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Main Good Guys
- Miyamoto Usagi
Our hero, a young samurai whose liege lord died in battle not long after Usagi entered his service. Now masterless, he walks the earth, occasionally hiring himself out as a bodyguard (hence the title), honing his skill as a warrior and meeting lots of interesting people. Usagi is kind and honorable almost to a fault, but has a trickster streak as well.
- Chick Magnet (Gee, I can't imagine who would be attracted to a kindhearted, sword wielding Badass.)
- Kid Samurai (in flashback chapters)
- Killer Rabbit (*facepalm*)
- Knight Errant
- Leave Your Quest Test
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Gen's Red Oni.
- Scars Are Forever (Usagi has a scar above his eye (it looks like a Fascinating Eyebrow), which he got trying to protect his lord from Lord Hikiji)
- Shout-Out: His name "Miyamoto Usagi" is one to famed Samurai/Ronin/Author of The Book of Five Rings "Miyamoto Musashi".
- Tomoe Ame
Chief retainer to the young Lord Noriyuki; a controversial position for a woman, but one she's earned several times over. She and Usagi become friends early in the series after he helps her foil an assassination attempt on her master, and they gradually develop feelings for one another.
- Action Girl
- Cain and Abel (she and Noriko)
- Lady of War
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Noriko's Red Oni.
- Ship Tease (with Usagi. By the time of "The Mother of Mountains", they became actual lovers, though Usagi's travels and Tomoe's upcoming arranged marriage have made the future of such a relationship iffy. )
- You Go, Girl! (she's had to prove more than once that she's capable despite being female)
- Murakami Gennosuké
Usagi's less morally upright friend, a bounty hunter who cheats Usagi out of money the first few times they meet (which later becomes a running joke between them). He's more interested in preserving his gruff image than his samurai honor, but is not as callous as he pretends.
- Ancestral Weapon: after the battle againsta magistrate oda, he discover his new swords were his father's swords
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Bounty Hunter
- Jerkass Facade
- Miser Advisor
- Perma Stubble
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Usagi's Blue.
- Shout-Out: The Perma Stubble and general attitude make him the in-universe version of "Sanjuro", (Toshiro Mifune's character from Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo and Sanjuro, Mifune also played Miyamoto Musashi, for a different director).
- Short Cuts Make Long Delays (Gen's do, at least)
- Vitriolic Best Buds (he and Usagi start out this way)
A street performer/thief/con woman who remains friends with Usagi despite the fact that his purse tends to go missing when they meet.
- Classy Cat Burglar
- Cool Big Sis (to her apprentice, Kiyoko)
- Cunning Like a Fox
- Mentor Occupational Hazard (Sachiko in Kitsune's backstory)
- Ship Tease (with Gen)
Usagi's son by his childhood sweetheart Mariko, raised in the belief that her husband Kenichi is his father but later learns the truth.
- Kid Samurai (he's determined to be the coolest samurai ever and considering he has defeated foes literally twice his size and with only a bokken, he is well on his way.)
- Wooden Katanas Are Even Better
- Luke, You Are My Father: Doesn't say it to Usagi's face, but shouts it after he leaves. Usagi hears something, but thinks he just imagined it.
The old hermit who taught Usagi more or less everything he knows: humility, compassion, thinking before he acted, and not least importantly his unusual style of swordsmanship. He's currently teaching Jotaro the same things.
- Badass Grandpa
- Eyepatch of Power: After getting his eye slashed in an ambush, he uses a sword guard as an eyepatch (a la Kaede's).
- King of Beasts
- Old Master
- Rape Of The Lock: Koji chops off the end of his "pony tail" during their duel, but it's not commented on.
- Retired Badass
- Secret Test of Character (likes to subject his students to these)
- Warrior Poet
- Iké the farmer/General Ikeda
A general who joined an uprising against Lord Noriyuki's father, Lord Mataichi. When it failed, he and some of his soldiers went into hiding disguised as commoners, intending to take up arms again at a politically opportune moment; but when Mataichi died a few years later, Ikeda had become too attached to his farm and his peasant wife and children and decided to stay with them. He became an ally of Noriyuki after the latter saved his son Motokazu's life.
- Badass Mustache
- Call to Agriculture
- Disney Death: The first time.
- Heel Face Turn
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Retired Badass
- Ikeda Motokazu
A wandering swordswoman of unparalleled skill, constantly pursued by bounty hunters since there's a hefty price on her head - she killed the Yakuza boss who murdered her husband, and now his people want revenge. She saved Usagi's life once (if only because he'd paid for her drink earlier), but since she kills people so coldly he doesn't much like her.
- Action Girl
- The Drifter
- Dying as Yourself
- Fighting From the Inside
- Instant Expert: How she took up swordplay.
- No Name Given: Inazuma (lightning) is a pseudonym; her real name is Tomiko.
- The Virus: After Jei's death she becomes possessed by his spirit and starts wandering the roads with Keiko, searching for Usagi.
- Inspector Ishida
A middle-aged detective, highly competent but sometimes hampered by corrupt superiors. He and Usagi have solved several murder mysteries together.
- Inukai/Stray Dog
- Combat Pragmatist
- Jerkass Facade
- Meaningful Name
- Pet the Dog
- Shout-Out: His name comes from a Kurosawa Film Nora Inu. His secret heroic bit is directly from Manga wrestler Tiger Mask.
- Yagi and Gorogoro/Lone Goat and Kid
- Lord Noriyuki
- A Child Shall Lead Them
- Pandaing to the Audience
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Mostly. He is still a child.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Tomoe's Blue Oni.
- Priest Sanshobo
- All Monks Know Kung Fu: justified, in that Sanshobo was a samurai warrior before his life as a priest.
- Good Shepherd
- Warrior Monk
- Sasuké the Demon Queller
A skilled fox ronin, Sasuke is a Demon Slayer and has devoted his life to hunting them.
- Blind Seer
- Disability Superpower: Sees through scent.
- Handicapped Badass
- Shout-Out to Zatoichi
- Sword Cane
The Neko Ninja
- Authority Equals Asskicking
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Killing Tamakuro and himself via black powder. Boom.
- Noble Demon
- Dark Action Girl: Her clan serves Hikiji. Eventually, just Action Girl.
- Friendly Enemy/Foe Yay: Gets some Ship Tease with Usagi.
- Femme Fatale
- Noble Demon
- Team Mom: When she becomes head of the clan. Everyone's not pleased.
- The Drifter: Eventually goes on run from her clan.
- Lord Hikiji
Enemy of Usagi's Lord Mifune, personally killed Usagi's defiant father and made Keniichi village leader, and employer of the rival Neko and Komori ninja clans.
- Big Bad
- Evil Overlord
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: As a Japanese lord he doesn't need to be seen to be influential. He's the only human character in a world that's been retconned into "only mammals (except horses and one dog) are 'people'". When he's shown in Usagi's village, he's wearing a battle mask.
- Humans Are Bastards
- Tin Tyrant: He appears like this in the flashbacks to his killing of Usagi's father and the battle of Adachi Plain.
- Lord Hebi
A giant snake who's Lord Hikiji's second-in-command.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Lord Hebi is so huge he fights ninjas by picking them up with his mouth and hurling them to death. Pretty good for a disarmed person.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent
- Jei-san the Blade of the Gods
One of Usagi's deadliest enemies. In his first appearance he is showed as a crazy killer who think himself as an emissary of the gods in a mission to clean the world from the evil...by any means needed but with each appearance, although it's never confirmed that he is the blade of the gods it's made more clearly that he isn't just a normal person, neither.
- Back From the Dead
- Dark Is Evil: he doesn't just wear black clothes, whenever he put the hands in a blade it immediately turns black
- Fate Worse Than Death: being stabbed by his spear (or later, sword) is shown to be agonizing, and it's implied that if it happens to you your soul is destroyed
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Implacable Man
- Incredibly Lame Pun / Shout-Out: if you attach the honorific "-san" to his name, it sounds like "Jason," aka the main villain of the Friday the 13th movies, with whom he shares some traits (i.e. being an Implacable Man who constantly comes Back From the Dead)
- Knight Templar
- Milky White Eyes
- Slasher Smile
- The Virus: "Jei-san" is actually a spirit/demon who uses people as hosts.
Jei-San's "niece", who he spared after killing the thieves who killed her grandpa because she was "innocent". Having nowhere else to go, she started following him. She was originally supposed to become Jei's new host, but the author felt uncomfortable so he created Inazuma.
- General Fujii
- Bad Boss: He has no concern for the lives of his own men and at one point destroy a bridge to make a getaway while leaving several of his men on the other side.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows
- Card-Carrying Villain: He doesn't eactly flaunt his evilness, but when Usagi calls him a "monster", Fujii just calmly responds: "Yes, I suppose I am."
- Dangerously Genre Savvy
- It's Personal: He makes things personal between himself and Usagi by stealing Usagi's swords.
- Manipulative Bastard: Made the villagers build a wall around their village, supposedly to protect them from bandits, and then locked them up inside and forced them to work for him.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He has a low opinion of his lackeys.
- Villainous Breakdown: He has one when Usagi finally catches up with him after he steals his swords.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Insists on being called "General".
Koroshi, the League of Assassins
The Komori Ninja
The Mogura Ninja
- Lord Mifune
Usagi's beloved lord, defeated by Lord Hikiji's forces. The war was caused by Hikiji sending the Neko Ninja to murder his wife and child. Usagi personally decapitates his lord to ensure his head isn't used as a trophy.
- The Woodcutters
- The Snitch
A hooded figure who first appeared in Space Usagi, he sells information to anyone with enough money.