The perfect balance of belly-hurting parody comedy and awe-inspiring cool shounen action. Come to think of it, Gintama definitely is at the top of the classic charts with such an award-winning storytelling combination. And this is whether you are a casual manga enjoyer, season watch order enthusiast, or even an average non-canon movie fan.
Oh, and spoiler alert, the specifics of the Gintama watch order itself kind of sits between sporadic break-oriented seasons, to continuous broadcasts made even longer with hyped moves in between. At least from how it was aired, people didn’t really seem to think that the anime adaptation would be just as universally loved as the original source material.
You can compare it to something like a One Piece watch order in terms of structure, has extra fan-service episodes comparable to a Bleach watch order, but can be somewhat as succinct-ish as a Fullmetal Alchemist watch order. The best of all worlds you say? Actually more like yorozu-ya, if you catch our drift.
Recommended watch order
If we reference the TV episodes alone, it’s safe to say that the chronological order is almost the same as the release order. With the movies having a more general release date, the difference would simply lie with inserting a specific film title to which episode it should occur (since the release date order would simply indicate the date). Feel free to cleanly split between seasons, though we highly suggest interrupting them to get on with the feature movie as soon as possible.
1. Chronological order
This list emphasizes on the episode numbers, season splits, and where the movies should be watched between them. Take note of the punctuation marks for some of the other arcs to determine if it’s a different season.
(NOTE: Some sources treat the first four yearly seasons of Gintama as just one season, and then refer to Gintama’ as season two. Here we will refer to the latter as Season 5 instead for episode splitting reasons.)
- Gintama (Season 1 Episodes 1-49)
- Gintama (Season 2 Episodes 50-57)
- Gintama (Season 2 Episodes 58-61)
- Gintama: The Movie (film, essentially enhanced 58-61)
- Gintama (Season 2 Episodes 62-99)
- Gintama (Season 3 Episodes 100-150)
- Gintama (Season 4 Episodes 151-201)
- Gintama’ (Season 5 Episodes 202-252)
- Gintama’: Enchousen (Season 6 Episodes 253-265)
- Gintama the Movie (2): Kanketsu-hen, Yorozuya yo Eien Nare (film)
- Gintama°(Season 7 Episodes 266-316)
- Gintama. (Season 8 Episodes 317-328) (there’s a dot)
- Gintama. Porori-hen (Season 9 Episodes 329-341)
- Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen (Season 10 Episodes 342-367)
- Gintama: The Semi-Final (special, Episodes 1 and 2)
- Gintama: The Final (film)
2. Release date order
More or less the same list and same order, but with more emphasis on seasonal sets and real-life productions timelines.
- Gintama Season 1 (2006)
- Gintama Season 2 (2007)
- Gintama Season 3 (2008)
- Gintama Season 4 (2009)
- Gintama The Movie (2010)
- Gintama’ (Season 5, 2011)
- Gintama’: Enchousen (Season 6, 2012)
- Gintama the Movie: Kanketsu-hen, Yorozuya yo Eien Nare (2013)
- Gintama°(Season 7, 2015)
- Gintama. (Season 8, 2017) (again, there’s a dot)
- Gintama. Porori-hen (Season 9, 2017)
- Gintama. Shirogane no Tamashii-hen (Season 10, 2018)
- Gintama: The Final (2021)
- Gintama: The Semi-Final (2021, two weeks after The Final)
Plot of Gintama
Ancient Edo had its history forever changed when aliens known as the “Amanto” arrived and invaded Earth. Several years after feudal Japan’s official surrender to the Amanto, society has become this wacky amalgam of ancient Japan, Eastern feudal cultures, modern technology, and extraterrestrial denizens. Everything under the veil of a new puppet government that bans the ownership and use of all swords in public.
Gintoki Sakata, a rather understatedly odd fellow with a wooden sword starts a service business, the Yorozuya, one that would cater to anything that people might want to have him do. While the spirit of his work is to help others, the odd jobs he accepts often leads him to crazy misadventures. This is amplified even further by co-Yorozuya members Shinpachi, Kagura, Sadaharu, and the myriad of different characters inhabiting this sort of Neo Edo.
The absolute perfect mix of genres
While the manga offers a richer experience of the series with a longer narrative and a more thoroughly fleshed-out plot, watching the anime is almost always just as enjoyable. Besides, the anime has its own fair share of unique moments, both serious and comedic, that are not found in the manga that is still considered canon (they’re referenced later on, sometimes even in later manga chapters)
Best of all perhaps, is that all movies are hard canon, and provide a fluid continuity to the source material. Well, okay, the first movie is technically a recap. But even the Kanketsu-hen movie is officially canon as it is the intended alternate ending of Gintama, the story of which wrote by none other than the manga author Hideaki Sorachi.
Looking for other equal slices of comedy and action? Head on over to our best shounen anime list, right now!