Gintama, a long-running anime based on a manga by Hideaki Sorachi, has proven itself to be the most meta show ever by featuring its own creator in a unique way. The show, known for its absurdist humor and experimental nature, takes its meta elements to another level with its Popularity Poll arc.
Gintama: The Most Meta Show Ever that Killed its Creator
The premise of Gintama may seem simple on the surface, following the adventures of Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura in a sci-fi version of historical Japan. However, the show uses this as a jumping-off point to explore both absurd surreal humor and heart-wrenching drama. This perfect balance between the two is what sets Gintama apart and has influenced other comedy anime.
In episodes #182-184, Gintama presents its most meta arc yet, based on the results of a real Shonen Jump popularity poll. In the storyline, lower-ranked characters are dissatisfied with their rankings and plot to kill and humiliate the more popular characters to attain the top spot. What makes this arc truly meta is that Hideaki Sorachi, the real-life creator of Gintama, is also included in the poll as a character. In order to raise her own ranking, Otae, one of the more violent characters, decides to kill Sorachi in the real world.
Although Gintama doesn’t show the murder scene, it is later mentioned that Otae succeeded in killing Sorachi. This meta humor goes beyond merely commenting on the characters’ fictional nature, making it even funnier and more refreshing than other takes on the concept. In recent times, meta humor has become increasingly prevalent in various forms of media, with characters like Deadpool, She-Hulk, and Rick Sanchez poking fun at their fictitious nature. However, Gintama takes it to a whole new level by having the characters literally kill their own creator.
While meta humor is not the most popular form of comedy in anime, Gintama demonstrates that when done well, it can be both shocking and hilarious. The impact of Gintama’s meta humor has even influenced other comedy anime such as Sket Dance and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. However, none of these shows come close to being as meta as Gintama’s Popularity Poll arc, which truly cements its place as a comedy classic.
If you’re interested in experiencing the most meta show ever, Gintama is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Subtitle: Gintama: The Meta Anime that Surpasses All Others by Killing Its Creator