The Psychoanalysis Behind Gintama’s Latest Arc: Why Gintoki declines the Specter of Shoyo Sensei.

[DISCLAIMER: This article is dedicated for some shitheads/losers who are frustrated literary critics and proud Gintama Addicts (like me).]

The latest anime adaptation of Gintama, the Shogun Assassination Arc built a ground-breaking amazement, hence bringing up their entire series a “game changer” factor for the fans. The fact that the usual witty, parody and satirical style of Gintama was neutralized in the Anime and even in the Manga (where the arc is also in serious mode said by creator Sorachi Hideaki).

Then came along the spread of the rumors (or not) the possible ending of Gintama was announced not a long time ago. Anyways, let us analyze the heart-stopping and probably the most badass storyline in the arc which is the revelation of the truth to Takasugi that Gintoki didn’t kill their mentor, Shoyo, on purpose but for the sake of their Sensei’s wish. But there is a problem.

maxresdefault-1A big, big problem. As they recapture the death of Shoyo, it is revealed that the whole thing Gintoki made to his sensei is just a mere “spectacle”.  And that explain Gintoki’s outrage against this specter of Shoyo which he fought despite of its invulnerability. But even though there is a possibility to kill Shoyo, he will not kill him. Ever. Why? Now here is the tricky part where psychoanalysis comes in.


Sakata Gintoki, as presented to the entire series of Gintama, is actually living in his suppressed ego. He is unconscious. The more you watch or read Gintama, you’ll know he was a Joi Rebel during the great war against the Amanto (“Aliens” in English translation. As you start watching Gintama, the theme of the show is a mix of Sci-Fi and Historical. All in all these creatures were the ones who control the whole country in terms of economic, social and even political) but unfortunately, they failed as their teacher died in his own hands by decapitating him. Now to remove or suppress his ego in the past, he decided to be a “lost” entity until he met Otose-san, Kagura and Shinpachi. All the way he is suppressing his own ego by embodying him as the Other because his desire which is to save Shoyo failed and now in order to move on, he made himself a drunkard, sweet tooth and an unemployed goon. Repetition of his memories and affection with Shoyo who was the father-figure that he had and lost.


That’s why, in the latest arc when Shoyo showed up as the man wearing the Crow-like mask, Gintoki became mad and wanted to kill him but as the concept of Freud, “Killing the Father” stated, it failed. Because the whole point why Gintoki is being the unconscious that he didn’t wanted to be, has already adapted to the point where Shoyo is already gone. That’s why the battle  scene of the two is the Gaze of their relationship of the past and the Real of their present. Gintoki is battling with someone he wanted, needed and loved that’s already gone. That’s why he’s mad. A very very mad samurai.


Nevertheless there can be a lot representation in the series itself. But still its uncertainty and unpredictability portrayed by Sorachi-san in Gintama makes it interesting to watch. In fact, no anime can be as close as Gintama (even “Sket Dance” which was compared as the “closest” counterpart of Gintama). Anyways, the Yorozuya/Lazy white-haired samurai will continue his journey which are not predetermined and chosen by him. Gintoki’s desire has been clouded with a mix of “Other” and unattainable peace of mind (Real). After all, his jouissance (enjoyment) would not affect his unconscious mind. It rather be more dangerous if he would continue to be a joi rebel since he is the one who allegedly sacrificed his old jouissance. If that would be the next episode, Gintoki might be a madman who seeks and destroys all objects in his way. More anarchist I say than Takasugi Shinsuke’s Kiheitai.


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