When the dead-fish-eyed and wavy-haired samurai debuted on screen, he had instantly become one of the most popular and lovable characters in the anime pantheon.
As off-screen, Sakata Gintoki has just as many admirers on-screen. But is there anyone Gintoki reciprocates feelings for?
Shinpachi’s sister, Shimura Tae, or better known as Otae has known Gintoki longer than any other girl leads in the series.
In fact, she was there even before Kagura came into the picture.
Otae and Gintoki share a very close bond, protecting and supporting each other and lending an umbrella in times of crisis.
In the Memory Loss arc when Gintoki has amnesia and becomes more somber, Otae confesses to liking this version of him and even blushes when he touches her hand. Shinpachi then comments that Otae’s fallen for him.
Gintoki, however, doesn’t seem to reciprocate those feelings in any episode, although he deeply cares about her.
The demonic vice-commander Hijikata Toushirou, or Tosshi has had many spicy moments with Gintoki, such as being handcuffed together – hence, the fan-favourite ship GinHiji.
This ship is so popular on Tumblr, Twitter and Pixiv that the anime itself makes references to it.
For example, the three GinHijiGin DVD covers.
But canonically, they are only rivals, or close friends at best who keep making snarky comments about each other.
It’s unlikely they share any romantic feelings. Besides, Hijikata is in love with Okita Mitsuba, Sougo's older sister.
This is a no-brainer.
If stalking Gintoki to his house and hiding in his closet doesn’t make her infatuation obvious, then her S&M fantasies that seem to awaken only for Gintoki surely will.
Sarutobi Ayame is the most overt character in Gintama to crush on Gintoki.
Gintoki has made his dislike for Sacchan clear though, often throwing stuff her way when he feels her stalking him, turning her on more in return.
In fact, he straightaway mentions one time that he doesn’t like clingy women.
Of course, the Tsundere that goes toe-to-toe with Gintoki’s popularity in the anime community, Tsukuyo has been an immediate favorite ship.
It’s evident that Gintoki is the only man Tsukuyo feels comfortable dropping her guard around.
Her feelings towards Gintoki start with Yoshiwara in Flames arc and then become something much stronger during the Love Potion arc.
Like Otae and Gintoki, they too share mutual affection for each other, but what’s between them is clearly something more than friends, nonetheless not more enough to be lovers.
Tsukuyo is also the only character who Gintoki seems to vaguely reciprocate feelings for.
This might be anticlimactic, but going by the canon, Gintoki has a major crush on the weather girl Ketsuno Ana who comes on Oeda News.
Instead of showing romantic interest towards any other major character in the anime, including an obsessed assassin and the guardian of an underground red-light district, Gintoki likes a cute weather girl on TV.
I don't know about you, but GinTsu holds no candle to this adorable pair. I'm team Simptoki! What about you?
Or maybe none of this is real, and Gintoki’s true love is what it's always been: strawberry milkshake.