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Anime / Namakura Gatana

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Namakura Gatana (Dull Sword) is an anime short-film created by Japanese political cartoonist Jun’ichi Kouchi in 1917. It is one of the earliest animes (But not the first, as some sources claim.). It follows an unintelligent samurai as he buys a dull sword and attempts to use it to bully other townsfolk.

Namakura Gatana provides example of the following tropes:

  • Comically Cross-Eyed: The Samurai does this several times while inspecting the sword
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  • Cool Sword: Subverted. The Samurai only thinks it’s cool.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Each time the Samurai attacks someone, he ends up getting his ass handed to him. When he tries to prop himself up using the sword, after getting knocked down by the second person, it ends up crumpling under his weight, he ends up throwing it away.
  • Limited Animation: The animation of the Samurai paying the blacksmith who made the sword is shown as him retracting his arm and shooting several koban at him out of his sleeve. Justified, as animation in general had only been recently invented.
  • Not Helping Your Case: The name of the shop the Samurai buys the sword from is Swordsmith Bluntsword. He still falls for it.
  • Silence Is Golden: Although, the character are shown talking to each other with no text frames, suggesting that voices acting may have been done by live actors at the time.
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  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The Samurai is a dumb brute who attacks to random people for no other reason than to test out his new sword, the former of whom is a blind man.

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