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Film / Gintama

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The Japanese Live-Action Adaptation of the popular action-packed Gag Series Gintama. Like the original, the adaptation follows the adventures of the trio known as Yorozuya Gin-chan — the laidback leader and titular samurai Gintoki (Shun Oguri), the glasses-wearing straight man Shinpachi (Masaki Suda), and the gluttonous alien from the powerful Yato clan Kagura (Kanna Hashimoto). The trio's jobs (when they have any) are to do any tasks they're asked to do. During the process they often clash with their Sitcom Arch-Nemesis the Shinsengumi, which includes the gorilla-like leader Kondou (Kankuro Nakamura), demon vice-chief Hijikata (Yuuya Yagira), and the sadist Okita (Ryo Yoshizawa).

Despite all the hilarity that ensues, Edo is frequently in serious danger, often at the hands of the Big Bad and Gintoki's former childhood friend Takasugi (Tsuyoshi Domoto), and the Yorozuya are more than less willing to help save their city. All this takes place in the Edo period, except the invaders are Amanto aliens instead of Westerners and they brought their technology along with them, giving Edo a weird futuristic setting.


Two films have been released, which cover major arcs (along with selected comedic stories on the side):

  • Gintama (2017) — adapts the Benizakura arc.
  • Gintama 2: Rules Are Meant To Be Broken (2018) — adapts the Shinsengumi Crisis arc.

Two webseries were also released alongside the movies. The first one covers the Mitsuba arc which focuses on Okita's older sister; the second series on the other hand covers selected comedy storiesnote .


The film series provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Both films do not fail to refer to Kagura's (Kanna Hashimoto) viral photo of her dancing that shot her to fame as an idol. A "once-in-a-thousand-years" photo of Kagura doing the pose is used to introduce her in the first film, and Tosshi makes her do the same pose when taking photos of her in the second film.
    • Gintoki (Shun Oguri) teases Kagura by calling out her name during their introduction in the first film, in the same way his character Rui from Boys over Flowers calls out the female protagonist's name. Shinpachi and Kagura call him out on it.
  • Adaptational Badass: Shinpachi and Kagura help out a lot in the final battle of the original Shinsengumi Crisis arc, but they're otherwise put on the backseat in favour of Gintoki and the Shinsengumi who are more experienced and suited to the gritty battle than they are at this stage. In the adaptation, Kagura also proves to be a big help to Okita in his fight, with the two acting as Back-to-Back Badasses (except they also hate each other and couldn't care less if they accidentally endanger the other).
  • Adaptation Distillation: Changes are inevitable for a film adaptation of a long-running series, although since the films adapt specific arcs the changes aren't deal-breaking.
    • The films include minor comedic stories alongside the major arcs to help pad the films as well as show off Gintama's iconic gag side; however, they shorten and modify them significantly in order to fit them in and somehow relate them/lead them in to the major plot (for example the first film only adapts about a third of the Beetle Hunt story and uses it to help introduce characters and act as a precursor to the Benizakura incident).
    • Other than Shinpachi's first meeting with Gintoki, all characters' introductions are hastily summarised since the films wouldn't have time to adapt their introductions.
    • The Shinsengumi Crisis arc makes several modifications to accommodate for the added subplot that the antagonists also plan to assassinate the Shogun, for example Bansai pursuing the Shogun instead of being in the same battlefield as the Shinsengumi.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • When asked why they're risking their lives on the battlefield in the flashback, Gintoki stated it's to get back his teacher. Although saving him is also a part of their goal in the original, it downplays the importance of Gintoki, Katsura, Takasugi and other samurai fighting for their country's freedom against the Amanto.
    • Katsura refers to Kagura as Kagura-chan in this adaptation. This is at odds with both how he calls her Leader in the original (because of the time she wore red ninja clothes) and the fact that he always refers to female characters with the very respectful honorific "dono" as per samurai code.
    • In the original series, the Shinsengumi do not have an active role in the Benizakura arc which prompts them to go investigate the incident afterward (specifically how Gintoki got involved). This wouldn't make sense in the same continuity as the adaptation as the Shinsengumi end up taking part in the final battle.
    • The second film changes the way Hijikata gets cursed with his Tosshi personality. In the original series, Tosshi comes from a cursed sword that Hijikata takes from a blacksmith, and while Tosshi doesn't quite go away Hijikata is eventually able to overcome him via sheer will. In the film, Tosshi is a result of a chip that the Amanto forcibly implant in Hijikata's neck, and Hijikata is freed permanently when the chip breaks. The film version clashes with a later arc in the original series which focuses on Tosshi's re-emergence (Hijikata agrees to help Tosshi become a famous otaku so that Tosshi can officially disappear and leave Hijikata alone with a peace of mind).
  • Adaptational Modesty: In the original Shogun/cabaret club story Gintoki and Shinpachi wear towels since they they're the only girly clothing option they can prepare last-minute. In the adaptation in the second film they wear proper formal dresses that cover them more, presumably because they're easier to move around in. Notable is that since they're guys (who put in minimal effort to act like girls) there's not much indecency from them wearing towels to begin with.
  • Adapted Out: Several stories exclude a couple of characters that appeared in the original due to constraints and to avoid overwhelming the audience with too many characters.
    • Kyuubei (a close childhood friend of Otae and one of the major supporting characters in the original), Tojo and Catherine do not appear at Otae's cabaret to "welcome" the Shogun, since Kyuubei's formal introduction is unadapted and Catherine is too insignificant to have made any other appearance. Katsura, Elizabeth and their shenanigans take their place.
    • Although Otose makes her appearance in the second film, neither of her employees Catherine nor Tama are shown presumably due to their insignificance.
    • Due to his lack of appearances and relevance in the adapted stories, Sakamoto is nowhere to be seen in the Joui War flashbacks with Gintoki and co, even though the four of them were well-known as the dangerous Joui 4 and Sakamoto himself is established to be just as important as the other three in later stories of the manga.
  • Advertised Extra: Solo posters with Otae, Otose and Sarutobi (the latter two making their debut) were made as part of the advertising campaign for the second film, but they only appear in a few insignificant scenes in the real thing (lampshaded on Sarutobi's part).
  • Ascended Extra:
    • In the original series Gengai doesn't appear in any of the stories adapted, but in the adaptation he appears in both films. Aside from some gags riddled with Shout Outs, he's actually useful to the protagonists, specifically by transporting Gintoki to where he needs to be, via... means that just barely avoids them getting sued for copyright.
    • The Shinsengumi originally do not take part in the Benizakura arc, and even the revised anime film version only has them present as bystanders; in the film adaptation, they're much more active in the case and help out in the final battle.
    • Matsudaira and the Shogun do not appear in the original version of the Shinsengumi Crisis arc, but appear in the adaptation in the second film as the subplot involves the antagonists' plans to assassinate the Shogun.
    • Katsura and Elizabeth don't originally appear in the stories of the second film but make several appearances in the adaptation, mostly entertaining the Shogun (for comedic purposes) and helping in the final fight which includes helping destroy the helicopter that targeted Itou and the others thanks to Elizabeth's... flying abilities.
  • Brick Joke: Gintoki's terrible theme song from the beginning of the first film replays at the end, seemingly being used as the ending theme. Shinpachi protests, and the actual theme song plays afterward.
  • Butt-Monkey: Few characters get away without getting dragged into others' crazy schemes and slapstick, however the biggest honour goes to the Shogun who is frequently humiliated by the Yorozuya in the second film, being stripped naked in one incident and getting his topknot cut off and replaced with dog poop in another.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Sadaharu is nowhere to be see in the second film unlike the first, presumably due to the difficulty in rendering him in CGI, and no reference to him is made whatsoever.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Takasugi, the Big Bad of the first film, has few scenes in the second film as he has a less active role as the antagonist, with most of the action being carried out by Itou and Bansai.
    • Otae provides some much-needed emotional support in the first film but has a reduced role in the second film, solely appearing to deal with her cabaret club crisis.
  • The Ghost: Otose and the Shogun are mentioned by name only in the first film, when the Yorozuya are expecting to pay rent and when the Shinsengumi are looking for the Shogun's pet beetle. The two eventually appear in the second film, with the Shogun being targeted by the antagonists and Otose demanding rent from Gintoki.
  • Gratuitous Rap: Katsura, as Zurako, somehow decides the appropriate way to entertain the Shogun at a girls' cabaret club is to rap — cue his Joui-propaganda-filled "Katsurap" (which does appear in the original series, just in a different story). Gintoki and Shinpachi promptly take him away and tie him up so he can no longer ruin their plans.
  • Hypocritical Humour: In the first film, Katsura lectures Elizabeth that samurai should not be blinded by money. Gintoki runs past him almost immediately, chasing after the Shogun's pet gold beetle so he can return it and be rewarded.
  • Naked People Are Funny:
    • In the first film Kondou is seen kendo training nude as a gag, with his crotch area appropriately pixellated. Hijikata tells him off in slight annoyance and disgust.
    • The second film sees the Shogun be unfortunate enough to be hit with all the King's Game commands which has him stripping further and further until he's completely naked... and is about to set foot outside to buy underwear from the convenience store. Gintoki and Shinpachi are horrified by the development.
  • No Fourth Wall: Much in the spirit of the original series, the films don't even bother pretending there's a fourth wall and make many meta jabs.
    • The first film begins with the original opening, then goes downhill when Gintoki shoehorns in badly-edited fotage of him riding his scooter with his terrible singing playing over it. The Yorozuya interrupt and proceed to argue about both the aforementioned footage and the usefulness (or lack thereof) of the opening scene (since there's still bound to be newcomers amongst all the original fans watching). At the end of the film the same terribly-sung song reappears, before an annoyed Shinpachi interrupts and the proper ending theme song begins.
    • As the Yorozuya talk to Elizabeth, Gintoki and Kagura are well aware that they're in a live-action adaptation and that unlike the anime and manga there's gotta be a man underneath Elizabeth's costume.
    • The iconic shot of the Yorozuya house opens up the second film, as the Yorozuya make cynical remarks about how successful the first film was.
    • The typical clip that's shown at Japanese theatres to warn audiences to not record and pirate films appears in the second film, except the people doing the filming are a not-so-subtle Katsura and Elizabeth. Shinpachi angrily waves them off while informing viewers they don't have time to reintroduce characters, and sure enough only new characters have proper introductions.
    • Sarutobi's shortlived appearance is lampshaded, as she rants over how long it's taken for her to appear and that she doesn't even get to do anything in this film other than turn up at the cabaret club.
    • Similar to the first film, the second film seemingly ends with a gag ending sequence and song of Gintoki before Shinpachi protests and gets the real theme song to play.
  • Punny Name: Ana Ketsuno, whose name in Japanese order means asshole, makes a brief appearance in the first film. The TV program host she's reporting to orders that she introduces herself with her full name each time, clearly making fun of this trope.
  • Role Reprisal: Though the actor is different, the voiceover for Shouyou is done by his anime voice-actor Kōichi Yamadera (the actor's face is never shown so it works out).
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The beginning of the first film has both the Yorozuya and Shinsengumi chase after the Shogun's pet gold beetle, either so they can be rewarded generously (the former's case) or because they were specifically ordered to (the latter's case). The beetle gets eaten by a fish creature before anyone can get their hands on it, leaving both sides fruitless.
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • Kondo, being very unashamed of his nudity, proudly displays himself wearing nothing but a loincloth while covered in honey (as way to attract beetles) and trains naked in the first film.
    • Okita takes a nap with his shirt unbuttoned while he, Hijikata and Kondo discuss Takasugi's movements. Notable is that this detail is film-exclusive and the actor Ryo Yoshizawa is very easy on the eyes.
  • Shout-Out: As noted in the series subpage, the films do not shy away from parodying or name-dropping the hell out of existing media and real life people, including blatant parodying of Studio Ghibli.
  • Stylistic Suck: The shoddy editing of Gintoki's fake opening sequence with his badly-sung theme song playing over it in the first movie is intentional and meant to piss Shinpachi off as well as establish Gintama as a comedic film.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Elizabeth gets cut down by Nizou in the first film when protecting Shinpachi and disintegrates, seemingly to have died... then reappears right at the end of the film to help parachute Katsura and Gintoki to safety with no explanation whatsoever. Played for Laughs, given Elizabeth's ambiguous nature.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The vomit in both films is shown, but it's also pixellated and Played for Laughs. Kagura pukes (and a lot) while she held prisoner in the first film due to eating too much ramen and it disgusts everyone on board; in the second film, Shinpachi throws up due to the stress he feels over having to cut the Shogun's hair, and the smell of his vomit leads to Kagura also throwing up... right on the Shogun.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Unfortunately for Kondou, everyone forgets about him in the first film after he falls into the ocean and viewers never see how he gets himself out of the mess.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In the second film Katsura, Gintoki and Shinpachi all wear glamorous dresses and pretend to be women when the cabaret club is short on workers. "Zurako" is noted to actually look pretty attractive when dressed up ("Paako" and "Pachie" not so much but they're willing to put up with the act if it means keeping the Shogun entertained and avoiding corporal punishment).

The webseries provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: In the first webseries, Gintoki pretends to be Okita's best friend in front of Mitsuba but fails to remember his first name (Sougo) correctly. His attempts are as follows: Souchiro-kun, Bingo-kun, Hibagon-kun (bigfoot), and Unko-kun (poop). When Gintoki attempts to address him again later on without Mitsuba present, he calls him by the last name.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Incredibly minor since it's only the narration and not necessarily canon, but when Yamazaki explains the series backstory in the first webseries he notes that Gintoki was known as the Shiroyasha (White Yaksha) during the Joui War. In the original series, the Shinsengumi are unaware of this for a long time and make a big deal out of it when they find out.
  • Balloon Belly: A sleep-deprived Kagura takes up Gintoki's offer to eat a midnight snack a little too well and eats all the food he makes (some which was meant to be for breakfast the next morning and for himself). As a result, she overeats and ends up with a giant belly while she struggles to so much as breathe let alone sleep. Her body's returned to normal by the time Gintoki notices she's finally asleep sleep.
  • The Cameo: Maetel and Tetsuro from Galaxy Express 999 are passengers on the titular space train which Hijikata takes when travelling around for cigarettes. They converse with Hijikata during each trip even though he just takes out his smoke-deprived anger on them in response.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Mitsuba arc webseries helped give a lot of spotlight on the Shinsengumi (especially Okita and Hijikata) when it aired during the theatrical run of the first film where the Shinsengumi played a supporting role at best.
  • Demoted to Extra: Only three characters make recurring significant appearances in either webseries — Gintoki, Hijikata, and Okita (in his case only the first one). Anyone else from the movies that appear are delegated to one-off appearances or very minor appearances.
  • No Fourth Wall: In the second webseries Tetsuro remarks that Akira Toriyama and Leiji Matsumoto (the creators of Dragon Ball and Galaxy Express 999 respectively) are going to get mad thanks to characters from their series (or ripped off, in Toriyama's case) being used for gags instead of being taken seriously.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Okita acting sweeter than he usually is and being devoid of all his sadistic traits when around his sister emphasises how much he respects her.
  • Role Reprisal: The anime voice-actor for Hasegawa, Fumihiko Tachiki, also acts for him in in the second webseries.


Example of: