Yamazaki Sagaru (山崎 退 Yamazaki Sagaru ) is a spy working for the the Shinsengumi. He is known for his love for badminton, often playing/practicing badminton by himself instead of working (he is often caught by his Vice-Commander Hijikata Toushirou and is subsequently roughed up as a result). He is such a rabid badminton fan that he swings the badminton racket even during martial arts training sessions.
Yamazaki has long dark hair and he wears the shinsengumi outfit like all other officers. He looks quite plain compared to more colorful Shinsengumi members.
Epitome of plain-ness,almost on par with Shimura Shinpachi. Despite this, however, it is implied by Hijikata in lesson 243 that he is actually good at "wooing" women.
If it's not badminton, he ditches work to practice Kabaddi with some random people (with the same reaction and beating from Hijikata afterwards...) In Episode 62 of the anime, his love for badminton was made as a loose parody of the anime & manga "Prince of Tennis."
He never goes undercover without equipping himself with the Shinsengumi Sausage. Seems to enjoy eating hotdogs and apparently brings them to eat on stake out missions. However, during stakeouts, he tries to limit his diet by eating only anpans with milk; his act of sacrifice to the myriad of gods for a successful operation (or as what the detective dramas say...)
Strength & Abilities
Not much is known for Yamazaki's fighting besides he wields the Osafune Mark II. In the Mimawarigumi arc, he used anpan as a weapon.
He is good at inflitrating in enemies territory and occasional disguise.
Friends & Allies
- Hijikata Toushirou: Yamazaki usually takes orders from Hijitaka, although he is almost always seen being physically abused by the Vice-Chief.
- Tama: Currently in love with her. In lesson 384, he is tasked with spying on the Yorozuya. When he goes out to buy more anpan for his boring stakeout, the copious amounts of anpan break the store scanner. Tama, the next person in line, fixes the machine by motivating it with kind words. Touched by Tama's speech, Tama falls in love and abandons his assignment to spy on Tama.
- Kawakami Bansai: Yamazaki was badly wounded but Bansai spared Yamazaki.
After the Benizakura arc, Toushirou would instruct Yamazaki Sagaru to spy on Gintoki to found out the connection between Katsura and Gintoki. Toushirou would also orders Yamazaki to assassinate him but in the end Yamasaki wrote a school like essay with no crucial information.
Memory Loss Arc
Okita Mitsuba Arc
Shinsengumi Crisis Arc
He proved to be one of the loyal follower of Kondou's camp during the eve of Shinsengumi mutiny (Episode 102). He nearly dies during this arc, but Kawakami Bansai allows him to get away. By the time he recovers from his injuries the Shinsengumi believe him dead, and he worries about the reaction he'll get when he appears at his own funeral, but it turns out the funeral is mostly for a dog, and his picture is only in the corner and barely noticed.
Character Poll Arc
During the Character Poll arc he and Shinpachi commiserate over their rankings and the fact that such plain characters as themselves have no chance at beating the more dynamic characters. Yamazaki pretends to try to cheer Shinpachi up, but then is 'attacked' in an embarrassing way lowering his ranking further. He claims that it was a lower ranking character attempting to improve their ranking. This sets up a nasty battle between almost all characters as they attempt to protect their rankings and to bring down higher ranked characters. But it is finally revealed that he faked the attack himself, knowing that it would lead to the infighting and betraying which would eventually lead the fans to turn against all the characters, plunging everyone's ranking to the point where no one would be able to brag about their ranking or look down on anyone else. He and Shinapchi had a heart-to-heart talk over this, and during that talk they raise their ranking to the number one spot. But, while pretending to celebrate their accomplishment, the rest of the characters end up throwing them off a building, returning their rankings to normal.
Two years after Kondou retires, Yamazaki becomes Vice Commander with some personalities changes.
Toushirou knowing that Gintoki is Shiroyasha instructed Yamazaki to spy on Gintoki again, however he is not interested in Gintoki past but those around him mainly Katsura. By using Gintoki as bait, Yamazaki would patiently observe. However Yamazaki at his limit changed his target to Tama who he has fallen for.
Ikkoku Keisei Arc
- Yamazaki Sagaru is based on Yamazaki Susumu 山崎 烝 a shinsengumi officer and a spy.
- According to Sorachi, Yamazaki's first name, Sagaru, means "Take a step back, view things calmly and deal with them."
- Out of the entire characters in Gintama, Sorachi already mentioned that Yamazaki will not be on any cover of Gintama tankoubon/volumes.So far, he seems to be keeping that promise...