I suppose that I will continue with my review of animated shows that I like, and get to one of the most ambitious ever created: Samurai Jack. This was one of the Cartoon Network’s greatest shows, and I’m not certain why it didn’t last longer and marketed more.
I’ll explain more what I mean later, but if you aren’t familiar with Samurai Jack, it had a unique premise. It was about a samurai who, as a young boy, has his village attacked by an evil demonic shape-changer named Aku. The young Samurai grows up, and attempts to fight Aku as a man with the aid of a magic sword. Aku then sends the Samurai forward in time to the future, where Aku reigns.
The future of Aku is completely dystopian, and is full of aliens and other odd creatures. The Samurai calls himself Jack, and attempts to find some sort of time portal to go back into the past to defeat Aku before all the evil of the future occurs. Jack then goes from place to place, and attempts to undo the evil of present-day Aku.
The show has a style that is all its own, and the creators said that they are inspired by just anything. I suppose the best word to describe it is “minimalist”, but even more minimalist than Batman: The Animated Series. Samurai Jack has a variety of characters that are incredibly colorful as they are unusual.
The show is also famous for its action scenes. Sometimes Jack will fight for over ten minutes, and there will be no dialogue. The action is incredible, and no other show that I know has done this and probably never will.
I was amazed at how this show could be serious and comic at the same time. There was one episode told from the point of view of an assassin hunting Jack, and this robot assassin dies in a weird film noir homage. This was the same show that gave us “Jack vs. the Scotsman”, which is easily one of the funniest episodes of television ever.
Yes, you never knew what you were going to get with this program, and I suppose that I should be grateful that this show didn’t get done to death like Spongebob. The saddest part is the show’s storyline never received a satisfying conclusion. Seriously, a story with a premise this awesome should have had an ending, but generally conclusions don’t necessarily end as awesome as they begin.