflection on his character. Let alone it also presents another opportunity for Tama to shine.
A thing that seems to happen just about every time she shows up in an arc, she doesn’t seem to appear that often or rather as much as the other characters do but she probably has to be the most loyal character to Gintoki in the series. To put it simply she feels indebted to him and isn’t afraid to show it or even that she can even repay him for saving her time and time again, to some extent she even seems to be the one he can always rely on the most when things take a turn for the worst because of that. Other than that what’s not to love about a cute-loyal-maid-robot, a position that Tama fills more than nicely.
As something interesting on the side I also liked the attention drawn to Gintoki’s rather complex character, and as opposed to looking into who he was in the past the focus being who he is now in the eyes of those he knows and loves. And to some extent it appears that the other characters share his sentiments about how he’s empty without them, Otae comparing him to a lost glove without them and Hinowa a worn out magazine with them. In the end I just really liked how Gintoki’s, generally overlooked, crude and eccentric current self is being looked into and even deconstructed in this arc, to be honest I don’t think it’s something we really think about.
Alongside that as fun as Gintoki’s attempts to win back his friends were, and forming his own Yorozuya Sepia with Tama and Sadaharu crammed into Kagura and Shinpachi’s positions as a way of saying screw you to Kintoki was just that, it was also interesting to learn Gintoki’s thoughts on it once he calmed down a bit. He still doesn’t appeared to have given up but at the same time he’s questioning whether he’s even right in doing that, Kintoki having covered his flaws has made those around him happy, and to do that would be taking that happiness away. As such it should be interesting to see what will happen in the next episode, Kintoki looks to have crossed the line.