Samurai Jack: An Overview

04/01/2018

Cartoons are for children. Whoever decided this never considered how animators prioritize a story line to fit a story board. The story is often most the driving point in every great animated series or anime. If you ask diehard fans why they like their anime, they will mostly point out how intricate the relationships between the characters are or how although the genres or settings are so different, there can be a lot of themes and parallels that can be compared to our own lives. I recently finished watching Samurai Jack all the way through. Seasons one through four came out around 2001 and had a thirteen year break from 2004 to 2017. Watching it while I was young, allowed me to appreciate it again when it came out for a fifth season. Although it is an American animation, Samurai Jack's story line artfully revealed what we all fear, love, and hope for in life, while at the same time keeping in mind that these things don't always last. My friend Patrick reminded me of the quote "...this too shall pass." While I was always under the impression that it was meant solely as words of encouragement to overcome obstacles or negative situations, it can also be relevant to positive feelings. It's why we should enjoy each moment because we don't know when it may end. 

 

 

 

Samurai Jack starts off in a world where everything lives in harmony. The sun is warm, the grass is green, his parents are alive and everything is going well. While there are still people who commit crimes in this world, there are people who are there to try to do what is right. One day an evil force named Aku comes to destroy everything, just for the fun of it. He uses his power to construct robots and monsters. He likes to sit in his lair, while his minions turn all inhabitants of the world into slaves. Aku has the power to destroy almost everything, but likes to have everyone and everything grovel before him and worship him as a God despite all the misfortune that he has brought to the world. Although there is hope, it's very bleak. Samurai Jack is the son of an emperor, but his parents believe that to beat this evil he has to learn and study from many different disciplines all throughout the world. He spends most of his childhood learning from teachers and masters from all over until he is ready to fight Aku and restore order. Once he has finished his training he goes to meet his mother and she gives him the sword to rid the world of Aku. It's a special sword and it can gravely injure and even kill Aku.

 

When he confronts Aku with the sword, Aku is surprised and uses magic to survive the killing blow. He creates a time portal and sends Jack into the future, where Aku rules the world completely, which basically doesn't solve his problem with Jack, but only prolongs it. Once Jack gets to the future, he has to come to terms with the fat that all of the friends and family he once knew are gone. He is so far into the future, that the customs, language, fashion, food, and life in general has completely changed. However, one thing has remained. Aku. 

 

Jack goes from town to town to seek out Aku and he tries his best to help people who are helpless under the control of Aku. He has to learn how to adapt to life in the future in order to survive and he realizes that he can make some friends along the way. While he does not stay in a place for too long because of his ultimate goal of defeating Aku, he makes sure that he passes on his motivation and positive attitude to those around him. While this can appear scary for young children, the TV show does a good job during seasons one through four of keeping the gore to a minimum. There is no blood as the robots spill oil or electricity when they are damaged. According to www.commonsense.org, the age recommendation that most parents have given to watch seasons one through four range from 10 years old and up. I agree with this because I was watching this when it was first released on August 10th 2001 and I was 11 years old. If you want my advice for the next season I would recommend it to be at least 14 years old and up because there is blood, a higher level of violence, and there are sexual innuendos as well. 

 

TLDR For Parents To Show To Their Kids:

This show has a lot of great themes that can be beneficial to children. It explains that while there is good in the world, there are some who wish to be bully's or above others. Samurai Jack is a reminder to remain moral, humble, and appreciative to all living things. It is a reminder that while we help others, our own emotions and mental health can be affected. This TV show is a great activity to have children watch and then discuss the themes with their parents. I'd imagine it would be quite enjoyable for children, but then again I do have my bias. 

 

TLDR 

For someone who has grown up with Samurai Jack, this series was perfect for me. When I was younger seasons one through four made me learn about life themes that could be applied to myself as well as my friends, family, or situations that I had been in or could be in, in the future. If you end up watching it, or if you forgot about this show, I would highly recommend finishing it. If you haven't seen it, try watching it on your tablet or computer after work, while cooking, meal prepping, or during any free time you have. The episodes are only 20 minutes long. You might find yourself laughing at some corny jokes and while you do, the themes and morals of this show may take you by surprise. 

 

Where To Watch It

Go to https://kisscartoon.ac

 

This should allow you to watch it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone for free through streaming online. 

 

After you watch it, I'd like to hear your thoughts. If you've already seen it, try not to give out too many spoilers, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on the end of the 5th season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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