Gintama is well on it’s way to possibly stealing the spot of my ‘favorite anime of all time.’ The show really has everything I could ever want out of a show, but one of the most interesting aspects of the show is that most of the main characters directly reflect myself and everyone around me. Moreso than the simple awesomeness of the show, this helps me to relate with it on an incredibly deep level, which I’ll get into now.
1. Sakata Gintoki is me
Gintoki is, in every way, myself. He’s lazy, but he gets the job done. He’s an asshole, but he’s also a really great guy. He’s a mentor, but a child inside. On the surface, this lazy bum of a man who is unruly, unkempt, rude, and a bit of a jerk, should have no redeeming qualities. He has no goals in life and will lie and cheat (to children!) to get his way. However, somehow, people find themselves drawn to him. They even find themselves looking up to him! Why? Because when the time comes, he knows what to say or do. He can save the day and he can take control of everyone’s situation and bring the smiles back to their faces.
I could not describe myself any better than that as well. I’m an annoying, cheating, lazy, pushy asshole, and yet I have a group of extremely close friends who find themselves surrounding me, because when it comes down to it, I’m always there for them and always a great help. Also, I’m addicted to sweets and am probably going to develop diabetes at a young age, and spend most of my time reading Shounen Jump manga and living in some child fantasy world, LOL. Oh, and we both do extremely well with kids.
2. Shimura Shinpachi is my 16-year-old brother, Victo
Victo is a more humble and noble boy than myself. He is actually making an effort to live his high school life as ‘normally’ as possible, actively pursuing normal activities like having a girlfriend (one whom he moves VEEERY slowly and conventionally with). However, it’s really hard for him to be considered normal when he is surrounded by as many abnormal people as imaginable. This is the same as Shinpachi.
Victo is a very, very awkward and easily annoyed guy – people are constantly doing absolutely stupid things around him (especially me) and it’s his job to be caught in a state of perpetual tsukkomi and yell at us for being idiots, just like Shinpachi. Naturally, our weirdness wears off on him, though, and just as Shinpachi looks up to Gintoki, Victo looks up to me immensely and will literally follow me down any path I will travel. For all the foolishness I have, he can’t deny that he has learned everything he knows from me, and respects this fact.
3. Kagura is my 12-year-old brother, Shaidu
Kagura is a child, really. She’s immature, silly, naive, and violent. She follows Gintoki everywhere and mimics him to a tee. Not only does she take all of her lessons from him, but trusts him to always help her in the end. My youngest brother, Shaidu, is the exact same with me. Shaidu and I are incredibly close – we spend a lot of time with each other, to the point that I cold almost say that most of the time I am away from the computer, I am playing with Shaidu. And so it’s no surprise that I’ve completely and totally rubbed off on him.
Shaidu talks like me, acts like me, likes what I like, and spends all of his time around me. He’s become a huge anime fan because of me and probably has hair down to his ass because I do as well. But he’s a kid, still. He’s violent, bratty, totally rude, and aggressive, in all the same ways as Kagura. I think he’s as much her as Gintoki is myself, precisely because of their relationship with one another.
4. Sadaharu is my cat, Kilala
Pets are an easy comparison, though comparing a giant dog do a cat is a bit much. However, it’s totally valid. Kagura adores Sadaharu, but he’s continually shown that he really doesn’t give a damn about the yorozuya crew so long as they keep feeding him. He’s ultra-violent and mean, too. Kilala (yes, named after the cat from Inuyasha, we were young dammit) is a mean, asshole of a cat who murders anything that comes into site. We once watched her take down a blackbird in mid-flight. She’s easily a Sadaharu-level badass.
5. Hasegawa (Madaou) Taizou is my best friend, No Name
Hasegawa is probably a great guy. He has good intentions, he probably has some great skills and personality deep inside, but you won’t see it – because he is a madaou. He has no self-confidence or self-esteem and nothing ever, ever goes right for him. He pretty much finds himself lazing around, a jobless gambling bum, for whom lady luck will never smile. Meet No Name.
Okay, that’s a little unfair – No Name is an incredibly kind person with an endless wealth of knowledge, whom I do love, but he’d never see himself this way. He has no self-confidence and is a king among pessimists. I promise that he could do anything with his brilliance and kindness, but he is always so sure of bad things that they seem to rain down on him constantly. What a madaou.
6. Okita Sougo is my roommate and friend, Zerodyme
Sougo is a dickhead troll asshole motherfucker. He will always tease and attack and is never truly anyone’s ally – a real bastard. Even so, he’s completely lovable. He’s funny and cool, and in the end he never really causes any harm. After all, the shinsengumi keeps him around as one of their commanding officers, so they must see something in him. Zerodyme is easily as much of a troll as Sougo.
Once again, I’m not sure how fair this is just because Zerodyme is such a nice guy, but then again Sougo may be more kind than he lets on, as is hinted to once or twice. The biggest difference between Sougo and Zerodyme is that the latter is far more honest, but both of them are certainly trolls. And just as Sougo loves to torment the easily annoyed Hijikata, so does Zerodyme love to torment my easily annoyed friend whom is like Hijikata…
7. Hijikata Toushirou is Victo’s best friend, Brambo
Brambo is easily annoyed, especially by Zerodyme, and he is incredibly violent. He’s the type to get pissed off at a video game and break the controller. He loves physical activity a much as video games and is currently training very seriously to be an MMA fighter. What makes these two similar, though, is more in their sober element. While Brambo is violent, he is not an idiot, and he is usually very serious. He has an unclouded view and a clear goal ahead of him that he is reaching for. He has people he admires (especially myself, just as Hijikata somewhat admires Gintoki) and he can find a common ground most easily with these people.
Like Hijikata, he isn’t completely humorless in spite of the way he acts. Both of them play frequent tsukkomi, but aren’t unknown to boke territory either, and Brambo does love to laugh. His clumsiness can easily be compared to Hijikata’s love of mayonnaise.
8. Hattori Zenzou is my cousin, roommate, and best friend, Funeral
I thought it would be difficult to find a match for Funeral, but all I had to do was pull away from the central cast and Hattori Zenzou is perfect. When it comes down to it, Funeral is essentially and older, more sober version of myself. We share all of the same interests in opinions and as such can understand each-other to perfection. Luckily we have always been friends, because when we have even a small disagreement, it becomes exceedingly obvious that we would be terrible enemies. Gintoki and Zenzou were not so lucky.
These two guys are just alike – powerful warriors who are obsessed with Jump and have similar personalities, though Zenzou is a little more about image and has slightly different preferences than Gintoki. The two understand each-other so well that they can perfectly read each-other’s moves, even though they sadly ended up as enemies.
9. Shimura Tae is my Mom
It’s also hard to pick out a mother-figure in a show populated mostly by younger characters (literally all of whom have dead mothers), but it’s a little easier because my mom doesn’t act her age at all. She’s always acted just a little bit more like a (much) older sister to me than a mother, I suppose. So it’s natural the big sister character is my choice, and she’s got my mom’s personality down pat. Tae acts like a super-kind, responsible, and nice sister, but it’s a very thin veil for her hilariously violent and controlling personality. Not that this is entirely true for my mom.
What epitomizes the connection is that both Tae and my mom are the ‘untouchable’ character in our stories. Tae is always just a step ahead and above everyone else – no matter how cool or cunning they are, she is a bit more cool and cunning than them and always has the real control of the situation – meet my mom, the kind of mom who is so cool and fun and great that you miss the fact that she’s also NEVER WRONG and is secretly in control of everyone around her. Scary. Also, neither Tae nor my mom can cook.
10. Saigou Tokumori is my Dad
Okay, let me clarify, my dad would never crossdress (…sober). However, Saigou Tokumori is without doubt the epitome of a great father, willing to do anything in order to raise his son as well as possible and make sure that he has a loving family and a great life. That’s my dad as well – he gives everything of his life to raising his family and he will let nothing stand in the way. Similar to how Saigou became one of the figureheads that controls the Kabuki district, my dad is a well-known man who has a lot of leverage in this city.
I think the best way to compare them is in sheer physical stregth. Even though Saigou wants to mostly focus on raising his son wisely, he also has a hugely buff body so that he can have the sheer physical strength to protect and defeat anyone. Similarly, my dad is fucking diesel, and you just do not fuck with him, and especially do not fuck with anyone he’s trying to protect.
Anyway, yeah, Gintama is like my life in a nutshell. Everyone around me is insane… but I’m the worst of ’em all :p