Ramen Shops with Long Menus Never Do Well (メニューが多いラーメン屋はたいてい流行ってない, Menyū ga ōi rāmen'ya wa taitei hayattenai) is the thirty-ninth episode of the Gintama anime.
While being injured and hiding from the Shinsengumi, Katsura ends up working at the ramen restaurant of Ikumatsu, a woman who hates the Joi Faction.
During the night, the Shinsengumi have roadblocks all over Edo in search of the "Panties Thief" from Episode 18, who has escaped from prison. As the Shinsegumi stop a bicycle rider to check him, they find out that it is Katsura. Sougo, being one of the officers in the roadblock, grabs his bazooka and fires at Katsura. Katsura escapes the explosion at the last moment, but he is injured at his leg and blood comes out leaving traces wherever he passes.
The Shinsengumi pursue him and he has to climb at the rooftops to escape. As he is trying to walk, he accidentally grabs a bra and at that moment its owner, Ikumatsu, spots him as she finished her laundry. Katsura tries to play it off by saying he is Santa Claus, however Ikumatsu knocks him out by throwing her laundry at his face. Next, she takes him at her Ramen Shop and treats him to some ramen, as an apology for hitting him, even though Katsura says he prefers soba. She believed he was the "Panties Thief" and still suspects him a bit. Katsura gets upset when a police car drives by, so he asks Ikumatsu to teach him the "Way of Ramen".
Before Ikumatsu can say anything, three weird guys enter the shop and ask Ikumatsu for some money. One of these guys is Ikumatsu's dead husband's brother and wants a profit from the shop since it belonged to his brother. Ikumatsu refuses saying that she gave him money before and told him it was the last time. Katsura dresses up as a waiter and offers them fried rice as an appetizer. The goons say that the money goes to their "rebellion" and if they can't get it legit, then they will have to steal it. Ikumatsu snaps upon hearing that and slaps the man saying that her husband, Daigo, would still be alive if it wasn't for scums like them. At that time Katsura interferes again with his fried rice and the goons have troubles with their stomach, as Katsura had poisoned the rice they ate.
They try to use the bathroom but Katsura has occupied it, so they have to leave the shop in shame. Katsura is now accepted by Ikumatsu as her apprentice and tries to teach him how to cook ramen. Katsura always finds excuses not to go outside for some ramen deliveries and is keeping the goons away from the shop. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is looking for Katsura and Sougo with Hijikata have a discussion about how to catch Katsura. One evening Ikumatsu treats Katsura to some snacks as a token of his hard work. She then tells him about her husband, who has been murdered by rebels and how she despises them, because she thinks they can't change anything. This leaves Katsura in some deep thinking. Life goes on normally in the ramen shop, when suddenly during an afternoon, the goons kidnap Ikumatsu.
Katsura catches up to them and knocks them out by smacking their faces with a couple of ramen dishes. The Shinsengumi, who are close to the scene, spot Katsura and Sougo rushes at him with his bazooka. Katsura manages to free Ikumatsu and apologizes to her for not telling the truh about being a rebel. Ikumatsu comforts him by saying that she knew all the time and she couldn't just leave a person in need. With that, they part ways thanking each other for their time together. Katsura manages to escape with Sougo chasing him.
Several days later, Gin goes to the ramen shop as he has some money and notices that Ikumatsu has soba in the menu.
- Katsura Kotarou (main character)
- Ikumatsu (debut)
- Okita Sougo
- Hijikata Toushirou
- Sakata Gintoki (cameo)
- The name of Ikumatsu's Ramen store, Hokutoshinken (Heart of the Dipper House) is a reference to Hokuto Shinken (Divine Fist of the North Star), the main martial art in the manga series Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star).
- This is the first episode where Shimura Shinpachi and Kagura did not appear.