It is a good thing that I am familiar with the Gintama series. If you are too, prepare to be let down. I dislike recap movies to begin with, but this is one of the laziest recap movies I’ve ever seen. Gintama takes place in an alternate Edo-era Tokyo conquered by aliens, and one night, Kei was challenged to a duel on the bridge…on second thought, it’s exactly the same as the Benizakura-arc of the Gintama series. Based on Hideaki Sorachi’s bestselling comedy manga, technology has been shared with the people of Japan allowing space travel, giving them access to cars, mopeds, television and more. Sounds wacky, I know, but it actually plays out well.
Since 2003, Gintama has aired in Japan and has since surpassed over a 100 episodes. Needless to say, it is a big deal. I mean, it disgusts me how little effort was put in on such a stellar series. The few minutes of extra banter at the beginning and end do not make this movie worth watching. Unless you already have an interest in the characters, there is very little motivation here to revisit the world. The series Gin Tama was presented in 4:3 and character designs range from being detailed to being simple, depending on the scene. The movie has upgraded the visual and there is a good amount of detail on the backgrounds but if anything, the film is respectful towards the illustration and artwork of creator Hideaki Sorachi. But what can you expect when you have an anime film titled Gintama which is used as a pun on the word “Kintama” which means testicles.
Keep that notion in mind, because clearly, Gintama never pretends to be anything but a lighthearted comedy. Gin and his two associates take on any job to try and keep from being eternally penny-less and make fun of both Japanese and Western culture while doing so. Of course, if you are familiar with the series you would know all this and there are barely any added scenes which makes this film complete bunk material. It is only fair that I critique the film based on this aspect rather then the material. After all, that is what the film is trying to accomplish and set out to do. From a theatrical standpoint, the film gets some points for containing a good story with sold voice acting. The subtitles move pretty fast on the screen so it is pretty hard to take every thing in. If you can get the English audio versions, look for them first, even if you have to pay a little bit extra.
The fact that GinTama takes place during the Edo Period and humanity was beaten by aliens and now co-existing with them and sharing technology is quite unique. But it’s the characters that bring something different to the film. If anything, GinTama is a fun, hilarious and action packed series but it’s one of those series that is going to require your patience as someone thought it would be a bright idea to cram over 100 episodes into a filler movie. Seriously, I can’t get over the fact that the Benizakura arc ended 121 episodes ago- I mean talk about unoriginality! I just would rather have had a movie that was something new. I was hoping for a flashback movie that would show Gintoki, Katsura, and the others fighting the Amanto. All in all, this was a big dissappointment and only die hard fans of the series should check out this film.