By Robert Ramos
Are you guys tired of me reviewing everything Gintama related yet? I surely hope not because this, as you already all know, is the one series I can always talk about AND the one I enjoy discussing the most (sorry, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure). At any rate, Silver Soul is the latest arc/series in the Gintama franchise, and while it’s only the first half of the arc, it has the makings to be the best arc thus far.
Utsuro, the ultimate baddy of Gintama, has revealed his plan to use the help of the universe to destroy Earth and it’s up our trio and the assistance of any and all allies to save it from destruction. Of the bat, it sounds like a pretty tried and true and completely overly used storyline. While this may be the case in other series, for Gintama, it’s really like no other. How so? The burden of saving Earth is not only on that of the odd jobs crew but of everyone. From the 4 Devas of the Kabuki District to everyday citizens, all are out to save Edo from annihilation. Man, did I eat this shit right up. Seeing everyone working together and seeing new sides of characters not previously presented was a treat. Not only that, but characters thought to be long forgotten also make their grand reappearances, something else I really appreciated. Nothing like seeing the okamas and their obsession with balls to spark that nostalgia.
Although the story relied heavily on the drama and action front, the comedy Gintama is known for was never spared. Even in the midst of deep dialogue and Earth on the brink of destruction, a dick joke would emerge. It’s these moments that break Gintama from the rest and what really fuels my love for the series. Yes, you guys. I’m an absolute sucker for good dick jokes.
I had two issues with this arc if you can ever believe that. Like the previous Gintama arc (Slip Arc, which, by the way, is pure comedic gold) I had a bit of some issues with the animation this go around, too. There were quite a bit of instance of characters looking off and the fight scenes, at times, were not as fluid as I would have liked them to be. The second qualm was the pacing. Even though this is the first half of a big arc, it felt rushed. Because of the way anime seasons work, not a whole lot could have done to alleviate that. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the hell out of this portion of the arc as a whole.
While not really an issue, this was the first time Gintama has encountered visual censoring because of violence. The anime has a long standing with the running gag of censoring itself for copyrighted material and lewd content, but never has it been censored by the broadcaster for gore. Just a neat little tidbit I thought I’d share with you guys.
The Silver Soul arc is claimed to be the final arc in the Gintama story. What that means, I really don’t know. The manga is still ongoing, so there’s hope that there will be more Gintama episodes in the future. All I know is that in the event of there being no new episodes after part 2 of this arc, many, many tears will be shed.
Gintama: Shirogane no Tamashii-hen