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.
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
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
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-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
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
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-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
Nothing in particular.
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