Oh geez Gintama. Well, with the disclaimer that I’m only 83 episodes in (”only” haha *cries*) and thus that my opinions may very well change later …
001 | Send me a fandom and I will tell you my:
Favorite character: Probably Katsura when he’s onscreen. The rest of the time … Gin? He’s kind of a problematic fave at times but then so is pretty much the entire cast lol. And it’s fun trying to figure out what he really thinks.
Least Favorite character: Hm. Probably Kondo? Just because I really, really don’t like the “stalker guy who won’t take no for an answer” trope. (He does have his redeeming features. And I do appreciate that he never backs her into a corner she really can’t get out of – you know he has enough power that he could pull it off if he really wanted to. But if Tae ever does get together with him I will probably dig up your table-flipping conveyor belt gif and use it. A lot. At the creator’s face.)
5 Favorite ships (canon or non-canon): Tempted to plead “I can’t decide that until I’ve finished”, but here’s my current thoughts:
- Tae/Kyuubei (after they do some more growing up and dealing with their issues)
- … Kagura/Okita?? (I think they would have a blast teaming up and terrorizing the living daylights out of LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE. Less sure whether I think it would ever evolve into anything romantic.)
- Gin/Hijikata???? (I think they’ve got a lot of fun team up / I’ll fight you until WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TRYING TO INTERFERE INTO OUR FIGHT moments that if played right could probably be developed into something shippy? Definitely if I had to choose I’d lean more towards Gin/Katsura though sooooo.)
- Gin/Sakamoto????? (They’ve got some history going for them, and I’ve liked their dynamic the few times Sakamoto has shown up. But I still don’t feel like I’ve seen enough either of Sakamoto himself or of their dynamic to say for sure. Also, has the same problem as the previous pairing. :) )
Character I find most attractive: Well uh. I would have said Katsura but uh. … I think Kyuubei might be winning now. >.>
Character I would marry: Errrrr. I can’t even imagine what sort of person I’d marry in real life so I think I’ll punt on this one. :)
(Not Tae though because I hate cooking and I don’t think we’d survive if she was primary cook in the house.)
Character I would be best friends with: Probably Shinpachi haha. We’d kick back and make smart remarks while everyone else is running around being batshit insane.
a random thought: two for the price of one!
- I really appreciate that in episode 83, Kyuubei looked about as comfortable in hostess clothing as Gin and Katsura did in their crossdressing episode
- I kind of really want to see Kyuubei and Katsura meet and react to each other now. Hopefully in a suitably entertaining situation.
An unpopular opinion: Don’t think I know the fandom well enough to know which of my opinions might be unpopular yet.
I suppose I do wish they toned down the gratuitous-violence-played-for-laughs. Tae in particular seems to end up the focus of those AND THEN GIRL GOES INSANE AND EVERYTHING IS DESTROYED moments and I recognize no one is actually seriously permanently harmed because that’s just part of this world’s schtick, but … could they maybe not? :\ It’s one of those categories of humor that just really doesn’t work for me.
(Also I thought Katsura’s shorter hair in the Benizakura arc was super cute and I wish it had stayed that way for a while? I doubt that’s an unpopular opinion though??)
my canon OTP: No canon pairings yet AFAIK?
Non-canon OTP: Proooobably Gin/Katsura.
most badass character: In terms of screen time it would pretty much have to be Gin. Can I say the Gin-and-Katsura combo? Because they really bring out the best badassery in each other.
pairing I am not a fan of: Tae/Kondo. Hopefully that’s not actually a thing?
character I feel the writers screwed up (in one way or another): Nothing that really springs to mind yet? I tend to get a bit flinch-y in the episodes that involve crossdressing- or otherwise gender identity-related storylines, because it tends to get about 70% right (as far as I can tell p.s. I’m not an expert) and 30% “ugh why did you just say that”. But that’s usually pretty evenly spread across the characters.
And OTOH I like that those episodes exist because I feel like they still do better than most anime I’ve seen at addressing the subject?
(Though. Would Hijikata really throw a battle just because he realized his opponent was a woman? Really? Like, he was in pretty bad shape, why not just have him legitimately lose as a result of that? Did we really have to pull in obnoxious chivalry tropes? Really?)
favourite friendship: Gin/Kagura/Shinpachi. Or Gin/Katsura in the non-shippy sense.
character I want to adopt or be adopted by: Uhhhh but that would involve actually being in the Gintama universe / being involved with Gintama characters, which seems like a bad plan for my continued health and sanity. So … Tae maybe? I could rock being a not-super-competent samurai and making smart remarks with my bro Shinpachi.
002 | send me a ship and I will tell you:
when or if I started shipping it. Well, Special Chapter 15 planted the seeds to be sure. But I don’t think it really became a full-fledged ship of mine until I joined the horrible exorcists bar here on tumblr. <3
my thoughts: Haha I’ve been involved in so much fun crying over this pairing for the last several months that it’s hard to distill it down.
I think the two of them make a fascinating combination; how they’re fundamentally very similar, but have chosen to deal with their deeply ingrained distrust of tbh everyone and their need to keep people at a distance in very different ways: Natori with his acting job and his sparkly smile and his over-the-top lines and his “I threw that away a long time ago”; Matoba with his forbidding exterior and his family name and his probably telling himself that he didn’t need to throw anything away because no one would dare be familiar with the Matoba clan head in the first place.
Their almost-but-not-quite connection in special chapter 15 just makes me want to see them successfully connect because it feels like it would hold so much more weight, with how much they had to go through to get here from there.
I think they would be terrifying to go up against if they teamed up. Like, malicious youkai would just surrender because seriously, they’re scary enough on their own, but together??
And in their private lives, they’re still the same prickly, awkward, highly opinionated people they’ve always been. It would take a lot for them to get together, and a lot more for them to become comfortable with the fact that this thing might actually be here to stay … but I wouldn’t want to be the person who messed with either one of them – either before or especially after.
I think the biggest problem – after, y’know, getting them together to begin with – would be reconciling their attitudes towards youkai. Especially once we start thinking about post-Natsume Natori. Tbh I still don’t see him honestly having a problem with things like the Matoba clan leading on the youkai after the clan head’s eye (he’d probably argue for exorcism because he hates the idea of it targeting Matoba
, but he’d see the benefits to stringing it along). Or with exorcising the truly dangerous, malicious ones. (Or even the malicious ones in general.)
But what happens when he encounters another situation like with Kai? Would he be able to successfully convince Matoba to soften his views? Would they have to agree to disagree? What if it was Matoba who had taken on that request? Would he interfere, or just stand to the side and watch and try to convince himself that there was nothing he could have done?
With two such strong-minded people, you just know their disagreements – especially about the things that really matter to them – would be epic as well.
(… Also they’re both super pretty in nicely contrasting ways. >.>)
What makes me happy about them: Uh, basically everything above. :) Their parallels, their divergences. Their issues. How great the payoff would be as a result if they can ever see past their issues to each other.
(… again, mostly Natori, since I’m firmly in the “Matoba knows exactly what he feels, he’ll just never act on it since he’s convinced he knows how that will end” camp.)
Just. Horrible exorcists. Being horrible. But together.
What makes me sad about them: That them never happening was essentially foreordained, because of the lives they’d lived so far and the attitudes they held when they met.
If Matoba just hadn’t been quite so abrasive, or Natori hadn’t been quite so defensive or hadn’t had quite so big of an inferiority complex. (Mostly the latter, haha.)
If Natori had been able to see that Matoba already thought he was good enough.
But of course he didn’t. He couldn’t.
So they crossed paths and continued on their separate ways, and maybe they encountered each other later on – well, of course they did, in a world as small as the exorcist world it would be nearly impossible not to – but each time they met they’d just settled deeper into their own personas, and the crack in their relationship-that-could-have been created by their first-encounter-that-was just kept widening with time and distance.
So they might exchange a few barbed words, but soon enough they’d be on their way again.
(And maybe it’s for the best that Natori didn’t end up getting dragged into Matoba business, because he’s got a dubious enough attitude towards youkai as it is. But you can’t help but wonder, what might have happened if –?)
(In other words: Special chapter 15. That’s what makes me sad. ALL OF IT.)
things done in fanfic that annoy me: OK. So this is super, super petty of me. And more a “me personally being anal about POV” thing than a thing specific to this pairing. But it kind of annoys me when a fic is from a close-in 3rd person perspective of one of them and still uses the surname of the POV character. Or when there are thoughts / conversations where they probably would use given name, and surname is used instead.
I can understand logical reasons for doing it – probably not nearly as many people are familiar with their given names, so it can be jarring to use them. But sticking with surnames only just feels … off. imo.
(/slinks away and tries to stop being judgmental. it really isn’t a huge issue. It’s just one of the things I tend to focus on in my own stories and I … have a hard time turning my editor brain off sometimes. >.>)
things I look for in fanfic: Um, nothing super specific. Good writing, in character (or OOC for a good reason / in an interesting way). Per the below I tend to avoid smutty stuff unless it’s a small part of something that’s otherwise really good.
For this pairing in particular, I guess the big thing would be feeling like the fic kept their sharp edges intact. (Even if they’re fluffy to each other, I sincerely doubt that change in attitude would bleed out to encompass the rest of the world. A bit blunter, perhaps, but I can’t see either of them ever losing their edge entirely.)
My kinks: (copy-pasted from the other answer because they’re pretty much the same. :) )
Not sure if this answer counts since I’m an asexual prude who tends
to either avoid fics with explicit scenes or cover my eyes and scroll
past them. But I love hopeless pining => slow realization of mutual
interest => tentative touching like they’re afraid this isn’t real.
(Like, touching the face or gentle close-mouthed kisses or holding hands
or whatever. Not touching in the “getting to some base” sense of the
Alternately, comfortable established relationship adorableness. Lovingly sniping at each other. That sort of thing.
Basically if it’s sweet/adorable I’m probably there. :P
(Except +100 to loving sniping / using actions instead of words because they’re both shit at talking about their feelings. and +2000 to hopeless pining because special chapter 15)
Who I’d be comfortable with them ending up with, if not each other: The options are uh, kind of thin on the ground …
I guess in the previous ask I confessed to my shameful occasional flirtation with Natori/Natsume, so that would probably be my second choice for Natori. (Again: assuming after a long enough timeskip that the age gap isn’t squicky.)
Or have Natori just be aromantic and not end up with anyone.
Matoba … I’ve got nothing. Arranged marriage for the good of the clan that turns out to be tolerable I guess???
(For some reason I have a much harder time seeing Matoba as potentially aromantic. Maybe because I’ve got too much invested in his hopeless pining lol.)
My happily ever after for them: They’re still busy with their own business. They’re still sharp-edged. They don’t always agree. But they’ve built a home together, and they’ve learned to trust that the other will be there for them, and that no matter how far they travel, they’ll always circle back to each other.
In other words: *cough* this fic. :)