History Film / TheLastSamurai

18th Feb '17 6:39:51 AM The_Glorious_SOB
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* ApatheticCitizens: In the deleted scene with Ujio decapitating a harasser on street (see CleanCut below), all witnesses except of Algren, Katsumoto and Gant either ignore or even don't notice what has just happened.

to:

* ApatheticCitizens: In the deleted scene with Ujio decapitating a harasser on street (see CleanCut below), all the witnesses except of Algren, Katsumoto and Gant either ignore or even don't notice what has just happened.
18th Feb '17 6:38:35 AM The_Glorious_SOB
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A 2003 film directed by Creator/EdwardZwick. Creator/TomCruise stars as Nathan Algren, a veteran of UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar and the campaigns against the American Indians, in the course of which he served under General Custer. The wars are well and truly over, but Algren is still haunted by what he has seen, and done, and scrounges out drinking money to sustain his chronic alcoholism by endorsing rifles. He's given an opportunity to go back to what he's best at -- fighting -- when his former boss recruits him to aid the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan Japanese Empire]]. The Meiji Emperor has been rapidly modernizing the country with the 'aid' of men like Omura, the most powerful man among the oligarchy which controls the emperor and the country from behind the scenes. Nathan is asked to train a force of the country's newly-formed national army in the art of modern warfare. His assignment comes with the knowledge that a group of Samurai, low-ranking nobles similar in rank and role to the Knights of medieval Europe, have risen up in rebellion against the oligarchy in the name of the Emperor. The rebels claim that the radical programme of modernisation endorsed by Omura is in fact a programme of '' 'westernisation' '', one that is destroying the Japanese way of life.

to:

A 2003 film directed by Creator/EdwardZwick. Creator/TomCruise stars as Nathan Algren, a veteran of UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar and the campaigns against the American Indians, in the course of which he served under General Custer. The wars are well and truly over, but Algren is still haunted by what he has seen, and done, and scrounges out drinking money to sustain his chronic alcoholism by endorsing rifles. He's given an opportunity to go back to what he's best at -- fighting -- when his former boss recruits him to aid the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan Japanese Empire]]. The Meiji Emperor has been rapidly modernizing the country with the 'aid' of men like Omura, the most powerful man among the oligarchy which controls the emperor and the country from behind the scenes. Nathan is asked to train a force of the country's newly-formed national army in the art of modern warfare. His assignment comes with the knowledge that a group of Samurai, low-ranking nobles similar in rank and role to the Knights of medieval Europe, have risen up in rebellion against the oligarchy in the name of the Emperor. The rebels claim that the radical programme of modernisation endorsed by Omura is in fact a programme of '' 'westernisation' '', 'westernisation,' '' one that is destroying the Japanese way of life.



* ApatheticCitizens: In the deleted scene with Ujio decapitating harasser on street (see CleanCut below), all witnesses except of Algren, Katsumoto and Gant either ignore or even don't notice what has just happened.

to:

* ApatheticCitizens: In the deleted scene with Ujio decapitating a harasser on street (see CleanCut below), all witnesses except of Algren, Katsumoto and Gant either ignore or even don't notice what has just happened.
18th Feb '17 6:37:15 AM The_Glorious_SOB
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* AnimalMotifs: Tigers for Algren. His determination and ferocity even in the face of impossible odds reminds several characters of one. The spear he uses in the opening battle also has a tiger on it's standard.

to:

* AnimalMotifs: Tigers for Algren. His determination and ferocity even in the face of impossible odds reminds several characters of one. The spear he uses in the opening battle also has a tiger on it's its standard.
14th Feb '17 6:56:52 AM OtterOverthinker
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Added DiffLines:

** Of particular note is Algren's fighting style. In early scenes where he uses a bokken, he puts his right hip forward, as he would if wielding a sabre. By the end of the film, he leads with his ''left'' hip, like a Samurai would.
28th Dec '16 1:12:01 PM Dragoon321
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Added DiffLines:

* AnimalMotifs: Tigers for Algren. His determination and ferocity even in the face of impossible odds reminds several characters of one. The spear he uses in the opening battle also has a tiger on it's standard.
8th Nov '16 7:02:58 PM Morgenthaler
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%%
%%
%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
%%
%%



* TheAtoner: Nathan Algren
* AudibleSharpness: All over the film.
* BackToBackBadasses: Algren and Katsumoto.
* BadassArmy: The samurai army.

to:

* %%* TheAtoner: Nathan Algren
* %%* AudibleSharpness: All over the film.
* %%* BackToBackBadasses: Algren and Katsumoto.
* %%* BadassArmy: The samurai army.



* BadassGrandpa: 'Bob'
** Gant also qualifies.
* BaldOfAwesome: Katsumoto
* BigBad: Omura

to:

* %%* BadassGrandpa: 'Bob'
** %%** Gant also qualifies.
* %%* BaldOfAwesome: Katsumoto
* %%* BigBad: Omura



* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Omura, pretty much.

to:

* %%* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Omura, pretty much.



* DrillSergeantNasty: Gant

to:

* %%* DrillSergeantNasty: Gant



* FlorenceNightingaleEffect

to:

* %%* FlorenceNightingaleEffect



* GoingNative: Pretty much the entire plot of the film.

to:

* %%* GoingNative: Pretty much the entire plot of the film.



* {{Samurai}}: ... no, really?

to:

* %%* {{Samurai}}: ... no, really?



* SceneryPorn: And how.

to:

* %%* SceneryPorn: And how.



* WhiteStallion: Katsumoto rides one.
* YouShallNotPass: Nobutada.

to:

* %%* WhiteStallion: Katsumoto rides one.
* %%* YouShallNotPass: Nobutada.
8th Nov '16 7:00:29 PM Morgenthaler
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* {{Badass}}: Katsumoto and his samurai are all badass but Ujio takes the cake.
21st Oct '16 11:37:59 AM Ohio9
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* PlotArm

to:

* PlotArmPlotArmor: Every single Samurai warrior appears to die in the final battle, except for Algren, who somehow manages to survive being shot multiple times by a Gatling gun. In fact, he's actually able to stand and talk to the emperor just hours after the battle ends.
* {{Pride}}: Bagley and Omura are far too confident in their firearms and derisive of the Samurai's fighting abilities - after nearly 300 years of peace - early on in the film. The former appears to learn the error of his ways, suggesting sending in skirmishers rather than a main attack force at the start of the final battle with the samurai. The latter has definitely not learned a thing, overriding Bagley and sending his men to the slaughter rather than listening to his paid military adviser.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: When Bagley enthusiastically encourages Algren to rejoin the army and help train the Japanese, Algren (who is completely hammered) starts cracking up and lampshades this trope by saying, "The corps back together--it's just so...''inspiring''!" and nearly falls off his chair laughing.
* PyrrhicVictory: The samurai eventually defeat the first wave of imperial forces... and have about two dozen survivors.
-->'''Algren:''' They'll bring two regiments up here soon... we won't be able to stop them again.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Simon Graham, though he's more lively than the stereotypical British scholar, a typical trait of whom is generally not a fascination with execution and torture.
* RealityEnsues: The samurai win their first engagement by smart tactics and taking advantage of the enemy's overconfidence. Once the Imperial forces wise up and even more significantly outnumber the samurai, the latter are doomed.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Katsomoto shows a high amount of patience with a recently-captured Algren, being willing to chalk up Algren's attitude to cultural differences rather than plain insolence (and stabbing him like Ujio wants). He recognizes how valuable Algren's knowledge and outside perspective are and listens to what he has to say, despite being ostensibly enemies.
* RockBeatsLaser: Partial and minor victory initially for the samurai, but eventually subverted.
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: JidaiGeki samurai vs Westernization.
* RousingSpeech: Nathan recounts the Battle of Thermopylae to Katsumoto before they go into their own outnumbered battle.
* {{Samurai}}: ... no, really?
* SamuraiPonytail: Katsumoto's son, Nobutada, sports one. When the Meiji government passes laws restricting the rights of the Samurai, he is subjected to a very undignified public haircut by the emperor's guards.
* SceneryPorn: And how.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: When Bagley and Omura demand that the new and inexperienced regiment move against the Samurai, Algren stands amongst the targets and orders one of the recruits to shoot him or be killed himself. He then backs up his threats by [[HatDamage shooting the soldier's hat off.]] He fires his pistol several more times as the terrified soldier frantically tries to load his weapon. Even after the gun is readied and pointed at Algren, the soldier can't bring himself to fire even with Algren screaming at him to do so. Finally, after one last shot, the soldier fires and misses horribly. Used by Algren to prove that the men were both physically and psychologically unprepared to face an actual battle. The scene is strikingly similar to one in ''Film/{{Glory}}''. As Edward Zwick directed both, it might be a deliberate ShoutOut.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Algren, because he saw the people he killed as ''people'', but not Bagley, because he has no empathy for 'savages'.
* ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon: In the final battle, imperial soldiers prefer to fire from a ''very'' short range or use bayonets rather than just wiping the samurai off with volley fire. Bagley does a similar thing when trying to stop the charging cavalrymen, letting the samurai crash into his ranks and [[spoiler: kill him.]]
** Justified both times. The whole point of the final battle for the samurai was to get the imperial soldiers disorganized and close enough so that their guns wouldn't be such an advantage. Once the battle was underway and the soldiers fired their shots, there wouldn't be enough time to reload.
** For Bagley, he had his men hold fire until the samurai got close because there was mortar fire and smoke partially obstructing the view. Plus, he knew that he would only have time to get off one or two volleys before the samurai got to them and he wanted to make them count. His men did cause significant casualties before the remainder of the cavalry broke through their line.
* ShownTheirWork: Historical changes/inaccuracies aside, a ''lot'' of details - from architecture to Ujio's simple tea ceremony - was studied meticulously, as noted in the [[http://www.amazon.com/Last-Samurai-Official-Movie-Guide/dp/1932273301/ Official Movie Guide]]. When the Japanese extras were brought to the village set in New Zealand, many of the older ones teared up because of how ''accurate'' the set designers and builders had created the buildings, saying that it reminded them of ''their'' grandparents' village homes.
* TheSmartGuy: Simon Graham, obviously, but also Algren, from a military perspective at least.
* SnowMeansDeath : Or in this case, CherryBlossoms.
* StockBritishPhrases: "Jolly good" is said three times, once by Simon Graham upon meeting Algren, and twice by Nobutada as a basic way of mocking the Westerner.
* SoldierVsWarrior: The whole movie is a study and [[{{InvokedTrope}} invoking]] of this trope. Samurai = [[{{ProudWarriorRace}} Warrior]], Imperial Soldier = Soldier
* TactfulTranslation: Simon Graham describes getting in trouble for not doing this. Ironically, he now makes a living of [[BrutalHonesty accurately translating other peoples' lies.]]
* TakingTheBullet: "Bob" in the final battle.
* TakingYouWithMe: The point of the final battle. It's not about ''winning''; it's about ''send''ing a ''mess''age.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: For Algren it sure does!
** Katsumoto gets a good throw in earlier in the movie, as well.
* TheTriple: Simon Graham suggests Algren says a word or two to him in the language of his Native American opponents. He suggests "Hello", "Goodbye" or "Cut his tongue out and boil him in oil," the latter eliciting disturbed looks from Algren and Gant.
* TheVoiceless: "Bob", whose first and only line in the movie is "Algren-san!" before taking the aforementioned bullet.
* ThwartedCoupDeGrace: Nathan Algren got wounded in the first battle. When the enemy was about to finish him off, Nathan landed the final attack before falling unconscious.
* TookALevelInBadass: The imperial army becomes a competent and disciplined fighting force by the time of the final battle.
* TrainingFromHell: Ujio's method of teaching Algren Samurai swordplay appears to be dueling him over and over again until Algren can defend against his strikes.
* TraumaticHaircut: Nobutada is stripped of his swords and has his [[SamuraiPonytail topknot]] forcibly cut off by police, since both are now illegal.
* UnableToCry: Averted with Algren, who is too desensitised and jaded to show the slightest hint of grief or regret in all the film's [[TearJerker tearjerking]] moments... even including [[spoiler: Katsumoto's death. His ManlyTears before The Emperor show how he has changed from.]]
* UnderestimatingBadassery: Omura and Bagley think little of the samurai threat, as they have no guns or artillery. This is in spite of the imperial army being thoroughly routed earlier in the film by a cavalry charge.
-->'''Colonel Bagley''': The rebels don't have a single rifle among them. They're savages with bows and arrows.
-->'''Algren''': Whose sole occupation for the last one thousand years has been war.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Every character but the Emperor is fictional or fictionalized. The war is an amalgam of the Boshin War (1868-1869) and the Satsuma Rebellion (1877). The real military mission was French instead of American, and five of its members chose to stay and fight with the rebel Samurai, not just one. Jules Brunet (Algren's inspiration) didn't surrender to the Emperor and was evacuated on a French steamship; Japan would then unsuccessfully demand his extradition to punish him for 12 years, until one of Brunet's former friends gained enough influence in the imperial government and had the order revoked.
* WarriorPoet: Katsumoto, literally. He writes ''haiku'' in addition to being a master swordsman.
* WaterfallShower: Nathan comes across his host (the widow of the man he killed) taking a waterfall ShowerOfAwkward.
* WhiteStallion: Katsumoto rides one.
* YouShallNotPass: Nobutada.
21st Oct '16 10:49:11 AM JamesAustin
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->''The tiger's eyes are like my own''
->''But he comes from across a deep and troubled sea...''
--> -- General Moritsugu Katusmoto

to:

->''The ->''"The tiger's eyes are like my own''
->''But
own''\\
''But
he comes from across a deep and troubled sea...''
--> -- General
"''
-->-- '''General
Moritsugu Katusmoto
Katusmoto'''



* PlotArmor: Every single Samurai warrior appears to die in the final battle, except for Algren, who somehow manages to survive being shot multiple times by a Gatling gun. In fact, he's actually able to stand and talk to the emperor just hours after the battle ends.
* {{Pride}}: Bagley and Omura are far too confident in their firearms and derisive of the Samurai's fighting abilities - after nearly 300 years of peace - early on in the film. The former appears to learn the error of his ways, suggesting sending in skirmishers rather than a main attack force at the start of the final battle with the samurai. The latter has definitely not learned a thing, overriding Bagley and sending his men to the slaughter rather than listening to his paid military adviser.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: When Bagley enthusiastically encourages Algren to rejoin the army and help train the Japanese, Algren (who is completely hammered) starts cracking up and lampshades this trope by saying, "The corps back together--it's just so...''inspiring''!" and nearly falls off his chair laughing.
* PyrrhicVictory: The samurai eventually defeat the first wave of imperial forces... and have about two dozen survivors.
-->'''Algren:''' They'll bring two regiments up here soon... we won't be able to stop them again.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Simon Graham, though he's more lively than the stereotypical British scholar, a typical trait of whom is generally not a fascination with execution and torture.
* RealityEnsues: The samurai win their first engagement by smart tactics and taking advantage of the enemy's overconfidence. Once the Imperial forces wise up and even more significantly outnumber the samurai, the latter are doomed.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Katsomoto shows a high amount of patience with a recently-captured Algren, being willing to chalk up Algren's attitude to cultural differences rather than plain insolence (and stabbing him like Ujio wants). He recognizes how valuable Algren's knowledge and outside perspective are and listens to what he has to say, despite being ostensibly enemies.
* RockBeatsLaser: Partial and minor victory initially for the samurai, but eventually subverted.
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: JidaiGeki samurai vs Westernization.
* RousingSpeech: Nathan recounts the Battle of Thermopylae to Katsumoto before they go into their own outnumbered battle.
* {{Samurai}}: ... no, really?
* SamuraiPonytail: Katsumoto's son, Nobutada, sports one. When the Meiji government passes laws restricting the rights of the Samurai, he is subjected to a very undignified public haircut by the emperor's guards.
* SceneryPorn: And how.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: When Bagley and Omura demand that the new and inexperienced regiment move against the Samurai, Algren stands amongst the targets and orders one of the recruits to shoot him or be killed himself. He then backs up his threats by [[HatDamage shooting the soldier's hat off.]] He fires his pistol several more times as the terrified soldier frantically tries to load his weapon. Even after the gun is readied and pointed at Algren, the soldier can't bring himself to fire even with Algren screaming at him to do so. Finally, after one last shot, the soldier fires and misses horribly. Used by Algren to prove that the men were both physically and psychologically unprepared to face an actual battle. The scene is strikingly similar to one in ''Film/{{Glory}}''. As Edward Zwick directed both, it might be a deliberate ShoutOut.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Algren, because he saw the people he killed as ''people'', but not Bagley, because he has no empathy for 'savages'.
* ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon: In the final battle, imperial soldiers prefer to fire from a ''very'' short range or use bayonets rather than just wiping the samurai off with volley fire. Bagley does a similar thing when trying to stop the charging cavalrymen, letting the samurai crash into his ranks and [[spoiler: kill him.]]
** Justified both times. The whole point of the final battle for the samurai was to get the imperial soldiers disorganized and close enough so that their guns wouldn't be such an advantage. Once the battle was underway and the soldiers fired their shots, there wouldn't be enough time to reload.
** For Bagley, he had his men hold fire until the samurai got close because there was mortar fire and smoke partially obstructing the view. Plus, he knew that he would only have time to get off one or two volleys before the samurai got to them and he wanted to make them count. His men did cause significant casualties before the remainder of the cavalry broke through their line.
* ShownTheirWork: Historical changes/inaccuracies aside, a ''lot'' of details - from architecture to Ujio's simple tea ceremony - was studied meticulously, as noted in the [[http://www.amazon.com/Last-Samurai-Official-Movie-Guide/dp/1932273301/ Official Movie Guide]]. When the Japanese extras were brought to the village set in New Zealand, many of the older ones teared up because of how ''accurate'' the set designers and builders had created the buildings, saying that it reminded them of ''their'' grandparents' village homes.
* TheSmartGuy: Simon Graham, obviously, but also Algren, from a military perspective at least.
* SnowMeansDeath : Or in this case, CherryBlossoms.
* StockBritishPhrases: "Jolly good" is said three times, once by Simon Graham upon meeting Algren, and twice by Nobutada as a basic way of mocking the Westerner.
* SoldierVsWarrior: The whole movie is a study and [[{{InvokedTrope}} invoking]] of this trope. Samurai = [[{{ProudWarriorRace}} Warrior]], Imperial Soldier = Soldier
* TactfulTranslation: Simon Graham describes getting in trouble for not doing this. Ironically, he now makes a living of [[BrutalHonesty accurately translating other peoples' lies.]]
* TakingTheBullet: "Bob" in the final battle.
* TakingYouWithMe: The point of the final battle. It's not about ''winning''; it's about ''send''ing a ''mess''age.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: For Algren it sure does!
** Katsumoto gets a good throw in earlier in the movie, as well.
* TheTriple: Simon Graham suggests Algren says a word or two to him in the language of his Native American opponents. He suggests "Hello", "Goodbye" or "Cut his tongue out and boil him in oil," the latter eliciting disturbed looks from Algren and Gant.
* TheVoiceless: "Bob", whose first and only line in the movie is "Algren-san!" before taking the aforementioned bullet.
* ThwartedCoupDeGrace: Nathan Algren got wounded in the first battle. When the enemy was about to finish him off, Nathan landed the final attack before falling unconscious.
* TookALevelInBadass: The imperial army becomes a competent and disciplined fighting force by the time of the final battle.
* TrainingFromHell: Ujio's method of teaching Algren Samurai swordplay appears to be dueling him over and over again until Algren can defend against his strikes.
* TraumaticHaircut: Nobutada is stripped of his swords and has his [[SamuraiPonytail topknot]] forcibly cut off by police, since both are now illegal.
* UnableToCry: Averted with Algren, who is too desensitised and jaded to show the slightest hint of grief or regret in all the film's [[TearJerker tearjerking]] moments... even including [[spoiler: Katsumoto's death. His ManlyTears before The Emperor show how he has changed from.]]
* UnderestimatingBadassery: Omura and Bagley think little of the samurai threat, as they have no guns or artillery. This is in spite of the imperial army being thoroughly routed earlier in the film by a cavalry charge.
-->'''Colonel Bagley''': The rebels don't have a single rifle among them. They're savages with bows and arrows.
-->'''Algren''': Whose sole occupation for the last one thousand years has been war.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Every character but the Emperor is fictional or fictionalized. The war is an amalgam of the Boshin War (1868-1869) and the Satsuma Rebellion (1877). The real military mission was French instead of American, and five of its members chose to stay and fight with the rebel Samurai, not just one. Jules Brunet (Algren's inspiration) didn't surrender to the Emperor and was evacuated on a French steamship; Japan would then unsuccessfully demand his extradition to punish him for 12 years, until one of Brunet's former friends gained enough influence in the imperial government and had the order revoked.
* WarriorPoet: Katsumoto, literally. He writes ''haiku'' in addition to being a master swordsman.
* WaterfallShower: Nathan comes across his host (the widow of the man he killed) taking a waterfall ShowerOfAwkward.
* WhiteStallion: Katsumoto rides one.
* YouShallNotPass: Nobutada.

to:

* PlotArmor: Every single Samurai warrior appears to die in the final battle, except for Algren, who somehow manages to survive being shot multiple times by a Gatling gun. In fact, he's actually able to stand and talk to the emperor just hours after the battle ends.
* {{Pride}}: Bagley and Omura are far too confident in their firearms and derisive of the Samurai's fighting abilities - after nearly 300 years of peace - early on in the film. The former appears to learn the error of his ways, suggesting sending in skirmishers rather than a main attack force at the start of the final battle with the samurai. The latter has definitely not learned a thing, overriding Bagley and sending his men to the slaughter rather than listening to his paid military adviser.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: When Bagley enthusiastically encourages Algren to rejoin the army and help train the Japanese, Algren (who is completely hammered) starts cracking up and lampshades this trope by saying, "The corps back together--it's just so...''inspiring''!" and nearly falls off his chair laughing.
* PyrrhicVictory: The samurai eventually defeat the first wave of imperial forces... and have about two dozen survivors.
-->'''Algren:''' They'll bring two regiments up here soon... we won't be able to stop them again.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Simon Graham, though he's more lively than the stereotypical British scholar, a typical trait of whom is generally not a fascination with execution and torture.
* RealityEnsues: The samurai win their first engagement by smart tactics and taking advantage of the enemy's overconfidence. Once the Imperial forces wise up and even more significantly outnumber the samurai, the latter are doomed.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Katsomoto shows a high amount of patience with a recently-captured Algren, being willing to chalk up Algren's attitude to cultural differences rather than plain insolence (and stabbing him like Ujio wants). He recognizes how valuable Algren's knowledge and outside perspective are and listens to what he has to say, despite being ostensibly enemies.
* RockBeatsLaser: Partial and minor victory initially for the samurai, but eventually subverted.
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: JidaiGeki samurai vs Westernization.
* RousingSpeech: Nathan recounts the Battle of Thermopylae to Katsumoto before they go into their own outnumbered battle.
* {{Samurai}}: ... no, really?
* SamuraiPonytail: Katsumoto's son, Nobutada, sports one. When the Meiji government passes laws restricting the rights of the Samurai, he is subjected to a very undignified public haircut by the emperor's guards.
* SceneryPorn: And how.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: When Bagley and Omura demand that the new and inexperienced regiment move against the Samurai, Algren stands amongst the targets and orders one of the recruits to shoot him or be killed himself. He then backs up his threats by [[HatDamage shooting the soldier's hat off.]] He fires his pistol several more times as the terrified soldier frantically tries to load his weapon. Even after the gun is readied and pointed at Algren, the soldier can't bring himself to fire even with Algren screaming at him to do so. Finally, after one last shot, the soldier fires and misses horribly. Used by Algren to prove that the men were both physically and psychologically unprepared to face an actual battle. The scene is strikingly similar to one in ''Film/{{Glory}}''. As Edward Zwick directed both, it might be a deliberate ShoutOut.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Algren, because he saw the people he killed as ''people'', but not Bagley, because he has no empathy for 'savages'.
* ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon: In the final battle, imperial soldiers prefer to fire from a ''very'' short range or use bayonets rather than just wiping the samurai off with volley fire. Bagley does a similar thing when trying to stop the charging cavalrymen, letting the samurai crash into his ranks and [[spoiler: kill him.]]
** Justified both times. The whole point of the final battle for the samurai was to get the imperial soldiers disorganized and close enough so that their guns wouldn't be such an advantage. Once the battle was underway and the soldiers fired their shots, there wouldn't be enough time to reload.
** For Bagley, he had his men hold fire until the samurai got close because there was mortar fire and smoke partially obstructing the view. Plus, he knew that he would only have time to get off one or two volleys before the samurai got to them and he wanted to make them count. His men did cause significant casualties before the remainder of the cavalry broke through their line.
* ShownTheirWork: Historical changes/inaccuracies aside, a ''lot'' of details - from architecture to Ujio's simple tea ceremony - was studied meticulously, as noted in the [[http://www.amazon.com/Last-Samurai-Official-Movie-Guide/dp/1932273301/ Official Movie Guide]]. When the Japanese extras were brought to the village set in New Zealand, many of the older ones teared up because of how ''accurate'' the set designers and builders had created the buildings, saying that it reminded them of ''their'' grandparents' village homes.
* TheSmartGuy: Simon Graham, obviously, but also Algren, from a military perspective at least.
* SnowMeansDeath : Or in this case, CherryBlossoms.
* StockBritishPhrases: "Jolly good" is said three times, once by Simon Graham upon meeting Algren, and twice by Nobutada as a basic way of mocking the Westerner.
* SoldierVsWarrior: The whole movie is a study and [[{{InvokedTrope}} invoking]] of this trope. Samurai = [[{{ProudWarriorRace}} Warrior]], Imperial Soldier = Soldier
* TactfulTranslation: Simon Graham describes getting in trouble for not doing this. Ironically, he now makes a living of [[BrutalHonesty accurately translating other peoples' lies.]]
* TakingTheBullet: "Bob" in the final battle.
* TakingYouWithMe: The point of the final battle. It's not about ''winning''; it's about ''send''ing a ''mess''age.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: For Algren it sure does!
** Katsumoto gets a good throw in earlier in the movie, as well.
* TheTriple: Simon Graham suggests Algren says a word or two to him in the language of his Native American opponents. He suggests "Hello", "Goodbye" or "Cut his tongue out and boil him in oil," the latter eliciting disturbed looks from Algren and Gant.
* TheVoiceless: "Bob", whose first and only line in the movie is "Algren-san!" before taking the aforementioned bullet.
* ThwartedCoupDeGrace: Nathan Algren got wounded in the first battle. When the enemy was about to finish him off, Nathan landed the final attack before falling unconscious.
* TookALevelInBadass: The imperial army becomes a competent and disciplined fighting force by the time of the final battle.
* TrainingFromHell: Ujio's method of teaching Algren Samurai swordplay appears to be dueling him over and over again until Algren can defend against his strikes.
* TraumaticHaircut: Nobutada is stripped of his swords and has his [[SamuraiPonytail topknot]] forcibly cut off by police, since both are now illegal.
* UnableToCry: Averted with Algren, who is too desensitised and jaded to show the slightest hint of grief or regret in all the film's [[TearJerker tearjerking]] moments... even including [[spoiler: Katsumoto's death. His ManlyTears before The Emperor show how he has changed from.]]
* UnderestimatingBadassery: Omura and Bagley think little of the samurai threat, as they have no guns or artillery. This is in spite of the imperial army being thoroughly routed earlier in the film by a cavalry charge.
-->'''Colonel Bagley''': The rebels don't have a single rifle among them. They're savages with bows and arrows.
-->'''Algren''': Whose sole occupation for the last one thousand years has been war.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Every character but the Emperor is fictional or fictionalized. The war is an amalgam of the Boshin War (1868-1869) and the Satsuma Rebellion (1877). The real military mission was French instead of American, and five of its members chose to stay and fight with the rebel Samurai, not just one. Jules Brunet (Algren's inspiration) didn't surrender to the Emperor and was evacuated on a French steamship; Japan would then unsuccessfully demand his extradition to punish him for 12 years, until one of Brunet's former friends gained enough influence in the imperial government and had the order revoked.
* WarriorPoet: Katsumoto, literally. He writes ''haiku'' in addition to being a master swordsman.
* WaterfallShower: Nathan comes across his host (the widow of the man he killed) taking a waterfall ShowerOfAwkward.
* WhiteStallion: Katsumoto rides one.
* YouShallNotPass: Nobutada.
PlotArm
21st Oct '16 10:42:05 AM JamesAustin
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A 2003 film directed by [[Film/{{Glory}} Edward Zwick]]. TomCruise stars as Nathan Algren, a veteran of UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar and the campaigns against the American Indians, in the course of which he served under General Custer. The wars are well and truly over, but Algren is still haunted by what he has seen, and done, and scrounges out drinking money to sustain his chronic alcoholism by endorsing rifles. He's given an opportunity to go back to what he's best at -- fighting -- when his former boss recruits him to aid the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan Japanese Empire]]. The Meiji Emperor has been rapidly modernizing the country with the 'aid' of men like Omura, the most powerful man among the oligarchy which controls the emperor and the country from behind the scenes. Nathan is asked to train a force of the country's newly-formed national army in the art of modern warfare. His assignment comes with the knowledge that a group of Samurai, low-ranking nobles similar in rank and role to the Knights of medieval Europe, have risen up in rebellion against the oligarchy in the name of the Emperor. The rebels claim that the radical programme of modernisation endorsed by Omura is in fact a programme of '' 'westernisation' '', one that is destroying the Japanese way of life.

to:

A 2003 film directed by [[Film/{{Glory}} Edward Zwick]]. TomCruise Creator/EdwardZwick. Creator/TomCruise stars as Nathan Algren, a veteran of UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar and the campaigns against the American Indians, in the course of which he served under General Custer. The wars are well and truly over, but Algren is still haunted by what he has seen, and done, and scrounges out drinking money to sustain his chronic alcoholism by endorsing rifles. He's given an opportunity to go back to what he's best at -- fighting -- when his former boss recruits him to aid the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan Japanese Empire]]. The Meiji Emperor has been rapidly modernizing the country with the 'aid' of men like Omura, the most powerful man among the oligarchy which controls the emperor and the country from behind the scenes. Nathan is asked to train a force of the country's newly-formed national army in the art of modern warfare. His assignment comes with the knowledge that a group of Samurai, low-ranking nobles similar in rank and role to the Knights of medieval Europe, have risen up in rebellion against the oligarchy in the name of the Emperor. The rebels claim that the radical programme of modernisation endorsed by Omura is in fact a programme of '' 'westernisation' '', one that is destroying the Japanese way of life.



* CaliforniaDoubling: Filmed on location in UsefulNotes/NewZealand. Mount Egmont-Taranaki doubled as Mount Fuji, as the real deal was too heavily developed with human activity.



-->'''Katsumoto''': ''[regarding Algren]'' You do not fear death, but sometimes you wish for it.

to:

-->'''Katsumoto''': --->'''Katsumoto''': ''[regarding Algren]'' You do not fear death, but sometimes you wish for it.



* TheDeterminator: Algren. And that's why Katsumoto admires him. Ujio, on the other hand, sees his refusal to accept defeat from his betters to be disrespectful. [[spoiler:He comes around eventually.]]

to:

* TheDeterminator: {{Determinator}}: Algren. And that's why Katsumoto admires him. Ujio, on the other hand, sees his refusal to accept defeat from his betters to be disrespectful. [[spoiler:He comes around eventually.]]



* {{Foreshadowing}}: Algren saying to Bagley: "For 500 bucks a month I'll kill whoever you want. But keep one thing in mind: I'd happily kill ''you'' for free."

to:

* {{Foreshadowing}}: {{Foreshadowing}}:
**
Algren saying to Bagley: "For 500 bucks a month I'll kill whoever you want. But keep one thing in mind: I'd happily kill ''you'' for free."



* GallowsHumour: Mixed with Understatement when Katsumoto summarizes his pre-battle exchange with Omura and Bagley to his commanders: "Well, they won't surrender."

to:

* GallowsHumour: Mixed with Understatement when When Katsumoto summarizes his pre-battle exchange with Omura and Bagley to his commanders: "Well, they won't surrender."



* SecretTestOfCharacter: When Bagley and Omura demand that the new and inexperienced regiment move against the Samurai, Algren stands amongst the targets and orders one of the recruits to shoot him or be killed himself. He then backs up his threats by [[HatDamage shooting the soldier's hat off.]] He fires his pistol several more times as the terrified soldier frantically tries to load his weapon. Even after the gun is readied and pointed at Algren, the soldier can't bring himself to fire even with Algren screaming at him to do so. Finally, after one last shot, the soldier fires and misses horribly. Used by Algren to prove that the men were both physically and psychologically unprepared to face an actual battle.
** The scene is strikingly similar to one in ''Film/{{Glory}}''. As Edward Zwick directed both, it might be a deliberate ShoutOut.

to:

* SecretTestOfCharacter: When Bagley and Omura demand that the new and inexperienced regiment move against the Samurai, Algren stands amongst the targets and orders one of the recruits to shoot him or be killed himself. He then backs up his threats by [[HatDamage shooting the soldier's hat off.]] He fires his pistol several more times as the terrified soldier frantically tries to load his weapon. Even after the gun is readied and pointed at Algren, the soldier can't bring himself to fire even with Algren screaming at him to do so. Finally, after one last shot, the soldier fires and misses horribly. Used by Algren to prove that the men were both physically and psychologically unprepared to face an actual battle.
**
battle. The scene is strikingly similar to one in ''Film/{{Glory}}''. As Edward Zwick directed both, it might be a deliberate ShoutOut.
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