A Subtle Friendship Lesson from Gintama

Gintama Chapter 131 pg 25

If you ask Gintama fans on what arc was one of the most emotional to them, it was the Mitsuba Okita arc. It’s still one of my favorite Gintama stories ever as I even wrote about it years ago. That particular story started off happy, then got serious quickly, and ended on a somber yet touching moment. It also got a web live-action adaptation with the same actors from the Gintama live-action movie.

Mitsuba was a big focus, but another important character was her brother, the lovable sadist himself, Sogo Okita. There’s a few lines he says in the end before he and Gintoki Sakata decide to save Toshiro Hijikata from danger while leaving Mitsuba in the hospital before she died.

Here’s part of the context and the lines Sogo says at the end of this sequence.

Gintama Chapter 131 pg 26
Gintama Chapter 131 pg 27

“I’m a lucky man. Some people live their whole lives without ever making a real friend. I’ve already made three lousy friends in my life.”

This statement is pretty sad, but it rings true for many. Making friends sounds easy for certain types of people. We’ve all been jealous of people who seem to get along with everyone they encounter. However, I’ve been thinking about how many of those friendships are meaningful. I’ve met people who are sociable, but are lonely deep inside.

Before this scene, Sogo learns that Hijikata went after Mitsuba’s criminal soon-to-be husband on his own to protect him. He wants to help Hijikata as he doesn’t like owing anything to a guy he dislikes, but Kondo tells Sogo to stay by Mitsuba’s side. Sogo then harps at Kondo for seemingly preferring Hijikata over him. Kondo punches Sogo …continue reading