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Gin Tama (銀魂 Gintama?, lit. "Silver Soul"), also known as Gintama, is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Hideaki Sorachi and serialized, beginning on December 8, 2003, in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump. Set in an Edo which has been conquered by aliens named Amanto, the plot follows life from the point of view of samurai Gintoki Sakata, who works as a freelancer alongside his friends Shinpachi Shimura and Kagura in order to pay the monthly rent. Sorachi added the science fiction setting to develop characters to his liking after his editor suggested doing a historical series.
The manga has been licensed by Viz Media in North America. In addition to publishing the individual volumes of the series, Viz serialized its first chapters in their Shonen Jump manga anthology. It debuted in the January 2007 issue, and was serialized at a rate of one chapter a month. An original video animation (OVA) of Gin Tama by Sunrise was featured at Jump Festa 2006 Anime Tour in 2005. This was followed by a full anime series, which debuted on April 4, 2006 in TV Tokyo and finished on March 25, 2010. A sequel titled Gintama' premiered in Japan on April 4, 2011. An animated film premiered in Japan in April 2010. The website Crunchyroll is streaming the series on its site, while Sentai Filmworks licensed the series, with distribution from Section23 Films on DVDs. Besides the anime series, there have been various light novels and video games based on Gin Tama.
In Japan, the Gin Tama manga has been popular, selling over 29 millon volumes as of December 2009. The anime and its DVDs have been featured, at various time, in Top Ten of their respective media, while TV Tokyo has announced that the first Gin Tama anime was responsible for high sales overseas along with the anime adaptation from Naruto. Publications for manga, anime and others have commented on the Gin Tama manga. Positive response have focused on the comedy and characters from the series, while negative responses concern the manga's artwork.