Gintama is a legendary anime and manga series. Written and illustrated by Hideaki Sorachi, the series has been running for ages, getting its start in the pages of Weekly Shōnen Jump in 2003. This manga has spawned a massive franchise featuring loads of anime series, movies, and specials. This means it can often be hard to know where to start. But, if you’re looking to dive into this legendary title, here is everything you need to know to get started.
What Is Gintama About?
Gintama is set in an alternative version of the late-Edo period. In this world, humanity was attacked by a group of aliens called Amanto. However, seeing the aliens’ immense power, the shōgun surrenders to them, despite the samurai being ready to fight them, no matter the odds.
The aliens turn the Japanese government into a puppet government and implement new rules, including a ban on carrying swords in public, which weakens the samurai and renders them useless.
The series follows one of these samurai, Gintoki Sakata. With nothing to do, Gintoki wanders the world doing odd jobs for money, dreaming of the day he can take down the aliens. After helping Shinpachi Shimura save his sister, Shinpachi and Gintoki form an unlikely team. A team that only grows weirder when they rescue Kagura, a teenage alien with super-strength, from a gang. This trio gets the name Yorozuya, and they become famed for their ability to do any job, no matter how weird or unusual.
As they travel and work, they encounter many different people. Both friends and foes. As time goes on, their adventures become more intense as they slowly get to the bottom of the mystery of the Amanto.
How to watch Gintama in release order
There is a lot of Gintama media available, so it can be hard to know where to start with it. However, one of the simplest ways to watch the show is to watch it in release order.
To do this, you’ll watch the show in the following order:
- Gintama – Jump Fiesta Special – 2005
- Gintama – 201 Episodes – 2006 – 2010
- White Demon’s Birth – Jump Fiesta Special – 2008
- Gintama: The Movie: Benizakura Chapter – Movie – 2010
- Gintama’ – 51 Episodes – 2011 – 2012
- Gintama’: Enchōsen – 13 Episodes – 2012 – 2013
- Gintama: The Movie: The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yorozuya – Movie – 2013
- The Input of This Super Move Is Too Hard, And I Can’t Pull It Off – Jump Fiesta Special – 2014
- Delicious Goods Are Preempted After Being Postponed, So Be Sure To Eat Them First – Jump Fiesta Special – 2015
- Gintama° – 51 Episodes – 2015 – 2016
- Gintama°: Love Incense Arc – 2 OVAs – 2016
- Gintama. – 12 Episodes – 2017
- Gintama. Porori-hen – 13 Episodes – 2017
- Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen – 26 Episodes – 2018
- Gintama: The Semi-Final – 2 Specials – 2021
- Gintama: The Very Final – Movie – 2021
How to watch Gintama in chronological order
Watching Gintama in chronological order is trickier than it seems at first glance. Gintama’s fusion of overarching and episodic storylines and its mix of comedy and action means that each series has adapted different bits of the manga. Often, the anime will skip over parts of the story to get to the more lore-heavy bits quicker, or something will be skipped over so it can be adapted into a movie later down the line.
Because of this, watching Gintama in chronological order will involve a lot of jumping between series and movies. Often stopping series mid-way through to go to another one.
It should also be noted that this order will often omit or skip episodes. This is because some things have been adapted twice or, in some cases, it will contain spoilers for events you’ll be watching later on.
To watch Gintama in chronological order, do the following:
- Gintama (Episode 3 – Episode 201) [See Note 1]
- Gintama: The Movie: Benizakura Chapter
- Gintama’ (Episode 1 – Episode 51)
- The Input of This Super Move Is Too Hard, And I Can’t Pull It Off
- Gintama’ Enchousen (Episode 1 – Episode 13)
- Gintama: The Movie: The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yorozuya
- Gintama° (Episode 1 -Episode 26)
- Gintama. Porori-hen (Episode 1 – Episode 13) [See Note 2]
- Gintama° (Episode 27- Episode 30)
- Gintama°: Love Incense Arc (OVA)
- Gintama° (Episode 31 – Episode 51)
- Gintama. (Episode 1 – Episode 12)
- Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen (Episode 1 – Episode 26)
- Gintama: The Semi-Final (Specials)
- Gintama: The Very Final
Note 1: Fans often suggest that new viewers skip the first two episodes of the series, saying that episode three offers a better introduction.
Note 2: In episode one, the opening sequence and the first few minutes contain spoilers for later events. If you’re keen to go forward without foreknowledge, skip this part.
Which order should I watch Gintama in?
While the chronological order is fun, release order is the best way to watch Gintama. Then you get to see how the anime changed over time and don’t have to worry about jumping from show to show.