[[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."''
-->--'''Matsuta'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 it's, [[BittersweetEnding the ending aside]], a comedy.

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

!!''Sanjuro'' provides examples of:

* 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."
* CharacterTitle
* DeadpanSnarker: Sanjuro, endlessly.
* EnforcedMethodActing: The blood spurt at the end was going to be smaller and subtler but the nozzle malfunctioned and shot out a giant burst. The actor was legitimately hurt but still stayed in character and finished the shot. Kurosawa felt so bad he didn't ask for a retake which is shockingly rare for him.
* GoldfishPoopGang: What Sanjuro calls the sidekicks in the trailer.
* 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.
* HeyItsThatGuy: Didn't Sanjuro [[Film/{{Yojimbo}} already kill this guy?]]
** Hey, it's Kanji Watanabe and that author guy from Film/{{Ikiru}}! On opposite sides!
* HighPressureBlood: [[spoiler:Muroto at the very end.]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: [[NoNameGiven Tsubaki Sanjuro,]] natch.
* LighterAndSofter:
* 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.
* NotSoDifferent: Muroto and Sanjuro.
* OneManArmy: Sanjuro, of course.
* ReverseGrip: [[spoiler: It's how Sanjuro wins the SingleStrokeBattle.]]
* SamuraiPonytail: Mifune is a poor wandering ronin with a short, scruffy ponytail that sticks straight out of the back of his head.
* 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.
* VisualPun: "We can't walk around like this. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny We look like a centipede.]]"
* 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.