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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
  • Boring Invincible Villain: Dark Emperor, having full invincibility in all his ingame appearances so far in Samurai Shodown RPG.
  • 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) 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. However, this page is not the time nor place to elaborate.
  • Broken Base: 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 in the game can cause and be on the receiving end of these fatalities.
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    • 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.
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  • 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.
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    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Mina is pretty much a One-Scene Wonder, only canonically appearing in one game (and the same game had her Driven to Suicide) and just making 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 
  • 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...
  • Most Annoying Sound: Chample. Chances are, if you play as Mina, you WILL want her to put Chample to sleep before your eardrums explode.
    • Gen-An's gigantic claw makes a metal clinking sound that becomes somewhat grating after a while.
  • 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!
    • 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. It's impossible to take seriously.
  • 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.
  • 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 good, at least 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, appeared in 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.
  • 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 committing 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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