In Gintoki's Japan, the arrival of the various space races known collectively as the Amanto ended the era of the samurai. The Amanto's highly advanced technology resulted in total conquest and a severe economic shift. Now, former samurai such as Gintoki scrape together whatever livelihood they can. Gintoki's profession of choice is that of a yorozuya: he'll complete any job for money. However, he’s unmotivated; and spending most of the day on the couch with the latest issue of Jump and a carton of Strawberry Milk is his preferred pastime. It turns out that his new unpaid employees, Shinpachi and Kagura, are going to interfere with his pastime even more than with his "work"! Of course, none of this means he has really given up on his samurai ideologies!
You Guys!! Do You Even Have a Gintama? (Part 1)
You Guys!! Do You Even Have a Gintama? (Part 2)
Nobody with Naturally Wavy Hair Can Be That Bad
Watch Out! Weekly Shonen Jump Sometimes Comes Out on Saturdays!
Make Friends You Can Call by Their Nicknames, Even When You're an Old Fart
Keep Your Promise Even If It Kills You
Responsible Owners Should Clean Up After Their Pets
There Is Butt a Fine Line Between Persistence and Stubbornness
Fighting Should Be Done with Fists
Eat Something Sour When You’re Tired
Look, Overly Sticky Sweet Dumplings Are Not Real Dumplings, You Idiot!
People Who Make Good First Impressions Usually Suck
StoryType, select all, delete. Rinse and repeat. That has been my experience of trying to write this review as I try to make sure full justice is bequeathed upon the epic series that is Gintama. Some may take offence to my mild fangirlism, others may nod their heads in agreement to virtually every word that spreads across the page; either way, this is merely one persons view of the show and will certainly not agree with every single AP’er out there. Sorry!With so many completely unrelated and varied tales, it is difficult to pin down a single underlying story for Gintama. At first, it seems that the humans struggle against the alien amanto invading Earth would be the main focus, especially as the star is a wooden boken wielding ex-samurai. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there is more to the black sheep of the shounen universes than just a hack and slash adventure. Take for example the madcap antics of the local law enforcement agency, the Shinsengumi; sadistically delicious Sougo is more distracted by trying to usurp the vice-commander than actually doing his job, whilst comically deformed Kondo (aka Gorilla) spends as much time running round in his birthday suit as he does admonishing the bad guys. The comedy may frequently outweigh the action, but this only goes to highlight the stupendous sword duels and furious fist fights.Dividing the series into eight individual seasons, each final quarter holds a mini-arc that shows a glimmer of Gintama’s Jump origins. Although the battles don’t last for 3 episodes each, there is enough excitement and onscreen antics to keep even the biggest shounen fans hooked. With a character developing and butt-kicking Yoshiwara arc, there is a stark contrast with the Otsu Tournament that parodies numerous shows and frequently makes no sense whatsoever. To fully understand exactly what Hideaki Sorachi created in his manga, the viewer needs to have a good appreciation of Japanese culture and have seen a reasonable amount of anime across many decades. That said, there are enough references to modern culture to give every viewer a sense of belonging to the “in” crowd as they pick up on a Death Note parody, or spot a tongue in cheek mockery of Jackie Chan.Two hundred and one episodes later and nothing has changed from the premiere, but that is what is so lovable about the Gintama universe; you come to feel as if you have friends in the alternate Edo, and get to know each personality inside out. The humour used throughout the show is relatively simplistic and puerile, but occasional regression is good for the soul and helps to keep you feeling young. It is this comedy that lulls the viewer into a false sense of security, and the writers take advantage by throwing in an episode that will truly stir feelings. Playing with emotions like a genius with a flugelhorn, a tear jerking short about a little girl and her loyal dog had me sobbing like loon before smashing me back to Earth with cause for damp-eyed laughter. All part of the job for Gintoki and the gang.AnimationProbably one of the weakest points of the show, Gintama's animation remains consistently okay. The bold character designs and backdrops that fuse traditional Edo dress with modern technologies compliment the somewhat chaotic storytelling of the show. Unfortunately, this standard fare doesn’t attempt to push any boundaries, that is until the appearance of new enemy Kamui during the Yoshiwara arc. Suddenly, computer graphics are seamlessly used to emphasise the backgrounds during the fast pacing of frenetic battles and this gives the feeling of sprinting along rooftops with a ninja or being caught in the thick of the fight. It is unfortunate that these techniques were not used more often throughout the earlier years of the show, and as such the overall score suffers.SoundFeaturing the sexy and dominant tones of Tomokazu Sugita, Gintoki may be a slacker but as a female, I can understand why the lusty Sarutobi finds him so attractive. Rie Kugimiya turns her usually shrill and annoying tones to the parody of a Chinese immigrant, Kagura; expertly conveying her feelings despite a somewhat emotionless personality, the alien and seiyuu make the perfect pairing! Scrolling through the rest of the cast gives a star studded “who’s who” of Japanese voice acting, and the quality afforded to even the minor characters ensures a high standard throughout. Whereas the list of opening and ending tracks for Gintama are as fun and diverse as the numerous genres featured throughout the show, easily outstanding to my uneducated ears is the spunky rock track Donten by DOES. Summing up the wild shounen segments of the series, the catchy beat is full of energy that somehow invokes the spirit of dance. Well, in my household at least.CharactersSomehow bringing the dregs of society to animated form, Gintama will easily make the stars of trashy reality shows, such as The Real World, look like 2-bit actors. Yes, Gintoki may be unemployed and unmotivated in finding himself work, but that is one of many reasons he is so lovable. As somewhat of a responsible figurehead, he proves that maturity is merely a state of mind and not something earned after an 18th birthday. Poor Shinpachi is left to play the straight man to the overenthusiastic big kid, managing it so well with his exasperated catchphrase of “Dondaka!” or simply regressing to his otaku form as he worships at the temple of the mouthy songstress, Otsu-chan. They may not always make complete sense, but you can’t deny that having them as real life friends would be awesome.Of most worthy mention are the various members of the Shinsengumi. Souga’s twisted determination to dispatch of Hijikata in numerous indiscrete ways coupled with his indifferent nature is one of the many highlights of the show. Kondo, aka Gorilla, is ridiculed by both his peers and subordinates usually for his preference to show off his junk, however he does demonstrate a softer side as he tries every line in the book to pick up the tempestuous Otae. His constant failure to woo the object of his affections whilst striding around with a pixelated penis is frankly unsurprising, but humourous non-the-less.Although the final headcount of characters featured within Gintama is quite impressive, what is even more amazing is that the careful interweaving of what seem like insignificant stories features the same faces again and again with surprising development for even the supporting cast members. Take Hasegawa: introduced initially as an unrivalled sniper, his numerous meetings throughout the series with the silver haired samurai see his life fall to pieces until Gintoki takes pity and tries (unsuccessfully) to find a job for the newest layabout.OverallAbout three years ago, I started watching Gintama, and in that time, the show kept its amazingly witty and blind-side swiping humour alive. For a series based on a Jump manga, I found it offers a lot more to a mature anime fan than its neighbouring Bleach or Naruto, even though some of the later arcs feature pure, unadulterated shounen. For me, it is this dynamic and unafraid approach to incorporate virtually every genre in anime that gives Gintama such a highly deserved score. In that time, I have laughed, cried, gasped in excitement and then laughed a lot more: the Benizakura movie just cannot come quickly enough.
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. -----STORYSet 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. ----SOUNDTRACKOne 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. ---CHARACTERSGintoki 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. ---OVERALLIf 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?
Gintama is one of the epics of Jump and is one of the more popular shows thats existed,never have a I enjoyed a series more than this. The story is interesting, but at the same time rarely touched upon by the show...its more a less a couple funny episodes and arcs; with more series arcs telling the stories. There is no Start to finish, getting stronger, training hard...its the antics of 3 people,Kagura,Gintoki,and Shinpachi who try to make it in an alien filled Edo...nothing more, nothing less. The animation is great,theres better animation, but theres never been a poorly animated scene in this show. The music is catchy and memorable. The characters, even the most boring ones(Yamazaki/Shinpachi) are my favorites and are as loveable as the rest of the cast. Each character fits into Gintama like a Hand in a glove, even the ones with no screen time make me smile when they return for a 1 minute gag. I must stress that, even though the show is easy to follow, in order to understand most of the jokes, one must be familiar with older animes, anything to do with sunrise, and knowledge on JUMP. Lacking any of that, many of the Jokes may possibly go over your head. Other then that, this series is a must watch.
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