This review will once again be a general arc breakdown and a follow up to the first and second. Of course full spoilers in this review. If you want a nonspoiler review go read Gintama season 1s. 800 3 reviews in Im sure you get how this works. Ill start with a little touch up and dedicate most of the review to breaking down each arc. This one will be relatively short with only 13 episodes of content to cover but bear with me because this season was jam packed. It was an entourage of serious arc after serious arc which for some reason seemingly had a way increased budget from previous seasons. I dont have anything to note beyond this precursor so into the meat and bones we go Kintoki Arc 800 The Kintama arc has a pretty wacky premise I love it. Waking up to find yourself replaced by a superior version of you is genius and it leads to a lot of good drama. It ends up tackling some neat existential ideas like Should I even want to go back if theyre happier with the other me around. Of course the moral of the story here was that Gintokis dim luster made him him and no replacement would be apt. It was a predictable moral point for a Shounen but it was relatively impactful either way. It drives home the point of everyone being special and irreplaceable in their own way and also shows the bond Gintoki and the rest of the cast share. The other thematic strokes were good as well as all of Kintokis friends revolting against him exemplified the idea of true friendship being correcting each others path when they go astray. I thought the comedy was super solid as well making creative jokes off of the doppelgnger situation. Like Gintoki always finding a way to bash him in the head out of anger was hilarious and somehow unexpected almost every time. Not to mention the Tama and Sadaharu Yorozuya team was just neat to see. Also one cant forget the opening being solely Kintoki for the gag replacing Gintoki in the previous episodes with Kintoki. Of course the main attraction would be Kintoki himself I thought his character arc was sublime. He strived for his own ideal life of being a protagonist as he was created to be one and felt threatened by Gintoki coming back to replace him. This is a large part of why they sympathized with him in the end as he was created by them and had no say in his role in life. Also the idea of our main antagonist just wanting to be a harem protagonist is fucking hilarious. I also thought the structure of the plot was nice. There were several neat twists that were shocking to various degrees. They really strengthened Tamas relationship with Gintoki during this arc as well I really appreciated them showing the bolt hairpin Gintoki gave her. Though when she died and came back it just felt hollow. Character revivals are just generally not fun and it seems to be a recurring thing in Gintama. So in conclusion Kintama was an incredibly fun arc with a lot of things to offer even the ending was super satisfying. It was a blast all the way through and it got me hyped for later ones. Courtesan of a Nation Arc 800 Courtesan of a Nation was a very satisfying conclusion to the Yoshiwara trilogy and perhaps the best serious arc in the series up to this point. Theres a LOT of branching plot threads to cover though so I suppose Ill cover them individually. Maizo and Suzuran Suzuran the famous courtesan of Yoshiwara had a solid introduction. It grounded her character with some funny jokes and established her connection to Gintoki well. It also semisubtly began building up towards a phenomenal emotional payoff. I wish I could say the same for Maizo however. He wasnt bad in his introduction but the whole wanting to be stepped on by a child thing was strange and a bit off putting. I wasnt initially sure how his character would largely play into things but the reveal of him being Suzurans beloved was super well done. It helped paint the Shogun Sada Sada in a villainous light and established him as a threat on the levels of pettiness he would go into. The idea of Maizo suffering wanting to return to Suzuru under the moon was beautiful it naturally set up for a good emotional payoff when they met up. The actual meeting scene was done near perfectly as we see Suzuran finally achieve her wish on her deathbed. This was amplified by the idea that it just barely happened and some smart direction flashing them from the past to the present with the motif of Sakura petals. Also if you didnt know the lyrics of opening 13 tell their story which is the opening that plays over this arc obviously. This was probably the emotional point in Gintama and it was super well set up. Something about their love enduring over such a period of time is just special I understand if you dont find such a concept appealing but the direction and way its conveyed should be enough to get most invested. The Coup Detat As mentioned in my 4 Devas review Gintama is quickly turning into political warfare and its incredibly hype while being thematically poignant. The arc accentuates the idea of samurai being beings that live for their own ideals and how their lifestyle should be protected. We see samurai revolt against an entire governmental system for the sake of principles almost outlawing them as terrorists. Of course the Shogun comes in to usurp his predecessor as one of the most hype twists in the series. Not only was it unexpected but it perfectly played this comedic character into a serious arc and gave him a good bit of development. The Shogun has always been connected to his people and always cared about the citizens of Edo so it makes sense to have him resign from his position and want to leave the political power struggle believing he isnt worthy of ruling such samurai. On the other end of the spectrum its awesome to see opposing forces like the Mimawarigumi and the Shinsengumi band together for the sake of a common foe and the others to protect the samurai ideal. This also continues to build upon the world introducing and developing factions like the world leaders Tendoshu. Not to mention the political faction vying for control the Hitotsubashi. You can feel the political power struggles boiling up in the background and tell this is just the beginning. They even casually name dropped Nobunobu who Im sure will be important later. Then as a closing note Takasugis appearance politically assassinating Sada Sada once against drives in his relevance and potential threat. Oboro and Gintokis Past This plotline finally gives some reprieve to long and notsubtly foreshadowed events. The mystery of Gintokis past has been built up for 100s of episodes as we only get nibbles of bits of information as to what transpired back in the Joi War. Our built up intrigue is immediately peaked by linking Oboro to Gintoki in some way and the bits of his past that they reveal get you wanting more. Not to mention his seeming connection with Nobume sets up a new mystery to be satisfied. Then the actual fight with Oboro and Gintoki is beautifully animated and directed it has levity due to Gintoki willingly attempting to kill someone. We dont get much of their plot line here but what we do see is impactful and memorable. Miscellaneous For other things Id like to note I feel like Tsukuyo had her character developed well here. Hinowa directly pointed out her parallels to Gintoki and it really shows how shes been subtly influenced by him. On top of this I think the comedy was super strong. The cliffhanger ending of the Shogun getting knocked out by a can was super funny its an attestament to the Shoguns comedic power. Hes an important powerful political figure but he always ends up in the most unfortunate of situations. Of course this is sometimes subverted for comedic effect like in the pool episode but the idea generally remains and its on full display here. Id also like to note Princess Soyo and Kaguras relationship coming back into play was a nest touch and was totally unexpected. It felt like the political connections the crew had gained over the series had really paid off. If I had one complaint the political exposition was perhaps a bit too much for the pacing at certain times but thats minor. Beam Saber Arc 800 For sure the most troubling arc of season 3 I still really like Beam Saber in spite of its flaws. Though I would be remiss to not mention them. The most glaring thing for many people are in line with Renhos flaws the abundance of Star Wars references. Of course the references in themselves are not the issue but the way they are delivered is problematic. They constantly rely on using Star Wars jokes for humor with no backup punchline or subtly in play. Its a parody sure but its practically just saying laugh because of popular things. Which obviously is incredibly lazy writing. Though outside of this I found Hajime to be a fun and welldeveloped character. Even if the theme of laughing instead of crying is overdone and cliche it was poignant here due to the presentation towards the end. Had they not concluded Hajimes character arc by killing him which conversely teaches Otae and Shinpachi I would have been pissed. That truly would have been cliche Shounen. Hajimes struggle of wanting to see his childhood friends off for one last time selfishly is endearing and pretty sympathetic. Gintoki wanting to save him from his fate is perfectly fitting of his character as well as him making himself the villain for it. Everything fell properly in line for the characters action and its honestly rare to see such potent characterization. Shinpachis initial rage at Gintoki was heartbreaking as well and the same goes for Otaes solemn silence. In the end Hajime was an awesome character who taught us the importance of laughter as cliche as that may be. The comedy beats in this arc outside of the Star Wars stuff were super solid as well. Drawing on Otae forgetting her original goal as a character was genius and its the exact kind of smart and selfaware writing I expect from Gintama. Im so glad they addressed it instead of having it become an actual plot hole or major issue. The conclusion of them opening the dojo with Hajime credited as an eternal founder was incredibly sweet as well. Not to mention Otae and Shinpachi just moving on from his death learning to laugh and live from him. Super awesome stuff. Conclusion To finish off since I dont have enough to say for a whole section I though Sadaharus arc of growth in episode 266 was very sweet. Anyways Im wrapping it up on this note damn that exceeded my expectations. It was hype funny and emotional. Incredibly jam packed for a season and definitely the best one for now. So onto season 4 Also if you have any thoughts feel free to message me of course or hit me up on Discord. Next Review Gintama Season 4
85 /100
68 out of 77 users liked this review