{G} Opposites Attract- Hijikata Enters!

Fourth card in the {G} Series.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies with mayonnaise really damn far from your parfait.

Opposites Attract.

Every JUMP hero needs a rival. A Vegeta to their Goku. You know, that guy in your life that's not quite Frieza, but not quite Krillin. Some people like to refer to them as frenemies, others OTP, but that kind of deviates into a darker corner of fandom that we won't go into (just yet- Can you believe that came from ME? Just kidding, it's coming. Bwuahah.).

For Gintoki, his "Vegeta" comes in the form of a mayonnaise huffing, straight-laced police officer named Hijikata Toshirou: his exact opposite yet identical twin all at the same time: the best kind of rival.

Gintoki and Hijikata are the classic comedic rivalry. They're both so alike that it almost hurts to watch them go at each other knowing they're simply arguing against themselves, but at the same time, they have subtle differences which leave them enough reason to disagree with one another.

The ironic thing is that no matter how hard the two try to avoid one another in town, fate just so has it that they're pretty much running into each other all the time. This leads them into constant arguments over extremely petty things, like whether azuki beans or mayo are a better topping for rice (hey guys, try NEITHER) or competing until they're almost dehydrated in order to see who can last longer in a sauna.

Everything and anything becomes a competition when Gintoki and Hijikata are together: swordfighting, character ranking, jankenpon, food condiments--you name it, they'll argue.

Hijikata: "You should talk, creep! Coming from someone with eyes like a dead fish!"

Gintoki: "They're beautiful. They sparkle during my close-ups."

However, despite the obvious flames of anger fuming from both their ears whenever the other is around, it almost seems that the two of them enjoy the back and forth banter. Gintoki is quite argumentative in nature, and with Hijikata being an easy and entertaining tease (it's always more fun when the other person gets overdramatically angry), it's no surprise that Gintoki almost looks for ways to piss him off.

During one of the original anime episodes, the two end up handcuffed together by resident sadist Okita, and they're forced to cooperate for an entire day tied to one another and attempting to walk through Kabukichou trying not to look like a gay couple. The two end up bickering nonstop, having to negotiate how to use the toilet without having to look at one another, and tango-ing through cafes. In the end, they do manage to use the power of team work to apprehend the criminals Hijikata was hoping to--but it might not have been so much "team work" as it was the anger both of the are facing being handcuffed to their worst enemy.

"Man, what a combination. For all your talk, you guys sure are getting along fine!"

--some criminal who gets his rear kicked.

What's interesting about this kind of "rivalry" is that there doesn't seem to be any deep-seated hatred involved--sure, one is always trying to trump the other, but it's not necessarily in order to kill off the other in battle. The two appear to hate one another's guts, but it's pretty clear that it's a friendly sort of rivalry.

Gintoki and the Yorozuya have helped out Hijikata numerous times in the past--helping him free himself of a cursed sword, escape his date with Matsudaira's daughter, and even fight to punish a childhood friend's evil fiancee--all of which Hijikata is indebted to him for whether or not he'll admit it.

Without a doubt, this has spun up hundreds upon hundreds of doujinshi about (guess) Gintoki and Hijikata running into one another at a movie theater/bar/panchinko parlor/party/dark alleyway/bathroom stall and going at it like rabbits, and the animators at Sunrise are well aware of it. Not only do they pander to Gin/Hiji fans with original episodes about them being handcuffed (I mean, come on), they've blatantly called out to the shounen ai fanbase via questionable looking DVD covers and movie tickets. [*Happy Happy*]

I guess when all is said and done,

Sunrise knows their fanbase pretty well. :3

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