December 2, 2021

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The GOAT – Gintama: The Semi-Final & The Final Anime Review

“As the war temporarily calms down and Edo rebuilds, Gintoki finds Shinpachi—who is still unaware of his return—on a bridge. However, as a fight quickly breaks out between the Yorozuya and the Tenshouin Naraku, suspicion grows, forcing Gintoki to use what is nearest—a loincloth—to mask his identity. Saved for the time being, Gintoki enters the Yorozuya office, but unbeknownst to him, someone else is already waiting there…

Meanwhile, Kondou departs Earth to marry Princess Bubbles in an attempt to improve diplomatic relations. After boarding the Gorilla Amanto mother ship, he realizes that he doesn’t speak their language. Confused, Kondou tries conversing with them, only to inadvertently gain their support. However, someone associated with the princess crashes the ongoing ceremony. Will the wedding continue, or has Kondou just been saved from becoming the next Gorilla Prince?” – MAL

“The concluding film to the Gintama anime series, adapting the final chapters of the manga series of the same name written by Hideaki Sorachi. The film covers chapters 699-704 of the original manga, with original material added in.” – MAL

I’ve made an executive decision to group these together as they basically flow right into each other. All I can say is this journey has been amazing and I couldn’t be happier that I decided to sit down and watch Gintama. Also it should go without saying at this point but just in case. This review is full of spoilers.

Gintama: The Semi Final

Episodes: 2 – Studio: Bandai Namco Pictures – Sub – Aired: Jan. 2021 – Finished – MAL Rating: 8.51 – Genres: ActionComedyHistoricalParodySamuraiShounen

Picking up basically where season 8 left off (minus the trial scene) Shinpachi gets his moment on the bridge and Gin continues to hide his identity. Shachi and Yaemon get into the fray and once again we see how wide Gins influence was/is and how his absence has left people feeling. It’s hilarious how during the scene where everyone was assembling to protect Kabuki and we see Shachi and Yaemon but then they don’t show up. Then they ended up in the swamp. Turns out Shachi was running to look for toner for his manga.

I really love how much Shinpachi is trying to fill in for Gin. Even reading Shachis manga no matter how critical he was is definitely something Gin would do. He even admits to something that I knew back when I watched last season cause it was very evident but basically he saw Kagura and Gin had missions that they needed to fulfill and even though he didn’t. He wouldn’t allow himself to get in the way. It’s pretty sad but for what it’s worth it really seems like he did a great job taking up Gins mantle in his absence.

The Shinsengumi get back together, hype. Everyone Odd Jobs has helped come together again, hype. Mecha Colonel Sanders makes his return, hype. I’m seriously hyped to see everyone together battling again like back in Yorozuya Forever. But speaking of the Shinsengumi return. I don’t think Gorilla jokes can get better than the second episode of this. They’ve peaked. No one else should even try. The whole scenario with Kondo and that race of gorillas was hilarious. Robert Gorilly Jr. has gotta be one of the best jokes in this series.

So yeah the Semi-Final was a nice two-episode bridge to the final movie and it was really good but I can’t shake this bittersweet feeling that I’m really about to be done with this series. It’s been an amazing ride and I know some tears will be shed during that movie.

Gintama: The Semi-Final – 10/10

Gintama: The Final

Run Time: 1hr 44min – Studio: Bandai Namco Pictures – Sub – Aired: Jan. 8th 2021 – MAL Rating: 9.10 – Genres: ActionSci-FiComedyHistoricalParodyDramaSamuraiShounen

Man, this movie is so damn good.

I knew this movie was gonna be magnificent when it starts off with a Dragon Ball Z parody recapping everything up until this point. The beginning of this movie looks like it was lifted straight from DBZ. The animation and art style are the same and they even got the soundtrack from the show playing it was hilarious. It ultimately built hype for Gin, Shinsuke, and Katsura to finally put an end to this saga with Shoyo/Utsuro.

That’s what this movie and Gintama as a whole do so well is hype. From Gin, Katsura, and Shinsuke battling their way up the tower. To everyone else showing up later and fighting the big group of amanto. This movie is so hype and beyond the obvious story elements that play into that hype. The animation and the soundtrack are phenomenal. Genuinely this movie is on par with the best anime movies or series that I’ve ever seen. It legitimately might be the best and that’s special because Gintama doesn’t really have the greatest animation a lot of times. There are moments here and there and of course, the second movie looked amazing. But the animators went all out here. The fight scenes are amazing and have great choreography. The use and sometimes non-use of music during certain fights and scenes. The editing direction for the Gin vs. Utsuro fight was the best I’ve ever seen. This is truly an amazing send-off for this series. In every regard.

Sorachi’s motto must be no character left behind because once again someone who didn’t really do much in previous seasons (I don’t even think he spoke) has a sort of big moment in this movie. Hitsugi was just some mindless zombie who we were told was the third Crow in the Naraku when he was introduced and it was looking like that was still the case during his fight with Katsura. Which that fight was just amazing by the way. But it wasn’t as it appeared to be and it was interesting to see that he came to learn the pain and loneliness of being an immortal. Those same feelings are what Utsuro felt/feels so he takes it upon himself to try and end Utsuro. For such a minor character it was a cool way to add more to him while also moving the plot along.

The Odd Jobs reunion couldn’t have put a bigger smile on my face. Not only because Sadaharu eating Gin and him getting barfed up like 2 feet shorter had me dying. But because I love that group so much. I just watched Gin go through the motions of hiding from them and everyone he knew because he feared what they would think of his true intentions. I just watched Kagura and Shinpachi go through the emotions they went through from their personal journeys. So it was touching to see them all reunited after 2 years. That whole moment was beautiful in such a Gintama way. From the wholesomeness to the crude humor, to the hype fight scene.

Utsuro is so overpowered it’s crazy. I don’t think this series gets enough credit for its foreshadowing but him being able to control his immortal cells that are inside other people, in hindsight, there were a lot of clues for that being case for a while. Even in this movie when that’s revealed there’s it cuts to Shinsuke. It’s a lot more subtle than it sounds but it was pretty good foreshadowing in this movie as well.

If you would have told me back when Shinsuke made his first appearance that he would be one of my favorite and one of the most well-written characters ever. I don’t know if I would’ve believed you. Let alone if you were to tell me I’d shed some tears because of him multiple times. Shinsuke on the verge of death crawling towards Shoyo and pleading to him to come back was heartbreaking. Seeing such a deeply scarred man facing the person he holds dearest made the reveal that Utsuro had been hiding out in Shinsuke waiting for the moment to kill Shoyo very impactful.

That leads me to the highest peak that this amazing series has. Gin vs. Utsuro in Shinsukes body still has me at a loss for words. It’s hard to describe how great every facet of the fight was. The dialogue of Utsuro saying will Gin kill his friend to protect the master that he already killed to protect his friend before. Saying that he’ll be nothing but an empty void if he does. Gin saying that he’ll never be empty because what he has to protect will always be right with him. The complete lack of music made every word and every action the center of attention. The animation, goddamn was the animation gorgeous. The editing and complete mindfuck of a realization that Utsuro was never in control of Shinsuke. Everything that he’s been seeing is a false reality. Stabbing Shoyo never happened. Oboro helped Shinsuke take control and stab himself instead. All the blows he landed on Gin never happened, he’s been laying on the floor bleeding this whole time. And when he finally gets up and starts attacking, Gin doesn’t even have to move. Utsuro can’t land a blow because Shinsuke is protecting Gin. When Gin finally goes all out and starts attacking. The flashbacks of the various moments and fights he’s had with Utsuro, Shoyo, and Shinsuke being interweaved and aligning with the attacks that he does to Utusuro in real-time. The final one mirroring when Gin and Shinsuke sparred for the last time as kids. The pain in his face before he gets the resolve to deal that final blow was a beautiful cap off to the fight.

Gin holding Shinsuke in his arms and their talk got to me. I’ve loved all of their interactions whether it be antagonistic or as friends. Them talking on a boat as it goes down a river full of flower petals was beautiful. Gin saying how just as much as they fought he would’ve loved to drink with him the same amount. Shinsuke lamenting on how he was always chasing Gin. I can’t stop using the word beautiful in this review, but it just describes everything in this movie so perfectly. Their relationship is so complex and so well done, and now that I can look back on it as a whole it’s crazy how impactful it is. When Gin’s tears fell on Shinsukes pale face it hit me that Shinsuke is really one of the best-written characters I’ve ever seen and he is one of my favorites ever. His whole battle with himself and Gin when viewed as a whole is just so great. RIP to him, maybe.

It was sweet seeing Shinpachi and the rest help Shoyo. It was an interaction that I didn’t know I needed until it happened. And when everyone came together to shut down the gate it was awesome. Gin finally got to show Shoyo the people he cares about deeply now, his family. Something that he was devoid of before he met Shoyo and after he killed Shoyo. It was very heartwarming to see. As an audience, because we’ve seen so many episodes, years of Gintama we know he’ll never be alone again, he’ll never be an empty void again because he has a permanent family that will never leave him. Now Shoyo knows.

The third act of this movie is Tama seeing all of the events that happened after the battle with loads of fake narration and funny gags. Ultimately though, Odd Jobs is back to normal. After all, that’s happened and all they’ve been through the family is back together for good. Just saying that couldn’t make me happier.

I started watching Gintama in the fall of 2019. I loved it but for whatever reason, I put it on hold. Fast forward to May 2021 and I resume what’s been an amazing journey full of emotions over the past 4 months. Full of laughs, sadness, wholesomeness, and just overall greatness. More than anything I’m extremely happy that I got to watch this in its entirety. The shenanigans of the Odd Jobs and people of Edo are a must-watch and will forever stick with me. Gintama is beyond peak shounen. Gintama is the GOAT.

Gintama: The Final – 10/10


Notes – It’s rare for me to finish something so great and not feel a little empty. Post anime syndrome is very real lol. But man I feel so fulfilled right now. Of course, it would be great if Gintama continued but as it stands the conclusion wraps everything up so well and I got so much enjoyment from this series as a whole that it would just seem greedy to want more. Idk tho. But thank you to everyone who’s read my thoughts and ramblings about this show over the past 4 months and followed along on this journey. It was fun. Demon Slayer stuff next.


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