Hideaki Sorachi is responsible for the creation of the characters in the Gin Tama anime and manga. The story takes place in Edo, the “Land of the Samurai,” where aliens by the name of Amanto have invaded and established a peaceful coexistence with the locals. Despite the passage of time, many cutting-edge technologies and even spaceships make interstellar travel possible for humans. Despite the episodic nature of the show’s narrative, a few larger story arcs are explored and developed across multiple episodes.
At the beginning of the story, a bunch of Amanto is attacking a young guy named Shinpachi Shimura, but the samurai Gintoki Sakata comes to his rescue. Shinpachi is so impressed by Gintoki that he agrees to work as a freelancer for him, assisting him in his quest to earn enough money to cover his monthly rent. Also, they encounter Kagura, a young Amanto girl who is a member of the powerful Yato Clan.
The trio adopts the moniker “Yorozuya,” and in the course of their freelancing careers, they cross paths with Gintoki’s former companions from the Amanto invasion, including terrorist Kotaro Katsura and series antagonist Shinsuke Takasugi. Since Yorozuya’s works frequently include dangerous criminals, they also run across the police force Shinsengumi, who are usually on their side.
A lover of the historical Shinsengumi, Sorachi drew inspiration from them when crafting the series’ different characters. Other series characters are also inspired by real individuals. The series’ characters have also been included in video games and merchandising based on their looks. Different publications have had contrasting reactions to the characters, with some applauding the comic situations and others condemning the artwork utilized in the series.
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The series’ protagonist, Gintoki Sakata (, Sakata Gintoki), is a samurai in a time when warriors are obsolete. His naturally wavy hair and penchant for sugary treats have made him easily recognizable. Some of his misfortune, he believes, is due to his “perm” hairstyle.
Gintoki is currently paying the rent with Kagura and Shinpachi by doing odd jobs to benefit the planet and the economy. His silver hair and white combat coat earned him the nickname “White Devil” during the Joi war, and his fame and fearsome reputation as a swordsman made him a legend among his fellow soldiers and an inspiration to Amanto.
Shinpachi Shimura, a teenager who joins Gintoki’s freelancer business to study the samurai arts, is one of the show’s primary protagonists. He and his older sister, Tae Shimura, reside in their family’s dojo. When they were young, their father passed away, and the two siblings remained in the home. As a means to support himself and Gintoki, Shinpachi took a job in a restaurant, where he met the latter during a period of harassment at the hands of Amanto officials.
Gintoki assaults the Amanto authorities not to defend Shinpachi but to exact revenge for his ruined parfait. Since Shinpachi’s father left them with a huge debt, Gintoki tries to frame him for the crime. To make amends, Gintoki assists Shinpachi in saving his older sister Tae from a life of prostitution. Despite his frequent criticism of Gintoki’s slothful ways, Shinpachi comes to value Gintoki as much as Kagura does.
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In the same vein, Shinpachi often treats the fact that he is the show’s comedic relief like a badge of honor. Sorachi, writing from the point of view of the reader, admits that the protagonist is sometimes weak but is always willing to take decisive action when required.
The series follows Kagura, a female protagonist. Kagura is a young Amanto girl who denies the fact that she is a member of the Yato Clan, one of the strongest and most vicious of the Amanto species. She left the violent Yato culture to support her family on Earth. She took up fighting for a group of criminals, but when they sent her to eliminate her target, she ditched them.
When Gintoki and Shinpachi inadvertently knock her over with Gintoki’s scooter, she meets them for the first time. They helped her escape out from the gang, and she used that to blackmail Gintoki into giving her a job. Kagura and Gintoki have an unusual sibling relationship, and she often takes on his negative behaviors.
Kagura always has an umbrella on her because Yato’s “translucent” skin is very sensitive to sunlight. The Yato family uses parasols as a weapon as well; Kagura’s umbrella can shoot bullets from its hilt. Her Yato ancestry gives her superhuman strength and the ability to stop a speeding motorscooter with one hand.
She has trouble keeping her power under control, though, and has killed off most of her creatures (with the exception of Sadaharu). Kagura also has an abnormally big appetite, allowing her to eat huge amounts of food in a short amount of time. But her simplistic style is charming.
Sadaharu () is an inugami that was left on the side of the road and is later rescued by Kagura. Kagura chose the name “Kagura” for him in honor of her first pet. His previous owners, two Miko sisters, abandoned him when times got tough for them. Anything smaller than Sadaharu is fair game, even Gintoki’s and other people’s heads. Kagura, thanks to her incredible power, is seemingly the only one who can restrain him.
Even though he is fairly scary when Gintoki first gets him, he eventually becomes quite tame. In some cases, he will follow Gintoki’s orders, while he is of great assistance to the main protagonists in many others. Because of his massive size, Kagura and Gintoki frequently ride on his back. Kagura frequently refers to all of her deceased pets as Sadaharu. There are currently 27 Sadaharus in existence, and this one is number 27.
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