Gintama
Episode 327

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 327 of
Gintama. (TV 5/2017) ?

The Battle on Rakuyo heads toward its conclusion with a look at Oboro's past. In addition to being one of the most recent additions to the show's rogues gallery, Oboro had also been the most mystery-shrouded of Gintoki's adversaries. Although their respective pasts remained unexplored for a long while, viewers at least had a rough idea of who Takasugi and Kamui were, as well as what motivated them. Oboro, on the other hand, was largely a blank slate, so it's satisfying to finally get some insight into his personal history.

Even though his battle with Kagura helped reawaken his human side, Kamui ultimately decides to return to the Seventh Fleet and assume a new leadership role in the Harusame at the urging of the Shokaku and Bato. Having survived their various battles, the Odd Jobs crew and Umibozu receive medical treatment on the Kairinmaru, and Kagura requests that her initial leave of absence now be regarded as a paid vacation. However, as Takechi reveals to Sakamoto, one more battle took place as Sadaharu was rushing Umibozu to safety: Takasugi vs. Oboro. Although Utsuro decided to depart from Rakuyo, Oboro knew that the former students of Shoka Sonjuku would continue to be a hindrance as long as they were allowed to live, prompting him to stay behind.

While doing battle with Takasugi, Oboro reveals that Shoyo/Utsuro took him in as a child after the Naraku murdered his family, and the immortal saved him from a fatal wound by sharing some of his blood. While serving as a personal page boy for Utsuro, the young Oboro began to see the good in his new master, who he encouraged to leave the organization and start his own school. Wishing to free Utsuro from the life of an assassin, Oboro helped him escape the Naraku, going so far as becoming their new leader in an effort to keep them off his trail. However, after encountering Utsuro in his Shoyo guise years later, Oboro was overcome with jealousy and felt an intense desire to once again serve alongside his former savior. This prompted him to inform the Naraku of Shoyo's location, resulting in his arrest and setting the events of the series into motion. In the current timeline, it's revealed that Oboro is gradually becoming weaker as Utsuro's blood transfusions have less of an effect over time, and after being cut down by Takasugi, he expresses a desire to reveal Utsuro's origins before dying.

Since the show's other villains have received a fair amount of development over the past few arcs, it seems only fitting that Oboro would get a little attention, although his story is rather rushed. Unlike Kamui and Sasaki's backstories, Oboro's tale doesn't feature many surprises, but it does a serviceable job of explaining his role in the story and revealing why he's so loyal to Utsuro. Although all signs suggest that he won't survive past the next episode, it's fitting that we got to learn more about Oboro before he makes his exit. His story also helps fill in a few of the massive gaps in Utsuro's history, and it looks like even more secrets are set to be revealed next week.

Even though this arc's action-packed battles are over, the long-awaited revelations about the show's main story just keep coming. With nearly every major question of the series and its universe now answered, it's impossible to deny that Gintama's days are numbered. As amazing as the Battle on Rakuyo has been, it feels like things are starting to wind down as the stage is set for the series' endgame.

Rating: A-

Gintama is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.


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