Anime may come and anime may go, but Gintama trolls on forever. If Tennyson were a weeb, that's how he would’ve written his poem. Let us celebrate the decade-old legacy of Gintama by looking back at some of its most prolific arcs!
8. Character Poll Arc (182-184)
Whenever people ask me for great fourth-wall-breaking anime, I always direct them to the Character Poll Arc. What else can you do but laugh when the characters in an anime start whining about their popularity rankings and then turn on each other to lower the rankings of others?
This arc also serves as the definitive guide to the characters of Gintama and proof of the constant ingenuity of Sorachi’s humour.
7. Courtesan Of A Nation Arc (257-261)
The perfect balance and blend of heartache, humour, storyline, conflict and resolution – the Courtesan of a Nation arc brings together the dynamic pair of Gintoki and Tsukuyo in the ever-fascinating setting of Yoshiwara. It also introduces the ever-despicable antagonist Tokugawa Sada Sada and the very powerful Oboro.
6. The Santa Arc (200-201)
Gintama’s always had holiday special episodes and this one is a personal favourite. Both Umibozou and Gintoki dress up as Santa Claus to surprise Kagura on Christmas. What follows is a comedy benchmark for anime. Both Santas create uproarious scenes until three more Santas show up and we get the ultimate standoff to decide who’s the realest Santa!
5. Silver Soul Arc (342-369 + Movie)
The stakes were never higher!
Before this arc, most of Gintama’s conflicts dealt with the fate of the Kabuki district, or at best, Japan. But this time there’s an immortal Thanos admirer obsessed with destroying the earth and the whole damn universe!
And who’s going to stop them? A bunch of misfit samurais who also happen to be students of the Thanos admirer? The Silver Soul Arc is the final boss battle that keeps you at the edge of your seat and reminds you why Gintama is worth dying over!
4. Benizakura Arc (58-62)
In terms of storyline and action, this is surely one of the weaker arcs in the show. But what makes it really special is that it’s the first-ever arc to establish Gintama as more than just a slice-of-life drama.
A lot of fans also confess that they got hooked to Gintama after this arc. Benizakura teases us with all the shounen-ness that Gintama has in store for us and that we will get to witness if we choose to stick around!
After all, facts check out, Benizakura was such a hit, it turned into a film!
3. Farewell Shinsengumi Arc (308 - 316)
We’re a little biased here, but Farewell Shinsengumi qualifies as a deeply emotional arc, if not the most. The Shinsengumi had become an inextricable part of the anime. In fact, their popularity sometimes exceeded that of the Yorozoya. So when they get disbanded, it’s just… heartbreaking.
Aside from this, we also experience Hijikata and Okita teaming up with Katsura, their archenemy. And then, of course, the jaw-dropping twist in the form of Naraku's arrival!
2. Yoshiwara in Flames Arc (139-146)
The viewers are not only introduced to the very badass Tsukuyo, but it’s also the beginning of what became one of the largest ships in the anime – GinTsu.
It's fine, I don't mind. If that's what you want, I don't mind being only yours – Gintoki to Tsukuyo
We are simultaneously introduced to the powerful world of Yato – the formidable Housen and Kagura’s little brother Kamui who would eventually grow into a critical antagonist in the future.
Everything about this arc screams epic!
1. Shogun Assassination Arc (300-307)
It’s the arc that gave us the madly anticipated fight between Gintoki and Takasugi. But more importantly, it’s the arc that changed everything. For the first time, Gintama experiences a tonal shift, marking irreversible changes to the plot.
Those 300 episodes of character development finally pay off as comedy takes a backseat and the true intelligence of Sorachi’s writing dazzles us! Tell us your favourite arc in the comments!