During the Edo period, Japan is suddenly invaded by alien creatures known as the "Amanto." Despite the samurai's attempts to combat the extraterrestrial menace, the Shogun soon realizes that their efforts are futile and decides to surrender. This marks the beginning of an uneasy agreement between the Shogunate and Amanto, one that results in a countrywide sword ban and the disappearance of the samurai spirit.
However, there exists one eccentric individual who wields a wooden sword and refuses to let his samurai status die. Now that his kind are no longer needed, Gintoki Sakata performs various odd jobs around town in order to make ends meet. Joined by his self-proclaimed disciple Shinpachi Shimura, the fearsome alien Kagura, and a giant dog named Sadaharu, they run the business known as Yorozuya, often getting caught up in all sorts of crazy and hilarious shenanigans.
As of May 2016, publisher Shueisha revealed that Gintama has more than 50 million copies in print in Japan. The series was nominated for Best Manga under the comedy category in 2008 at the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation.
VIZ Media published the manga in English as Gin Tama under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint, with 23 volumes published from July 3, 2007 to August 2, 2011 before release was discontinued. It was also published in Spanish by Glénat, with 16 volumes published from October 2007 to May 2010; and in Italian by Planeta DeAgostini from July 4, 2008 to January 9, 2010 before release was discontinued. Star Comics picked up the license and re-released volume 1 on April 25, 2015.
Ah, Gintama. One of the best and most complete current manga in Jump. Its premise is intriguing and unique (aliens in historical Japan? Who would have thought it?). It has great characters--ranging from the diabetic lazy samurai Gintoki to the samurai who has a mayo addiction Hijikata to the stalker ninja Sa-chan and so on. All of them blend together well without feeling out of place and flat. No matter where Sorachi puts them in, they always get at least one huge guffaw from me. Its brand of comedy doesn't consist only of repetitive and sometimes obscure references, but it's also a very satirical commentary on Japanese society reflected in feudal Edo. Though Gintama is first and foremost a gag manga, with all chapters merely snippets of the Yorozuya's different interactions with themselves and other people in the Amanto (Gintama's term for aliens)-filled Edo, Sorachi Hideaki manages to slip in a few serious action arcs to show a little semblance of an actual plot. And when he does, he brings his A-game. All serious arcs in Gintama are great, they either keep you on the edge of your seat eagerly anticipating what happens next or reduce you to a bawling little girl with every sudden sad twist. Sorachi Hideaki definitely is a master at balancing hearty laughs with testosterone-laden action and heartwarming drama without it feeling shoehorned in to the story. Gintama is already an awesome manga but it could use an improvement in the art department. Don't get me wrong, I'm no art connossieur, but sometimes the characters look stiff and hastily done but other than that there really is nothing to complain about. Comedy and action rarely mix together well, but in Gintama it does perfectly. With well-written storylines and almost uncanny comedic sense, Sorachi Hideaki's Gintama should not disappoint. GO. READ. IT. NOW.read more
"At its heart Gintama is a science fiction human pseudo-historical comedy. The bottom line is that this is a nonsense manga. But I don't believe in telling readers what to think, so read it any way you like." - Hideaki Sorachi.
Gintama is a fantastically creative work with an endless appeal; as consistent, funny and compelling now as it was five years ago.
The story - for the most part - is told in a rather episodic fashion, with each chapter presenting a different plot. These chapters are largely comedic and follow the huge cast finding themselves in all sorts of hilarious situations. Hideaki Sorachi - the author - makes use of many ingenious gags and plot devices to avoid repetition, and also explores a variety of story arcs which add a sense of heightened drama to an otherwise predominantly humourous series. The story arcs expand on the characters in a way the stand-alone chapters cannot, and add more variety and narrative to the series. Certain chapters are better than others, but Sorachi rarely falters - he keeps up the momentum after all these years and still manages to present consistently brilliant stories, ideas, characters and concepts.
Sorachi rarely uses any sketchy effects in his artwork, nor does he display much shading. His lines are very bold and he almost never makes use of double page spreads. Gintama, however, does not require such extravagance. It is a fairly dialogue-heavy manga and while it does contain action, it is a predominantly comedic series. Sorachi pays close attention to panel placement and timing to best communicate his comedy to the reader. Artwork is half that communication, however, and Sorachi never misses the mark. His artwork has steadily improved since the series' inception and his character designs are a real stand-out element.
Over the years, Sorachi has built up a phenomenally large supporting cast, along with three unforgettable main characters. Some supporting members have almost become as integral as the main cast itself, with Sorachi making sure no-one goes amiss; he frequently uses his supporting characters no matter how minor to the story they may be. Certain characters are more well-rounded than others, but such is the nature of a gag-based series; Gintama's characters needn't be intricate, complex beings. The story arcs greatly expand on the cast, however, adding background and a soul to characters otherwise present solely for comedic relief, all the while opening up new directors and opportunities for them to take.
The comedy in Gintama has a fantastic range; from toilet humour to meticulously executed gags to parodies of popular culture, both Japanese and Western. The series displays a rich assortment of genres and a full embrace of its fanatical setting; creativity and imagination run wild. Despite being a predominantly comedic series, Gintama has so much more to offer; in its characters, its setting, its sheer originality and inventiveness - it's a manga that keeps on giving and one not to be missed.read more
*This review was originally for Bankara and has consequently been merged into Gintama*
This a one shot, that was like been written like one, so I will try to be fast.
Bankara is a parody of the society, and some other things, written from one my favorites mangakas Sorachi Hideaki. It talk about the way that our world is walking on and "growth" on. It's a society with many problems, more of them even the people don`t really understanding them. Most of the people are trying to find there way to the freedom, delinquents often are being seen like that. In this manga they are like the stupid rebels, the normal students are like the people of the grown society and someone, our girl, have the mission to protect the morals, the law and the peace of this society, but even she don`t really understand it, she is just force to do it. In society like that come someone like our hero. He is coming from the past, actually from a society with almost the same problems, they just become even bigger with the time. But even then he could become what he is... He is no really so great man, that is doing revolution to change the world or something like that... No, no... He is simple destroying with brutal strength. He is destroying everything that he one of this bullshits. And this is written to us, the young people, because we are the future and he want to tell us to stop believing in the hypocrisy of out society and to brake out of it's prison when our senses of real freedom (if we really one to call this freedom) are the best.
P.S. Sorry for my poor writing skills on this language, and of course you always have the right to think about me like an idiot, because i believe that this manga is actually good. But you are human too, therefore you are an idiot too.read more
*This review was originally for 13 and has consequently been merged into Gintama*
It's from the creator of Gintama, Hideaki Sorachi so you would expect some ridiculous slapstick humour, action and even a bit of drama, this one shot definitely delivers in aspects in even with its length. This could have even worked as an episode of Gintama. Despite being a One Shot, it manages to make a the story interesting enough, although it does help you appreciate it more if you're already a fan of Gintama since it would be easier for you to "get" the humour.
There isn't anything about the art that can be considered outstanding, still the overall quality of it is decent. The character design and art is mostly simplistic but it has it's own charm.
Given that this was a One Shot it hardly left any room for character development but it did manage to make the two central characters interesting enough.
I felt that it could have fleshed out the story a bit more with a few more pages of Golgo's hilarious attempts to assassinate Fujieda but all in all it was enjoyable for what it was, definitely worth the read if you're a fan of Gintama/Sorachi or just looking for a short comedy/action manga to read read more
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