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by Bettum on January 25th, 2006, 9:49am

Rating - 7.6 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 2.92 out of 5
Story/Plot - 3 out of 5
Characters - 5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 3 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4 out of 5
Overall - 4 out of 5

Click here for series information


Gintama is an action comedy manga. The edo era have returned to Japan in a futuristic world, where the amanto (aliens) have invaded. The main character, Sakata Gintoki, is a freelancer with a natural perm, a lone samurai with a sweet tooth and glycosyria. Years ago he fought with the Jyoi (the ones who fought the amanto), and is still a man who believes in the ways of the samurai, though he left Jyoi.

He lives with his "apprentice" Shimura Shinpachi, after saving his sister, Otea, from a no-panties danger. Gintoki also indirectly helps a cute, strong alien, (with human appearance and an aggressive appetite),Kagura, from a small yakuza gang. The group of freelancers are living off the generosity of an old and cranky shop owner, Otose, with significant difficulty paying their rent.

An old friend of Gintoki, Katsura Kotaru, tries to convince Gintoki to join Jyoi again to liberate Japan from the amanto. Eventually the freelancers get mixed up in the fight between the Jyoi and the amanto, with the sword swinging police force, shinsengumi, on their necks.

However, gintama is mainly a manga with episodic stories so far. A story yet to develop.


The main character, Sakata Gintoki, is a freelancer with a natural perm, a lone samurai with a sweet tooth and glycosyria. Somewhat childish. He lives by his own rules, and wield a wooden Samurai sword, though there is a sword ban. He once fought the amanto with the Jyoi, and his friend Katsura Kotaru. Eventually he left the Jyoi, but he still believes in the ways of the samurai. Drives a scooter.

Along with Gintoki, Shimura Shinpachi and Kagura makes up the freelancer-group. Shinpachi joined Gintoki after he saved his Sister, Otae, from an perverted cruise owner, who demanded her "service" after she failed to pay her loan back. Shinpachi lived with his sister in their late fatherís dojo, but decided to follow Gintoki after the rescue-act, to learn the ways of the samurai. Senpachis beautiful sister Otae, is on the contrary short tempered.

The yato (the strongest alien race), Kagura, was lured in a small yakuza league. Her family is poor, and all they ate was hurikake (Japanese topping to put on rice). She was told she could eat sakchasuke (a bowl of rice with salmon and tea poured in) every day if she joined them. Naive as she is she accepted. In an attempt to escape she crashed with Gintoki on his scooter. With his "help" she managed to beat the gangsters. She is aggressive appetited, Naive and has super strength.

Katsura Katora is a survivor of the Jyoi and Gintoki's comrade. Has the nickname "Zura". He is determined to liberate Japan from the amanto. He doesn't mind blowing up a building or two in the process.

The Shinsengumi is the police force wielding samurai swords. Consists of the free-spirited boss Kondou, the cool 2nd commander Hijakata, the simple minded but dangerous slacker Okita, the badminton loving Yamazaki, and a bunch of lunetics.

There are other worth mentioning as the victim of late payments from the freelancers, Otose. But we'll leave it for now...

Drawing Style

The drawings are good. Not great but good. Not the normal style shounen manga, in other words, somewhat creative. The drawings isn't over-detailed, and are easily "read". A simple style, and... Thatís it I guess. Nothing revolutionary, nothing bad. The drawings are all together very fitting to the story.

The drawings have lots of character, except some of the main characters, who is somewhat standard. The artist is good at capturing the moods of the characters as well.

Gintama have few front-pages and bonus drawings, but the artist draw these mini stories based on himself as a monkey, reflecting his thoughts concerning the manga. Entertaining indeed.


As a fun factor and time killer Gintama works well. At some parts it's extremely funny, and other parts is action packed, and a mix of both in other parts. If you're into shounen comedy mangas, you'll find Gintama entertaining as well. Even the chapter names can be extremely funny in Gintama. And the name Gintama itself, is a play with Japanese words. Gin = Silver, Tama = Soul. So gintama is read Silver soul in Japanese, but in speech, when you can't see the title written out, it could be interpreted as "Silver Balls", the word for balls being "Kintama". Something that indicates this is a comedy show.


As expected from a jump comic, Gintama doesn't disappoint. The manga is fairly "young" (11 volumes out in Japan). I haven't read enough to fully judge the story-plot, but it has great potential. Many dark pasts to discover... he, he... Nothing to whip at the character design. The drawings are good, but could be better.

On the other hand, if you don't like jump comics, chances are big you won't like this one too. But if you are into comedy, Gintama stands out from the bunch of half vitty comedy mangas. Something to consider.
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Balanced Review by proscientia on February 20th, 2009, 11:04am Rating: 4.85

Although Gintama fans might want to hang me for this, I liked the review overall. Numerical scores are subjective -- as discussed in a post about 1's and 10's --, but the review is positive overall, so it should not be discouraged. My rating system is mostly gives results between 3 and 9 -- my favourite series (what I'd consider a 5+/5 for enjoyment) have various weaknesses and for that reason would hesitate to give a perfect 10. Possibly the reason why fans might feel that the series is not done justice is because of the nature of the rating system.

I have only read 5 volumes of Gintama (as many as I could afford to buy) and seen the occasional anime episode and enjoyed those series, but not to the extent of some others. But even as early as volume 3, which was reaffirmed by volumes 4 and 5 and confirmed by my younger brother, who is a huge Gintama fan, the series is episodic. Because of this, the plot is not great by standard measures, so a 3 says that. However, for the genre, such a plot is very appropriate, so giving a 5 wouldn't be bad either. As for enjoyment, that is completely subjective -- mind you "4" is a positive result. The overall rating recommends this series even to those who don't like jump comics but like comedy, so once again a very positive result. Possibly, the hesitance to give a higher score is because the reviewer only has read twice as much as I have. Possibly a statement that you should consider reading this to see another face of shounen manga is appropriate, even if you don't think you'd like it? (One of the letters in the 3rd or 4th volume that Sorachi Hideki answers is from a 40 y.o. woman.)

P.S., I'm experimenting with how the computer reads fractional inputs.
.. by Mantoki on July 5th, 2008, 8:51pm Rating: 1

this review fails to show how Gintama is definately the best shounen you'll even find
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