This review will be directly tied to my Gintama season 1 review so make sure you read that before reading this. Considering Ive already covered all of the bases for Gintama Ill just go over them in my overview here and then write about characters and episodes I like. Img800https://tiny.io/i/dTNl8Mo.jpeg Overview Gintama Season 2 is more Gintama to put it simply. A refined Gintama but more of it nonetheless. They removed the persistent nagging flaws of the more awful episodes and generally created a more rounded show with the second season. Bar some arcs that had major issues this was far neater as a product Ill get into short specifics as to why. On an animation note I feel like leaving the 3:4 aspect ratio was almost symbolic for the quality shooting up. I just noticed far less animation errors and weird frames in the second season making the original style lose a little charm but certainly being a welcome change. As for the comedy I feel like the formula was perfected here. They did everything season 1 did but better and cut the fluff. Everything felt super concise bar a bit of filler that was just there and I had some of the greatest laughs from the series so far in this season. Ill go into specific examples to prove my point later. Though one thing I felt was very unique to season 2 is the 4 Devas arc. Never has the series had a moment with such political development and Im incredibly excited for more as Im sure well get in later seasons. The culmination of 200 episodes subtly building Kabukicho made for a satisfying political struggle. It almost felt like a playground for Sorachi to test the water before he enters the serious worldwide political struggles. With that in mind lets get into the specifics 4 Devas Arc 800https://tiny.io/i/9mdOoH6.jpeg 4 Devas was interesting for me. We get immediately introduced into the arc with a comedy episode following a girl named Pirako who seems to be a murderous psychopath out for revenge. The episode is pretty fun as several stupid antics ensue but we can feel a storm brewing in the background the entire time. There is unrest in the town of Kabukicho and soon itll boil over into war. Which is exactly as you would guess what happens. Now perhaps the most initially impressive thing about this stretch of the story is the payoff to 200 episodes of subtle political worldbuilding coming to fruition. Ive already talked about this before but I cant press enough how fun it was to see the 4 Devas of Kabukicho in action. Now before moving onto plot lines and their messages its time to cover the biggest folly of this arc tonal whiplash and Otoses death. We see Otose get brutally murdered by Jirocho Gintoki blooming into a furious rage in response this hits hard not only to lose a lovable character like Otose but to see our main character lose his goofy demeanor and devolve into a monster. More appropriately a devil I suppose. The scene that proceeds this literally shows all of the main cast mourning over her as she dies in the hospital bedroom creating a somber scene and an incredibly serious tone. However this is trampled upon by the revival of Otose leading to a far more comedic escapade than what was initially set up. So while I dont think what they ended up doing was bad it was tonally jarring to go from mourning and revenge to laughing and friendship. As a side note Otose literally comes back as an old woman who has been hospitalized and somehow fights. Getting into the things I found more impressive about the arc lets get into the character of Jirocho. Jirochos mystery was well set up as we try to understand his motivations for what he does and the conclusion is very understandable and satisfying. The idea of taking responsibility for a broken promise and Jirocho filling the role of diseased friend was great. He wanted to protect the people he loved and in this we see a lot of parallels to Gintoki. This is well set by some of the framing forcing them to fight against the Harusame in a parallel position really driving the idea home. Their philosophies are similar but they just go about things differently. This sets up Jirocho to feel like an older Gintoki naturally making us sympathize and rationalize with him. Finally his character conclusion is very sweet. Making up with Otose was good to see Pirako finally getting the family she so longed for was heartwarming. A great ending to a great character. The other major thematic point of 4 Devas would be the unification of Kabukicho. We see the concept of the entire town banding together to mourn the death of a dear friend creating an inspiring moment of the cliche but still potent idea of doing good will always come back to you. The people the Odd Jobs helped paid back the favor and got over their differences in an attempt to save the friends and town they love I think it was nice to see. My only complaints would be them reviving Otose for this reason and some cliche dialogue. I feel like this arc would benefit from giving weight and levity to Kabukichos battle having the characters genuinely fight for a lost friend. It wouldnt really thematically detract from the arc either considering the unification could still be pulled off. So in summary 4 Devas was a great installment in the series despite its flaws I cant wait for later serious arcs. Renho Arc 800https://tiny.io/i/nFoo4V5.png The Renho arc is in a weird position that isnt quite serious nor quite comedic but most cement it as comedic due to the ending. I dont know if I particularly agree with this notion but I suppose it doesnt really matter. The arc had an awful start as they introduced our female lead for Renho Fumiko. They drove sex joke and her being a slut super hard which just didnt work. The jokes were simple uninspired and just mood killers. Then on top of this they introduce the Elizabeth clan of Renho to be a Star Wars ripoff which was fun but got a little too much focus as a joke. I think the reference was subtle and cleverly implemented enough to not detract from the story but the episodes already lacked jokes in the first place and relying on references made it feel cheap. The things that ensued were of relative fun though. The concept of a society of Elizabeths is hilarious its only made better by them just eating SNES cartridges. Antics like the game of Uno were used to great comedic effect while also serving the dual purpose of furthering emotional beats reflecting upon the times Katsura and Elizabeth played Uno together. I also loved how we got to see Sakamotos peaceful philosophy of trade and business his philosophy of looking into the future come into play. As for the ending Fumikos orgasmic conclusion was a bit strange but not that bad all in all. The villain being the planet was a decent twist and the battle was fun. Though as you likely know that is not the true ending. The after credits scene unveils the fact that the entire goodbye Elizabeth sequence was focusing on Monday Elizabeth a tempElizabeth that filled in for normal Elizabeth upon Elizabeths Monday absences. Fucking genius. Scandal Arc Img800https://tiny.io/i/MeSzqWN.png Perhaps one of the funniest arcs in Gintama the Scandal arc has a genius premise. Gintoki wakes up after a party with a huge hangover forgetting the events of last night only to find out he supposedly laid all of his friends even Madao whos male. The natural conclusion is to date every single one of them to take responsibility living in the same apartment rows with each one of them attempting to balance their daily schedules. As a parody of ecchi this is funny as fuck its one of the best concepts Ive ever heard for an arc. It ended up delivering upon the idea as well. The gags that ensued were absurd and surreal as we Gintoki gets into a moral dilemma attempting to live with everyone culminating into a chaotic ending that I smiled all the way through. The ending twists were well set up and hilarious even if I predicted both it being a prank and the Madao one being real. I dont have much to say and its not as clever or smartly written as Popularity Poll but god damn this was funny as hell. Thorny Arc 800https://tiny.io/i/Vbpl1Pf.png Thorny was a fun serious arc focusing on the Shinsengumi that I dont have too much to get into but would like to note on. To start Tetsu was super cool. He has a funny introduction and his arc of completely changing himself bottomup was neat. It was simple but well conveyed and makes Tetsu a grounded and somewhat inspiring character. The rapping thing was fun as well especially when put with a serious character like Hijikata. Good chemistry it got better when they made parallels with them both being Thorny. The whole thorny thing was a fun gimmick and it led to some epic dialogue lines like pushing through the thorns or being a thorn in ones side lmfao. Kinda cheesy but it was used to effect in the show. Hijikatas backstory on being thorny was fine. It led to a nice simple conclusion that was pretty wholesome. I dont know how to feel about Tetsus conclusion in comparison to Hijikata for this arc though. He was basically just forced to move on lmfao. His brother wanted him dead that was never resolved and I guess it couldnt have been. It was just ironic looking at how Hijikatas brothers wife was talking about the bond of family. I guess one can take Tetsu finding a place and family in the Shinsengumi as he tries to change as the replacement and put Hijikata in the role of his true older brother character guiding him along life but hes irrelevant after Thorny so Ive heard which is just a bruh moment Isaburo himself was alright. He was a typical elitist villain with a good contrast to the more rougharoundtheedges Shinsengumi squad. He didnt learn anything this arc aside from the formidability of the Shinsengumi though. I hope we see him blossom with an arc of his own later as Im sure he has potential. Nobume was cool as well I liked her dialogue and relationship with Sogo. She was interesting and entertaining on screen if not a little ridiculous with cutting up buildings and whatnot. Thats hardly an issue considering the world establishes people can be that powerful beforehand. What I did feel like was a bit of an issue was the goofiness of the serious scenes in the arc. For example Hijikata got shot 56 fucking times and stabbed through like twice and then went through an entire fight scene and battle unhindered. He moved perfectly fine no adrenaline would not biologically allow that. Then he conveniently collapsed after the arc was done lmfao. I wish they would have pushed a bit more into the idea of it being an ideological motivation keeping him up but nah. Also the arc is so cliche it almost looks like a parody lmao. I mean cliche with the action like I just described. Then there was the joke with Hijikata eating from his hotdog while the helicopter crashed behind him which is what made me want to note this. I dont know it just lacks selfawareness for a Gintama arc. It would have been so much nicer had they called out some of the bullshit. As a closing note I loved the color palette having overtones of red for part of this arc it set atmosphere super well. Episode 248 800https://tiny.io/i/qeqd48b.png Id like to briefly go over this considering its my favorite episode and general part of season 2. Its not quite as good as 188 from S1 but its in a similar vein and is honestly phenomenal. It uses Madao trying to remember the answers to questions on a gameshow to bring up Madaos lost memories which all connect to tell a coherent story. This is an incredibly funny creative and effective way of conveying a story and god damn do I have to give Sorachi props for coming up with this shit. Of course also similar to 188 the story is surprisingly emotional and relies on dark humor for a lot of the comedic beats. As to which its almost hilarious. Of course the ending lets us see Madaos samurai soul shine through as he wins the game show and forks the money that could save him to a family in need making for a initially inspiring and emotional moment that quickly turns into laughter as they reveal that the debt the family needed to get out of tripled that of the prize money. It was seriously one of the most effective uses of 20 minutes Ive ever seen I look forward to episodes similar to this. Jugem Jugem Arc 800https://tiny.io/i/cps1Kzh.jpeg For sure the most disappointing arc of the season the jokes here were incredibly redundant and uninspired. While it wasnt horrible they often relied on saying JugemJugem Shit Throwing Machine Shinchans Day Before Yesterday Underwear Shinpachis Life Balmunk Fezarion Isaac Schneider One Thirds Pure Feeling Two Thirds WorriedOverAHangnail Feeling Though Betrayal Knows My Name Or Does It? I Know The Unknown The Cuttlefish Tastes Kind Of Different Than It Did Last Time Because It Was Caught Near The Pond And Served With Oil From A Hoofed Mammal Pepepepepe Pepepepepe Runny Diarrhea. as a punchline with slightly different variations on the name. They even made a rendition of the joke into a song. Overall it just felt like Family Guy repeating the same phrase for a few minutes level humor. It was lazy and repetitive even if they introduced some funny jokes occasionally like when Madao started slinging shit. This arc seems to just have bloat and pacing issues in general Its even reflected in jokes like the Isaac Schneider segment. The arc wasnt awful but its a huge let down compared to the rest of season 2. Also yes I included the full name to get my point across you probably skipped over reading it. Conclusion 800https://tiny.io/i/cUYLyT4.png Before I wrap this up I should clarify I didnt cover everything I loved just what I thought needed a writeup. In fact I didnt even talk about the second best episode of the season the Hedoro bath episode. Its not a big deal though and if you have any thoughts or questions hit me up. Gintama season 2 was Gintama season 1 minus the rough edges I loved it. Cant wait to take the plunge into later seasons and I suppose Ill sign out.