* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Lt. Ito: Some characters think he was a DirtyCoward, but he was genuinely trying to ambush a tank it just so happened that none came his way.
%% Bring CompleteMonster examples to this thread before adding any: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=6vic3f9h1cy5qivsenw8llok&page=1. Check the FAQ first to see what would qualify characters for the trope, and if there has been previous discussion on the work.
* FridgeHorror: The American soldier, "Sam", wounded by Colonel Nishi then brought in is clearly scared shitless. He would have no doubt heard stories (all of them true, unfortunately) of Japanese soldiers brutality towards POW's (or seen the results first-hand), but FreezeFrameBonus reveals he is also a ''flamethrower operator.'' In the Soviet-German and Japanese-American theatres, extraordinarily few flamethrower-men were ever taken prisoner [[SarcasmMode for some strange reason]].
* HeReallyCanAct: Did you know Saigo is played by Kazunari Ninomiya of the ''boyband'' Arashi?
* NightmareFuel: If you had nightmares from ''Film/FlagsOfOurFathers'', you ain't seen nothing yet. The most horrific scene? Some of the Japanese soldiers commit suicide by holding ''their active grenades to their bodies.'' while you are almost yelling, "Idiots, your commander told you ''not to do this!''"
** The scene in which [[spoiler: the captured Marine (possibly Iggy) is bayoneted repeatedly isn't any better.]]
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: War is bad, and the other side is human as well. This is shown when they read a captured Marine's letter from his mother.
* TearJerker: The whole thing. The main theme music also works, and there's the "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K5QzJ6J9Bo Song for the Defense of Iwo Jima]]", sung by the children of Nagano. Even General Kuribayashi [[ManlyTears sheds a few tears]] listening to it, and the audience.
** The scene in which Shimizu and another Japanese POW are executed by two Marines simply because they don't feel like watching over them, and when Saigo finds their bodies.
** The entire film, when it's not being horrifying and realistically depicting WarIsHell, has the air of inescapable tragedy as most of the main characters come to terms with their situation, mortality, and the ultimate futility of everything.
** Near the ending where Saigo cried when General Kuribayashi committed suicide, after telling him that the section of Iwo Jima was still considered Japanese soil.
** After Sam's death, when his mother's letter is read to the cave soldiers, reminding them that their enemy is as human as they are.