I don't care what people think, because today is a sad day. See, I want to tell you about a special show called Gintama--a show that has brought me joy on my worst days, and kept me laughing from the moment it began. That link will take you to streaming episodes, by the way--check it out! I'm serious. Watch an episode. Watch 201 episodes! SHARE MY LOSS~! ;*___*;
Picture this: Japan in olden times, in Edo where the Shinsengumi and Bakufu are in charge. Hijikata and Sogo and Kondo are all there. There are swords and samurai and ninjas.
Now add aliens. Yes, ALIENS--like those people from space?--yeah, those guys. Just add them in. Go ahead! They'll fit right in just fine. Now, stick them in the story, and call them the Amanto. There was a big war when they took over. Samurai fought and died for the human race, but in the end, they failed to push back the invaders. One samurai in particular, a man by the name of Sakata Gintoki who was given the epithet of Shiroyasha (White Demon), survived with a couple of his buddies. After the war, he opened up a shop called Yorozuya Gin-chan (Odd Jobs Gin). This show (and the ongoing manga) does something I've never seen duplicated. It combines ridiculously wild and deadpan comedy, hardcore violence, and serious drama so perfectly that imagining life without a constant supply of this madness makes me want to give the toaster a bath.
This story focuses on Gin, Kagura (an alien girl in a Chinese dress from the invincible and fair-skinned Yato clan), and Shinpachi (a kid from a nearby dojo hoping to find a job--he is one with his glasses). They make up the Yorozuya, and they will do ANYTHING for a buck. There's one problem, though: Gin's pretty much useless. He's a lazy, diabetic samurai who can't carry anything more than a wooden sword he bought off a TV commercial because of the new Amanto-imposed sword-ban.
However, he's not boring. None of them are boring. Throughout the series, they've battled a ninja with hemorrhoids who tries to steal Gin's Shonen Jump magazine, defeated multiple insanely powerful alien clans, rescued a city of badass prostitutes while dressed as women, parodied every pop culture reference under the sun, pretended to be lost tourists in a marathon, gotten trapped in an MMO in order to fix random body parts that for some reason have become screwdrivers (flat and phillips) battled yakuza alien wasp nests because of unfortunate Playstation 2-related deaths, fought for the purity of a girl who thinks she's a boy, dressed up as a centaur carrying a dead child in order to be a mascot for police affairs, harassed thousands of people, been trapped in the bodies of various animals and an android maid, saved the earth about fifteen different times, built the Neo Armstrong Jet Cyclone Armstrong Cannon, triumphed over the inner otaku of a Shinsengumi member (but not without honoring his tenacity), found and lost multiple jobs, killed several wild alien pets which belonged to a certain pathetic prince, defeated Freeza (well, Hijikata did that--he and Sogou are a whole other ball game), and countless other fantastic stories.
On the Shinsengumi side, they've fought bathroom bacteria reminiscent of Nausicaa's creepy forest, fought for the dreams of the aforementioned inner otaku, made attempt after attempt at arresting Gin for something--anything!, tried harder than any person should to keep their gorilla of a commander from marrying a real space gorilla, gotten mixed up in Yorozuya business constantly, gently rejected a young girl's love by pretending to be Mayonnaise royalty, gone hunting for a golden beetle with honey slathered all over the body, fought amongst each other a hundred times over retarded things, made every death threat imaginable to a comrade (Hijikata? Sogo? I'm talking about you!), fought valiantly to win the right to be a pop idol's fan club, struggled to find the last cigarette in the galaxy because the ashtrays around the city now explode when you put ash in them....the list just gets longer...and longer...and longer.
Really, I can't believe it's over. Sure, they tell us that there'll be more once the mangaka is finished making more chapters, but this hiatus is going to kill me inside! I've never seen anything so wonderfully capable of making me laugh like a lunatic and sob like a baby all in the same episode! Gin is my favorite fictional character of all time--not because he's an absolute riot (which he is....I love you, Tomokazu Sugita-sama! BEST VOICE ACTOR EVER!!!!!)--but because he's the kind of person who ignores the stupid little issues and hits the core of the problem. Also, he's kickass. Seriously--he's a demon with white hair and red eyes (I conjecture that he's actually albino...). And Hijikata and Sogo? Those two are the greatest duo I've ever seen. Seriously, I've never seen good friends try so hard on a regular basis to kill each other in such inventive, insidious ways. Shinpachi? He is more than his glasses--he's the ultimate straight-man. Kagura? She's the craziest, most screwed up little slacker girl on the planet, and I adore her for it. Katsura? I'll never forget your name. Takasugi? You're a crazy bastard, dude--keep up the smexeh. Kondo? Give up on Otae--she'll really kill you one of these days. Sa-chan? STOP BRINGING NATTO AND BDSM PARAPHERNALIA TO EVERY EPISODE YOU GET!!! Everyone? I'm going to miss you.
In the words of Toshi, the inner otaku who represents everything I love about this show:
"We just have to live every second to the fullest, and the traces of the path we lived be burned into the ground...That will be proof of our existence!"
(AKA The Hotness)
- Guy: Look, we don’t need guys like you.
- Gintoki: [dressed in a space pirate outfit] How rude. We want to be pirates too! Take us with you! Right, Zura?
- Katsura: It’s not Zura; it’s Captain Katsura.
- Gintoki: We’re mischievous guys who’ve dreamt of becoming pirates ever since we were little. We’re looking for the secret treasure called ‘One Park’. Right, Zura?
- Katsura: It’s not Zura; it’s Captain Katsura.
- Guy: Whatever. Go find it yourselves.
- Gintoki: Don’t say that. Look, my hand’s a hook. I can only be a pirate or a coat-hanger now.
In the words of Gin-chan, the badassest samurai around:
"Listen up! Let’s say you drink too much strawberry milk, and have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, but it’s cold outside your bed. You don’t want to get up, but the urge to urinate is just too strong! You make up your mind to go! You run to the bathroom, stand in front of the toilet, and let loose! You think that all your life has led to this moment! But then you realize. It isn’t the bathroom! You’re still in bed! That feeling of lukewarm wetness spreads like wildfire! But you don’t stop! You can’t stop! That’s what I’m talking about! That’s the truth of the strawberry milk! Do you get it?"
That's a wrap.... TT_TT
(And watch out for vending machines!)