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Gintama (銀魂)


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Gintoki / Hijikata /Okita / Kagura / Takasugi /

Let me introduce you a controversial manga “Gintama” from Weekly Shonen Jump. Lol

The last years of Edo period, Edo was invaded by aliens called “Amanto.” Many samurais, antiforeigner patriots fought against Amanto but weak-kneed Japan’s feudal government turned to be on Amanto side. So, samurais became objections of suppression and they lost their motivation for battles because of the sword prohibition.
20years later, Shinpachi Shimura who is a son and heir of a Kendo dojo meets an eccentric samurai Gintoki Sakata. Shinpachi lost his way in life but he is attracted by Gintoki’s samurai spirit, so Shinpachi decides to work for Yorozuya the business Gintoki runs. Plus, Kagura who is a girl belongs to one of the Amanto battle races Yato Clan, and a giant dog Sadaharu moves into Yorozuya. Then deal with work together… Under assumption of this setting, characters put punchy materials or jokes into stories. But on the other hand, they show us serious and cool samurai spirits on long episodes. You will never get bored with this manga. Stories have varied pitches and intensities.

“Gintama” is scattered with bunch of parodies and I thought the number of parodies would be decreased when manga was made into anime but… there are more and more parodies and can’t be controlled anymore! Because of this, it is said that executives wrote a letter of apology many times. To show how it is “awesome”, I’ll give you some examples.

・”Zuru-Zuru Ball” : Collect seven Zuru-Zuru balls (dripping wet balls), Zuruzu Dragon gives whatever people want but it’s gonna be dripping wet version. There are fake Zuru-Zuru balls named Nuru-nuru balls (slippery balls). This is spoof of “Dragon Ball.”
・”Love Choriss” : It is a dating simulation game and popular in Edo. In anime, it becomes more chaotic. Recommended heroine is “Pinko Shiramizu”. She is a widow and works for a noodle shop. This is spoof of “Love Plus” and Shinpachi’s voice actor loves it.
・”Tamo-san Hour : Waratte Yokikana?”: The images are following “Morita Kazuyoshi Hour: Waratte Iitomo!” The show is hosted by Tamo-san.
・”My neighbor Pedro”… Don’t care what Studio Ghibli says!
Those parodies I mentioned before were only a tip of iceberg. The production company is “Sunrise”, so there are “Mobile Suit Gundam” parodies. You should check the details! But if you don’t have time to watch all the parodies, pick the Shogun’s (Shigeshige Tokugawa) series. You won’t be disappointed!

“Gintama” has so many laughter parts but there are also long serious episodes of course. Gintoki loves sweets and feels dull usually, however sometimes he fights against longer odds like Shonen Jump anime hero! My favorite long episode is “Shinsengumi Crisis Arc.” Toushiro Hijikata called “Demonic Vice-Commander” is changed into Akiba-kei Otaku, Tosshi by a cursed sword “Muramasa.” While this wacky storyline made me laugh a lot, the strong bond of Shinsengumi touched my heart. And Gintoki and others normally curses at Shinsengumi but tries to solve the problem together. This was a heartfelt moment.
By the way, the turned down design of Hijikata was totally same as Gintoki with bright eyes and Hijikata would have been a main character of rejected plan. I’m looking for a spin-off that Shinsengumi members are main characters!

Other than that, a famous idle Tsu who doesn’t care about using dirty words on TV, and MADAO, an abbreviation of Marude Damena Ossan translates into totally helpless middle age of men. This is a nickname first given by Kagura to Taizo Hasegawa. In addition, Kotaro Katsura, his nickname is “zura” which means “wig” in English and he has a catch phrase “Zura janai, Katsura da! (I’m not zura but Katsura!)” And Kunoichi Sacchan who likes to be bullied, and so on… Each and every character has impactful characteristics so I cannot explain all of them here.

“Gintama” is very popular, so easy to start reading and watching manga or anime. The “Gintama” door is open for everyone! When you want to escape from reality or laugh out loud, try this!

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