Gin Tama Volume 21: Stand Straight Even If You Are Bent With Age

Gin Tama Volume 21: Stand Straight Even If You Are Bent With Age
Story and Art: Hideaki Sorachi
Release Date: 4th December 2007
Covers Chapters 176-184
Shonen Jump Advanced /Viz Media

Sad news, Viz Media are cancelling Gin Tama over here when volume 23 comes out in August. In Japan they have recently been enjoying volume 39 with more to follow. Maybe it was poor sales, maybe it was translation struggles, it certainly wasn’t quality. Gin Tama with its hilarious jokes, serious action, emotional drama and lovable cast of characters, stands above most other manga. I’d say it is certainly a series which can draw in people who don’t usually like the comic book scene, it’s life lessons told in a futuristic alien Edo are for everyone to understand and enjoy. Maybe if people start buying the series Viz will realise and carry on releasing them. So I urge you to buy Gin Tama manga volumes, even if it is just one! Save a great series from cancellation. If it ends up that way I’ll have to learn Japanese for real!Volume 21 then is another great entry in the series. Gintoki and Zura have been turned into old men and this fate could end up happening to the whole world! Seems one woman wants everyone to be uglier than her so she stands to be the most beautiful when her boyfriend works up from a thousand-year coma. Seeing all the cast as old people is a bit weird, though brings hilarious consequences. Gintoki’s delayed punch lines and Zura’s inane rambles (actually Zura is always rambling nonsense!) is golden and the Dragon Ball references rife. It isn’t the funniest arc ever though, a lot of drama is put in place regarding what beauty is and the ending goes for the emotional pull. It feels like a big summer adventure with islands, underwater resorts and old people.  I particularly like who every character gets to play some role in the action and I may miss seeing old Gin Toki. That’s what he should look like after three years of manga running, they say.

The aging arc takes up most of the volume so we’re left with one short story and the start of another arc. Tama the robot maid who works at Otose’s bar under Gin’s flat, gets  a few days off to unwind. Being a robot she doesn’t really understand this concept, so Gin must show her the way of letting loose. It’s a cute story and the Yakuza arc which follows brings an exciting cliffhanger and plot twist as the gang try to get a Yakuza bosses son to come out from a shed.

With only two more volumes left I’m feeling a little melancholy each time I read Gin Tama now. Volume 21 is an entertaining read and the series is excellent. Give it a try! Amazon, Waterstones, Forbidden Planet, Worlds Apart! They all sell it, so give it a try today. Advertising pitch, end.

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