same sorachi

Sorachi’s comments on characters from the Gintama-kun no ayumi (parts 1&2) [remastered]

preface: i translated this a few years ago when it came out and posted it on the old blog. it keeps resurfacing from time to time, and i keep being displeased with it, it being sloppy, weirdly-worded and sometimes incorrect (for starters i completely messed up okita and kamui’s parts because of lack of knowledge wrt what they were referencing. i edited kamui’s part back then but the wrong one stayed in some places anyway). 

so basically i just needed to redo all of it, since i got a better grasp on both japanese and english since then. don’t pay attention if you like, i’m posting for my own peace of mind.

Sakata Gintoki:
Initially Sakata-kun’s charm was supposed to lie in the gap between the times when he is motivational and the times he isn’t, but as years passed it amplified to the point that now, save for the times he’s getting things done, he gradually descended to being a piece of trash. He won’t listen to long preaching about being more self-aware and feeling guilty about it either. Please continue being a shounen-manga protagonist with a little more self-awareness. - 65 points

Shimura Shinpachi:
As for Shimura-kun, for a while he was there to provide lengthly and repetitive tsukkomi, but as I felt there should be room for some contradiction too i sometimes filled entire pages with it. Yet when I let him relax a bit and rely on others more, I noticed that his sense of presence was gone. It was my fault. - 55 points

She was planned out to be a heroine that stays cute even when puking, thus becoming the pukeroine Kagura-san she is. In these 10 years, developing little by little, sometimes she’d be able to show her feminine side too. I think that by the time Gintama ends she will be the one that has changed the most. I’ll be happy if you continue warmly watching over her as she grows. - 75 points

Sadaharu-kun has taught me a precious lesson. That is that characters who are supposed to be large barely fit into the manga frame, so gradually they either become smaller in size or appear less. A principle as shown by Daigouin Jaki from OtokoJuku isn’t it. - 55 points

Shimura Tae:
At first the concept of her was something similar to Kyoko-san from Maison Ikkoku, so I wonder when and how I messed up in order to get where we are. But in the world of Gintama the women, too, have to be strong-willed and sturdy, they couldn’t survive otherwise. And now isn’t she the embodiment​ of strength. - 75 points

Hasegawa Taizo:
Hasegawa-san was supposed to represent the symbol of samurai according to Gintama’s perspective. He’s completely ruined now, so will the day when he restores his pride come? When we find that one out, we can rest assured that this piece of work has come to its end. - 85 points

Hijikata Toshiro:
Originally Hijikata-kun was supposed to be this cool, passionately devoted conscience of the Shinsengumi personified. But as he became the tsukkomi to Okita-kun and Kondo-kun it all started to crumble, the Mayoler and Tosshi added some spice to it, so he transformed into a boke. And it’s honestly so obnoxious, please have some self-respect. If even you fall apart the Shinsengumi will become just a bunch of freaks. - 70 points

Okita Sougo:
In all other Shinsengumi-based creations Okita Souji is this eloquent and fragile man who keeps spitting blood. In mine, instead of blood I made him spit venom, so he became a truly unbearable, malicious guy. In Gintama’s case, deciding a character’s whole fate just to be able to crack a joke is no rarity. - 75 points

Kondo Isao:
Kondo-kun is essentially a dick jokes generator, but if you look past that, in the scenes when he has serious roles he may exceed expectations, he’s a reliable guy. Regretfully that kind of scenes seldom happen, but maybe not showing this part of him often only adds to his charm. - 85 points

Yamazaki Sagaru:
Nothing in particular.

Katsura Kotaro:
Everyone is sick and tired of your “It’s not Zura, its Katsura”, give it a break already. - 80 points

Elizabeth-kun was created just to be the sidekick to someone as stiff and stubborn as Katsura, but now if you look at them together it’s Katsura who is the weirdest creature of the duo. What a miracle. - 80 points

Sorachi’s comments on characters from Gintama-kun no ayumi (part 3&4) [remastered]

part 1 & 2 with the preface

Sarutobi Ayame:
A lot of people misunderstand her since Sarutobi-san, as a ninja and as an assassin, is indisputably top-notch. But if you put Sakata-kun in front of her, she becomes a dirty sow. If you cut out the negative side and, say, if there was no Sakata-kun in Gintama, she would probably be perceived completely differently. - 75

When things are painful and difficult, it’s time for this gran to show up. In short, she’s just an old hag. When I’m in trouble it’s enough to bring Otose-san out and she helps me to more or less wrap the story up. She’s a very important old hag to me. - 95p

Actually she was supposed to be an one-shot minor villain, yet at some point she integrated the Yorozuya family and became part of it. She’s a little sly and she’s harsh, she’s sometimes quite proper too and somehow she feels like the most Gintama-like, or, say, Gintama-ish character for me. - 85 points

Tarakado Tsuu:
When I was drawing her I was thinking that there’s no way such a vulgar idol could exist in the real world, but if you look at things now you realize that there’s plenty of idols who are just as absurd as her. I cheer for Otsuu-chan to not lose to those girls in pushing forwards on the idol path. - 70 points

Sakamoto Tatsuma:
Tatsuma-kun is, how to say it, the weakest yet the strongest, but as I felt that sheer physical strength won’t unravel Sakamoto Ryoma’s appeal at all, I left that to Mutsu-san. As for him, I’m writing him holding a lot of human resource, or, to rephrase, someone so outstandingly powerful it couldn’t even show up on the parameter in Dragon Quest. - 75 points

Hattori Zenzo:
If it weren’t for his hemorrhoids he would be on a par with Sakata-kun regarding actual skill, but is it due to my poor drawing or is it because he reeks of an old man, he doesn’t seem to be very popular. Well, that makes him even more shadow-like*, so. - 85 points
*refers to being like a ninja, lol

Takasugi Shinsuke:
In the beginning Takasugi-kun was the kind of villain to only make his lackeys do his deeds for him, with him sneering in the background, but now that he’s becoming the villain that gets things done himself, I’m happy. Let’s keep destroying this rotten world. - 75 points

Okada Nizou:
Nizou-kun has walked the path of evil until the very end, something quite rare for Gintama. Being able to carry out what was originally planned for him, he was a good hero. - 90 points

Kijima Matako:
Kijima-san has been head over heels for Takasugi-kun for these past 10 years yet she doesn’t have a single scene in which they’d engage in actual conversation. Dreams come true if you don’t give up. - 70 points

Takechi Henpeita:
The private dialogue he and Takasugi-kun could have are a mystery. Who is the tsukkomi to Kijima-san and Takechi-kun’s boke, after all, Takasugi-kun or Kawakami-kun? - 80 points

Matsudaira Katakuriko:
It is said that the actual Matsudaira Katamori was a man of rare beauty, well mine was based off Robert De Niro. He seems more like a boss from a detective drama than a feudal lord. - 85 points

The essence of femininity and a shounen women's strength - a long Gintama analysis

Gintama, despite its comedic form, talks about some important topics and I deeply appreciate it. There are many problems, but still some themes come back more often, in different settings and with different situations, yet they are not outdated, on the contrary - there is always something new that can be added. One of those problem is the matter of femininity, or rather problems with defining femininity, because not once and not twice Sorachi-sensei let his women said “I don’t want to be a woman, because”… yeah, why?
Here the answer is not so simple, every woman is a little different and her protest against femininity has a different form, is associated with different troubles. I do not want to be a woman, because I can’t do things that are natural for men. I do not want to be a woman, because it makes certain things unattainable for me. It cuts my perspectives. I do not want to be a woman, because it makes me weak. I do not want to be a woman, because men humiliate me. Because my life would be different if I was a man. Sorachi-sensei shows a woman fighting on many levels, not only to be equal to men, but also to show what does it mean to be a shounen woman, a strong female character, a valuable female character.

For the first time Sorachi-sensei showed a woman having problems solely because of her gender in a short story about firefighters, when Gintoki met Tatsumi. Because it was the beginning of the manga and Tatsumi never came back, I just remind that she was a girl saved from fire by a fireman. The fire killed her parents, so since then the girl was brought up at a fireman headquarters. Her dream was to become a firefighter, but her wings were quickly clipped. How? Simply, Tatsumi heard that she wouldn’t be able to be the real firefighter because she was a woman. And we all know it’s a male profession, a man world where a woman inherently does not fit. It was not that the firefighters didn’t like Tatsumi. They just didn’t treat her seriously - couldn’t imagine a good female firefighter. Sorachi-sensei showed it as a function too abstract for stagers.
There aren’t any simple stories in Gintama, so of course it turned out that it was never about Tatsumi’s gender. Her foster father wanted to protect her from his dangerous work, he just wanted to make her happy, it never really mattered that she was a girl… but for sure?
No. At this moment we disregard the storyline. Undeniably Tatsumi’s father wanted the best for her, he loved her, he didn’t regret that he had a daughter. In this case gender actually meant nothing. But let’s get out of the story area and stand on the author’s side. If a firefighter saved a boy, would he love him as much as he loved a girl? Yes. If he wanted to succeed his profession, would his father stop him? Yes. If Sorachi-sensei chose a man, would the story be the same? No. Sorachi would show this story through completely different means, “deterrence” would be different. The things that a boy has to prove are completely different. He would be a little bit like Shinpachi, most likely he would prove that he can do something - he himself, as an Individual. Tatsumi didn’t have to prove that she can do something. Immediately obvious way to divert her attention from firefighters was to remind her that she was a woman, with a man such a thing does not exist. Her privacy was taken away from her, her efforts were not individual, but very general. Because it showed that a woman can pursue male professions. She has gained privacy at the end, when she learned the truth about his father, that’s true. But Sorachi-sensei had reasons to choose a woman, underestimated just because of her gender.

When we talk about the problem of femininity in Gintama, without any doubt the most important character is Kyuubei Yagyuu. I mentioned Tatsumi because her silent protest was not a protest against femininity. Of course, she wasn’t sweet and girly, but she also didn’t hate being a woman. She was the woman doing some things as well as men, it was her role. Kyuubei’s problem was totally different. Kyuubei is that unusual character, in her the approval and contempt for the womanhood existed at the same time, or rather admiration for Otae’s femininity and the contempt of her own femininity.
Her father and grandfather said they never wanted Kyuubei to abandon her femininity (father again. If I have a little time my next essay will be about fairly difficult role of a father and his impact on a child in Gintama), but we are not surprised. Kyuubei was raised on simple rules - if you were a boy, you would inherit family, the dojo, our name, you’d be a samurai, you would be our pride. But you’re not, you’re just a girl. Some people probably would look askance at you if they knew you’re not a boy. And perhaps it was never explicitly stated, never said like that, but what little Kyuubei could hear if not ‘if you were a boy, you’d be much better, valuable person’. But she was just a woman.
Anime and manga sometimes give us situations like “Oh God, you are a woman?” and responses like “I’m a man in my heart, but outside I’m a woman”. Surely anyone can add more than one character. But how often the problem itself is marginalized and the topic runs as a TV trope or the effect of surprise, nothing more? Kyuubei has a serious problem, because she is not another character whose sex turns out to be different. Kyuubei is someone who believed that being a woman made her worse. As we know, in fact Kyuubei felt like a girl, she wanted to be like Otae, she wanted to behave similarly. But the influence of the society and the pressures were so strong that her dream was quickly burned.
Once again, remember that Sorachi-sensei, contrary to appearances, doesn’t live in a jungle and on a tree. He is an employee of one of the greatest shounen magazines and the amount of parodies shows that he is aware of his market. Perhaps he also knows about the widespread trend of giving women male characteristics, making women like different men to show how strong she is. I’m sure he knows. Sorachi does the same thing, he makes his woman masculine and… shows her as someone completely lost, deprived of identity and above all, unhappy. Sorachi-sensei completely breaks this approach, Kyuubei is only destroyed by such treatment. And Kyuubei’s society is sometimes like all readers, because are their expectations different? For many people femininity means weakness.
Sorachi-sensei answers when Kyuubei tells Otae that she always wanted to be like her. Who is Otae? She is not manly, she’s not even a fighter. She is a girl who, after her family death, took over her home, took care of her brother, she is someone who wants to continue the family dojo all alone, who works the night shift, so her brother can train with Gin, who always defended Kyuubei and never to judges her. Or, if you want to use the phrase Kyuubei said, she was a nice and at the same time strong girl. Pretty good definition of strength.

Kyuubei is not the only one who said “I have abandoned my womanhood”. But as I said before, every woman is different and we won’t see two similar cases. When Kyuubei says she does not want to be a woman, she thinks about becoming a man. Abandonment of femininity as a sign of masculinity. A third character for whom the essence of femininity is important was Tsukuyo. Tsukuyo is, again, completely different than the previous two girls. First of all, in her case there is no continuous comparisons with a man - with a firefighter, with a son of the Yagyuu family. Tsukuyo never tried to become a man, she also looks quite feminine compared to the two previously women. But Sorachi-sensei at one point said that Yoshiwara is an arc about broken women - none of them has been broken by her life, but by treating like a subject by men. Personally, for me it was the only anime showing a brothel and making named prostitutes the heroines.
The abandonment of femininity for Tsukuyo was divided into two parts. The first occurred when small Tsukuyo, being just a child, took a knife and destroyed her face to escape the fate of a prostitute. Here her gender meant beauty, grace, elegance. For Yoshiwara girls being the real woman was becoming more and more beautiful to please men. According to this inculcated logic the only way to avoid it was to erase the beauty from the very beginning. So the woman without the attribute of femininity, her beauty, automatically cease to be a woman. The second part took place when Tsukuyo met her master. It was him who told her to completely forgot about femininity, but for him it didn’t mean the same as for her. For Jiraia woman was weak, because a woman is the one that is protected. If you do not want to be protected, but protect, abandon femininity. Tsukuyo believe in these words, but similar to Kyuubei and Otae, for Tsukuyo being a woman didn’t mean anything bad. The real woman was Hinowa, firstly she was beautiful, secondly she was not made to fight, but to be protected by Tsukuyo. But the Yoshiwara society never recognized a not-beautiful woman, a not-for pleasing a man woman. The Yoshiwara was all for men, and the women were only for men too. Tsukuyo said that they were enslaved women and their slavery was created from the continuous power of men and stealing from women any form of freedom, individuality. They were serving as an object. And again, Sorachi says it in this story - if they were not women, they wouldn’t suffer. Because they were women, they have been sold to a brothel, because they were women, they were treated like that, because they were women they had to cease to be women to not be forced into prostitution.
Since we are talking about the Yoshiwara, a word about Hinowa. I’m not a native English language speaker and I admit I have no idea how this term is called in English. But Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” and the character of Sonia has created something called “the holy whore” and in literature it means a woman from seemingly moral lowlands, but distinguished by greater kindness and sense of morality than “normal women”. Sorachi-sensei used it very neatly, because Hinowa was it. A courtesan, a geisha. Certainly she was sold for money to men, at least before Hosen fallen in love and imprisoned her. And for Gintama characters having flaws is quite common, even though it’s hard to find a more flawless character than Hinowa.

Each character is different, each character represents different problems, but they are all associated with the discrimination against women, very visibly outlined by Sorachi-sensei. But let’s not talk only about those women who couldn’t make it, because the whole bunch of them did something and their gender couldn’t interfere. What do I mean? Gintama is not just a mass of broken women, intimidated by men. It’s Kagura, physically the strongest character in the entire cast. It’s Tetsuko Murata, the swordsmith creating the best swords. It’s Matako Kijima, the best shooter who never misses. It’s Mutsu or Ikumatsu, leading or co-leading their own business. They’re women in male roles that have never heard, “oh, it’s a woman” or “even though she is a woman…”. They are simply the best people in their field.
Really, if look at Sakamoto and Mutsu, don’t we get the exact opposite of what we expect in fiction from genders? Sakamoto is sometimes careless, sometimes reckless, easily makes friends, often needs to be saved, is guided by the heart rather than by the mind. Mutsu is rational, calculating, down-to-earth, she saves Sakamoto when he’s in danger. And still I didn’t see anyone hating on Sakamoto because “he’s so stupid and useless and he still needs help and he should do something and…”

Sorachi-sensei never tells his women to prove anything despite being women or try to catch up with men. If anything, he teaches them to achieve everything in life because they are women. Kyuubei or Tsukuyo not only didn’t give up being a woman, but they wear femininity proudly. Because being a woman is the pride and strength and Sorachi-sensei reminds it every time shows together Otae, Kyuubei, Tsukuyo and Sa-chan or Kagura, Tsukuyo and Nobume or any other feminine combination. Male power is not chauvinism, Gin says he doesn’t like seeing a crying woman, Shinsengumi is the entirely male unit. And that’s okay, because next to the thing that only a man can do is what can be achieved only by a woman. In every area of life.

None of them have ever heard “despite”. They are strong and beautiful because they have high self-esteem, awareness of their strengths and pride that can’t be crushed and can never be received by those who thinks that a woman has to be like a man to be strong. A Gintama woman is strong when she’s a real person.

Some facts about Sorachi Hideaki.
  • Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of Sorachi Hideaki is called Logic.
  • Sorachi Hideaki counted to infinity - twice.
  • Death once had a near-Sorachi Hideaki experience.
  • When Sorachi Hideaki does a pushup, he isn’t lifting herself up; he’s pushing the Earth down.
  • If you spell “Sorachi Hideaki” in Scrabble, you win. Forever and always.
  • Outer space exists because it’s afraid to be on the same planet as Sorachi Hideaki.
  • Sorachi Hideaki won the World Series of Poker using Pokemon cards.
  • If you have 300 yen and Sorachi Hideaki has 300 yen, Sorachi Hideaki has more money than you do.
  • Sorachi Hideaki is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.
  • When Alexander Bell invented the telephone, he saw that he had four missed calls from Sorachi Hideaki.
  • There used to be a street called Sorachi Hideaki, but the name got changed, because no one crosses Sorachi Hideaki and lives.
  • A bulletproof vest wears Sorachi Hideaki for protection.
  • When Sorachi Hideaki enters a room, he doesn’t turn the lights on; he turns the darkness off.
  • Sorachi Hideaki once killed two stones with one bird (a Eurasian Tree Sparrow, to be exact).
  • Sorachi Hideaki can cut through a hot knife with butter.
  • Sorachi Hideakican slam a revolving door.
  • Sorachi Hideaki is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
  • Sorachi Hideaki once kicked a horse in the shin. Today, its descendants are known as “Giraffes”.
  • There is no such thing as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Just a list of organisms Sorachi Hideaki allows to live.
  • Sorachi Hideaki doesn’t need a watch. HE is the one who decided what time it is.
  • Sorachi Hideaki once made a McDonald’s Happy Meal cry.
  • Sorachi Hideaki played a role in every single Star Wars movie…as The Force.
  • Sorachi Hideaki can operate a supercomputer from an etch-a-sketch .
  • Sorachi Hideakican squeeze orange juice from a lemon.
  • Sorachi Hideaki can strangle an elephant with a cordless phone.
  • Sorachi Hideaki built the hospital in which he was born.
  • Sorachi Hideaki can set ants on fire with a magnifying glass…at night.
  • After taking a camping-trip, Sorachi Hideaki knows that Bigfoot doesn’t exist….anymore.
  • Sorachi Hideaki has already been to Mars. That’s why there’s no signs of life.
  • Some magicians can walk on water, Sorachi Hideaki can swim through land.
  • Sorachi Hideaki destroyed the Periodic Table, because Sorachi Hideaki only recognizes the Element of Surprise.
Sorachi Hideaki | Happy B-Day

“I often hear that Gintama is very kind to losers. The thought that “a failure like me can still keep living when I read this manga.” But I didn’t intentionally draw losers. I’ve been told that it’s because I’m a loser too. Well, fine. But honestly, I think everyone’s a loser. The only difference is the skin we put on. Once you open the lid and look inside, everyone’s the same.”

— Hideaki Sorachi (x)

Today is the B-day of my most favorite Mangaka Sorachi Hideaki.

Sorachi is the genius who brought us Gintama (and several awesome One Shots). Not much is known about that Gorilla but I find him hilarious. Not only because of Gintama but also because his comments in the volumes and interviews. He seems very symmpatic and funny. I hope he keeps entertaining us for many more years be it Gintama or another manga.

But not only is he funny but also very inspiring


Onishi: Then your goal in life is to be a movie director?

Sorachi: No.  I don’t want to be one.  But don’t you want to continue to create something with your own hands?  The more I watch, the sadder I get.

Sorachi: Maybe that’s why I’m a comic author.

Onishi: I don’t think most people think like that.  They usually just say stuff like, “That was a great movie,” and that’s the end of it.

Sorachi: And don’t you want to use that feeling as motivation to create something?  When they just say, “Man, I have to go back to work tomorrow,” don’t you think that makes you feel very empty inside?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could say, “All right.  I’m going to make something better than that starting tomorrow.” (x)


I hope he stays awesome and let the reader rest soon this sadist (manga reader will understand). Just like last year I will do another blog about his bday next year which proves how much I love this manga/anime and how much it helped me almost 2 years ago without even realizing it. Thank you Sorachi.

For every Gintama fan you should definetly read his one shots. It’s too bad they didn’t made it but the one shots are pretty awesome.

Also for someone who says he can’t draw he is really good. Tbh his art was really rather meh at the beginning but after so many years he improved a lot. And I actually think there is barely anyone who draws such awesome action scenes.

Thank you Sorachi and Happy B Day


I take issue with the fact that the new studio doesn’t ship okikagu the same way as sorachi sensei I do. The way I interpereted this scene in the original manga release, is that Sougo I’s watching the Soyo/Kagura interaction, just look at his expression in the final left panel, as well as the direction his eyes are looking. He’s not paying attention to the Shogun at all, why would he be smiling otherwise? 

GIntama official guide book

Gintoki-kun’s pregresses 3th october same relaese as the comics volume 56!! 

10 years serializzation commemoration book, a summary of 10 years episodes!!

Sorachi Ideaki makes light on untold episodes of character & story in his entirely!

If we think about it he is really going far away…

Presents are planned! For who will buy the book and the volume 56 at the same time will hit Sorachi sensei’s OOO!??

I often hear that Gintama is very kind to losers. The thought that “a failure like me can still keep living when I read this manga.” But I didn’t intentionally draw losers. I’ve been told that it’s because I’m a loser, too. Well, fine. But honestly, I think everyone’s a loser. The only difference is the skin we put on. Once you open the lid and look inside, everyone’s the same.
—  Sorachi Hideaki

gintama: +500 chapters with like almost zero insight on gin+zura+sugi and their past

gintama: +500 chapters with ZERO insight on kagura+kamui

sorachi: ok you know what whatever now both at the same time

editor: wai-