Have you ever wondered what would Spirit of Cracked* looked like in animated form? Wonder no more! * - Awesome spirit of golden dongs, samurais, space monsters, masochistic ninjas, heavy drinking, aliens and disturbing parody of everything
While the story is filled with almost infinite number of characters and random events, it does have one protagonist and two main supporting characters, and also something like a plot.
Eating sweet stuff, gambling, drinking sake and picking his nose is what he does. He is also the one of the most skilled samurais and when the shit hits the fan, he'll never abandon honorable code of samurais, and that makes him the hero and protagonist of the story. Big slacker, but won't hesitate dressing like a call girl if the job requires it.
Only of the three that lives in reality, constantly going crazy over other character's reckless actions and ideas. He is samurai in training learning the way of the sword from Gintoki, not very proficient in battle but loyal to the end. Basically, he's only straw of normality that viewer can catch for.
Despite the looks of little girl, she is in fact not human at all. She's from alien clan called Yato and they are probably the strongest in the universe. So when it's needed, she kicks asses with her bullet firing umbrella, and when her Yato killer mode takes over, is capable of destroying everything and everyone. Has enormous alien dog that chews on everyone's head. Her apetite cannot be satisfied (food, tons of food).
Research has shown that child's brain cannot process information from Gintama.
This girl on the right seems to get it, though.
This threesome is 'Odd jobs Gin', samurai freelancer agency, who will accept any job for money. That includes finding your cat or fighting narco cartels. And they usually don't get paid, thus always having problems with their landlady and empty stomachs. Oh yes, and this all happens in old timey Japan where aliens have invaded earth, established their government, forced coexistence and forbidden swords and samurais in general.
Too bad they didn't have computer viruses in 19th century Japan to deal with this one.
They did try with katanas however.
Gintama doesn't follow any traditional rules you would expect from tv series. Yeah, you have all seen goofy comedies where characters are aware that they are in the movie or whatever, but this goes beyond. Episode finishes after first 5 minutes? Check. Some made up show starts playing instead of Gintama? Check. Different visuals than normal (we are talking about MS paint kind of animation)? Check. Characters nagging that studio is out or money for this episode or the staff is too lazy, so there's only frozen frame on the screen? Check. Characters actually fighting each other after the results of popularity poll came in (cause if the audience placed you in 5th place, all you have to do is kill first four most popular characters, and so on)? Check.
It's mockery and utter parody of movies, video games, pop music, other manga and anime, celebrities and basic things, really, like going to toilet or eating at the table.
All mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg that is Gintama, and to grasp it all in text form, well, it would be easier to hand write phone book of Helsinki.
Oh, the inhumanity!
In the end, what's important is, that despite hilarious delirium filing, this cake known as Gintama is encrusted with sweet awesomeness of loveable characters, interesting philosophy, heroics, dramatic story arcs and great artwork that just deserve attention of all Cracked lovin' people. Eat up!
But digest it properly.