Does Samurai Jack Season 5 live up to its hype?

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.

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Player Highlight: Jusuf Nurkic

Airing from Bosnia, Jusuf Nurkic, the current center for the Portland Trailblazers has been making noise across the league. Thursday night, against the Philadelphia 76ers in an overtime match, Nurkic posted career-highs in the following stat lines: free throws, assists, blocks, rebounds, and points. Now that he’s collecting spotlight, here’s some background:

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Record Breaking Discovery of Seven Exoplanets Around a Single Star

It’s no secret that one of the most common themes throughout science fiction is that of interplanetary travel or travel between different planets.  This may seem far fetched to most but for some the dream that humanity may one day be able to call more than one planet home is alive and well. This dream was recently given more room to grow with a recent record breaking discovery of seven new exoplanets all around the same star, a Jupiter sized dwarf star that is part of the Aquarius constellation, about 12 parsecs or about 40 light years away from earth. This star and the seven planets orbiting form the system called TRAPPIST-1, named after the telescope that discovered it.

Though TRAPPIST-1 was actually discovered in 2016, it was only thought to have 3 exoplanets. A paper published in Nature reports that both ground and space telescopes were used to determine that at least seven (possibly more) exoplanets orbit this star. An exoplanet is simply a planet that orbits a star other than our sun. Exoplanet discoveries in themselves are not that uncommon. What makes this discovery unique is that seven temperate, or earth like planet were found around the same star, this is the first system found to have seven planets of similar size to earth. Additionally the configuration of the planets around TRAPPIST-1 allows for detailed study into the atmospheric and other properties of the planets like the densities, which have confirmed that the planets are most likely rocky in nature.

These planets all are within the temperature range that allows for liquid water, which is key to the development of life as we know it, and further study will not only revel if the planets can have water but also reveal is liquid water is present on the planet’s surface.

Though these planets are certainly out of our reach for now, this study is an important step into finding other planets suitable for human life. But who knows maybe Humanity will one day call TRAPPIST-1 home.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v542/n7642/full/nature21360.html

The 30K Club, Who’s Next?

Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, Dirk Nowitzki surpassed the 30,000 point career mark in his career. An elite milestone that only SIX players in history have eclipsed. The current club members are : Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Dirk Nowitzki. Today’s NBA is filled with score-first players, so I graded today’s stars on their 30K club potential: Read More

NewsFlash! S3 EP15

“The Wrath of Savitar”

SPOILER ALERT

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Samurai Jack is back!

After years of leaving fans in suspense, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim finally gave creator Genndy Tartakovsky the green light to bring back his most successful series, Samurai Jack, after it has been off the air for 13-years.

Saturday, March, 11th will see the release of Samurai Jack Season 5, episode 1 on Adult Swim at 11 p.m. EST (10 p.m. CST) and start the 10-episode conclusion to the cult classic.

The last episode of Samurai Jack before this new season was season 4, episode 13 “Jack and the Baby”, which aired Saturday, September 25, 2004. Now over a decade late, myself and many other fans are anxiously waiting for more of the time traveling samurai’s adventures.

In the trailer that was released earlier this year, it was revealed that Jack’s original voice actor, Phil LaMarr, would be reprising his famous role and Greg Baldwin will continue his long line of roles that were originally held by deceased Japanese voice actor Makoto “Mako” Iwamatsu. Baldwin has voiced Aku multiple times for other projects since Mako’s passing.

The visuals for the final season of the fan favorite cartoon received a huge upgrade and look stunning in nearly every facet. While it is true that the show has been upgraded, it is still clear as day that the same style and expertise used in the original that we all remember so fondly.

Speaking of the familiar style, one major difference that can be gleamed form the small amount of the show we have been given is the much darker tone this iteration seems to be leaning towards. Now the original seasons were never completely lighthearted, season 5 seems to be heading for a dark conclusion that might take fans by surprise.

I am sure the ending will be satisfying to no end, but I can’t help the feeling that our favorite swordsman might not get the happy ending people think he deserves.

With updated visuals and a large portion of the cast and creative team from the original project having worked tirelessly to get this done for countless years, the hype will finally be put to the test when Toonami starts up on Saturday.

The Race for Most Improved Player

This season has brought fans a lot of surprises, but when it comes to awards, only one is based off of such. The NBA’s Most Improved Player award, previously won by Portland’s CJ McCollum, is given to the most improved player of the regular season. Here are likely candidates to receive this year’s award:

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