REVIEW: ‘Gintama: THE VERY FINAL’ Offer Chaose with a Heart of Gold

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Gintama THE VERY FINAL - but why tho

Gintama is a lot. Like, a lot. When it comes to chaotic anime it’s hard to top this extensive series that combines parodies of shonen series while also carving out its own path in the demographic. It’s only natural that Gintama: THE VERY FINAL is absolute unbridled chaos with a heart of gold that is sure to make Gintama fans and new ones take a deep breath, sink into their chair and say “damn.” And I mean that in the very best possible way.

Full disclosure, my first foray into the Gintama franchise was the live-action film and was lost, very lost. But that served as a jumping-in point to the franchise and I couldn’t get enough. Similarly, I feel like Gintama: THE VERY FINAL can be the same. Yes, I know, this is the very final part of the story but as a film there is so much exposition delivered in traditional hilarious Gintama style that makes this film actually (and surprisingly) really accessible to new comers to the series. That said, the absurdity may not be the best for those not familiar with this particular anime style.

Beginning with a Toriyama Dragon Ball animated opening that delivers a rundown of the story so far the film hits the ground running. If you’re not familiar with the premise, in Gintama: THE VERY FINAL, this film serves as the end to the anime series by adapting the final chapters of the manga series of the same name written by Hideaki Sorachi. The film covers chapters 699-704 of the original manga while also adding in original material.

The film brings the Odd Job crew back together again for one final battle that blows pretty much every battle we’ve seen in the series out of the water in both the level of action and level of chaos. The nefarious Utsuro (Adam Gibbs) threatens to bring everything and everyone to an end and it’s up to our heroes to stop him. Unlike other villains though, Utsuro isn’t looking immense power, nope, this guy just really, really, and I mean really, wants to die. The whole purpose of his plan is to finally lay his immortal soul to rest and keep it that way. Enter Gintoki (Michael Daingerfield), Takasugi (Kyle C. Jones), and Katsura (Jocelyne Loewen) who now have to bring order to their lives and the universe.

There is a lot going on in Gintama: THE VERY FINAL, and ultimately the pacing is set at a break-neck speed. Like the anime series, Gintama: THE VERY FINAL may not be for everyone, but it offers hectic and at times heartfelt ending to a journey so many fans have been on for quite sometime. The action in the film is at full volume from the very beginning with Gintoki, Takasugi, and Katsura fighting their way through Tendoushuu soldiers and this action continues and culminates in emotional self-sacrifice at the time as well.

But what really makes Gintama: THE VERY FINAL really stick is how humorous it is. Whether its from its signature self-referential material, the parody shonen mainstays, or Sadaharu eating and then um, well letting out Gintoki and all his old men personalities out, there is a lot to laugh at. And while the unbridled chaos is completely expected, the balance with emotional moments that lead fans to this series’ ending winds up balancing the film in a way that we haven’t seen in an anime film before.

Sure, Gintama: THE VERY FINAL is going to hit existing fans the hardest. That said, somehow, with all of its chaotic energy, deep cuts, and emotional elements, new fans can feel welcomed to jump into the franchise. Sure it is the very final, but working backwards in either the anime or manga is actually a fun endeavor to undertake.

Gintama: THE VERY FINAL premiered in US theaters November 21, 2021.


Gintama: THE VERY FINAL
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Sure, Gintama: THE VERY FINAL is going to hit existing fans the hardest. That said, somehow, with all of its chaotic energy, deep cuts, and emotional elements, new fans can feel welcomed to jump into the franchise. Sure it is the very final, but working backwards in either the anime or manga is actually a fun endeavor to undertake.

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