After aliens invade Japan, they put a prohibition on swords. However, Gintoki Sakata still possesses the heart of a samurai. Taking on odd jobs alongside of his friends, Gintama follows Gintoki during his chaotic life as an errand boy.
The synopsis of Gintama never does it justice. It is the most random and hilarious anime ever made and nothing can compare to it. However, these anime recommendations like Gintama can try, I guess.
For Fans of Comedy Through Parody
At Kaimei High School, there is a club known as the SKET Brigade. They are dedicated to helping others, but most people at the school know them for doing odd jobs. While most days the members slack off in the club room, when something needs to be done, they are always on the case.
Sket Dance was made by one of the earlier artists of Gintama, which is why you will find that the art style is so similar. Yet, so is the plot. And also the comedy… This is just Gintama in a modern setting, isn’t it?
Good Luck Girl
Wealthy, beautiful, and athletic, Ichiko Sakura was born with all the luck in the world. Not only is she lucky, but those around her work hard to make sure her perfect life is never disturbed. Opposite Sakura is Momiji, the god of poverty. She has been sent to humble Sakura and restore balance to the world. However, things will not be as easy as she believes.
Do you like Gintama for the ten tons of anime and pop culture parodies and references that is has in it? Good Luck Girl is the same, but significantly less well-know, possible because only had a 13-episode run compared to Gintama’s 200+. However, what they really have in common is every minute you will find something that has you laughing.
Hayate the Combat Butler
After being abandoned by his parents and working up a huge debt, Hayate Ayasaki decides to try to kidnap a girl for ransom money. However, after feeling sorry for her and actually saving her from real kidnappers, he finds out that she is extremely rich and wants him to be her personal butler.
Hayate the Combat Butler’s synopsis makes it sound serious, but it is actually quite the comedy show. Despite the different between samurai and butler, they essentially function the same way. Gintama takes random jobs, Hayate obeys the orders of random whims. The comedy is studded with parody in both as well, but the art style in Hayate may be cloying to some compared to Gintama.
For Fans of Daily Life Living
The Daily Lives of High School Boys
This is the tale of three boys that roam the halls of the all-boys school of Sanada North. Their lives are filled with nothing but giant robot drama and true love stories, at least in their imaginations. In reality, these three boys are nothing special, but they try their best to pass the time.
Both shows have the core plot of people just doing what they have to get by. Life is randomness no matter what the setting or time period is, so a lot of the comedy in both shows comes from those random situations and conversations therein.
In the distant future, humanity has, for the most part, abandoned Earth and colonized several different planets in the solar system. In order to keep peace in the galaxy, the Inter Solar System police was established, but they often rely on aid for bounty hunters, referred to as “cowboys,” to bring criminals on the run to justice. This is the story of Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, a pair of cowboys that end up with a rag-tag crew of other misfits as they travel the galaxy trying to keep food on the table and their own dark pasts at bay.
The key difference between these two shows is that Gintama is based around comedy while Cowboy Bebop has those small little moments of hilarity that happen in between the plot. However, they both follow “super cool” characters that go around doing odd jobs for money and just to live.
Arakawa Under the Bridge
Kou Ichinomiya, as the son of a wealthy businessman, has vowed never to become indebted to anyone. However, when he falls in the river under Arakawa Bridge, someone dives in to save him, thus he owes his life to this person. She is a homeless girl named Nino who wants only one thing – to fall in love. In order to pay her back, he accepts her offer to be her boyfriend, thus moving out of his home and starting a new life under the bridge.
Both shows have ridiculous-sounding plots, and those plots manifest themselves in overly ridiculous shows. While Gintama has more references and parody, Arakawa Under the Bridge thrives on pure randomness. Despite this, the absurdity functions the same way making it a similar sort of comedy as Gintama.
For Fans of Historical Comedy
Fuu is a young girl working as a waitress at a small tea house. Things are peaceful until one day she spills tea on a customer and finds the samurai harassing her. Calling for help, a thuggish young rogue by the name of Mugen steps in only to pick a fight with another tightly wound samurai named Jin. In their fight, they end up destroying the shop and getting arrested. After saving the two fighters from their execution, Fuu hires them as bodyguards to help her find a samurai that smells of sunflowers.
Both shows take place in Japanese history, and while Samurai Champloo has its serious moments, it also has its ridiculous ones. Like Gintama, there are episodes that are purely dedicated to comedy, but unlike Gintama, they always have a certain amount of seriousness to them. If you like samurais acting occasionally very un-samurai-like, this might be a good watch for you.
Oh! Edo Rocket
In the Edo period of Japan, fireworks master Seikichi Tamaya and his friends struggle under the morality laws of the time which ban luxuries including fireworks. However, his life is about to change when a strange girl enters his shop and asks if he can build a firework that can reach the moon.
Both Gintama and Oh Edo Rocket take a glance at Japanese history in a less serious tones than many other anime. However, both shows, while primarily comedies, do have times where they get serious and have to deal with a bit of drama, but that seems like far less in Gintama since it has so many more episodes.
Baccano follows the seemingly unrelated events of a series of characters spanning different times and different places. However, it is ultimately part of a much larger story, one that tells the tales of alchemy, immortality, and survival.
Although not in Japan and takes itself seriously sometimes, Baccano shares similarities with Gintama through its characters. You almost fall in love with them at first sight, and the randomness of those characters lends to the comedy in both shows.
If you have more anime recommendations like Gintama, and yes, there are quite a few more, let the world know in the comments section below.