* CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming: When Daigo [[spoiler: prepares the body of his father, sees the "message stone" and finally remembers his face]].
** When the encoffiners' makeup skills "bring back" the deceased one last time.
** [[spoiler: When the Wholesome Crossdresser's father allows his child to be prepared as a girl.]]
** [[spoiler: When Daigo's old friend, the son of the woman who ran the bath house, finally gets that Daigo's job isn't horrible but supremely compassionate.]]
* NauseaFuel: Daigo's first corpse, who isn't so much a "body" as a "liquefied mass."
* SoOkayItsAverage / It's Populist, It Should Suck: Many were surprised ''Departures'' won considering it had zero hype and a fairly conventional story (as opposed to something [[TrueArtIsAngsty very dramatic]] or [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible very stylized]])
* TearJerker: Most of the movie, a given when you consider that it involves a lot of death and resulting heartache. [[spoiler: Perhaps one of the most jarring moments is the whole of the bathhouse owner's coffining. It occurs just as Daigo's wife returns, and the old woman is the mother of Daigo's friend. On top of that, we find out that the old man who likes to play chess is a cremator. Before the whole process, we are treated to his own, grim analysis of the irony behind his last meeting with the old woman and his role in life.]]
* ValuesDissonance: Averted in that Western audiences would be even more sympathetic towards the lead character and disgusted at his wife and neighbors freaking out at a nice man doing a good job that seems at worst a bit creepy in the way an undertaker or coroner may be regarded.
** His job isn't just creepy, it's ''unclean and contaminating'', something the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burakumin Burakumin]]'' - the Japanese equivalent of India's "untouchables" - do, and for a "normal" person like Daigo to do this is very {{Squick}}y for everyone (except the CoolOldGuy [[spoiler: because he works at the crematorium]]).