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Original title: 銀魂
Alternative Titles: Silver Soul
Demographics: Shounen
Chapters at MH: 620
Releases at MH: 0
Publishing Status: Ongoing
Writer(s): SORACHI Hideaki
Artist(s): SORACHI Hideaki
Serialized in: Weekly Shounen Jump
Published by: Shueisha
Year: 2003
Official Site:
Popularity: 464 favorites
Translators: 28 (Click here to view)
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Score 4.7 of 5.0 - 300 votes

Summary and Preview

Sakata Gintoki is a samurai living in an era when samurais are no longer needed. To add to his troubles, oppressive aliens have moved in to invade. Gintoki lives with Kagura and Shinpachi, taking on odd jobs to make the world a better place...and to pay their rent.


Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-fi, Shounen, Supernatural

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Review by Bomber D Rufi
Really? No Gintama reviews? Well As long as no one minds that I'm a bit biased....(as a translator and a fan...)

The series itself follows three freelancers (Yorozuya) through their adventures and misadventures. However I think one can go on to say that the Gintama series itself is a freelancing manga. One moment it's a gag manga that'll have you tearing up with laughter, then it's a drama that'll just plain make you tear up. The action scenes are no slouch either, and it has pretty good art. (Some of those double takes are hilarious!) Gintama is great not because it's funny, but because it does several different genres WELL....in fact sometimes it does several different genres in one arc!

The characters are like a bunch of good friends. They annoy you with their stupidity, and want to hang out when you don't feel like it...but in the end they're always there when you need them. Although Gintama's character interactions seem to lean on being sadistic and cruel, can people truly say that they're always kind to each other? Gintama is people being people.

Of course when it's time for the gags to be put aside, Gintama can become just as much of a shounen action fest as any of the manga of it's ilk. Ambitions shouted, swords swinging blood flying and adrenaline pumping. Really it's because Gintama isn't like that every chapter, that when Sorachi does put it out there that we appreciate it more.

Gintama's slowly reaching it's 300'th chapter without showing any signs of slowing down. Even with 5 years under it's belt, it works because Sorachi knows just how much slice of life to mix in with the wild and crude sense of humor his world has. I won't say Gintama's the best manga ever, but I will state that it is a blueprint on how to entertain and enthrall without dragging on. Permalink " "
Review by Kaiten
That this isn't one of the most popular shonen is criminal. Shame on fandom. Shame.

Permalink " "
Review by kira_yaro
A great manga that should be freely available in every language (except for license), although it's displaced by other Jump shonen manga, this is a masterpiece. Don't resist and join Gintama'n'company. Permalink " "
Review by yorozuya_gurachan
Gotta be one of the best manga I've ever read. If no one minds I'm a little extreme, this has to be the greatest manga, especially if you can read the RAW manga. The characters are very well developed and altough they are fiction, you can feel closeness with characters because there are many aspects in this particular manga that we can learn from and apply in real life. You get a great laugh, thrill, tear, stupidity but really, it just amazes you all the time. Sorachi Hideaki, the author, has to be the one of the most clever minded person I have ever seen. Permalink " "
Review by sleeveless
Gintama... is about anything and everything. That being said, it's honestly one of the best manga out there. Permalink " "
Review by -Hanabi-
Probabl- No, definitely the best manga out there. Sure, it has flaws, but that's what make it so damn beautiful. Permalink " "
Review by StrangerAtaru
What can I say about Gintama...well maybe I'll start off with what not to expect. If you want a shonen with some snot-nosed brat with special powers becoming the most powerful being in the universe over time fighting bishonenous enemies and getting the greatest treatment where everyone bows down to him by the end...this shonen isn't for you. Nothing wrong with some of those things (though there are some things wrong with others), but Gintama isn't like this. On the other hand, if you want a weird comedy with lots of action and drama on the side, loveable but slightly strange characters, cute girls who act odd, bishonen who are violent, loud and love mayonaisse and "the meaning and purpose of life" (well maybe not that)...this series is for you!

Joking aside, Gintama is a throwback to a certain style of series you don't see too often in Jump. On Jump terms, the series is more closer in kin to series such as "Dr. Slump", "City Hunter" or "Hell Teacher Nube" than it is to "Dragon Ball", "Fist of the North Star" or "Rurouni Kenshin". (OK, Kenshin In some ways has similar time periods and a couple "shared concepts", but one is more a battle series and the other is...well, Gintama) it's more closer to a Sunday series in style in it's day-to-day and story-by-story construction where we get weird incidents but characters do grow, change and progress. (think something like Rumiko Takahashi at her best like "Urusei Yatsura" or early "Ranma 1/2")

But while I know it probably makes no sense to compare it to other series, standing on it's own Gintama is just unique as it is part of a certain style. It's style is in the day-to-day storylines, but it's uniqueness is how Hideaki Sorachi gets at what he does and does it so well. The main focus is on Gintoki Sakata, the freelance "samurai for hire" who will do anything to pay the rent alongside his tsukkomi sidekick and the "random loli but cute super-strong Chinese-styled alien girl". Gin has a lot of baggage in his life, spending time once fighting against aliens as they pulled a more extreme version of Commodore Perry in forcing Japan open and taking a futuristic way of life in the past. Many of the later arcs do seem to focus on both Gin's "hidden side" and the past that keeps coming back to haunt him. But these angsty and actiony bits are still the side-dish for an insane world where anything can happen in a futuristic version of Edo in the late 1800s. And when I mean anything, I mean things from stopping aliens to facing spirits both real and imaginary, from taking care of babies to taking out the trash, from facing biomechanical swords to fighting over food on a cold night, and from taking down an insane overlord of a prostitution district sealed away from the sunlight...to facing a possessed member of the local police force in an otaku showdown to be the protector of a cute but infamous pop star!

But it isn't just the bizarre scenarios that make Gintama. Most of Sorachi's humor comes from the dialogue, the interactions that occur between the three main characters and the world around them. Commentary tends to break the 4th wall often and make references to all sorts of facets of modern Japanese life in this ancient setting, with the futuristic past freeing Sorachi up to do what he wants with his tale. Many mature themes including sacrifice, protection and some of the standard Jump concepts are mentioned as well, but given a sardonic, slightly cynical feel with the optimism of the genre. And of course, the series is made by the large cast of characters, centering around the trio of freelancers but allowing them to interact with a variety of cast including a rebel who runs around with a guy in a penguin suit (that he thinks is his pet), a down-on-his luck former government agent who is always failing to find a job, a nearsighted ninja female obsessed in Gin doing "S&M games" with her (that he usually ignores) and the abusive big sister of the "loser lead". Of course the most popular of these recurring characters (and semi-stars as well) are the "Shinsengumi police force" of the era, who rival Gin's group and often interacts with them while having problems and strange situations of their own. Their members include a crazy lead who is obsessed with "the abusive big sister" and who is commonly mistaken for a gorilla, the freaky-eyed swordsman who has a strange mayonnaise obsession, and the sadistic cannon-weilder more notable for his fangirls as he is with a particular eyemask he wears when he sleeps.

I guess I could go on and on, but I'll end it with this: Gintama is a unique and fun series that isn't for everyone. But if you give it a chance...and just have a mind open to something a little more out there in your shonen with a bit of patience, you'll be greatly rewarded with probably one of the best Jump series of the decade! (maybe all time...but I don't want to go that far even if I'm obsessed) Permalink " "
Review by Abnormalabnormalty
Wow...looking at everyone's reviews, I think most of what can be said has been said, but I'm still going to give my two cents on my favourite series.

Well, I honestly cannot remember why in the world I started reading this series. Really. I think I randomly picked it up, but other than that, I had never heard of it from anyone before. Somehow, I hit the jackpot. Gintama is not like anything else. One could liken Gintama to the Getbackers; a bunch of broke freelancers. Then again, there are dramatic differences in styles. You could say Gin is like Onizuka from GTO too, but then again, not quite. The closest style you'd get to the humour would be from either Ranma 1/2 (though definitely less ecchi, and more crude, but just as, if not more, random) or Sket Dance (Then again, the mangaka was Sorachi's assistant)

Simply put, Gintama is completely different from anything before. There is no non-stop action like Bleach or One Piece, yet the fights are still awesome. There is no ecchi, yet it manages to trump anything like Ai Kora in terms of humour. It's ancient Japan, but with futuristic twists. It's an adventure that can go anywhere it wants, and gladly obliges to do so.

Sorachi's manga is a masterpiece, ranging from full awesome fights (Housen and Benizakura arcs), to pure humour, and even sweet moments that can bring a tear and smile (Chapter 172). For otakus, you'll find a million and one random references you can't help but laugh at as well. Is it as cool as other Shounen manga? Read the Jiraia arc. If that isn't cool, I don't know what is. For a plot that goes anywhere and everywhere, it still stays grounded to its basics, and to its characters, so fans never feel like their series has sold itself out, whilst being so fluid. For those who want to relax, many chapters are one-off stories that will busts your guts. For those who want a more mainstream story, the arcs included are awesome, some being really epic (Housen arc in particular), and the story does flow in a very good manner.

Yes, we get it. Sorachi isn't exactly a Tite Kubo, and though it isn't nearly as bad as Onidere, Gintama art is hard to appreciate. The characters are small at times, and the drawing style is crude and rough, but many times, the very art style brings out the humour of the characters (especially when doing a Tsukkomi). Besides, Gintama is extremely dialogue based as well. Many chapters are humourous one-off stories, and so, most of the time, you'll be rolling around laughing at the dialogue. That aside, the character interactions are wonderfully crafted, giving the manga a great edge.

Lastly, the best part of the manga are the characters. They are unique and over the top, creative and outrageously funny. A lazy, sugar loving samurai, a rude and crude, overeating chinese-like alien girl, the lame tsukkomi-otaku sidekick, a stalking "gorilla" in charge of the police (Shinsengumi) including a mayo-loving demonic vice-cap and a sadistic first squad leader, a cute but extremely violent sister, a giant dog, a completely random terrorist, a useless old man, a giant penguin-thing, a one-eyed female samurai, a masochistic stalker ninja...and more as well. The characters are fresh, funny, yet somehow cool and loveable. And the best thing is the chemistry between the characters, something manga like Soul Eater never really achieved. There is a sense of constant Manzai amongst the characters, each taking turns to boke and tsukkomi each other. Even though they are sadistic and mean to each other, you also know that they really love each other as friends, and this is often a basis for many stories. Each of them brings out the best and worst in each other, and make this manga truly a must-read

Aside from this, there are many deeper themes in the story, like prostitution for example, whilst keeping loyal to the basic jump principles. All-in-all, it may not be everyone's favourite, and is often underated and in the shadow of other jump series like Naruto, but to me, this is the best of them all, and if you aren't already reading it, then your wasting your time waiting. Your on mangahelpers already, just click the link and enjoy yourself. Permalink " "
Review by tonyyao82
Where to start about Gintama? It's probably one of the best mangas I have read. It's very episodic, but that's what makes the series so good. Gintama pokes fun at an overwhelming number of topics. The characters are awesome and their interactions with one another are priceless.
The series is just basically about three freelancers living together and working a variety of odd jobs to pay their rent, which usually goes unpaid. The main character, Gintoki Sakata, is probably one of the more unique JUMP protagonists in quite some time. He's pretty crude, cranky, & lazy, but makes up for that with his fighting skills and dedication to protect the people he cares about.
Overall, it's a very underappreciated series. GO READ IT NOW! Permalink " "
Review by Pro-Millenium
gintama is one of the best mangas i ever read!, why is not very popular in here? XD Permalink " "
Review by al-chan
when my friend recommended this for me and I went to check it out, all i saw was "samurai" and "amanto"(aliens). personally, i am not the type of person who's interested in samurais and whatnot, thankfully I was bored throughout the winter break. The first few chapters of gintama were..slow and weird imo. I didn't hate it but i didnt love it either.

by the end of the winter break, I was addicted to it. to this day, i am still obsessed, i watched every anime episode and never miss a single chapter. why?
read the reviews above, everything was mentioned. its funny, its awesome, the characters are great and sorachi-sensei's a genius. i really admire the author/gorilla(XD) because he can make something so stupid and turn it into something epic. Heck, there was a whole chapter and episode about running out of toilet paper. it was PURE GENIUS.

what Im saying is that never judge a book by its cover. I did and almost stopped, fortunately my friend persuaded me to keep reading/watching. If you're the type of person who's not particularly interested in samurais or aliens, you dont have to be. Its fun, its awesome and epic all in one story Permalink " "
Review by Cococrash11
Its pretty intersting when you read the first 5-10 chapters. Permalink " "
Review by witchofwisps
I will say what some of the other reviewers were too hesitant to say: Gintama is, in fact, THE GREATEST MANGA SERIES EVER. IT IS ACTUALLY PERFECT AND I SINCERELY BELIEVE THAT. Well, it is to me. It appeals to my own personal tastes completely and beautifully. But I still believe that those who give Gintama a chance will not be disappointed and will definitely be completely enamored and addicted to this amazing, charming and hilarious manga. All one needs to do is read the glowing reviews above to know why. For all of those reasons cited by the above reviews and more, I would recommend Gintama to everyone.

I started reading this manga after I saw the character Gintoki in my Jump Ultimate Stars game and his moveset piqued my interest. He was so strange and random and the names of his moves floored me so I had to check out his manga. Sure enough I was immediately drawn in by this masterpiece.

Gintama is first and foremost a comedy and it does this impeccably but as was stated before, Gintama is a manga where there is no fixed genre or limitations to the plot. Yet it never feels like it is being dragged out or repetitive. Each chapter demonstrates Sorachi's (dare I say ingenious? Yes I do.) flair for innovation, genre-deconstruction and story-telling. His manga can glean genuine and powerful reactions from the audience. There are chapters that have made me cry and others that have me breathless with laughter or on the edge of my seat with suspense. The reviews above try to compare Gintama to other manga but even they admit it is a loose association because there really is nothing like it out there. The best comparison I could make for Gintama would be not with a manga but a western cartoon, Futurama and even then it's not a perfect fit. The same open plots and multiple genres, strange and lovable cast of characters, the ingenious re-interpretations and parodies, the mix of low-brow and high-brow humour to please all audiences and a world in which the writer could potentially do anything they want without any temporal or cultural limitations. In that sense they are similar but Gintama has its own particular brand of strangeness and genius that is unique to the series.

Gintama is also amazing for its female characters. They are not automatically designated straight-men, they don't all have giant breasts, they engage is as much slapstick, perversion, philosophy and fighting as the guys, they have their moments of awesome and the male characters tend to appreciate and admire their strength and maturity (like the way Hanzou and Gintoki felt towards Tsukiko in the Jiraia arc) and they aren't afraid to live their own lives and have fun. These girls are just as intelligent, snarky, crude, violent, capable, charming and powerful as the guys. No one in this manga is characterized entirely by their gender, they still own their genders (because there's nothing wrong with it) but it isn't ALL they are (<-a trap that unfortunately plagues many shonen mangas). All of the characters have deep and powerful motivations, a great deal of depth and very full personalities. Each character has their own special brand of likability. The relationship between the heroine Kagura and the main character Gintoki is a great indication. There are no two-dimensional characters in this series and every character, including the females, are very unique. They all remind me of my friends and I in that they feel like real people.

Frankly ALL of the characters in this manga are amazing and lovable. Sorachi managed to create a cast that is both charming and charismatic and these things hit you gradually. You'll find them wacky, likeable and strange at first and then their charisma hits you and love sets in. It is that charm and charisma that can make these characters desirable no matter what embarrassing thing they do or what they look like. They aren't flawless, and no one is safe from embarrassment and human folly in this series and that's what makes them actually perfect. They are organic and authentic so the love you feel for them feels deeper and more sincere. Their moments of genuine triumph and awesomeness strike deeper because it is juxtaposed with their funnier moments. You also get a sense that their love for each other is deeper and more subtly expressed which is beautifully reflected in mature real life relationships. Incidentally, one of the things I love about this series is that most of the cast is in their adulthood and it is probably because I am also in that age group that I really relate to the characters. It also makes it so that these characters (with the exception of the few teenagers in this series) deal with mature matters and relationships with a great deal less flailing than most manga out there. They're wonderfully refreshing.

Sorachi is also a master of breaking the fourth-wall and the characters are incredibly self-aware. This series is rife with genre-deconstruction and snappy dialogue. The strange dimensions with which the characters view the simplest things are truly mind-boggling and make for very epic chapters. This manga is not afraid to play with and test the limits of its form and the anime does a great job of this as well. It is a series where a disgruntled character can leap from her panel and kill the manga-ka setting off chaos and an art and mood shift in the process. Some have complained about the art but I actually enjoy this style. It's expressive and the characters use their personalities to pull you in rather than giant bishi-eyes. Their appearances are wonderfully unique without being over-the-top and their signature sense of style is actually indicative of who they are. I also notice that there is never a wasted panel in this series and each chapter feels full and satisfying. This is not to say that the characters aren't attractive but it's not in-your-face about it. The art is dynamic and beautiful.

Honestly I could keep going forever about why this series is so amazing and perfect. I'm not even satisfied that I have managed to capture the beauty of this series with this review (I could say so much more, and I could have said it all better). But I'll end it here because if you read the manga, you'll see what I mean. You won't even need this review to tell you all the amazing things that this series has and this review (though it's more of a pure, helpless adulation because that is all I have for this series) is long enough. I hope that with the manga approaching it's 10th year (I hope it's granted an infinite run, it could handle it, it's just that sort of series), and with a new movie written by Sorachi himself in the works, this manga will gain the long overdue prestige and popularity it completely deserves. Certainly the giant/popular names in jump can stand to make room for Gintama which is, to me, their superior.

So for all these reasons and those reasons given from the glowing reviews above mine, I whole-heartedly recommend Gintama. You won't be disappointed. It's an absolutely entertaining, funny, charming and superb manga that will have you totally hooked! It is also THE greatest and most perfect series ever (to me anyways and hopefully to you as well). Permalink " "

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