I began to get myself addicted to Gintama late last year and binged most of it within this year. And well, it’s time to reveal all the reasons why I like it.
#1 The Characters Run The Show
Trust me, for this manga, it is so. Because almost anything can freaking happen. Even an arc dedicated to popularity polls. The characters are the core reason why the story works so well, even if they are utterly random and at times seriously lack a brain. I’m mostly looking at Katsura and Sakamoto. And Kondou.
Their personalities are just entertaining to watch, even during the more serious arcs. And I’m always laughing but adoring each character, because Sorachi never compromises their characters for jokes. Their jokes always suit their personalities well, and surprisingly you won’t find much fanservice. Because everything here is a joke.
#2 The Women
Gintama ladies to me, is a representation of feminism. They are equal, to the degree that Kagura can throw up and still be viewed as cute, and she’s the heroine. Tae doesn’t do much in the series, but she is there, she supports, as well as terrifies the hell out of all the characters around. Even the king of sadists calls her boss lady, and respects her.
Otose is an old woman, who is kind to Gintoki, and will chase him for rent. Even if he never ever pays. Trust me, the one time it did happen, it wasn’t pretty.
And also, it treats female characters well as I have said above, there are almost no fanservice in the anime. Much less on the girls. You are way more likely to find a naked guy than a girl. Even then, I don’t count it as fanservice.
And most importantly, is that there is just a lot of diversity in Gintama. And they all have depth. Kyuubei is a tomboy, but she is also one thing, really torn between her gender identity. And the way that it really just destroys her, not empowers her.
Tama is a robot, but she’s kind, sweet, nice, if a little lacking in common sense.
To Sarutobi, who openly flaunts her sexual interest in BDSM, and mostly being the submissive. All the while being a badass ninja and devotion to her childhood friend, and being professional on the job. She just works hard and plays hard.
Even Matako, whose sole devotion is to Takasugi, and her obsession around him isn’t all that feminist, gains a nice back story as to why it is so.
#3 The Story
The story had moments when it just made me shed tears. It treated each character well, Kagura got her character arc finished, in the way that it was supposed to be. Through herself, doing most of the work, being the one that had the most impact. Just like how I will expect it. Which is rare for a lot of manga.
Even villains had developed superbly like Sasaki Isaburou, even the self proclaiming feminist (paedophile) had more than just that characteristic, and a reason behind it. It serves to entertain.
Even for characters like Madao, who is jobless, poor and fell out with his wife, has an important place in the finale, just like all the characters in Gintama during the finale come together. And they all have a role to play.
And this is why I like Gintama, even the most serious characters has comedic moments and vice versa. The story is driven by characters, as much as there is a plot. It takes time to get serious, but the payoff is worth it.
Because after you spend all that time reading chapters of jokes, the moment something really terrible happens, it really gets to you. And I will be doing more posts which will go deeper into its characters. But that’s for another time.