#2 Parodies of anything and everything – Gintama is probably best known for its parodies. They have included subjects as diverse Dragon Ball, Journey to the West, Bleach, Captain Harlock, Obama, Saw and Star Wars. The last one comes with an antagonist called Dark Vader, lightsabres and the Imperial March playing at dramatic moments. There is also a character called Hideaki Sorachi in the manga who is literally a gorilla and writes a not so affluent manga called Gintamen. The series is about a detective and his sidekicks, and the gorilla often takes help from Gintoki to save it from being cancelled. No other manga indulges in self parody so often and so blatantly
#3 The arcs in Gintama – while largely based on standalone stories, the overarching plot is usually dealt with in arcs. Some of these arcs do not bear much to the main story – for example the arc where Hijikata is turned into an otaku or where 4 extremely powerful swordsmen are stuck in 4 adjacent bathroom stalls with upset stomachs and no toilet paper. Other arcs, however, tend to be serious and add to the back story of the characters while taking the plot forward. A lot of them are loosely based on actual events, especially those pertaining to the shinsengumi. These arcs are often filled with rampant death and destruction, brilliant action sequences and rapid plot and character development. The changes in pace is one of the major secrets behind the success of Gintama. Their unpredictability and genius level treatment is what makes Gintama tick.
To sum it up, Gintama has something for most people, and more for hardcore manga and anime lovers. Filled with pop culture references and loosely based on history at times, it is one of the few manga around which can be easily recommended for most people looking for something out of the ordinary fare. Gintama most certainly is an extraordinary series, and if you haven’t read or seen it yet, you are missing out on something extremely special.