Revenge is bitter.
Tanigaki thinks about his past, and how he got this far.
This episode is all about Tanigaki, as we find out about his past and what it means to be a Matagi.
Matagi, as we discover, is the name of Tanigaki’s clan, the one that he abandoned. As is shown in the episode, he doesn’t abandon the Matagi because they kicked him out, but because of his own actions. Tanigaki leapt to conclusions about his sister’s death, and let revenge consume him. Instead of caring for the family he left behind, he set off to the military in the pursuit of justice. Unfortunately, he was too quick to jump to conclusions, and didn’t realize that there was more to the story than he first thought. His quest for revenge brought him away from his family, and ended up being entirely for naught.
In the present, Tanigaki has since realized his mistakes. He has grown extremely fond of Asirpa’s family, especially of Huci, who nursed him back to health following his disastrous fight with Ogata. He wishes to repay Huci for her kindness, but he is also acutely reminded of his mother, who he abandoned in his pursuit for revenge. His mother died from the shock of losing both her children, and he doesn’t want to be the cause of that happening once again. Tanigaki sets out to find Asirpa, not for the gold and not for the hunt, but because he wants Huci to be happy again, so that someone he cares about doesn’t have to go through that pain again.
Once again, Tsurumi shows his charisma. He’s still absolutely a weird guy, but he is very appealing in the sense that he wants the best for his men and also that he listens to them. Especially in the chain of command in Japan, where you are supposed to unquestioningly follow your boss, having a superior that is willing to not only listen to his subordinates but also reach out to them is even rarer. He stays quiet and listens to Tanigaki’s story, not commenting or judging, merely understanding how and why he came this far. At the end, he asks for Tanigaki to make the mochi again, not to hurt him, but so that it will no longer have a bad connotation. It’s a kind gesture, and this kindness fosters the severe loyalty that his men have to him and the seventh division.