[[quoteright:240:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Shigurui_4544.jpg]]

A manga series based on part of Nanjou Norio's historical novel ''Suruga-Jō Gozen Jiai''; the manga itself is illustrated and co-written by Yamuguchi Takayuki, and made into a [[TwelveEpisodeAnime 12-episode anime]] in 2007.

The story starts with a fight between the blind, lame samurai Irako Seigen and the one-armed samurai Fujiki Gennosuke in a tournament for the daimyo Tokugawa Tadanaga. Both samurai are accompanied by women; Irako is led by a woman named Iku, and Fujiki is aided by a young woman named Iwamoto Mie who seems to bear a grudge against Irako. The fight is about to begin - and then we cut to a {{flashback}} which lasts the rest of the series (so far). The series tells the story of the two samurai who once belonged to the same school and how they got to this point, both maimed and determined to kill each other.

The artwork is incredible. Yamaguchi seems to have a medical knowledge of the human body and likes to show it by giving us flash views of what the organs, or nervous system, or bones, or muscles of a particular person are doing - usually in the midst of a fight or strenuous activity. The gore is almost overwhelming; he devotes exactly as much attention to the guts when they're outside as when they're inside.

The series contains very little dialogue, instead using its stunning artwork to get the message across. Thanks to the stunning artwork, though, the series seems all the more brutal. It is very realistic, and there is quite a lot of sex and violence and, as mentioned above, gore.

Character sheet is [[{{Characters/Shigurui}} here.]]
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!!Examples:

* TheAce: Irako Seigen initially appeared to be this.
* AnimalMotifs: See Tiger Versus Dragon below.
* AnyoneCanDie: Several characters had backgrounds, flashbacks, and exposition about their [[ChekhovsSkill various physical feats]], only to die with one sword slash, or even one punch, during a fight.
* ArmorIsUseless: Mostly averted. One of the characters is saved when the light chain mail woven into his clothes prevents a blow from cutting deep enough to kill him. Played straight, though, by two minor characters whose special skill is the ability to chop through helmets.
* ArtifactOfDoom: Kogan's sword is said to be this.
* AttemptedRape: Mie has to deal with this a couple times - once from her crazy father, and again when her crazy father orders all his students to hold her down so Irako can impregnate her. Irako declines.
* {{Backstory}}: Basically the whole thing
* BackToBackBadasses: The helmet-chopping twins.
* BadassNormal: Irako, Fujiki, Ushimata, Kogan
* BarbieDollAnatomy: Female breasts are drawn in great detail, but genitalia are drawn as just a blank
* BerserkButton: You will not disparage Iwamoto Kogen or praise Irako Seigen front of Fujiki, not if you want to remain whole anyway.
* {{BFS}}: Ushimata's wooden practice swords
* BlackAndBlackMorality: The closest thing to a genuinely good guy is a minor character who only appears in a couple chapters.
* BrainBleach: If Kogen, Yamazaki, and/or the Funaki Brothers don't make you ''lunge'' for a bottle, you have [[TheSoulless no soul]].
* BreakTheCutie: Irako, though he doesn't stay broken for long, and Mie. Subverted by Iku, who has horrible, horrible things happen to her [[spoiler: and her breasts]] but stays fairly constant throughout. She's a tough lady.
** Irako doesn't fit the cutie archetype too well
* BrokenAce: [[spoiler: Irako]].
* BuryYourGays: [[spoiler: Yamazaki]]
* TheCaligula: Tokugawa Tadanaga
* CombatPragmatist: Irako, who instinctively makes the move necessary to save his own life, going so far as to [[spoiler: stab through the bones in his right foot to use his [[FinishingMove ultimate technique]] and then using the cut to remove the restriction on said attack]]. Also Fujiki does not give a damn about political and court etiquette, will [[WhatTheHellHero throw away his daito if it no longer proves useful, and will draw his opponent's blade and slit his throat with it]].
* CrapsackWorld: Between executions and bandits, people did not live very long, whether they were samurai or not.
** Tokugawa Tadanaga, the man responsible for the tournament being fought with real weapons. He's been shown killing or torturing somebody ''in every scene he was in''.
** [[spoiler: Apparently serene Fujiki Gennosuke, who scares a man to death by hitting him once then staring at him.]]
*** Kogen without a doubt left his sanity with the MoralEventHorizon Station Attendant, but arguably so did his followers by explicitly following his orders.
* {{Deconstruction}}: It could be argued that the series is a deconstruction of the romanticized image of feudal Japan found in modern media.
* DepravedBisexual: Tadanaga will not let something so trivial as a rape victim having the wrong equipment stop him.
* DespairEventHorizon: Supposedly the cause of Iwamoto Kogan's madness after his betrayal by Yagyu.
* DiagonalCut: Used, but not as often as you might think.
* DissonantSerenity: Fujiki as he [[spoiler: helped maim Irako]].
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Fujiki finally got his revenge and killed Irako. Lord Tadanaga's officials commend him, then order him to cut off Irako's head and stick it on a pike. Fujiki is appalled by this order--by this point he has come to respect Irako (if not like him), and finds the command disgraceful to Irako's memory. But when the official invokes his duty as a samurai, he reluctantly obeys, severing Irako's head and humilliating the corpse. Mie, his betrothed, sees that he is still the same puppet that held her down on Kogan's orders to be raped, and kills herself in despair.]] In the end [[spoiler:Fujiki lost everything to his quest for vengeance, his pride is dead, his wife is dead, and most important to him the Koganryuu school is dead as well.]] What is left to him is to live as [[spoiler:a puppet for the Lord]], attained the [[spoiler:highest honor as a samurai but cannot enjoy any of it as he apparently ended completely mind-broken]].
** Made worse by the fact that in the very first chapter of manga, [[spoiler:Tokugawa Tadanaga is executed for treason and planning a coup]], so [[spoiler:Fujiki's]] brief moment of [[spoiler:glory, even if it's uniportant to him]], will fall sooner than anyone expects.
* EyeScream: How Irako was blinded
* FinishingMove: [[strike: Irako]]. ''Every'' main character. The Kogan-ryu is basically nothing but this.
* GenreThrowback: This series, both visually and story-wise, brings to mind old JidaiGeki manga like LoneWolfAndCub.
* {{Gorn}}
* TheGrotesque: Gannosuke Kutsuki
** Anyone dumb enough to challenge the Kogan-ryu. "Give him a new look and send him home", indeed.
* HairTriggerTemper: Tadanaga Tokugawa is described as having a "temper like a natural disaster" and anything could set him off and there's no controlling him.
* HandicappedBadass: both main characters
* ManlyGay: [[spoiler: Yamazaki]]. Also the Funaki Brothers. Though they drop hints to being [[DepravedBisexual Depraved Bisexuals]].
** [[spoiler: Kogan's corpse]] and [[spoiler: Ushimata's massacre]] after Fujiki loses his arm.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Fujiki a couple times. Also Yamazaki.
* NoWomansLand: Played with. Shigurui is a very misogynistic setting where women are treated as little more than property or bargaining chips. however, the setting is extremely cruel towards men as well since it's a world were MightMakesRight.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler: the entire series.]]
* SlasherSmile: Ushimata.
* TheStoic: Fujiki. Ushimata (who also counts) even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it at one point.
* TigerVersusDragon: Kogan Iwamoto and after him Gennosuke Fujiki symbolise the Tiger while Seigen Irako symbolizes the Dragon.
* TheUnreveal: We never see how Fujiki lost his arm, what happened to Ushimata, or the fight between Fujiki and Irako in the anime.
* VillainProtagonist: Sort of. It's open to debate whether any of the characters are technically a hero.
* WhatTheHellHero: Fujiki are you really [[spoiler: just going to sit there as [[BrokenBird Mie]] is about to be raped]]? Yes, [[JustFollowingOrders yes you are]]. Resident [[JerkAss jerkass]] [[EvenEvilHasStandards Ira]][[VillainWithGoodPublicity ko]] [[MagnificentBastard Seigen]] is the only one to [[BatmanGambit oppose this]].
* {{Yandere}}: In a rare deformed male example, Gannosuke.
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