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Roughly equivalent to 'Feudal Japan', any series set before (or around the beginning of) the Meiji era when the Shoguns were deposed. The time subdivisions most often found in Japanese media include the Sengoku period (the "Warring States" era of civil war, from about 1467-1573), the Edo period (after Japan was united under the Tokugawa shogunate, 1603-1868), and the Bakumatsu/early Meiji era (see above). Think Akira Kurosawa.
Jidai Geki, like the American Western, can be idealized or realistic, soapy drama or hardass action, and feature a rich cast of character tropes. Jidai Geki that emphasize swordplay are often referred to as chanbara, especially the live-action movies, and counted on for lots of hot Samurai action (Ninja, Ronin, and Yakuza are also frequent players).
Though it may seem American and European directors have been
pilfering borrowing these conventions — sometimes whole plots — for years, Jidai Geki pieces have long borrowed in equal measure from westerns and noir; Kurosawa himself was known to be a fan of director John Ford. George Lucas took some inspiration from this cross-pollination while writing Star Wars — guess where he got the word "Jedi".
A subtrope of Period Piece.
Some notable historical names that have been originating from this era includes:
- Genpei War:
- Minamoto no Yoritomo
- Minamoto no Yoshitsune
- Saito no Yosashibo Benkei
- Taira no Kiyomori
- Tomoe Gozen
- Sengoku period:
- Edo period:
- Amakusa Shiro
- The Forty-seven Ronin
- Bakumatsu period:
- Kenseiden in which Benkei shows up as a boss and the final boss is an indeterminate individual named "Yonensai"
- Okami: Sure it's an alternate world, but the setting clearly takes inspiration from Heian and Sengoku period stories, events and characters.
- Kid Niki, despite the Totally Radical American marketing, clearly takes place in some sort of medieval Japanese setting.
- Heike Monogatari (a.k.a. The Tale of the Heike)
- Many Akira Kurosawa films:
- Princess Mononoke
- Sword of the Stranger
- The Summer arc of AIR
- One of the mods that came bundled with Civilization III's second expansion pack, Conquests, is called "Sengoku: Sword of the Shogun," and is more or less Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A Daimyo Is You. Unite Japan and become Shogun.
- A popular Game Mod for Europa Universalis III features a series of scripted events designed to simulate the politics of Japan in this era.
- Guwange is only specified as being in the late Muromachi period, but "late Muromachi period" overlaps with the Sengoku Jidai
- Nobunaga's Ambition naturally
- The Onimusha series, which showcases several historical figures and events from the period amidst a larger storyline involving a war between two demon clans.
- Sengoku, a real-time-with-pause strategy game focused on the plots and intrigues of the era.
- Samurai Warriors, effectively a version of Dynasty Warriors, but set in the Sengoku era instead of Imperial China.
- Sengoku Basara...well, theoretically, at least.
- Sengoku Rance...also, theoretically, at least.
- Shogun: Total War and its sequel.
- Way of the Samurai 3, which puts it before the creation of the "Way of the Samurai" (now known as Bushido) in the title.
- The short Australian CGI spoof Samurice.
- The MSF High Forum has recently had a theme day, that replicates this era.
- Amatsuki... the virtual setting at least.
- Blade of the Immortal
- Gintama... all things considered.
- House of Five Leaves
- Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran (Carried by the Wind — Tsukikage Ran)
- Kozure Ookami (Lone Wolf and Cub)
- Ninja Scroll: The Series
- Ooku: the Inner Chambers is an Alternate History take on the early part of this era.
- Rakugo Tennyo Oyui at the very tail end.
- Samurai 7
- Samurai Champloo... mostly.
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Shura No Toki's anime adaptation has its first two arcs set in this period.
- Tokugawa Buraichou
- The Sano Ichiro series.
- Abarenbou Shougun
- Chou Ninja Tai Inazuma!
- Kage no Gundan (Shadow Warriors)
- Kaiketsu Lion Maru
- Mito Komon
- Touyama No Kin San
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger. At least for 2 episodes.
- Look to the West is an alternate history story that, at one point, features Japan balkanized by the European powers after an apocalyptic civil war.
- The Legend of Kage 2
- Muramasa the Demon Blade
- Uncharted Waters has Japan visitable by the main characters, complete with Atakebune and Tekkousen ship classes available
- Way of the Samurai 2
- Ayakashi Ayashi
- Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto
- Kaze Hikaru
- Kidou Shinsengumi Moeyo Ken
- Peacemaker Kurogane
- Rurouni Kenshin — a Deconstruction of the genre itself.
- The third arc of Shura No Toki
- Winter Cicada
- More from Akira Kurosawa:
- The Last Samurai is very loosely based on the Satsuma revolt
- Red Sun, where the idea of jidai-geki being the Japanese equivalent to the western is taken to its logical conclusion.
- The Twilight Samurai
- Last Blade, as told in its Japanese title of Bakumatsu Roman: Gekka no Kenshi ("A Bakumatsu Romance: Swordsmen in the Moonlight"), and evidenced in many visual elements in the game.
- The ninja chapter of Live a Live
- Total War: Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai DLC
- Way of the Samurai
- For the curious, the 30 years in between those two is called the Azuchi-Momoyama period; important in history, not so much in media.