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cinnabarhat74

Gintama

BASED ON 201 OF 201 EPS WATCHED
1 SEP
2010

Oh Gintama, how I love thee, let me count the ways!!

As a reader of Shonen Jump, I had known about Gintama for some time but only started watching it 2009. I was initially skeptical about watching an anime that had over 200 episodes, especially when I had become fed up with Bleach. That show, had looked promising for the first 70 or so episodes and then just became like a broken record to me. So, when I first looked at Gintama I hoped that it was not a repeat of Bleach's style. I watched the first 20, or so, episodes the first week and my fears were quickly dispelled. Every episode had the ablility to keep me interested and laughing, so I kept on going through the whole series. I'll tell you, I never once got bored of it. One would think, that the lack of seriousness in this anime would be a deterant to it but then it throws you a curveball and becomes VERY SERIOUS and then will switch gears again and make you cry, that variety is what keeps me glued to the screen when I watch this show. The serious parts, become action scenes that are hard to rival in any other anime and the emotional parts are just as effective as the material in shows like Clannad. Set up to be an episodic series, the producers throw in story arcs here and there that may last for 5 or 6 episodes. It is in these arcs that the the show normally becomes serious. The stand-alone episodes are usually where the bulk of the comedy material is and when it comes to that comedy material it is hard to match in any other show I've seen. That is saying a lot, but after watching comedy shows like Dokuro-Chan, Hare and Guu, and Puny Puny Poemy those anime never made me laugh in every episode like Gintama. I used to watch Gintama as a pick-me-up many times and I always happy after watching it. Even now I watch Gintama episodes at least once a week and they still make me laugh, that's the power this anime has. I have no reservations in saying that this is perhaps the funniest parody anime ever made.

-----STORY

Set in Edo-era Japan, Gintama revolves around Sakata Gintoki, a samurai living in a time when being a samurai is illegal since aliens had taken over and made being one illegal. Gin runs an odd jobs company with his friends Sinpachi and Kagura. One might think that there couldn't be much material to work with with that kind of scenario, and if the creators had stuck to just that one aspect there wouldn't be. However, Gintama's trump card is that it takes that storyline and incorporates parodied material from other animes and movies and even pariodies actors such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. That's how Gintama works, and it works well. It may make the show a bit random in nature but that's what so funny about it.

---ANIMATION

Nothing too special about the animation, it's pretty standard for the time period it came out in. Bright, crisp lines, CGI, standard stuff. The background in some episodes had a very cartoony look and others were just beautiful, I guess it depended on the animators mood that day. When it comes to characters, I especially like Gin's and Kagura's design. The animation in some of the fight scenes are very well coreographed, especially in the Kagura arc.

----SOUNDTRACK

One thing that works so well with Gintama is that the producers had enough sense to change up the soundtrack in nearly every season. Using  J-pop and other popular Japanese music, plus your standard cartoony sound bites. Gintama wins in this department. I enjoyed many of the opening and closing themes.

---CHARACTERS

Gintoki Sakata, the permanent perm, silver-haired, washed up samurai he is reminds me a lot of, me. This is one reason the show was so watchable for me, I found so many of Gintoki's traits to be ones I had. Of course, I'm not a samurai, but I do odd-jobs just like Gin and have many of his habits. Besides that, the character development in the anime is great. Most of the characters are wonderful and I don't there was one I didn't like. You got Kagura, the red-haired, superstrong, alien girl who lives with Gin and does some of the work, but mostly just eats up Gin's food. There's Sinpachi, the geeky dojo heir, who works with Gin as well and probably has more common sense than any other character on Gintama. Other characters included Otose, Gin's landlady, Sa-chan, the near-sighted masochistic ninja that really loves Gin, Sadaharu, a giant white dog alien and Kagura's pet. There really are too many characters to mention here, as large as this anime is, but one advantage of having an anime with so many episodes is that it gives many of the characters room for their separate stories to develop. Of course, this aspect is also contengent on how well the anime is written, fortunetely Gintama wins in this regard.

---OVERALL

If I could give Gintama a score above 10 I would. I know a lot of others would disagree with me but this show was so enjoyable to watch that there are times that it's the only thing that I want to do is to watch it. Some might say that the lack of seriousness in the show takes something from it but this show is smart enough to mix it up and add some seriousness when needed. That aspect is what makes this show so watchable. It's smart, witty, hilariously funny, but also serious and sometimes sad. It's got everything you need in a show, so why watch anything else?

Other Anime Reviews by cinnabarhat74

Gintama user review by cinnabarhat74

Gintama

overall score: 10/10

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User Review Scores

  • Story 10/10
  • Animation 8/10
  • Sound 10/10
  • Characters 10/10
  • Overall 10/10

Recent Anime Reviews by cinnabarhat74

comments

redfire389 avatar redfire389
Nov 22, 2010

I agree with this review, but I wouldn't give the characters a 10, just because there are some characters totally useless on the show and there are some others that could be better, and the problem of the story is that there's no plot most of the time, almost all the episodes are randoom, But I guess that's what makes Gintama so good, that and the humor, no anime has made me laugh so much haha.

shadowfox6 avatar shadowfox6
Oct 24, 2010

Totally agree with your review, Gintama is easily among the top 5 animes in my list!! I'm at episode 115 now & wish it never ends, I hope season 2 is not far away T^T

This is one show that I couldn't hate any character in it, everyone has a special something about them   ^^  I find myself watching Gintama when I'm happy or had a bad day or just relaxing, no matter the situation, it manages to give such a good feeling & serious laughs  XD

I keep watching & looking for an anime like it, but I can't, even the recommendations are far from it. This one will always be my favorite anime, I just wish season 2 will be even better & I respect its director for taking a hiatus rather than plaguing it with fillers. I can't even finish the remaining episodes, I'll miss my Gintama fix  :(

greg975 avatar greg975
Sep 17, 2010

I fully agree with your review and LinkSword comment! This anime's awesome! Though I must admit to me it wasn't like a Naruto which made me want to see more and more because there's rarely any plot in Gintama so I ended up feeling like I wanted to see more but it was ok to stop for the day (still 5 a day was the minimum) as I wasn't looking foward to any storyline development.

I hope they bring back Gintama as awesome as it's always been (Tsukuyo and Gedomaru better come along!).

MonkeyZerg avatar MonkeyZerg
Sep 6, 2010

Thanks for the great review. I only just started watching it on my little sister's advice, thinking it was gonna be a silly kiddy show, but was surprised by some of the riveting elements already on display (defeated Edo, terrorists/freedomfighters, betrayal or moving on, etc etc) and the humour is consistently proving to be top-notch. Definitely will continue this show!

LinkSword avatar LinkSword
Sep 3, 2010

Yeah, Gintama is truly amazing. It's truly the only anime besides One Piece to which I could give an unconditional, perfect 5/5. It has made me laugh like any other anime or manga has ever - and throughout the whole series, not just a pair of brilliant eps like some people could think.

All of the characters have this ''something'' that makes them all loveable in their own way. Gintoki's weird personality, lazy demeanor but awesome inner strength, plus a ton of strawberry milk. Kagura's cute appearance in total contrast with her monstruous brute force and frequent verbal stabs. Shinpachi's voice of reason and intelligent commentaries of any madness going on, which never, EVER managed to bore me, unlike any other ''tsukkomi'' character in manganime. Katsura's excentricity and spontaneity, along with his legenary, catchy phrase (Zura janai, Katsura da!). Elizabeth's... I think Elizabeth needs no explaining, ''it'' is just that great. Hijikata's coolness and his mayo addiction. Sougo's sadistic vein, constantly trying to kill Hijikata and piss him off. Kondo's crudeness and gorillism. Madao's helplessness, any ep with him around is hilarious. Takasugi as the dead-serious, sworn enemy. And I could keep on with the list FOREVER. Even one-ep/mini-arc characters often manage to push my buttons.

I really admire Sunrise's animation, too. You'll never, ever see another show with his many episodes and the level of animation displayed in Gintama. Be it fights or a comical kick in the face, everything is done just too well to avoid cracking up. Of course, the soundtrack helps a lot, too. Man, Gintama's OST is so nice. I could keep on hearing it for years and not get tired.

As for the storyline, I couldn't be more pleased. Most comedies will never try to get serious. If they do, most of them are doomed to fail on an ugly manner, be it because the mangaka inserts it too forcefully or because he/she just doesn't know how to get a gag manga to be serious and impact the viewers. Or even worse, if things work out nicely the mangaka might just forget about the comedy, which is the reason why his/her work got fans in the first place.

Gintama is neither of those. Most of the anime and manga is pure comedy, with plenty of drama mixed in almost flawlessly, and then there are those ''serious'' arcs which make the plot progress little by little and have the ability to pump ANYONE up because that's just how awesome they are. AND, even in those arcs, comedy is always there as a great comic relief element.

Summarizing, Hideaki Sorachi is a damn genius. Period. And Sunrise is really amazing, too. The manga is already a laugh fest but they achieved an animated product that NEVER loses its edge and even improves the original work with the tools anime enables to use.

I just hope the anime will continue soon, since they only put it on hiatus in order to gather manga material.

Nice review and nice to meet another big Gintama fan! Gintama For Teh Win!!

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