*I DID NOT WRITE THIS*
*THE ORIGINAL AURHOR IS 朽木枯檀 from http://tieba.baidu.com/p/3263545528?pn=36*
*BAD TRANSLATION ALERT*
Why the hell would you choose us, Gintoki? Why…? Why?
…Back then, if you were me, that’s what you would’ve done.
Doesn’t gintoki’s reply seem a bit contradictory though, given takasugi’s deep attachment to and love for shouyou? I wouldn’t be surprised at all if takasugi back then had chosen to die with shouyou. Why does gintoki seem so sure of his answer?
The reason is actually pretty simple:
People who have reached the same level of understanding shared between gintoki and takasugi often mirror each other’s opinion of the other. There’s this saying that if you smile to the world, the world would smile to you in return. The same relationship is applicable to that between takasugi and gintoki. Gintoki doesn’t want shouyou to die, nor does he wish for takasugi’s death. Although the manga doesn’t mention it directly, takasugi probably doesn’t want gintoki to die either. If takasugi were the only one who had to die, he would’ve certainly given up his own life without a doubt. However, once you put gintoki’s and katsura’s lives into the picture everything changes.
In reality, takasugi wasn’t given the power to choose, yet if he were put into the same position as gintoki’s, he would’ve also wished for his friends to survive. Therefore before gintoki cut down shouyou, we were not only given flashbacks of his promise with shouyou but also of his promise with takasugi. gintoki wanted to protect his friends at all costs, and maybe that’s the only wish that solidified his determination in cutting down shouyou. When I was writing an analysis of shouyou’s bushido, I came across this person’s opinion that I really agree with: gintoki back then probably didn’t really think that far or that deep. Even if he did manage to think, the thought process probably took place in his subconscious and would not have floated to the surface of his consciousness as thoughts that could be translated into words. Hindsight bias is probably getting into the way when we analyze this scene. Maybe down in gintoki’s subconscious he knew which side he should choose, while at the same time he was also consciously aware of the fact that he must protect what is important to shouyou. However he didn’t have the strength to swing his sword. I’ve learned from my own tendency to always procrastinate that being determined and actually being able to carry out action are two different things. The thought of at least being able to save takasugi and katsura might’ve been the only thing that gave gintoki enough strength to swing his sword.
I’m not sure whether or nor not takasugi understands, but he is certainly aware of the fact that he would’ve made the same choice as gintoki did. As a result, he hates himself. He hates his own weakness. He hates himself for not being able to die with shouyou and believes that he deserves to die. Although he wishes for his friends to survive, he also hates himself for being the one who lives. In takasugi’s mind, the ideal selfish choice would’ve been to die with shouyou and let gintoki and katsura live, fulfilling his wish. Or rather he must’ve had such thoughts. Yet would it have really been better to let his friends suffer the pain of his death? Or would it have been better to be less selfish and suffer together with his friends? Or would it have been better to die together so that no one would have to suffer? To give up his life or to live and suffer?
takasugi and gintoki are like the two sides of a piece of paper. They share an inseparable bond with each other that does not keep them from facing opposite directions. Gintoki and takasugi are each other’s second self. I am not saying that they have the exact same personality. You can draw different patterns on each side of a paper. The fact that each point on one side corresponds to another point on the other side is not changed by what is drawn (for example, the choices they make) on each side. That’s why gintoki says, “That’s why you point your blade at me, right? That’s why you don’t point your sword at yourself, you point it at the other you.” Because takasugi couldn’t point his sword at himself, the only way for him to vent his self-hatred was to point it at his second self, gintoki.
This is basically what I can explain about the origin of takasugi’s hatred toward gintoki. Takasugi’s claim that he cannot stand gintoki’s submission to the world that took shouyou from them just isn’t it. Takasugi’s hatred toward gintoki originates from his hatred toward himself, his weak self that wasn’t able to protect shouyou, his weak self that wasn’t able to die with shouyou, his weak self that should’ve died back then.