tsuusengumi

"As far as an idol's concerned, fan club members are like smegma."

Terekado Tsuu's fanbase has been rocky as of late: with a growing number fan clubs, many of them have become eager to call themselves "official". Enter the era of the Terekado Tsuu Fanclub Sengoku Jidai--where countless members of various clubs have engaged in furious battle to claim the title. In order to restore harmony among her fans, Otsuu formally states on television that she wishes hold a contest in order to decide which group can become her official fan club. By winning the contest, members will receive certificates proving them as official fan club members, as well as a monetary reward.

Among the many groups stand two strong factions: the most well-known being the Terekado Tsuu Shineitai, a group of veteran fans headed by Shimura Shinpachi who have supported her since the days of street performances. However, as of late there have been a few deserters due to the Shineitai's strict, hard-line policies. A familiar man arrived upon the scene, and cleverly manipulated these members into his own faction named the Tsuusengumi. This man was Tosshi: by understanding the heart of the otaku he was able to gather fans from all different factions, covering everything from anime, manga, games and 2D-3D media. These soft-line methods were refreshing for the old-fashioned otaku who were only allowed to follow Otsuu.

"I can't hand Otsuu-chan over to someone who doesn't even love her."

When Tosshi barges into the Yorozuya with a smug laugh to watch the announcement on television, Shinpachi is immediately onto him: it's not actually Tosshi in the room, but Hijikata, dressed as Tosshi. He's unsure of what Hijikata could possibly be plotting by making contact with otaku and posing as Toshi. However, the Yorozuya are quite clear on the birth of Tosshi, a side of Hijikata that came out when he obtained a cursed demon sword. Hijikata explains that "Tosshi" is not a different personality that he created, but the real Hijikata Toshirou who's otaku characteristics are amplified by the curse. Despite his acceptance of this fact, Tosshi is still inside of him and takes over his body when given the chance: Hijikata had bought a nice cabinet only to find it filled with pretty girl anime DVDs later on, and has been approached numerous times by friends he didn't know to talk about Ovangelion.

He began to grew tired of fighting with his inner and outer self, and decided to approach the situation head on. Inside of himself, he could hear Tosshi saying, "I don't want to disappear without accomplishing anything. I want to leave proof my existence."

Hijikata: This is Tosshi's dream. My way of paying tribute to the departure of someone I gave birth to. I will master the way of the otaku! I will unite all otaku and become the king of otaku! And etch proof of his existence into this world... into people's hearts! I won't stop. To help him rest in peace and to regain full control of this body, I'll conquer the otaku world! Will you try to stop me? Will you interfere, knowing that this fight is for establishing my own existence?

Despite Hijikata's moving monologue however, Shinpachi refuses to back down to someone who isn't even competing for Otsuu's sake. Both move towards the inevitable battle, and the day of the tournament arrives.

"There are people who race off early on and drop off later like Yamcha."

Shinpachi shows up with his team: Gintoki, Kagura, and remaining Shineitai member Takachin as members of the Terekado Tsuu Shineitai and manage to scare off a good portion of the teams when Gintoki claims that Shinpachi can eat eight plates of Otsuu's shit. Disgusted, the announcer explains the first challenge:

ELIMINATION ROUND: Otsuu will take a a helicopter to OEDO TV, and the fan clubs must run a ten kilometer course to reach her. The first four people to finish earn the right to proceed to the final contest. As long as one member ranks in the top four, your team will proceeed. If anybody on the team gives up, the team is immediately disqualified.

The teams begin the race, and Kagura speeds off. Gintoki, Shinpachi and Takachin begin to argue when suddenly Takachin is nailed by a taxi--which is being ridden in by none other than Tsuusengumi member, Okita. Though it's obvious that Takachin needs to be taken to the ER, the team can't drop out if they don't want to be disqualified, especially when Yamazaki catches up to them and notices their dying member. In a moment of heroicism, Gintoki volunteers to take him to the hospital, promises Shinpachi that he'll return, and urges him to try and catch up to Kagura and Kondou who began running the wrong way after becoming caught up in their race against one another. As promised, he returns a few seconds later with a foreign, Hogan look-alike that carries french bread, much to Yamazaki's dismay.

Meanwhile, Shinpachi has caught up to the fore-runners when Tosshi orders Formation Genbu, creating a wall of otaku to block his path.

Hijikata: This isn't a contest for becoming the Official Fan Club. It's merely a ritual. A little celebration to cleanse Tosshi. And you people are the sacrifices.

However, Shinpachi spots an opening when the group crosses the bridge and uses the railing to run past the otaku formation. At the same time, Gintoki and "Taka-tin" arrive, and Taka-tin knocks the bridge down and drops the Tsuusengumi into the water. Hijikata crosses the finish line first, and Taka-tin follows shortly after. He's shocked at the fact that the Shineitai are using an illegal substitute, when Yamazaki shows up with a new haircut and Okita shows up in a taxi. Hijikata decides to let it slide, and the two teams proceed to the next round.

"Don't worry, we won't lose to that money-hungry bunch!"

CHALLENGE 1: A quiz on matters related to Otsuu-chan. Members will be giving their answers from the top of a slide: when a team member gets a question right, the opposing team's slide will tilt at a sharper anger. Similarly, if the answer is wrong, that team member's slide will tilt. Victory will go to which ever team makes the other team's members fall off first. Otsuu is controlling the slides, and will tilt them as much or as little as she wants.

Unfortunately for Shinpachi, his late arrival forces him to be disqualified. The Tsuusengumi's leader, Hijikata, is also disqualified quickly and thrown off his slide by Otsuu when he gives the correct answer to the first question, but forgets to add an Otsuu suffix to the end of it. It looks like both groups are in trouble when the two realize that they chose group members who know next to nothing about Otsuu: unfortunately for the Tsuusengumi, Taka-tin begins randomly giving the right answers when he continually rings the buzzer to ask if he can use the bathroom. But despite the Shineitai's luck, Kondou gets a question right when he asks if Otsuu hates him, and she dunks the Shineitai in the water, giving the win to the Tsuusengumi.

CHALLENGE 2: Both teams will take turns hitting on Otsuu! The team who manages to successfully woo Otsuu and take her to some place with nice and quiet accomodations will win! Everything will be purely simulation in a virtual space. Come up with your own setting, lines and a whole package that will really touch Otsuu-chan. One person will be putting on the moves, two people will assist, and the other one will narrate.

Kondou: As the most popular man in the Shinsengumi, you should be well-versed in the female heart.
Hijikata: It'd be embarrassing to hit on a girl in front of all these people!

The Tsuusengumi's setting is a bar on the top floor of a fancy hotel, with a wonderful night view. Hijikata is bitterly drinking his liquor alone again that night. However, despite the great setup, Okita's narration is lengthy, unnecessary, and consists mostly of what Hijikata's recorded on his TiVo and how much he loves Laputa. To make matters worse, Yamazaki waltzes into the bar in a red dress, heavy makeup, and sporting his new mohawk, then begins questioning Hijikata about various Ghibli films. The vice commander begins to worry that all is lost for their team, when Otsuu follows shortly after, but with Yamazaki sitting in between them it's difficult for Hijikata to make any moves on Otsuu. The Shinsengumi then begin heatedly talking about their favorite Ghibli girls, and Hijikata realizes that he and Otsuu are beginning to feel an odd sense of solidarity in the group, as the two outsiders of the party. The clouds part, and the two lovebirds run towards the Hotel in the Sky.

After the Tsuusengumi's performance, the Shineitai take the stage with their rendition of Journey to the West, or in Gintoki's case, the Gandara Vehotel (Grand Love Hotel). Unfortunately for him, Otsuu automatically realizes the dirty undertones of the title and gets upset. While the rest of the Shineitai decide to shack up in the Gandara Vehotel, Otsuu decides to camp outside on her own. However, whenever she woke up at night, she would see demon footprints in the sand around her. One night, she woke up by a strange sensation of being surrounded by demons-- and found out that the footbrings actually belonged to the comrades who were protecting her. Moved by their kindness, she happily joined them in the Gandara Vehotel the next evening.

Otsuu is touched by the story of friendship that the Shineitai created, and gives the win to their team. The two teams enter the final match, which sets them at a tiebreaker.

"I will stand above all otaku. I will take this body back from Tosshi."

FINAL BOUT: The third and final match will test both contestants collecting abilities: competitors will have a card battle using their own collection of bonus cards that come with Otsuu Chips, chips that aren't selling very well, or rather, they aren't selling at all. The cards have images of Otsuu in various poses and have been assigned AP (Attack Points) and DP (Defense Points). These cards will be placed on the stage and fight through holograms of Otsuu. Each player will be given 2000 LP. The team whose LP reaches 0 first loses!

Unfortunately for Shinpachi, he didn't even know that these chips were being sold and therefore has no trading cards, but Hijikata has a tailored collection. He also notes that Hijikata is the brilliant strategist behind the Shinsengumi, putting Shinpachi at a huge disadvantage.

Shinpachi: Hijikata-san, whose coolness is his strength, has that many Otsuu chip cards!
Hijikata: I will abandon shame and self-respect to take myself back. You can't conquer the otaku world by being half-hearted.

Hijikata starts off the battle with an attack card, "Sentimental five minutes before curtain", that begins to head towards Shinpachi. Gintoki returns just in time with some Otsuu chips and tosses them to the Shineitai leader: his first card is KIM, the bass player. KIM is short for Kimura Chutaro, the one that Otsuu is always angry about for being in her dressing room. The KIM card pisses off all Otsuu cards and doubles their AP, and Hijikata worsens Shinpachi's situation by raising his AP with the "That day of the month" card. This card triples all female cards' AP, but causes the player to lose their next turn. After sacrificing KIM's mole in order to block Hijikata's attack, Shinpachi draws KIYOSHI, the drummer. He's currently in a fight with KIM about eating an extra slice of pizza, causing the Shineitai to face the awkward tension between the two.

Hijikata sends out MIYABI, the stylist, which adds 1,000 AP and DP. Shinpachi throws out his next card and prays desperately for something good: it ends up being a "mystery inventing card". This card reveals that the stylist MIYABI was the one who actually ate the last piece of pizza, so KIM and KIYOSHI have a makeup session: any attacks that hit them will double the AP of the attack and reflect it on the attacker. Shinpachi's team is causing Hijikata's LP to drop drastically. Suddenly, Tosshi's voice enters Hijikata's head and begs him to stop and let him finish the job. Just when it seemed like Shinpachi's luck was turning around, Tosshi plays the "Dizon" card, a sudden announcement in the middle of a concert that she's getting pregnant and married, and the worst possible card which negates all audience, enemy and ally cards.

It's a draw: however, Hijikata and Shinpachi refuse to let the battle end at that. The two begin to exchange real punches, as Otsuu at the sidelines pleads for them to stop. When Shinpachi notices he's able to endure blows from the Shinsengumi's vice commander, he realizes that he's not actually boxing Hijikata, but Tosshi. Confused, he questions as to why Tosshi chooses to come out now, when Hijikata could have easily taken him out with one blow.

Tosshi: (Proof of my existence... that is what I have sought with Toshirou. I mastered the way of otaku. But I suppose that I never really cared about becoming lord over all otaku. I may have just wanted to completely lose myself in one task. I may have just wanted to fight with everything I had, alongside my friends. With my rivals... Shinpachi, you're the same. There is no need for any proof. We just have to live every second to the fullest! And the traces of the path we lived will be burned into the ground... that will serve as proof our our existence!)

The two land punches on one another and fall to the ground simultaneously. Their teammates begin to cheer for them, urging them to get up and continue fighting, and the rest of the arena begins to join them. Tosshi and Shinpachi rise once more, to exchange a final blow, as Tosshi bids one final farewall to his friends: "Mr. Shinpachi. I'm glad to have met a rival like you in the end. Thank you, Mr. Shinpachi. Thank you, everyone. Thank you... Toshirou..."

"The eternally missing member. You can brag all you want in the afterlife."

Hijikata stands at the Shinsengumi headquarters, paying respects to his own picture. He reprimands Yamazaki for using a picture of Tosshi where he was pretending to be Tosshi instead of an actual picture of Tosshi, and Yamazaki lets Hijikata know how everything ended. The Shineitai are still scraping by, and former members are starting to return. Much to Hijikata's dismay, they didn't become the official fanclub, but instead said that "there's nothing official or unofficial about cheering for Otsuu-chan", and gave up the title. Much to Yamazaki's surprise, Hijikata storms off angrily.

Hijikata: That bastard's trying to be all cool!
Yamazaki: Where are you going, Vice-Chief?
Hijikata: Isn't it obvious?! I refuse to stay in their debt! I'll perosnally return the former members to the fan club!

With a shrug, Yamazaki replaces the picture on the altar with Tosshi's new fanclub ID, the very first member of the official Otsuu fanclub, No. 0000001.