Apr 15, 2011 8:12 PM
The story of Gin Tama takes place in Edo (known today as Tokyo because of its name change in 1868), Japan, which was conquered by aliens called Amanto in the late Edo period. The samurai of Japan fought the aliens, but after their defeat the Amanto placed a ban on carrying swords in public. The plot is focused on an eccentric samurai, Gintoki Sakata who helps a teenager named Shinpachi Shimura save his sister Tae from a group of aliens who want to make her part of a brothel. Impressed with Gintoki, Shinpachi becomes his apprentice and works with him as a freelancer in order to pay the monthly rent where Gintoki lives, as well as to know more about him. The two of them rescue a teenage alien girl named Kagura from a group of Yakuza who wanted to use her superhuman strength to kill people. Kagura joins Shinpachi and Gintoki to work as freelancers and the three become known as "Yorozuya". While doing their job they encounter the police force Shinsengumi several times, who normally ally with Odd Jobs Gin in their work since they commonly involve dangerous criminals. They also come to meet Gintoki's former comrades during the Amanto's invasion, including the terrorist Kotaro Katsura who maintains a friendly relationship with them despite his ambitions to destroy the bakufu. On the other hand, Shinsuke Takasugi acts as a major antagonist throughout the series, as he wants to destroy the bakufu in a more violent way than does Katsura.
Although the series' story is commonly episodic, there are also a few story arcs which are developed through several chapters.