Posted by psgels on 10 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Well, I’ve made up my mind. I just finished episode 150 of Gintama, and it was indeed awesome. The perfect way to close off the series, no matter where you are in the series. Still, with this I’m going to drop this series. It’s the same with Ranma 1/2: I’d rather remember the classic first part, rather than stick with it for a few good episodes in a sea of mediocrity, especially since the good episodes don’t even come close to the standards that the series set in the past. But this review isn’t about the three digit episodes of Gintama, you can read about those here. This post instead is a review of the first 100 episodes, and a series that stands among the Law of Ueki and the Excel Saga as my absolute favourite comedies in anime.

Gintama is about a group of people who are willing to take any job for money, in a setting in which the earth has been taken over by evil aliens who settled in to live there after their victory, while the humans still live around as if it were feudal Japan. It’s structure is mostly episodic: most of the episodes are standalone stories in which the lead characters meet someone, or have some objective to overcome. While this formula can get incredibly boring in the wrong hands, the creators of Gintama turned it into gold.

Thanks to an amazingly witty sense of humour and a nearly limitless amount of creativity, the creators really manage to make the best out of this series’ format. In its jokes, it takes absolutely nothing for granted, and there are a number of absolute classic episodes that just deliver one brilliant joke after the other. The humour varies from parodies to character-based to downright random, all with their own highlights.

But what really sets Gintama apart from nearly all other comedies is its attempts to be serious. Usually, comedies fall apart horribly when they try their hands at some serious drama, which most often fall apart in horribly dull and cheesy messes. Gintama however only turns better when it gets serious. It knows exactly how to build up its stories, make them relevant and develop its characters. Its sense of dialogue in particular really is amazing: deep, meaningful, inspired and very detailed. Gintama was a series that could make me weep manly tears again and again.

Granted though, this series’ brilliance doesn’t last 24/7. Gintama does have a fair share of lesser episodes that, while nice to watch, border on the cliché, milk their jokes a bit too far or just fail in what they set out to do. Especially the first episode was one of the worst things that the creators could have picked to start off the series, because it ranks among the weakest of the series, but overall the entire first part of the series is hard to get into.

But when it does, the good parts really get better and better, and this trend continues for 100 episodes. I really recommend this series for anyone looking for a good laugh, because this series is just about everything comedies should be outside of compactness. The episodes after 100 are a lot less impressive, though. While they still have a good episode here and there, they just lack the creativity that made the first 100 episodes so awesome.

Storytelling: 10/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 9/10

19 Responses

  1. Scamp says:

    What makes Gintama truly stand out in the sea of anime comedy is not necessarily the quality of the comedy at stake, but the fact that it manages to stay funny for 100 episodes. Practically every other comedy series loses steam as it goes.

  2. indyk says:

    can someone tell me which episodes are worth watching? i don’t think it would be possible form me to marathon through 50 or 25 episodes knowing that as stated in the review first part in;t interesting. the first ep hadn’t really interest me when i watched it.

  3. ny says:

    It`s interesting to find out that the 1st episode isn`t a reflection of the best of the series! I remember watching it on premier night in 2006 and not even coming back for a 2nd episode. Now maybe I`ll give it another try.

  4. Gin-san says:

    @indyk
    Check out Gintama episodes:7,14,21,25,34-35 and 50.

  5. Reina says:

    I agree completely with this post, the first episode was so weak watching it as the first episode could probably be what makes you lost complete interest. To people who are interested in this, just check out some random episodes from 21 onwards and then back track or something haha that’s what I did.

  6. Pocku says:

    @indyk
    You might also wanna check out episodes 19, 74, 98 and 99

  7. arigatou says:

    I only choose the best episodes in Gintama to watch

    Some of popular arcs
    Episode 58-61 (movie like)
    Episode 76-81 (yuri like)
    Episode 101-105 (shinsengumi law like)
    Episode 129-137 (brings me back to samurai x’s shishio makoto arc like)

  8. Mouri says:

    You know what? As a Gintama fan, I love you for this post.

  9. Zodiac Casino says:

    I absolutely love Gintama. Never before have I seen a series that is able to consistently laugh uproariously. And I don’t mean you’re standard laughing. I’m talking about the kind of laughing that would normally convince others that you are completely insane and should probably be institutionalized. The slow, dramatic scenes are equally great. As far as what episodes to watch…I would suggest to watch them all. Then again, i’m a big fan :P

  10. Chan-Chan says:

    I’m a big Gintama too! It’s my favorite Jump anime now. What I like most about Gintama is its characters. All the characters are funny and they make this anime awesome. From Gintoki, the Shonen Jump fan, to Hijikata, the Mayonnaise freak, to Sougo, the sadist, and to Sadaharu, the oversize skull-biting dog, everyone is unique and hilarious in their own way. Even its female characters are atypical. In most of the series I watch, the female characters tend to be weak and their roles are basically damsels in distress. However, in Gintama, the female characters are really strong and they have great personalities.

    I also like the voice acting in Gintama. It feels really natural and camaraderie between the different characters is great!

    I respect your choice in dropping it but perhaps you want to try take a look at the latest episode (177). It marks the start of the Jiraia arc. This arc brings back Tsukuyo and it will reveal more about Gin-chan’s past.

  11. I believe the Gintama anime needed the first 100 episodes to be able to set up a strong background for all the major characters of the series. This has allowed for much more interesting arcs to occur later on, while keeping amazingly funny situations. While I indeed did like the first few episodes, I like every episode more than the previous every time a new one comes out.

  12. what's this says:

    Agree with comment #10. Jiraia arc from episode 177 onwards is NOT TO BE MISSED. Tsukuyo is so awesome

  13. astrocurrent says:

    If you do quit watching Gintama after ep150, I recommand you to pick it up again. Not that the new characters and stories are at its usual good, the direction, especially the animation are awesome!! I myself hadn’t watched it for quite a while and pick it up somwwhere around ep160 and I couldn’t believe my eyes! There is some less impressive moments here and there after the first 100 epepisodes and a feeling of disappointment that Gintama too is going to enter an endless long-run grave like other Jump Anime. But I’ve change my mind. Altough I don’t really like the story of jiraia arc, I do think Anime Gintama has climbed to a new different level of height of creativity and direction. Not to mention the voting arc, it’s just simply hirarious!

    Sometimes it’s good to drop a series and pick it up again. It helps to get rid of aesthetic fatigue, and allows to enter the series with a fresh eye.

  14. asdasd says:

    Agree with this review. First 115-ish episodes were priceless. Here’s what happened with the anime…

    In the first 100 episodes, the ratio of hilarious episodes to mediocre episodes was about 9:1. After the 100 episode mark? Reverse that ratio.

    The second director simply doesn’t know how to pace himself. Or rather, he doesn’t know how to crack jokes. Not only does he drag on lighthearted arcs that should have been reduced to a single episode, but he also drags on a joke for more than 20 seconds. The problem with this is that comedy is supposed to be fast-paced; you just can’t take your time with it. What made Gintama great was the fact that they threw new jokes at you constantly, but the new director simply beats the joke to death.

    Another issue I have with the director is that he doesn’t seem to take the characterization seriously. For example, I feel that he totally doesn’t understand the characters’ habits and personalities and tries to make them as goofy as possible. The characters after the 100 episode mark begin to make these disgusting faces that simply don’t add to them. See the episode where Hijikata gets the whole Shinsengumi to drink five bottles of mayo a day each for details. Katsura blushes for pets too much; his endearing trait was that he was serious to a fault. Gintoki seems way too uptight in recent episodes, and Okita’s no longer this emotionless sadist; I found it difficult to define Okita’s personality after episode 100.

    Seriously, I hope that once Gintama comes back (it’s on hiatus now so that the manga can make more plots) the old director will return. Fat chance, of course, but one can hope. Or just dump the current director.

  15. Dragenki says:

    Check Gintama Episode 27,95

  16. Tu-tulu~ mayushii desu! says:

    They were great at first, then they just screwed around WAY too much.

  17. neilcfreak says:

    What I love about Gintama, is the fact that comedy anime is my least favorite genre of anime. Yet, Gintama is my favorite anime.

    Gintoki’s personality is so brilliantly made because he’s obviously a good guy but at the same time a complete selfish jackass. For instance he normally will do anything to help people, but then there’s that episode where he was kicking away all the poor people so he could have all the food for himself…

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 11:12 PM)
    K-off was also finding it somewhat hard to write about certain shows when not in batch Review format.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 11:05 PM)
    Aidan dropped writing about Grisaia out of sheer disappointment at its adaptation.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 11:01 PM)
    @Cyril: K-off is busy at work and his political activism, Ninjarealist has said his real life has gotten busy, but I know he dropped akatsuki no yona out of boredom. I don’t know whats going on with lighteningbolt.
  • Cyril
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 10:43 PM)
    Ignoring the troll for a second, what DID happen to the other writers? I’m guessing they dropped the serieses they were reviewing because they were bad?
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 10:16 PM)
    @Zo, we love you too.
  • Friend
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 07:48 PM)
    Is anyone going to review the YuruYuri OVA?
  • Zo
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 07:40 PM)
    Man all your writers are lazy as horseshit. This blog sucks.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 03:44 PM)
    @Emma, Can’t. Ninja said he wanted to review it.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 09:55 AM)
    Or as we Persians call it “Yalda’s Night”.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 09:55 AM)
    Happy winter solstice y’all!

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 11

Well here’s something you don’t see often in shounen series. Consequences. It’s another quiet episode and due to Shirou pulling that magic trick last episode he is now suffering from after effects. Having what looks to be a painful night and going through the day with the left side of his body numb. Though it […]

Recommendation corner 02 – Light novels #1

Its very easy to disregard the light novel genre completely as it is responsible for the creation of quite a number of unoriginal, bad and shameless pandering anime in recent years. However there still are worthwhile stories within the genre. They are just a little less known.   Mushoku Tensei Description: A 34-year-old NEET otaku […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 10

Very nice start to the beginning of the episode with the Unlimited Bladeworks chant. Sure, it has been parodied to kingdom come but I still love it and all it’s broken engrish glory. But now I can say it with certainty. This series is not suitable for being watched weekly. In watching this episode I […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 10

Fights blew past fast this episode. We had four fights in one episode so my previous fears of this getting dragged look to be untrue.  Notables being the fight between a mystery girl and a holy knight whose head is so disproportionate from his body that you could swear someone took the head of a […]

Gugure! Kokkuri-San- 06-10

So I’ve been gone for a while partially because of work, school, and my political activities, but also because I wanted to try approaching how I review in a (hopefully) interesting way. I’d be interested in hearing your feedback on this, as I am trying to inject more of my own personality into the way […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 09

The pattern continues with another building up episode. Admittedly I find this somewhat disappointing. I feel that this show would be better marathoned than watched weekly as the wait for what is a essentially a build up to the next episode can hamper the experience a bit. As I said before, this show would work […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 09

The fight between explosives girl and the sins was ended quicker than I thought. When King entered the fight it was settled almost immediately.  King made short work of her as Elaine provided some supposedly badass exposition saying how King is originally known as the king of the fairies, harlequin. I say supposedly because it […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 08

Another episode has come and gone. This episode marking the first casualty of the holy grail war. Looks like Rider is out of the running. It is a bit sad to see her go so unceremoniously and even defeated off screen. Well, we shall see you again in the upcoming heavens feel movie, where you […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 08

There was a few questionable things here this episode. The episode starts with the new villain quite literally killing herself to enter the kingdom of the dead. Which is a big risk considering it was based on one sentence from a child she was threatening. True being a shounen show there’s likely some magical biology […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]