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* GreatEscape: [[spoiler:Subverted.]] The ''marutas'' try several times to try and escape, to no avail. [[spoiler:One teenager fakes his death and dresses as a Japanese soldier is built up to be a SoleSurvivor, but he's discovered and killed.]]


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* ShootTheShaggyDog: On several levels. [[spoiler:Ishii's bioweapons research is made moot since the war ends with Japan defeated before he can deploy his pathogens in force. The ''marutas'' are all killed off, the last one trying and failing to kill Ishii himself. The epilogue notes Ishii never faces prosecution for his crimes and gets to supervise the usage of bioweapons in the Korean War.]]


* SequelDecay: The film was followed by several (unconnected but thematically similar) sequels, none of which were anywhere near as shocking as the original.


* LifeDeathJuxtaposition: [[spoiler:In the film's climax, a wife of one of the Unit's members goes into labor and gives birth while the last surviving ''maruta'' is being killed. Just to add emphasis on this point, the mother commits suicide via cyanide capsule after delivering her child.

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* LifeDeathJuxtaposition: [[spoiler:In the film's climax, a wife of one of the Unit's members goes into labor and gives birth while the last surviving ''maruta'' is being killed. Just to add emphasis on this point, the mother commits suicide via cyanide capsule after delivering her child. ]]

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* TheDeadHaveNames: The film lists the name of every victim that's known to have one, standing in sharp contrast to Unit 731 calling all test subjects ''marutas'' (logs).
* DeadlyGas: One of Unit 731's specialties, alongside bio-weapons.


* ANaziByAnyOtherName: The movie draws parallels between the crimes of Unit 731 and the Holocaust using imagery of detainees arriving in cattle cars, inmates getting gassed and machine-gunned, and large, constantly burning crematoria. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], since this takes place during UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, and Japan was a part of the Axis Powers.
* BadPeopleAbuseAnimals: Just to prove a point about the efficacy of his bio-weapons program, Ishii throws a live cat into a chamber full of rats and watches them kill each other, the rats overwhelming and devouring the cat after several minutes of struggling. A dove is also killed alongside a mother and child during a chemical weapons experiment and the Unit's lab rats are all set on fire at the end of the film.



* ChildSoldiers: The Youth Corps members serve as assistants to the brutal researchers and doctors, since much of Japan's manpower has been sent off to all the various fronts of World War Two.



* CruelAndUnusualDeath: The guy in the pressure chamber.

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* CruelAndUnusualDeath: The Far too many to count, but the guy in the pressure chamber.chamber is a standout example.



* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:After Japan is defeated, Ishii orders the prisoners gassed and the experiments destroyed. He then swears the rest of the unit to secrecy under pain of death. Ishii is captured by the Americans, and works for them, introducing biological weapons to Korea. While Ishii dies free, the rest of Unit 731 live lives of drudgery due to their education not being acknowledged by society.]]

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* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:After Japan is defeated, Ishii orders the prisoners gassed and the experiments destroyed. He then swears the rest of the unit to secrecy under pain of death. Ishii is captured by the Americans, and works for them, introducing biological weapons to Korea.UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar. While Ishii dies free, the rest of Unit 731 live lives of drudgery due to their education not being acknowledged by society.]]
* DressingAsTheEnemy: [[spoiler:A survivor of Unit 731's atrocities attempts to don a Japanese soldier's uniform to escape. It fails, and he attempts to kill Ishii in his last moments.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:While Ishii is narrowly talked out of ordering the entire Unit to commit mass suicide, the wife of one of the soldiers does take her own life.
]]



* EurekaMoment: In a particularly disturbing example, Ishii attempting to physically and sexually abuse a geisha causes a ceramic pot to break, leading him to realize that ceramic bombs could be used to distribute fleas carrying deadly pathogens.



* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler:A lone survivor of the Unit's atrocities plays dead to avoid detection, until donning a disguise later. See DressingAsTheEnemy.]]
* FieryCoverUp: Quite literally; [[spoiler:Ishii orders all documents, building, and test subjects to be destroyed, and seriously contemplates ordering the entire Unit the commit suicide alongside their families to cover-up their crimes.]]
* ForTheEvulz: Despite chastising his subordinates for killing too many ''marutas'' since they're needed for bio-weapons testing, Ishii authorizes many pointlessly cruel experiments that seem to have been conceived purely as ways to kill and torture people in creative ways.



* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the beginning of the film, a mother's three month old baby is buried in the snow out of sheer sadism and gets left to die. Later on the mother becomes the subject of an experiment to show the effects of severe hypothermia.



* HistoricalVillainDowngrade: Almost unbelievably, the actual crimes of Unit 731 were more gruesome and torturous than were actually presented in the film, and included actions such as rape, deliberately infecting people with syphilis, and testing flamethrowers on live test subjects. The field tests of Unit 731's bio-weapons, which killed up to half a million Chinese civilians, are also left out of the film.
* ItGetsEasier: The movie skates between this trope and ItNeverGetsAnyEasier. Sadistic, indifferent, or ultra-nationalistic doctors and guards have a much easier time coping with the horrors committed in Unit 731 than new arrivals.



* LifeDeathJuxtaposition: [[spoiler:In the film's climax, a wife of one of the Unit's members goes into labor and gives birth while the last surviving ''maruta'' is being killed. Just to add emphasis on this point, the mother commits suicide via cyanide capsule after delivering her child.



* {{Plaguemaster}}: Shiro Ishii ands his disciples are focused most on creating a bio-weapon that will ensure Japan's dominance in the world. To this end they kill thousands testing different viruses and end up creating the strain of Black Death that's sixty times stronger than the original.



* PrisonRiot: The ''marutas'' stage two rebellions, since the war is drawing to a close on terms unfavorable to Japan. Both attempts fail to stop the atrocities, but several Japanese soldiers are killed and Ishii's bio-weapons research is critically delayed.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: When Ishii discovers the officer who attempted to get him dismissed from Unit 731, he ensures that the man is sent to fight in the southern front against US soldiers, almost certainly condemning the man to die.



* SequelDecay: The film was followed by several sequels, none of which were anywhere near as shocking as the original.

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* SequelDecay: The film was followed by several (unconnected but thematically similar) sequels, none of which were anywhere near as shocking as the original.



* WouldHurtAChild: Several are killed brutally over the course of the film. The soldiers seem to go out of their way to do it.

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* VomitIndiscretionShot: A horrified orderly dashes out of a lab and vomits in horror and disgust. The man's friend tells Ishii he's been doing this for a month straight and hasn't gotten used to their hellish working conditions yet.
* WouldHurtAChild: Several are killed brutally over the course of the film.film (as a matter of fact, the first onscreen death is a three month old that's buried in snow). The soldiers seem to go out of their way to do it.


* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: More like '''scenes'''. This film would arguably make ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyWorldAtWar'' look like a UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo}} game.

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* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: More like '''scenes'''. This film would arguably make ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyWorldAtWar'' look like a UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo}} Creator/{{Nintendo}} game.


** Horrifically averted later, as a Chinese blog post revealed that the cat was killed (by the owner) to provide the final shot after the rat swarming (Source: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4b3968180100bke7.html).


* StrappedToAnOperatingTable: {{Subverted}} as the child willingly got on the table because he was completely clueless to what they were going to due. Eventually he was knocked out before the surgery began so he wasn't able to resist.

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* StrappedToAnOperatingTable: {{Subverted}} as the child willingly got on the table because he was completely clueless to what they were going to due.do. Eventually he was knocked out before the surgery began so he wasn't able to resist.

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* TheSociopath: Dr. Shiro Ishii, who has wormed his way back into commanding Unit 731 despite being demoted for corruption prior. After taking command, he turns the unit into a nightmarish group of torturers, conducting medical experiments for his own advancement. And it ''is'' solely for his own advancement, as his sending subordinates to die because they know of his prior corruption shows.

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* BigBad: Dr. Shiro Ishii, Lieutenant General of Unit 731.


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* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:After Japan is defeated, Ishii orders the prisoners gassed and the experiments destroyed. He then swears the rest of the unit to secrecy under pain of death. Ishii is captured by the Americans, and works for them, introducing biological weapons to Korea. While Ishii dies free, the rest of Unit 731 live lives of drudgery due to their education not being acknowledged by society.]]

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** Horrifically averted later, as a Chinese blog post revealed that the cat was killed (by the owner) to provide the final shot after the rat swarming (Source: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4b3968180100bke7.html).

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* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: More like '''scenes'''. This film would arguably make ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyWorldAtWar'' look like a UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo}} game.


* CouldntFindAPen: One of the ''maruta'' scrawls a condemnation of his captors on the wall of his cell in his own blood [[spoiler:when they're all gassed to death.]]

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* CouldntFindAPen: One of the ''maruta'' ''marutas'' scrawls a condemnation of his captors on the wall of his cell in his own blood [[spoiler:when they're all gassed to death.]]



* ExploitationFilm: Unintentional, but is regarded as such my some.

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* ExploitationFilm: Unintentional, but is regarded as such my by some.



* HellHolePrison: The inmates inside the facility were kept alive and healthy enough to be beaten, poisoned, infected, blown up, shot up, frozen, burned, or be subjected to whatever horrors the researches come up.

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* HellHolePrison: The inmates inside the facility were kept alive and healthy enough to be beaten, poisoned, infected, blown up, shot up, shot, frozen, burned, or be subjected to whatever other horrors the researches come up.researchers came up with.



* LeaveNoSurvivors: When [[spoiler:Japan surrenders and Unit 731 is ordered to disband they kill all the maruta in the prison.]]
* LudicrousGibs: At one point, the cadets stationed at Unit-731 assemble a large amount of artillery shells in the middle of a field, around a large number of ''maruta''. The aftermath of the experiment shows [[{{Gorn}} what happens to anyone caught in the middle of an artillery barrage.]]

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* LeaveNoSurvivors: When [[spoiler:Japan surrenders and Unit 731 is ordered to disband they kill all the maruta ''marutas'' in the prison.]]
* LudicrousGibs: At one point, the cadets stationed at Unit-731 assemble a large amount of artillery shells in the middle of a field, around a large number of ''maruta''.''marutas''. The aftermath of the experiment shows [[{{Gorn}} what happens to anyone caught in the middle of an artillery barrage.]]



* MedicalHorror: TheMovie

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* MedicalHorror: TheMovieTheMovie.



* SlowClap: When Ishii demonstrates his low-temperature bacterial bomb,although it quickly turns into loud applause.

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* SlowClap: When Ishii demonstrates his low-temperature bacterial bomb,although bomb, although it quickly turns into loud applause.





* LudicrousGibs: At one point, the cadets stationed at Unit-731 assemble a large amount of artillery shells in the middle of a field, around a large number of ''maruta''. The aftermath of the experiment shows [[{{Gorn}} what happens to anyone caught in the middle of an artillery barrage.]]



* MedicalHorror:

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* MedicalHorror: TheMovie

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* HellHolePrison: The inmates inside the facility were kept alive and healthy enough to be beaten, poisoned, infected, blown up, shot up, frozen, burned, or be subjected to whatever horrors the researches come up.

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