Saitou Shimaru (斉藤終, Saitou Shimaru) is the former Third Division Commander of the Shinsengumi in charge of internal investigation.
The only thing revealed about Saitou's past is that he was a trainee at Kondou's dojo before they came to Edo to create the Shinsengumi.
He has an orange hair worn in an afro form and red eyes. He's seen in a long Shinsengumi coat with an obi around the waist, black pants and boots and a black scarf. He is often seen falling asleep and snoring "Z".
He is reluctant when it comes to speaking with others. He is known to be taciturn, to the extent that no one has ever heard his voice or heard him speak before. It was confirmed by Okita that he has a shy nature and gets very nervous at the thought of speaking out loud. However, it was shown that he desires to be friendly and writes the names of people he wants to be friends with in his diary.
Undercover Jouishishi members who joined the Shinsengumi misunderstood his diary as a death/suspect note and fled, forcing him to execute the runaways and unwittingly succeed in his tasks. However, he experienced much dismay at having to execute his former comrades.
He has a tendency to go to the bathroom when he is nervous, and he is self-conscious about his frequent visits to the restroom.
After meeting with Elizabeth, due to their parallel trait of not practicing verbal communication, he became Elizabeth's Shinsengumi counterpart. In contrast to Elizabeth, he uses a blank note book and pen in accordance with Sket Dance's Kazuyoshi Usui when his laptop is broken and under repair.
He is able to sleep in almost every situation, even before his execution.
Strength & Abilities
He is known in Shinsengumi for his excellent swordsmanship and is a dual wielder of swords. He is able to battle Katsura for an hour without losing, and Katsura also regards him as a great enemy. His swordsmanship is so great that even Sougo who is known to be the best in Shinsengumi called him a bigger monster than he is.
In addition, because he was in charge of internal investigation and affairs, he is a discreet observer of those around him and recorded the activities of Hijikata, Sougo, and Kondou that could be used as weaknesses.
Friends & Allies
- Okita Sougo: Saitou is the only non-Chief Shinsengumi member whom Sougo respects. Sougo often refers to him as "Shimaru-niisan," which means "big brother," and he is seen helping out Saitou in communicating with others. For instance, he helped Saitou order a warm bento at a convenience store.
- Katsura Kotarou: The two were originally enemies prior to Shige Shige's death. They first met and became friends during Katsura's undercover mission to become a member of the Third Division of Shinsengumi in order to destroy it from within. Prior to Katsura's arrival, the third division was solely occupied by Saitou. Saitou was impressed by Katsura's undaunted attempts to make conversation with him despite his silence and even stated that Katsura is the only person who will be his friend. However, taking advantage of Saitou's taciturn nature, Katsura spread false rumors about him, leading to his imprisonment and an execution trial. After Katsura blew his cover, they became enemies and briefly fought, but Saitou becomes more comfortable with his silent nature through the incident and realizes that his sword, that faces nakamas and enemies, has communicated far more for him than words have. Later on they become friends again after Shige Shige's death.
- Elizabeth: They were temporarily enemies prior to Shige Shige's death due to his allegiance with Katsura and the Jouishishi. Although Saitou retained Elizabeth as hostage before discovering Katsura's identity during the Afro arc, he treated Elizabeth well. Katsura initially misunderstood the upside down, tied state of Elizabeth as abuse (in reality he was being well fed and petted). Upon learning how Elizabeth and his species under dictator Renho communicated through board texts, Saitou began employing the same method. However, this resulted in rivalry with Elizabeth, as Saitou "stole" his role and decreased the uniqueness of Elizabeth's character.
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Saitou first appeared starting a fight with Katsura Kotarou (under the alias of Hashira Afuro), after an hour of exchanging each other's blows Kondou stepped in to stop them, thus resulting a draw and recruiting Katsura to the Third Division (making him the new vice captain).
His appearance in this arc occured with Sougo when Hijikata and Kondo were fighting the Yato troops along with the sudden ambush by the Naraku. He and Sougo came to aide both their vice-chief and chief in battle.
- His name is based on Saitō Hajime (斎藤一), who was the leader of the third unit in the shinsengumi. His kanji meaning beginning 一 was changed to 終 meaning end.
- His name was infered to be Saitō Shu (斎藤 終), but Sorachi sensei confirmed his kanji to be read as shimaru in Lesson 488.
- His character symbol is "Z" as he is often seen sleeping and snoring "Z", the punctuation he uses in his diary is also "Z", he also writes a Z at the end of people's names who he wants to befriend with. Also, his name "Shimaru" means "end", and the last alphabet letter in English is also "Z"
- According to Sorachi, the reason Nobume's Mimawarigumi uniform and Shimaru's Shinsengumi uniform are different from the standard one was because they wanted to look cool.
- He has narcolepsy and will fall asleep anywhere and anytime at the drop of a hat.
- He is ranked 11th place in the 4th popularity poll.
- He has the same English voice actor as Mousse from Ranma ½, and even the Gundam protagonists Amuro Ray (whose Japanese voice actor voices Shimaru’s Joui counterpart Elizabeth) and Setsuna F. Seiei.
|Fight||Outcome||Time it Occurred|
|Saitou Shimaru vs. Katsura Kotarou||Draw||Episode 295|
- Gintama Manga: Lesson 488: page 5