[[caption-width-right:300:What {{Wolverine}} is to the ComicBook/XMen, Sanjuro (far left) is to these guys.]]

->''"You're too sharp. That's your trouble. You're like a drawn sword. Sharp, naked without a sheath. You cut well. But good swords are kept in their sheaths."''
-->--'''Mutsuta's wife to Sanjuro'''

So, you're Creator/AkiraKurosawa, and you've made a pretty successful movie, ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}''. You had a good star, ToshiroMifune, in a role that he was born to play[[note]]Along with Creator/TatsuyaNakadai, a born ToshiroMifune antagonist.[[/note]] Your story was so good that it'd later get swiped wholesale by Creator/SergioLeone. Disneyland hasn't opened in Japan yet so what do you do? Well, a sequel, obviously but what kind of a sequel?

Clearly, since ''Yojimbo'' was a dark, serious adventure featuring a lone man manipulating two criminal organizations into mutual self-destruction, ''Sanjuro'', the sequel, needs to be that same character with not just one, or two, or even three wacky sidekicks, but ten, ''plus'' a character who misses out on the whole [[YiddishAsASecondLanguage New York Jewish Mother]] stereotype only by being Japanese. Oh, and [[BittersweetEnding the ending aside]], it's a comedy.

All that said, it's still Akira Kurosawa, so it's a pretty damn good movie regardless.

!!''Sanjuro'' provides examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Muroto is fastidious and polite, and his sharp mind reminds Sanjuro a little of himself.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Inverted with Chamberlain Mutsuta and Superintendent Kikui. The Chamberlain describes himself as having a "horse face", which lead the warriors to mistrust him.
* BigBad: Superintendent Kikui, the CorruptPolitician out heroes are fighting.
* BittersweetEnding: Sanjuro kills [[spoiler: Muroto]], but he's not happy about it, given all he'd learned from Mutsuta's wife.
* BrilliantButLazy: Sanjuro is an excellent strategist and a MasterSwordsman, but he would rather spend more time dozing in a corner of the room rather than participating in the activities of his nine companions.
* BrokenAce: Sanjuro becomes one by the end after trying not to kill people and ending up with twenty seven dead men by his hand.
* CallBack: Sanjuro retains his tendency to make up a name for himself based on what he sees out the door...and again, the false name results in his having to add that his real age is actually "closer to forty".
* CharacterDevelopment: Some of the Sidekick!Samurais actually have a change of perspective throughout the course of the movie.
** As does Sanjuro himself due to the old lady's metaphor of how "a good sword stays in its scabbard."
* CharacterTics: As in ''Yojimbo'', Sanjuro has habits of scratching his head and beard, and hitching his shoulders.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Sanjuro has grown weary of his ruthlessness in ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'' and tries to refrain from it in this movie, even though he ends up killing 27 people by the end.
* DeadpanSnarker: Sanjuro, endlessly.
* DeconstructedTrope: Sanjuro's brutal tendencies as a fighter, thanks to wise advice from the Chamberlain's wife.
* DragonAscendant: This is what Muroto hopes to be to Superintendent Kikui.
* GoldfishPoopGang: What Sanjuro calls the sidekicks in the trailer.
* HappyDance: The sidekicks start jumping and cheering once a plan they had going worked. Then they catch themselves once they realise that the enemy is right next door so continue their Happy Dance quieter.
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: Why the Sidekicks at the beginning of the movie are cluelessly waiting for the villain's agents to arrive and murder them. Fortunately for them, their chatter wakes Sanjuro up and he decides to save their silly asses.
* HeelFaceTurn: The guard they capture at Mutsuta's mansion has one of these and becomes quite nice. He even points out that [[spoiler: Yamyoji Temple has no upper floor]], a flaw in the final plan that was overlooked.
* HighPressureBlood: [[spoiler:Muroto at the very end.]] It's actually the UrExample of the trope in film, and a fine example of ThrowItIn: the "blood" pump malfunctioned, running at full pressure rather than the intended rate, but the visual effect of the blood and the difficulty of cleaning up the fake "blood" led Kurosawa to just go with it.
* [[IdiotHero Idiot Heroes]]: The nine sidekicks.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: [[NoNameGiven Tsubaki Sanjuro,]] natch. He's lazy, rude, unpleasant, disrespectful to the younger warriors and even insults Mutsuta's wife behind her back, he has no shame for indecent behaviour in public, and he begs for food, defying the proper code of honor. However, he has a stronger moral code than he did in ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'' and always watches out for the nine younger warriors even though [[EnragedbyIdiocy their idiocy annoys him]]. And as the prisoner points out, his jab towards the Chamberlain's wife was because [[JerkassFacade he's more comfortable with insults than with sincere compliments]].
* LighterAndSofter: Which oddly makes it ''more'' violent than ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'' in parts.
* ManlyTears: Sanjuro is moved to tears [[spoiler: after he is forced to kill Muroto in a duel.]]
** Particularly, Sanjuro was looking forward to avoiding all unnecessary use of his sword like the old lady said. Circumstances spurned him otherwise, however.
* NotAMorningPerson: Sanjuro, repeatedly. When he's not in any urgent situation, he's usually seen yawning, stretching, scratching his head and neck, etc.
* NotSoDifferent: Muroto and Sanjuro.
* OneManArmy: Sanjuro, of course.
* ProtagonistTitle
* ReverseGrip: [[spoiler: It's how Sanjuro wins the SingleStrokeBattle.]]
* RunningGag: Sanjuro getting repeatedly woken or interrupted by the nine other samurai as they bustle about giving information.
** The guard keeps coming out of his prison to chime in on the conversations that the warriors are having.
* SamuraiPonytail: Mifune's samurai with no name is a poor wandering ronin with a short, scruffy ponytail that sticks straight out of the back of his head.
* {{Seppuku}}: [[spoiler: Superintendent Kikui after his defeat]]. Chamberlain Mutsuta was also in danger of doing this to himself while under captivity.
* SceneryPorn: Rich black-and-white imagery of the town and the gardens.
* SingleStrokeBattle
* SpannerInTheWorks: Hilariously, the Sidekicks screw up Sanjuro's plan to infiltrate the enemy.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Sanjuro repeatedly displays this attitude regarding the others. Understandably.
* TooDumbToLive: Those Sidekicks wouldn't last 10 seconds without Sanjuro watching their back. See HaveYouToldAnyoneElse above for the establishing example.
* VisualPun: "We can't walk around like this. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny We look like a centipede.]]"
* WomenAreWiser: The Chamberlain's wife is more sensible than most of the men in the movie, save for Sanjuro and her husband, and the former takes her words to heart.
* WorthyOpponent: Sanjuro considers Muroto to be one.
* XanatosSpeedChess: Their {{plan}} to rescue the Chamberlain quickly goes awry, but Sanjuro shows mastery of [[MagnificentBastard Magnificent Bastardy]] by exercising this trope.
* YamatoNadeshiko: Mutsuta's wife as seen in the page quote; a sheath takes care of its sword.