Thanks to Adult Swim having the foresight that this would be a big night for them, I watched the premiere of Samurai Jack Season 5 online along with upwards of 30,000 other people.
As I said in my previous article on the subject, the fourth season of Samurai Jack finished airing on September 25, 2004 before being cancelled. This left fans distraught and worried that they would never truly see the Samurai from the past accomplish his goals.
After series creator Genndy Tartakovsky announced the fifth and final season would air on Adult Swim in 2016, pushed back into 2017 after production slowed, fans rejoiced and began hyping the series up.
Many people looked at the outcry of joy, support and hope with a critical eye and said that even with many of the same people working on it, 13-years of hiatus will deteriorate the product.
Well I am here to say that the revival of Samurai Jack blew my expectations away. Other than the budget getting a boost, which shows in how beautiful the episode looked, and the show now airing on an adult network, so the creators no longer need to censor violence, the show is as strong as ever.
I watched the episode two times, back to back, and time seemed to fly because I was so enamored with it. It took me back to when I was a little kid, staying up late to watch it with my little brother and dad.
The art style looks more polished and less constricted by both the technology at the time and the vision of the creator. 13-years has given some of the characters a reimagining, but the feel of the show as a whole is identical to previous seasons.
The signature backgrounds and stylized characters are back and look better than ever. The cuts during action still draw you in and odd framing choices point you to areas that might have gone unnoticed to the average eyes.
On the note of drawing attention to something, Jack is seriously messed up after those 50-years have passed. I won’t delve into spoilers since this is an experience I want everyone to have for themselves, but let’s just say there is a large case of PTSD in store for the near future.
There are things shown, talked about and foreshadowed that I cannot wait to see more of in the future. As soon as I turned off the stream I was already anxious for the second episode.
The blood is minimal, but shows that coupled with the already darker tone, this season might get really personal for our favorite time-traveler.
Starting with next week’s episode I will break down each new one, but for the first week I hope you go and enjoy the final chapter of a cartoon classic.