A scene from an episode in the Gintama anime series. Photo credit: Studio Sunrise

Throughout its many episodes, Gintama has always been one of the most successful anime series. It is still popular even though it was released 16 years ago, in 2006. Gintama was also part of Shueisha’s Shonen Jump until June 2019, when it came to an end. The series has come a long way and has earned high rankings over the years.

The anime series has a remarkable story and includes many expressive characters. It is also notable for the number of times characters refer to other anime, TV series, and even celebrities.

We’ll look at 12 times Gintama referenced some of the most notable anime series on our list. You may have picked up on some of the references, while you may have missed others altogether. After reading our list, you’ll probably struggle to find each of these references and experience them again or for the very first time for yourself.

1. Mobile Suit Gundam gets a Gintama 30th Anniversary Credential

A close-up photo of the characters in the Gundam anime series.
A group of the Gundam anime characters together. Photo credit: Imgur/ThrillMurray

Gundam 79 is a well-known mecha anime series. It has been around for a few decades and many people associate it with their childhood.

On Gundam’s 30th anniversary, Gintama aired a special spoof episode. It contains anime references to individuals from Ramba Ral’s squad. Aside from the obvious similarities to Gundam characters, there’s also the Renho arc, which is chock full of sci-fi anime parodies.

2. References are made to the 1970s anime Yatterman early on

An emotional scene in Yatterman when tensions are high.
A particularly emotional scene in the 1977 Yatterman anime series. Pic Credit: Youtube/NoralnuG

One of the first times Gintama referenced another anime was in episode 28. The anime that Gitama referenced was none other than the popular 1970s sci-fi mashup anime Yatterman.

The reference to this anime can be seen when a trio in ill-fitting spandex with their faces blurred on a bicycle rides past Sarutobi Ayame, Matsudaira Katakuriko and Kondou Isao’s car crash scene. Interestingly, this is a small reference to a trio of villains (Doronjo) from Yatterman. Shortly afterwards, Ayame, Katakuriko and Kondou take possession of their tandem bicycle.

3. That’s right, Dragon Ball gets the Episode 119 Gintama reference!

A close-up view of Vegeta panicking in Dragon Ball Z.
A close-up shot of the character Vegeta upset by something from another character’s ability readings. Pic credit: Imgur/VegetaPrinceOfAllSaiyans

There are not many series that can match the Dragon Ball series in terms of popularity. Dragon Ball served as the basis for other Shonen Jump classics. Many anime creators are inspired by the series, which viewers notice over and over in their work.

There are countless Dragon Ball references and parodies in Gintama, but one stands out the most. In episode 119, Hijikata visits planet Hamek (a parody of planet Namek) to smoke a cigarette. The Dragon Balls themselves, also known as Slippery Balls, are also mentioned in this episode.

4. Gintama refers to Fist of the North Star

A fight scene in Fist of the North Star.
A fight scene featuring the main character in the anime series Fist of the North Star. Pic credit: Imgur/aSillyApple

The anime series Fist of the North Star is one of the most famous in anime history. The main character became famous after the memes “Omae wa Sinderu”.

In episode 273, Shinpachi mimics Kenshiro, a reference to this anime and its main character. The famous mohawk gangs of First of the North Star are also parodied in this episode.

5. Doraemon is also in the list of Gintama references

An exciting scene in the Doraemon anime series.
A close-up of one of the main characters in the Doraemon anime series. Photo credit: Imgur

Doraemon seems to have been a part of many viewers’ childhoods and is still popular today. Gintama’s Doraemon allusions are just imaginatively awesome.

Gintoki makes many references to Doraemon’s sack throughout the series. The best Doraemon allusion comes when a terrified Gintoki begins humming the anime’s theme tune to deal with his rage.

6. One Piece gets some Gintama references

Luffy shows off his family jewels in the One Piece anime series.
A scene where Luffy from One Piece shows off his family jewelry. Photo credit: Imgur/Loofy

One Piece seems to have been a hallmark of the Shonen Jump since the 1990s and it is undoubtedly one of the best shonen series available today. It is one of the longest series out there, with over 1,000 chapters. Eiichiro Oda, the series creator, is considered a living legend, so it’s only right that Gintama pays tribute to him.

Gintama includes a few One Piece allusions. Shinpachi mentions in one of them the era of the great pirates and Luffy’s devilish fruit talent. Gintoki dresses up as Luffy during one question-and-answer session in another.

7. Gintama refers to Naruto twice!

A mashup of famous naruto characters.
An image featuring some of the greatest naruto characters of all time. Pic credit: Imgur/RandomImgurUploads

Naruto has a huge following in the West, despite the series ending many years ago. The first can be found in episode 13, when Katsura starts using the word ‘dattebayo’ in his statements.

Kyuubei later used an ability that was a satire of Mangekyou Sharingan in episode 292. Another Naruto impersonation can be seen in episode 209 when Shinpachi’s eye becomes infected and follows the same pattern as Naruto’s Sharingan eye technique.

8. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure had the best Gintama reference

Some of the main characters from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime.
A close-up view of some of the main characters in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime series. Pic credit: Imgur/pivot5

Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the most popular manga series in history. The testimony to its excellence is how popular it still is after surviving the test of time. Each part introduces a new protagonist and opponent, making for a high level of intrigue.

JoJo is known for his strange poses, and Gintoki used one of them in the Ghost Ryokan arc. He imitated Caesar Zepelli’s attitude, to be exact. Gintoki and Joseph Joestar have the same voice actor; so it was a fitting nod. In addition, Gintama made a reference to Jotaro Kujo’s Star Platinum booth.

9. Gintama refers to the anime era of Assassination Classroom

Some of the main characters in the Assassination Classroom anime.
An image of the main characters in the Assassination Classroom anime series. Photo credit: Imgur/ThachTrangTrung

Assassination Classroom, like Gintama, sends viewers on an emotional journey. The story follows the members of Class 3-E as they attempt to kill Koro-sensei, a bizarre and terrifying monster.

Gintoki finds himself teaching Seita about history in episode 269 of Gintama. Gintoki tells Seita that before the Sengoku era, everything was just gorillas with spears to disguise his ignorance of the object. Tsukuyo mentions Seita Koro-sensei when teaching him, which frightens him.

10. Hajime no Ippo gets an early Gintama reference

A boxing scene from Hajime no Ippo.
Hajime punches an opponent in the ring. Pic credit: Imgur/chingatumadreculero

One of the most popular sports anime series of all time is Hajime no Ippo. Ippo, a gifted teenage boxer who aspires to become a professional, is the protagonist of the award-winning series.

Gintama already refers to Hajime no Ippo in episode 28. Otae uses the Dempsey Roll, a classic Hajime no Ippo maneuver, in this episode. Kondo had no shot against such a deadly move, and he was knocked out for the time being.

11. Saint Seiya had his theme song parodied

An image of the main characters in the anime Saint Seiya.
The main characters of the anime series Saint Seiya. Photo credit: Imgur/BriBriHart

One of the most interesting and popular anime series in the 80s with more than 100 episodes was Saint Seiya. This anime was unique in that it skillfully blended martial arts and mythology.

In Saint Seiya, the plot develops around the main character and his journey to acquire a precious artifact. It was during episode 282 of Gintama that tribute was paid to Saint Seiya. This episode of Gintama’s closing song was a clever parody of Saint Seiya’s theme song.

12. Neon Genesis Evangelion Gintama reference is not something to get mad about

A close-up image of two of the main characters from the neon Genesis Evangelion anime series.
A scene where two of the main characters in the Neon Genesis Evangelion series are angry. Pic credit: Imgur/BattleInMyPants

The hit anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion follows a group of teenagers who control a huge mech to fight demons bent on destroying the Earth. It is a dark, psychological drama with a lot of religious symbolism and imagery. Sounds like a great idea for a spoof.

When Taizou analyzes the kind of style a heroine should have in Gintama Episode 43, “Make Characters So Anybody Can Tell Who They Are by Just Their Silhouettes,” he takes in the laced fingers, a striking pair of glasses Evangelion’s Gendo often takes on. Gendo and Taizou are both voiced by the same person, which is a nice little verse.

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