Zura Janai, Katsura Da! The Life of the Joui Rebel

Katsura is a genius, but it may not always be obvious.

Katsura Kotarou wearing a black dress and a traditional hat

Zura Janai, Katsura Da (Not Zura, it’s  Katsura) is one of Gintama’s most iconic running gags. It’s a dialogue said by the Joui rebel Katsura Kotarou, often in response to someone calling him Zura instead of his full name Katsura.

Katsura sports long black hair that shines all the way down to his back with cute bangs framing his face. His blue kimono complements his olive-brown eyes. He wears a pale blue haori over the kimono.

Known for his escapades, Katsura was given the nickname Runaway Kotarou during the Joui War. As a wanted man today, Katsura’s public appearances are usually in a disguise, and he tends to carry a metallic grenade that he whisks out of thin air when the need arises.

The Life of Katsura Kotarou

Katsura in his young days

Katsura grows up with his grandmother as his parents succumbed to an ailment early in his childhood. Due to his notoriety for intelligence, he earns a scholarship to his village's esteemed military school. But soon he becomes frustrated with their education. His classmates are arrogant brats.

This is when he and his friend Takasugi Shinsuke meet Yoshida Shouyou. They are instantly drawn towards his philosophy. They leave the military school and come under Shouyou’s tutelage, where he grows to love his teacher and longs to follow his footsteps.

“But I suppose it’s not so bad that an old friend is the same as ever”  - Katsura

When Shouyou gets imprisoned, Katsura dives into the Joui War along with Takasugi and Gintoki. But the three of them soon get captured and everyone else becomes martyrs in the battle. He is forced to watch as the teacher he admires the most get decapitated in front of him.

“Change is never easy in this world. I can’t even change one friend, let alone a whole country” -  Katsura

After this, Katsura parts ways with Gintoki and Takasugi. He builds his own underground faction to rebel against the Bakufu where his paths often cross with the Odd Jobs.

Gintama: Who is Gintoki’s archenemy?
Best known for its comedy and memorable characters, Gintama is a slice-of-life at heart, but not without its fair share of action-heavy arcs. Each arc typically comes with a new villain (or an anti-hero). It’s fun to watch Gintoki exchange blows with them, and often he does it with great

Disposition: I’m not okay, I’m Katsura!

Katsura saying "I'm not into married women"

“The zipper is a window to society” - Katsura

Katsura is a genius, but it may not always be obvious. He ends up in weird situations because of his stupid decisions. It might seem he’s always fooling around, but when duty calls, Katsura can be a charismatic leader, especially in matters that concern the fate of the nation or the safety of his friends.

Katsura is also extremely polite, loves animals and seems to have a fetish for unfaithful housewives. His resolve to avoid death through strategic escapades may be a result of what his grandmother told him after the death of his parents – that no matter how strong of a general he becomes, he cannot protect anyone if he’s dead.

Master of Disguises

Katsura and Elizabeth in pirate costume

Katsura has corrected his name from Zura to Captain Katsura twice. First, when he dresses up as a pirate with an eyepatch and scar. And second, when he disguises himself as a soccer player.

Other than dressing as a Buddhist Monk, a waiter, and an online user called Fruit Punch Samurai, he has also adopted a rapping persona called DJ Ozura. And boy, does he raps!

Katsura dressed up as Mario saying "I'm just an ordinary plumber"

But is there anything that could beat Episode 98, where Katsura becomes Mario?

7 Funniest Gintama Parodies That Had Us Rolling
Which famous Parody episodes in Gintama had us LOL with popular pop culture references?