Characters: Gintama Bakufu
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The Bakufu is the government of Japan, which is led by the Tokugawa Shogunate, though it is in reality controlled by a council of Amanto called the Tendoshu
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Also known as the Great General, he is the ruling Shogun of Edo in the Gintama
world. He is a close friend of Matsudaira
- Butt Monkey: It's amazing how a man who could order to execute any person he wish can achieve such big levels of humiliation and pain in just a few seconds/a few panels after his appearence. It's a record even for Gintama standards!
- Covert Pervert: Gets a nosebleed at the prospect of seeing the girls naked at the pool.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite not being shown fighting, he's very honorable and would sacrifice his own position in order to make justice. Then he turns fully badass when it's revealed he's received ninja training.
- Go Out with a Smile: On his own unknowing sister's lap even.
- Historical-Domain Character: His historical counterpart is Tokugawa Iemochi, who was Shogun during the Bakumatsu period.
- I Just Want to Have Friends / I Just Want to Be Normal: The main reason behind his appearances, as he tries to experience the life of a normal citizen. It always ends up badly for him.
- Kneel Before Frodo: Bows down to Kagura and Shinpachi and thanks them for helping save his retainer and father figure, Maizo.
- Naked People Are Funny: Almost constantly ends up naked. Always funny.
- Nerves of Steel: No matter what happens to him, he never loses his cool.
- Nice Guy
- Our Shoguns Are Different
- Phrase Catcher: Gintoki will often say "Shogun ka yo...!" ("It's the shogun..!") when he shows up.
- Puppet King: For his uncle Sadasada, who still ran the show behind the scenes, and the Tendoshu.
- The Quiet One
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He may be a Puppet King, but he has the best interests of his people in mind and tries to improve their lives to the best of his ability.
- Running Gag: Him getting naked.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Surprisingly heroic during the Courtesan of a Nation arc, getting the entire police force to overthrow Sadasada and then defies the Tendoshu's orders.
- The Stoic
- Teeny Weenie: Mentioned in his first episode after he strips off all his clothes.
- The Wise Prince
Princess Soyo Tokugawa
Shigeshige's little sister. She occasionally sneaks out of the palace because of boredom and loneliness. She met Kagura at one time and they have been good friends ever since.
Shigeshige's uncle and predecessor as Shogun. Despite having retired, he secretly controls the government from behind the scene. He made use of Suzuran's popularity, at the time Yoshiwara's highest ranking courtesan, prior to and during his reign to trap and assassinate his political rivals. He's also the one responsible for having cut off her lover Maizo's arm.
- Arc Villain: Of the Courtesan of a Nation Arc.
- Asshole Victim: He gets assassinated by Takasugi in prison.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: The loss of Gintoki's sensei, for him, was a traumatic experience implied to be the very reason he joined the war. For Sadasada, it was just one worm more crushed in his way to power, to the point he can't even remember his name.
- Chekhov's Gunman: First appeared in flashback in the Red Spider Arc as Jiraia's original prey before he made his actual appearance in the Courtesan of a Nation arc.
- Corrupt Politician
- Establishing Character Moment: When Tsukuyo confronts him about reuniting with Suzuran again, were those tears from his face due to him not seeing her in a long time? No. That was actually drool from the memories of her hands stained in blood by his corrupt takeover as Shogun and wanting to suck them again. From that point on, we look into his history and what had his actions resulted in the past that made him the most evil villain in the series to date.
- Evil Gloating: Constantly, when Gintoki and his friends come looking for Maizo.
- Evil Is Petty: Really? You're going to have Suzuran killed just to prevent Maizo from meeting with Suzuran again, for no other reason than to get the last laugh after being ousted from your position?
- Evil Old Folks
- Evil Prince: In the past, having ascended to the position of Shogun by murdering his rivals to the position.
- Evil Uncle: Of Soyo and Shigeshige.
- Fat Bastard
- Faux Affably Evil
- Humiliation Conga: Gets ousted from his position, pinned to a wall by his arms and crotch by Tsukuyo, accidently beaten up and poisoned by Oboro, before getting arrested and then murdered by Takasugi in prison. He had it all coming.
- It's All About Me
- I Was Quite a Looker: He looked much like a meaner Shigeshige in his youth, though his eyes were shadowed.
- Jerkass: Cruel and sadistic. Even Takasugi isn't as assholish as he is.
- Karmic Death: As pointed out by Okita. He built up his power base and attained his position through assassination and was ultimately assassinated in prison. The assassin, Takasugi, was even one of Shoyo's students to boot.
- Kick the Dog: Several.
- He cut off Maizo's left arm and prevented him from meeting with Suzuran forever. He later has his other arm cut off as well when he learns Suzuran is alive.
- He mocks Shouyo Yoshida's way of life and sacrifice right in front of Gintoki.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The Courtesan of a Nation Arc is basically a long overdue string of these happening to him. Cutting off Maizo's arm for disloyalty and preventing him to meet with Suzuran again? Gintoki and his friends' attempt to reunite the two lead to him being ousted from his position. Proclaiming his intent to have the Naraku take over Yoshiwara and kill Suzuran just to spite them? Tsukuyo, the law in Yoshiwara, pins him to a wall with kunai by his arms and a pointy staff between his legs. Ordering Shoyo's arrest and execution for very vague and minor reasons? Takasugi, one of Shoyo's students, murders him in his prison cell.
- Man Behind the Man: At least he thought so...
- Non-Action Big Bad: Never fights physically.
- Smug Snake
- Villainous Breakdown: When all his plans fall apart.
- Villain with Good Publicity: As the former shogun he still has a lot of power.
Member of the Hitotsubashi branch of the Tokugawa Clan and their candidate for the position of Shogun. His claim is supported by high-ranking members of the Bakufu called the Hitotsubashi faction. By the time of his actual appearance, he has pretty much been confirmed for next in line for the position.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears a rather cool long coat.
- Big Bad Wannabe: When it comes to his alliance with Takasugi, he seems to consider himself equal if not superior to him, but in reality he's just being used by Takasugi.
- Subverted, he ends up betraying Takasugi and his allies thanks to the Tendoshuu helping him become Shogun.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Blond and a ruthless villain.
- Establishing Character Moment: Makes his actual appearance by ruthlessly decapitating Yaemon with one clean stroke before calmly talking with Takasugi about how he intends to become the country's executioner.
- Historical-Domain Character: He's based on Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last Shogun.
- Knight Templar: Like Takasugi, he believes the country to be corrupt and beyond repair, and has similar intentions of destroying. However, his vision seems to entail rebuilding the country by his ideal.
- Puppet King: Takasugi plans to install him as one. Unfortunately for him, he becomes the Tendoshuu's puppet instead and he doesn't regret it!
- Smug Snake: Arrogant and very confident in his own plans, but in reality he's just a tool for Takasugi to take down the Bakufu. He turns out to be even worse after he betrays the Kiheitai to the Tendoshu.
- The Stoic: Calm, reserved and stone-faced.
- Not So Stoic: As the new Shogun, he angrily demands everyone who goes against him or insulted him (Like Kamui accidentally punching his face in) to be executed. To be fair, he did get punched hard by a Yato which critically injured him so of course he'll wake up in rage.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: He orders Kondo and Matsudaira to be sentenced to decapitation for Shige Shige's death, when it is obvious that the Tendoshuu had a part in it
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like Takasugi, he intends to completely destroy the country, but only so that he can rebuild it into a stronger and better nation. Subverted, when offered the position of Shogun by the Tendoshu, he completely betrays his "allies" and their plans.
- You Have Failed Me: Cuts off Yaemon’s head after he loses to Gintoki and helps him and Asaemon to escape.
Officials and Retainers
Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (JP), Kyle Jones (EN, movie)
An infrequently recurring character, as the head of national police he acts as the direct superior to the Shinsengumi and reports to the Shogun. He's often regarded as a dangerous, paranoid nutcase who resorts to violence at the first sign of provocation and sees potential assassins everywhere around him. In addition, he is extremely protective of his daughter, Kuriko, often ordering the Shinsengumi to assist him in shadowing any dates she goes on.
Although appearing to be an unstable lunatic, he is highly devoted to his job. Unlike Kondo, he is unable to sympathize with the Shinsengumi on a personal basis as he is not in direct command of them, but he holds the safety and well-being of the country and its people in high priority.
- Bad Boss: He frequently threatens to shoot his subordinates in the face.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A very quirky and nutty official who is actually competent at his job. Sometimes.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Believes that people who wear sunglasses are usually assassins, even though he himself wears them in addition to other abnormal things such as the idea that righteousness is what makes up 80% of old men and the police being not more than a branch of the mafia community.
- Cool Old Guy
- Cool Shades
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
- Da Chief: Of Kondo and, through him, the whole Shinsengumi.
- Dirty Old Man: As if he weren't crazy enough, drinking often reduces him to this.
- Doting Parent
- The Gunslinger: More prone to using firearms than a sword when he acts directly.
- Overprotective Dad: So much so that he frequently orders the Shinsengumi to assassinate any of his daughter's suitors.
- Papa Wolf: As the terrorists who kidnapped Kuriko soon found out.
- Perma Stubble
- Red Baron: Known as the "God of Destruction" for his highly destructive solutions to any problem.
- Smoking Is Cool: Though funnily enough he's one of the foremost enforcers of the smoking ban.
- Talkative Loon: The fact that he's voiced by the normally serious and cool Norio Wakamoto makes it even weirder.
- The Team Benefactor: Sort of as he's the one keeping tabs on the Shinsengumi and reports their activities to the Shogun to make sure they don't stay out of line.
- Trigger Happy
- Undying Loyalty: To Shige Shige and also as a friend. Even when Nobu Nobu becomes the new Shogun after the former's death.
- Wave Motion Gun: His personal flying warship is equipped with one called the "Matsu-Blaster". Probably a major contributing factor as to why he's called the "God of Destruction".
Voiced by: Shigeru Chiba (Old), Eiichiro Tokumoto (Young)
A loyal retainer of the Tokugawa Clan, noted for his service in keeping the former Shogun alive in a time of political turmoil. As proof of his loyalty, he lost his left arm in service to Sadasada.
He raised the orphaned Shigeshige and Soyo, and currently serves as Soyo's personal retainer. It is revealed that he was once Suzuran's lover and the one she made a promise to leave Yoshiwara with. Sadasada had learned of the promise and cut off the arm he made the promise with, as well as forbidding him to go see her on the pain of death for both of them.
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost his left arm long ago in service of the former Shogun. Turns out Sadasada himself had it cut off when he learned of his promise to Suzuran. Then he has his other arm cut off as well when he learns Suzuran is still alive!
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Prominent even when he was young!
- Cool Old Guy
- Distressed Dude
- Grumpy Old Man: Constantly complains Soyo's antics and what she's allowed and not allowed to do.
- In-Series Nickname: "Jiiya" (Translated as "Grampy").
- I Was Quite a Looker
- Miniature Senior Citizens: He was quite a bit taller in his youth, but has grown smaller in his old age.
- Non-Action Guy: He's simply too old and is lacking an arm to be able to fight, really.
- Old Retainer: He has served the Tokugawa Clan for a long time.
- Parental Substitute: The one who raised the orphaned Shigeshige and Soyo, both of whom view him as their father figure.
- The Promise: Promised Suzuran long ago that he'd take her away from Yoshiwara with him, but due to Sadasada's interference, this is postponed until they are finally reunited just before her death.
- The Reveal: He was Suzuran's lover all along.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Suzuran, though they're finally reunited in the end.
The current head of the Ikeda Clan, which comprise a long line of executioners for the Bakufu. He serves as the Bakufu’s official executioner and sword tester, which means that he controls and distributes swords for the Bakufu, and tests them on the corpses of criminals.
- Achilles' Heel: The Ikeda style of swordsmanship is mainly used for the sake of quick and painless executions. While it's very effective in combat, the style has a critical weakness in that the user is left open after an attack, which can be exploited by making the user waste their attack.
- Arc Villain: Of the Shinigami Arc.
- Badass Back: Flips around the Hitotsubashi retainers with his back turned to them in his You Shall Not Pass moment.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Asaemon’s Abel.
- Combat Pragmatist: Brings in riflemen as backup and goads Asaemon into wasting her attack on Gintoki in order to kill her when she’s let her guard down, though the latter plan doesn’t work as intended.
- Dissonant Serenity: Always smiling and polite, even when he's sneaking up on somebody and threatening to cut them up.
- Eyes Always Shut
- Face Death with Dignity
- Iaijutsu Practitioner
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Most swordsmen in the series get some improbable feats, but he and his sister Asaemon take it to another level with the special techniques of the Ikeda Clan, which allows them to cut things in a way so they either stay attached or can be easily reattached. The primary use of the technique lies in executing criminals without letting their heads fall off, letting them die with some semblance of dignity.
- Legacy Character: Invoked. Every head of the Ikeda Clan take on the name Yaemon.
- Off with His Head!: As the Bakufu's chief executioner, his job entails cutting off the heads of criminals. He ends up getting his own cut off by Nobunobu himself.
- Oh, Crap: When he notices too late that Asaemon has given her sword to Gintoki while he himself is open to attack.
- Passing the Torch: Hands over the name of Yaemon and leadership of his clan to Asaemon after his defeat.
- Perpetual Smiler
- Redemption Equals Death
- Smug Snake
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Desperate to prove himself worthy of the title of the clan's head, to the point where he murders several criminals ahead of time in order to master the Ikeda style of swordsmanship. His father did not approve.
- You Shall Not Pass: Stands against the Hitotsubashi retainers to allow Gintoki and Asaemon to escape after his defeat. Nobunobu cuts off his head for it.
The leader of the newly-established and significantly more illustrious Mimawarigumi. He comes from an elite samurai family, with the skills and training to match. He's polite and disdainful—but his personality changes completely when he uses emails, becoming sickeningly sweet instead.
At the end of the Baragaki Arc, he was shown amiably conversing and plotting with Shinsuke Takasugi.
- Ambiguously Evil: Was shown having a friendly conversation and possibly plotting with Takasugi. However, Isaburo's motivations still remain unknown.
- Even after becoming new Chief of Police and speaking out his loyalty to Nobu Nobu, his motives are still unknown.
- The Captain: Of the Mimawarigumi.
- Cavalry Betrayal: Subverted in the Courtesan of a Nation Arc. While he initially makes it seem like the case when he arrives at the scene and shoots Gintoki, it's quickly revealed that he shot him with an antidote against Oboro's poison, making him genuinely part of The Cavalry.
- The Chessmaster: It's heavily implied he planned and orchestrated the events that led to the former Shogun Sadasada being ousted from his position, though certain details, such as Shigeshige's attempted (but rejected) resignation, were not part of his plan.
- Combat Pragmatist: Brings a gun to a sword-fight and doesn't hesitate to use the environment to his advantage.
- The Comically Serious: Completely serious and composed at all times, even when writing his sickeningly sweet e-mails or trying to shake Nobume off the hand he held a donut in.
- Cultured Warrior
- The Dragon: As new Police Chief, he's this to Nobu Nobu.
- Enigmatic Minion/Dragon with an Agenda
- Exactly What I Aimed At: Shoots a charging Hijikata (Who was counting on taking the hit so he could attack a vulnerable Isaburo) through his shoulder, with the bullet hitting barrels of gasoline behind him, which explodes and throws Hijikata straight in the path of Isaburo's sword.
- Gun And Sword: Wields both a sword and a pistol at once, to stunningly deadly effect.
- High-Class Glass
- Knight Templar: Seems to give off the vibe of being one, though his actual intentions remain unknown.
- Light Is Not Good: Despite wearing purely white clothes, his intentions are anything but pure.
- Major Injury Underreaction: He barely reacts at all when he gets run through with a poisoned katana.
- Man in White: Complete with having rather shady motivations.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Nerves of Steel
- The Proud Elite: And he will proudly remind you of the latter as many times as possible.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Uses one in the manga. The anime version has him use a modern pistol instead, though he did use a revolver when he shot Gintoki with an antidote.
- The Stoic
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Is usually quite cold but he's much nicer when he's writing e-mails. A bit too nice.
- Waistcoat of Style: Under his uniform.
- Wild Card: A rather grey character since it's never really clear whether he's an antagonist or just neutral.
The Vice-Commander of the Mimawarigumi. A cold and highly efficient assassin with a surprising fondness for donuts.It is later revealed that she used to work alongside Oboro in the Naraku and was known as Mukuro. Cue the tattoo on her neck. However, she made it clear that she has no intention of joining forces with him and remains apparenly loyal to Isaburo.
The leader of Naraku, a secret assassination squad employed directly under Sadasada Tokugawa.
He was the one responsible for Kansei Purge which eradicated most of Anti-Foreigner Faction of the past including the falsely accused Shoyo Yoshida. He's actually in service to the Tendoshu.
- Acquired Poison Immunity: He's immune to the poison he coats his needles in.
- Animal Motifs: Crows, specifically the three-legged crow Yatagarasu which is considered a symbol of the will of heaven or divine intervention in Japanese Mythology.
- Arch-Enemy: To Gintoki, but less so than Takasugi.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
- Combat Pragmatist: Utilizes poisoned weapons and paralyzes his opponents to gain an advantage in a fight.
- The Dragon: He works as Sadasada's.
- Evil Counterpart: In terms of behaviour AND looks, he's practically the Evil Twin of Gintoki.
- Evil Versus Evil: Due to his allegiance towards the Tendoshu, he also considers Takasugi an enemy.
- Face Palm of Doom: Grabs Gintoki's face while he's already downed and blasts him point-blank with a Ki Attack.
- The Fatalist: Is of the belief that those who have been dealt a bad hand by fate should accept it, as they can't change anything and any attempt will only result in further loss. It's part of the reason he hates Gintoki so much, as he sees him as refusing to learn from the losses he's suffered and continuing to oppose the people in charge who were responsible.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars
- Hidden Weapons: He's got a sword hidden inside his staff, though Gintoki breaks it immediately. He also has a lot of needles hidden inside the straw hat he wears.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: With Gintoki's wooden sword. However, he survives thanks to the intervention of the Tendoshu.
- Ki Attacks: The first character to ever make use of any in the entire manga, though they're fairly close-range.
- Knight Templar
- Light Is Not Good: Dresses in white robes and claims to speak for the heavens, but his intentions are by no means noble.
- Man in White
- Not Quite Dead: The Tendoshu retrieve and patch him up after Gintoki had presumably killed him.
- Oh, Crap: When he notices that he's about to fall down and be impaled upon a piece of Gintoki's broken wooden sword.
- The Paralyzer: In addition to being poisoned, the needles will severely immobilize his opponents when they strike a Pressure Point.
- Perpetual Frowner
- Poisoned Weapons: His needles are coated in a deadly poison that will kill its target.
- Power Palms: Utilizes palm strikes against his oponnents in hand-to-hand combat, sometimes combined with a Ki Attack.
- Pressure Point: Attacks enemy pressure points with his needles in order to immobilize and damage his opponents, though he is quite capable of hitting them personally in close quarters.
- Simple Staff: The Naraku wield khakkhara (Buddhist monk staves) with hidden swords inside as their main weapon, though he personally discards his early on in his fight with Gintoki.
- Sword Cane: The khakkhara the Naraku wield are essentially this, featuing hidden blades inside of them.
- Villainous Breakdown: Really loses his cool in the final stages of his fight with Gintoki, though he recovers after he is revealed to be alive.
- Warrior Monk: He's dressed like a monk and addressed as a messenger of heaven.
- White Hair, Black Heart
- Wrecked Weapon: Gintoki breaks his first sword with his teeth. Later on in the fight as well, he breaks Oboro's second sword with his own wooden sword.