Faced with a possible threat to his illusion, Kintoki brutally crushes Tama only to have Gintoki show up before he can finish her off.
Instead of taking him down right then and there however, Gintoki prioritises saving her and so runs off to Gengai after tearing his nuts and bolts out, a weakened Tama taking the chance to capture a glimpse of a crying Gintoki. In response to this though, Kintoki uses what has happened to Tama to villainise him.
As such Gintoki finds his friends after his head while he hides out at Gengai’s place, Gengai having believed him after he showed up with Tama, and resolves alongside Sadaharu to take Kintoki down. Gengai realising that he had failed to give Kintoki the ability to do just that and that he must be stopped. While everyone is on the lookout for him though, messing about all the same, Otae has further doubts about Kintoki. Knowing that if something like this had happened the leader of the Yorozuya would plunge head first into it without a word. Gintoki showing up just as she finishes this and charging through on Sadaharu.
This however had been a ploy to lure their attention away as he makes his way alone across the rooftops, but even so the likes of Tsukuyo, Sacchan, and Kyuubei had not been fooled and refuse to back down. If anything fighting over who gets to take him down which Gintoki takes advantage of to try to sneak away. This of course fails and he soon finds himself up against all three of them unarmed, but through pure chance he saves all three of them by reenacting significant scenes. In turn breaking Kintoki’s illusion over them and leading to them choosing to stand in Kintoki’s way when he shows up.
Three episodes in and I’m once again kind of surprised that this arc is still running, honestly I never quite expected a four to five episode arc to kick things off for this season (or more reruns) but I’m enjoying it none the less. Gintoki convincing his friends of who he is by saving them one by one was kind of forced but nice all the same, plus we got to see him take Kintoki down a notch after crossing the line.
Really after just what he did to Tama he really had it coming, prior to this I wouldn’t have exactly said that Kintoki was really all that bad. He was merely attempting to live up to the purpose for which he had been created for, leading the Yorozuya and taking Gintoki’s place, and he didn’t exactly bear any ill will towards anyone but Gintoki because of that. It was even possible to think of Gintoki as the vilain because of that. However after what he showed Tama just for opposing this was firmly cemented otherwise, when the holes in his illusion started to show what’s to say he wouldn’t meet them the same way.
After that however I wouldn’t say that I was overly fond of the direction that things headed in, Gintoki having to go against his friends in order to take them back had been something that was always being built up to in this arc, but just how easily manipulated they were didn’t sit well with me nor the way that the seeds of doubt were planted. Gintoki was essentially confronted by Tsukuyo, Kyuubei, and Sacchan out for blood, proved one by one that Kintoki isn’t exactly the real thing, and then had them spontaneously switch to his side. It just felt a little controverted.
If anything though it did nicely serve to add to the focus on Gintoki’s character in this arc, and in some cases revisit some of his memorable moments across the series. As pointed out by Otae, while Kintoki called upon everyone he knew and who owed him to do the work for him, Gintoki is the type of character to do anything but that. To the point that you could call him selfish, instead of dragging others into it he would go off on his own and carry the weight alone. On the side it’s just something that I really liked about this episode, things like this about Gintoki’s character show up more than often but it’s never really looked or focused upon. Either way I’m looking forward to his climactic showdown with Kintoki.