Tear Jerker / Gintama

For a gag series, this happens surprisingly often.

  • Gin's speech about "carrying a heavy weight on a long journey" in chapter 13 can definitely induce Manly Tears.
  • Episode 17, showing Gengai's backstory and then in the Festival when the robot he created Saburo, didn't responded and got damaged by Gintoki, he said that he loved him as the father he knew, despite the problem they had in the past and that's why the reason why he didn't attacked Gintoki, implying that his son's soul was in the robot Gengai created!
  • The Inugami Arc.
  • Early on in the series, Sougo asks the Yorozuya to investigate the illegal underground fighting ring, the top fighter of which turns out to be a kindhearted father to orphaned children who wants to try and start a new life. Just as he sets out to escape Edo and start over, the Tendoshu (who are behind the ring) have him killed. The following scenes with his last words and the children tearfully asking Gintoki to help them in exchange for their treasures (read children's trinkets) is touching in a heartwrending way.
  • Episode 31, when Gintoki gets amnesia from a traffic accident. Any attempts to help him fail. At the end, Yorozuya is destroyed by an incoming spaceship (Gintoki claims it's impossible for a human to stop it). Gintoki then tells Shinpachi and Kagura, more or less, "The Gintoki you knew isn't here anymore", and then leaves. Thankfully, he regains his memories by the next episode.
  • Tama's Heroic Sacrifice at the end of her arc. It made it worse since she forgot what she was. At least initially.
  • Another early one occurs in episode 73 about a man and a bear cub he raised, only for him to be forced to kill it later when it becomes infected by a disease and goes rampaging in a mad fit.
  • Mitsuba's arc in general, but especially her death, with the normally sadistic Jerkass Sougo beside her bed, desperately clutching her hand and holding it to his cheek as she dies, showing for the first time a totally heartbroken Sougo taking the hand of her sister.
    • And how about Hijikata reaction? Well, he was eating Mitsuba's favorite food, while sobbing mumbling that the food is too spicy.
  • Ito's death at the end of Shinsengumi Rebellion Arc. Considering his past and how alone he felt, only to find that he wasn't alone when he entered to the Shinsengumi is totally heartbreaking.
  • At the end of episode 108, a short story about an orphan, Kyojiro, taken in by a group of Yakuza, he dies by the grave of the leader who he considered a father, believing until just before the end that he had failed to protect the people important to him. Of course, as soon as Gin-chan manages to convince him otherwise, he is fatally shot.
  • Seemingly subverted then played straight in episode 130. It starts out seeming like a slice of life story about an old dog and old man loyally dying at the same time, except the dog turns out to be an alien that eats planets and the old man was rude and told people to go die all the time. It's played straight in the end when it turns out that both don't want to die before the other because they don't want to make the other sad by leaving them alone and competing with each other while telling the other to die in the only way they can really show affection to each other. The old man dies as soon as he sees his last friend, the dog, die first after their race (while both are dying) so that he won't be left alone.
  • Danzo Tobita AKA Jiraia's backstory as revealed at the end of the Red Spider Arc.
  • The Four Devas Arc feature one in the form of Otose's supposed death at the hands of Jirocho in front of her husband's grave. It's heart-wrenching.
    Otose: "I have a favor to ask. They call me one of the Four Devas, but I don't have any members in my faction. My life is all you need. They serve no use at all. They just happen to be my family."
    • Five minutes later, we see Gintoki desperately trying to get to Otose in time—but it seems he doesn't. Cue Gintoki unleashing his rage on Jirocho, only for him to lose and crawl desperately towards the dying Otose, accompanied by flashbacks of their first meeting and his promise to protect her.
    Jirocho: "Get lost, watchdog. There's nothing for you to protect here."
    • The reunion of Jirocho and Pirako, damn you Gintama.
  • At the end of episode 226, when the old prisoner revealed that he knew the letters he was receiving were all written by]] the prison warden, his "nasty but dedicated son."
  • The end of the Renho Arc, which was filled to the brim with about as many shout-outs and parodies as ever, takes a sharp turn hard enough to induce severe Mood Whiplash and seemingly ends in one of these when Elizabeth left the series for good, only for it to be ultimately subverted when it's revealed that the Elizabeth leaving is a temp, and the real Elizabeth was only on vacation. NEVER FORGET THAT SORACHI IS A TROLL OF THE HIGHEST DEGREE.
  • In the Kintama Arc, our protagonist sudden returns to the Yorozuya after a drinking night, and he goes and salute their comrades, he finds out that he has been replaced by someone who is better than him, and the guys he thought to be his friends donít EVEN remember him. It's not a joke. They arenít the only ones to have forgotten his own existence. And he just wants to beat the hell out of him to know a reason of why everyone forgot about him and he is just... there, taking the credit of everything he has done (over the past 40+ volumes/250+ episodes) but those who were his friends tell him that he is nuts, and that he just have to keep out of Kabukicho. Just dammit, seeing his face as Shinpachi and Kagura tell him that he CAN'T be acting that friendly on them is heartbreaking.
    • Oh, and it goes downhill from there. Kintoki convinces Gin that everything he lived is a lie, just his own invention... puts in doubt everything about him! It's painful!
    • Someone cannot cry when after losing all hope of his own existence, Sadaharu and Tama comes to his rescue, the robot maid tells him that he doesn't really have to lose his own light because it's what is differs him with Kintoki... and that he is the only one that must try to recover the memories of him with his friends.
  • The Courtesan of a Nation Arc has quite a few:
    • The 2 seconds still image of how the Bafuku sent Gintoki, Katsura, and Takasugi their beloved teacher's head after they executed him is truly riveting. After that still image, it's truly a miracle that Gintoki and Katsura end up relatively sane after the war in comparison to Takasugi, who's gone on a world-ending rampage.
    • The flashback of Gintoki's sensei and adoptive father being taken away from him, and how he tries to calm Gintoki by telling him that he'll be back very soon... while also asking him to promise to protect all their friends while he's gone. Made even worse when you realize that most serious arcs, all the times we have seen Gintoki risk his life for someone, especially when we didn't understand why he did it when it was just some random kid he didn't know anything about or the old courtesan in this very arc... it's because of the simple fact that he never comes back.
    • Maizo and Suzuran's tragic love story in general, but the end of the arc deserves special mention. They're finally reunited after so many years of being apart, only for Suzuran to die just as they meet again. It's not all bad, as Maizou's spirit seems to carry Suzuran in his arms into the afterlife, but it's still one hell of a tear jerker.
      • Originally the implication seems to have been Maizo died there as well, but with him being revealed as alive out of nowhere, the moment becomes far less of a tear-jerker.
  • The whole damn arc with the return of Shinpachi and Tae's big brother figure Hajime Obi "return", and their joy at having him back. The whole thing literally ends in a giant flaming ball crafted from the tears of fans. Dammit Sorachi.
  • Kondo's flashback arc with his teacher. It's a short, touching arc, especially this line: "These sure are some warm handcuffs..."
  • Tama is able to be friends with machines, as it was shown some times before in the series. Long story short, there's a chapter where she befriends a malfunctioning cigars' vending machine from a local shop that was going to be shut down soon. She spends all the chapter talking to it, reassuring it would be fine even if the shop was going to close. The shop closes, it gets torn down and Tama still gave it some refuge... until the moment it is retired and thrown to a local litter... and it finally gives it up. She is still there, protecting it from the rain, no matter how things ended up and the rain made it like she was crying too. How does Sorachi make a story about a machine and we end up crying over it?!
  • The reveal that Gintoki was the one to kill Shouyou-sensei.
    • Perhaps even more heartrending is just how much of the different light this paints EVERYTHING in the manga. All of Gintoki's speeches, Takasugi's hatred, Gintoki's promise with Shouyou, all of it.
    • Then there's Utsuro's reveal as Shouyo, when his mask finally comes off. It's downright shocking to see Gintoki stare in awe and confusion as he sees a man who looks exactly like his teacher and father figure fight him. The smile he gives to Gin after this reveal is almost a punch to the gut, as it's the same kind of heartwarming smiles he used to give him as his teacher.
  • Chapter 524 ends the Shogun Assassination Arc with a heart-breaking surprise. Despite everyone's efforts to protect the Shogun as he and his sister go into hiding, two weeks later he gets hit by a poisoned needle. He spends his last moments with his sister who doesn't know he is dying resting his head on her lap. In other words, the freaking Shogun... is gone.
    • The Anime adaptation decides to twist the knife further by having the scene play out as the credits start to roll. The entire time the credits are rolling Soyo is lovingly petting the Shogun as he's resting his head on her lap. Unbeknownst to her, he's already passed on.
  • The beginning of the Farewell Shinsengumi arc pretty much confirms that Shigeshige is really dead as the funeral marches through Edo, Soyo and Maizo walking alongside with depressed looks. Meanwhile, Zenzo thinks about how all his efforts to save him have been in vain. And to make these MUCH better, Nobunobu orders Matsudaira and Kondo arrested and sentenced to death for failing to prevent Shigeshige's murder.
    • Kondo sends the Shinsengumi as guards for the march, preventing them from risking their lives to stop his arrest. They come back in time just to see him arrested. With the Shinsengumi disbanded and the Shogun dead, the Shinsengumi roam around endlessly without purpose or plan.
    • Even Tae is sad about the news of Kondo's arrest and eventual execution and stands up tearfully to Nobunobu, while praising her usually annoying stalker.
    • Things get even sadder with the reveal of Isaburo's backstory, which add a dark twist to his e-mail obsession. His pregnant wife forced him to use a phone so they could communicate while she delivered the baby and he spent much time and effort coming up with a name for their child. When he finally comes up with a name, he finds both his wife and newborn killed murdered by the Naraku.
    • Twisting the knife further, it is revealed he was going to name her Nobume, which he gives to supposedly responsible Mukoro (who is truly innocent), pretty much proving they have an adoptive father-daughter relationship.
    • Right as they're all about to escape the island, Isaburo uses his own body to protect Nobume and his previously scorned half-brother from a bunch of half-dead Naraku, but falls to his death as a piece of the ship is blown up by Utsuro's cannons. All while Nobume watches him fall with a smile on his face.
    • In reognition of his efforts both the Shinsengumi and Mimawarigumi salute together while facing the sun. Nobume writes one last message to him on a phone, thanking him for her name, before she throws it overboard.
    • Finally, to end the arc the Shinsengumi are forced to leave Edo for their own safety. Before that, they each bid farewell to different people. Kondo goes to the Shimura house, where both Tae and Shinpachi appear to accept him and welcome him to visit next time. Okita fights one last time with Kagura to see who is strongest. Finally, Hijikata eats together with Gintoki at their favorite place, both laughing as friends. After this, the Shinsengumi take their leave for who knows how long.
  • Chapter 555 delivers us a sad surprise: Kagura decides to temporary leave the Yorozuya in order to find her family (Kamui and Umibozu). The sad part comes since Kagura was really sad about that desicion.
  • Chapter 559 delivers another very sad moment: Kagura visits her mother's grave and remembers her past. The sad part is that she promised to return with her dad and her brother... but despite them now being on the planet, they aren't reunited.
  • Katsura's past: Yeah, is really sad since he lost his parents at early age and his grandmother was taking care to him to become a "general", however she dies too leaving him alone and without anyone who cares them.
  • Sakamoto's reason that why he is not using a sword: The reason is that he simply can't since he got a heavy injury, courtesy of Batou, making it impossible for him to use a sword again.
  • The Reveal in the backstory of how Umibouzu met his wife Kouka and then what led to her death that made Kamui the way he is today. She was an immortal like Utsuro who feeds off the Altana of her planet and being away from it led to her illness and eventual death. Kamui resents and blames his father for causing her death and tries to kill him to prove himself as the strongest.
  • The whole history of Utsuro, starting from how he came to be to his personality Shouyo getting killed by his darker side Utsuro at the time Gintoki was forced to execute him. Also Oboro's dying words to Takasugi about how Utsuro came to be and him being responsible for his capture which he came to regret as he wished to make friends with the other disciples Shouyo made. The kicker? Takasugi decides to pay his respect by taking Oboro back to Earth for a proper burial, along with resolve to stop Utsuro once and for all.
  • The end of the Rakuyou Arc with Kagura saying farewell to his mother along with her home planet as they go back to Earth... for the final battle.
  • Chapter 609, with one of the downright cruelest examples of Mood Whiplash ever put on paper. Gengai reveals that the Neo Armstrong Cyclone Jet Armstrong Cannon, a downright ancient gag from the series, has been built and is ready to fire on the enemy fleet. A quick dirty joke is made (Kintoki and Tama are needed to fire the cannon, Kin + Tama = slang for testicles), and as the chapter ends we are suddenly informed that this is a suicide attack and that both Tama and Kintoki are about to die.
  • Chapter 610 makes the previous chapter look like an absolutely joyful affair. Barely functioning after the blast, the nanomachines tearing her to pieces from within, Tama stumbles out of the pod and collapses. The Yorozuya rush towards her screaming her name in fear of the worst while her life flashes before her eyes, and she dies in Gengai's arms. Jesus Christ, Sorachi.
    • Gengai's reaction is what takes it from heartbreaking to outright soul-crushing.
    Gengai: "Why are you all so quiet? Why don't ya spit out some bitter words of hatred? I know these pieces of junk can't talk too well, even at the best of times... but why now, of all times... do they have to put on those admirable faces... and silently break down... Machines are meant to be of use to people. That's certainly true. But if you had said that you didn't want to, I don't think I would have minded. Even if you don't serve a purpose... even if you are pieces of junk... If I am with you, my friends... I'm ready to drop dead beside you. Yet I... I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
    • And if that didn't finish you off, consider this: Gengai has just lost his children for the second time. It's a wonder he's still sane.