Gintama has finally made its long-awaited comeback, and just as expected, the anime managed to shock everyone with just its opening scene as it featured the series’ iconic main character, Gintoki Sakata, in a press conference which suddenly took a turn for the strange.
The press conference featured Gintoki in a situation much similar to a previous political scandal which rocked Japan. The scandal involved Ryutaro Nonomura, a disgraced Hyougo Prefecture assemblyman who used public funds for his hot spring trips. Nonomura held a now-infamous press conference where one question made him a bit too emotional to say the least. Gintoki, who rocked a similar Nonomura hairstyle in his own press conference, first apologized for not having Gintama end as it should have and said he’s gonna make it right this season, however, just like Nonomura himself, all it took was one question to make him go over the edge.
Nonomura’s press conference ramblings caused quite a stir in Japan last year and even became a local internet meme in the country, and this was famous enough that Gintama made a parody out of it.
The act of animated series parodying something controversial like the Nonomura press conference is considered common practice in western animation, especially for series like The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and others. However, it is often unheard of in Japan, so when Gintama premiered, fans were sort of saying “Oh no they didn’t!”. Well, it’s safe to say, “YES THEY DID!”
Gintama’s opening scene shocked a lot of people in Japan, including the very editorial staff of the magazine which serializes Gintama, Weekly Shounen Jump!
— 少年ジャンプ編集部 (@jump_henshubu) April 8, 2015
The tweet reads: “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.”
Everyone was so shocked (except Gintama’s editor) that other Shounen Jump! series even reacted! Here is the reaction from Food Wars: Shokugeki no Souma which says that the entire editorial department is abuzz with that opening scene
— 食戟のソーマ公式ＴＶアニメ放送中！ (@syokugeki_off) April 8, 2015
And here’s Haikyuu!’s reaction which says “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!!”
— ハイキュー!!.com (@haikyu_com) April 8, 2015
And remember, this is just episode 1! Gintama has just started, and we may be expecting more from the series in the coming episodes