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Something that has been popping up recently is a melding of The Wild West and Feudal Japan, even if the setting also takes place in the future or has Cattle Punk elements.

The earliest association between samurai and gunslinger tropes was probably Akira Kurosawa, who modeled several of his samurai films after American Westerns. Fittingly, two of these films were remade as actual Westerns[1]. Also, Ronin and The Gunslinger seem to occupy the same place in the stories of their respective cultures. Both walk the earth, duel rivals, fight bandits and defend the weak like an updated Knight Errant, making it only natural that the two characters should begin to blend together in an East-meets-West world. The fact that they're both iconic warrior-types of their respective nations is also a plus.

Note that a cowboy moving to old Japan, or a samurai or kung fu master moving to the Old West, does not count. This is about explicitly blending the two. Note that such situations often lead to this trope, but not always.

May be a result of wanting to justify the combination of Sword and Gun with Katanas Are Just Better and Revolvers Are Just Better

A Sub-Trope of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot.

Compare Street Samurai, The Gunslinger, Ronin, Sword and Gun, Space Western.

Examples of Samurai Cowboy include:

Anime & Manga

  • Andy, the crazy cowboy from the "Cowboy Funk" episode of Cowboy Bebop decides to become a samurai (complete with katana) at the end of the episode, after Spike beats him.
  • Gemini from Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love is a cowgirl — right down to having a super-effective horse. She also carries a katana, and was trained by an exiled samurai.
  • In the Captain Harlock spinoff Gun Frontier, the Old West incarnation of Tochiro is one of these. He shows some traits of this in other entries in the franchise like Cosmo Warrior Zero.
  • Gun X Sword which takes place on a Space Western planet where cowboys and mecha roam. The protagonist Van is a cowboy who wields a metallic cloth that can turn into a sword, with its hilt being a gun handle. Plus he pilots an Armor that uses a sword.
    • In addition, his rival uses a gun that looks like a Japanese sword handle, with his two very long magazines kept in his belt, making it look like he's carrying a daisho.
  • The one-off antagonist Rai-Dei the Blade of the Gung-Ho Guns in Trigun is basically a samurai on a Wild West planet. He is treated as outrageous and insane. He dodges bullets. He wears a fringed leather vest with hakama and his katana can fire its blade if necessary.

Comic Books



Video Games

Western Animation

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