Thursday, April 20, 2017

Samurai Jack season 5 episode 5 review

I was completely in shock and awe of this episode because of all the things happening so far. The episode took a completely dark turn since the last one on a psychological level as i shall explain shortly.

In the beginning, we see the Scotsman and his army including his daughters rallying against Aku. The Scotsman has clearly aged and intends on attacking Aku in his own domain. Aku comes out of his lair and the Scotsman realizes he needs to stall Aku to allow his army to flee. Aku realizes that he may as well annihilate them all. The Scotsman distracts Aku with words until he mentions Jack and Aku kills him. His daughters vow to avenge him only to find his soul appear due to Celtic magic. His plan is to guide him and call for Jack's help.

Ashi finds that Jack has disappeared and thinks that he deserted her. She realizes that Jack is on a sea creature and rides onto dry land. He then says "good bye" and leaves. She's not satisfied and demands that he tells her the truth about Aku, reverting back to her old hateful ways. Jack is reluctant seeing that she hasn't changed until Ashi begins to doubt him and leaves. Jack then agrees to show her but only until morning. As to why he does this, i think he did it to test her out. There's no point in trying to show her if she refuses the truth. She could've kept attacking him at that point but leaves instead. Jack then realizes that there's a chance she might change so he agrees to show her the truth.

In the night, she hallucinates of her mother demanding that she kill Jack and insulting her in the process. Ashi refuses to listen stating that Jack saved her life.

They go through several lands where Aku's corruption seeps through the land and destroys mother nature. Ashi begins to slowly realize that Jack was right all along. As they come into his city, they find a bounty hunter who intends on exterminating an entire village for selfish reasons.

Ashi finally has enough and asks Jack what their next course of action is to defeat Aku. Perhaps the most shocking answer that Jack gave was nothing. He explains that he's been fighting Aku for centuries and has seen countless people die. Since he's lost his sword, he's been devastated and in despair. He doesn't want to win but doesn't want to lose either. He simply wants to exist in a never-ending stalemate. 

Both Ashi and Jack find that the children of the blue creatures were taken to a factory. They go to rescue them only to find that they've been mind-controlled by an unknown enemy. They fight them off as Ashi searches for the mastermind. Ashi is captured and tortured by the man in the factory. Ashi succumbs to the pain and helplessness until he says "Would you look at that. Righteous fool. After everything, he still can't hurt an innocent. Turning those little brats into weapons pretty ingenious, right? Children are foolish little things, easily manipulated. Surgically implant a chip in their neck, and the right audio frequency does the rest..."  That's when she becomes enraged because she realizes she was lied to and manipulated the same way as a child by the high priestess. She uses that hate and rage to endure the pain then frees herself as she defeats him.

Jack suddenly finds the children fall unconscious and assumes they are dead. Jack loses his mind and despairs until he sees a vision of the mysterious samurai who says "it is time!" Jack agrees and follows him. Why does he do this? He realizes that he can no longer to take losing more innocents. As long as Aku is alive, the world will continue to be destroyed. Jack follows the samurai as they both are seen leaving. This is one of the reasons why i believe the samurai in the mist is none other than Jack's ideal self.

What are my predictions for the next episode? Jack is going to find his sword but before that, he's going to do alot of soul-searching to find his purpose and purify himself of past failures. He has to see himself worthy of holding his sword again and not be so self-centered as he has become. As for Ashi, she may also have to find her purpose in the world after realizing that Jack is not her enemy. In conclusion, i'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the next one.    

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Samurai Jack season 5 episode 4 review

The previous episode concluded with Jack falling from a broken tree along with Ashi and the other daughters of Aku. This week's episode wasn't quite what i expected but the light humorous tone and exploration of Ashi's character as i'll discuss. Spoilers included.

The episode begins by Jack surviving the fall and looking at the bloodied body of Ashi, presumed to be dead. Jack once again hallucinates that the crows accuse him of being a murderer. Jack is deeply troubled and says they chose their own fate in defense. Little does Jack know that Ashi is still alive and she attacks him. He manages to capture her and is surprised by her warped mentality. At that point, he sees a very troubled and misguided soul rather than a real enemy. He chooses to spare her and take her with him as they are attacked by several creatures. Suddenly, they find themselves swallowed by an enormous creature and have to find a way out. From that point on, Jack is constantly having to deal with both the creatures and Ashi.

While in the creature, Jack faces more hallucinations. His former self tells him that she should suffer the consequences of her actions. This internal dialogue is very interesting because we get a glimpse into Jack's younger self. We've never seen Jack encounter a situation like the one he currently is facing but if he did, he'd probably show no compassion towards someone like Ashi. It's in this episode that we realize that now that Jack is older, he blames himself for her hateful character. He feels guilt over not vanquishing Aku and is now paying the price of seeing a human brainwashed to Aku's will. Meanwhile, Ashi seems to be stuck in an internal struggle of her own. From what it seems, she feels abandoned. It's like she wants to give up her quest to destroy Jack but is reminded by her "mother" in a dream of her original purpose.    

Ashi is captured and Jack saves her from deadly creatures. She's clearly ungrateful and keeps raving about how majestic Aku is. Jack has an outburst and tells her the truth about him. He explains to Ashi that Aku has destroyed mother nature and that is what makes him evil. Ashi refuses to believe it and continues to make Jack suffer even as he struggles to find a way out of the enormous creature. Both come across a group of creatures amazed as Jack says "even in the bowels of the darkest of creatures, there is beautiful light." They struggle to make their way out of a blowhole and eventually land on a piece of land.

Ashi manages to free herself with a blade and sneaks up on an unsuspecting Jack. She then has a flashback of when she was a girl, she saw a ladybug and ceased from training. The high priestess took the ladybug and called it a distraction then crushed it in her fingers. Flashforward back to the present, Ashi sees a ladybug land on Jack's finger and he does nothing to it. She slowly drops her weapon and falls down as she succumbs to the truth. Ashi finally realizes that everything that she's learned has been wrong. She was told in episode 1 that Jack was the one who threatened to destroy mother nature but the high priestess killed the ladybug. Ashi slowly learned to value life in a way that she never has before. She realizes that if her whole purpose was to kill then Aku isn't as benevolent as he is made out to be. She has no other choice but to journey with Jack for the time being until they figure out what to do next.

In conclusion, these are my thoughts and interpretations of the episode. I'd like to hear more about what you thought in the comments below as far as whether or not Ashi is redeemable and what will happen in the future.