Legend of [the] Eight Samurai (Satomi Hakkenden) is a 1983 Japanese fantasy blockbuster from Kinji Fukasaku, the director of Battle Royale, set in the Edo period. It's based on the 1982 novel Shin Satomi Hakkenden, a loose retelling of the 19th century Japanese epic Nansou Satomi Hakkenden. It would in turn inspire a 1989 Famicom JRPG titled Shin Satomi Hakkenden: Hikari to Yami no Tatakai ("Shin Satomi Hakkenden: Battle of Light and Darkness").
This film provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Princess Shizu.
- Anyone Can Die: Those poor kids...
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: The English dub makes reference to ninja; also, the English-language trailer infamously can't decide whether the title is Legend of Eight Samurai or Legend of Eight Ninjas. Apart from the fact that ninja are more concerned about covert activity than honor, Legend of Eight Ninjas is grammatically incorrect.
- Blood Bath: Tamazusa bathes in blood to rejuvenate herself.
- Crossdresser: Keno is a Shirabyoshi. Shizu-hime pulls a Sweet Polly Oliver while on the run from Tamazusa's thugs.
- Due to the Dead: Shinbei and Princess Shizu give the two kids who died in the village raid a proper burial.
- Gender Flip: Keno's biologically female in this one, whereas in the original source material Recursive Crossdressing was at work (as the character was originally a male disguised as a Shirabyoshi).
- HeelFace Turn: Genpachi has one after discovering the crystal in his hand during a village raid. He promptly abandons his own troops and joins Dosetsu's group.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Shinbei.
- Lady of War: Keno.
- The Ojou: Princess Shizu, again.
- Redemption Equals Death: Genpachi volunteers to scout for traps in Tamazusa's hideout "because I've killed too many people just for sport, even women and children!" Naturally, he's the first of the eight to die.
- Spell My Name with a "The": As indicated by the brackets around the indicated word in the title above, the onscreen title is simply Legend of Eight Samurai. No "the", despite what other materials (save for the trailer; see "Blind Idiot" Translation above for more) may tell you.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: As noted above, Princess Shizu disguises herself as a young boy early in the film in order to conceal her identity from Tamazusa's troops.
- Vain Sorceress: Tamazusa.
- Vasquez Always Dies: Happens to Keno during the climactic showdown sequence.