Oh. OH. You…you want me to describe Gintama??? Look. There is no point because this anime is too complicated to explain and no synopsis could do it justice. Just know that it is an action comedy where really anything goes with samurai, humanoid animal aliens and a world where modern technology exists side by side with a feudal Japan-esque environment. You can always google Gintama and read the synopsis there too. But hopefully, if you’re here wanting to read this you’re already a fan of the series yes?
Ah yes. Another live action adaptation of a popular anime series from Japan. what? WHAT?! They actually tried to adapt Gintama? HAHAHAHA. BAKA DESUKA??? In all seriousness, I actually had….above average hopes for this movie but ultimately it disappointed me and I am not really all that surprised.
This adaptation commits the common sin of a lot of anime/comic book adaptations. It follows the source material too closely, some of the scenes are even a shot for shot remake. Certain things that work well in animation simply do not translate well to the live action scene. You have to adapt it to work in a live action context, be bold and make it its own thing while paying homage and respect to the original source material. This film, for the most part, adapts the Benizakura arc of the series and while they do add in additional scenes and new jokes, I feel like this movie could have gone further and been bolder as that is what a Gintama adaptation should have done. Ultimately, I feel this film failed to go far enough and ironically by straying so closely to the source material actually made it feel very un-Gintama like.
We jump right into the thick of things and get very short exposition heavy introduction to various characters. Ultimately I can sense that this film was more made for people who are already fans of the series so I would not say it is a weakness. However, I feel like this film really should have been more friendly to first timers. Same with the jokes too, a lot of the jokes are very Gintama-esque and if you are not familiar with the series and/or are unfamiliar with Japanese culture, most of the jokes might not be funny to you.
The one good thing I can say about this adaptation is that the action is actually very well choreographed although I think some of the shots are sped up a bit, it is still entertaining to watch. There is also a certain visual style to certain scenes which make it feel like a moving manga and while it did not really work for me, some people might like it.