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Sixth card in the {G} Series.

Surround yourself with friends that make even your pathetic self seem cool.

Despite Gintoki's history of fall-outs with friends, he's a person who manages to find them in every corner of the neighborhood, be it human, kappa or robot. The two most irreplaceable people in his life are the ones who work the Yorozuya alongside him (and never get paid for it): Shimura Shinpachi and Kagura. Not sure how things went down back in the Edo period, but I'm pretty sure these days there are child labor laws against this kind of relationship.
Despite that these three main characters are inseparable. They work, live, eat starve, laugh, and sometimes even lose their lunches together. While each one of them are pretty damn hilarious on their own, there's no comedy or dynamic that can replace the stupidity of Kagura and Gintoki while Shinpachi screams in detest from the sidelines--their relationship makes Gintama everything that it is.
Shinpachi and Kagura are an interesting introduction to Gintoki's life prior to Gintama. After the war, Gintoki shuns the idea of making close friends due to the experience of losing people close to him during battle. Unable to save his comrades or keep them from drifting into questionable activities (such as, I dunno, terrorism, or maybe in Zura's case, crossdressing), it almost seems as if Gintoki has become hesitant to build very deep relationships. However, he becomes quickly attached to the two brats who occasionally shack up at the Yorozuya, once again finding himself with two new heavy burdens to carry.
"A person's existence is like bearing a heavy burden while moving forward on a long road." ... It wasn't a burden, rather, everybody carried something important with both hands. But when the time came to carry it, I didn't realize it. I only realized the weight of it once everything slipped from the palms of my hands. I don't know how many times I thought "I can't carry this anymore." Since when did it start to weigh me down again? Just abandoning them would be so easy. But no matter what I do, I can't feel that way. If they weren't around, just walking around or whatever would become rather boring.
--Sakata Gintoki, Chapter 13
Gintoki takes on many roles for both Kagura and Shinpachi--everything from a friend, to a "boss", to a father figure (albeit being pretty horrible examples of all of these things), but there's no doubt that the three of them together make a family. Time and time again, Gintoki has put his life at risk to save either Shinpachi or Kagura and the two would more than willingly do the same for him, even if he was against it. Though Shinpachi spends a lot of time side-eying his two companions as they piss on the Shinsengumi's doorstep, and though both Shinpachi and Kagura look down upon Gintoki whenever he fails to be a decent human being, they do care for each other a lot. Gintoki's tried to shake himself of their companionship during a number of more serious Gintama arcs, such as time when he loses his memory, but Shinpachi and Kagura remain unwavering in their friendship and loyalty to the permed samurai.
Gintoki: Why... why did you come here? I said leave me alone... go do whatever you like. Why did you still come here?
Kagura: You don't get to tell us that. I've always lived out my life my way.
Shinpachi: I'm here because I want to be.
Kagura & Shinpachi: We like all of us being together.

95% megane, 3% water, 2% garbage.

The first person to express disgust towards Gintoki at any given time will inevitably be the tsukkomi character, Shinpachi. Shinpachi and Gintoki first met when the four eyed character unintentionally became involved with the Amanto at his job at a cafe register. Mistakenly tripping one of the aliens, the ruckus between them knocks over Gintoki's parfait. In revenge for his ruined dessert, Gintoki takes care of the Amanto and inadvertently saves Shinpachi in the process. However, after Gintoki learns of his troubles with the family dojo and his desire to help his sister (who's been kidnapped to work at an illegal nightclub by debt collectors), Gintoki's desire to help those in need kicks in, and he willingly lends a hand to the bespectacled otaku. It is because of this unexpected kindness that Shinpachi grows admiration for Gintoki and chooses to work with him under the Yorozuya.
"Wait, Shinpachi, you bastard, why are you swimming so well?! It's not like you! No matter what you do, you suck at it! You're the kind of person who can only make it as the butt of other jokes! Admit it, I'm right!"
--Sakata Gintoki
That doesn't stop Gintoki from teasing Shinpachi endlessly, however. He makes fun of his glasses, the creepy way he stans idol Terakado Tsuu, his supposed "sister complex" and even his character ranking. However, Gintoki is one of those people who hits because he loves. As much as he enjoys giving Shinpachi a hard time, he will just as quickly drop everything and be at his side when he needs him. Whether that's to rescue the sister he loves so dearly or to become the official fanclub for Otsuu, Gintoki is willing to stoop to the lowest of lows if it means helping one of his closest companions. Shinpachi's glasses must be equipped with x-ray vision, because as strange as it is, he more than any other character seems to be able to see Gintoki's pure heart. No one believes in Gintoki more than Shinpachi, and his trust and respect for him are what gives him the willpower to want to emulate the noble samurai he sees within him.
Shinpachi was born and raised by the sword--so it's not too surprising that he holds a strong admiration for one of the few, real "samurai" left in Kabukichou. Unfortunately for Shinpachi, every other aspect of Gintoki is just a nose-picking, JUMP-reading, sugar-inhaling disappointment. Gintoki certainly isn't out to outwardly be any kind of role model for either of the two kids, but he's most definitely watching out for them. When trouble arises, he will always attempt to keep Shinpachi from getting involved, even if he wants to.

The queen of kabukichou.

Gintoki and Shinpachi meet Kagura because Gintoki hits her with his scooter.
Nope. Not even kidding. But that small, insignificant little incident aside the two hit it off really well. As a matter of fact, so well, that Gintoki has absolutely no problem with Kagura crashing at his place. ...Okay, I'll stop rubbing it in.
Gintoki and Kagura are the perfect example of monkey see, monkey do. Whereas Shinpachi would emulate all of Gintoki's strong points, Kagura is the one to pick up any and all of his bad habits: attitude, nose picking, bad words, and various other vulgarities. They do a good job of playing off of one another, much to Shinpachi's dismay, as it causes already bad situations to escalate to even worse ones as they bounce terrible ideas off each other.
Gintoki's lazy and playful side comes out around Kagura--he'll purposely slack or goof off on a job knowing that Kagura will back him up by following suit. However, she's surprisingly self aware and like Shinpachi, doesn't fail to notice that for the most part Gintoki is really nothing but a useless slob. Sharp tongued and with absolutely no filter keeping her from speaking her mind (not unlike Gintoki), she isn't afraid to tell him straight up how she feels--whether that's just her being condescending or her being downright serious.
"It might say it's the Yorozuya, but actually, we don't do anything. You're a useless fart."
--Kagura, Chapter 50
On the other hand, Gintoki and Kagura definitely share a weird father-daughter relationship, not unlike Gintoki's relationship with Shinpachi. When you take into account that both Shinpachi and Kagura have grown up without a father's guidance, it's interesting to see that Kagura really does seem to look to Gintoki as a form of replacement for that. (She jokingly speaks to Gintoki conversely because of all of his bad traits--stating that "Mama didn't raise you like that!") Though for the most part Gintoki is actually just verbally and physically abusive towards her, Kagura seems to have the upper hand on him when it's something she wants (most likely a mix of Gintoki's apathy and Kagura's brute strength.)
When Kagura comes in teary eyed, wanting to bring in a giant dog pet, Gintoki can't help but give into her. Just like with Shinpachi, Gintoki will do anything and everything to make Kagura happy and keep her safe. Kagura fully intends to stay at the Yorozuya forever, finding comfort under Gintoki's guidance and truly believing that while she can't live without being next to Gintoki, Gintoki also can't live without the company of herself and Shinpachi.
@InVinsybll She's a complete trip. I adore her. :3
without even having seen Gintama, I feel very strongly that I love Kagura.