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The GunmanThe main protagonist of the movie. A wandering gunman who arrives at a small town split in half by the Genji Clan and Heike Clan.
- Dark and Troubled Past: There is little known about his past save for a flashback of the Gunman as a young boy, staring at his deceased parents as they hanged from a bridge.
- The Gunslinger: Naturally.
- Guns Akimbo: Used to awesome measure.
- Hidden Weapons/Nothing Up My Sleeve: Keeps a derringer up his sleeve. This is how he dispatches Yoshitsune.
- No Name Given: His name is never given, and even in the credits he is known only as 'The Gunman'.
- Playing Both Sides: Played with. The Genji and Heike want him on theirs. He's on neither.
YoshitsuneOne of the movie's big bads. The leader of the white Genji Clan, who are at war with the red Heike Clan for control of the town and the gold that is hidden close by.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Shows this off to his men in order to teach them not to fear death. It doesn't quite work.
- Big Bad: Shares this role with Kiyomori of the Heike Clan.
- Blood Knight: Holds to a particularly brutal warrior philosophy and is excited at the prospect of fighting the Gunman and the Bloody Benten.Yoshitsune: (To the Gunman, shortly after meeting him) "Now I really wanna draw iron at ya!"
- Boom, Headshot!: How the Gunman kills him.
- Bullet Catch: Yoshitsune can slice bullets out of the air!
- Duel Boss: Basically serves as a movie version of this.
- Feuding Families: Minamoto (his) and Taira (Kiyomori's), and by extension the Genji and Heike Clans.
- Guyliner: Combining this with piercings (including one below his lower lip) and dude looks pretty emo.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Did this to Shizuka when she joined up with the Genji.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Is the Blue Oni to Kiyomori's Red Oni.
- Worthy Opponent: How he sees the Gunman, enough so that he didn't mind risking his life in a duel against him. He also sees the Bloody Benten as this.
KiyomoriThe movie's other big bad. The leader of the red Heike Clan, who are at war with the white Genji Clan for control of the town and the gold that is hidden close by.
- Bad Boss: When he's not beating his men he's using them as human shields.Kiyomori: ''(Hiding behind one of his subordinates) "Shigemori...we've got to fatten you up, boy."
- Berserk Button: When people call him by his real name.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Ruriko kills him.
- Dirty Coward: When folks are shooting at him you'll bet he'll hide behind someone. Also, of all the main characters, Kiyomori is the only one who goes into a gunfight wearing armor.
- Taken Up to Eleven when in addition to his armor, he's also got four Heikes and the Sheriff all lined up to serve as human shields!
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": Insists on being called 'Henry', after Henry VI, because "in Shakespeare's story, the Reds win."
- Gatling Good: Ends up with Benkei's gatling gun just in time for the final battle.
- Madness Mantra: "This time, the Reds win! This time, the Reds win!"
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Does this to Shizuka shortly after he killed her husband, Akira.Kiyomori: (seeing the blood splattered over Shizuka) "My favorite color...looks goon on you!"
- Villainous Breakdown: Just when Ruriko is about to kill him: "I win... I win..."
RurikoAn old lady who runs the town's general store. Also, the Bloody Benten, a legendary gunfighter and warlord.
- And This Is for...: When she is about to kill Kiyomori, who killed her son before the events of the movie.Ruriko: "That was for the mayor. This is for Akira."
- BSOD: "...You animal."
- Cool Old Lady/Establishing Character Moment: She is introduced as she is basically calling the Genji and Heike a bunch of wimps and losers, right to their faces. And she just gets even cooler as the movie progresses.
- The Dreaded: Averted. As Ruriko, she is seen as just a harmless old lady who runs a store. As the Bloody Benten, however...
- Dying as Yourself: As Ruriko.Ruriko: "No one ever saved Benten's life.
Toshio: "No. You...you are Ruriko. My Ruriko."
- Guns Akimbo: To quote Quentin Tarantino: "When this doubly talented goddess used to play music, she would hold her instruments in both hands. But when she was on the warpath, she would hold weapons in eight hands."
- In the Back: Gets shot in the back twice by the sheriff. See below why it didn't work all that great.
- Lady of War: As the Bloody Benten.
- Made of Iron: An understatement if there ever was one. Lets see... First, she licks her gun just after firing it, her tongue sizzling from the scorching hear, and she doesn't even flinch. Then when the Sheriff shoots her in the back twice she just looks annoyed as she throws her empty gun at him. Then, when the Sheriff shoots her in the chest, twice, her reaction was to put her hands on her hips and still look annoyed with him!
- Retired Gunfighter: Used to be the Bloody Benten. Now she runs a store.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Holy shit does she rampage! Even when she was the Bloody Benten, it's been alluded by Ringo that she had a penchant for this when she was younger.
- Together in Death: With her husband.
- Worthy Opponent: How Yoshitsune views the Bloody Benten, and he is surprised that it was Ruriko all along.
- The Big Guy: Is the largest of all the Genji soldiers.
- Co-Dragons: Shares this role with Yoichi.
- BFG/Gatling Good: His Weapon of Choice is, at first a Winchester rifle, and then a huge gatling gun later in the movie.
- Lampshade Hanging: When the Gunman rolls into town and offers his services to both the Genji and the Heike, Benkei warns him not to "play Yojimbo," referring to the movie and by extension it's Western remake, A Fistful of Dollars, in which a mercenary plays the two sides against each other.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Ruriko kills him.
- Co-Dragons: Shares this role with Benkei.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Tries this with Shizuka as she is dying.
- Weapon of Choice: His crossbow.
- You Monster!: Ruriko sure thinks so when Yoichi is about to rape her daughter-in-law as she is dying.Yoichi: "You want some, bitch?"Ruriko: "...You animal."
ShizukaA Genji woman who married a Heike and settled in the town with their son, who sides with the Genji clan after the Heike murdered her husband.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: You wouldn't think she was somebody's mother if you looked at her.
- Butt-Monkey: First, her husband is murdered right in front of her. Then she is raped by Kiyomori, moments after he murdered said husband. Then, when she goes to the Genji, either for protection or revenge, she is raped by Yoshitsune for her troubles. It's implied that she serves the Genji as some kind of prostitute or sex slave, not to mention getting pimped out to the Gunman by Yoshitsune. She is shot by Yoichi and almost raped by him. And then she dies.
- Ms. Fanservice: It's pretty clear what Shizuka is there for, when she isn't getting raped.
- Sex Slave: Implied to be this for the Genji.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: She is a Genji woman but her husband Akira was Heike. Their son, Heihachi, has two locks of hair that are coloured white (for the Genji) and red (for the Heike) respectively.
- Butt-Monkey: Nobody likes this guy at all.
- Dirty Coward:
- Plucky Comic Relief: He basically serves as this throughout the movie.
- Human Shield: Serves as one of them for Kiyomori during the final battle.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How he is killed, after shooting Ruriko.The Sheriff: (In Japanese) "What the hell?"
- Playing Both Sides: Works for the Heike but he doesn't hesitate in trying to convince the Gunman to fight for the Genji when he doesn't have Kiyomori breathing down his neck.
- The Quisling: To the Heike, though he wants to join up with the Genji because they are the stronger gang.
Portrayed by: Quentin Tarantino
- The Gunslinger: In the beginning.
- Mr. Exposition: The tale he tells during the beginning of the movie basically explains the conflict between the Genji and Heike clans and sets up the rest of the story. Interestingly, as he tells the tale, Ringo quotes the first words in the actual Tale of Genji (which chronicles the war between the actual historical Genji and Heike clans) almost verbatim.
- Otaku: So much so that he named his son after one of the most famous anime there is: Akira.
- Shout-Out: His entire existence seems to be this: from his dressing like The Man With No Name (all the way down to the poncho), to his son's name to even the original Tale of Genji.
- Would Hit a Girl: And does so to a young Ruriko/Benten in a flashback.
AkiraRuriko and Ringo's deceased son and Shizuka's late husband.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: He is a Heike but his wife Shizuka is a Genji woman.Akira: "The days of Genji and Heike are over."
- Shout-Out: His father outright admits that Akira was named after the anime.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Is killed by Kiyomori after standing up to him.