Author Topic: Gintama  (Read 4155 times)

LumRanmaYasha

  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • ACROSS Star 1
  • *****
  • Posts: 5691
  • Love is a Boomerang
    • My Art Blog!
Re: Gintama
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2015, 11:24:48 PM »
An extended trailer for the Shogun Assassination arc was shown in the Jump Festa special.

As for the special itself, it was mostly a Food Wars! parody, and it was hilarious. Reminds me and makes me want to see that special crossover chapter that featured all the Jump heroines eating Soma's cooking made into a animated short for one of these events.

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16182
  • Keep Moving
Re: Gintama
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2015, 11:52:32 PM »
Looks good.

Also I enjoyed a bunch of the more serious episodes you posted before. The show can be very funny, but when contrasted with the more serious parts it makes it much more interesting as a whole. I'll definitely try to watch more before this arc starts.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

LumRanmaYasha

  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • ACROSS Star 1
  • *****
  • Posts: 5691
  • Love is a Boomerang
    • My Art Blog!
Re: Gintama
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2015, 12:21:42 AM »
Glad you're enjoying the show!  :)

If you don't mind me asking, which episodes have you watched so far?

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16182
  • Keep Moving
Re: Gintama
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2015, 12:32:05 AM »
I watched a bunch of the stuff up to episode 28. I'd mostly only seen random episodes here and there outside of the first few episodes, so it was fun.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

LumRanmaYasha

  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • ACROSS Star 1
  • *****
  • Posts: 5691
  • Love is a Boomerang
    • My Art Blog!
Re: Gintama
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2015, 12:42:18 AM »
Cool! I'll be curious to see your thoughts when you get to Benizakura, since that's the series' first really "big" arc. I also recommend watching the movie version of that arc when you do get to it. I recently revisited it myself, and the animation and pacing is a lot sharper and crisper, which makes for an enhanced experience, I feel. I don't suggest watching the dub of the movie, though. As the only part of Gintama to ever be dubbed, it's not a bad effort, but it just doesn't stack up with the original performances, imo.

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16182
  • Keep Moving
Re: Gintama
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2015, 11:33:33 AM »
Looks like ANN wrote an article about Gintama's storyline.

It's funny how its so well known as a wacky comedy that so few people know about the story aspects. Not that the comedy isn't funny, but there is a lot there you might miss out on like I did before. I'm the type of person who prefers drama interspersed with comedy, so they are my preferred episodes of the series.

I'm sure next week when the next arc starts should be very interesting.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16182
  • Keep Moving
Re: Gintama
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2015, 08:56:53 PM »
So far, this ED has been the best one so far. And Gintama has some really good ones.

I have to say, I'm really digging the balance of humor and seriousness in these episodes. But I can easily see either taking over at any point. I think I'm really going to enjoy it when it goes into serious mode later on.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

LumRanmaYasha

  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • ACROSS Star 1
  • *****
  • Posts: 5691
  • Love is a Boomerang
    • My Art Blog!
Re: Gintama
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2015, 01:05:42 AM »
Looks like ANN wrote an article about Gintama's storyline.

It's funny how its so well known as a wacky comedy that so few people know about the story aspects. Not that the comedy isn't funny, but there is a lot there you might miss out on like I did before. I'm the type of person who prefers drama interspersed with comedy, so they are my preferred episodes of the series.

I'm sure next week when the next arc starts should be very interesting.

I certainly hope you didn't read that article thoroughly and spoil yourself.  :sweat: The plot developments are best experienced rather than just simply reading about them.

But yeah, one of Gintama's biggest strengths is how it's effortlessly able to jump back and forth with it's characters and world from being light and silly in one episode to being dark and serious in the another. The core underlying story and character development is incredibly strong, and when Gintama buckles down on it's serious story arcs, it's arguably one of the most mature series that has ever been run in Jump. I love the series' comedy and consider it one first and foremost, but I admit that the more serious chapters/episodes/storylines tend to be some of my favorites in it.

So far, this ED has been the best one so far. And Gintama has some really good ones.

I have to say, I'm really digging the balance of humor and seriousness in these episodes. But I can easily see either taking over at any point. I think I'm really going to enjoy it when it goes into serious mode later on.

I love the fifth ending as well. Gintama really does have a lot of good themes. The twelfth ending (especially the montage version used at the end of the Yoshiwara arc), and the current ending are probably my overall favorites, though I do really like the 2nd and 8th ending themes as well (which is amusing considering one thing they both have in common).

I'll be curious to see your thoughts on the some of the more "serious-mode" arcs when you get to them, especially once you get to Yoshiwara and beyond.  :)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 01:35:50 AM by Cartoon X »

LumRanmaYasha

  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • ACROSS Star 1
  • *****
  • Posts: 5691
  • Love is a Boomerang
    • My Art Blog!
Re: Gintama
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2015, 10:59:27 AM »
Well, the 300th episode of Gintama has recently aired, starting off the long-awaited "Shogun Assassination" arc. To commemorate the occasion, I was thinking of doing a list of my favorite episodes in the series. However, while I've read all the manga, I haven't actually watched all the anime. In fact, I honestly have only seen about the 4th of the episodes, and while that's a large sum and I can use my favorite manga chapters for reference in ranking other episodes, I don't feel comfortable in doing a favorite episodes list for the series until I've legitimately watched all 300+. So instead, I'll post up a list I can easily do: a favorite arcs list. Which is fitting, considering we're celebrating the series most beloved and lauded arc so far being animated. For this list, however, I'll exclude any arcs that haven't been fully animated in the anime yet so as to not spoil anime-only watchers, so I'll be leaving out the "Shogun Assassination" arc, even though it'd rank at the top if I were to include it.

TOP 10 GINTAMA ARCS (excluding Shogun Assassination & beyond):

10. Beam Sword Style



This is an incredibly personal arc for the Shimura siblings, as well as their relationship with Gintoki. Hajime is an instantly lovable character, with a fun personality and great chemistry with the rest of the cast. This makes his circumstances all the more tragic, and the Shimura siblings' internal struggle of needing to kill someone so close to them hit all the harder. And it's a remarkable showing for how much Gintoki cares for them that he takes it upon himself to make that hard decision, and protect them from suffering from making a cruel choice like he once did, even if it means he becomes a heartless killer in their eyes. But Gintoki also to the very end tries to find a way to save Hajime, and save the life of his friends' loved one, risking his own to do so. Ultimately, it's not to be, and Shinpachi takes it upon himself to settle things with Hajime and stop the Biimu's plans with his own hands. The final clash between Shinpachi and Hajime is an incredible moment for his character, and the ending of the arc, where the Shimura siblings come back from this crises rejuvenated, ready to move forward and smile on like Hajime always would, is one of the most heartwarming moments in the show. One of the best character development arcs for Shinpachi and Otae, and Gintoki's actions in this arc take on a whole new meaning after considering the revelations in the Shogun Assassination arc, only adding to the depth of emotion this small but awesome arc contains.

9. Otsu



Hands down the funniest arc in the series. The conclusion to the Tosshi subplot that began in the "Shinsengumi Crisis" arc, this is a great arc for Shinpachi, who has to defend his status as the leader of Otsu's official fan club by competing with Tosshi and the Shinsengumi in a series of bizarre and strange trials with a rag-tag team of Gintoki, Kagura, and the infamous fan-favorite character Takatin, a thoroughly unconvincing double for the injured Takachin who shouts bizarre engrish and doesn't know a lick of japanese.  The arc just gets crazier and crazier right up until to the epic finish, which starts out as a hilariously strange Yu-Gi-Oh! parody before suddenly turning into a Ashita no Joe and Hajime no Ippo send-up. Of all the pure comedy arcs in the series, this one is the most ripe with memorable, iconic moments, and provides a great character showing for Shinpachi, and a rare bit of bonding between him and Hijikata. But really, Takatin alone makes this arc worthy of being considered one of the series' best.
 
8. Thorny



This is one of the most essential arcs for Hijikata's character. We find out his tragic upbringing, and his estrangement from his family after his elder brother lost his eyesight protecting him. He went berserk on them in turn, causing him to be feared and shunned by everyone in his village, labeled as "Thorny" Toushiro, and forced to become a ronin at a young age. Hijikata's relationship with his brother and ideas of family are sharply contrasted by the arc's villain, and my favorite antagonist in the series, Sasaki Isaburo. Though we later learn more about why Isaburo is the way he is much later on, he comes across as a no-nonsense, elitist officer to a fault here, allowing no mercy and forgiveness for anyone who can't live up to his standards, and won't hesitate to kill his own brother for the sake of the law. Hijikata's surrogate elder brother relationship with Tetsunosuke, and the way he and the rest of Shinsengumi risk their entire organization by defying the Miwarigumi and pulling off all the stops to rescue Tetsunosuke before Isaburo can execute him, really shows how the Shinsengumi are one big family to each other much like the Yorozuya are, and will always stick up for one of their own. Applying it back into Hijikata's backstory, it becomes clear just why he's so loyal to Kondo and a bunch of guys who continually exasperate him. They are his family, and he isn't going to let one of his family suffer because he wasn't smart or strong enough to protect them again. The final scene of the arc, where Gintoki and Tetsunosuke go to visit Hijikata's brother and learn a surprising detail about Hijikata's correspondence with him after he left the village, is a powerful and poignant note. This isn't the first arc to show the strengths of Hijikata's character and devotion to the Shinsengumi, the "Shinsengumi Crisis" arc was another strong showing for him. But the contrasts between him and Isaburo, his relationship with Tetsunosuke, and details about his backstory push this arc above that one in my eyes, and among the best arcs in the series.

7. Red Spider



Gintoki's relationship with Shoyou had only been touched upon in the Benizakura arc, but here we delve deeper into what he meant to him, and the influence he had on his life. Gintoki was a loner and a killer as a young child, living by the sword, surrounding himself in fields filled with corpses and blood. Shoyou approached him with kindness and trust like he had never received from anyone before, and led him on a path where he would not need to use his sword to survive, but to protect. Gintoki's relationship with Shoyou is sharply contrasted by the arc's villain, Jiraia, and his master-student relationship with Tsukuyo, who also gets some fantastic development in this arc. Not to mention this is one of the few serious arcs to feature Zenzou in a prominent role, and the bits of his character we get here are valuable to keep in mind considering how integral he is in the Shogun Assassination arc. Credit also has to be given to the anime version of this arc, which frames Gintoki's backstory and his final battle with Jiraia in a gorgeous black and white rendering that adds so much style, atmosphere, and emotion to the whole affair that brings it up to another level, which is incredible considering how well it reads in the manga already.

6. Renho



Somehow the series managed to take a joke character like Elizabeth and make him/her a compelling and layered character and make him the center of a surprisingly epic and hilarious arc. What really makes the arc is the friendship between Katsura and Elizabeth, and how far they go to protect the other and their dream. Still, this arc is mostly up so high for how fun and ridiculous it is. I mean, a bunch of Elizabeths running around, one of them being an unabashed parody of Fujiko Mine, their leader being an obvious Darth Vader expy, all piloting Gundam look-alikes, and their base being the Death Star except with Elizbeth's face? What's not to love about that? Plus, Sakamoto and Mutsu make a return in this arc after being gone for hundreds for episodes/chapters and get to do some cool and funny stuff that makes it all the more disappointing that they don't appear often enough. This arc combines epic space battles with parodies up the wazoo and dumb joke one after the other, all the while making Elizabeth and Katsura's ordeal compelling as it is bizarre. And just when you think the arc is going to end on a sentimental note, you're reminded that you're watching Gintama in the best way possible.

5. Yagyu



This arc has got to be one of the best balances of humor and drama in the entire series. This is the first arc that really has truly stand-out, memorable fights, the final battle between Gintoki and Shinpachi against Kyubei and Binbokusai being a particular highlight. The development for Otae as she struggles with trying to do what's best for both her family and best friend even if it's not what she wants is excellent, as is Shinpachi's unrelenting persistence to rescue his sister from being forced into an arranged marriage. Kyubei is one of the series' best characters, and works well in this arc as a great antagonist, but with enough sympathetic elements that makes for a believable and dynamic protagonist in later appearances. This arc is also notable as the first one in which the Yorozuya and Shinsengumi really work together to fight a common enemy. Sure, Okita enlisted their help to take down the Rengokukan, but that's was an off the books affair. These characters had been rivals and mostly antagonistic to each other before this arc, so to see them work together as equals against powerful enemies neither group could defeat on their own is a great development, and finally smoothens out the tension between the groups. And of course, the highlight of the arc is undoubtedly the infamous "Toilet Paper" episode/chapter, in which Gintoki, Kondo, Binbokusai, and Toujou all try to outwit each other in effort to secure usable toilet paper, the results being a non-stop string of hilarity. This arc is arguably representative of the series as a whole in how it balances humor, drama, and it's characters so well. Honestly, if I were to recommend an arc to people unsure if whether Gintama would be something they'd be interested in, it might very well be this one.

4. Kintama



The cast of Gintama ain't afraid to screw with Gintoki, even going so far as to troll him on several occasions. But Gintoki is a friend they love and admire, and no arc shows that more than this one. They might be under mind control, but the feelings the gang feel for Kintoki are how they honestly feel towards Gintoki, and as Gintoki desperately tries to make them remember him, those memories get put back in place and their bond with him proves stronger than any mind-control, memory-erasing, series-rebooting voodoo Kintoki can attempt. Speaking of, Kintoki is an excellent villain. He knows to hit Gintoki where it hurts him most, and how to use his relationships with his friends against him in twisted ways, turning everyone against him and out for his head. This is one of the most personal arcs for the Yorozuya and their bond, and the ending feels like a true celebration of it's characters. This arc shows, to put it in Gintoki's own words, that "the main character of Gintama is every last idiot alive in this show!" And that's just what makes it just so special and entertaining.

3. Courtesan of a Nation



This is one of the biggest arcs in the series up to this point, with the gang going up against the friggin' Shogun and his forces! Well, the man behind the shogun anyway, his adviser the ex-Shogun Sadasada, who true to his name, is one sadistic and cruel man. The struggle to reunite Maizo and Suzuran before it's too late, expose Sadasada's duplicity to Shigeshige and free Edo from the Tendoshuu's hold, only get more emotional intense as the arc does on, and the payoff is utterly satisfying. There are so many characters involved in this arc, and they all get their moment of shine, from Sasaki and Nobume, who get really fleshed out in this arc and are developed into even more dynamic characters, to Shigeshige, who has a real moment of badass which is all the more so considering his joke character status before this arc, and of course, the clash between Gintoki and Oboro, an old enemy from the Joi War, and the man behind Shoyou's arrest. This arc moved the story of Gintama forward in a big way, full of essential revelations and character developments, with ramifications that explode in the Shogun Assassination arc, and the series beyond.

2. Kabuki-cho Four Devas



Over 200+ episodes/300+ chapters, one gets a good sense of Kabuki-cho as a community, and the internal politics and social relationships that keep it afloat. The exploding power struggle between the four great powers of the city, Otose, Saigou, Kada, and Jirocho, almost threatens to destroy it for good. More importantly, it threatens to leave the Yorozuya and their friends without a home, as Jirocho, a powerful gangster with a deep history with Otose, finally decides to go after her head. Jirocho's past and Gintoki's prove to be as similar as their personalities contrast, and their respective relationships with Otose make for the core conflict of the arc and a fight of wills that's deeply personal. This arc is a fantastic showing of the strength of Kabuki-cho as a community, and explores various forms and expressions of love, family, and honor, making for one of the tightest but emotionally raw arcs in the entire series. But as well-done as it is, there's still one pre-Shogun Assassination arc I hold in even higher regard....

1. Yoshiwara



I LOVE the Yoshiwara arc. Even though the Shogun Assassination and Farewell, Shinsengumi arcs rank higher, Yoshiwara is still the first arc that comes to mind when I think of the series. Like the best of Gintama's serious arcs, it's epic, it's tragic, it has a powerful ending. What sets it apart for me? The setting of Yoshiwara, a city where the sun literally never shines, a hellish cage for all those who live there? Seita and Hinowa's story, which is a powerful story of family not needing to be biological to be an unbreakable bond of love and devotion? The long-awaited debut of Kamui, Kagura's long built-up brother with a sinister personality hiding beneath his unassuming cheerfulness, and his subordinate Abuto, perhaps the coolest and snarkiest villain right-hand man ever? The debut of Tsukuyo, one of the series most complex and badass female characters? The incredible fights, perhaps the best the series has ever had even to this day?

Or perhaps it's greatest strength lies in it's villain, Hosen. Hosen to me has the charisma and aura of a villain that few other antagonists in the series has. Like Kenshin's Shishio, One Piece's Lucci, or Dragon Ball's Freeza, Hosen represents something far bigger then himself. Hosen is the symbol of Yoshiwara's stagnation and suffering; he fears the sun, yet yearns for it. He lives in luxury, feared for his power, but is unfulfilled, and empty. He clings to the hope, the light he sees in Hinowa, and hordes her for himself for his pleasure, in the process robbing her of freedom and her own happiness. Everyone living in Yoshiwara, Hinowa, Tsukyuo, and yes, even Hosen, is trapped by their own fear and yearning for freedom, and the light of the sun. Hosen's denial of what he truly desires, and his horrible mistreatment of other people, is destructive for both himself and Yoshiwara as a whole. But more than that, Hosen was the force that bound the women of Yoshiwara to their hell of sex slavery; he was an evil that had to be stopped, that needed to be stopped, for everyone's sake.

And that's what I think makes this arc resonate with me so much. It's sense of sheer desperation for everyone involved. From beginning to end, it's about a desperate struggle between forces of good and evil, between freedom and slavery, and the right to live and to love how one wants to.  Characters fight against destinies set upon them by other forces, from Tsukuyo's rebellion against Hosen, to Kagura fighting against her Yato bloodlust. And the most triumphant moment in the arc, probably my favorite moment in the entire series, is when everything pays off, good triumphs against evil, and everyone and their sins are purified by a cleansing ray of sunshine. Even Hosen, who finally realizes what he forgot so long ago as he lies dying in Hinowa's pitying arms, passing away tragically but peacefully with a smile. The only one who doesn't come out a stronger, better person for the ordeal is Kamui, who haughtily dismisses the lesson Hosen tries to teach him before he perishes, content to live to fight and for pleasure like he always has, something I feel he'll realize the destructiveness of all too soon when he inevitably clashes with his father and sister again.

So yeah, the Yoshiwara arc has A LOT going for it, and I love it to death. While I enjoyed the series before, this was when Gintama really clicked with me. The characters, story, and even the comedy all seemed to become richer and better afterwards, turning it into the climbing favorite of mine, and me into a passionate fan. The emotional rawness and highs I experienced reading, and then watching, this arc wasn't rivaled until the Shogun Assassination and Farewell, Shinsengumi arcs, and I'm still not sure whether they truly surpass this arc in my heart for me. Nonetheless, Yoshiwara is one Gintama's finest hours and finest arcs, and together with the rest of the great arcs on this list, is a statement of the series consistently excellent quality, and it's status as one of Shonen Jump's all time greatest series.

So, that's my list! As always, I took too much time to write this, but I wanted to write it for a while, so it feels nice to finally do so. There's actually another list of this nature I've been wanting to get around to writing up for a while...but I'm going to have to wait on that for a while to come, since I have some pretty packed weeks ahead of me.  :sweat:

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16182
  • Keep Moving
Re: Gintama
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2015, 11:12:35 AM »
I'm actually up to the Yagyu arc right now.

Though I can't really comment on any of the others because I haven't seen them yet.  :sweat:
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

LumRanmaYasha

  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • ACROSS Star 1
  • *****
  • Posts: 5691
  • Love is a Boomerang
    • My Art Blog!
Re: Gintama
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2015, 11:17:24 AM »
Yeah, I know I'm probably the only person on these forums who has read/watched all of Gintama, but I still wanted to write that list to commemorate the new arc being animated and the series 300th episode, even if no one commented on it.  :D

What would you say has been your favorite arc/episode so far, if you don't mind me asking?  :)

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16182
  • Keep Moving
Re: Gintama
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2015, 11:52:54 AM »
Best comedic: Fuyo Arc / Infant Strife Arc
Best dramatic: Benizakura Arc

Umibozu (serious) and Go-Ninja (comedic) would be runners-up.

Gintoki is my favorite character so far, though Katsura comes close at times.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

VLordGTZ

  • A guy with too much time on his hands
  • The Elephant's Peanut
  • *****
  • Posts: 1315
Re: Gintama
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2015, 12:41:14 PM »
Great list, CX!  I really need to watch Gintama from the beginning at some point.  I have about 26 episodes left to watch of Detective Conan before I'm caught up, so I might start it once I'm done with that (which should be by the end of the month  :)).

Spark Of Spirit

  • Forward & Up!
  • Da Mod Squad
  • Head Of City Security
  • ********
  • Posts: 16182
  • Keep Moving
Re: Gintama
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2015, 08:42:07 PM »
And I just finished up the Yagyu arc. Great stuff.

I felt a new sorrow for Kondo here.

But yes, the drama and comedy was really well balanced here. Though the highlight to me was the Kagura/Sogo team up. They probably have the best interplay of any two characters outside of the main three.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

LumRanmaYasha

  • Beautiful Dreamer
  • ACROSS Star 1
  • *****
  • Posts: 5691
  • Love is a Boomerang
    • My Art Blog!
Re: Gintama
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2015, 02:47:34 AM »
Best comedic: Fuyo Arc / Infant Strife Arc
Best dramatic: Benizakura Arc

Umibozu (serious) and Go-Ninja (comedic) would be runners-up.

Gintoki is my favorite character so far, though Katsura comes close at times.

Good choices! Benizakura is great, and I know many fans would put it in their top tens, though it missed the cut on mine. I also love the Umibozu and Fuyo arcs, with the former providing great character development for Kagura, and the latter introducing one of my favorite recurring characters, Tama. Glad you enjoyed the Yagyu arc as well!  :)

Gintoki might also be my favorite character in the series. Between the comedic and serious sides of him, there's a lot of layers, nuances, and depth to his character that really makes him stand out as a protagonist, especially for a shonen series. Katsura is also a great character, and probably places around the bottom my top 5, with Kagura, Hasegawa, and Tsukuyo ranking somewhere in between him and Gintoki.

Oh, and just so you know, I just added a couple of episodes and arcs to the list I posted before that, upon thinking about them, while maybe not essential plot episodes, are actually pretty significant character development pieces. There were a couple of episodes before the Yagyu arc that I hadn't put on there before in particular, in case you want to go back and watch those before moving forward.