- Fridge Horror - Healthy postpubecent men are rare, and there are women who will never scrape up the money for more than a session or two with the most damaged whores. An unarmed man alone in the wrong part of town or a strange hamlet is a serious temptation to a few work-hardened sorts with access to hammers, as they only need one appendage working right.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In Volume 1, Yoshimune's first official act upon becoming shogun is to summarily fire Privy Councillor Manabe for a backhanded insult to her claim to the throne. Manabe is not mentioned again until Volume 6 where we learn that she was originally Ienobu's retainer and was maniacally devoted to ensuring that her lord would become Tsunayoshi's successor. Devoted enough that Yoshimune believed Manabe to be responsible for poisoning her two older sisters as potential rivals for Ienobu and continuing to oppose Yoshimune as Ietsugu's successor. (This turned out to be incorrect; it was Yoshimune's own personal retainer Hisamichi who was responsible.) Yoshimune retaliated by orchestrating a scandal that brought down one of Manabe's strongest supporters and assured her succession. Only Ten'nei-in's intervention assured that Manabe would even be allowed to keep her fief and title after Yoshimune took power. Suddenly EVERYTHING in that Volume 1 scene is an order of magnitude more painful.
- Jerkass Woobie - Shogun Iemitsu the Younger (or Lady Chie, depending on who you ask), especially in Volume Two.
- Moral Event Horizon - "Cut down the monk on the left." Earlier, Kasuga orders the killing of Chie's mother as she drags the kid away, though the reader doesn't find out until much later.
- Nightmare Fuel: That face Harusada makes when she tells Ienari off for suggesting they spread the Redface Pox vaccine.
- Spiritual Licensee: The series is essentially Y: The Last Man if it took place in (and apparently confined to) Edo-era Japan.
YMMV / Ooku