WASHINGTON, March 12, 2017 – Samurai Jack returned for it’s fifth and final season on Adult Swim last night with creative tour-de-force Genndy Tartakovsky returning as executive producer.
For the fans of the show, it heralds a final closure of the story told beautifully through through the animated cartoon medium.
The show, which first aired on August 10, 2001 ran until it’s unfinished end on September 25, 2004, brought to viewers the highly stylized art of a dystopian future where everthing is in the grasp of the evil Aku and as envisioned by Tartakovsky.
The show had its fans. Young and old. Counting this writer among them who was hooked by the magical land that Samurai Jack lived in, jumping through portals and battling mystic demons, from Aku’s very first words.
Long ago in a distant land, I, Aku, the shape-shifting Master of Darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil! But a foolish samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose me. Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future, where my evil is law! Now the fool seeks to return to the past, and undo the future that is Aku! — Aku, in the opening title sequence
The story of Samurai Jack is that of a brave young prince (Phil LaMarr) from feudal Japan, whose father acquired a magical katana. The father is captured by Aku and the young prince is sent by mother to travel the world as the King proclaimed he would, a right of manhood, before he returns to Japan as a man and after, hopefully, defeating the evil wizard Aku (Mako Iwamatsu/Greg Baldwin).
It is a classic battle of good vs. evil, of young people rising to the occasion, of the defeat of hopelessness and the return of hope.
The show is set in a retro-futuristic Earth fueled by evil where Aku and his robot minions and alien immigrant races of various appearances live and rule. But then there are always those looking for a savior, the one who would deliver them from the evil of those that would oppress them.
In true story telling form, as Jack seems to conquer the latest quest, a new one would rise, often heralded by the imposing black figure of Aku rising out of the earth.
The show was a combination of dark, evil, scary images and the comical prince. A sort of future medieval version of Alladin. The violence is portrayed in what can only be described as an homage to the samurai films only the evil doers bled oil and goo, not blood, getting it past censors and squeamish parents who enjoyed the show with young viewers.
Rated TV-14, Samurai Jack Episode Five has Jack fifty-years after we last saw him, but still battling the futures evil with new battles as Jack tries to take us back to past – before Aku.