“When Gintoki apprehends a movie pirate at a premiere, he checks the camera’s footage and finds himself transported to a bleak, post-apocalyptic version of Edo, where a mysterious epidemic called the “White Plague” has ravished the world’s population. It turns out that the movie pirate wasn’t a pirate after all—it was an android time machine, and Gintoki has been hurtled five years into the future! Shinpachi and Kagura, his Yorozuya cohorts, have had a falling out and are now battle-hardened solo vigilantes and he himself has been missing for years, disappearing without a trace after scribbling a strange message in his journal.
Setting out in the disguise given to him by the android time machine, Gintoki haphazardly reunites the Yorozuya team to investigate the White Plague, and soon discovers that the key to saving the future lies in the darkness of his own past. Determined to confront a powerful foe, he makes an important discovery—with a ragtag band of friends and allies at his side, he doesn’t have to fight alone.” – MAL
This movie is awesome. The first movie was a really good retelling of the Benizakura arc. But getting something new and fresh adapted in movie quality was a joy. Funny enough, scenes from this movie were used as a gag in the previous season just like the first season did with the Benizakura movie. At this point, I should just expect every movie gag to eventually come true. But I said in my original Gintama review that while the anime does parody pop culture a lot, it gets to a point where it parodies itself probably even more. This movie is heavy on self-parody and I loved it. So excuse while I gush over this movie for a bunch of paragraphs.
In the first movie, the Warner Brothers gag in the beginning and the end was really funny. So when you get to this movie and they have an anti-piracy movie ad gag at the very beginning that is not only very funny but is the direct catalyst to Gin and us as viewers being transported to this “alternate” (in quotations cause its what’s gonna happen but you know) dystopian future. I was surprised at just how Gintama that was. It was so on-brand for this series, that it caught me off guard and I couldn’t help but just applaud the absurdity of it.
I’m a real sucker for this sort of plot point in stories. I enjoy seeing future versions of characters that we know and love and seeing what got them to that point. What in that span of time changed. I’m a sucker for time skips. In the season 3 review, I mentioned Gintama never fails to miss a moment where a quality joke can be told. I say all of this to say that I was laughing very hard at the majority of the jokes during this movie. The comedic timing feels so on point here. First off it’s no secret that in Japanese “Tama” can stand for “ball”. It’s been used as a joke plenty of times. So the fact that the device that Gin is given to disguise his identity in this reality makes him look like a penis and he goes by Peenees is so ridiculous and low brow that it’s hilarious. I love how they don’t beat it over our heads either. There are always subtle reminders by character dialogue and reactions, but then you’ll get the rare freeze-frame reminder that this is what he looks like to everyone else. So when you keep that in mind everything he does is hilarious in context. Especially that scene when Sadaharu bites his head and the std jokes start flying. Man, I have to touch on some of my other favorite jokes.
The whole execution scene is so well done and progressively gets more and more absurd. Gengai being mute and getting arrested for turning into a drunkard after Gin’s death and transforming The Colonel Sanders mannequin’s head into a Gundam’s head was pretty funny. Then in comes Katsura being arrested for spiraling downwards in life turning that same Gundam head Colonel Sanders into Shinsuke. After he himself turned into Shinsuke after Gins death. Okay, this is funny as hell at this point. Then out comes Kondo in a cage like a gorilla and it turns out after a night of good night of stalking, he was arrested for being that Colonel Sanders statue that they other vandalized and all the mods that Gengai and Katsura did to him caught the district on fire. I’m in tears now. An already completely absurd gag gets progressively cranked up and only gets funnier. Then I can’t forget Katsura’s last message being “it’s Katsura, not Zura” and Kondos being “I’m hard right now” those few minutes were some of the funniest I’ve ever watched. So for it only gets crazier when the Shinsengumi and the Joui alliance come to the rescue led by a jacked Elizabeth and Toshi (who looks cool as hell now). Who we come to find out are mayo bros now. And for the sake of my health, I really wish it ended there but the moment where Gin tries to save Gengai from execution and Kagura and Shinpachi grab his legs leading him to chop Gengai’s head off. The reactions on everyone’s faces and the proceeding scene where they play hot potato with his head. Like this is among the funniest stuff I’ve ever watched at this point. Comedy is the most subjective thing in the world but that entire sequence with the history of the previous 250+ episodes is peak comedy. Then, of course, the jokes at the end were really funny but the one that really got me was when the main crew were disappearing one by one but in the frame, Shinpachis hand is still sitting there then it pans out and only his glasses disappeared. The jokes and timing are so damn good here kudos to everyone involved with writing this movie.
I mentioned earlier how I enjoy seeing the character changes in these types of stories. I’ll never forget adding a bunch of stuff to my MAL plan to watch and when I added this movie I didn’t realize until later how dope the promo art is and the character designs. Obviously, Shinpachi and Kagura would get taller with age but them adopting a select portion of Gintokis clothing was a really cool touch to add to the tension of them bickering over who should take over for Gin. Shinpachi looks badass in his future outfit, the same can be said for Kagura too. Sadaharu growing more fur under his head was a nice touch too. Along with their appearance changes, I think their personality changes given the circumstances make a lot of sense. The joke from Gin about Kaguras’s voice actor finally being fully utilized is hilarious. Outside of the main group. Tama turning into a little tank was funny, lord knows what happened to Hasegawa, Catherine turning more into a man, beefy Elizabeth, rogue Sogo, some of the girls cut their hair. I really dug all these new designs. Most of the characters didn’t seem to change that much personality-wise but the effect of Gintok’is death can clearly be seen.
When I talked about the Kintama arc, I said how heartbreaking it was for Gin to be walking around in a city with people he has so many ties to that have forgotten him. This movie has a similar heartbreak. I feel like a lot of people, me included, have at one point wanted to see how the world around us would change if we were to pass how it would affect people. Gin gets a first-hand experience of that. It’s a heavy motivator for him and to watch as he tries to stop this virus to prevent this future from becoming a reality. Especially when he sees the condition that Otae is in. But the reality of the situation unfolds in a semi-predictable way. The virus was a cool plot device. I like how it all tied into the fight in the beginning and at this point I’m just a sucker for more Joui War moments. The joke about Gin dying/going missing on the toilet after he ate bad mushrooms 5 years ago cause he was hungry while solo investing the virus was funny. I didn’t question it at the time cause that’s very on-brand for this series. But when Gin and Enmi start fighting and he remarks how he knows all his moves. My brain instantly came to the conclusion that that’s Gin he’s fighting. I was right about that but the next piece of the puzzle was pretty damn shocking. The amazing fight scene, in the beginning, had some meaning and turns out Gin was unknowingly patient zero for this world-ending virus ever since that day. So the conclusion that future Gin came to initially and that current gin ends up at, but more drastically, is stopping patient zero at the source.
When Gin makes his final decision to go back and kill his past self the movie very much felt like this is the end. I should’ve known better seeing as at this point I’m maybe like 60% through the series and there’s no way Gin could die right? But man if the movie didn’t play up that sensation to its max potential. Shinpachi and Kagura breaking down in the new future that doesn’t even know Gin was tragic. Before he even leaves they had the whole moment with the Film Roll pieces that they kept from the intro of the movie. Which was a really funny gag that turned into a touching moment. It was very sweet seeing the influence Gin has over everyone in the future without them even knowing it’s him. Kagura and Shinpachi start to slip back into their old ways the more they’re around him. Gins’ influence on the people around him has always been strong and that influence and connection are very much felt in this movie. All that stuff put together got to me. It really made it feel like this could be the end. Just for Gintama to be Gintama and Hasegawa to show up in the past dressed as Joui Gin. The immediate tonal shift from sad & somber to comedy is really something only Gintama can do.
Everything after that felt like Endgame 6 years before Endgame. The whole Odd Jobs family coming together to fight in a Joui battle is grade A fanfic. Everyone got their moments to shine during this battle. The animation and music were pristine. This entire final act is like a Gintama fan’s wet dream. The final showdown between Enmi and the main Odd Jobs crew facing off was fantastic and we got something that I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. Gin, Katsura, Sakamoto, and Shinsuke of the past, coming in with an assist was just the icing on this already masterpiece of a cake. Up to this point, we’ve only seen glimpses here or there of Joui War battles. So seeing this whole last act put a smile on my face.
I’ve talked about this stuff here or there already during this review but once again the animation in this movie is so good. Everything across the board looks amazing. The soundtrack is at its best here. I recently discovered that Sunrise did Cowboy Bebop (idk how I didn’t know that already) but it just all makes a lot of sense now. In my review of that, I talked about how cinematic they made certain scenes and the excellent use of the soundtrack in certain spots to enhance the scenes. Gintama is very much the same in that regard this movie being the perfect example. The sound design and use or nonuse of sound and music are top-notch.
So yeah I really loved this movie. It gave me heavy Endgame vibes which can only be a good thing. But I will say just like Endgame and really any movie that involves time travel. It’s a finicky mechanic. When you involve time travel in any media the rules have to be explained in such a way that their understandable, and you have to follow them as tight as possible. This also means that the viewer has to be able to suspend a select amount of belief. It’s a dual commitment. The time-traveling in this movie was kind of weird and didn’t fully make sense at times. But everything outside of that was so great that it’s nothing more than a minor gripe. I called Gintama peak shounen in my first review. I’ll probably forever stand by that. So with that being said, if Gintama is peak shounen, this is the best of that peak yet.
Gintama: The Final Chapter – Be Forever Yorozuya – 10/10
Notes – I feel like I’m nearing a conclusion with this series even though I still have a lot of content to watch. I know after next season that’s the point of no return for the funnier stuff. Once again though I can’t wait. Also it feels kinda weird doing spoiler free reviews like this. I think they come off as more rambly and less focused than my normal ones but at this point I feel like it’d be pointless to do spoiler free for this series and I’m just enjoying gushing over it in all of these reviews.