Gintama is back and better than ever! Featuring aliens, time clocks, and the fondling of breasts! Gintama is an anime based around humor and references; it shall blow your mind with questions of how it has not gotten copyright strikes! Now prepare for the 4th wall to be broken, and to cry your eyes out in laughter at the not-so-organised story of a Silver Haired Samurai and his incredible life in the city of Edo!
#1: "DAY×DAY" by BLUE ENCOUNT (eps 1-12) #2: "Pride Kakumei (プライド革命)" by CHiCO with HoneyWorks (eps 13-15, 17-26) #3: "Saigo made II (最後までⅡ)" by Aqua Timez (ep 16) #4: "Beautiful Days" by OKAMOTO'S (eps 27-38) #5: ''Know Know Know'' by DOES (eps 39-50) #6: "Acchi Muite (あっちむいて)" by Swimy (ep 51)
#1: "DESTINY" by Negoto (eps 1-12) #2: "Saigo made II (最後までⅡ)" by Aqua Timez (eps 13-15, 17-26) #3: "Pride Kakumei (プライド革命)" by CHiCO with HoneyWorks (ep 16) #4: "Glorious Days (グロリアスデイズ)" by THREE LIGHTS DOWN KINGS (eps 27-38) #5: "Acchi Muite (あっちむいて)" by Swimy (eps 39-50) #6: "Know Know Know" by DOES (ep 51)
Have you ever wanted to laugh so hard that it feels like you're dying? Well, then this season is no different from any of its predecessors. The season dives straight into its main focus which is comedy and gives us all sorts of parodies and laughs that viewers can relate to other shows, which is what makes it so great. However, this season is not all laughs. As with this season, the show moves into some of the more serious arcs—a must see for any fan of Gintama.
Besides starting out with heavy action, comedy is one of the best ways to make people continue watching a show. To hook the viewers into the first few episodes is what the producers try to do each season. If you don’t start off with something funny in a show that is so well-known for its way of doing parodies and comedy, then there’s no way the viewers are going to continue watching. I mean, who doesn’t like a good ol’ DBZ parody to start itself off? I know I do.
If there’s one thing I didn’t like about how the season went is the skipping of some of the smaller arcs. Gintama has always been faithful at adapting all its arcs, but this season was quite different. This may be due to pushing it for OVAs to sell, or maybe they just didn’t have the time slots available. That or something came up within the studio to make them adapt the bigger arcs earlier.
With that, I guess we should talk about the highly anticipated arcs that a lot of people have been waiting for since the announcement of the season. Without trying to spoil, these arcs provide a lot to the watchers as to what’s happening to some of the most known groups/people in the Gintama franchise. The first arc is the Shogun arc which obviously focuses on the Shogun himself but also his enemies. Compared to the other big arcs, I’d say this was a pretty good arc and rivaled some of the other ones from the past seasons. If you thought that was all for the big arcs, then think again! Not only do we get one major roller coaster arc this season, but two. The other being the Shinsengumi arc which focuses on the Police force of Edo and two other “prominent” groups—the Joui rebels and the Mimawarigumi. Unlike the previous arc, this arc is more about emotion than it is about action. While this arc does have action, I wouldn’t put it ahead of the arc before it in that sense. I still enjoyed this arc though because it shows us some backstory of some of the Shinsengumi, the Mimawarigumi, and even Gintoki. These two arcs go hand-in-hand as the former leads into the latter. Just what is in store for our beloved characters?
Visually speaking, it has been up and down here and there. Mostly a hit though. When it needs to, the action is improved majorly as it should be otherwise it would just look terrible. The comedy arcs were also pretty good in terms of its animation, but there were times when the animation took a turn down and looked pretty bad. Expect the animation budget to be really good during the action arcs, especially for the final two arcs. Thankfully it wasn’t bad when it needed to be so there’s nothing major I would note down.
As for the soundtrack, it has been really good. The OST was done pretty well and matches the overall mood of what the scene is trying to portray to the viewer. The OP/ED songs I have mixed feelings for because I’m mainly a fan of catchy songs, but they were all pretty decent. I’ve been mainly a fan of Gintama’s OP, but this season there was a few EDs I quite enjoyed more so than its OP counterpart, so props to the singers for that.
And just like that another season of Gintama ends. The waiting once again begins as per regular tradition. If you haven’t enjoyed this season, then the season to come, which will most likely be the finale, is definitely not for you.
Gintama hasn’t changed one bit; it will continue being its same old self until it finally brings a closure to all the characters we love and find so hilarious. read more
EDIT: This was a review written for April Fools. I wish to thank everyone for brightening my day with all the positive feedback and reactions, it really shows that Gintama has taught us to enjoy a good laugh. The review will stay as is, since my opinions can still be found in it, just written in a backwards kinda way.
Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes upon the most overhyped anime of all time! Watch as our main protagonist uses his wooden sword of sentimentality, cutting into the bleeding hearts of all you emotional thinkers, corrupting your rotten brains with the stench of intellectual destitution!
In this particular season of Gintama, the author’s masterplan finally takes shape. Every episode of comedy filler, every laugh, and every smile it has pulled from your innocent lips, it was all a ploy to steal your souls. He can now freely attach your emotions to these characters of absurd fiction. With emotional manipulation the anime makes you care for a bunch of clowns, and then takes a darker turn as you become complacent.
With superior animation it uses thrilling action-scenes and atmospheric direction, blinding you with pretty colors. The show’s visuals are fast-food for the soul, delicious upon tasting it, but ultimately detrimental to your IQ, making you more creative and in touch with your emotions rather than with your cold and logical side.
Allow me to wreak havoc on your lowly opinions, by pointing out Gintama’s greatest flaw of all, the horrendous writing and characters. The show has a tendency to make characters relatable and fascinating, only to retcon events so that you can retain those emotional connections, while the story just goes wherever it wants. It is one thing to play with expectations, but another to betray them by doing plot-twists that don’t live up to my personal golden standard. Some characters will receive tragic backstories, only for it to be revealed that none of it mattered, because some current event undid it all or it was all a lie to begin with. Worst of all, on several occasions we see death-flags get raised, only to be ignored in the name of dramatic convenience, just so the few who DO die have more impactful farewells.
I would call the author spineless, but that’d be an insult to invertebrates. I would ask you all to make a drinking-game out of every time you notice plot-armor at play, or a character making an inspirational speech. When you all die of alcohol-poisoning I'll be left in a more agreeable world, one where only I rule over the anime-hegemony.
To summarize, Gintama has reached a level of worship among anime-fans like no other. To think that the social nature of humanity would override their ability to think logically, it makes me want to give up on everything.
Oh and happy April Fools. This show is awesome.read more
Finally the season has ended and phew, what a journey it was. This season is the first one where I watched it as it aired. I used to be one of those people who were pissed off because Gintama took too many spots on MAL's top anime page but never actually tried to understand why people liked it. I had always been hesitant to start because the premise didn't seem interesting at all but hey, it only took me 2 months to finish all the available episodes back in 2014 because once I started, I just can't stop. That's just how good this series is in its entirety.
Now to the review of this season!
Well, Gintama had never been an anime with high budget so please don't expect ufotable's godlike level of animation. For a long-running anime though, I think Gintama has the better animation out there, and especially during the last arc, the animation was pretty top notch. The characters design and the setting has always been distinct (I've always been a fan of their portrayal of 'modern' Edo) and I always thought that Gintama has good art anyway so in this season it still deserves a high score.
This is one of my personal favourite aspects of Gintama. I like how they could make a recurring theme to give off different feelings according to the scene they're accompanying. The new OSTs for this season are very good too, especially for the last two arcs (there is one theme song for a new character that I really like in this season, it gives me literal chill everytime I hear it haha).
This season started with a very controversial comedic episode which reminded us that Gintama won't ever be afraid to make jokes on pretty much everything. The episodes which followed are great too (the lottery one is still my fav though) and the comedic arcs in this season are among my favorites (soul switch arc, dekoboko arc, afro arc, feigned illness arc, confessional arc...). They are very well written and always left us with an afterthought in a classic Gintama way.
The serious arcs, particularly the last two, are among the best in the entire series. The strength of the serious arcs in Gintama is that the pacing of the story is quite fast that our hype was always being kept at high. Also, as an anime-only watcher, a lot of the twist really caught me off-guard, and all I can say is despite some of the twists being typical shounen tropes, the way Gintama handled them are very tasteful. I guess it's because Gintama isn't your typical shounen with teenagers as MCs, which bring us to its endearing characters.
Characters : 10/10
The characters are the reason why I finished all the previous seasons in only two months. If you asked me when I started to love a particular character I would never be able to answer that; they were all slowly creeping on me.
Gintama's character are well-rounded. Nobody is perfect; in fact some of the characters are really gross that it may seemed impossible to love them at first, but given the time, they are all endearing in their own ways. I mean, I can sympathize with a gorilla stalker that sometimes walk around naked and a gross homeless old man who seemed to have no ambition in life. My other favourites includes the clumsy leader of a rebellious faction nicknamed "nobleman of fury" who keeps an alien (duck?) as a pet, an inhumanely strong little girl with a weird accent who always eats like there's no tomorrow, and a police officer who should have been arrested for exposing everyone with secondhand smoke and for ruining all the good foods in this world with his disgusting mayonnaise addiction.
The new characters this season are also memorable, but what hits me the most is the development of all the supporting characters. We've known them for 250+ episodes and we're very much already knew their personality traits. However, Sorachi gradually exposed bits by bits of those characters so what I feel that watching Gintama is not about the characters growing, but me knowing them better. I don't know if this makes sense or not, but watching Gintama feels like knowing your friends better in life instead of rooting for a celebrity you've only seen on TVs. So when they're hurt or something bad happened to them, the feels hit me as if something happened to someone I hold dear (okay this is getting out of hand because my inner otaku coming out but whatever).
So yeah, the supporting characters in Gintama are too good that they can probably lead their own series. That being said, the MC is by no means being overshadowed by them. Gintoki is deservedly the leader of the bunch, and this season just cemented the fact. There are many instances where Gintoki shines as the best shounen MC I've ever seen, both because his persona and how he deals with his relationship with other characters. He handled all the cliche shounen tropes in a surprising manner that keeps me rooting for him (there's one moment in this season when it's shown that he's really emotionally strong and mature and that was something I rarely saw in shounen jump's heroes).
Gintoki though, has always been a contradiction; he had always been annoyingly talkative but actually he rarely said anything important, he always seemed greedy but when we think about it, he is actually very selfless. In this season, I feel that Gintoki had opened up and showing his true self more (he's talking about his past more, and he's also openly expressing his wishes). All in all, his relationship with all the characters, especially with his Yorozuya family and the Shinsengumi, is the highlight for me in this season.
Hell yeah the fast pacing keeps the enjoyment and the hype real and high. If you still don't get it from my ramblings above I really enjoy this season. Wednesday had been the day I waited the most for these past year (even more than the weekends!)
Oh, and the seiyuus is another highlight (especially Sugita and Nakai!) because without them masterfully voicing these weird characters, it won't feel the same. I believe I will listen if Gintama was made into radio series, their voices are already the heart of Gintama.
Watching Gintama actually makes me very picky in watching other anime. It has a complete package that is hard to beat; I bet you it's not easy to make a series where you can laugh a little in between tears because they decided to put a slight comedy in an otherwise very emotional scene. Or makes you laugh like a madman because sometimes it's too funny that you need to stop watching to collect yourself first. And this season just has that perfect mix of comedy and action (and drama too) that I cemented it as one of the best series ever made. read more
When it comes to sequels, It is often unclear whether it will live up to the quality of its previous installments, and in the case of the fourth season of Gintama fans can be assured: it maintains its defining traits. There continues to be a great variety in the comedy offered, as well as its share of arguably one of the best consequent "serious" arcs in the entire series so far, expanding greatly upon the setting itself, as well as its cast of characters. However, it must be mentioned that it comes with a slight controversy amongst the fans, the main concern being the inevitable conclusion the series is heading to, and with that, loosing in the process some of its main charm, the comedy, which mainly affects the last third of the season. Regardless of said matter, Gintama delivers in all of its main aspects in a very satisfying manner, where viewers can observe the culmination of the author's experience in the different aspects the anime has to offer.
The story of the show follows a similar structure to its previous seasons, following the daily, both chaotic and amusing, lives of the beloved trio of the Yorozuya: Kagura, Shimura Shinpachi and of course Sakata Gintoki. The series is known for its great variety in comedy incorporating different genres from both the East and West, in addition to providing great referential comedy to the variety of different anime to its advantage - Kuroko no Basuke or Saint Seiya anyone? These are often well executed, albeit being in some cases too repetitive. Naturally, it is not all referential comedy: it has its share of situational comedy, or just simple daily issues taken into a comedic stance: hiding pornmags, or even a marriage encounter.
In various instances it also provides some social critique; what is more, this time around it is more universally centered, making it much more accessible to audiences unaware of japanese culture. Examples such as paranoia over a lottery ticket, greedy shopkeepers, corruption amongst civil employers, you name it. Naturally it has its share comedic sketches mainly catered to the japanese viewers, which are arguably hilarious as well. Not to mention the premise of some of the mini arcs presented: the hilarious gender bender arc and of course, the beloved Shogun gags - which once again are arguably of the best sketches of the entire series.
However, this time around it is impossible not to mention the story oriented arcs in the season: these are a magnificent portrayal of the author's acquired experience over the years, expanding upon the Amanto and the mysterious Tendoshu that rule over Edo. Its "serious" arcs were often criticized for being a bit random and too over the top, yet this time this is not the case. Furthermore, the foreshadowing that was done in the previous seasons become very apparent and explained, in addition to providing a very satisfying flow of events: fast-paced when required, yet balanced and thoughtful when necessary to emphasize on the atmosphere and gravity of the various situations. It ultimately works itself towards a great finale - or rather, another buildup, but to this later - with fantastic action across the board, with a minimal amount of "asspulls" action shōnen are well-known for. The battles are tense, the stakes are high, and it is in fact brutal as it can be: people die left and right, betrayal and disbelief are just some attributes that could be associated to it.
The cast of characters in Gintama remain largely unchanged, with some exceptions, yet this was to be expected, as the series is building itself towards its inevitable finale. Instead, the anime expands on its characters by developing them, as well as further fleshing them out in a satisfying manner. Audiences are presented with the expansion upon Gintoki's past, and with that, his other comrades as well as his master - a wonderful and satisfying display to the character's personality, and of course the story as well. Not only that, it becomes apparent that all the story oriented arcs are in fact used as means to develop and flesh out various characters which initially remained clouded in mystery from the previous seasons: be it Sasaki Isaburou, the founding of the Shinsengumi and its integrants, or even the shogun himself.
Naturally, for the more comedic episodes audiences are presented with the homeless Hasegawa Taizou, a great representation of society itself, meaning the hardships or the apathetic attitude towards life. He is arguably one of the greatest characters in the series, alongside the noble and resourceful Katsura Kotarou. Besides his outdated sense of humour and his fantastic personality, It is truly curious to see his evolution as a character throughout the series from being a radical terrorist to a more pacificist person in the quest to change Edo without causing unnecessary deaths. There is a downside to its cast though: for example, Shimura Tae remains pretty much the same throughout the entire series as a forceful woman, who can instantly change to a damsel in distress whenever the plot required it; in addition, the gags surrounding her persona remained the same, and ultimately got annoying.
As for the character interactions and relations, these are often very well handled because of the nature of the anime and the characters themselves that has been developed throughout its duration. This is however not always the case, as in some instances these were rather abruptly presented to the viewer, which in turn caused the whole scenario to feel unnatural. Some of the characters actions occasionally conflict with their own ideals and personality as well, but as a whole, it could be said that it was satisfying. Now there are some issues to be held with the background of some of the characters: these follow the same formulaic approach which is usual in the series, which naturally may be bothersome for audiences. In some instances it could be said that the motives were either too predictable or convenient for story progression.
~Animation and sound~
The animation in Gintama was surprisingly consistent and well done considering the fact that it aired for a whole year. However, where it excelled was in its action scenes: the fights were incredibly dynamic and fast paced, accurate as well as fluid and detailed, never leaving any viewer bored throughout its entire duration. This however has a cost to it, the backgrounds suffering in various instances from poor quality character models, and the occasional still image that are displayed throughout the series. As for the art style itself, nothing new, it remains with the same standard as the previous seasons; character models are very simple as well, yet varied enough to easily distinguish its cast.
What however stands out is the selection of soundtrack for the different scenes and atmospheres the anime was trying to portray: the usual tunes for the more relaxed and comedic moments, whereas for the serious moments the studio pulled out a great variety of soundtracks that matched wonderfully with the setting. Metal songs, rock songs, gloomy sounds or the usage of percussion instruments which serve to inspire suspense and tension from the viewer, further enhancing the whole experience the show has to offer. Naturally, the voice actors are of great importance as well, which retained their previous ones: Sugita Tomozaku as Gintoki, god-like voice of Wakamoto Norio or Tachiki Fumihiko as Hasegawa which greatly enhanced the characters personality, and with that, the comedy as well.
The fourth season of Gintama was overall a fantastic experience which I personally doubted to be able to surpass that of its previous seasons, yet was pleasantly surprised. It managed to maintain its variety in jokes, the references and such, as well as displaying the one of the greatest subsequent story driven arcs with great characterization contained within. This was all accompanied with a great usage of the soundtrack as well as the fantastic action scenes. It must be said that it did not reach the final conclusion, as the manga is still ongoing, and there were some chapters from the manga left out: this mainly affected the comedy parts.
This does not mean Gintama has no flaws: it does, and quite some in fact. There are some episodes that either were too repetitive on its theme to the point of being annoying, as well as the infamous episode where they literally turned into shit. This was rather distasteful and off-putting for obvious reasons. Another problem that arises with the "serious" arcs are the integration of some of its characters: these are either at times useless/helpless for such situations, yet miraculously survive; or they're included just for the sake of it. Other issue that fans may have with the series is the fact that due to its inevitable conclusion, the anime has gone past the point of no turning back. This in turn meant that the last third of the series had hardly any comedy in it, which may be an issue for some, as the comedy aspect is one of the main charms of Gintama.
All in all, despite the above mentioned problems, I still loved the series as a whole and consider it to be the best comedy anime I have watched so far; I have blurted out in laughter a great amount of times, which is the whole point of comedy. It is very rare to find a series that can maintain this type of quality for over 300 episodes. For anyone who hasn't tried out the this sequel yet, I can highly recommend in checking it out, as it provides both great comedy and expansion upon the setting.
Who doesn't love birds? Complete monsters, that's who! So if you're on an anime site and you're not a complete monster, you might be interested in looking at this writer's list of some of the best manga and anime birds, right? Time to bird up!
This year saw plenty of adaptations of old manga as well as sequels to series which we've been crying out for. Let's review which anime climbed their way out of the ranks to become the twenty highest-rated shows of 2015!