Overview: GINTAMA: BATTLE ON RAKUYOU Culminates With Excitement In Lieu Of An Epic Finale

Bandai Namco Pictures
Battle on Rakuyou (also known as Rakuyou Decisive Battle Arc)

Several weeks after the events of Farewell Shinsengumi Arc, our heroes, having teamed up with Jouishishi, Kaientai and the remaining members of Kiheitai, are headed to the dystopian planet Rakuyou to rescue Takasugi from the clutches of Utsuro and the Harusame. Utsuro, however, has an agenda of his own, eyeing Umibozu as the potential candidate to end his centuries-old suffering. Alas, Umibozu has to take care of some urgent family matters, namely setting his wandering son back on the right path. Phew, that's a handful for only twelve episodes! But worry not, this is Gintama, and it sure knows how to string all that chaos together and deliver yet another staggering arc.

I don't want to include any major spoilers, so let's have an overview. What makes Battle on Rakuyou great is what makes Gintama as a whole great. As a long-time follower of this series, I hate to admit it, but the two previous arcs had their flaws. The writing felt a bit disoriented, they weren't as well-balanced as they could've been, and then we were left hanging in anticipation of the new season several months later. I worried, but I'm happy to report that I worried for nothing: Battle on Rakuyou had me cheering, crying, cursing, and pulling my hair at the end of each episode (not really).

The events were cleverly divided into two sub-plots, one dealing with Utsuro and his supporting cast and the other with Kagura and her family's poignant backstory, that gradually merged towards the end, supplying the audience with a steady mixture of spectacular action and heartfelt emotion.

Let me also add that the Yato story, if I take the liberty to identify it as a mini-arc of its own, is now my favorite alongside Yoshiwara in Flames and Four Devas of Kabukicho.

Battle on Rakuyou ties up all the narrative loose ends and sets the stage for the upcoming final arc, Silver Soul. According to some manga readers, the arc is still nowhere near finished, so I don't know when to expect the conclusive anime season, but when it does air, it is sure to blow everyone away with the grandest of all finales. In the meantime, enjoy the re-runs!

And if you're not familiar with Gintama, it's not too late to immerse yourself in its crazy but charming little (huge) universe.


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