Other Formats: Manga written and illustrated by Hideaki Sorachi
Set during the 19th century in Japan, known as Edo at the time, aliens called Amanto have invaded and have ultimately taken over the world. They heavily influenced the day and age and implemented a sword ban on the 'samurai country' that leaves one carefree samurai in a dilemma. Gintama follows that certain samurai, Sakata Gintoki, as well as a huge cast of other characters in their daily lives and adventures.
From parody to drama, to horror to comedy, to mystery to science fiction, to crime to adventure, and so on... Gintama combines as many elements as it can and throws them all together to create one absolutely fantastic series that's always on the top of it's game, and where disappointment is simply not an option.
Many of the episodes in Gintama are that of episodic nature, they do not connect, they are stand alone. You are presented with a story at the beginning of the episode, and it is resolved by the end. I believe this benefits Gintama greatly since it's probably the best way to go about creating an anime or manga with such a huge cast and eccentric setting. While most episodes do not connect, there are a few throughout the series that do however. Never have I come across an episode or an arc so far that hasn't had me in tears from laughter, my mouth wide open from amazement or my face glued to the screen due to the intense drama or action. Throughout the series you'll notice that Gintama borrows elements from everywhere, and these are mostly found in parodies. What does Gintama parody? Literally anything and everything. From Death Note to Ju-On, to Star Wars to Dragon Ball Z, to Rocky to Hajime no Ippo, to famous people to famous places to famous things and beyond. Gintama mixes these parodies into almost every episode which results in a presentation unlike any other. Also, encase you're wondering, the parodies do not distract from the story, they actually make sense and mix extremely well in a rather random series.
I know some critics/haters will disagree with me giving the series such hype, but every episode is so imaginative and captivating it's what it deserves and to be honest I can't see how you could give it any less. It's a given that the first twenty-ish episodes are mainly for character introduction, but once those episodes are over and we know the cast, Gintama releases it's full potential. Each story itself revolves around many different characters within the huge cast, so not one single character is under or over used, therefore they never get boring. Which is a must in such a long series. Gintama manages to interest you in each story within a few minutes or even seconds, while in another anime series it may take a few episodes. Basically, Gintama does in one episode what another anime might be building up to do throughout the entire series, and without it feeling rushed.
This is much more apparent later on in the anime. Since there are so many different stories throughout the series, it makes you wonder just how much more Hideaki Sorachi (the creator) can think of. His mind must be extremely vast, because the stories do not get dull as the series progresses one bit, they get better, and better, and better, and better. More characters are introduced later on, more scenarios are presented to you and different plot devices are used, as well a the occasional plot twist. A lot of critics seem to hate on Gintama for it's story because it doesn't have a long or on-going one, which I find rather stupid because it's not supposed to. Each episode is supposed to have a different story, that's the way it's supposed to be, so why should it be rated down for something it never intended to have anyway? The fact in the matter is, even after over 150 episodes, each stand alone story is way, way, way above average and each arc is just as amazing as the other, which is what we've come to expect. It never, ever gets old and that's why I believe, without a doubt in my mind, that the story deserves a ten out of ten.
Gintama is animated by Sunrise, mostly known from Code Geass fame these days, but they've also produced such marvels as Cowboy Bebop, Planetes, Yakitate!! Japan, Gundam, Outlaw Star and a ton more. You can safely say Gintama is in good hands... actually, probably the best hands it could be in. The animation remains consistant throughout, and occasionally gets even better whenever it needs to. The character design is slick and smooth, the shot setups and camera angles always get the job done to the highest of quality and are often quite imaginative and dynamic, and scenes are well presented on screen through the animation. The direction is at it's best and I don't think Sunrise could offer us anything better. They've done a fantastic job.
The best part about Gintama is, without a doubt, the characters. There are so much words I could use to describe them, but I think I'll use this one - perfect. The characters simply could not get any better. Extremely appealing, very imaginative and filling all of your needs and wants, you'll no doubt have more than one favourite. Without the characters, Gintama would not be where it is today. Thank the creator, Hideaki "The Legend" Sorachi for creating such wonderful pieces of art! Most of the characters are also based on real people during the time Gintama is set, which will please us history nuts out there!
Overall - perfect, amazing, hilarious, breath taking, eye watering, simply fantastic. Gintama is the god of comedy and everything else for that matter. In my opinion, the only anime series to deserve full marks in every aspect. Gintama is among the best anime has to offer.
Gintama (2011) Official Trailer
Final Gintama The Movie - Be Forever Yorozuya Official Trailer (2013)
Gintama the Movie - Shinyaku Benizakura-hen [trailer]
Last edited by Totsuka No Tsurugi; 06-04-2013 at 12:46 PM.