Just over 3 weeks ago I reviewed Gintama Slip Arc and what it meant for us Gintama fans. From the practical standpoint, it was slated as the method through which the Anime and Manga could line up again and enable simultaneous conclusion. From a viewer standpoint, it means we got ourselves a taste of some arcs that were otherwise denied to us as anime watchers and some more humor and backstory before the curtain rose and the final act began. I’ll admit I thought it was going to be dead serious and action to cap off but that wouldn’t be right, that wouldn’t be Gintama. What we’ve seen so far is a set of interactions that does the story right and manages that odd balance of rolling-on-the-floor-laughing humor, tear-jerking seriousness, and a sense of honor belying the show’s otherwise jovial approach. We start with a depressing occupation by the Altana Liberation Army which was assembled to bring the Altana controlling Tendoushu to bear for their crimes of destroying 7 planet’s Altana gates. This leads to the population of Edo suffering as our supporting characters stand by waiting and trying to gather money to buy a job from Odd Jobs, who are still out in space per the last arc. We see a heartwarming scene with Hasegawa gathering change underneath all the vending machines he can until finally coming face to face with the Amanto, not as a Madao but as Hasegawa Taizou Director of The Immigration Bureau.
Yup, and while he gives a heartwarming speech, in true Hasegawa fashion he is subsequently beaten and harmed as the Odd Jobs shop is destroyed by Amanto with heavy weapons. The episode ends with the people of Edo rallying behind Gintoki and Odd Jobs driving off the Altana Liberation Army and a surprise in Nobunobu arriving at the Army’s flagship to negotiate on behalf of the Shogunate, with his retainers
Zura Katsura and Sakamoto by his side. Wait, what? Turns out the Old Jouishishi (barring a certain one eyed villain) are working with Nobunobu after he opted to finally stand up for himself and cease being a puppet and deal with the hatred and vitriol from the others, going so far as to eat Croquettes Kagura doused in mayo (Uehh) and hot sauce. This leads us to the “negotiations” where the first thing Nobunobu asks for in the talks is for the toilet. After a few days of renting movies and borrowing sweat shirts, sweat pants, and underwear they come to meet one of the leading players in this universe wide army, Admiral Shijaku. Upon a denial of bathroom by Katsura and Sakamoto, Nobunobu is forced into a position to demand the Altana Liberation Army leave Earth matters to the Samurai and unable to hold it in, threatens to “let it launch” which the Amanto assume means a nuke, and Shijaku and Nobunobu share a moment which leads to mutual respect, trust and a ceasefire. Please just watch the scene as I can’t do it justice.
Things kick off and we find the leader of the Liberation Army, Prince Enshou, and Admiral Shijaku were once enemies on opposing sides of a war, who mutually respected one another. This is ended when the Tendoushu strike, destroying Burei, his home planet and his pregnant wife as well, and Enshou and Shijaku band together to fight their common enemy. We then have our characters begin to reminisce about how they came about working with Gin and this caps off with attacks by Tendoushu disguised as townsfolk and are aided by Nobume. Beyond that, the townsfolk attack the Liberation Army base and are revealed to have been given drops of Utsuro’s blood rendering them immortal, but little more than beasts. This leads to Enshou revealing he had the leaders of Tendoushu contained in a state of undeath but was continuing the war for the sake of his and his subordinate’s rage, to the horror of Shijaku. This culminates in the assault of the Liberation Army on Edo castle, firing upon it with Princess Soyo manning it alone. At this moment, Gin, Kagura, and Shinpachi are surrounded by Amanto tanks with the injured Nobume and Sadaharu in tow. At this moment Gin has a bit of an existential crisis leading to him faltering, only to be reinvigorated as the Shinsengumi return, albeit comically, and begin to defend their home once more and revealing their new found powers.
This is shaping up to be a damn good ending for a damn good show, maintaining and exceeding all things that made Gintama a great show. It’s been a long crazy wild ride that I’ve only really been on for a few years out of many but I’ve enjoyed it all the way and glad I’m here for the ending. While this will clearly be less impressive for anyone else, you can still jump into this show a couple seasons back and catch up easy. I can’t wait to see how it wraps up with moments like Yamazaki suddenly becoming Rambo.