Apologies for the late review, I wasn’t sure I was going to review this, then I watched the Samurai Jack Season 05 premiere, and I knew I had to.
You have to understand why Samurai Jack is so important to many of us. For a span of a few years, it was one of THE SHOWS to watch on Cartoon Network. The show almost came out of nowhere, yet in the course of an opening film and a few episodes, it captured our imaginations. For four season it was one of the best shows on TV, regardless of style, or genre. Then, it left, poof, gone. Fast forward thirteen years and Jack is back, though not in the way we left him.
Though we all knew this wouldn’t be the same Samurai Jack in regards to the first four seasons, the show isn’t afraid to state just how much things have changed. It’s been fifty years since the season 04 finale, and yet, Jack hasn’t aged a day. Yes, he is rocking a thick beard, but that’s the only sign of age on him. At least, externally.
Internally? It’s another story. The premiere focused a lot on how Jack is haunted by the fact that he has failed to get back to the past and save his family and people for now 50 years. Each passing day haunting him more than the last.
What’s worse, is that Jack has lost his legendary sword, and is now reliant on armor, guns and a wicked spear, which again proves just how far down this rabbit hole Jack has gone. But even WORSE, there is something that is haunting Jack, a shadowy Knight figure that makes Jack scream in fear when he sees it.
Why does this matter? In the first four seasons of the show, Jack is rarely shown to be afraid. He is the epitome of a stalwart hero, with emotions rarely showing themselves outside of frustration. Plus, he’s faced all matter of monsters and never blinked, so what’s up with this guy? Guess we’ll find out in the final 9 episodes.
For those wondering whether this was all talk and no action, don’t fret, there are major battles in here that are classic Samurai Jack. From an opening battle that shows off some familiar foes (and Jack’s new battle style) to a newly introduced assassin that is a welcome source of comedy in this dark and somber return for the show. Yet, the comedy is deserved, as he is funny, but is worthy of being “Aku’s favorite”.
Interestingly, Aku himself doesn’t appear in the episode, however, his voice is heard, and it shouldn’t be long before he makes his grand re-entrance. Yet, his presence was still felt, not only in his monsters but in his “daughters”. Yes, there is a group of seven girls that are apparently the daughters of Aku…I don’t want to know. This is significant as they’ve been trained (brutally) to do one thing: Kill Jack, and by the end of the episode, they have been unleashed.
The Samurai Jack Season 05 Premiere was a true treasure to behold, and one that is 13 years in the making. The show is just as beautiful as you remember, and with some darker twists thanks to it being on Adult Swim now. Aside from a bump or two, this was an amazing episode from start to finish. The biggest regret? We now only have 9 episodes to go.