YMMV / Samurai Deeper Kyo

  • Cry for the Devil:
    • Hishigi's entire character arc, revealed mostly in flashbacks. Akari cries for him in-universe.
    • Shockingly, Chinmei's story is sad enough to make some SDK fans who hated his guts find him sympathetic.
    • This happens a lot. Even the Former Crimson King gets a few moments.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Kyo is a fine example, both In-Universe and in the fandom. Many other characters fall into the fandom category as well, but Hishigi stands out.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. In the final chapter, Kyoshiro surprises Yuya at the site of their first meeting (in front of Kyo's wanted poster). He's holding Tenro and has his damn Crimson Eyes activated. She naturally thinks he's Kyo, her Love Interest who has been missing for three years. She is very much not amused when she realizes the truth, and retaliates by shooting at Kyoshiro and then tying him up and leaving him hanging upside down in a tree.
    • "Just Joking" Justification: He tries it, saying he thought she would find this funny. She shuts him right the hell down and says it was insensitive and horrible.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Hishigi. He isn't a main character and doesn't get much spotlight in canon, but he is a Badass Biseinen Anti-Villain, complete with a Dark and Troubled Past and Stoic Woobie tendencies, so naturally he's one of these. Being voiced by Shigeru Nakahara in the audio dramas doesn't hurt either.
    • Shirogarasu was also surprisingly popular and stayed in the top 10 in character polls for a long time, despite his short tenure as a character and very minor role in the overarching story. He was still 18th in the final poll... when he'd been dead and unmentioned for over 30 volumes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Yuan refers to Hishigi as "an incredibly efficient executioner" when explaining why getting any information out of him is going to be difficult. We find out later that Hishigi killed Yuan's mother on the orders of the Former Crimson King.
  • Ho Yay: Now has its own page.
  • It Gets Better: The first few volumes read a bit like an attempt at cashing in on the popularity of Rurouni Kenshin. The beginning is still enjoyable, especially once SDK finds its own uniquely odd voice, but the narrative isn't anything mindblowing. The real plot with the Mibu hits in Volume 10, and from then on, we have something extraordinary on our hands.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Former Crimson King, certainly. Others may qualify, like Nobunaga and Yukimura.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The Former Crimson King is a Magnificent Bastard without a shred of empathy for the dying people under his command, lives in the Uncanny Valley with his creepy dissonance in looks and personality, is a prime provider of Nightmare Fuel, and crosses the Moral Event Horizon several times in the story. He's referred to as Aka-chan by much of the fandom.
  • Moe: Shinrei was ridiculously adorable as a child. It's a serious contrast to Hotaru around the same age; he was incredibly angry and already scarred by the time he was six. Shinrei had the world handed to him — Hotaru had to fight just to survive.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Former Crimson King has plenty of these moments.
    • By the time Tokito finds her father (Fubuki) after regaining her memories, he is near death. She begs the Former Crimson King to save him. The Former Crimson King attempts to kill her instead — but Fubuki, who is already dying and likely beyond saving, takes the fall.
    • He manipulates Kyoshiro — through Chinmei — into killing Sakuya's brother, and arranges for Sakuya to watch. Made worse since Nozomu was also Yuya's adoptive brother, and his death was her Cynicism Catalyst.
    • His We Have Reserves speech on not curing the false Mibu is what caused Muramasa to abandon him.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now has its own page
  • Too Cool to Live: Muramasa, Taihaku, Fubuki and Hishigi. One can also make an argument for Kyosaburo, who created the Mumyo Jinpu Ryu and passed it on to Muramasa and therefore, by extension, to Kyo.
  • Uncanny Valley: Kyo's Crimson Eyes look strange and intimidating, but they fit with his overall aesthetic and personality. The Former Crimson King's and Kyoshiro's variants just don't look right, and the Mibu Reconstruction Plan's child experiments are even worse.
    • The fully awakened eyes are downright scary.
  • Values Dissonance: One of the reasons Kyo reads so much like a Designated Hero/Jerk Sue is that he's presented as incredibly admirable despite being a giant dick. But in the context, being a Badass is an admirable trait in and of itself, so it's a little easier to accept.
  • The Woobie: Tons of characters, like Yukimura.
    • Stoic Woobie: Hishigi, good god. He is in constant, excruciating pain from the Devil Eyes and the Death Disease. He has watched countless friends die horribly while he was helpless to save them. But he keeps fighting for Fubuki, because Fubuki is all he has left. And not once does he complain about any of this. He even tells Fubuki not to feel sorry for him, because Hishigi chose his own path and Fubuki is not allowed to blame himself.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Kyo, Fubuki, frigging everyone.
    • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: One can make this argument for The Former Crimson King. Kyoichiro was the first of the Crimson Cross Knights, four Battle Dolls that were the closest thing the True Mibu ever created to their own power. When the True Mibu died out, Kyoichiro tried to keep their world together and rule with benevolence, but millennia of watching people hurt each other jaded him into a breakdown that eventually led to him losing all faith in both the Mibu and humanity.
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