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  • Award Snub: Not nominated for Best Picture or even the expected Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, despite being the most critically acclaimed film of 1985. It was only after other film directors (notably Sidney Lumet) campaigned for Kurosawa's nomination for Best Director that he was successfully nominated. He still lost to Sidney Pollack for Out of Africa.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Toru Takemitsu's Western style music score.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kurogane.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Hidetora hits this - then goes crazy.
  • Faux Symbolism: The boar hunt.
  • Narm Charm: Not "charm", per se, but the while the quite-obviously-fake blood would kill the mood in most films, it does not in this one.
    • The extremely dramatic Noh-influenced performances and make-up also work way better than one might expect.
  • Purity Sue: Sue, appropriately enough.
  • Tear Jerker
  • The Other Darrin: A case happening before production went underway: the role of Lord Hidetora was supposedly written with Toshiro Mifune in mind. It has been a source of debate among sources and critics, but Tatsuya Nakadai's performance has been criticized in the past as merely reproducing Toshiro Mifune's acting in other previous Kurosawa's films. (It doesn't help that Hidetora's image eerily recalls an elderly Washizu from Throne of Blood.) At the time of production, though, Kurosawa and Mifune were on bad terms. Other critics, however, dismiss this and say Nakadai's interpretation of the role was far more dynamic (and all the more heart-wrenching) than if Mifune had the part.
    • Nakadai even said in an interview that he was playing Mifune playing Hidetora.
  • The Woobie: Tsurumaru, Lady Sué.

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