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

20 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…

  18. NintenLover says:

    Totally awesome! I just got Club Nintendo coins for FREE from http://freeclubnintendocoins.com

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Apr 21. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Wyatt: What I have learned about people it is that the more ashamed and disgusted they are by something, the higher than chance it is they are actually disgusted at themselves.
    And yeah theres no point in changing what you are, can’t be done really.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Apr 21. 2015 03:10 AM)
    @Wyatt: I was dealt the bonkers hand and theres no real helping it, just laugh and enjoy it more if people are offended by it.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Apr 21. 2015 03:08 AM)
    @Wyatt: I spoke with my brother about rape in hentai and how he considered that it isn’t rape in fictional porn, however much he doesn’t go for it, in a fictional doujin/drawing it is no more than extreme bondage/domination play.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Apr 21. 2015 03:06 AM)
    @Wyatt: I mean look at the stuff Jimmy Saville got up to with something like that going on in real life, its just not possible for me to be scared by fiction. Another thing is, it all depends on how its portrayed, chances are a sad drama that uses something messed up is going to be sad, just the same thing used in drawn porn is going to be different and probably titilating.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Apr 21. 2015 03:01 AM)
    @Wyatt: I certainly have no qualms, I mean the point is certain things stay in the head or in porn, so long as you don’t go out in a kilt and bagpipes and murder/rape people with them irl we’re all fine lol
  • WyattX
    (Tuesday, Apr 21. 2015 02:43 AM)
    nor will i fix it. forcing myself t change is as ill as putting myself on a pedestal for the sake of “individualism” no matter how bad my indivudal self might be, you know?
  • WyattX
    (Tuesday, Apr 21. 2015 02:37 AM)
    @Emma same, they’re just drawings to me. I don’t hate far twisted smutty shite but actually enjoy it, but I have a gripe with people (not you though) who glorify this kind of interest. I’ve grown to learn my interests are abnormal/unhealthy these past couple a years, but I’ve said since “this is who I am, but I’m not off to glorify it.”
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 20. 2015 06:24 PM)
    @Wyatt: When I say not fond of, its more of a case of, just not my thing, rather than “ewww its gross” or “immoral”.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 20. 2015 06:12 PM)
    @Wyatt: Works now. I am familiar with that artist actually from danbooru.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Apr 20. 2015 06:00 PM)
    @Wyatt: I think I had an idea before where someone with multiple personalities who could change their appearance seduced lovers away from one personality to another. Another involved a girl who had an experience with a twin, then she became attracted to his brother. Catch was she didn’t know he had a twin, then ran into that twin. She thought it was him.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 15

The word that encompasses this episode in a nutshell would be brutal. Whether you love her or hate her, I say few would believe that Illya deserved this fate. The tragedy is ever more pungent if you know the full details of her past. Anime only viewers may not get the most out of this […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 14

As a reader of the Fate/stay night visual novel I can confirm that the majority of this episode was anime original content. However instead of being about castors history like I thought, it’s of his backstory with her first master. In all honestly making the episode be about her history with Jason would have been […]

Some Quick First Impressions: DanMachi, Denpa Kyoushi and Arslan Senki

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Short Synopsis: Our protagonist wants to be an RPG pimp I am getting SAO reminders already. Let me talk about something for a moment. You see when I first played the game dark souls I was frustrated and angry at myself because of my own […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Gunslinger Stratos, Seraph of the end and Yahari season 2

Gunslinger Stratos Short Synopsis: Our protagonist falls into an alternate world full of trigger happy people. I am fairly certain that Gen is not writing this. You can see part of him in the concept but not anywhere else. The episode gave me a mixed impression. I hate the characters and find the main to […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 13

It’s back and still as beautiful as ever. Sadly not a fourty minutes long and still leaves me hungry by episodes end. It does seem to cut off suddenly rather than end. So after telling Shirou to stay away and stating how only masters should stay in the war, Rin is thrust into the exact […]

Death Parade Review – 65/100

  When I heard that Death Billards would be getting a full 12 episode series called Death Parade I was quite excited. The one episode short looked to be an excellent concept for a episodic series. A bar which people are sent to when they die which decides whether they go to heaven or hell […]

Death Parade – 12

So this is the end of Death Parade. Or at least this is the end of what may be it’s first and last season. The ongoing plot didn’t so much as tie itself up but rather fizzle out. Leaving a second season to tie up loose ends. A second season that may never come. I […]

Parasyte The Maxim Review-82.5/100

Parasyte, along with Gugure Kokkuri-San, are the only two shows from the last season that I’ve actually finished, and that’s actually saying quite a lot–seeing as how I haven’t been watching (much less blogging) anime at all this past season. However, I figured I should at least write a final review for Parasyte, just because […]

Death Parade – 11

So we are reaching the final conclusion and things are coming to a head. Chiyuki’s memories are restored and we find that in life she was an ice skater. An odd choice but it did lead to a rather beautiful scene of Chiyuki skating on Ice as she recalled her past. Admittedly I did try […]

Latest Reviews

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

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. […]