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"One was trying to protect Shoyo’s legacy. The other was trying to destroy Shoyo’s legacy. But they had one thing in common. They both had such sorrow in their eyes."
Another emotional roller coaster in Gintama was recently built to bring us through more loops and turns in the form of the "Ikkoku Keisei" (Courtesan of a Nation) arc. What started off as a simple love story became a tense emotional look at the pasts of two men walking opposite paths, Gintoki Sakata and Shinsuke Takasugi. How much sorrow is enough to drive one to keep on living?
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"It galled me to do everything that young punk said…but you can’t judge a person by their age. There are young kids who’ve lived and felt more in their short lives than I have in all of mine."
You ever had one of those moments where you talk to someone younger than you and felt like that person was actually making sense? What if someone older talking to you felt the same? Don’t worry, you’re not the only ones.
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As most people will tell you, pets are awesome to have. They teach you how to be responsible and also provide some great stress relief. This may sound funny to most of you, but have you ever named your pet or associated it with notable anime/manga characters?
Case in point: here’s an example involving pets that I own. I have three red/orange blood parrot cichlids of different sizes as pets. Normally, I did not care about them until earlier this year when I started to feed them. I’ve grown to like them over time. I actually thought of those three fish as the Yorozuya from Hideaki Sorachi’s Gintama. Whenever I’m about to give them food, all three of them rush up in great speed to the top of the tank like poor, hungry folk fighting over a hotpot (which greatly reminds of Gin, Kagura, and Shinpachi).
The Big Fish
I call this one Gin because he reminds me of his “Boss of the Kids” look in Volume 16/Episode 88 of Gintama. The big dude is always going around picking on the other two fish. He gobbles rocks and shoots them when he’s bored. The “leader” is also the one who takes up all the food. A funny thing is he actually will lightly jump out of the water if you try to stick anything near him.
This fish also has great fighting spirit. My mother tried to move rocks in the fish tank around with a stick once and the big fish actually attacked the stick with determination. Gin-san also bit her hand in another incident. He’s an aquatic Shiroyasha.
The Medium-Size Fish
Kagura-chan! While Kagura is a girl’s name, she acts pretty tomboyish to the point that you can consider her a guy at times. This one likes to follow Gin-san around just for the hell of it. He gobbles rocks and shoots them as well. He picks on the smallest fish alongside Gin-san. Gin-san picks on Kagura-chan sometimes.
Of course, this Kagura could be Kaguura Jusant, her Monkey Hunter avatar.
The Semi-Medium Fish
Poor Shinpachi. All he does is go into a corner somewhere and stays there. The two other fish ALMOST ALWAYS pick on him. Shinpachi also struggles to get food from the other two sometimes. A funny note is that he seems to pay attention to food and nothing else.
Sometimes, I wonder if Shinpachi is actually a healthy fish since he seems to be somewhat lackadaisical. Does he drift off by himself to listen to Otsu-chan in his head?
Anthropomorphism, with regards to naming pets, is pretty popular and I think more people seem to be experiencing this feeling. You have to wonder if there are certain anime/manga characters that have moved fans to the point that they want to bring them to life through animals and feed their inner desire to nurture. Though you can also say the same for other fictional characters. I would love to hear any stories you guys have about pets that own whose names reflect certain character personalities.
Finally, here’s a photo that reflects the nature of Shinpachi’s treatment throughout Gintama, which greatly describes how wacky my case of anthropomorphism is.
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If you’re a Gintama fan & you haven’t watched/read this storyline, you should DEFINITELY experience the Renho arc (Episodes 232-236 in the anime, Volume 41 in the manga). There is so much blatant copyright infringement, it’s not even funny.
Though most importantly, the story features the return of Tatsuma Sakamoto, a merchant who was formerly a Joi patriot alongside Gintoki Sakata & Katsura Kotaro. Together, the three of them make up the "San Baka" (Three Stooges/Idiots).
Outside of the somewhat silly feel (i.e. everyone’s wearing duck costumes) of the arc, I wonder if the arc was made to represent a second chance for all three characters to protect what they cherish as a unit. In the past, our three idiots were warriors chosen to prevent an alien invasion by the Amanto. They failed in the end and went their separate paths. With the Renho situation escalating, Gin, Zura, & Sakamoto were reunited by fate. They couldn’t save their country from aliens, but the least they could do was save their planet from aliens.
What makes the three idiots even more interesting is their ability to draw crowds. They manage to shift the tense focus of battle to something more light-hearted (a game of UNO). While this makes them considered to be idiots, the Renho troops they managed to influence became drawn to them. Gin, Zura, & Sakamoto are all charismatic and you get to see their charisma to great effect. What makes them charismatic is their ability to make others feel important.
It makes me wonder what actually happened during the Amanto War. Was there little rapport among the Japanese? Was the lack of it the reason they lost? Were the Joi lacking in effective communication skills? Interesting stuff to think about until Hideaki Sorachi decides to cover the past to a huge degree. I also wonder if the whole “Amanto taking over Japan” theme represents Japanese society in general & how they need to stand up against inequality.
Lesson learned from the Gintama Joi trio: take a genuine interest in people if you want to be loved & appreciated. Yes, you might end up a fool, but a lovable one.
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I haven’t fought for some cheap country, not even once! I don’t give a damn whether the country or the samurai get destroyed! Back then…Right now and back then, the only thing I’ve been fighting to protect…..HASN’T CHANGED ONE BIT!