12 times Gintama brilliantly referenced other anime like Dragon Ball, Naruto, and more

An accurate depiction of the chaotic anime Gintama.
A scene from an episode in the Gintama anime series. Pic credit: Studio Sunrise

Throughout its many episodes, Gintama has always been one of the most successful anime series. It is still popular even though it was released 16 years ago, in 2006. Gintama was also a part of Shueisha’s Shonen Jump until June 2019, when it came to an end. The series has come a long way, earning high rankings over the years.

The anime series has a remarkable tale and features many expressive characters. It also stands out because of the number of times characters reference other anime, TV series, and even celebrities.

We will look at 12 times Gintama referenced some of the most remarkable anime series in our list. Some of the references you might have picked up on while others you might have entirely missed. After reading our list, you will likely scramble to find each of these references and experience them for yourself again or for the very first time.

1. Mobile Suit Gundam gets a 30th anniversary Gintama reference

A close-up picture of the characters in the Gundam anime series.
A group of the Gundam anime characters together. Pic credit: Imgur/ThrillMurray

Gundam 79 is a well-known mecha anime series. It has been around for a few decades, and many people link it with their youth.

On the 30th anniversary of Gundam, Gintama aired a special spoof episode. It contained anime references to individuals of Ramba Ral’s squad. Aside from the obvious similarities to Gundam characters, there is also the Renho arc, which is chock-full of sci-fi anime parodies.

2. The 70’s anime Yatterman gets referenced early on

An emotional scene in Yatterman when tensions are high.
A particularly emotional scene in the 1977 Yatterman anime series. Pic credit: Youtube/NoralnuG

One of the first times Gintama referenced another anime was in episode 28. The anime that Gitama referenced was none other than the popular 70s hit comedy sci-fi mashup anime Yatterman.

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The reference to this anime can be spotted when a trio in ill-fitting spandex with their faces blurred ride past Sarutobi Ayame, Matsudaira Katakuriko, and Kondou Isao’s car accident scene on a bicycle. Interestingly, this is a small reference to a trio of villains (Doronjo) from Yatterman. Shortly after, Ayame, Katakuriko, and Kondou commandeer their tandem bicycle for themselves.

3. That’s right, Dragon Ball gets the Episode 119 Gintama reference!

A close-up image of Vegeta freaking out in Dragon Ball Z.
A close-up picture of the character Vegeta being upset by something by the power level readings of another character. Pic credit: Imgur/VegetaPrinceOfAllSaiyans

There aren’t many series that can compare to the Dragon Ball series in terms of popularity. Dragon Ball served as a foundation for other Shonen Jump classics. Many anime creators take inspiration from the series, which viewers keep noticing in their work.

There are tons of Dragon Ball references and parodies in Gintama but one stands out the most. In episode 119, Hijikata visits planet Hamek (a spoof of planet Namek) to smoke a cigarette. The Dragon Balls themselves, aka Slippery Balls, are also mentioned in this episode.

4. Gintama references Fist of the North Star

A fight scene in Fist of the North Star.
A fight scene with the main character in Fist of the North Star anime series. Pic credit: Imgur/aSillyApple

The anime series Fist of the North Star is one of the most well-known in anime history. The main character rose to fame following the “Omae wa Shinderu” memes.

In episode 273, Shinpachi mimicks Kenshiro, a reference to this anime and its protagonist. The famous mohawk gangs from First of the North Star are also parodied in this episode.

5. Doraemon is also in the list of Gintama references

An exciting scene in the Doraemon anime series.
A close-up of one of the main characters in the anime series Doraemon. Pic credit: Imgur

Doraemon seems to have been a component of many viewers’ childhoods and continues to be popular now. Gintama’s Doraemon allusions are simply imaginatively wonderful.

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Gintoki makes many references to Doraemon’s pocket throughout the series. The finest Doraemon allusion comes when a terrified Gintoki begins humming the anime’s theme tune to deal with his frenzy.

6. One Piece gets a few pieces of Gintama references

Luffy showing off his family jewels in the One Piece anime series.
A scene where Luffy from One Piece shows off his family jewels. Pic credit: Imgur/Loofy

One Piece seems to have been a feature of the Shonen Jump since the 1990s, and it is undoubtedly one of the finest shonen series currently available. It’s one of the longest series out there, with over 1,000 chapters. Eiichiro Oda, the series’ creator, is regarded as a living legend, so it’s only right that Gintama pays honor to him.

Gintama contains a few One Piece allusions. Shinpachi mentions the Great Pirate Era and Luffy’s devil fruit talent in one of them. Gintoki dresses up as Luffy during a question-and-answer session in another.

7. Gintama references Naruto twice!

A mashup of famous naruto characters.
An image displaying some of the greatest naruto characters of all time. Pic credit: Imgur/RandomImgurUploads

Naruto has a huge following in the West despite the fact that the series ended many years ago. The first can be found in episode 13, as Katsura begins to use the word ‘dattebayo’ in his statements.

Kyuubei later utilized a skill that was a satire of Mangekyou Sharingan in episode 292. Another Naruto imitation can be seen in episode 209 when Shinpachi’s eye becomes infected and follows the same pattern as Naruto’s Sharingan eye technique.

8. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure had the best Gintama reference

A few of the main characters from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime.
A close-up image of a few of the main characters in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure anime series. Pic credit: Imgur/pivot5

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki is one of the most popular manga series in history. The testimonial of its excellence is how popular it still is after surviving the test of time. Each portion introduces a fresh protagonist and adversary, ensuring a high level of intrigue.

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JoJo is famous for its weird stances, and Gintoki employed one of them in the Ghost Ryokan arc. He imitated Caesar Zepelli’s posture, to be precise. Gintoki and Joseph Joestar have the same voice actor; thus, it was a suitable nod. In addition, Gintama has made a reference to Jotaro Kujo’s Star Platinum stand.

9. Gintama references the Assassination Classroom anime era

A few of the main characters in the Assassination Classroom anime.
An image of the main characters in the Assassination Classroom anime series. Pic credit: Imgur/ThachTrangTrung

Assassination Classroom, like Gintama, sends viewers on an emotional journey. The story follows the members of Class 3-E as they attempt to assassinate Koro-sensei, a bizarre and terrifying monster.

Gintoki finds himself educating Seita about history in Gintama episode 269. Gintoki tells Seita that everything before the Sengoku era was merely gorillas with spears to disguise his ignorance of the object. Tsukuyo calls Seita Koro-sensei when educating him, which frightens him.

10. Hajime no Ippo gets an early Gintama reference

A boxing scene from Hajime no Ippo.
Hajime boxing an opponent in the ring. Pic credit: Imgur/chingatumadreculero

Among the most popular sports anime series of all time is Hajime no Ippo. Ippo, a gifted teenage boxer who aspires to be a professional, is the protagonist of the award-winning series.

Gintama has an allusion to Hajime no Ippo as early as episode 28. Otae employs the Dempsey Roll, a classic Hajime no Ippo maneuver, in this episode. Kondo had no shot against such a deadly move, and he was knocked out of action for the time being.

11. Saint Seiya had its theme song parodied

An image of the main characters in the anime Saint Seiya.
The main characters from the Saint Seiya anime series. Pic credit: Imgur/BriBriHart

One of the most interesting and most popular anime series during the 1980s with more than 100 episodes was Saint Seiya. This anime was unique in that it expertly blended martial arts and mythology.

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In Saint Seiya, the plot develops around the central character and his journey to acquire a priceless artifact. It was during Gintama episode 282 that tribute was paid to Saint Seiya. This episode of Gintama’s ending song was a clever parody of Saint Seiya’s theme song.

12. Neon Genesis Evangelion Gintama reference isn’t anything to get angry over

A close-up image of two of the main characters from the anime series neon Genesis Evangelion.
A scene where two of the main characters in the series Neon Genesis Evangelion are angry. Pic Credit: Imgur/BattleInMyPants

The popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion follows a group of teenagers who pilot huge mecha to combat demons bent on destroying the Earth. It’s a dark, psychological drama with a lot of religious symbolism and imagery. Sounds like a great idea for a spoof.

When Taizou analyses the sort of style a heroine should have in Gintama Episode 43, ‘Make Characters So Anybody Can Tell Who They Are by Just Their Silhouettes,’ he adopts the fingers laced, spectacles glaring position that Evangelion’s Gendo frequently adopts. Gendo and Taizou are both voiced by the same individual, which is a fun tidbit.

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