If you’ve never watched the anime series Gintama, you ought to give it a try. It’s a fun, goofy gag series which combines elements of historical drama, shonen science fiction, and manzai-style “boke and tsukkomi” slapstick comedy.
If you don’t know where to watch Gintama online, we can help you locate legal and licensed places to stream the series and the movies.
Gintama satirizes Japanese history, modern pop culture, and other aspects of Japanese life. It also parodies Shonen Jump mercilessly. It breaks the fourth wall a lot.
Likely because of this, it’s also a long-running series. The manga lasted from 2003 until 2019. The anime ran from 2006 to 2018 (with a couple of breaks). In that time, they made 367 episodes, plus several movies and OVA specials.
Gintama is very loosely based on actual Japanese history. In the real world, Japan was forced open by the United States (and other nations) starting in the 1850s. In the Gintama version, these foreigners are replaced by an alien invasion. As a result, the show features a goofy (yet strangely appealing) combination of new and old — samurai and television, kimono and motorbikes, giant robots, etc.
The main hero team of Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura falls into that classic adventure-comedy category that TV Tropes calls “a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.”
Where to Watch Gintama
- Netflix Japan
- Shout Factory TV
- Apple TV
Crunchyroll has every episode of Gintama. All of Crunchyroll’s Gintama episodes are subtitled, although the selection seems to vary by season. Season 1 has English, Latin American Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. But starting with episode 266, Crunchyroll adds Arabic, German, European Spanish, French, and Italian subtitles as well.
In addition, Crunchyroll has an English-dubbed version of episodes 266-316 (the Gintamaº episodes from 2015-2016).
Although Crunchyroll is available worldwide, you may need a VPN, such as NordVPN, to watch Gintama in some nations. See below for details.
- Huge anime library
- Several free viewing options for Gintama
- Many subtitle options, dubbing available for some episodes
- May not be available in your area (without a VPN)
- Free options not available for some series
Price: Free option with blockable ads; no sign-in needed. Free, basic account (with blockable ads). Free 14-day trial premium subscription also available.
Subscriptions are $7.99/ month for “fan” level; $9.99/ month for “mega fan”; and $14.99/ month for “ultimate fan.”
Netflix Japan has the entire Gintama anime series. The streaming service also has Gintama: The Movie from 2010; and its sequel, Gintama: The Movie: The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yorozuya from 2013. The 2010 anime film is a retelling of the Benizakura Arc from the series.
All of these versions of Gintama are in Japanese with no subtitles. The website and episode descriptions have been translated, but not the dialogue. If you live outside Japan, you will also need a VPN to watch any of these.
- Best option if Crunchyroll isn’t available.
- Large streaming library in all genres (not just anime)
- Netflix tries to block VPNs whenever possible
- No free trial period
- Limited translation
Price: Basic, $9.99; Standard, $15.49; Premium, $19.99. Tier level affects video quality and resolution.
How to Watch Gintama on Netflix from the United States:
- Download a VPN (NordVPN works for this method)
- Clear your Netflix cache
- Choose Japan as your region in the VPN
- Log in to Netflix and search for Gintama
Hulu doesn’t have every Gintama episode. In fact, at the moment, it only has the 49-episode first season (which was originally licensed by Sentai Filmworks, not Crunchyroll). However, Hulu does have both subbed and dubbed versions of those episodes.
Hulu is currently only available in the U.S. (Hulu Japan is a completely separate company.) The streaming service is owned by Disney, so naturally, it can be bundled with Disney+ and/ or ESPN+ shows. NBCUniversal also owns a minority stake in Hulu.
With a couple of exceptions, Hulu has very few exclusive anime (unlike Crunchyroll or Netflix). Most of its anime library is available elsewhere. But it does have exclusive, non-anime live-action shows. And its non-exclusive anime library is not bad.
- Dubbed version of first season
- Bundled streaming packages available
- Free-trial period (length depends upon your preferences at sign-up)
- Only available in the U.S.
- Smaller anime library than Crunchyroll
Price: Free-trial period. Hulu with ads – $6.99/month. Without ads – $12.99/ month. Hulu, Live TV, Disney+, ESPN+ Bundle – $69.99/ month. Hulu, Live TV, Disney+, ESPN+ Bundle (no ads) – $79.99/ month.
NOTE: Keep an eye out for limited-time-only Hulu bargain deals, such as $1/ month for “National Streaming Day” in May.
Shout! Factory doesn’t have the Gintama TV series. But it does have the 2021 anime film, Gintama: The Very Final (a.k.a. Gintama: The Final). Shout! Factory has both English-dubbed and subtitled versions of the film. And it’s available to watch for free.
Shout! Factory has an unusual selection of TV shows and movies, such as Mystery Science Theater 3000. Its anime library is small, but includes In This Corner of the World, Sound Euphonium: The Movie, and Millenium Actress. It also has tokusatsu shows, including Ultraman and Kamen Rider.
Shout! Factory is supported by ads, but my ad blocker blocks them.
- Watch the newest and (probably) final Gintama movie from 2021
- Free with ads (can be blocked)
- An interesting, oddball collection of TV and movies
- Very little actual anime
- Library is a mixed bag of “cult classics,” campy, and just plain dumb
- Only available in the U.S. and Canada
Price: Free with ads on the website. Also available packaged with Amazon Prime membership, Roku, Comcast Xfinity, other streaming platforms. Price may vary.
5. Apple TV
You can watch the 2021 anime movie, Gintama: The Final (a.k.a. Gintama: The Very Final) on Apple TV. Here in California, I can watch it in Japanese or in English with English subtitles. Apple also has the 2017 live-action movie version of Gintama in Japanese with English subtitles.
Apple also has a webpage for the Gintama anime series, which suggests that it either was available, or will be available somewhere on Apple.
- Apple TV/ iTunes is theoretically available worldwide
- Can rent or buy; it can be downloaded for offline viewing
- Only the two movies are available directly through Apple
- Regional viewing restrictions may apply
Price: $3.99 to rent for two days; $14.99 to buy