Title: Gintama Author: Sorachi Hideaki Release: Weekly Status: Ongoing Genre: Shonen, Sci-fi, Comedy, Slice of Life Art: B Originality: A Story: A Characters: S Humor: S Action: B
Impression: Just checked what this long running Jump series was about since I’ve seen enough sigs and mentions to know that it’s considered to be quite funny. It might seem odd but I’m not really into samurai themed manga even though I do Kendo so I kept away from this one for a while but I gave in when I was running out of things to read. The story’s set in a retraux feudal future where aliens called Amanto have settled down in Edo and our main characters live in this world’s version of the Kabuki-chou red light district as freelance workers.
That’s a pretty odd mix so I decided to stick with it after reading the ridiculously messy hodgepodge of a first chapter this series had and sat through what I can only describe as seven volumes worth of shit fit into the first five volumes of the series. Thankfully there was at least three volumes of good in there too so I went onto volume six. Things started to get better around that point with the author setting up the arcs and punch lines better and dropping just enough of the non-sequiturs and low brow humor for it actually be funny. He even manages to come up some incredibly hilarious stuff about every three volumes that literally sent me into fits of laughter. I am never going to forget the toilet sandpaper bit for the rest of my life.
The story on the other hand could stand to be more linear as I can’t really see where this is all heading towards to since the author keeps throwing in these arcs that could easily be mistaken as filler on the anime. That being said, the guy actually does come up with some good scenes when things get serious and by that I mean really good. The guy has a knack for spinning what seems to be an inconsequential joke chapter into full blown arcs with fleshed out antagonists to sympathize with and plotlines that somehow manage to blend silliness, intensity, emotions and manliness perfectly into solid stories.
To get to the point, I think this series is actually quite underrated compared to the big three and that it's style and length are quite the turn-offs for new readers. Check it out if you haven't as you'll probably come to like it. If you can't stand the style then just skip to whenever the Shinsengumi step onto the scene and prepare to laugh, that'll ease you into the series.