Gintama is a long-running anime series set in an alternate version of Edo-era Japan where aliens have taken over, and follows the adventures of the Yorozuya trio, a group of odd-jobbers who take on a wide variety of tasks for their clients, ranging from the mundane to the bizarre. The series is known for its episodic structure, which means that each episode typically tells a self-contained story that doesn’t necessarily connect to previous or future episodes. However, the show also includes several story arcs that span multiple episodes and follow a more linear narrative structure.
These story arcs are usually more serious and dramatic than the standalone episodes, and they often introduce new characters and plot points that become important later in the series. While each story arc may have its own unique plot and setting, they are all interconnected and contribute to the overall story of Gintama.
Despite the presence of these story arcs, Gintama remains primarily an episodic anime, and viewers can enjoy the show without necessarily following a strict viewing order. However, watching the story arcs in order can help provide a more complete understanding of the characters and their motivations, and it can also enhance the emotional impact of certain events in the series.
So when does Gintama get good?
Some fans may feel that the series takes a bit of time to find its footing and really start to shine. Viewers have mixed opinions about when the anime series starts to gain steam, but many fans consider the “Benizakura Arc,” which starts at Episode 58, to be the point where Gintama really picks up and becomes more engaging. This arc features intense action sequences, high stakes, and a compelling story that draws the viewer in.
Out of 367 episodes, Gintama has 7 story arcs that have a linear story-telling structure, any of which are known to have the best moments in the series.
The Benizakura arc starts at episode 58 and spans a total of 8 episodes. It follows the Yorozuya trio – Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura – as they become embroiled in a dangerous plot involving a powerful sword called the Benizakura. The sword, which was stolen from the Shinsengumi, has been modified with alien technology and turned into a deadly weapon that can control its wielder and cause destruction on a massive scale.
As the Yorozuya investigate the theft of the sword, they become involved in a conflict between the Shinsengumi and a mysterious group known as the Kiheitai. Along the way, they encounter a number of new characters, including the deadly assassin Okita Sougo and the enigmatic Kiheitai leader Takasugi Shinsuke.
Yoshiwara in Flames Arc
The Yoshiwara in Flames Arc spans episodes 139-146 and follows the Yorozuya trio – Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura – as they undertake a dangerous mission to rescue their friend, Hinowa, from the underground city of Yoshiwara.
Yoshiwara is a place where men come to seek out the company of beautiful courtesans, but it is also a place of darkness and corruption, ruled over by a powerful gang called the Four Devas. When Hinowa is kidnapped by the Four Devas, the Yorozuya embark on a perilous journey to rescue her, braving deadly traps and fierce battles along the way.
Red Spider Arc
The Red Spider Arc is a compelling story arc in the anime series Gintama that spans episodes 177-181. It follows the Yorozuya trio, Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura, as they become embroiled in a dangerous conflict involving a powerful gang known as the Red Spiders.
The arc begins with the Yorozuya being hired by a woman named Oiwa to investigate her husband, who has been acting strangely since returning from a trip. The trio soon discovers that the husband has been brainwashed by the Red Spiders, a powerful and violent gang that is terrorizing the city.
As the Yorozuya delves deeper into the Red Spiders’ activities, they uncover a sinister plot to take over the city and establish a new criminal empire. Along the way, they encounter several new characters, including the Red Spiders’ ruthless leader, Jiraia, and a mysterious ninja named Tsukuyo.
The Thorny Arc spans episodes 188-193 and follows the Yorozuya trio – Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura – as they become embroiled in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with a powerful and enigmatic assassin known as the Thorny.
The arc begins with the Yorozuya being hired by a wealthy businessman named Sasaki to protect him from the Thorny, who has been hired to kill him. As they investigate the case, the Yorozuya quickly realizes that the Thorny is not your typical assassin – he is a master of disguise, a skilled fighter, and has a personal vendetta against Gintoki.
The Yorozuya uncover a sinister plot involving a mysterious organization known as the Tenryo Commission. Along the way, they encounter several new characters, including the sultry assassin Abuto, the sadistic Tenshouin Naraku, and the loyal bodyguard Takechi Henpeita.
Shogun Assassination Arc
The Shogun Assassination Arc is an epic story arc in the anime series Gintama that spans episodes 300-307. It is widely regarded as one of the most intense and emotionally impactful arcs in the series.
The arc centers around the assassination of the Shogun of Japan and the ensuing power struggle between the forces of the Bakufu government and the rogue faction of Kiheitai. The Yorozuya trio – Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura – become embroiled in the conflict as they attempt to protect the Shogun and prevent a full-blown war.
As the Yorozuya investigate, they are confronted with some of the most powerful and dangerous enemies they have ever faced, including the former Shinsengumi captain, Isaburo, and the deadly assassin, Nobume. The arc is notable for its intense action sequences, emotional moments, and its exploration of themes such as loyalty, betrayal, and the price of power.
The Shogun Assassination Arc is a standout story arc in Gintama that showcases the series’ ability to blend humor with serious drama. It is a must-watch for fans of the series and is often cited as one of the best story arcs in the show.
Farwell, Shinsengumi Arc
The Farewell, Shinsengumi Arc spans episodes 308-316 and centers around the dissolution of the Shinsengumi, a powerful and highly respected police force in the city of Edo. The Yorozuya trio – Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura – become involved in the conflict as they attempt to help the members of the Shinsengumi in their time of need.
Silver Soul Arc
The Silver Soul Arc is the final story arc of the anime series Gintama that spans episodes 342-367. It is widely regarded as one of the most epic and satisfying arcs in the series, bringing together all the major characters for a final showdown against their greatest enemy.
The arc centers around the arrival of the Tendoshu, an enigmatic and powerful group of aliens who seek to destroy Earth and enslave its inhabitants. Gintoki and his friends must band together with former enemies and allies alike to fight against the Tendoshu and save their home.
As the arc progresses, the story takes on a more serious and somber tone, exploring themes such as sacrifice, redemption, and the true meaning of friendship. It also features some of the most intense and emotionally charged battles in the entire series, showcasing the characters’ growth and development over the course of the show.