YMMV / Usagi Yojimbo

  • Adaptation Displacement- Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": Most people know the characters through their appearances in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Lord Hikiji, the ultimate Big Bad of the series, schemes to be Shogun. Having murdered Usagi's father, and his master Lord Mifune, Hikiji launches brutal attacks on his enemies to kill and conquer all they possess. Preferring to operate from the shadows, Hikiji often resorts to dark schemes to foment chaos and murder in order to give himself an edge. He frequently disposes of his operatives while treating them as disposable pawns. Hikiji shows how truly monstrous he is in the coda to the saga Senso when a group of aliens crash on the world. Initially thought to have been killed, Hikiji later reveals that he has joined the aliens as an ally and is leading an attack on his own province to slaughter his own people in order to demonstrate his power to the entire planet. No longer content with just Japan, Hikiji believes he is destined to rule the entire planet, no matter who he has to slaughter.
    • Noriko, known as the Blood Princess has had homicidal tendencies since childhood, where she would always beat her cousin Tomoe in spars to inflict as much pain as she could. In the present day, Noriko runs a mine, using slaves that have been press-ganged into service and worked to the point of death. Should any slave falter, Noriko promptly beheads the nearest one to serve as a morale-booster for the others. When she captures Tomoe, Noriko delights in treating her as a slave and when Tomoe refuses to perform the labor, Noriko furiously cuts down a random slave woman. When Tomoe immediately obeys to stop more death, Noriko sneers at her for caring about those of low birth. To conceal the mines, Noriko plans to blow it up, with every slave inside after all its resources are gone. She also reveals that she and Tomoe are actually ''sisters'' and when their father refused to acknowledge Noriko as his daughter, she murdered him, just as she had the man who raised her for for being weak. She reveals this while savagely beating Tomoe, taunting her that it's Tomoe's fault that he died.
    • General Fujii was the head of a gang that took over a village. They reduced the workers to slaves, and ordered them to farm and cultivate for long hours. They would continue to do this until the tax collector came, at which point they would just kill all the villagers and go to another town. When Usagi infiltrates them, he's discovered and tortured, with Fujii taking his swords. When the peasants revolt, the slaughter their way through them, and Fujii abandons most of his men to die or face the police. He and his loyal Dragon take over another gang and launch raids on a village, where he almost murders the elderly headsman for refusing them. When the heroes attack the gang to take him down, he abandons his dragon to run. He is such a bastard that even the aforementioned gang becomes repulsed by him. Usagi actually repeatedly calls him a "monster".
      Fujii: "Yes, I suppose I am."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Jei-san. Much like the Shredder and The Joker, he started off as just a one-shot villain, but was popular enough to be brought back and promoted to the hero's Arch-Nemesis, a position that used to belong to Lord Hikiji.
  • Genius Bonus: The woman who's a secret Christian wears a kimono with a subtle cross design, which was how real secret converts ID'd each other.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one issue Usagi is forced to wash dishes at an inn he can't pay for his meal at due to being pick pocketed. When some ruffians break into the inn after he's finished they even call him the Dishwasher. Usagi was the first Dishwasher Samurai.
  • I Am Not Shazam: "Yojimbo" (bodyguard) is not part of his name but sometimes his occupation while on the warrior's path. The 80s cartoon took "Usagi Yojimbo" for his name, the 2003 one correctly had "Miyamoto Usagi".
  • Mondegreen: "You Suckey Your Jimbo", thanks to The Nostalgia Critic.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Hikiji's done much to cross it, but during the Senso miniseries, he allies himself with the Martian invaders despite all the death they're inflicting upon his own people.
  • More Popular Spin-off: Originally the comic debuted as a one-issue story in Albedo: Erma Felna EDF when it was previously an anthology of many furry comics during the 80s. While Usagi Yojimbo became a worldwide hit, on the other hand Albedo: Erma Felna EDF became a footnote in the story of comic books, though a Cult Classic to the Furry Fandom.note 
  • Nightmare Fuel: Jei's introductory issue. The atmosphere was very haunting. What really set it was seeing Jei go from kind-enough to give Usagi a place to stay in the rain to a ravaging madman in the blink of an eye. When Usagi first fought him, he was close to death, had the bolt of lightning not interfered. While Jei was originally meant to be a one-shot villain, the ending left the reader wondering if he were really dead.
  • Tear Jerker: Almost every story. Aren't you reading these?!
    • One early story comes to mind. It involves Usagi encountering the mother of a corrupt village ruler. We learn that the villain Used to Be a Sweet Kid. The mother tells Usagi to kill him, before claiming she was just joking. One night, Usagi finds the ruler dead with her mother cradling his body, revealing that she killed him herself. She begs Usagi to kill her, but he at first refuses. The issue ends with the mother singing a lullaby to her dead son before Usagi kills her off-panel and exits the house with tears in his eyes.
    • "Noodles" is a big one. Usagi encounters Kitsune, who has made a good friend friend in a huge, seemingly developmentally challenged man simply called "Noodles" (as he can tell her no other name), who helps her during her pickpocketing by hiding her in the soba box he carries aound when she runs from the law. He is every bit as gentle as he is huge, with Kitsune describing him as a "child in a giant's body" and expressing interest in building a new life with him. However, a corrupt police officer decides to frame Noodles for the recent crime wave he has caused due to his debt to gamblers, and within merely a day, Noodles is captured and publicly executed by crucification and being stabbed in the chest with spears, with poor Kitsune begging for his release and screaming it was her (despite her little pickpocketing having nothing to do with said crime wave) before breaking down sobbing. Also a case of Beware the Nice Ones as Kitsune sets one hell of a revenge in motion, orchestrating events to have the officer not only outed for his corruption but ordered to commit Seppuku.
  • Values Dissonance: Characters who would rather die than be dishonored make decisions that can seem strange to the reader. Similarly, characters who renounce that honor and start a new life as monks are making a tremendous personal sacrifice that, to modern eyes, doesn't seem all that significant.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Sort of, but Defied, a little. It's an adventure series filled with funny animals, but then the funny animals start slicing each other up with swords - it probably features more on-panel beheadings than any other comic! However, it's important to Sakai that violence is never trivialized. Usagi (and other morally upright types like Sanshobo and Katsuichi) never kills wantonly, rarely strikes first, allows flight and accepts surrender. Only villains regard violence as a quick and convenient solution. It's kid-friendly to the extent that Sakai presents avoiding combat where possible as a morally superior choice.
    Katsuichi/Usagi: "The best souls are those which are kept in their scabbards."