If you thought Gintama, the anime was hysterical, you ought to see its live action version!
It is just as hilarious, if not more, as the anime and shoots down its haters with some major sass. No wonder the movie has made the kind of box office collection the way it has.
Honestly I was afraid to watch the movie since I was afraid it might not be able to live up to the reputation the anime has garnered over the years. But alas! It indeed does and how!
What I surprisingly liked about the movie is that the plot is faithful to the anime, something that made me cringe in other live action versions. The movie directly translates everything from the manga inculding the humor. One of the plus points is that it retains the kind of humor Gintama has and takes it a notch further as the live action.
The plot is simple but I feel the introduction of the characters was a little rushed. Anyone unfamiliar with the anime may have had a hard time keeping up with all the characters the movie introduces. The movie is faithful to the Benizakura arc but also assimilates the beetle hunting arc which sets the tone of the humor early on. It is needless to say every character is well portrayed. I especially like Katsura’s introductory scene where he beats the shit out of Shinsengumi single-handedly.
When the movie was announced last year, I was anxious since I worried how the plot of aliens and Amanto will be handled but Yuichi Fukuda has done a great job of adapting the movie. He made sure to keep in mind every little detail that generally a fan would, like Okita’s eye mask or Hijikata’s mayo lighter or even just randomly filling the screen “justaways”.
The CG and special effects are good if not at par with those of hollywood. In fact some scene like when Takasugi stands below the full moon are very well done. While in other scenes, the CG helps bring out the over the top humor of the comedy. I would especially like to mention the megane flying scene which was hilarious.
Then is Elizabeth or should I rather say a man wearing the customer of a weird penguin looking character. At one point the character in the movie itself mentions about how it is a man underneath! Eli adds to the already messed up storyline of strange looking Amanto and flying spaceships.
Sadaharu is also pretty well done and it nowhere looks out of place in the movie. Kudos to the director!
The Benizakura arc is nicely done tying up all the loose ends neatly in the end. The action is solid and it is very well directed. The fighting scene between Gintoki and Nizou is breathtakingly crisp.
The comedy, given it is so close to the original work, is the biggest plus of the movie.
All in all, regardless of whether you follow the anime or not, gintama will have you in splits.
I give the movie a good 4 stars out of 5!
It is definitely recommended!