The Most Exciting Part of a Group Date is Before it Starts (合コンは始まるまでが一番楽しい, Gōkon wa hajimaru madega ichiban tanoshii) is the eighty-eigth of the Gintama anime.
Ever since the Kodokan feud, Kyubei has completely opened up to Otae and has regained her cheeriness. Tojo has secretly been trying to help Kyubei find her happiness as a woman, but all his efforts go down in vain. Furthermore, he finds something terrifying in Kyubei's room. Gintoki and the gang console Tojo and decide to hold a speed dating to help make Kyubei more feminine. The groups work to gather participants to participate in the date, but…
Toujou writes his diary concern his master Kyuubei's growth. He notes that Otae's presence has softened his master's stern demeanor. It's noted that Toujou is happy that Kyuubei is happier in recent times and wishes she'd be happy as a woman. In the following days of his diary, Toujou does goes on a shopping streak and leaves two pairs of Gothic Lolita clothing and a nurse outfit in Kyuubei's room. Kyuubei incinerates one of them and blasts to smithereens the rest of the clothing and a curtain along with Toujou. Seemingly killed off, the diary is sent to the Yorozuya who read it. The final message in the diary, the Yorozuya are requested to help Kyuubei be more feminine. As it turns out Toujou is still alive and is sent flying by a 3 hit combo kick by the Yoruzuya.
As Sadaharu reads the diary, Yorozuya chastises Toujou over his diary. Toujou still beseeches the group to acquiesce his request but Gintoki candidly refuses. This prompts Toujou to try and commit seppuku and is stopped by Shinpachi. When asked what Kyuubei's father and grandfather thoughts on Toujou's declaration. They answered that they should abstain from helping her become a woman and let nature take its course. On the other hand, Toujou doesn't want this matter to sit idly by. Shinpachi tries to reason with Toujou with his logic, prompting him to get abrasive Shinpachi and Kagura joins suit. Proclaiming that time is of the essence, Toujou reveals that Kyuubei is planning to get a sex change from a flyer he found in her room. The Yorozuya left aghast by this sudden stroke of news, Toujou once again beseeches the group for their help. So, Gintoki proposes that they hold a gokun for Kyuubei.
Afterward, Gintoki tries to recruit Katsura and Elizabeth to come to the gokun but fails. Shinpachi, on the other hand, manages to convince Kyuubei and his sister to attend the gokun. Meanwhile, Kondou whose head is through the ceiling finds a furtive, Sarutobi. On the day of the gokun, the Yorozuya, wait by the statue in Oedo Park for everyone to arrive. Soon, Katsura arrives dressed up as his alias DJ Zura and sings a rap song called "Joui Is Joy". Gintoki attacks Katsura and reprimands him for rejecting his offer before and now he's there rapping. Katsura corrects Gintoki that it's called Katzurap. At that moment, Sarutobi and Kondou arrive arguing with one another, prompting Gintoki to attack Kondou. Katsura then picks up Kondou's jacket for him and Kondou thanks him. The two then have a pregnant pause with realizing the identity of one another. Kyuubei outfitted in samurai armor, then arrives riding on a white horse knocking out both Kondou and Katsura. She misinterprets Otae's definition of a gokun as a gathering of a battle between men and women. Otae then arrives in tow with a bunch of ugly women. As the Yorozuya realize that they have no understanding of what a gokun is. Toujou watches as the gokun members gather he compliments the Yorozuya and heads off to do some shopping.
That night, the gokun commences on a big boat known as the Yamato. The atmosphere easily becomes heavy as the tacit beginning weighs on the male side. Breaking the ice, Katsura inquires who he is, revealing he developed amnesia from Kyuubei's horse. Kondou also is revealed to have amnesia and he and Katsura become fast friends. With everyone talking with one another on their side degrading the gokon to an elementary school lunch. Hearing that Kyuubei doesn't like eating mushrooms, Gintoki volunteers to take them. In Shinpachi's elementary school term analysis. Gintoki is said to be the class clown with a heart of gold. Otae, however, intervenes as passing food with chopsticks isn't allowed. Shinpachi classifies his sister like the class rep, a persnickety person that enforces rules and etiquette. The ugly pack then comments that Otae must have a thing for Gintoki but she playfully denies it. It's noted that the metaphoric gap that separating the two sides is widening at an extraordinary pace. Trying to mediate the situation, Shinpachi is interrupted by the clumsy librarian Sarutobi.
The scene takes another drastic turn when Kondou and Katsura start playing their rap and rock fusion rendition of Joui is Joy. Midway through the song, the two start arguing over the rhythm and lyrics of the song. Gintoki and Shinpachi then see that Kyuubei was notably moved by the song. At that moment, Toujou hijacks the ship. His motive is to try to cause a scene, where people fall in love with each other in great peril. In the turmoil, Kyuubei is caught in a pinch where she's hanging from a lifesaver. So Gintoki makes martyrs himself to save her, knowing full well she detests being touched by men. In turn, Gintoki is saved by Kyuubei who overcomes her disdain for touching men. One final scene reveals that the article Kyuubei was looking at wasn't about getting a sex change but about Gothic Lolita clothing.
- Yagyuu Kyuubei
- Shimura Tae
- Toujou Ayumu
- Sakata Gintoki
- Shimura Shinpachi
- Sarutobi Ayame
- Katsura Kotarou
- Kondou Isao
- Rofuto is a spoof of loft, a chain store in Japan that mainly sells household goods.
- Toujou Aya is the main heroine of Ichigo 100%.
- Koujien is a single volume Japanese dictionary, considered by many Japanese to be the most authoritative dictionary.
- A parody of "One-eyed Dragon" general Date Masamuse, who lived during the period of the Warring States, However, he was blind in the right eye, not the left.
- Shihei = suicide corps.
- yamato class battleships are the largest naval vessels of World War 2 as well as the largest and heaviest ever constructed.
- Mariana Trench = the deepest point in the ocean bed, located in the West Pacific Ocean.
- In these scenes are several parodies of the anime Kyou no Go no Ni (Today in 5-2).
- In the scene where they are looking for the participants for the gokon the theme music is similar to the one from Detective Conan