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The Mike Toole Show - Where to Be-GIN with Gintama


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TranceLimit174



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 768
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:35 pm Reply with quote
The long running series I'm too intimidated to get into: One Piece.

Friends insist I can blow through 800+ episodes and will love it, and I probably would, but I can't bring myself to start that behemoth when the manga alone has another 7-10 years to go at the least. I followed Naruto for a decade, and that was my limit and thank God it ended.

That seems to be the double-edged sword with long running shounen series. They are best when you get in on the ground floor and the adventure just keeps continuing until following the story becomes a matter of habit. But the flipside of having so much great material to get through is that you look at the massive time investment and it becomes straight up daunting which can turn away potential new fans.

That said, I've always wondered about Gintama. It's a shounen staple and I know the imagery, but it never seemed to become a break-out hit in the West and gain the noterirty of its contemporaries. But reading that it's more of a laid back comedy than something heavily story-driven makes me more inclined to give it a look. Plus my favorite VA voices Gintoki so that's a big plus.
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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 781
Location: Holland MI
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:50 pm Reply with quote
I watched all 201 episodes of the first season and honestly some of the funniest for me is "popularity poll arc." and while I can't remember specific episode numbers and don't have any intention of restarting the series until I finish at least Heavy Metal L-Gaim and Aura Battler Dunbine on Daisuki. I mean I still have Mr.Raindrop by amplified is still stuck in my head months to years after having first heard it as the second ending theme.

Yet some of the humor is frankly dated and if you just want to watch the "best" of the previous seasons episodes 136c, 119c, 109c, 156c, 111c, 194c, 175c, 138c, 110c, 188c, and 153c, which are all remastered versions of "classic" episodes can be found in Gintama Season two (253-265) on Crunchyroll. That would be my best guess to start if you want kind of a "greatest hits" feel for the first two seasons or so.

The comparison to Mr. Osomatsu-San seems fair as it's that same kind of odd referential humor mixed with non sequiturs and pop culuture.
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Jinbei



Joined: 12 May 2014
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:01 pm Reply with quote
I REALLY feel like throwing a long rant about my absolute favourite series here, but time is short...

I stumbled upon Gintama roughly 8 years ago and never have I felt like giving it up(y'know.. like how Viz gave up publishing the manga in english) and while its 320+ episodes may feel ike a daunting task, you can honestly skip a WHOLE lot of episodes.

No, really... After you've gotten to now the main cast of the recurring characters(Yorozuya triplet, Kabuki-cho posse, Shinsengumi and Gintoki's old patriot pals), which takes about 20-30 episodes, you can start watching the actual story arcs(both serious and comedic) and skip most of the rest. Granted, you'll miss some great comedy, but the net is full of forums that recommend the best stuff(episode 139 is phenomenal). You might want to use those, as I have to grudgingly admit that some of the anime-original episodes are about as funny as kids dying from cancer before turning 4 years.

It hasn't been updated in ages, but Yorozuya Soul had a good list of the arcs and their episodes. After episode 270 or so, you can stop skipping as the more recent episodes are part of one big story.

Give the series a chance. Once the serious and action-filled stuff kicks in, there's no stopping. I've been on this ride since early 2009 and I have no intention of hopping off, since the speed of the series has been steadily growing for the past 3 years...
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everapril



Joined: 24 Apr 2009
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:22 pm Reply with quote
Barreling through this series was my big nerdy project last year after Osomatsu-san left a comedy hole in my week and it was a hoot. I encourage you to start back at the beginning. I love character based humor and potty jokes but the self-referential comedy is definitely the highlight for me: Any time there's a sequence where the characters break the fourth wall and beg for more money, make snide remarks about voice actors, admit they messed up the production schedule or any other glimpse into the show behind the show, I absolutely lose it. The episodes they admit they overspent or overexerted on previous action sequences and so the whole episode take place over a black or white background, or was completely uncolored, my god... Or the "New Years" tradition of reusing the same scene just redubbed...

IMO, even if you've seen the first movie, which is a compilation film of episodes 58-61, you owe it to yourself to start at the beginning and watch through that arc. The Benizakura Arc is what solidified for me (and I'm sure, many others) that this series is versatile enough to scratch the itch for comedy and good ol' fashion shonen adventure.
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Merida
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Joined: 21 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:49 pm Reply with quote
Where to begin with Gintama? At the beginning of course! And you absolutely do not skip episodes, that's just heresy (plus, you'll miss out on a lot of fun because even the filler eps. are good, sometimes even better than the canon ones!)...
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Chocoreto



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:04 pm Reply with quote
Jinbei wrote:
I have to grudgingly admit that some of the anime-original episodes are about as funny as kids dying from cancer before turning 4 years.


I've been a fellow Gintamaniac for many, many years now and I only remember one episode like that and it was one of the new episodes, at some point before the Shogun Ark. It was really cringy and painful to watch. Struck me pretty bad, since till then I had been spoiled with constant top-tier comedy. That season would have been a real disappointment if not for one particular fighting sequence.

To whoever says that they don't want to watch all episodes of Gintama: Give it up and watch them mate. Just give it up already. You're not earing anything by plucking out a handful of not-so-good episodes, and you can always skip them if you see that they are individual episodes that don't work out for you. Also, it's important that you watch all the episodes connected to the serious storyline, which are very frequently scattered throughout the series. Benizakura ark, Kyuubei ark, Mitsuba ark, Shinsengumi Ito ark, Yoshiwara ark (personal favorite), Jiraya ark... All those at the series before episode 201. Maybe you can skip some of Otsuu's, Tama's and Ketsuno Ana's episodes safely, but that's up to you to decide because humor is very subjective.

BUT, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can skip on episodes 202 to 252. Those 50 episodes were Gintama at it's absolute best, pure gold. (silver). Whatever you decide to do, absolutely watch Benizakura and Yoshiwara arks and then all episodes from 202 to 252. Call me when you've built the abs of your dreams just by laughing.
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Midaro



Joined: 15 Nov 2015
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:33 pm Reply with quote
I would start from the beginning, knowing the first two episodes are a bit strange. Then I'll watch the next let say 20 and I dare you to skip any. Of course you may, but when the series is over, you'll miss it so much, you'll come back and watch them. It's that good.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 1692
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:42 pm Reply with quote
Episodes 1-265, or the Sunrise era as you call it(given that the Manga is supposed to be ending soon, Sunrises episodes will out number the new studios by a lot so it will always be a Sunrise show), have too many great arcs to list. If there is one problem is that the first 57 episodes are not consistently good, so you just want to stick to character intros for that [part of the show. Though I'm sure some people will isolate the best of the best, for the first 265.
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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1295
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Tried multiple times to get into Gintama. Never managed more than a few episodes, mostly because of Shinpachi. He's not just the ultimate straight man; he's the ultimate Japanese straight man - which means lots of shouting long lists of reasons why the other people in the situation are wrong. Gets old real quick.
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percy



Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:18 pm Reply with quote
Gintama and its endearing cast of nutjobs have earned my undying affection.

I first fell in love with the books at the same time as I did with Kaze Hikaru (hugs VIZ for giving her KH! kicks VIZ in the shins for dropping Gin!!) and was tickled to realize they were filled with completely different takes on the same historical figures. (That sent me down a Shinsengumi research/pop culture rabbit hole of happiness that I still haven't bothered crawling out of. Context makes already awesome things even better!) When the subbed anime became available streaming, Crunchyroll was pretty much guaranteed my money--and has been ever since. CD Japan has also reaped the benefits, as the series has a fun soundtrack and a few killer OPs and EDs (clutches her old-fashioned CDs and bounces her head to DOES and Spyair). While I have no problem with dubs as a rule and am excited that the new English dub may bring the series new fans, after many years and a few hundred episodes of Sugita and company, the original voices and personalities have long since become inseparable for me.

I love historical fiction and stories featuring families (literal or figurative), so Gintama's Odd Jobs crew and their quirky, deadly, deadbeat, badass, selfish, selfless, stupid, clever, crazy network of friends, enemies, and frenemies just get me right in the heart. The characters' combination of embarrassingly awkward, utterly hysterical, and yet deeply inspiring traits makes them all relatable as no morally unambiguous, respectable, idealized heroes of black-and-white justice could ever be.

And while it's true you can probably jump in anywhere that's not a dramatic arc and have a blast without being too lost, there is still a clear continuity running through the series that rewards longtime readers/viewers with richer world-building, more affecting character development, and funnier jokes. The series gets a lot of great mileage out of playing with fulfilled/defied expectations based on what's come before. But then, I'm also a completionist, so I always vote for starting with the beginning of a good thing and sticking it out until it has grown into something even greater and become irreversibly incorporated into your personal history. Smile

(One Piece is a series I initially avoided mainly because it was soooo long, but we started at the beginning and just watched little chunks while eating dinner in the summertime, stayed up a little too late to squeeze in a few more eps here and there, and now we're almost caught up and I love it and its silly, tight-knit family, too.)


Last edited by percy on Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Crystalblade13



Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:42 pm Reply with quote
Wow article, you skipped some of the best stuff... the scandle arc, the host club, popularity poll, all the shogun episodes....seriously watch it all. You are colossally missing out on most of the series funniest arcs. Not to mention the godly serious arcs... but hey, it's your choice man.
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SkerllyF



Joined: 02 Sep 2016
Posts: 227
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:03 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The long running series I'm too intimidated to get into: One Piece.


Quote:
One Piece is a series I initially avoided mainly because it was soooo long

You know there´s a guide here for that, right?animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2015-06-24/how-to-conquer-one-piece/.89612

Also, Mike, if you think Gintama is the only series from Shonen Jump that goes balls-to-the-wall crazy with references and meta-humor, there´s also Sket Dance(set in a highschool), Bobobo(compared to Gintama, it seems created after its author became crazy with crack, no offense)and Medaka Box(also set on highschool, but with the context of a battle shonen series).

Speaking about the last one, Mike, as you make some articles about shonen jump series, I want you to make an article about this manga series.It´s written by NisioIsin, and like his novels, it´s a complicated one to digest, in fact, pretty wordy at times. But I think you should make an article of its satires to the shonen genre, its infamous character, Kumagawa, and some other things. Also the article can serve a discussion about shonen sattires. If there´s anyone here who wants that, please let´s beg it. Or use this hashtag: #MedakaBoxArticle please. It´s just a petition.
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percy



Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:32 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
You know there´s a guide here for that, right?animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2015-06-24/how-to-conquer-one-piece/.89612


Yup, but that came out long after we'd already decided on our plan of attack and started digging in. Being a lifetime all-or-nothing consumer by nature, I'm used to figuring out whether I want to pass on, nibble piecemeal at, or marathon a series. With One Piece, we ended up doing mini marathons throughout the summers, so now I associate it with balmy, perfect sea-going weather. Razz
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Big Kahuna



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:39 pm Reply with quote
Not everyone needs to watch all episodes, but for veteran anime fans who have been around since the 70s or 80s, or recent fans digging for old school gold (anime or live), it would be a loss if you don't at least give it a college try to go through the first 265. Gintama parodies not just recent anime (Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Kuroko Basket, JoJo, Death Note, Conan, Dragonball, Gundam, etc.), but also oldies like City Hunter, Cobra, Catseye, Saint Seiya, and of course Hokuto no Ken. It also dumps on Studio Ghibli and hard. Video games and manga are of course to be expected (i.e., Dragon Crown, Mario Bro., Dynasty Warriors, etc, and the 4 perverted male devas in the Yagyuu household, which is a major story arc in the middle, are all named after characters from Strawberry 100%... did anyone ever sued them I wonder). Along with real celebrities and world events, it even paid homage to famous kung fu movies: an episode animated the entire bicycle scene from Jackie Chan's Project A. More, many of the spoofs are not just name dropping, but raunchy attacks that actually took effort. Then there are the puns... dirty dirty puns. But beyond parodies, I want to emphasize that all the drama arcs really add up and drive home the last season, which introduces what seems to be end game. Really, there are two or three major story arcs in the series that simply cannot be missed if one are to proceed toward the end! While it'd be sad if old school fans missed a parody of 80s classic anime here and there, but skipping these drama arcs really reduces the full impact of the last season, which has been the best in Gintama so far.
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TranceLimit174



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 768
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:59 pm Reply with quote
SkerllyF wrote:
Quote:
The long running series I'm too intimidated to get into: One Piece.


Quote:
One Piece is a series I initially avoided mainly because it was soooo long

You know there´s a guide here for that, right?animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2015-06-24/how-to-conquer-one-piece/.89612



That serves no purpose for me, because like all the Ginatamaniacs have suggested with their series, I may as well start from the beginning. Besides if I really got into it I'd end up seeking out and watching the episodes I skipped anyway if I used that guide.

I've already got plenty of things competing hard for my free time both short and long-running. Sadly back in the day out of the Big 3, One Piece became the odd man out as I got into Naruto and Bleach. Well, that was a mistake because the drawn out trainwreck that was Bleach is now legendary, but at least it allowed me the mercy of a clean jumping off point after the Aizen mess. Even though I'm not personally a fan, I can freely admit that One Piece obviously "won" in terms of being the best big shounen property out of those three.

I'll probably get into One Piece when I'm retired and Eiichiro Oda finally decides to end the series because working on it put him on his death bed.

But back to the series in question:

Big Kahuna wrote:
It also dumps on Studio Ghibli and hard.


This I gotta see. I'll probably take advantage of the new dub so I can have Gintama as more casual viewing which will make it a more refreshing experience.
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