main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Characters: Gintama Shinsengumi
Back to the main character index.

The Shinsengumi is a special anti-terrorist police unit in Edo deployed by the Bakufu. They consist of lower status samurai and ronin from out in the country.
    open/close all folders 

    General Tropes 

    Isao Kondo 
Voiced by: Susumu Chiba (JP), David Wald (EN, movie)

Commander of the Shinsengumi. A goofy, but good-natured and honorable leader who has won the respect and admiration of his subordinates. Despite appearing completely incompetent, he takes his job seriously and will not hesitate to make tough decisions in order to protect his comrades and the people of the country.

The members of the Shinsengumi are fiercely loyal to him and he shares a particularly close bond of friendship with Sogo Okita and Toshiro Hijikata. Okita often remarks that Kondo's nice attitude is also his weak point as he never takes notice of a person's negative traits.

He has a crush on Shinpachi's sister Tae and stalks her, to which she responds by repeatedly beating him senseless.

    Toshiro Hijikata 

Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (JP), Blake Shepard (EN, movie)

The chain-smoking "Demonic" Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi who has garnered an infamous reputation for his ruthless, no-nonsense attitude both on and off the battlefield. Since he's the one usually left in charge of the operation, he takes his work seriously and is fiercely loyal to his commander, Isao Kondo, and the Shinsengumi as a whole.

Cucumber cool for the most part, Hijikata is respected and feared by his subordinates, as he's responsible for implementing the 45 Regulations (on pain of seppuku). His swordsmanship is second only to Okita, although he ran into difficulties on discovering his sword was possessed.

Hijikata is also obsessed with mayonnaise and has a tendency to smother anything he eats under a mountain of it, in addition to carrying a mayonnaise jar-shaped cigarette lighter. Under his callous, brazen exterior, Hijikata is genuinely compassionate and cares as much about the people he protects as Gintoki. He regards both Gintoki and Okita as not only rivals, but close friends.
  • Aloof Ally: Often grudgingly sides with the Yorozuya under the pretense of fulfilling his duty as an officer of the Shinsengumi.
  • Badass: Very much so.
  • Badass Longcoat: Artwork for the 2nd movie features his future self wearing a black longcoat along with clothes strangely reminiscent of clothes worn by the real life Hijikata.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Hijikata had one: His half-brother Tamagoro who died not long ago. He sort of becomes one for Tetsunosuke.
  • Blood Knight: Before he met Kondo he would often get into fights for no reason, leaving a bloody trail wherever he went. There are still traces of it left.
  • Chick Magnet: Apart from being a Mr. Fanservice, Tae's fellow hostesses at the cabaret club all become very excited when he visits the place and Tae entertains the idea of a Love Triangle between him, herself and Kondo.
  • The Comically Serious: Due to the nature of the show, he's seen in this role far more often than not. See Evil Weapon below.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Initially wanted to throw out the little puppy that Sadaharu dragged in to the Shinsengumi, but when he held it up he became overwhelmed by its sheer cuteness. He then tells Kondo that he just remembered they don't have any police dogs.
  • Dark and Troubled Past
  • Determinator
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Towards Okita, who framed him with Ito's help in order to have him demoted.
  • Evil Weapon: Carries a cursed sword that houses the spirit of an otaku which manifests by taking over his body and reducing him to a helpless, childish, anime-obsessed coward.
  • Fair Cop
  • Heroic Bastard
  • Historical-Domain Character: Loosely based off the real Hijikata Toshizo. Sorachi kept his "demonic" personality.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: With Mitsuba, whom he rejected before joining the Shinsengumi since he believed it was no sort of life for her.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: He's not friends with Gin and pals. He wouldn't dream of helping them. He is certainly not risking his life to save Shinpachi's sister or anything, nope. According to Okita, he just thinks he's Vegeta.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • The Lancer: To Kondo.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: As shown in the flashbacks.
  • Mercy Kill: At the end of the Shinsengumi Rebellion Arc, he grants one to the dying and redeemed Ito in form of the duel he wanted with Hijikata, allowing him to die as a samurai and comrade instead of dying alone as a traitor via bullet wounds.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Has a kinda large and devoted female fandom, always places highly in the character polls, and generally acts cool and attractive (such as when he was chosen as the perfect host).
  • Not so Above It All: Occasionally happens. It usually has something to do with mayonnaise, but it's not limited to just that, as seen by his Cuteness Proximity entry.
  • Playing Cyrano: Meet the master of epic, manly FOLLOW-UP WRITING!!!
  • Red Baron: Just like with Gintoki, you probably don't want to mess with the "Demonic Vice-Commander."
  • The Rival: Closest thing to a recurring rival Gintoki has.
  • Samurai Ponytail: Wore his hair like this before the Shinsengumi was formed.
  • Sand in My Eyes: Usually averted, as he doesn't attempt to make excuses for crying over non-emotional movies (such as My Neighbour Pedro and Alien VS Yakuza), but this trope is played straight at the end of Mitsuba arc. Gin, sitting nearby, hears him muttering to himself.
    "These crackers are so spicy... Damn. They're so spicy it's making my eyes water... (sob) So spicy..."
  • Smoking Is Cool: Lighting a cigarette with a mayonnaise jar is even cooler.
  • Straight Man: Often plays this to Kondo, Okita, or Gintoki.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Him and Gintoki are way more similar than either one cares to admit, which may be why they always try to compete and outdo each other whenever they meet.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Trademark Favorite Food: There's a reason why people refer to him as Mayora. He'll put a heap of mayonaisse (to the point it resembles s**t) on everything, even dessert and coffee.
    • Quoting Okita: "He basically elevated normal food into dog food."
      • Brick Joke: That's wrong. Even Sadaharu rejects it.
    • He also tries to make the embarrassing things the show puts him through to look cool, only to fail.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Despite his facade, he's generally more respectful to women, and held back against Kyubei when he found out that she was actually a girl.

    Sogo Okita 

Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (JP), Clint Bickham (EN, movie)

The 18-year-old captain of the first squad and widely-regarded as the best swordsman in the entire Shinsengumi. He tends to be light-hearted and somewhat childish, though his speech is heavily deadpan. Unlike Hijikata or Kondo, he seems to take his position for granted and is often seen slacking off or napping.

Okita displays a strong dislike of his comrade Toshiro Hijikata, and continuously tries to embarrass, wound, or even kill him whenever he has the chance in order to take his rank of Vice-Commander. He also holds a deep grudge towards Toshiro for having left Mistuba, Sougo's beloved sister, and holds him accountable for her never being able to find happiness before her death. His violent tendencies and habit to torture others mentally in glee have caused his comrades to label him a "sadist," a title which he actively embraces. Nonetheless, he still thinks of Hijikata as his friend and also holds Gintoki, whom he addresses as "boss," in high regard.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: He's a hit with the ladies despite openly being a jerk to them. Hijikata notes how frighteningly talented he is at being a host.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: In the Gender Bender arc, although he doesn't look all that different, save for having a bust and longer hair.
  • Badass
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Often with Kagura whom he deliberately provokes and teases whenever given a chance.
  • Berserk Button: Do not hurt Kondo or Mitsuba in front of Okita. Exception is given to the former when the situation is comedic, but in a serious situation no quarter is given.
  • BFG: His weapon of choice is a freakin' Bazooka. In an era where most people are wielding swords, it would seem to make for some fairly one-sided battles. However, he does use swords for serious battles.
  • Bishounen: Invoked, as every series has to have one.
  • Calling Your Attacks: "Sadomaru" really is a beetle? Seriously? Even with the purple eyebeams?
    "Eat this! SADO BEEEEAAAMMMM—-!!"
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Devil in Plain Sight: He's always ready to mess with Hijikata, yet no one else, save for Kagura and Gintoki, seems to notice or even care.
  • Dual Wielding: Briefly wields two swords during the Rokkaku Arc, using them to deflect bullets before he throws them at those firing upon him.
  • Even Jerkassery Has Standards: Sadistic as he is, he shows utter contempt towards the bosses of the death match arena and enlists help from Gintoki & co to bring about their downfall. Can also be counted as a Pet the Dog moment for him.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Kamiyama, anyone?
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Sougo's future self in the second movie sports a long ponytail and a red and white kimono.
  • Fair Cop
  • False Friend: Sometimes towards Hijikata whom he's not above backstabbing or setting up.
  • The Gadfly: Oh so very much. Most of his pranks turn out to be quite harmless, however.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Technically a good guy, at least later on, but that doesn't stop him from torturing suspects, blowing up buildings at the slightest provocation, or trying to backstab his teammates.
  • Historical-Domain Character: He is loosely based off of the real-life Okita Soji.
  • Historical In-Joke: Like his namesake, Okita's a prodigy with the sword. However, Sorachi inverted his relationship with the Vice Commander from Heterosexual Life-Partners to (extreme) Vitriolic Best Buds. Also the real Okita Soji died from tuberculosis; in Gintama it's his sister instead.
  • Kid Samurai / Teen Genius: While not anywhere close to the age where he could be considered a "kid," he is significantly younger than the rest of the Shinsengumi members. And he is the captain of the 1st squad.
  • Knight Templar Little Brother: Despite being the little brother, he dearly loves his big sister, Mitsuba, and will do anything to make her happy. Screw things up for her, especially by using her wedding as a way to do illegal business, and you're DEAD, as Kuraba would have told you from his bisected exploding car.
  • Jerkass: Proud owner of the nickname "Prince of Sadists."
  • Master Swordsman: Noted to be the best swordsman in the Shinsengumi (On a technical level at the very least) and as such he gets probably the most implausible feats of swordsmanship among them.
  • Morality Pet: His sister Mitsuba.
  • My Sister Is Off Limits: Very protective of Mitsuba and basically forbids anyone he doesn't trust near her. This includes Hijikata.
  • One-Man Army: The Shinsengumi Arc features him easily taking down an entire train car full of enemies with nary a scratch. In the Rokkaku Incident, he's credited for killing most of the enemy rebels (possibly 33 out of... 33).
  • Pet the Dog: Has his own arc dedicated to it. Where he still manages to be a Jerk Ass.
  • Poisonous Friend: To Kondo and for the Shinsengumi in general, although it's Played for Laughs. They acknowledge and use his sadistic tendencies.
    • Okita even lampshades this in an early episode by commenting that he and Hijikata need to be cutthroat, as Kondou is too kind for his own good.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the Shinsengumi Rebellion arc.
    Okita: (To Ito) "What do you think you're doing, you piece of shit?"
  • Psychotic Smirk: Often when indulging in his sadistic tendencies or trying to dispatch Hijikata.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has red eyes in the anime and is a guy to watch out for, even if he's technically on the protagonists' side.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Kagura's Red Oni. They compete at everything, but are more than willing to team up against rampaging robots that ruin a festival for them.
  • Sadist: The sadist of the series.
  • Sleep Mask: He was first seen using one to sleep while on-duty, and it's become iconic of his character ever since.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Throws the two swords he picked up in the Rokkaku Arc at the gunmen he was faced with.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Among the Shinsengumi, being sadistic and quite willing to bend the law to his own ends.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver / The Stool Pigeon: Once did this with Ito in order to set up Hijikata for demotion.
  • Verbal Tic: Often ends his sentences with -desu zee or -desaa, which are polite ways for young men to assert their masculinity.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Everyone is under the impression that Hijikata and Okita are bitter rivals always looking for an opportunity to take the other's head, but in truth, they share a strong bond of friendship.
  • Yandere: At least some of his behavior towards Hijikata stems from his belief that Hijikata "stole" Kondo's attention from him. In the Shinsengumi Rebellion Arc, he calmly states that he's more than willing to backstab and kill anyone who gets too close to Kondo, because "the place at Kondo's side is mine."

    Sagaru Yamazaki 

Voiced by: Tetsuharu Oota (JP), Clint Bickham (EN, movie)

A member of the Shinsengumi, he handles intelligence work, often serving as a spy. He's often seen with a badminton racquet (sometimes during sword training, when Hijikata's more likely to beat him up for it). Shinpachi and Yamazaki have a bit of a rivalry, being the more plain and generic guys on their respective teams, but they're good friends nonetheless.
  • Beware The Nondescript Ones: It's easy to overlook Yamazaki, but you have to remember that this guy tends to do all the reconnaissance missions for the Shinsengumi, usually alone. Then there's him being the one behind all the paranoia in the Popularity Poll Arc. Oh, and ANPAN SPARKIIING.
  • Butt Monkey: He gets hurt a lot, especially by Hijikata. Also, despite his popularity, the author stated that Yamazaki will never be on the cover of any Gintama manga volume. Notably, after being spared by Bansai during the Shinsengumi Rebellion Arc, he spies on the Shinsengumi, thinking that they're holding a funeral for him. It turns out that the funeral is being held for Matsudaira's pet, with Yamazaki being treated as an afternote.
    • Put it this way: During the Freaky Friday Arc, his soul was switched with Madao's sunglasses, who was placed on top of Madao's new body (a literal piece of shit)
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: After surviving an entire month only eating anpan...
  • Edible Ammunition: ANPAN SPARKING!!!!
  • Homage: Aside from always carrying around his Badminton racquet, he once cosplays as Ryoma while playing Badminton against Musashi. Mada mada da ne, indeed.
  • The Nondescript: Aside from his Badminton, he's acknowledged in-universe as a very plain and generic guy. He uses this to his advantage against Shinpachi (himself another nondescript) during the OwEe arc, playing pixellized vomit Tetris in such a boring and non-flashy manner that he made fewer mistakes. And he states that one of the reasons he's the best undercover agent of the Shinsengumi is because he is so easily overlooked.
  • Sanity Slippage: After eating Anpan for a month. He has not really been the same ever since...
  • Slasher Smile: Gets some absolutely deranged expressions during the OwEe battle against Shinpachi, including this.
  • Stalker with a Crush: For Tama.
  • Straight Man: At times.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Subverted, Yamazaki eats anpan with milk during stakeouts as an offering to the "stakeout god" even thought he doesn't like anpan. However, after a whole month of anpan it takes its toll on his mind
  • Weapon of Choice: Though he's also a swordsman like the rest of the Shinsengumi, he sure likes holding onto that racquet.

    Unosuke Harada 
Voiced by: Kenta Miyake

Captain of the 10th unit. Little is known about him, but he's quite passionate about "manly" things and is prone to shouting in excitement or anger. He also used to smoke, but quit at one point.

    Kamotaro Ito 

Voiced by: Mitsuaki Madono

An advisor to the Shinsengumi who serves as the main antagonist of the Shinsengumi Rebellion Arc. Initially introduced as a ruthless, power-hungry tactician, he is revealed to be a traitor, secretly allied with Shinsuke Takasugi.

He considers himself a rival to Toshiro Hijikata and manages to get him suspended from the Shinsengumi, later attempting to assassinate Kondo.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Loses his arm in the train explosion.
  • Arc Villain: Of the Shinsengumi Rebellion Arc.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He wanted to take over the country and thought the Kiheitai would be a willing ally for his plans. He never realized that he was the one being manipulated by the Kiheitai so as to weaken and destroy the Shinsengumi.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil
  • Broken Ace: He's extremely accomplished in several fields, both matters of sword and mind, but to say it has not helped his mental state any is putting it mildly.
  • The Chessmaster
  • Evil Chancellor
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Played straight at first, then subverted after his Character Development.
  • Freudian Excuse: His past explains why he became so embittered at people other than himself.
  • Go Out with a Smile
  • I Just Want to Have Friends
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: A stellar example.
  • Oh Crap: When he wakes up and realises he's minus an arm.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Between him and Hijikata.
  • Redemption Equals Death
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Threatened with, as Bansai openly states that they have no use for someone with such morals. Itou is saved by the other Shinsengumi though and was given a Mercy Kill instead in a form of his wanted duel with Hijikata.
  • Smug Snake: All too confident in the success of his plans, despite failing to account for Okita's loyalty and the possibility of the Kiheitai merely using him to weaken the Shinsengumi.
  • Taking the Bullet: He jumps in the way of the Kiheitai's gunner to take machine gun shots meant for Kondo and Hijikata.
  • Treacherous Advisor: He worked with the Kiheitai so he could become leader of the Shinsengumi.
  • The Unfavorite: Revealed in his past that he had a sick older twin brother who was heir to his family and his mother ONLY cares for him. To the point that despite Itou's hard work in getting perfect grades just to get noticed by her, he overhears her saying that she doesn't care about Itou's progress at all as she believes that he is to blame for his brother's condition and blatantly said that she wished that he was never born. Ouch.

    Tetsunosuke Sasaki 
Voiced by: Kentarō Itō

Tetsunosuke is the bastard son of the head of the elite Sasaki clan, making him half-brother to the Mimawarigumi's leader Isaburo Sasaki. Considered the clan's Black Sheep, he is sent to the Shinsengumi in the hopes of being straightened out and is assigned as Hijikata's assistant. Although he was initially something a rebel, under Hijikata's mentorship he quickly straightens himself out. Unfortunately for him, he runs into trouble with the gang he was once a part of, and the Mimawarigumi gets involved as well.
  • All the Other Reindeer: Looked down upon and mocked by his own family for his bastard-born status and incompetence, which caused him to criminal gangs.
  • Big Beautiful Man: He looks unusually pretty after taking off his sunglasses, yet retain his fat.
  • Bishōnen: Parodied after he takes off his sunglasses (and inexplicably losing his beard) in that he has a baby face along with sparkling eyes, but is still fat.
  • Black Sheep: Considered the shame of the Sasaki Clan and his half-brother Isaburo actively tries to ensure his death.
  • Distressed Dude: He's captured by the Check-It-Out Gang and has to be rescued by Gintoki and the Shinsengumi members.
  • Heroic Bastard: He's bastard-born, and while he didn't initially fit the term heroic, he eventually grows into a good person.
  • Reformed Criminal: He used to be a member of the Check-It-Out Gang, but left when it turned to violence and more serious crimes.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: He initially dressed like a rapper, and tried to act in the same way, but without much success. He leaves it behind during his tutelage under Hijikata.

    Shimaru Saito 

Saito is the captain of the 3rd unit, in charge of rooting out spies and traitors within the Shinsengumi.
  • Afro Asskicker: Despite his absolutely silly hair, he's still a very capable fighter.
  • Badass Longcoat: His uniform is modified to include a black longcoat.
  • The Comically Serious: Stone-faced, serious, yet not only does he look ridiculous, he's involved in very weird and funny situations without ever dropping his facade.
  • Custom Uniform: His uniform is completely unique among the members of the Shinsengumi.
  • Dual Wielding: He carries around two swords on his back and fights Katsura to a stand-still with two training swords.
  • Funny Afro: His hair is positively ridiculous, but he's quite protective of it.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Based off of the historical Shinsengumi captain Saito Hajime.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Always wanted friends, but was too shy to talk to them. What's worse, his silence would drive the people he was trying to befriend into paranoia, and they would they betray the Shinsengumi, meaning he would have to kill them. However, he finally manages to make friends... with Katsura (Who was infiltrating the Shinsengumi and trying to frame him).
  • Punny Name: While the historical Saito's name Hajime means 'beginning', the Gintama version of Saito's name, Shimaru, means 'end', and he ends lives.
  • The Quiet One: To say that he rarely ever speaks is putting it mildly... which turns out to be because he's ridiculously shy.
  • Remember the New Guy: While he has previously been confirmed to be part of the Shinsengumi by Word of God, he's never appeared and makes his entrance as if he'd always been around, despite his unusual and unique appearance.
  • Shrinking Violet: The reason for his silence? He's too nervous to actually talk.
  • Slasher Smile: His attempt at smiling proves to be quite nightmarish... especially for an undercover Katsura, whom Saito was trying to smile at.
  • The Stoic: Along with being ridiculously quiet, he's completely stone-faced most of the time, though the mask he wears probably helps.
Gintama Yorozuya GinCharacters/GintamaGintama Kabukicho

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy