Since his first appearance in Gintama, I’ve become a fan of this anti-hero character. Okita Soujiro, the captain of the Shinsengumi’s first squadron, is a master of swordplay. Considered to be genius, Okita is often characterized as a slick person and a sadist. He has a long-lasting rivalry against Hijikata Toushiro, the vice-commander of Shinsengumi and always try to eradicate him in order to gain the vice-commander position.
He, however, only accept order from only one person that is Ishiro Kondo, the general of the Shinsengumi. His personality is best described to be a fox, hard to expect and finish things in his own way.
Anyway, this article might be a spoiler for you who hasn’t watch Gintama, so if you’re an anti-spoiler person, please stop reading right now (Don’t say I’ve never warned you).
So, the episode is on the 103th entitled “The Differences of Strength and Weakness is Paper Thin”. The shinsengumi has an internal conflict after Hijikata Toushiro accidentally took a cursed sword from a blacksmith when he went to fix his broken sword. The sword was practically consumed Hijikata’s soul and turning him into a complete loser. He surrender and beg for mercy in front of Joui members (the government rebel group) and start turning into an otaku.
His rumor of turning into a complete loser was heard by other Shinsengumi’s members. Feeling the advantage of using this opportunity to get rid of Hijikata, Okita decide to ally with Itou as long as he gets the vice-commander position. Itou saw this opportunity to smooth things up in his plan to assassinate Kondo and take over the Shinsengumi.
In the train where Kondo was riding with Itou, Itou turned his back against Kondo and told him that he will kill Kondo and take over the Shinsengumi by allying with the Joui. “I’m black who stained over anyone”, said Itou. “Your banner has been pitched black, Kondo”, said Itou cynically. Kondo laugh, “Pitched black? You must’ve been misunderstand, we’re more like dirt, who doesn’t come off even you try as hard as you can to wipe it clean”. Kondo paused and continue. “We may not be beautiful alone, but all of us together can make something that people will recognize as an art. That’s what Shinsengumi is”.
Then, from the other side, Okita came and try to rescue Kondo.
Itou: So you’re actually a spy. You lied to me to get to my good side.
Okita: It wasn’t a lie. I do want the vice-commander position. Now that Hijikata’s gone, you’re next Itou-sensei.
Okita: Sorry, I won’t serve you nor him. I’ll only acknowledge one person as my general.
Long story short, Okita bombed the train and take Hijikata to the front car. He locked up Kondo in the front car and disengaged it from the other car, leaving Okita to battle with the remaining enemies. When he went to battle with his ex-comrades, this is his lines:
Okita: Shinsengumi Kyokuchuu Hatto, clause 21…
Okita: Secret communication with the enemy…
Okita: …will be punished.
Okita: Each and every one of you will be purged by me.
Then, Itou left the scene, leaving Okita to battle with his ex-comrades. What is cool was his next lines:
Okita: As Captain of the Sshinsengumi’s first squadron, I’ll offer you one last piece of advice
Okita: When facing an enemy with an overwhelming difference in strength, the best way to overcome his power is by depending on numbers.
Okita: Breath as one.
Okita: Linking your breathing with your heart and body.
Okita: And at the right moment, come at him together and cut him down!
Okita: And then…
Fuuh, I got all jumpy when hearing that last line. Since then, I nominated him to be one of the best anti-hero characters in an anime. Here’s a set of screenshots of the scene: