Kijima Matako, also known as Red Bullet (紅い弾丸, akai dangan), for her mastery in handling the gun, is a member of the Kiheitai, an extremist Joui faction bent on causing world destruction, and a loyal follower of its leader, Takasugi Shinsuke. She is one of the main antagonist of Patriot Reunion Party Arc for organizing a fake reunion for Takasugi's former comrades.
Matako is a young and slender woman with blonde hair tied in a side ponytail and blue eyes. She wears a cropped pink kimono-like top with black linings that's cut at the shoulders, and a matching pink mini-skirt. Her weapons of choice are dual revolver handguns, which she keeps in holsters at her hips.
Matako is a very violent and feisty woman. She mostly appears tough and isn't afraid to state her opinion even if she provokes her superiors with it. When Nizou returned to their base and told her and Henpeita about the people he murdered to get used to the Benizakura, Matako provoked him and stated that he's not any stronger than before and couldn't have beaten Katsura if it wasn't for the Benizakura. Although Nizou almost choked her to death for saying so, she didn't seem to be afraid of having to confront him again. She was also shown to be very immoral and merciless, as she intended to kill a 14-year-old girl like Kagura and didn't put any effort into capturing her alive.
However, her personality changes drastically when she's around Takasugi. She looks up to Takasugi, often calling him by the honorific Shinsuke-sama. She is also very protective of him, as she was the first to attack Kagura after Kagura had snuck aboard Takasugi's ship and threatened to kill him if he didn't tell her about his plans. Matako then immediately shot several bullets and screamed she would never forgive Kagura for threatening him. She also cares deeply for what Takasugi thinks of her, as seen later on when she had bested Kagura in front of him, and Kagura noted that Matako had stains on her panties to create an opening, with which she turned to Takasugi and stated she changes her underwear everyday (even offering to prove it by showing her underwear to him), and that Kagura was wrong. However, it was just a diversion, and it seems Matako is easily swayed when Takasugi is involved. She oftens argues with fellow Kiheitai member Takechi Henpeita, claiming he has a lolicon complex.
Strength & Abilities
Matako is extremely talented when it comes to handling guns. Her skill to use revolvers made her one of the most infamous criminals in Edo, which seemingly aroused Takasugi's interest in her and caused him to team up with her. She has an extraordinary good aim and is physically capable of even dodging bullets herself.
Friends & Allies
- Takechi Henpeita: Never one to respect their tactician, she often rudely calls him a "lolicon" (a man who has a thing for young looking girls). In return, he only corrects her and claims that he isn't a lolicon, but instead a feminist. Despiter their usual arguments, she actually cares for him. When he was attacked by Okada Nizou, Matako immediately yelled at Nizou and even shot him several times before he attacked her next.
- Kawakami Bansai: Not much is known about their relationship. However, Matako behaves respectful towards Bansai and even addresses him with "-senpai". Both seem to get along and care for each other. In Silver Soul Arc, when they could have just run, Bansai seemed to have had his priorities (of making sure Takasugi made it out safely) mixed up and rushed to her aid when she fell down. Bansai and Takasugi Shinsuke seem to be the only members of the Kiheitai that Matako doesn't argue with.
- Imai Nobume: While it's still unknown how well the two know each other, she was visibly upset when Imai asked Sakata Gintoki for help without telling her first. During the alliance between the Kiheitai and the Hitotsubashi Faction (which included the Mimawarigumi), they might have worked together (since she does see the former Vice-Chief of the white policemen as an ally).
- Takasugi Shinsuke: She looks up to him calling him "Shinsuke-sama" and is very protective of him. She has a big crush on him and although Shinsuke has never shown any interest in her, she protects him with her life. Even when Shinsuke was about to fight the entire Harusame and asked Bansai to bring Matako and Henpeita back to their base, Matako stormed into Kamui's execution and fought the Harusame troops to protect Shinsuke. Her allegiance to him dates back to the Joui war, where he has saved her life twice (as Henpeita claimed). While Shinsuke never truly showed any special treatment towards her, he does see her as an important comrade. In Silver Soul Arc, when she stumbled down due to an explosion, he seemed reluctant to leave her behind. Also, after Shinsuke's suicidal attempt to mess with the control system of the Liberation Army ship, unbeknownst to Matako herself, he tells Henpeita to protect Matako specifically, claiming that unlike them, she is not a villain at heart and in one way or another, Kiheitai was formed for her sake. He says that if something were to happen to her, Bansai (who he knew was already gone by that point) wouldn't let him hear the end of it.
- Kagura: Their hatred for each other started when Kagura pointed her gun at Shinsuke during the Benizakura Arc. Matako instantly shot bullets at Kagura, screaming that threatening Shinsuke is unforgivable. When Kagura provoked her in order to escape from her by embarrassing her in front of Shinsuke, it came to their first fight. Though Kagura was still just a child, Matako showed no mercy and shot her in the shoulder, the leg and almost in the head. When Kagura was later on held captive in the Kiheitai's ship and was interrogated by Matako and Takechi Henpeita, it came to a spitting contest between Matako and Kagura. After Kagura was saved by Shinpachi and Katsura, Matako and Henpeita stood in their way, trying to kill Katsura once and for all. Thus it came to a second fight between Kagura and Matako, which was later on interrupted by Nizou.
- Okada Nizou: Although Matako and Nizou were both members of the Kiheitai, they always hated each other Matako criticized Nizou for thinking that fusing with the Benizakura could make him any stronger. Consequently, Nizou choked Matako. This wasn't the only time these two attacked each other physically, though. When Matako had enough of him and shot Nizou for hitting Takechi Henpeita for no reason, Nizou threw her against a wall trying to kill her.
She was first introduced as a member of the Kiheitai, and one of the notable figures Takasugi Shinsuke had brought with him to Edo to try and forcibly overthrow the Bakufu. During the entirety of the arc, she stayed on Takasugi's spaceship, where she would fight Kagura of the Yorozuya two times. The first time was early on in the arc, when Kagura had snuck aboard Takasugi's ship alone, which ended with her getting captured. However, she was later freed by Shimura Shinpachi and moderate Joui members led by Katsura Kotarou, and Matako would then fight her another time. Matako also had a dispute with Okada Nizou, who she meant was becoming a burden to Takasugi for attacking Gintoki and Katsura. During the climax of the Benizakura arc, in the middle of her second fight with Kagura, Matako would become one of Nizou's victims after he had evolved into a ravaging monster, not being able to distinguish between friend and foe.
Matako's fate remained uncertain after the Benizakura arc, however she would later appear in various endings, such as Wo ai ni. And then, after a while, it was confirmed that she is still alive in the manga, as seen in Episode 215 (chapter 310 & 311).
During the Kabukicho Four Devas Arc, Matako was seen worrying about Takasugi Shinsuke, who asked Matako, Kawakami Bansai and Takechi Henpeita to return to Edo without him before he fought Kamui upon Admiral Abou request. Not willing to leave Shinsuke behind, Matako talked to Bansai about her worries. Later on, Matako, Bansai and Henpeita were seen going to Shinsuke's rescue during Kamui's execution.
Like the rest of the Kiheitai Matako joins in Takasugi attempt of the assassination of the Shogun.
- Matako's name is based on the real life Japanese samurai Kijima Matabee 来島 又兵衛
- (To Takasugi Shinsuke) "I hate space, wherever I saw there was only darkness. We don't know whether we're going forward or backward. Shinsuke-sama, are we going forward?"
|Fight||Outcome||Time it Occurred|
|Kijima Matako vs. Kagura||Win||Episode 59|
|Kijima Matako vs. Kagura: Rematch||Interrupted||Episode 61|
|Kijima Matako vs. Okada Nizou||Loss||Episode 61|
|Kijima Matako, Kawakami Bansai and Takechi Henpeita vs. Harusame troops||Win||Episode 215|
- Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 11, Lesson 90, p. 19.
- Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 11, Lesson 91, p. 3.
- Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 11, Lesson 91, p. 4.
- Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 11, Lesson 91, p. 5.