* AwardSnub: 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 SidneyLumet) campaigned for Kurosawa's nomination for Best Director that he was successfully nominated. He still lost to Sidney Pollack for ''Film/OutOfAfrica''.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EGO2MZfTTc Toru Takemitsu's Western style music score.]]
* FauxSymbolism: The boar hunt.
* JerkassWoobie: Hidetora was a terrible man, but the film puts him through such a hell that one can't help but pity him at the end.
* [[MagnificentBastard Magnificent Bitch]]: Lady Kaede, who manipulates the house of Ichimonji into a civil war [[spoiler: and completely succeeds in destroying it.]]
* NarmCharm: 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.
* PuritySue: Sue, appropriately enough.
** Also a case of TropesAreNotBad. She serves mostly as a {{MacGuffin}}.
* TearJerker: The ending. [[spoiler: As Saburo's army carry the bodies of Hidetora and his son away, Tsurumaru is left alone atop the desolate ruins of his family's old castle, not knowing that his sister has been murdered. As he blindly walks around trying to find a way out of the ruins, he runs up against a cliff and ends up dropping the scroll of the Buddha that Sue gave him for protection, leaving him completely alone without even the comfort of the gods, as the sun sinks over the horizon and the screen fades to black.]] ''Goddamn.''
** The deaths of [[spoiler: Hidetora and Saburo]], right as it looks like they were about to get a HappyEnding.
* TheWoobie: Tsurumaru, Lady Sué, Kyoami.