You actually thought the staff members could handle two long arcs in a row? Dont overestimate them Kagura Episode 252 Gintama 51 Continuing on from the steady foundations of Gintama 2006 Gintama continues to grow from strength to strength. The longawaited shift to 16:9 enhances the series and there is a noticeable improvement in animation quality. However the silver soul of the series remains unaffected as the characters ruthless selfreferential comedy keeps the series from becoming too big for its boots. Gintamas greatest strength is again in its characters. Whether considered a main character or part of the supporting cast they all have their own eccentricities and unique viewpoints that make them stand out. It is nice to see a number of them being developed further in the longer arcs with the Kabukicho Four Devas Arc 9 13 and the Baragaki Arc 43 46 shining particularly brightly in how they deepen characters that are series mainstays. New additions to the cast are also spectacularly fleshed out in the short amount of time they have on screen making them feel like an integral part of Gintamas world. While some had been foreshadowed from earlier episodes others were introduced for the first time and yet it feels like they have always been there. A part of this success is from Gintamas using historical events and people as a loose frame from which these characters can grow. This is most noticeable with Sasaki Isaburo and Imai Nobume who leave a lasting impression and hint at the intriguing wider story taking place. Balancing the development of older characters with the introduction of newer characters especially in a cast as large as Gintamas can be a difficult thing to do but Gintama pulls it off easily. And it does all this without sacrificing its humour and selfdeprecating style. The plot and structure are also quintessentially Gintama blending comedy with action and drama in an addictive way that makes it difficult to stop watching. The ability to build a world so tangible with plot threads being carefully weaved into the fabric of the story that leaves you wanting more is on full display in this series. It is also a testament to the series writing as a small scattering of the wider world around its characters can generate such excitement. This is especially true of the series overarching antagonists whose appearances are well placed to keep them mysterious yet active enough to pose a danger. There are more episodes dedicated to the longer arcs allowing the story to develop in a familiar way while devoting more time to the action scenes. This is bolstered by the improvement in animation which is atmospheric but also conveys the comedy well. The standalone episodes are also well written with episodes 5 and 47 being particularly heavy hitters that continue to demonstrate Gintamas strength at telling short but beautifully emotional stories. There is an appreciation for these emotional moments that make the audience truly care about the cast especially those who we dont see all too often. The ability to draw out both the worst and the best of its characters but in painfully relatable ways is what makes Gintama stand out and the plots know to emphasise this element. Gintama is a perfect continuation of the series and if you love Gintama this will be one of the best shows you could watch. If you havent watched the first series then you should definitely try it out because Gintama is a standout comedy series that knows how to tell really good stories.