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Episode 33

 

(Background Music playing: Shitsui [Dejection]) <bgsound src="shitsui.mp3" loop="infinite">

Title: Tomo no Shi (A Friend's Death)
Broadcast Date: August 22nd, 2004
Ratings: 16.1%

 

Synopsis
Akesato are picking yellow flowers. She called out Yamanami showing the flowers in her hands, "Sensei!! Look!!!". Yamanami smiled, "What flower is that?". "Nano flower!" she answered. "Nope," he shake his head. "ehhh....this is not nano? But its the same yellow....and nano flower also bloom in this time around!".
Yamanami explained, "No, nano flower usually bloom in a warmer weather season....its colour is more yellow than this, and smaller size...". "Hee....sou....I cant tell the difference....but I'm sure nano flower also blooms now!" she insist. Yamanami smiles, "Lets go...". "What's the hurry? Lets just take a slow journey...". "We have to make it before dark," Yamanami insist, and he walks off. But Akesato, is not moving, and just squating. Yamanami ask what is it. She said, "I'm hungry!".

Meanwhile, Isami command Okita to find Yamanami. Okita is reluctant at first, coz if he finds him, he has to commit seppuku. But, after understanding Isami's intention to let Yamanami escape, and looking for him is just for formality, Okita agrees. "Just ride your horse slowly...and if by dark, you haven't find him, we can conclude he has escape, cannot be found...and so he'd be free from seppuku punishment,".

"Sensei, do you know how to eat the 3rd and 4th dango?? The 1st and 2nd ones are easy to eat, coz its by the top of the stick, right? But the 3rd and 4th ones are further...and so our mouth would be poked on by the stick's end....see?*poke the stick to her mouth*...ouch!!" Akesato said. Yamanami pay attention to all she said. "So? do you know, sensei?". Yamanami replied no.
"heehee....turns out, there are things sensei dont understand too! I'll tell you! first time ne....I'm telling sensei about something..." Akesato smile in glee. Yamanami smiled, "Onegaishimasu,". "To eat the 3rd and 4th dango, just turn the stick around! So it would not poke our mouth! like this....hmmmpp...." Akesato eat them and smile to Yamanami. Yamanami smile widely. "I'll get you some tea!" Akesato stand and walks off.

Suddenly, Yamanami sees Okita riding a horse. He close his eyes.....then, stand up and yelled out, "Okita-kun!". Okita is startled.....upset....and dissapointed....to see Yamanami standing right in front of him.

Okita and Yamanami have a talk in an inn. Okita ask him what happened, why did he runaway. Yamanami just answered, "I'm tired...". "Tired?! We're all tired! What do you mean??". Okita tell Yamanami, to escape...he can pretend he never find him, and forget about everything. But Yamanami refuse, and he said he'll go back to Mibu. "You will have to commit seppuku, if you do that....do you realize that?" Okita reminds him. Yamanami nods.
Akesato comes. Yamanami ask Okita to leave him alone with Akesato. He tells her, that he has to be back now to Mibu coz of work....and he told her to go back to her home, Tanba....and that someday he will go to Tanba, to visit her. Akesato, of course, refuse at first....but later, agrees...since Yamanami promised her, that they will meet again.

~February 23rd, 1865~
"Why do you come back??" Isami is gritting his teeth. Yamanami just said he is ready to accept the seppuku punishment. Isami is also acting tough, "You know your punishment already? Good....too bad, Yamanami-san...". But later, Isami opens the door....leave it open....sit back to back with Yamanami, and close his eyes...indicating he is letting him go, and he's willing to pretend he dont know it happens. But Yamanami just close the door back, "I'm ready to commit seppuku, I wont escape,". Isami is stunned......

They held a meeting....Harada and Nagakura disagree with the seppuku decision by Hijikata. But hearing Isami's opinion, that it is the only way for right now....they silent. Exiting the meeting room, Matsubara, Kawai and Ozeki are pleading and bowing to Isami and Hijikata to let Yamanami free from the seppuku punishment. Hijikata is really upset and snapped, "Shut up!!!!!! Do you want to commit seppuku all together?!?!?".

"Until the seppuku tonight, you will have to stay in this room, is it alright?" Isami said to Yamanami. "Yes, of course. Sumimasen...but who will beheaded me?" Yamanami asks. "I have asked Saitou to do it," Isami replied. "I'm very sorry, to give you trouble....but may I ask for Okita to be the one to beheaded me? The first time I went to Shieikan...the first duel I have was with Okita-kun....it'll be an honour if he can beheaded me....".

The Yagi husband and wife are also pleading Hijikata, to let Yamanami free, since he is not a bad person at all. But, of course, Hijikata replied negatively to that.

Yamanami are giving his last encouraging messages to Kawai Kisaburo and Ogata Shuntaro. To write down a precise record of Shinsengumi's activities so that it can be passed down to coming generations.

Nagakura and Harada lied to Shimada Kai(who is given the task to guard Yamanami's room), that he's been called by Hijikata. Then, they tell Yamanami to escape now.
Meanwhile, Shimada ask Hijikata why he called him, "Nope....I did not call you....maybe its kyokuchou?". "Its weird....Harada and Nagakura said you called me..." Shimada is about to go back. Hearing Harada and Nagakura's names, Hijikata realizes something, then suddenly call Shimada back, "wait, wait!! I just remembered! Yeah, I'm the one who call you....come here,".

Yamanami refuse to escape, "If I escape...the two of you, will have to commit seppuku too...". "Then we'll escape together with you!" Harada answered. Yamanami close the door. "No! I'm not going anywhere....I'm staying, and will commit the seppuku tonight.....I do not want to drag down anybody together with me......Japan is in its most troubled moments now....our country is falling apart....Shinsengumi have to make things right....Kondou-san have to lead Shinsengumi to save our country...by that time, I want you both to be by his side,".

Hide, Okita and Saitou are seating near each other. "So Hijikata-san who insist the seppuku....he hate Yamanami-san that much? why.........slowly, I begin to resent Hijikata-san," Hide said.
Saitou speak up, "No...its not like that. I've once seen it.....when me, Hijikata-san and Yamanami-san were patrolling at Osaka. We found futteroushi there....and raid the place,". Scenes showing Hijikata, Yamanami and Saitou fighting the roushi. One roushi is about to stab Yamanami's neck....but then is stabbed faster by Hijikata. Then, Hijikata give out his hand to Yamanami, and help him standing up.
"That time, I realized that they are actually friends, and not rivals," Saitou continue.
Okita mumbles, "Why do people I like, have to fight against each other....and dies.....I do not come here for this,"

Inoue brings foods for Yamanami, and also lied to Shimada that he's been called by Hijikata, of course...with the intention to let Yamanami escape. But of course....he refuse. "I feel happy to have my last meal, cooked by Inoue-san.....you lied to Shimada just now....I will never forget that, thank you so much," are Yamanami's last words to Inoue.

"A woman named Akesato, asked to meet you...do you want to see her?" Isami asked Yamanami. Yamanami is startled, "I've asked her to go back to Tanba.....I'm really sorry,"
Akesato insist that she will go everywhere Yamanami goes, she dont want to be alone again now she has found him....she cant just go back to her hometown like that without Yamanami. But then, Yamanami again, persuade her....and promised her, he will visit her sometime.

At night....all Shinsengumi members are ready for the seppuku, and they all wear their uniforms to respect Yamanami. In the room, Yamanami is just sitting with a seppuku outfit...suddenly, someone knock the window from outside. He opens it.
Akesato: Sensei!!!
Yamanami: You're still here?
Akesato: Look, look!! This is nano flower right?!
Yamanami: *takes the flower and gaze at it* its nano flower, yes...
Akesato: *giggled happily* I just found it right there! See?! I told you nano flower also blooms in this time around!
Yamanami: *smiles* I admit defeat... *sees Yamazaki Susumu outside, behind Akesato* Yamazaki-kun, Akesato yoroshiku onegaishimasu....
Yamazaki: Dont worry....
Akesato: I will wait for you, ne!
Yamanami: ....'aa.....*smiles*.....*closing the window*...

Akesato: *smile is gone from her face* That person.....how noble(powerful) is he?
Yamazaki: Shinsengumi's socho, Yamanami Keisuke....
Akesato: What has he done?
Yamazaki: ..............?
Akesato: *smile wryly* He's going to commit seppuku now, right?
Yamazaki: *stunned* .....Yamanami didnt do anything wrong....he's just that kind of person....a very noble person....he just took the path he think is right....
Akesato: I feel relieved then.....
Yamazaki: You know already?
Akesato: * bitter laughs* I'm not that stupid....if I cry....he'd feel more hurt, desho? *in tears* that's why, I dont say anything.....*crying harder, sobbing*.....to make him believe that I'm alright and happy......................... What a stupid man!
She walks off, followed by Yamazaki.

Hijikata enter the room, to call Yamanami for the seppuku. Yamanami give him his last words, "To make Shinsengumi a better troops, to make Shinsengumi as the most respected troops...that's what I'm doing....that's why I'll commit seppuku.....its my last duty as a socho...."

In front of the main members of Shinsengumi. Yamanami takes off his upper clothes.....lift the knife, and stab his own stomach.............."Okk..ita-kun..." he nods to Okita... And so, Okita beheaded him. Isami's eyes are teary, and so does Hijikata. Harada is in tears. Saitou looked like he's about to burst out....

Isami and Hijikata are sitting by the terrace...looking down, looking really sad. Itou comes, saying things about Yamanami's death, which responded by Isami, "SHUT UP!!! You dont know ANYTHING!!!!"....he burst out crying. Slowly......Hijikata cries too........cries like a little child........... The commander and vice commander of Shinsengumi are crying like little kids..... Sometimes the price of leadership is more than a person can bear.........
 

Review
Rate: A++

When I write the synopsis, I've watched this episode for the 3rd time....I thought I will not be in tears anymore. But cannot! I still got my waterworks, starting from Akesato's lines that night!!! I dunno why! The dialogues is perhaps, just brilliant....Sawa Suzuki's acting is also very convincing....and the background music!!!T_T Just puts in the right mood to cry xD Its just really crushing, to know that Akesato does actually know Yamanami is going to commit seppuku....but she keeps putting on a happy act in front of him. But, eventually...she broke down....

When Matsubara, Kawai and Ozeki are all bowing to Isami and Hijikata, pleading them to forgive and let Yamanami go....I understand exactly how Isami-Hijikata feeling. Its like, shut up!!! dont you know that we're having troubles as well?? dont you know we're very reluctant to decide this as well??? that its hard for us as well?!? So, I understand very well, why Hijikata eventually snapped, "Shut up!!!!!! Do you want to commit seppuku all together?!?!?".

Saitou speaks up more than one liners! And to tell about how Hijikata and Yamanami are actually good friends. Yes, I feel the same way too. Actually, they were only kind of enemies, on their first met at Shieikan. But during, their first days in Kyoto, I can really see that they have become friends, working together, relying each other, supporting Isami Kondou together, with their double strength. So...no, they're not rivals anymore. Its just after the Ikedaya Incident....their dispute starts again.... But they are still friends, althou it seems not.

All Yamanami and Akesato's dialogues from episode 31, to this episode, impressed me....touched me, and have really taken me! Their opposite personalities...but how they get along and love each other....is just really touching....their dialogues are funny and cute....you can just feel their sincere and pure love to each other. Esp. since Akesato is such a stupid and country-bumpkin girl....its really interesting to see him interact with an intelligent man like Yamanami.
Despite my first impression on Akesato, which I was dissapointed....but Akesato have taken me very soon.....although she's not as beautiful as it is described in other adaptations....but she has her own charm. The actress give a stunning performance too!

History actually mention, "The night before the seppuku, Yamanami was seen talking to a woman from behind the window's bars...."
Yappari.....this scene always appear in adaptations....with different moods. In the manga I read, Yamanami and Akesato are talking thru the window's bars, and Akesato is crying hysterically. But in this NHK adaptation.....Akesato smiling widely just give him the nano flower from that window.....

Yamanami's last words to Hijikata....that this is his last job as a souchou.......just run my waterworks even more!T_T

All the actors in this episode give great performances and did great jobs!! I actually mean, ALL of them! Special mention to Yamamoto Kouji......how he cried like a little child in the end, just went naturally......SUPERB ACTING!!!!!!!!

Definitely one of the BEST episode of Shinsengumi there is!!*o*