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Gintoki Sakata is the main protagonist of the Gintama series. He is the founder and president of the Yorozuya, as well as a highly-skilled samurai, having fought in the Joui War in the past. During the war, he became known as the Shiroyasha (literally meaning "White Yaksha", a kind of demon in Buddhism and Hinduism) due to his powerful swordsmanship, demonic appearance, white clothing, and silver hair. Gintoki has naturally wavy hair, which causes him no end of distress. His silvery-blue hair is in a perpetually messy state, which is sometimes exaggerated into a frizzy afro when Gintoki's hair is hit by extreme heat. He has indeterminate grey/green/red (in the manga) or bordeaux-colored (in the anime) "dead fish eyes" (comparison courtesy of Hijikata Toushirou), which are called such because they are nearly always half-lidded. He is a very handsome young man with fair skin and a fairly muscular build despite the number of sweets he eats. His standard outfit consists of a white yukata with a blue swirl pattern on the bottom and at the end of the sleeves, worn so that his arm only goes through the left sleeve and the right half droops down over his obi. Over this he wears a black belt buckled so that there is leftover dangling from the buckle, from which his bokutō, Lake Toya, hangs. Underneath, he wears a black red-lined shirt with a popped collar and black pants. He also wears knee-high black boots, buckled at the top and above his foot, which appear to add about half an inch to his height. It is shown that he has a closet full of replicas of this outfit, so whenever it gets destroyed he can appear in the next episode or chapter with a new one. All in all, his outfit suggests an air of laziness and may be a reflection of Gintoki's own personal sense of style, though it is revealed that his usual attire is actually the school jersey for the Zunborans (episode 292). During the winter, he will sometimes wear a haori, thicker kimonos, or more layers of various colors as well as scarves. During the events of the Dekoboko Arc, he switched genders due to a curse and was seen in his female form. In that form, he had silvery-blue hair and was wearing Gintoki's normal clothes. Later, he wears a sleeveless white yukata with a blue swirl pattern on the bottom with a blue obi and black boots. As with most Gintama characters, his outfit and appearance change regularly for the sake of gags. Gintoki is extremely lazy. He is often seen wearing a dumb expression on his face and spends his days lounging around reading Shounen Jump whilst imparting wise and sage-like advice to his younger employees, even though he doesn't actually know what he's talking about most of the time. Due to his poverty and unwillingness to do mostly anything, he is always behind on his rent and often runs away when Otose, his landlady, comes to collect the payment. He often blows all of his savings on Pachinko and other gambling games, which Shinpachi and Kagura often scold him for. However, even though he is lazy, Gintoki is quite dedicated to his job and tries to help people with the best of his abilities (usually in a very strange and twisted way). He is sarcastic and unattached but he values connections more than anyone in the series. For the most part, Gintoki is content with hanging out with his friends. However different aspects of his personality emerge depending on the situation. In the more comedy arcs he is characterized as cowardly and sarcastic, but in serious arcs he is a unwavering and will die for someone who he cares about. He very much enjoys, joking, being passionate, and arguing about stupid stuff so he and his friends at the end of a day can have a good laugh. Gintoki's past continues to influence who he is and how he acts. He admitted to Umibozu in Episode 42 that he believes that having a loving family is all someone really needs in life, due to his lack of a family during his childhood. He is very respectful of the memory of his teacher Yoshida Shouyou due to his actions (the arrest of his teacher is one of the main reasons he joined the Joui War. The other was to protect his friends who also joined the war). When Jiraia called himself Tsukuyo's teacher and yet harmed her both emotionally and physically, his ideal for what a teacher was supposed to be resulted in Gintoki becoming enraged and taking his anger out on Jiraiya. His inability to protect many of his friends in the Joui War still haunts him, especially the crushing guilt and regret that consumed him when the Tendoshu forced him to execute his own teacher in front of Takasugi and Katsura. As a result, he is very protective of his current friends and holds very little value to his own life. This carelessness can be seen in how Gintoki can plow through armies without tiring, apathetic to the serious injuries he sustains whilst cutting down his enemies. He told Kawakami Bansai, during the Shinsengumi Crisis Arc, that the only reason he fought in the Joui War was to protect his friends and not his country or the samurai way. The more comical stories depict Gintoki as a coward, attempting to leave behind many of his friends to save his own life. However, he is willing to risk his life for anyone and he is shown to be extremely caring towards his friends and has killed Naraku members, terrorists, and Amanto to protect them. He is extremely frightened of ghosts, but will usually deny their existence so that he doesn't look like a coward. His fear of the supernatural is shared by Hijikata and usually results in quite a few comic interactions between the two. He has many childish personality traits despite his age, and has even called himself a "child in a man's body." One such trait is his insatiable love for sweets, which has placed him at risk of getting diabetes several times. His favorite food is chocolate parfait and he loves chugging down strawberry milk whenever he gets access to it. He also is repeatedly shown to have difficulty expresses his emotions and often disguises his true feelings under a cold outer layer; for example, when Umibouzu arrived to take Kagura home, he inadvertently made Kagura feel hurt and rejected by telling her to leave with him, despite having the best intentions for her. He loves alcohol, but his tolerance for sake is not high. At one point, his tendency to act like a complete idiot while being completely smashed resulted in the major female characters Otose, Shimura Tae, Kyuubei, Sarutobi Ayame and Tsukuyo deciding to teach him a lesson by playing a prank on him along with Zenzou during the Scandal Arc. Though several female characters have shown an interest in Gintoki, such as Shimura Tae, Sarutobi Ayame and Tsukuyo, it is shown that most of their love is unrequited. However, he does have a huge crush on the weather girl, Ketsuno Ana, and once stated he wished to marry her (possibly because of her smile). While Gintoki does not seem to care for any of the women he knows, he still gets excited when he sees random beautiful women, for example, when he was spying on the women in an indoor pool with binoculars and got super excited until he found out the woman he had taken a liking to was Tsukuyo. After realizing this he lost all interest, commenting on how she is a "drunk terminator". He also got excited when he saw a girl with "big jugs" not realizing the girl was actually Kyuubei. According to Tama, Gintoki is quite a sadist, much like Okita Sougo. This may possibly explain why Sougo feels a certain attachment to him as he addresses Gintoki as "Danna" ("Boss"). This can be shown as he always mistreats Sarutobi, Katsura, and Hijikata in various extreme ways and his tendencies on quitting easily on certain moments which can lead to a punishment and someone's death, in which he can handle easily and even enjoy it. He actually has some knowledge of certain sadistic and abusive fore-play showed throughout the series, as he hires prostitutes for Shinpachi and Sarutobi obsession with him. He admits being a sadist, liking to see Ketsuno Ana (who he has a crush on) being abused and his tendency to abuse everyone he is attached to. Despite or due to all of these traits Gintoki possesses an immense amount of charisma and has amassed a quite large group of friends. When it is needed, he is able to impart words of wisdom and can make those around him feel much more alive even with his inappropriate jokes and deadpan statements. This ability has given him very loyal allies, friends, and even former enemies. As Hinowa pointed out, he was able to affect Tsukuyo (who is usually a dead-serious and cold-blooded woman) and even made friends with the Shogun, despite the situation always turning out less than ideal whenever the latter would be around.

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