Mild spoilers ahead. More troublingly, it's lengthy as fuck.
EDIT: If you take the time to read, I've explicitly mentioned I'll be scoring this a 9 like the disgusting fanboy I am. But make no mistake, 6 is what I think it deserves. I say this beforehand, since otherwise you might waste *our* time going directly to my profile on seeing the score and flaming me for 'fishing'.
I wonder when it became natural for Gintama to have a score of 9 or above.
Every time a new season is announced, a few one-liners of "X being displaced from the top 10", or some acerbic remarks about how
ridiculous one franchise having so many entries in the top list is are made, and then the matter is dropped.
I'm perfectly aware that ratings on this site are dogshit, with trolls and boosters running rampant in equal measure. Still, Erased and Re;Zero received significant backlash on their sudden rise. Gintama was just...ignored.
Maybe it's due to the non-confrontational fanbase. They just view haters as just being pitiable; more of a "your loss" viewpoint rather than a "fuck you" one. Trolls need triggered people to feed on, after all.
Said fanbase is also loyal as fuck. Fierce doesn't even begin to cover it. Most of the current reviews are 10/10s claiming Gintama to be the best thing since sliced bread.
And I agree completely. Gintama was my first 10, my only 10, and my absolute no 1 when it comes to anime currently. But the reviews don't address the elephant in the room, a point which I'm coming to.
This season is shit.
Which is harsh, admittedly. It stands head-and-shoulders above other battle series (shounen isn't really a genre, nor is it the only one utilizing plot armour). But Gintama's standard of comparison is itself, and this season pales in comparison to the others.
Shifting tones from comedic to tension-filled is hard for any creator. Period. Forcing an audience to believe that characters surviving comic explosions can die at the hands of random mooks is a massive leap. And it is especially hard in a universe without any flashy techniques to aid the transition, like Negima or KHR.
Hayate (the manga) has gone to shit in its final arc. Konosuba, the current comedy favourite can't really function without its comedy at all.
And yet Sorachi pulled it off with aplomb. He ratcheted the intensity higher and higher with each chapter, a near-miraculous feat. Until he perhaps took it too far.
See, the SA arc was morbid. Alongside the Shogun, it was the death of Gintama's comedy, a death more hard-hitting than most characters'. Gintama basically sacrificed a part of itself to set up the drama.
FS was oppressive in its atmosphere. One bleak event after the another, culminating in the introduction of Utsuro, shown to be the strongest antagonist till date.
Rakuyo gave us mid-bosses.
In all fairness, Rakuyo is more a transition to the final arc. Plot threads involving Utsuro's identity, origin and abilities had to be resolved. Altana (foreshadowed in the Inugami arc) had to be formally introduced.
Gintama was always short on true antagonists, and defeating Utsuro in the penultimate arc would be stupidly anticlimatic (in true Gintama fashion, but that part is dead now rip). So I understand the need to have new villains.
The problem is, they were given the same serious treatment reserved for Takasugi and Utsuro. I know individual fights have a lot of potential in any battle series. Each character can show the results of their training, new special moves, new deus ex machinas (Erza cough cough) etc.
What they don't have any potential for is tension.
A monkey, a mechanical tentacle monster, and a 1/3 functioning triclops with a wildly inconsistent lightsaber could have been a heap of laughs.
But cheesy dialogues (not that cheesy, to my pleasant surprise, they were fairly unique) were to be had instead. It was more a case of 'could have been better' instead of 'bad'. Even with all concessions made for hype and one-liners and sword fights and whatever, when the bumbling trio blasted off the arc picked up significantly. Gintama is one of the rare SJ series I have read that has the ability to actually impart some tension to its battles, tension that prominently arrived parallel to Utsuro's arrival.
Forced to be honest, a score of 7.5-8 would have been behind that 10.
Then BNP came and fucked things up.
Where to begin with BNP? They're my favourite bunch of fuckwits, for starters. They are giving it their all, clearly. Which is why they're my favourite. But it cannot be denied they are fuckwits and I hate them.
It started with a mild dislike of the new glossy artstyle. Which intensified when I realised the jokes weren't really as funny as in the manga or in previous seasons (and I wasn't any less immature--comic timing is a bitch). Skipping chapters was a fine mess slightly alleviated by the execution of the SA and FS arcs.
Maybe I'm just an idiotic hardhead unwilling to adapt to change. But the 2017 season has imbibed a fervent prayer in me wishing Silver Soul is not adapted by BNP.
See, I firmly believe Gintama is a cash cow. And the fact that a well-established cash cow is not being given sufficient budget for 12 decent quality episodes is mind-boggling. It seems the executives are going for profit margins rather than profit. "They'll buy no matter what I try" is a mentality I despise whole-heartedly in creators, no matter what medium.
I'll admit that I know nothing about businesses or the anime industry. It is entirely possible I'm barking up the wrong tree. But take one look at the after battle scenes between Gintoki and Sith Lord, note the amount of flashbacks in Gintoki v Kamui and then try to tell me with a straight face that they had enough budget. Scratch enough. It felt like they had the bare minimum amount of capital required to produce 10 episodes which they stretched into 12. The fight scenes seemed surgically pruned in length. While I'm no supporter of 50-episode battles...previous seasons man, previous seasons. Even the fight scenes seem a step down from the 2011-2013 seasons, and it took a heavy toll on enjoyment, something which no other Gintama is lacking in.
Here, I'll take a minute to question why they did not utilize any static backgrounds or other filler-type shit to conserve budget. Perhaps they felt it wouldn't fit the mood, but honestly, purely serious Gintama will never ever work after SA. A fact that Sorachi realized, seeing as the SS arc is a bucketload of laughs.
Even then, the Four Devas arc had a filler prior to its first episode which consisted of redubbed OVA footage. Redubbed OVA footage, which was still heavily enjoyable. Gintama is basically shit, the least they could do is use the reputation it has built up over ten years and air some planet backgrounds to ensure better quality. Eh, if they would go so far as to skip material I'm the fool for expecting stuff like that.
All said and done, this will probably be a 9 in my list. Rating is shit anyway, bite me. But for my true, impartial thoughts on the matter, 6 is the most suited.
Tl;dr- I spent a long time writing this, the least you could do is read it. There is no obligation, but plss.
k thx bai
Gintama is slowly coming to its end, sadly it isn't ending on a high note. With this season of Gintama the focus of the anime is moving towards ending its overarching story line which means each episode is more serious and focused on the action and backstory over what is in my opinion Gintama's biggest strength in the first place, Comedy.
The way this season is structured is very similar to the likes of One piece. The combat is basically the 2 opponents constantly monologuing and then occasionally hitting each other. Then to make it feel more intense they always seem to hit each other evenly
so the battles are always drawn out, boring and unimmersive. Then when the combat is over the rest of the episodes is littered with backstory which is yet again drawn out just like One piece. Now you see where i'm getting at, Gintama is basically becoming what it was always joking about: A generic shounen anime with the only redeeming factor is the occasional comedy that is good as always.
Sadly as a big Gintama fan i can't say i enjoy this season and for everyone that dislikes One Piece, Bleach and Dragon Ball it will probably be the same. Now i have to say that there is still a way to enjoy the end of Gintama, that is by reading the manga. The issues that are in the anime aren't really that apparent in the manga since the backstory and combat parts aren't dragged out way to long in there.
While others may argue that this season was a dip in quality I would say the very opposite. When we talk about Gintama we mostly talk about its gag part but what I like more are the story like arcs with humor and not all gag arc which seems like a filler. This season focused on that very aspect. This season of Gintama has a nice story line with each episode explaining many plot holes like why people call Katsura zura (No it is not some plain nickname, it has meaning behind it), why did Yoshida Shouyo suddenly become his beloved students enemy and it
also tells us more about Kagura's family. This season has sense in it which I particularly liked.
The story is well written and has been nicely executed. No complains about the art in Gintama (mainstream anime mostly have the budget for good animation too). I like both the songs along with the soundtracks used in battles and other scenes. You see a lot of character development in this season of Gintama. Overall it is a 9.5 for me.
I would really appreciate your views on the same. Drop a comment on my wall if you feel like it.
When you think of Gintama, you think of its comedy and what it's known for. As like its previous season, Gintama has started to throw most of the comedy out the window in order to finish the story and thus its franchise as a whole. However, doing this is not a good thing, and in this season it is quite apparent. When you compare this to the previous one—while only being 12 episodes to 51—the dip in quality is really apparent. Would it have been better if it was more than 12 episodes? Yes, and maybe not. It would have had more time to bring
in other elements it is currently missing or it could have just brought in the same old stuff that is already making it go downhill.
The story has taken a bit of a dive. I don't feel the same emotion as I did in the two previous arcs: Shogun Assassination Arc & Farewell, Shinsengumi Arc. They managed to actually use comedy, action, and story pretty much perfectly to what Gintama is expected to do. It wasn't underwhelming and didn't feel bland to what this season gives. Story has never been a key factor in the Gintama series when you think of it in a bigger picture, but due to the previous season, we've been leading up to an actual plot that is pushing the series to an end. There was, however, some good story progress in terms of the past with Utsuro & even more so with Kagura's family, which was welcoming as we never had any real backstory to them. Here we find out the problems centered around the family as a whole and their reasoning for the path they’ve taken.
Visuals haven’t changed a bit and are the same as it has been for a while now. Becoming hit and miss in terms of good production. I really loved the OPs art, especially during the scene of the color changes going from black and white to actual color—representing their old selves as they move forward as they once did in the past. Nothing special about the ED in terms of art since it was just stills basically of some art of the characters with the odd movement of nothing important. It is probably one of the worst visually speaking EDs of the series.
As for its sound, you think of how well the studio is able to put sounds into the sound sfx, character tones throughout the series, and its OST and OP/ED. Same old, same old to be quite honest but it didn't put stuff out of place this season which was a huge plus for it. The OP was one of the better ones and had a catchy tune to it, and I said previously, the visuals of it were really well done when you look at it visually and with the music for it. However, due to the lack of subs from official translators, most people will not understand the actual lyrics and meaning behind, and so we are left in the dust to actually wonder if the song has a meaning or if it’s just there as a song. Some shows do this well, for example, while being a terribly written show, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane had good songs for its OP/ED and it actually felt like the songs fit its dark theme. The ED, well, I don't have much of an opinion on it. It didn't sound amazing and the visuals were bland.
There are two key factors you look at when you watch Gintama: Did it make you laugh? Did the story progress without hindering the actual comedy tone? In the end, I rated this season lower than the previous due to it being one of the weakest seasons out of the whole franchise because of the story progression hindering the rest of what the series is known for. As a fan of the franchise, it's kind of saddening that its focusing so much on action that there's no way to put in good comedy but I guess that is to be expected as what is even worse than barely any comedy is comedy that is terribly out of placed, which this season did do at times. While I may be disappointed about this season, I still look forward to more Gintama and hope it can somehow manage to bring back the elements that this season lacked in.