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Hijikata Toushirou

Hijikata Toushirou ( 土方 十四郎 Hijikata Tōshirō ) is the Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi. Introduced as the brains of the Shinsengumi, he is commonly known as the Demonic Vice-Commander (鬼の副長, Oni no Fukucho), striking fear into his enemies and subordinates (with the exceptions of Kondou Isao and Okita Sougo).

He had a split personality named Tosshi ( 十四 Tōshi ), a soul otaku, created from an cursed sword he bought. This incarnation first appeared during the Shinsengumi Crisis Arc and lastly in the Terakado Tsuu's Fan Club Voting Competition Arc, where this personality dies by sacrificing his life in a final battle of boxing match against Shinpachi.

He was voiced by Kazuya Nakai, who also voices Roronoa Zoro from One Piece.

Background

Hijikata Toushirou was the son of a mistress and a rich farmer. His father was known to be a spoiled and irresponsible man. Toushirou was born after his father died. His identity as an illegitimate son was revealed after he lost his mother and home.

His older brother Hijikata Tamegoro welcomed Toushirou to the Hijikata home. Unlike his father, Tamegoro was known to be a responsible, good man and took care of him. Toushirou viewed Tamegoro as a fatherly figure and was very fond of him.

When Toushirou was eleven, there was a large fire in the village, and some bandits used this opportunity to break in and tried to attack Toushirou. In the attack, Tamegoro protected Toushirou from getting killed by the bandits and ended up losing his eyes. Unknown to Toushirou, he was driven by rage and attacked the bandits. When he came to his senses, he was holding the bandits' knife, and the bandits were strewn across the floor, each with injuries to their eyes (similar to the ones that they inflicted on Tamegoro). His other siblings saw what had happened, and they all stood glaring in fear at him in silence.

Toushiro was known as "Thorny Toshi" after this incident, and he could no longer be with his beloved brother. He left his home to become stronger and became a trouble-making ronin, seeking out fights in various dojous in Bushuu 武州.

Losing face, the members of other dojous that he had previously fought against decided to team up to take him out. Hijikata fought, but didn't stand a chance against such numbers. Kondou Isao, who was watching, decided to pick him up and take him back with him to his dojou. In the Dojou, Toshirou met the Okita siblings, Okita Sougo disliked Toshirou, as he gets the most attention from Kondo Isao and Okita Mitsuba. Toshirou later became a student to the Dojou and an underclassman to Sougo.

Before leaving to Edo with Kondou Isao and Okita Sougo, Okita Mitsuba confessed her love to Toushiro, but he rejected her, believing that with the life of violence that he lives, he would not be able to provide happiness for her. He went back to his brother's home for the first time in many years, and had a final dinner with him. Toushiro refused to speak to him, but Tamegoro ask Toushiro to send him letters regularly.

In Edo, Hijikata would meet new friends and would continue to grow stronger as a member of the Roshigumi which would later become the Shinsengumi.

Appearance

He appears as a very handsome and attractive man. He's pretty flexible. Hijikata has short, dark green hair (black in the manga) and gun-metal blue eyes (although his eyes are red in the manga version). His usual attire is a Shinsengumi uniform, and on his days off he can be seen with a dark yukata & sandals. As his otaku alter-ego, Tosshi, he wears a light-blue, ragged vest, a red shirt underneath, a red headband and black pants.

During the events of the Dekoboko Arc he switched genders due to a curse and was seen in his female form. In that form, he had long black hair tied in twin braids and was overweight because of eating too much mayonnaise while in his normal form. Later he wore a purple kimono with a pig design on it.

Personality

Due to having to endure being hated by his other family members for being an illegitimate son, being indebted to his older brother, and having no place to belong, he was an outsider. Despite this, he never stopped moving forward and aimed to become stronger because of his deep regret that he couldn't save his brother, and to protect the ones he loves.

Feared by both his enemies and his underlings, Hijikata the Demonic Vice-Commander (鬼の副長) is very strict and dedicated to his work. He formulated the Kyokuchou Hatto (局中法度), the 45 Regulations that form the disciplinary framework for Shinsengumi members, and implements them firmly. He is also fiercely loyal to the Commander of the Shinsengumi, Kondou Isao, as seen in the Shinsengumi Mutiny Arc when he (with help from the Yorozuya) went to save Kondou from Itou Kamotarou. Hijikata has a strong sense of pride, as seen in the Yagyuu Arc, when he excused his wounds from the fight with Kitaooji Itsuki, to be from getting caught in the automatic door in the Marui Department Store. Another example is when Kondou lost a challenge to Sakata Gintoki (for the right to date Shimura Tae), Hijikata and the whole Shinsengumi went after the Silver-haired samurai to avenge Kondou and the Shinsengumi's honour.[1] Hijikata puts on a tough attitude, but is willing to help those in need, as seen in the Yagyuu Arc and the Shinsengumi Crisis Arc. He has a stubborn streak, and does not like to reveal his weaknesses. He also veils his good or kind actions with exaggerated annoyance and agitation.

Hijikata is a very short-tempered individual, always getting annoyed by other characters' antics and reprimanding them for it. He also threatens his subordinates with seppuku if they do not follow orders or fool around.

Hijikata is a rabid lover of mayonnaise; in fact, he drowns almost all of his food in a ridiculous amount of mayonnaise before eating it, including desserts and coffee.[2] He is also a chain-smoker, and went to great lengths, in fact to other planets, to get his smoking fix when Matsudaira declared a city-wide smoking ban with immediate effect. [3]. He does not lust for women, and does not like cabaret clubs (when he was on leave, he went to the sauna and cinema). He specially dislikes loose and shameless women.

His personality is very similar to that of Gintoki's, as Mitsuba once remarked [4], resulting in the two frequently clashing as rivals.[5], they share the same trait and fear like being terrified of ghosts and dentists, but they can reach an unbelievable synchronization when fighting together. However, Gintoki's sword skills are superior to his, as seen when Gintoki won the challenge he initiated (to protect Kondou and the Shinsengumi's reputation) by breaking the blade of his sword.[6] In the Mimawarigumi arc, Hijikata claims that he and Gintoki are the same due to the fact that they don't seek or expect forgiveness to those they kill but stopping those who are making the same mistake so they can move on.

After he took the cursed sword Muramasha, he developed a split personality named Tosshi ( 十四 Tōshi ). Tosshi's personality is the same as the otaku child that was slain by Muramasha, he watches anime in the Shinsengumi Headquarters, reads mangas that he used to hate and cares much about his anime figurines. He is also weak and afraid of fighting. This personality died by sacrificing his life in a final battle of boxing match against Shinpachi in Terakado Tsuu's Fan Club Voting Competition Arc.

Strength & Abilites

Hijikata's weapon of choice is a samurai sword, which would later be the Muramasha sword. He is very talented in his sword skills and has also shown incredible strength in many episodes (such as in Mitsuba arc where he killed almost the entire enemy force by himself). His strength was also mentioned by Shinpachi in episode 163 where Shinpachi realized that he was boxing with the weak coward Toshi and not Hijikata himself; Shinpachi said he wouldn't be standing here if he had taken a punch from Hijikata. Although his sword skills might not reach Gintoki's level, he was able to defeat Sougo in the Mitsuba arc. Hijikata is also exceptionally skilled in writing follow ups, as seen when he was helping Shinpachi with his penpal.

Relationship

Trivia

  • Based on the historical Hijikata Toshizō 土方歳三, he was the Shinsengumi's vice-commander, and was known as the demon of the Shinsengumi. Hijikata strictly enforced rules in the Shinsengumi, leading to the creation of the Kyokuchu Hatto (the clauses or regulations for the Shinsengumi) to control the members, but it also caused many to lose their lives.
  • Hijikata was originally meant to be Gintama's main character, but with his appearance being identical to the one of Gintoki.
  • His seiyuu, Nakai Kazuya, coincidentally voices several swordsmen, including Roronoa Zoro in the anime and manga series, One Piece, Mugen from Samurai Champloo, and Date Masamune from Sengoku Basara. Nakai also voices Sainglain from Ixion Saga DT and Shoichi Imayoshi from Kuroko no Basket.
  • He also has a tendency to cry after watching movies that are not particularly emotional (as seen in Episode 40 after he watched Alien vs. Yakuza.)
  • Hijikata disappeared somehow in Lesson 466.
  • The Kamen Rider character Kosuke Nitoh (Kamen Rider Beast) from Kamen Rider Wizard is inspired from Hijikata, sharing his liking of mayonnaise.
  • Hijikata and Monkey D. Luffy from the anime One Piece, share the same birthdate. They also love eating a certain type of food (Hijikata likes mayonnaise and Luffy likes meat).
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