[[quoteright:221:[[Manga/RurouniKenshin http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Yahiko.jpg]]]]

A youngster who may have all the skills and attitude to be a samurai, but has not yet actually faced true battle. Often the Kid Samurai has practiced an "art" form like kendo, instead of a battle form like kenjutsu, and has yet even to draw blood in a fight. Sometimes played as an arrogant buffoon, other times as a "little brother" sidekick. If he doesn't die a [[ChildSoldier tragic death]] in [[NewMeat one of his first true battles]], the Kid Samurai may mature into the true [[EverythingsBetterWithSamurai Samurai]].

His WeaponOfChoice is [[WeaponJr likely]] to be a [[WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter wooden]] training sword. Sometimes they'll be a KendoTeamCaptain in their spare time.

For the Western equivalent of this trope, see YoungGun. For martial arts, see KungFuKid, and for {{ninja}}s, NinjaBrat. For the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism darker and more cynical]] version of is trope, see ChildSoldier.


[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/{{Yaiba}}''. A KidSamurai who wields the [[ShockAndAwe Power of the Thunder God Raijin]] and fight onis and evildoers.
* Delusional and bombastic Tatewaki Kuno from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' is an example of the buffoon variety.
* Motoko Aoyama from ''Manga/LoveHina'' starts off as a KidSamurai more because of her arrogance, but matures into a proper Samurai.
* Tetsunosuke from ''Manga/{{Peacemaker}}'' may be the world's most clear-cut KidSamurai. He actually buys a katana at one point but isn't strong enough to get it out of the sheath.
* Myojin Yahiko from ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', pictured above, is an example of the more competent variety.
* Iori (Cody) from ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' fits this trope, although he doesn't get to actually ''use'' his kendo skills much. He [[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks throws a bokken]] at the Digimon Kaiser once and whacks around a pair of Gokimon with a giant spoon, but that's about it.
* Another is Okamoto Katsushiro, from ''Anime/SamuraiSeven''. He gains steadily in skill throughout the series; at the outset he cannot defeat a simple thug, but by the end he can defeat several Nobuseri at once, and even deflect an enemy beam cannon shot with his sword. He's shown post-battle to have gained significant wisdom and maturity from his experiences. His skills are improved enough that his Samurai sensei Kambei shows great [[WellDoneSonGuy respect towards him]], and presents Katsushiro with his own katana.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': Gohan in the beginning of the fight against Vegeta and Nappa and their Saibamen.
* Isidro from ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' is both a parody and {{Deconstruction}} (even though he's from a MedievalEuropeanFantasy instead of Japan). The parody comes from the parts where he foolishly announces his intent to become the best swordsman in the world while other characters look on with arched eyebrows. The deconstruction comes from the fact that he foolishly believes that swordsmanship revolves around [[CallingYourAttacks flashy techniques that you call out before using]], doesn't know that his height and strength would make using a {{BFS}} like Guts, his [[HeroWorshipper idol]], both nearly impossible and impractical, often overestimates his own abilities and has actually chosen learning how to use swords instead of improving his throwing skills (the area in which he does truly excel).
** It is stated and shown that Isidro is getting better at his swordsmanship, as he learns how to use his size to his advantage. However, in a fight with a pirate captain, the captain noted that Isidro didn't have a taste for killing...which is probably something you '''really''' need in the Berserk world.
* Shu in ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere''.
* Played with in ''Manga/{{Vagabond}}'', where both Musashi and his would-be disciple Jōtarō go through this phase, though in Musashi's case the mentality originally leaned more towards HeroicWannabe; overcoming the hurdle of Inshun allowed him to fully grow into this, and after his encounter with Yagyuu Sekishuusai he was able to further mature and his rise truly began.
* Subverted ([[DeconstructorFleet naturally]]) in ''Anime/AyakashiAyashi'', when a man who wishes to leave the family that adopted him, gives his sword to a kid, who immediately thinks this will make him a samurai. The catch? [[spoiler: The sword is alive, and is after it's true owner, who happens to be the protagonist.]]
* He's not the most intuitive example, but the chimera Dolcetto from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' might qualify. He's clearly fairly young, he dresses in martial arts clothing, and wields a katana. However, he's fairly easily defeated by unarmed opponents, and falls into the "killed in his first major battle" version.
* Kazuma was one of these in the backstory of ''Manga/KagerouNostalgia''. However, the destruction of his DoomedHometown, coupled with the utter show he's been living in since then has transformed him from this trope, and into a cynical, jaded ChildSoldier.
* Asano Rin of ''Manga/BladeOfTheImmortal'' is the daughter of the master of the Mutenichi-Ryu School of swordsmanship, as well as its last surviving practitioner, and is out for the blood of those who murdered her parents. While she's skilled in formal martial arts, her inexperience with actual life-or-death fighting nearly gets her killed at numerous points early in the series. The only thing keeping her from being a true Kid Samurai is [[DeliberateValuesDissonance the fact that she's a woman in 18th century Japan]].
* In ''Manga/Brave10'', the eleven-year old [[TheStrategist Benmaru]] is introduced when he sends the Braves on a DeathCourse made up of his inventions and traps to test whether they're worthy or not. Since they're the only ones who've managed to pass, he asks to join. It turns out he's an abandoned child who has always wanted to be a samurai and even gave himself a surname to sound like one. Yukimura sees potential in him so he joins the team [[spoiler:and in the sequel really does get his wish when Yukimura adopts him as his heir, Sanada Daisuke.]]
* ''Manga/{{Gintama}}'''s 16 year old Shinpachi has been training in kendo since youth as his father organised classes at the family dojo (which he and his sister now own). He is skilled and dedicated but initially lacks experience in fighting, which is made obvious when compared to the likes of older samurai like Gintoki (a war veteran) and the Shinsengumi (the police force). One of his first opponents lampshades this when fighting him. As the series progresses he gets involved in more fights, becomes more confident and is able to hold his own.
* An early and infamous episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' features one such kid samurai who rudely challenges Ash to a battle as the latter nearly captured a Weedle. He definitely qualifies because of his arrogance and [[NeverMyFault refusing to accept responsible for his actions and instead pins the blame all on Ash when things go wrong for everybody]].

* The young prince in the Bollywood movie ''{{Ashoka}}''.
* Katsushirō from ''Film/SevenSamurai''.
* The ending of ''Film/GhostDogTheWayOfTheSamurai'' depicts Pearline reading Ghost Dog's copy of ''The Hagakure'', implying that she too will go on to follow the Samurai code.

* Somewhat similar Western example: ''In [[Literature/{{Discworld}} Night Watch]]'', Sam Vimes [[spoiler:a.k.a. John Keel]] oversees training exercises at a Watch House, and tells the trainees that they'd do jolly well if an armless dummy came at them and stood stock-still. He later instructs them in the usage of various useful but entirely ungentlemanly weapons such as coshes and blackjacks.
* Jōtarō and later Iori in Eiji Yoshikawa's ''[[UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi Musashi]]''.
* Rajiv Sanga in ''Literature/BelisariusSeries''.
* ''Literature/SanoIchiro'': Sano's pre-teen son, Masahiro has begun his training in the art of the samurai, a benefit of his father's role in the Shogun's court. Sano is wary of this because of the Shogun's lecherous ways, but proud of his son's skill.
* ''Literature/YoungSamurai'': The majority of the characters in the first half of the series are samurai-in-training, including protagonist [[TokenWhite Jack Fletcher]], his love interest Date Aiko, and his friend Masamoto Takeshi.
* ''Literature/TaleOfYashima'': Bitou Kenichi, younger brother of one of the main protagonists.

* Lampshaded in ''VideoGame/BraveFencerMusashi'', where the [[DamselInDistress princess]] complains about how she should have {{summon|Magic}}ed a great hero and not a 'little turd'. Subverted in that the protagonist {{dual wield|ing}}s a {{katana|sAreJustBetter}} and a {{BFS}} with surprising competence.
** He may be a real samurai in his own world, despite his apparent age. One of the first things he does is try to order someone to bring him a palanquin.
* Brooklyn "Bullet" Luckfield of ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha''. While he's not to the samurai Sanger Zonvolt's level yet, he's getting there. In Alpha 3, it's from Sanger he directly receives training to improve his techniques.
** Interestingly lampshaded by Bullet's master Rishu Togo in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', who states Bullet may avert this trope one day, as he's got more potential than Sanger and himself.
* Youmu Konpaku from ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' is like this. She is young for her race (half-ghosts), inexperienced and naive, but also very strong and absolutely loyal towards her employer Yuyuko Saigyouji.
* ''[[VideoGame/FZero F-Zero GX/AX]]'''s Dai Goroh, age 10, son of Samurai Goroh.

* Princess Raeka from ''[[http://www.samuraiprincess.com Samurai Princess]]'' begins the story having only practised kendo.

[[AC: WesternAnimation]]
* In the Season one finale of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'', a Kid Samurai, of all people becomes the mentor to Dexter's family and teaches them the importance of teamwork so they can defeat a giant monster.
* Any time young Jack is shown in a flashback in ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' this is typically his characterization. Of course, it's a ForegoneConclusion that he'll learn to be a real samurai soon enough.

* Like their [[KnightInShiningArmor Western counterparts]], the samurai were basically [[BlueBlood noblemen]] and as such, professional soldiers. They started training very early, usually at 7 or 8, and were expected to participate on battles in their teens.