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The ONE thing I dislike about Gintama
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Posted 2/8/11 , edited 2/8/11
I really, truly, enjoy Gintama, it's an incredibly amusing show. It's nice that it's not an endless who's strongest escalator on an exponential curve (like most lengthy shounen series, which I cannot abide).

If there is one thing that drives me rather crazy, sometimes, it's the common symptom of a series with many writers (thus a factor that plagues almost every American show, one of the reasons I don't often watch them) such that characters are jarringly inconsistent. One episode will see Kagura casually throwing a several tonne automobile, the next will see her stopped by a plywood barrier. She'll get up after being hit by a speeding vehicle as though it were nothing, but then fall to the ground bleeding and dazed from having a small rock thrown at her by an average person. Really? REALLY? They're completely screwing up my suspension of disbelief and ruining the characters by not maintaining a stable definition of their capabilities.

I always think to myself that it's irresponsible for these writers not to be watching the series they're writing for enough to maintain some decent continuity. It's fine to have episodic stories that don't affect one another, but the characters (barring development) should be constant. Different games of Chess will play out in completely different ways, but the pieces will always have the same abilities and follow the same rules or it isn't Chess. It really vexes me when different writers are actually playing different games with the pieces but under the guise of it all being the same.

Really, this is one of the reasons that Japanese and British series are frequently produced in short runs or small batches, because they attend such details more closely and maintain fewer writers, I believe it enhances the quality.
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Posted 2/9/11
I don't recall an episode where kagura is pitifully weak.
But there's a bunch of explanations for that.

1) comedic effect
2) plot-induced
3) (anime) it was a filler and the studio slipped up

But could you give us an example?
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Posted 2/9/11 , edited 2/9/11
Episode 45 sees Kagura taken out by a thrown rock. I'll have to dedicate more thought and consideration to noting more specific examples.

Frankly, whenever I notice such inconsistencies I do my best to ignore them and put them out of my mind, not etch them into my memory. Nonetheless, while I very much understand reason 1, it's more frequently reason 2 that irks me. When characters are uncharacteristically weak or stupid as a means to drive a dramatic plot (not a gag), that's glaringly bad writing. That's like Deus ex machina. Deus ex machina (arbitrary developments and plot devices to drive[or resolve] a [dramatic] plot that don't make sense in the context of the setting/story) IS bad, often lazy, writing.

They shouldn't have Gintoki sending 20 men flying with a single swing of his sword (episode 52, arriving in the elevator) and in episode 22 he's running scared witless from a similarly sized group of individuals. There shouldn't be so much fluctuation in his combat prowess and confidence.


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Posted 2/9/11 , edited 2/9/11
Concerning episode 45, i think my third point applies there if i remember correctly (filler episode)

But i can see what you mean. On the other hand, it's a gag-series. Most of these situations can be brought back to the rule of funny. On the matter of gintoki, in my mind gintoki always runs aways when given the chance, unless he really wants to fight(or has to).

But, again, it's a gag-series with minimal amounts of plot sprinkled here and there. Also it's different from other shonen manga in that way. Typical Hero gets stronger =/= Gintoki stays always the same, sometimes doesn't even want to fight at all, refuses powerups/training sessions etc.

Also, wouldn't be a bit boring if gintoki always fights his way trough some minions? It's more interesting to see what he's going to do.

PS: It fucking sucks to write on a glitchy keyboard

edit : i just remembered, isn't kagura supposed to be weaker when exposed to sunlight? In the early episodes they propbably till thought about that(given that the author mostly forgets about it later on)
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Posted 2/9/11 , edited 2/9/11
I agree that Gintama succeeds on the strength of its humour, and I certainly find enough amusement for myself to keep watching it. Yet I believe there is also an element of balance which aids in its longevity. Namely, there are healthy doses of drama and suspense interspersed throughout most of the plots, they exist to counterbalance the humour and amplify the potency. A back and forth of tension and relief to better appreciate the contrast.

I really don't mind the "heart-warming" sorts of developments with death and misfortune, but many of the "suspenseful" scenes (frequently portraying a protagonist imperiled) rely on aforementioned protagonist demonstrating greater weakness and mortality than the rest of the series would suggest they were vulnerable to.

I accept and respect the "rule of funny", those situations don't bother me, it's the absurdities they often sink to for the dramatic interludes that ignite my ire. I suppose the writers are just better at comedy and tragedy than suspense.

Also, in episode 45 wherein Kagura exhibits some unwarranted fragility, it is completely overcast and raining. We could bring up points such as UV rays penetrating cloud layers unhindered but I'm skeptical the writer(s) attend that level of detail and I recall Kagura suggesting once that she wasn't using her umbrella during inclement weather due to diminished necessity(as a child, to her father, so during the first Umibozo arc.)

Finally, being a predominantly episodic series, it's hard to clearly label episodes as filler unless they lack any semblance of an original story, i.e. a clip/recap episode. Most episodes are self-contained with little to no carry over beyond non-essential references, so the idea of the traditional "filler episode", which would imply an episode that in no way advances an overarching plot, is rather bunk.
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Posted 2/10/11
I meant that the story wasn't in the original manga, so the studio staff had to write their own material.
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Posted 2/11/11
Ah, I have no experience with the manga and therefore cannot comment on discrepancies or variation. I do not know how much of the inconsistency originates with the mangaka or with various writers adapting the piece into an animé. I would prefer to think it is the latter case.
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Posted 2/11/11
Well, like i said, later on the author forgets about some aspects, this even gets lampshaded (no aliens?, kagura's weakness). So he isn't the most reliable guy, either.

But for a slice-of-life, gag-rapidfire, reference-riddled, parody of manymany manga aspects and conventions, it's quite consistent. Albeit after 300+ chapters, we should cut him some slack when he forgets some aforementioned aspect. (And it's his story, what do we have to say anyway)
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Posted 2/18/11
There are many contraddictions in Gintama as far as characters personalities are concerned, but it's all just for the lolz.

Kagura has always been known for her huge appetite and she could eat anything, but on episode 25 she was disgusted that she had pork meat instead of beef, which in the end turns out she doesn't even like.

Gintoki is always very annoyed by Sachan and her masochist tendencies, but during the Yoshiwara arc he asked for a woman who can handle some heavy S&M play.

Otae always acts like a gorilla-bouncer with any man, kicking the crap out of them most of the time without even a reason, but on episode 3 she couldn't defend herself from her kidnappers (a bunch of guys she would defeat with no sweat usually) and had to be rescued.

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Posted 2/18/11 , edited 2/18/11
This topic reminds me of the episode where Catherine was speaking perfect Japanese.
Otose: What happened to your accent?
Catherine: Oh it's been so long since I appeared, I forgot.
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Posted 3/28/11
I get what you are saying...
I sometimes find it annoying too.
But you know Gin. He fights when he wants to fight.
He runs when he doesn't want ti.
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Posted 3/31/11
let's sum it up :

Gintama is not a Shounen-Fighting series.
it's a Gag-series.
It uses clishés and tropes of Shounen-Fighting and for 90% of the time makes fun of it
There's no need for gintoki to constantly fight somebody, because that's boring.
In story arcs that are more "serious" the fights are often played straight, but afterwards the characters themselves often mock the serious arcs. Why? Because it's funny,and that is the point of the series.
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Posted 4/7/11
So .... randomness and inconsistencies in Gintama bothers you? Hmmm....... My advice? Take Kagura's words of wisdom, " It's a waste of time to worry about the context of this anime, the audience is only kinda paying attention."
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Posted 4/8/11
If I HAD to name one thing it would prbly be the toilet humor and crude jokes going a little overboard sometimes, probably the level of "unappetizing" is different for people..but other than that Gintama is pretty much PERFECT
Posted 4/9/11
well thats not a problem at all for me
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