->"I am a vehicle of retribution who roams in search of my mother's sworn enemies."
-->-- '''Lady Snowblood'''

The ''Lady Snowblood'' manga series was created by Creator/KazuoKoike while the artwork was drawn by Kazuo Kamimura. First published and serialized in 1973 in the ''Weekly Playboy'' magazine in Japan. The manga series didn't get translated into English until 2005 by Dark Horse Comics.

The story begins with the birth of the protagonist, Oyuki. She was born on a snowy day inside a woman's prison. Before her mother passed away due to complications with childbirth, she entrusted a prison cellmate to look after Oyuki while reminding her that she has a task to fulfill -- her last wish: to seek vengeance against her enemies, who slaughtered her family and raped her brutally in the past.

After years of [[TrainingFromHell torturous training]] under a strict priest, Oyuki grew up to be a fine looking woman in her prime, chasing the remaining enemies of her mother. Oyuki uses her sex appeal, charms and [[ParasolOfPain a sword hidden under an umbrella]] as her tools of death to get the job done as an assassin.

The manga itself was popular enough to be adapted later into a 1973 [[Film/LadySnowblood live-action film of the same name]] directed by Toshiya Fujita, starring Meiko Kaji as Oyuki. The film created a cult following, resulting in a sequel, ''Film/LadySnowblood2LoveSongOfVengeance''. Quentin Tarantino was inspired by the film, which resulted in the creation of ''Film/KillBill''.

!!The Manga provides examples of:

* AllMenArePerverts: Most of the male population try to rape Oyuki a some point. If it isn't Oyuki, then its some other poor woman.
* AttemptedRape: [[MuggingTheMonster Several times]].
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: A very rare non kid's show example; the story has quite a few informative notes about Japanese history.
* AuthorAvatar: Gaikotsu Miyahara. He ''actually'' writes Oyuki's story down as she progresses. Try not to think about it too much: the FourthWall seems to warp recursively around this guy.
* BatmanGambit: Oyuki does this ''all the time''.
* BiggerIsBetterInBed: Blackmailer Genjiro [[spoiler:subverts this. Amusingly enough, that was the whole reason why he blackmailed people. He wanted to raise up his funds to move to England, since the women in Japan were too small for him to fit it in.]]
* {{Bifauxnen}}: The [[spoiler: corrupt photographer]]
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Some of the motivations of the clients when hiring her were questionable at best. And some of her allies are either part of a gang or a scheming trickster like Gaikotsu Miyahara the Wanderer. Also how she deals with Hanzo Takemura.
* CrapsackWorld: An era in Japan where big drastic changes in the society due to the influence of the western world coming onto their doorstep, women were treated as second class citizens at best, crime is quite rampant through out the series.
* CruelMercy: Oyuki doesn't kill Okono, leaving her to face the ruin of her business, angry clients, fraud charges, and most likely ''murder'' charges for people Oyuki killed (Okono ordering her entourage to attack Oyuki was a big mistake; them obeying her was an even bigger one). She's not dead, but her life is over.
* DarkActionGirl: Oyuki could be classed as one.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: Done by Okono Fujishima.
* DeathBySex: A complicated version, where Oyuki poses as a Buddhist nun to get close to a girl suffering from tuberculosis, who she introduces to the joys of LesYay to speed up her death (losing sweat is a very bad idea), so that she can get her hands on the death registers after the funeral.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Oyuki gets more than her fair share of indecent proposals from women, and she's [[LesYay quite happy to oblige]].
* EveryoneHasLotsOfSex: In addition to all of the rape (see NoWomansLand below), there's plenty of consensual funtimes going on as well. The Rokumeikan in particular is basically a nightly orgy.
* FanDisservice: Okono's "''[[ADateWithRosiePalms masunoura]]''" mentioned above.
* {{Fanservice}}: Why else would Oyuki get naked at least once every chapter?
* FemmeFatale: Oyuki.
** At first she seems to be a FemmeFatale, but if you look closely she is a real [[TheVamp Vamp]]. Ok most people she kills deserve their demise, but she [[MoralEventHorizon went too far]] when she [[spoiler: forced a chauffeur to rape his employer's daughter, then killed the girl in order to blackmail the hapless man into becoming an accomplice to another murder. Although she promised to let him go free, she kills him anyway.]]
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: A gang of rickshaws kidnaps isolated women and sells them to brothels. Oyuki manages to persuade them to make beautiful lacquered paintings on their rickshaws, which generates massive publicity. Then she secretly puts a portrait of the Emperor on one, leading to the gang's arrest and execution.
* FullFrontalAssault: Oyuki fights naked more than a few times.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: "[[spoiler:Toichi Haichi]]" the secret weapon of a brothel success.
* GroinAttack: "Unveiling of a Pretty Woman"
* IllGirl: One of Oyuki's plots involves seducing one.
* ImportantHaircut: After Oyuki finally starts on the active phase of her revenge, she cuts her long hair short.
* InstantExpert: Oyuki takes a month to master her pickpocketing skills.
-->'''Kiku of Tajire:''' You'll have to [[TrainingFromHell go through severe training. You'll have to practice until you bleed everyday]] and still it'll take a year before you get a hang of it.
-->'''Oyuki:''' I'll do whatever it takes, but I must master it in a month.
** Of course when you have revenge as your fuel you can do wonders!
* LadyOfWar: Oyuki
* LipstickLesbian: At one point, a lesbian character tells Oyuki: "I knew you were one of us." And indeed she is: Oyuki has sex with at least four women over the course of the story, of whom only one had anything to do with her current assignment. And the only sex a guy ever has with Oyuki (excluding [[MuggingTheMonster universally disastrous rape attempts]]) is intercrural. This may have [[RapeAsDrama something to do]] with her mother's BackStory.
* MuggingTheMonster: As a beautiful woman in a crime-ridden and crapsack feudal Japan, Oyuki is targeted a lot by would-be rapists. They very quickly (and fatally) learn the error of their ways.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Auntie Kiku of Tajire.
* NoWomansLand: Seriously, women can't leave the house without being preyed on, threatened with violence, or sold into sexual slavery.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Oyuki sometimes does this to get her job done.
* ParasolOfPain: Oyuki's signature weapon, with a hidden sword inside.
* PetTheDog: Oyuki gets several moments, such as generously sparing a thieving employee from being punished by Auntie Kiku, and saving [[spoiler:her victim's daughter from being forced into a life of prostitution]] in the last chapter.
* PsychoLesbian: Quite a few, resulting in GirlOnGirlIsHot scenes. Out of four lesbian encounters Oyuki has on-screen, only one of them was purely for mutual pleasure with no darker purpose.
* RapeAsBackstory: The painful past of Oyuki's mother. She wanted revenge for it, but could only kill one of her tormentors before being caught by the police, leading her to seek companionship in prison until Oyuki could be conceived as a "walking demon" who would complete her vengeance, making this a prime example of...
* RapeAndRevenge: One of the classics.
** Sayo might have been able to cope with the rape itself, horrible as it was, or even the fact that her husband and son were murdered at the same time. But to discover that it wasn't the act of random mob violence it appeared to be, but a coldblooded, premeditated part of a ''scam''? Someone had to die for that.
* RapeByProxy: Oyuki forces a chauffeur to rape his master's daughter, threatening to kill him if he doesn't. [[spoiler: She kills him anyway.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The whole premise of the series.
* SlutShaming: Oyuki does this to a girl who's about to get raped, telling her that because she's not a virgin, she has no right to complain.
* TrainingFromHell: From the priest who trained her as an assassin.
** Her pickpocketing training as well.
* WouldHurtAChild: When a child witnesses one of her murders, Oyuki is fully prepared to kill him until she realizes he's brain-damaged and no one will listen to him.
* YouBastard: There's a bit of exposition on the scientific theories of the late 18th century, where one guy suggests that the Japanese should start having children with Europeans and generally open up to the Western world. The narration goes on to ponder on if this had happened, maybe Japan wouldn't have become the jingoistic nation it was, avoiding its expansionist policies and involvement in WWII... and you, the reader, wouldn't be holding this book right now.