Monday, March 13, 2017

Samurai Jack season 5 episode 1 review

Just watched the season 5 premiere of Samurai Jack episode 1. I absolutely loved how the show had a solid start for it's return on adult swim and had to share my thoughts. I would like to warn you as there are spoilers in this post.

The story is set 50 years in the future when Jack finds himself unaffected by time as Aku's evil continues to spread. The episode opens with Jack rescuing a mother and daughter from several bug robots. Jack returns but not the Jack that we remembered from previous seasons. He now has technologically advanced armor and a bike. He fights using modern weapons such as a gun and staff. Why he's changed so much and how he managed to get all of that equipment is currently unknown.

We are then introduced to a new character who appears to be apart of an Aku-worshiping cult. Seven babies are born and placed before a statue of Aku. Immediately, i began to feel uneasy as it felt as if they were about to be sacrificed. I soon learned that they were used for a much sinister purpose. Aku has corrupted the land but corrupting the innocent minds of children takes it to a whole different level. The "daughters of Aku" as they were named were put through abusive and torturous training to become assassins as they learn Aku's evil ways.

As Jack approaches a calm river presumably to drink from, he suddenly sees disturbing hallucinations of his parents and people from his homeland. He then sees a vision of an army and the shape of a mysterious samurai in the dark mist. His father continually wails "you have forgotten your ancestors! You have forgotten your purpose! Why son?!? Why did you abandon us?!?" Jack is stricken with fear and driven to the brink of insanity then flees. Later, he tries to justify himself by saying Aku destroyed all the time portals. This is interesting because it gives more insights into who Jack has become. From my perspective, Jack has been searching for a portal back in time until Aku has destroyed each one over and over again. Jack has become demoralized seeing no hope of ever returning to the past. To him, his only last choice is to run away from his quest to save his homeland and live in the future.

Who is the mysterious samurai that disturbs Jack so much? I interpret it to be himself and whom he is destined to become. If you recall from "the birth of evil", Jack's father took on the responsibility to defend his homeland from Aku and prepare for battle. His entire purpose is to defend his people and vanquish Aku. Jack is afraid because he knows this is ultimately whom he has to become but lacks confidence. He's afraid and not ready to accept his role.

As the story progresses, Jack finds a destroyed village and a robotic musical assassin named Scaramouch. He interrogates Jack on why he doesn't have his sword and we are shown a flashback to where Jack briefly loses it. Now we understand more on Jack's character and why he is more technologically advanced. When he lost his sword for whatever reason, he lost his identity. Now he must fight with more ferocity and skill than he ever did before as his sword was his primary means of protection. Scaramouch uses sound to manipulate objects in an attempt to kill Jack but gets outsmarted not before Jack suffers a hallucination. Scaramouch proves to be a formidable adversary especially when he throws weapon after weapon until the end. Jack retrieves his fallen adversary's blade realizing he will need it later and walks off into the sunset.

The episode concludes with the daughters of Aku being sent out with one purpose - to kill the Samurai. This is where the premiere ends and the story unfolds with them being some of the main villains Jack will face in season 5. Overall, Samurai Jack season 5 episode 1 stayed true to the original series but with a much darker and mature theme. The computer animation grew more advanced while at the same time, not completely neglecting the original series' handwritten artwork. We can expect to see blood, shocking revelations, and much more as the series goes on.

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