It serves as a testament to Hideaki Sorachi’s fantastic writing that Gintama, a manga with more than 70 volumes and an anime adaptation spanning 367 episodes, barely has any truly detestable characters. The franchise has a huge roster of recurring personalities, some of which even start out as hateable villains before making the transition to anti-heroes or, at least, sympathetic antagonists.
That said, certain characters are not quite as beloved as others. Whether it is by design or not, Gintama has a few personalities who tend to be divisive, if not downright loathed. Here are the anime‘s least-liked characters.
Disclaimer: One-off characters will not be considered.
10 Prince Hata
“Hate” is too strong of a word for Prince Hata, who starts out somewhat annoying but gradually grows into one of Gintama‘s funniest recurring personalities. His theme song is also brilliant.
As funny as Hata becomes, he is an acquired taste and can be especially grating during his debut and earliest appearances. Gintama takes a while to pick up steam, and Hata’s obnoxiousness can be especially off-putting.
For a character who lasts practically the anime’s entire run, Catherine does not really accomplish much. A former cat burglar who starts fresh at Otose’s snack shop, Catherine is typically depicted as abrasive, arrogant, and intentionally off-putting.
Along with rarely serving much of a purpose other than to act as Otose’s shadow, Catherine’s humor typically boils down to a (funny) accent and poking fun at her less-than-attractive design. Her shtick gets old quickly.
8 Imai Nobume
Essentially raised to be an assassin, Imai Nobume’s upbringing left her largely incapable of showing emotions. Gintama plays around a bit with the cliche of the emotionless former child killer who eventually becomes something of an ally to the heroes, giving Nobume a few childish quirks that make her slightly likable.
Nevertheless, as a character, Nobume’s personality does not leave a lot of room for growth or expression. Outside of her effective antagonistic turn in the Baragaki Arc, Nobume is mostly reduced to a bit-part player who just seems to exist within Gintama without adding much.
7 Takechi Henpeita
Putting aside one funny revelation about being a feminist, Takechi Henpeita just seems to be weird for the sake of it. For the most part, Gintama manages to avoid reducing characters to quirks, especially ones that last more than an episode or two. Despite being one of the Kiheitai’s most prominent members, Takechi is underdeveloped and typically used only for cheap laughs relating to his lolicon obsession. He is a boring character in an anime that has very few of them.
Takechi does have a decent double act with Kijima Matako, another Kiheitai extremist who is pretty forgettable.
Unlike previous entries, Housen was intended to be hated, at least, to a certain extent. Known as the King of the Night, the powerful Yato warrior went from being a space pirate to ruling Yoshiwara, a red-light district. Viewing most of the women of the area as little more than objects, Housen did not take kindly to anyone who defied him, going as far as to essentially keep his courtesans captive.
Housen revealed a softer side to himself prior to his demise, but that primarily served to add layers to the character rather than to redeem him.
5 Terakado Tsu (Otsu)
It is difficult to feel strongly about Terakado Tsu. More of a plot device than a fully-formed character, Otsu tends to bring out the best in the likes of Shinpachi while not necessarily contributing anything of significance on her own. While the Otsu Arc is a highlight of the anime and arguably Tsu’s peak, she is still overshadowed by Shinpachi and Hijikata in that storyline.
Otsu’s songs are pretty hilarious, even if her purposefully annoying singing is, well, annoying.
4 Tokugawa Sada Sada
The 13th Shogun, Tokugawa Sada Sada is Gintama‘s resident slimy politician, a character who walked over the corpses of enemies and allies en route to the throne. Sada Sada is the definition of a cold-hearted antagonist, one who ordered hits on political rivals and then used a beloved courtesan as a shield to avoid repercussions.
In the aftermath of the Amanto’s invasion of Gintama‘s Earth, Sada Sada took advantage of the chaotic political climate to establish himself as Edo’s ruler.
Introduced during the final saga in Gintama, the Silver Soul Arc, Enshou is a rare example of an antagonist in the anime who is not given the time to properly find redemption. As a leader of the Altana Liberation Army, Enshou uses the power offered by this position to seek revenge for the destruction of his home planet; however, he also feels guilty about the death of a loved one and secretly wishes to commit suicide through combat.
Despite being given a somewhat sympathetic backstory, Enshou is nearly always depicted as a selfish character who shows a complete disregard for his allies.
2 Tae Shimura (Otae)
Gintama adapts its characters depending on an episode’s tone, as the anime fluctuates from outlandish parody territory to violent shounen action. Surprisingly, the majority of the cast work well in both situations, allowing the comedy and action segments to highlight different facets of their personalities. Otae is somewhat of an exception.
Tae Shimura hides a violent and destructive temper beneath a sweet smile, with her stalker Kondo often being the target of her outbursts. While this produces some laughs, Otae does not bring a lot else to the table in terms of humor, so Gintama ends up doubling down on her bossy nature to the detriment of the character. She also does not grow that much, especially for a secondary character who is quite a prominent fixture in the series. Despite being shown as extremely strong in the comedy episodes, Otae is seldom depicted as a threat in the more serious arcs.
Gintama‘s ultimate antagonist, Utsuro wears the face of Yoshida Shouyou, the kind teacher of Sakata Gintoki and Katsura Kotarou. Born immortal, Utsuro was feared by humans and subjected to countless torments; consequently, Utsuro created multiple personalities who endlessly spread slaughter and destruction.
Utsuro seeks death. He begins a universe-spanning war that leaves planets destroyed, civilizations ruined, and countless dead in hopes of finding a way to end his own existence. He is Gintama‘s most hateable villain because his actions lead to unforgivable consequences and, more importantly, he is not that compelling of a final villain.
While Gintama's characters are almost universally likable, some are more divisive than others. Here are the anime's most hated characters.