Much to our delight, Gintama has shifted to insane action sequences from its constant comedic supplies as it reaches its end. And while Gintama is a shounen anime that sheds all shounen tropes, one must follow tradition of ranking the strongest characters in Gintama just like in any other shounen anime.
Any fan could claim with conviction that, beyond its comedic excellence, Gintama provides some exceptionally strong characters and places them in intense eye-grabbing battles.
Interestingly, ranking characters in Gintama is quite confusing given the fact that relatively weaker characters have managed to defeat stronger ones in the show.
There’s an explanation for it! It’s an ode to the belief that power alone is not the only determinant in battle. I’d call it an underrated internal logic of the show.
Yes, you probably might say it is the most overrated logic in shounen show where “nakamas” help you win. However, Gintama is a little more realistic with its approach – it shows that coincidences, wit, support and mental fortitude play a significant factor.
Before I ramble on any further about the greatness of the show, here are the strongest characters in Gintama, ranked!
15Hijikata Toushirou and Sasaki Isaburo
Hijikata Toushirou is the former Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi. Hijikata’s skills in battle pay a tribute to his title as the Demonic Vice-Commander.
Hijikata is an exceptional swordsman possessing the skill to take out an entire force of swordsmen by himself. While his strengths are overshadowed by Gintoki, Hijikata has outmaneuvered several opponents such as Sougo and even Isaburo.
Sasaki Isaburo was the commander of Mimawarigumi – the elite police force of Kyoto. Isaburo’s multifaceted strengths are recognized within the show itself, giving him the title of ‘Monster of Three Heavens’ acknowledging his incredible skills in shooting, swordsmanship and combat.
Imai Nobume is the current director of the police department having succeeded Isaburo. Nobume is an extremely powerful character given her skills of swordsmanship and endurance in battle.
Raised as an assassin, Nobume outshone other members of the Tenshouin Naraku early in her childhood. Her adept skills at assassination earned her a position as one of the Naraku Three.
Isao Kondo has likened her skills to that of grim reaper given the lethality of her strikes and its accuracy. Nobume has also displayed extremely high endurance in the battle against Utsuro.
13Kagura and Okita Sougo
Kagura and Sougo being a tie shouldn’t be a surprise. Kagura is a member of a warrior race called Yato. She’s the daughter of two of the strongest characters in the series – Umibouzu and Kouka – with Kamui as her brother.
Her blood screams prodigy in battle. She possesses natural and instinctive fighting abilities along with physical strength beyond human capacity.
Whereas Sougo is the Captain of the 1st division of the Shinsengumi who possesses incredible swordsmanship skills having put up a great fight against Kamui and even lasting for a while against Utsuro. His skills are so exceptional that they piqued intrigue in Kamui himself.
NOTE: Yato Mode Kagura is insanely strong and if that is included, she’d be ranked higher on the list.
12Abuto and Mutsu
Abuto and Mutsu are some of our other favourite Yato characters in the show. Abuto can be referred to as Kamui’s right-hand man.
He is portrayed as physically strong when he kicks Kagura several meters away during the Yoshiwara battle. He’s shown to be flexible and agile as he deflects Tsukuyo’s back attack and rushes to her immediately to counter attack.
Mutsu is the right-hand woman of Tatsuma. She’s a great hand-to-hand combatant and is shown to be well-equipped at handling guns.
Much like any other Yato, both Abuto and Mutsu possesses excellent physical ability and natural fighting abilities that surpass human capabilities.
11Jirocho and Jiraia the Spider
Jirocho is the leader of the yakuza syndicate Dobunezumi Group. He practices the quick draw style iaidō of swordsmanship.
Jirocho is extremely powerful and agile with his skills having cut off an arm of an assassin without alarming them. Along with Gintoki, he’s able to take down 20 elite fighters from the warrior race of Shinra.
Jiraia was a ninja prodigy that went rogue. He founded the Hyakka in Yoshiwara, therefore, Tsukuyo remains an example of his legacy. He is known as the Spider for his choice of wired kunais that trap and levitate his opponents.
10Batou and Shokaku
Pluto Batou was the Captain of the 2nd Division of the Harusame. While much of his fight with Gintoki was merely used for comedy, he is still held as the strongest swordsman in the Harusame. Interestingly, he is even able to rival Kamui with just a sword in his hand.
Neptune Shokaku is the leader of the 4th Division of the Harusame. He is considered to be the strongest and the most athletic in the Harusame.
His fight against Katsura was an eye-opener where he displays his mastery over his spear and devastating physical strength.
9The Joui Three/ Oboro/ Zenzou
One of the significant factors about the Joui Three – Gintoki, Katsura and Takasugi – is that they have persevered against all odds in battle.
It is shown that Gintoki, Katsura and Takasugi are mostly equal in strength and are highly-skilled samurai with wits on their side. It is implied that Katsura is slightly stronger.
Much like them, Oboro has mastered his swordsmanship skills and hand-to-hand combat. His fight against Takasugi was quite intense and almost evenly matched.
The mangaka Hideaki Sorachi claimed that Zenzou, the prodigy leader of the Oniwabanshu, is at the same level as them in terms of his mastery over ninja techniques and his wit in battle.
NOTE: They’re all the strongest humans in the show.
Ougai is a warrior of the Dakini Tribe. He appeared during the Silver Soul Arc where he sought to destroy Earth under the Altana Liberation Army.
He is the biggest hurdle the main characters face during the attack on Kabuki District. Ougai is hailed as one of the strongest members of the species and fights his opponents with all his might.
He carries with him a giant iron club that can kill a normal human with just a mere swing.
What makes him so formidable is his extremely hard skin which deflects attacks, his impressive speed and great amount of endurance in battle.
Enshou was a warrior prince of Burei who serves as a primary antagonist.
With his planet destroyed due to the Altana explosion, he attempts to execute a double suicide on Earth after being manipulated by Utsuro’s actions. Enshou’s tenacity in conflict can be witnessed from his ability to take on an alliance.
During the climax of this conflict, he is able to take on Takasugi, Katsura and Tatsuma’s forces quite easily.
Shijaku hails him as a hero of Burei who could take on ten thousand soldiers on battlefield. He is the most capable lightsaber wielder through which he could eliminate multiple opponents at once.
One of the most hilarious plot twists in the anime is the reveal that the peace-loving Hedoro was once one of the most violent and powerful fighters in the universe.
Hedoro possesses Godlike physical strength which he actively chooses not to use for violence. The cause of this change is apparently an infection from a parasitic flower that we see on his head.
His strength, when used, is capable of easily taking down Ougai who proved to be a difficult enemy for the rest. He can even break down a fortified metallic gate without even breaking a sweat.
We don’t see much of Housen’s strength but it is stated that Housen could evenly match Umibouzu in a fight during their early days.
The battle, however, did not reach a conclusion. Housen was also a member of the Yato clan.
Even within the clan, he was considered elite as he possesses superhuman traits of strength, force, speed, quick reflexes, agility, durability, muscle control and exceptional intellect.
Despite not taking care of his body in old age, he put up a great fight that required hefty manpower (Ironically, it was provided by the women of Hyakka) to take him down.
Kamui is a member of the Yato tribe and the elder son of Umibouzu and Kouka. Kamui’s bloodlust for battle has left him in conflict with many powerful people.
And in his aspiration to become strong enough to kill Umibouzu, he has definitely climbed up the ladder of the elite fighters in the universe.
His Yato blood enhances his natural and instinctive fighting abilities giving him great physical strength, speed, endurance, agility and quick healing capabilities.
Kamui employs acrobatics in his movements and excels at hand-to-hand combat. His blows are extremely lethal and they far exceed the strength of any regular Yato.
Umibouzu is a renowned alien hunter and is one of the most formidable fighters in the universe.
His real name is Kankou however his fighting prowess has earned him immense praise leading to his christening as Umibouzu, meaning sea of star monk.
Umibouzu is considered to be the greatest sweeper in the universe possesses capabilities far superior to any Yato. His abilities are enough to engage Housen and Kamui in an intense battle – both of whom are extremely powerful.
With natural combat skills, tremendous physical strength, flexibility, speed, durability, reflexes, agility, instincts, fine-tuned senses – he is one of the finest fighters the show’s seen.
Kouka was the member of the Yato Tribe and a mutant being of Altana just like Utsuro. She is the mother of Kagura and Kamui.
Kouka is introduced as an extremely powerful fighter who is capable of defeating a creature like the Orochi with ease. In a series of surprising events, we see Umibouzu trying to keep up with her speed and power. Umibouzu himself claims that she was stronger than him.
Her only kryptonite was living away from her home planet which causes her health to deteriorate.
NOTE: It’s possible that if she were alive, she would have been the strongest character in the series – with Yato blood and Altana effects within her however with her passing, that judgement remains inconclusive.
Utsuro, the founder and first leader of the Tenshouin Naraku, is the strongest character in the Gintama series. He is the main antagonist in Gintama. As a being born with significant amounts of Altana within, Utsuro is frighteningly intimidating.
His physical attributes in itself are enough to defeat formidable opponents. He is able to take on multiple opponents and even leave them in despair as seen in the Silver Soul arc.
He is an expert swordsman and well versed in hand-to-hand combat. He’s shown to be quite cunning having manipulated the entire universe in following his plan. His Altana blood makes him immune to any illnesses and also, immortal.
The story is set in an alternate-history late-Edo period, where humanity is attacked by aliens called “Amanto.” Edo Japan’s samurai fight to defend Earth, but the shōgun cowardly surrenders when he realizes the aliens’ power.
He agrees to an unequal contract with the aliens, placing a ban on carrying swords in public and allowing the invaders to enter the country. The samurai’s swords are confiscated, and the Tokugawa bakufu becomes a puppet government.
The series focuses on an eccentric samurai, Gintoki Sakata, who works as an odd-jobs freelancer. Although the story is mostly episodic, a few story arcs and recurring antagonists develop.