In the west, it’s typical to see animated series like South Park and Family Guy poke (often controversial) fun at public personalities from politicians to Hollywood celebrities that sometimes, it ain’t shocking anymore. However, that sort of satire is rare in Japan, so when Gintama kicked off its new anime by poking fun at a public official who was seen crying on live TV, many were shocked… very shocked.
The new Gintama anime started off with main character, Gintoki Sakata, sporting a “new” hairdo and holding a press conference and apologizing for not ending a series as popular as Gintama as it should have. During the question and answer portion, the first question sends him off to an emotional frenzy which clearly makes fun of the actions by a Japanese politician named Ryutaro Nonomura, who held a similar press conference where he also threw a fit and was described as something like a baby throwing a tantrum. He also sports that similar hair-do Gintoki wore during that press conference, coincidence?
Nomura is infamous for using public funds for his hot spring trips, and he famously threw a tantrum last year when he held a press conference to apologize for his actions
The opening sent shock waves in Japan as even the editorial staff of Weekly Shounen Jump!, which serializes the Gintama manga, were up in arms.
“Upon watching the opening, the entire editorial staff was left speechless. Because he already knew what would happen, all Manabe [Gintama’s editor] could do was remain motionless.” – @jump_henshubu twitter page
Even the official twitter pages of fellow Shounen Jump anime reacted to the opening
The Food Wars: Shokugeki no Souma twitter page said
“The [Shonen Jump] editorial department is in an uproar about the Gintama anime opening.”
While the Haikyuu twitter page said
“From my experience as former editor of Gintama, when watching the anime I was always either in a mental state of abandon like ‘what happens happens’, or thinking ‘Who let this into Jump!? It was me!?’. Keep strong, Manabe! Be that as it may, congratulations on the continuation of Gintama!!”
Well, because of its many parodies, Gintama has been likened to Western animated series like Family Guy, and with this new series, it seems like this Japanese anime is going like its western counterparts and not giving any apologies. I guess we can only watch until Gintama pulls off another stunt which will make the Japanese react.