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Film / Lone Wolf and Cub

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Lone Wolf and Cub, also known as Shogun Assassin, has been adapted into five feature length Wuxia films from 1972-1980 starring Tomisaburo Wakayama as the outlawed Samurai executioner Ogami Ito. The story concluded in a 1973-76 TV series, also starring the movie cast.

Tropes include:

  • Adaptation Personality Change: Ito is still willing to bend the rules of Bushido and deceive his opponents, but he is generally portrayed as more heroic and honorable than in the comics.
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  • An Arm and a Leg: In the fourth film Ito cuts off Gunbei's arm then subjects him to a Fate Worse than Death by refusing to kill him.
  • Anti-Villain: The gunfighter employed by the shogun as a bodyguard Wouldn't Hurt a Child.
  • Armor Is Useless: The shogun's Mooks are easily taken out by Ito, although this could be due to his unique Cool Sword.
  • Asshole Victim: All of the people Ito assassinates in the movie have done bad things deserving of execution.
  • Badass and Baby: In the first two films, where Daigoro is either carried or pushed around in a Baby Carriage.
  • Badass and Child Duo: In later films, as an older Daigoro is able to participate in combat by throwing bombs.
  • Beard of Evil: Big Bad Yagyu Retsudo has a Fu Manchu style beard.
  • Berserk Button: The normally calm and quiet Ito will go full Papa Wolf if his baby is put in danger.
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  • Blade on a Stick: As in the comics, the baby cart contains retractable spears.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ito usually kills his enemies with a sword, but when facing a small army armed with muskets he decimates them with a volley gun concealed in the baby cart.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Retsudo starts out as the shogun's Dragon with an Agenda, but becomes the main Big Bad in the second film.
  • End of an Era: The movies and comic book are set in the 1850s, with the rising merchant class beginning to supplant the samurai of the Tokugawa shogunate.
  • Everyone Is Related: The five films follow Ito's quest to kill every member of the shogun's family in revenge for the murder of his wife.
  • Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana: Except for Ito's own sword, which is designed for executions rather than combat.
  • Good Is Old-Fashioned: Mid 19th century Feudal Japan is beginning to show signs of modernisation, but being Samurai both Ito and his enemies uphold the Good Old Ways of Honor Before Reason.
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  • The Gunslinger: Ito fights a Samurai Cowboy in the third movie, and steals his Cool Guns.
  • Guns Are Useless: The gunfighter leaves his revolvers on the bank when trying to save Daigoro from drowning. This enables Ito to take them, and kill his opponent in a swordfight.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Ito wields an unsually large and heavy katana designed for beheading Seppuku victims.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: As expected in a movie about a samurai and his son Wandering the Earth
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Retsudo reveals he is Daigoro's grandfather before he dies. It remains unknown whether he was the father of Ito or his wife.
  • Noble Demon: The Ronin Gunbei sees Ito as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Samurai in Ninja Town: When Ito passes through Retsudo's turf to assassinate his targets, Retsudo's own Ninja assassins are waiting to ambush him.
  • The Story Teller: In the first film the baby is the narrator.
  • Two Roads Before You: Ito presents his infant son with this, even though he knows Daigoro is too young to understand his choice.
    Ogami: I have decided to escape, to defy the Shogun. Today I will begin walking the Road to Hell, but you must choose your own path. (picks up a ball and sword) So, soon you may be seeing Heaven. Choose the sword, and you will join me. Choose the ball, and you join your mother in death. You don't understand my words, but you must choose.
  • You Killed My Father: Ito wants revenge for the killing of his family on Retsudo's orders.
  • The Vamp: Oyuki is a tattooed Yakuza assassin who seduces and murders her enemies, and dishonors their corpses by cutting off their topknots.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Retsudo, being an evil old man.

Alternative Title(s): Shogun Assassin, Lone Wolf And Cub


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