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  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • One of the drawbacks to playing Mina in her previous appearances was Chample, who would stay on the frontlines doing nothing but spam that sound. There was even a command solely designed to put it to sleep. By the time Mina was released for SamSho 2019, players were glad that Chample was off-screen and not intruding on the battlefield again.
    • Fans of V Special weren't really looking forward to the Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection since an excellent port of that game already exists. But then SNK announced that the collection would come with Samurai Shodown V Perfect, the unreleased final version of the game that had been rumored to exist for years, but who's only proof of existence were off screen photos from a single arcade location test in Japan.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Gaira's whole purpose in the fifth game: Run around like an idiot, then gets his hair shaven. He's bald in the sixth game, but that's a dream match
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Iroha, being a Ninja Maid whose true form is a crane, is decidedly sexy and breaks the fourth wall by referring the player as her 'Master'. This is a double-edged sword for her due to the fact that one camp thinks she has potential to be interesting if she can get introduced outside of Samurai Shodown VI/Tenkaichi (the title itself being a Dream Match Game), and indeed, out of the new additions in Tenkaichi, she has one of the more realistic weapons that could be implemented in canon (butterfly swords), while the other camp thinks that she's unnecessary Otaku bait who's hopelessly stuck with her only role at 'pleasing the players' without any chance of Character Development because they think that was exactly her core character. Bringing up whether she should appear in games outside of Samurai Shodown VI/Tenkaichi is bound to lead to more than a few arguments. Came to a head when Nobuyuki Kuroki, director of the 2019 installment, announced in a Dengeki interview that his team deliberately excluded her due to her fanservicey nature contrasting with the tone they wanted to set for the game (at least until Season Pass 2, where Iroha would be part of the DLC). However, this page is not the place to elaborate.
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    • The character addition choices in the V and VI era. While there are some gold gems such as Tokugawa Yoshitora and Mina Majikina (and both of them ended up making the cut for the 2019 game), others are either oft-forgotten or became Base-Breaking Characters on their own (See Iroha above) due to design choices and personalities that do not endear people much.
      • Starting with V. Many characters were created out of nowhere just to separate the Slash and Bust versions of the existing character and they are Doomed by Canon not warranting to be saved due to unpopularity (Such as Rasetsumaru (based on Bust Haohmaru), Enja (based on Bust Kazuki), Suija (based on Bust Sogetsu). Rera (based on Bust Nakoruru) is so far the only exception since she's also the materialization of the 'Purple Nakoruru with malicious grin' spanning throughout the franchise). Liu Yunfei is by far one of the most forgotten new additions in V despite his more interesting storyline with Gaoh (despite it being more self-contained), Kusaregedo was extremely unpleasant and didn't attract a similar charm of 'ugly characters' like Earthquake and Gen-An (despite him being a deliberate attempt to combine both in ugliness). And the bosses... well, aside of Gaoh anyway (who warrants a cameo in the 2019 due to his importance in Yoshitora's storyline); Yumeji only had 'being based on Mori Ranmaru' gender ambiguity, but aside of that they only took a few moves from Bust Ukyo and then call it a day by giving them an ability to morph to other characters to steal their moves and Sankuro jumps straight into The Scrappy status (read below). There's only a handful people who liked these new additions and they're not very vocal.
      • Continuing in VI, the dream match status means that the character doesn't even need to be involved with the story, just be as outlandish as possible, which could be a double-edged sword, either they think it's unique or downright unnecessary. Iroha is already explained above, Andrew and Ocha-maro had interesting concept (a pastiche of one of the American Presidents and a karakuri doll respectively) but the Dream Match status hampers them or their outlandish statuses prevents them to developing anywhere. Sugorokumaru also suffers the same problem and might have the least interesting concept while still being outlandish enough to take seriously. Only time will tell if Iroha can break the trend based on her appearance in the 2019 game and see if the VI additions can be implemented well in the canon story and expand beyond it.
  • Broken Base:
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    • Samurai Shodown V Special's Darker and Edgier nature by showing some very gory and graphic fatalities like Mortal Kombat and Eternal Champions. An incredibly cool idea that is stylish and it fits with the series' mostly serious nature well? Or is it a rather repulsive idea that never suited the series to begin with? And those who feel the latter are especially repulsed by the fact that the cute child characters (Shizumaru and Rimururu) in the game can cause and be on the receiving end of these fatalities.
    • Charlotte's redesign in the 2019 remake has split the base. On one side, there are those that hate the redesign, feeling that making Charlotte Hotter and Sexier removes what made her unique and accusing the developers of "waifu-izing" her for the sake of being bait for horny gamers. On the other side, those who like the redesign feel that her more feminine appearance doesn't detract at all from her overall badass nature, point out that considering this is an SNK-originated franchise, her redesign is incredibly tame compared to the more fanservicey characters they have, and also that her old design, which had her legs armored, would be counterproductive for a fencer like her.
  • Crack Pairing: Galford-Nakoruru has enough hints and teases, and it's canon that he's in love with her...but their Bust forms? Or Bust Galford X Rera? Sometimes, yeah.
  • Crazy Awesome: Basara.
  • Crossover Ship: Iroha is actually fairly popular in this regard with the Yuri Fandom as she has been paired with the likes of Ivy Valentine, Morrigan Aensland and Mai Shiranui.
  • Crowning Moment Of Awesome: Character example: Seishirou's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Tohma after their fated showdown.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Asura.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Tachibana Ukyo, a badass swordsman afflicted with tuberculosis, was intended for death early on in the series, when that didn't stick, they make him irrelevant to the plot thanks to Genjuro. However, due to popularity among fans, he was not killed off and has appeared throughout the series, despite the minimum roles. Most of the latter Samurai Shodown game stories are always set in a timeline where they can always include Ukyo.
    • Nakoruru, a nature-protecting priestess, whose popularity grew to the levels of a national idol in Japan and other Asian countries. Out of Samurai Shodown fanart found on the net, around 70-80% is dedicated to Nakoruru; and in Japan, big companies compete over releasing Nakoruru dolls. She may be the main heroine of Samurai Shodown, but in terms of the entire SNK universe (whose biggest draws are mostly The King of Fighters, and overall, Mai Shiranui overshadows her in exposure) and Japan overall? Yeah. To the point that she even gets integrated into KOF canon by appearing in XIV. Beforehand, she even appeared in the SNK vs. Capcom series. It is also mentioned by the developers of Samurai Shodown (2019) that Nakoruru also has the same benefit that Ukyo had: It was set between V and I so they can include a living Nakoruru.
    • Gen-An Shiranui, what with him being the original freak character of the series and a Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, as well as being the first choice by troll players to piss off their opponents. He is currently the most requested character to appear in the 2019 Samurai Shodown game as DLC by a large margin, in addition that by the end of 2019 and Season Pass 1, he's the only character from the original game roster absent from the game.
    • Cham Cham is also quite popular for someone who only appears in three games (II, IV (as a PlayStation-exclusive character) and VI). She even has her own pachinko game!
    • Iroha is another case; despite a single appearance in the series, she was popular enough to be included in many dating sims and mobile phone games, and be given her very own spin-off game. The internet was flooded with Hentai images of Iroha the day after her debut, and that flood hasn't stopped yet. It was only a matter of time, but now Iroha has finally been confirmed as DLC for Season 2 of 2019, marking her official debut into the canon storyline.
    • Mina was originally intended to be a One-Scene Wonder, canonically meant to only appear in one game (and the same game had her Driven to Suicide) and just making an obligatory appearance in the non-canon Dream Match Game, but her tremendous Woobie qualities and adorable look secured her popularity that she even appeared in Queen's Gate: Spiral Chaos alongside the aforementioned Cham-Cham and Iroha (including Nakoruru would have been a complete overkill). It also helps that she's one of the first attempts at putting a literal archer that doesn't mostly clobber her enemies close range in a fighting game gives her points of uniqueness. She ends up being Saved by the Fans, whereas she will be first in line of the 2nd wave of the 2019 game DLC, which led to SNK retconning her suicide in order to include her from within said game.
    • Shiki from Samurai Showdown 64 has proven to be popular enough that she is one of the only characters from that spinoff to be featured in SNK crossovers such as SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos and NeoGeo Battle Coliseum. For decades people have wanted her to appear in the mainline games. The fandom finally got their wish in 2019 when she was announced as part of the roster for the reboot, marking the very first time people can play her in a traditional Samurai Shodown game.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Most of Shiki's attacks and motions are seductive-looking, which was done on purpose. Han-In to nari shi Shiki takes this even closer to Kamasutra levels, with some of her moves imitating sexual intercourse. From male characters, Hanmen no Asura and Suija/Suija.Sogetsu are the subjects of this trope.
    • Symbols and sculpted imagery at the walls of Gandara's stage depict scenes from Kamasutra. In the next game these can be seen at distant wall in Han-In to nari shi Shiki's underground cave stage.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Few who had a chance to play Warriors Rage (PS1) likes to pretend it doesn't exist. Not that people hated the idea of a new generation of cast, but because the game was pretty terrible, even compared to other divisive 3D entries.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Amakusa, especially in the first game.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Suija's "I want your body!". Of course he wants a body that is good enough for him to possess.
    • And of course Haohmaru and Genjuro as well.
  • Game-Breaker: Wan-Fu's BFS in the first game. At Point-blank range, his Power Slash dealt three hits that took off about half a full life meter and usually left you dizzy to boot. His Thunder Bomb could also be a One-Hit Kill if his Rage gauge was maxed out (a far from uncommon occurrence, see below).
  • Good Bad Translation:
    • The original US title of the game was actually supposed to be Shogun Shodown. The name was changed before release, but the intentional misspelling was kept.
    • The classic from the fourth game in that series: "VICTOLY!"
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The 2019 game was marketed with the tagline of "Embrace death, and no one can stop you." and had the misfortune of being released on June 25, the day that beloved Youtuber and streamer Etika was found to have committed suicide by jumping off from the Manhattan Bridge. Needless to say, there was no way the marketing team could have prepared for this tragic coincidence.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Hanzo's finishing move is a Mortal Kombat 9 -style X-ray move. Even better, MK9 was the installment that revealed that Scorpion's real name is Hanzo.
    • One of the reasons that Samurai Shodown Sen ends up being a Franchise Killer was that "It looked like a watered down Soul Calibur-wannabe game." Fast forward to mid-late 2019, Haohmaru ends up being a Guest Fighter in an actual Soul Calibur game.
      • Adding to the hilarity of this was that both Samurai Shodown and Soul Calibur series once suffered massive Franchise Killer games (Sen and V respectively ), and just managed to come back from the brink with their newest titles. So, it added more 'meaning' to Haohmaru's guest-starring there.
  • Ho Yay: Yaci and Namino. Also, Genjuro is bisexual and simply doesn't care - in Days of Memories: Oedo Love Scroll, protagonist can get bad ending where he ends up sharing bed with Genjuro..
  • Iron Woobie: Nakoruru, specially in Nakoruru: Ano Hito kara no Okurimono.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Genjuro, Yaci and probably Haito.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Suija.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • VICTOLY! note 
    • DOUBLE FATARITY note 
    • Ow. note 
    • YEAH! note 
    • Before II was released, the new characters were teased via silhouettes. Gamest magazine jokingly filled these with odd drawings — Sieger's was a seated man holding an enormous fish. The Japanese fandom seemed to love it, since it's remembered even today.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Charlotte, a French fencer that tends to spout Gratuitous French, ended up garnering a following in, well, France.
  • Moe:
    • Nakoruru and her sister Rimururu. Nakoruru is actually considered one of Japan's most prominent Moe characters...
    • Also Cham Cham, Minto, Rinka and Suzuhime.
    • Male example: Shizumaru. God, is that kid moe, though very depressing.
  • Narm: Some of the dialogue, due to SNK's, um... tactful grasp of the English language.
    Genjuro: (pre-fight in SSIV) You're boring. Die!
  • Narm Charm: The ending cutscene of the 2019 game consists of Shizuka, now no longer possessed, gushing about how there are so many wonderful things in the world and how she's so happy to be going to the afterlife now — which is a little saccharine, but quite charming too.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The fourth game, an outstanding fighter in its own right, is rarely remembered as anything else than "the one that goes VICTOLY!"
    • The second game has probably one of the worst English translations in a video game ever, but the one moment fans will only ever remember of it is Cham Cham saying "Shit!"
  • Ron the Death Eater: Although Rera is deep down a good girl (though just kinda extreme), people never forget that she used to be an 'Evil Nakoruru', so some fics often portray her as an outright evil bitch.
  • Saved by the Fans: The 2nd wave DLC of the 2019 game features Mina Majikina as the first character after she topped the poll for most wanted character to return by fans. The game takes place after V where she debuted and was implied to have killed herself after killing Chample. To get around that, her 2019 ending reveals that Mina was unable go through with killing Chample, choosing instead to seal the evil controlling him within her.
  • Sequelitis:
    • The first Samurai Shodown was a huge success, even in the United States (where it won Electronic Gaming Monthly's Game of the Year award in 1994), and Samurai Shodown II performed just as well as the first one. However, Samurai Shodown III made too many changes to the game mechanics that alienated fans of the first two games, while reducing the character roster to only 12, replacing half of the roster in the process. While SNK addressed many of the complaints fans had with the third game in Samurai Shodown IV, the franchise have already lost its luster by that point.
    • And it's probably safe to say that the lackluster Edge of Destiny/Sen had buried the franchise for quite a while.
  • The Scrappy: Sankuro Yorozu is amongst one of the most disliked characters in the series. His design is considered uninspiring, he's basically a Palette Swap of Genjuro Kibagami, except with a hammer, and his moveset was just calling in his Assist Character (which will interrupt your jump, sweep low or hold your character in place), eating to recover his health, or pull a gun for a cheap shot as his desperation move, making him a That One Mid-Boss. His story is also very minimal, he's just a lowly thug trying to make big bucks in the middle of the war, is a Dirty Coward and has very disturbing quotes against female characters. Also his face is made to be really ugly and uninspiring, even with a Funny Afro (and considering that other deliberately ugly characters like Earthquake or Gen-An still manage to remain popular, that's saying something). He's only seen in the fifth game and the dream match, and overall, not a single fan misses him. It says something when Kusaregedo wants nothing to do with him.
  • So Bad, It's Good: There are characters with uber annoying looks/laugh (Gen-An, Minto, Tashon Mao, Kusaregedo, Mina's Chample, etc), that have certain popularity and are selected by players quite often - with (often successful) aim to get on opponent's nerves.
  • That One Boss: Sankuro. Another reason to call him The Scrappy.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Ukyo Tachibana was originally written as a rival to Haohmaru but he was going to die due to having tuberculois. However Ukyo got so popular SNK didn't kill him off but tried to replace him with Genjuro as Haohmaru's rival but Ukyo stuck around in the series anyways (Justified since III and IV serve as interquels to II). Nowadays it is interpreted that Ukyo is Haohmaru's friendly rival while Genjuro is Haohmaru's "not-so" friendly rival.
  • Toy Ship: Shizumaru and Rimururu, first appeared in the same game, appeared in a slew of artworks together, and the rest was done by millions of Asian fan artists.
  • Uncanny Valley: As beautiful as Iroha is in her human form, there's something....unsettling about her super; — in silhouette, screened by a shoji, she (whilst naked) proceeds to attack the opponent with a deadly multi-hitting attack that includes transforming into her crane form which, if imagined happening in real-life, is utterly disturbing.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Wan-Fu, of all characters, returning as a DLC character in the 2019 installment. Arguably Kazuki without Sogetsu as well, although the latter is set to join him in the second Season Pass.
    • The Warden from For Honor finished the second season DLC as the first Guest Fighter in the series history. Needless to say, fans were confused at the idea that the mascot of an arena fighter developed by a Western studio was given this distinct honor, especially considering the expectation most had about a Soul Series representative taking that role given their closer thematics and Haohmaru's own stint in Soulcalibur VI.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Amakusa Shiro Tokisada. The soft face, big hair, and long nails don't make it easier; The anime of the game went as far as to make him an actual female. Shizumaru also falls into this trope. And Yumeji - intentionally. S/he has a gender-neutral manner of speaking, was exiled from the dojo (although initially was to inherit it) due to an ambiguous bodily ailment or weakness (possible interpretation: being a woman); also Yumeji's seiyuu has a long history of voicing similarly non-gender-specific characters.
  • The Woobie: Shizumaru, Jushiro and Mina are shining examples of this trope. Specially Mina, who ends up attempting suicide.

The Motion Picture

  • Complete Monster: The evil god Ambrosia engineers a bloody war in the Warring States period of Japan to ensure his seal is released. Corrupting the betrayed Holy Warrior, Amakusa Shiro, Ambrosia possesses and uses her to kill the remaining Holy Warriors to make sure none can stand against him. Controlling the Shogunate from the shadows for the next century, Ambrosia kills any Shogun who dares question him, using them to steal young men to be brainwashed into becoming his soldiers and crushing any sign of rebellion against his reign.
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