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Gin tama
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Gin Tama (銀魂, Gintama?, lit. "Silver Soul" wink is a comedic manga created by Hideaki Sorachi. The original manga began in December 8, 2003 and is currently being published by Shueisha in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The manga has sold over 20 million copies in Japan. In March 2007, Shueisha announced that sales of the first volume had passed one million copies.

The manga has been licensed by Viz Media in North America. In addition to publishing the individual volumes of the series, Viz serialized in its Shonen Jump manga anthology. It debuted in the January 2007 issue, and was serialized at a rate of one chapter a month.

An OVA of Gin Tama by Sunrise was showing at Jump Festa 2006 Anime Tour in 2005. This was followed by a full anime series which debuted on April 4, 2006 TV Tokyo. As of December 2008, 137 episodes have aired.

The subtitle for the Gin Tama anime could be loosely translated as "The starting point is the utmost importance for anything, so trying to outdo oneself is just about right."
Development

In 2003, Hideaki Sorachi was an up-and-coming mangaka who had already created two one-shots for the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. Although he was preparing himself to create his first serialized series, his editor suggested that he would create a manga series based on the Shinsengumi, mostly inspired by an upcoming TV-drama about the 1860s troupe as depicted by idol actors. Sorachi attempted to create this series since he admitted to liking the Shinsengumi, but ultimately failed to get anything off the ground. But instead of abandoning the idea completely, the mangaka remained in the historical Japanese era but began to create his own story, adding in elements of science fiction and fictionalizing many of the figures from the era to create a story more to his own liking.[4] The original title of the series was meant to be Yorozuya Gin-san, but it didn't have any impact on Sorachi. After great debate, he decided to go with the name Gin Tama after discussing it with his family, deciding to go with a name that sounded close to the edge without being completely off it.[5]

The series Gin Tama premiered in issue 2, 2004 of the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, where it quickly caught success due to Sorachi's own perspective of the world and its combination of comedy, parody, action and sci-fi. Although appearing outlandish, Sorachi does attempt to keep certain historical attributes connected to the period with twists: for example, while history speaks of the foreigners from the United States and Europe invading Japan after being forced to open their doors, this series replaces international foreigners with extraterrestrial ones, yet keeps various ideas and perspectives between those who wish to keep the invaders and their ideas around and those who wish to completely free Japan from its grip. The usage of science fiction also frees Sorachi from merely sticking with the era of depiction, allowing him to introduce more modern aspects of society in today's Japan and use them as part of his commentary of both the modern and past eras.

During the first year of the series, Sorachi believed that the source of the popularity connected to Gin Tama was partially connected to the Shinsengumi drama. While the drama ran during the first year of the series, when the manga was mostly shorter stories that established the characters and the world, he felt sick of riding on the coattails of something else's success.[6] By the second year and beyond, he became more daring in his stories and concepts, creating longer storylines that included more drama while keeping his bizarre sense of humor and satirization of modern Japan by way of his fictionalized past.

Story

The story takes place in Edo (known today as Tokyo because of the name change in 186 cool , Japan, which has been taken over by aliens called Amanto since the late Edo period. The samurai of Japan have fallen, and the Amanto placed a ban on carrying swords in public. The story focuses on an eccentric samurai, Gintoki Sakata, his (partial) apprentice Shinpachi Shimura, and a teenage alien girl: Kagura. All three are "free-lancers" who search for work in order to pay the monthly rent, which usually goes unpaid anyway.

Characters

Main article: List of Gin Tama characters

Gintoki Sakata
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Gintoki Sakata (坂田 銀時, Sakata Gintoki?) Seiyū - Tomokazu Sugita
Gintoki Sakata is the main character of the story. He has naturally permed hair, which he blames for his lacking love-life. He rides a motor scooter and wields a bokuto, which has "Lake Toya" (洞爺湖, Tōya-ko?) inscribed onto it. His job, as is written on his business card, is a "free-lancer", meaning he'll take any job for nearly any price. He enjoys reading Shōnen Jump comics and he has a sweet tooth and will go into crazed combat if he does not have his sweets (he has glycosuria).
In the past, he was a Joi (someone who attempted to overthrow Amanto to protect the government). The reason Gintoki does not join Kotaro Katsura again to fight the aliens is that he does not like to fight alongside "gloomy terrorists".

Shinpachi Shimura
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Shinpachi Shimura (志村 新八, Shimura Shinpachi?) Seiyū - Daisuke Sakaguchi
Shinpachi works under Gintoki to learn the ways of the samurai. However it seems more like he is just trying to help Gintoki pay the rent than to learn. Shinpachi is the captain of the "Otsu Imperial Guard," a pop-singer's fan club.
Shinpachi first met Gintoki after he was tripped by an alien ambassador. Gintoki beats up the ambassador and his guards to get revenge for his spilled parfait. Soon after, Gintoki framed Shinpachi for the crime, which somehow led to him saving Shimura Tae (Otae), Shinpachi's sister, from being added to a brothel.

Kagura Yato and Sadaharu
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Kagura (神楽, Kagura?) Seiyū - Rie Kugimiya
Kagura is an alien from the "Yato Clan," one of the strongest races in existence. Despite her alien heritage, she looks like a normal human and talks with a Chinese accent. She can stop Gintoki's motor scooter single-handedly and has an umbrella that is bullet-proof and can fire bullets from the tip. Her stomach knows no bounds and she apparently loves to eat sukonbu.
She originally came to Earth to earn money to help her parents' financial situation. Because of her immense strength, she took to fighting for a gang. After she was told to kill a few people, she tried to escape from the gang and was almost run over by Gintoki's motor scooter. He liberated her, and she forced him to let her join his free-lancer business. She sleeps in the closet of Gintoki's home. Kagura has a giant dog-like creature called Sadaharu as a pet, which she had found. Sadaharu has a habit of often biting most characters, with the exception of Kagura.

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