In the world of manga and anime, there are very few that can come close to Gintama. It is perfectly balanced with humor and serious moments. As someone who got into the series because of a meme, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. The series is fantastic from start to end, and there are no moments that stand out for being dull. Often, Gintama gets lost among cult classics like Naruto, Dragon Ball, or One Piece, but it is every bit as worthy as the others to belong in the top 10 anime of all time. It was a sad day when the series ended with Gintama: The Final movie in 2021. But we can still watch 300+ episodes and accompanying movies online. Today, we will discuss ten of the best characters from Gintama.
It is no comparison on whether one is better than the other. This is simply a list of characters who made us laugh, cry, excited, or just emotional in general. Special thanks must be given to the manga creator Hideaki Sorachi for creating such deep, meaningful characters. I apologize in advance if any of your favorite characters got omitted. With that being said, let’s see who are the best characters from Gintama.
1. Shimura Shinpachi
Shinpachi is the resident straight-man and delivers constant reality checks to Gintoki and the other eccentric and crazy characters in the series. He is a Yorozuya (Odd Jobs) member and is a proud leader of idol Terakado Tsuu’s Fanclub. He is perhaps the most responsible member in the trio and often cleans up their office and takes care of everyone. Shinpachi also makes sure to train meticulously at his late father’s dojo and cares for his older sister Tae.
Shinpachi is often the butt of everyone’s jokes, and his entire personality is summarized to just a pair of glasses. But he grows to be a firm favorite with both the Yorozuya, as well as the Shinsengumi and other prominent characters in the series. A genuine and kind-hearted person, Shinpachi deserves to be on this list.
2. Kondo Isao
The former commander of the police force, known as the Shinsengumi, Kondo, has a stern expression and tall build. However, we soon see that he is deeply in love with Tae Shimura and stalks her constantly. Despite her constant rejections, he is often found at Tae and Shinpachi’s house, much to everyone’s disgust. His appearance has also earned him the nickname Gorilla. He gets angry when others use the nickname but uses it himself to identify himself.
But despite all this, he has a very kind personality and is soft most of the time. His men are fiercely loyal to him, and the Yorozuya also become good friends of his. He strongly believes in the ideals that formed the Shinsengumi and wanted it to be followed even after they disbanded. We get to see how much of a good leader and person Kondo is in the “Farewell, Shinsengumi” arc.
3. Tokugawa Shige Shige
Tokugawa Shige Shige, best known as Dai Shogun, was the 14th ruling Shogun in Edo. He was placed in power by the Tendoshu and used a puppet at the start, but Shige Shige soon took control and opposed them. This caused great civil unrest in the kingdom.
The Shogun was introduced early on in the series and was part of some of the funniest bits in the series. He often suffered great abuse and humiliation at the hands of the Yorozuya as they fumbled to protect him or make him have fun with the group. Shige Shige also liked blending in with the commoners and having fun, easily forgiving those who humiliated him.
His death was one of the saddest moments in the series. The corrupt officials concluded that Shige Shige, as well as the Shinsengumi, are the Amanto’s and Bakufu’s enemies. The “Shogun Assassination” arc is one of the best arcs in the series.
4. Hasegawa Taizou
Hasegawa Taizou was introduced in the 16th episode of the series. He is a government official when he gets introduced but loses his job due to the Yorozuya. He takes up a taxi driver’s role afterward, but Gintoki and the others show up once again to disrupt it. For the rest of the series, he is a homeless person sleeping on park benches. Kagura gives him the nickname MADAO, short for marude damena ossan (good-for-nothing old man).
He is shown in a hopeless and pathetic state for a major part of the series, and it makes for great comedy. But we see he is a kind and caring man who always looks out for others. Some episodes where Hasegawa looks out for small children in the neighborhood are real tear-jerkers. He is often seen with the Yorozuya and other characters.
Kagura is the third Yorozuya member and the main female protagonist in Gintama. She is a member of the powerful Yato tribe and is hence one of the strongest members in the show. She travels to earth after her mother’s death to start a new life. Her father, Umibouzu, and brother Kamui weren’t around at that time. In Gintoki, she finds a father who was rarely in her life. Kagura is naïve, aggressive, and honest to a fault. She also has a massive appetite, much to Gintoki and Otose’s distress.
She is often called unladylike as Gintoki’s influence made her crack dirty jokes, poke her nose, and get into violent fights. But at heart, she is still a young girl who wants people to care for her. She loves her Yorozuya family with all her heart, and when Abuto badly injured Shinpachi, she went into full Yato Mode and nearly destroyed him.
6. Katsura Kotaro
Katsura is a notorious Joui rebel and is a wanted fugitive. He was Gintoki’s friend since childhood and served together in the Great Joui War. Despite being a great warrior and criminal, Katsura often comes across as a complete moron. He is the one who forces Gintoki to play the straight man. But when serious situations arise, he is smart and sensible. Katsura brings in a lot of humor to the show and is a firm favorite with fans.
Terada Ayano, best known as Otose, is the owner of the Otose Snack House. She is also the landlady of Gintoki and runs her snack house below the Yorozuya. Due to Gintoki’s tardiness to pay rent, she often sends her associates, Tama or Catherine, to collect rent. She is one of the 4 Devas of Kabuki District. While she is introduced as the strict, no-nonsense landlady, Otose is the one who took in Gintoki after the war and gave him a new start in life. She also adopted Tama and Catherine as her own family and is kind and caring to every character, even though she scolds them all.
Tsukuyo, also known as the Courtesan of Death, is a skilled assassin and leader of the Hyakka, the all-female guardians of Yoshiwara. Formerly under the leadership of Housen, she is now a loyal aid and friend to Hinowa. She becomes a valuable ally to Gintoki and, despite their numerous disagreements, holds great respect for him. Tsukuyo is a major help in serious missions and also shows up in numerous comedic ones. It is hinted heavily that she holds romantic feelings for Gintoki.
9. Hijikata Toshiro
Hijikata is the Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi. Due to his extremely serious nature, he is known as the Demonic Vice-Commander. Both the Shinsengumi members and their enemies fear and respect him. He often ends up becoming the straight-man in the Shinsengumi trio since both Sougo and Kondo act as they please. To his dismay, he crosses paths with Gintoki numerous times and often shows no hesitation in arresting him. But the two soon grow to respect one another and become each other’s allies in battles against the Bakufu and other enemies.
10. Sakata Gintoki
The main protagonist of Gintama, Gintoki, is the founder and president of the Yorozuya and does odd jobs for the citizens of Edo. He is a highly-skilled samurai and a war veteran. During the war, he got the nickname Shiroyasha, meaning White Yaksha, a demon. But his personality is normally lazy, and his dumb expression and sweets addiction won’t give anyone an idea of his strength.
But as the story goes on, we see how good a person Gintoki is. He manages to lift the spirits of those who have hit rock bottom and fights alongside those who did him injustice in the past. Gintoki is a man with many painful memories, both from his childhood and the war, but he rarely talks about himself. He is imperfect like any of us but a good man all the same.
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