I generally watch anime with the psychological aspect. So, it’s safe to assume that anime like Monster or Mirai Nikki are generally my cup of tea. But it isn’t like you can watch the same kind of anime all the time, right? So what did I do? Start Gintama, of course.
Gintama is set in a kinda-futuristic Japan. After a brutal war between the Earthlings and the aliens [called Amanto], the Earth has finally been colonized. Now the natives live alongside the Amanto, and Edo has now become a hub for commerce and pleasure on Earth. The anime follows a naturally wavy-haired out-of-job samurai, Sakata Gintoki, and his companions Shimura Shinpachi, a teenage who wants to restore his family’s dojo back to its former glory, and Kagura, an Amanto girl with immense strength and appetite. Together, the three of them battle against evil forces in an attempt to pay off their monthly rent, by working odd jobs at the accurately named Odd Jobs Gin.
The anime boasts of a barrage of colorful characters; ranging from the strict-but-fair Otose the landlady, Shinpachi’s sister Tae, a hostess at a club and an ‘expert’ cook, to the all-awesome gang of police force, the Shinsengumi and Zura, I mean Katsura, the anti-foreigner faction leader who the Shinsengumi desperately want to capture. That is not all, there are many more characters in the show, but talking of all of them will fill up pages upon pages. And each of them have their own quirks; for example, there is a jobless guy named Hasegawa, who always gets fired because he just doesn’t want to take off his sunglasses during work.
The plot in Gintama is more or less non-existent. The anime follows Gintoki and his companions’ misadventures and their tangled-up relations with the various other characters in the show. The show is more or less episodic, with occasional instances of a plot lasting for 2-3 episodes, or sometimes with the plot being dealt with in a span of half an episode, too.
But Gintama still manages to capture the viewers’ attention despite the lack of any main story, as such. How? By being rip-roaringly funny, of course. Each of the characters is hilarious in their own peculiar way, and the comical situations they wind up in all the time is just so funny. And the parodies throughout…Gintama never, ever holds back in parodying familiar tropes of anime, or mimicking the popular culture, or even better, parodying popular mainstream anime like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto etc.
The main weak point of Gintama is that it takes about 15-odd episodes to really pick up, and a few more for the viewer to actually get into the flow of the proceedings. Animation may feel a bit dated, but once the viewer gets into Gintama, he/she will cease to notice.
Overall, Gintama is a solid anime, and a good start to the series which is now in its 6th season. Or is it 7th? I don’t know. Enjoy the ride, either way!
RATING : 7.8/10
– hilarious throughout
– lovable characters
– amazing parodies
– brilliant soundtraks and opening/ending themes
– animation is somewhat dated
– mostly episodic plots, which may be a turn-off for some
– somewhat slow at the start