Samurai Jack


Television

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Scarab Sages

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Anyone else watching the latest season?

I'm not in love with the darker tone, but the animation and story have been excellent. Loved the Good, Bad, and the Ugly reference in the episode before last as well.


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I kind of wonder if they will use this to give the show an ending. I assume he will get his sword back at some point at least I hope, but making him have to get creative with things he finds is kind of cool.


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Vid,

I still wonder WHY we have the Daughters of Aku...


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I mean I'm just amazed their isn't more cults out there that worship aku I mean he rules the world and is a all powerful entity.

Also I think its a metaphorical name.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I kind of wonder if they will use this to give the show an ending. I assume he will get his sword back at some point at least I hope, but making him have to get creative with things he finds is kind of cool.

This is supposed to be the last season, from my understanding; I believe that is the reason for both darker tone compared to previous seasons (see also: Reboot) as well as setting everything up in the current manner, leading to a resolution of some kind or another.

But that's just a guess.


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I hope so I was always disappointed with how they left it.


Well, according to Google, it is, anyway.


I'm sure we'll get a decent ending. I just dunno about why we need cultists instead of like...demons from beyond. Or something.


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Well I think the current arc is him trying to redeem one of them maybe they will help him finally defeat aku or go back to the past.

Scarab Sages

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Regarding the daughters of Aku - I see it as both a welcome break from direct Aku fights and a chance to give Jack real character interaction and growth. One of the themes of this season is how 50 years of relentless fighting has left deep emotional scars on Jack. He and the remaining Daughter now have a chance to reclaim some of their humanity.

As an added bonus, they look a bit like Ikra.


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Having recently joined the fandom for this show, I do like Jack's struggle with his desire to not kill humans. On the other hand, I'd kinda hoped he would go in another direction with it—the idea of a "pacifist" samurai was actually quite interesting, especially for a show that portrays such an otherwise "traditionally masculine hero", and I was hoping his flashback to his father would lead him to say something like, "That's not who I want to be." I mean, he wouldn't even kill a bug. Instead, he seems to have already made peace with killing people when they attack him, which isn't exactly wrong, but is a good deal less compelling. I'm hoping his time trying to help the remaining Daughter will reflect a wiser, more merciful Jack.

As for the Daughters of Aku, they're a major improvement, plot-wise, providing diversity of both casting and perspective. This show has been a traditional "one dude vs. the world" story for a while, and it's actually a very good direction, for the final season, to introduce a female main character—a protagonist with her own distinct arc and her own distinct way of handling problems, as well as her own perspective on Jack himself. It's a major opportunity for Jack's character development. Suddenly, he is being drawn back into humanity again, after fifty years of deliberate isolation. Again, on the other hand, there's definitely some valid criticism of the Daughter's agency here—the first major female protagonist for this show is a naive, brainwashed woman who has to be literally carried around and shown the error of her ways by our Stoic Dude.

So far, Jack has every advantage over her. I'm hoping their dynamic will become more, well, dynamic over the episodes to come.


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Yea, rather close to 'Calm down the woman by restraining/slapping her' I really hope she doesn't become a love interest because then she is nothing but a prize for Jack.


I believe these are not daughters of Aku (don't know how that would work, anyway), but rather, daughters of Jack that were turned against him by way of indoctrination.

That's my read of it, anyway.


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Yeah, they definitely aren't the biological daughters. They're just daughters of the cult leader.

Also, I just remembered: Note the shift in Jack's attitudes. At the end of the third episode, he deliberately chooses to let her fall to her death. At the start of the fourth, he chooses to help her, even at his own detriment. So he is changing a little bit.

MannyGoblin wrote:
Yea, rather close to 'Calm down the woman by restraining/slapping her' I really hope she doesn't become a love interest because then she is nothing but a prize for Jack.

Oh, yeah, her being a love interest would be the worst. I'd rather they become equal partners—they're clearly close to even in a fight, even if Jack has the slight edge.


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Yeah love interests hurt in the overall tone of this show. Jack is a lone Samurai. That's how he rolls.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, they definitely aren't the biological daughters. They're just daughters of the cult leader.

Yes. But what I'm saying is that I think Jack may well have either sired them, or was a source of their creation (such as somehow Aku, or, more likely, his cultists) created them out of his genes (whether blood, hair, whatever - doesn't matter).

I suspect there to be a physical connection between them.

This fits with the twisted hatred the cult daughters have - what better perfect killing weapons than those created from the one they are to kill?

Nothing about this feels like a love interest, to me.


Tact,

Nothing YET but don't doubt the power of writers that like to ship. It happened with Felicity and Ollie. It can happen here too.

As for whether or not they are Jack's biologicals...not clear but I find out doubtful.


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AFAIK, Jack never had relations with anyone to sire(Although no doubt several ladies would be interested) ESPECIALLY after Aku's little stunt to troll Jack.


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MannyGoblin wrote:
AFAIK, Jack never had relations with anyone to sire(Although no doubt several ladies would be interested) ESPECIALLY after Aku's little stunt to troll Jack.

This is really the most powerful argument against.

However.

Samurai Jack has been running around for fifty years.

(In-character, obviously.)

By the time this particular season started, he no longer looked like Samurai Jack.

Point in fact, he still doesn't look like Samurai Jack.

Compare the original character design, the one at the start of the season, and his current design:

- He has lost his kimono.

- He has lost his underwear.

- He has lost his shoes.

- He has lost his sword.

- He has lost his hat. (Again. This one is common, though.)

These are all the physical tokens that he'd brought with him, all the things that reminded him of his own identity.

Further, Samurai Jack has clearly... changed. He has gone through not just "I lost my stuff." crisis, but he has lost his own personality.

He has ceased caring for his physical appearance. He has allowed his personal grooming to vanish. His inner voice is... well, for one, it's an inner torment, and for two, he has an "inner voice" that looks like an ever-more-twisted version.

He has haunting guilt from the "loss" of his sword... but there is no clear reason as to why or how he lost it. The last episode of Season 4 indicates nothing of that.

Here is the thing: it seems the first four seasons really took place in a relatively short period of time.

The vast majority of Jack's adventures seems to have taken place in this horrid wasteland after those moments.

Combine this with the the very much so, "Mean Drunk"-style "lost-his-way" Jack we see at the beginning of this season, plus the darker tone of this season (compared to previous ones), and Jack's own struggle... it seems ever-more-likely that he's erased portions of his own past, or lives in regret, or had plenty of time to "make mistakes" compared to what we saw in the series, before. This entire story arc is about him coming to terms with his own mistakes - his own failures.

There may well be no biological connection.

I... suspect otherwise. Aku (and, more importantly, the people of this cult) seem way too invested in dramatic irony, excessive spite, and cruel trickery.

This doesn't feel like the set-up to a romance.

This feels like the set-up to a hand-off to the future. And that feels like a father-daughter relationship.


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I feel like him losing the sword is more important than his outfit or his facial hair...

Scarab Sages

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Not exactly thrilled by the return of the Scotsman. I guess they felt they had to address his status?

Otherwise solid episode. They are definitely embracing the non-kid friendly slot, with more humans dying instead of robots.


Thomas Seitz wrote:
I feel like him losing the sword is more important than his outfit or his facial hair...

In terms of plot, sure, but not in terms of character development - in the latter, it's actually all an extended part of the same thing: Jack has lost himself, and isn't really sure who or what he is anymore.


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It was a better death then old age.
Lo, they do call me, they bid me take my place among them, in the halls of Valhalla, where the brave may live forever.

Or as a ghost whateves.


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New episode.

Ohhhhh myyyyyyyy! The things you can do on Adult Swim.

The amount of Ashii pr0n that was done so soon after airing was amazing.


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Did that robot just say what I thought he said?

Also risque bath scene for a CN cartoon

totally called it about the whole her helping jack fight aku.


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"Whip it out baby"

Scarab Sages

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Yeah, they are not making this show for kids no more.

I liked the retrospective on previous Jack victories though. Nice touch.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Well it's been 13 years since the last season so the original viewers have grown up just a wee bit.


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What I love was seeing Da-Samurai being a barkeep. That and you know other stuff.

Still not convinced Jack needs Ashii, but at least now he won't be committing seppuku. Plus you know, SWORD FINDING!

Scarab Sages

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Gonna call this last episode "When martials fight swarms"

Also, romance!


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You know near death experiences with mutant leech monsters doesn't do it for me but you know to each their own.


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Eh..Not a fan of that. Best to have kept it Teacher/Student.


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MannyGoblin wrote:
Eh..Not a fan of that. Best to have kept it Teacher/Student.

Give the guy a break hes like over 60 and is still a virgin.


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I saw that the episode was trying to make it look like romance, but honestly, it came across as more paternal (Ashi being the daughter Jack has never had a chance to have). You know, except for the end.

Also, noticed for the first time that the Earth in the opening shot looks just like ours. I always knew it was supposed to be an alternate version of our Earth, but it never really sank in until this episode's beginning. Makes me wonder where all the future cities that Jack occasionally visits are supposed to be. Are they analogs for New York, Hong Kong, etc?


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
MannyGoblin wrote:
Eh..Not a fan of that. Best to have kept it Teacher/Student.
Give the guy a break hes like over 60 and is still a virgin.

I think this ties into the "She's basically a prize for him" complaint from earlier. I waited over a decade for one of my favorite shows to come back on the air, and one of the things I liked about it was the lack of a forced romance sub-plot that only a few shows manage to avoid.


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Well as long as they don't fridge her Ill be ok.


First, on the previous episode: Huzzah! Samurai Jack is back, baby!

Also: I cannot believe that no one commented on how incredibly awesome Ashi was~! :D

Belabras wrote:
Gonna call this last episode "When martials fight swarms"

Definitely! It actually models d20/PF rules on that pretty well...

Belabras wrote:
Also, romance!

Yup. It's also proof that I read the situation very incorrectly.

I'm a little disappointed by that.

One interesting thing I found about that, on Wikipedia:

Quote:
The season explores the hero's journey and the identity of the hero when their journey stagnates.[20] Choice and lack of choice are explored: in Jack's introspections and actions; in the actions of Jack's enemies; in the contrast between humans who choose their actions and machines which are programmed; and in destiny and fate which offer no choice.[21] Of the distinction and parallel between robots and humans, Tartakovsky said: "I wanted to show the human side that's been treated like a machine. Aku builds robots and all these robots are singularly programmed to kill Jack. What if it's humans? What if the one purpose in your whole life is to kill this one person and you're raised from birth that way?"[22]

What's interesting is that this equally applies to both Jack (to Aku) and Ashi (to Jack). So... that's kind of interesting, and that's actually one of the parallels I'd half-noticed, but hadn't quite put into that perspective. In some way, both Ashi and Jack are becoming "freed" of their "programming" and unconditional focus on only a single thing: the death of an individual.

Though... did they... did they make a reference from the movie Envy? Really? Really...?

...

... huh. They did.

(It's that scene when Jack gets a fish-head. "Good for you." is said in a couple of different meanings/emphasis - possibly incidental or accidental, but I choose to believe they totally referenced a very weird film. XD)

Also: I'm glad Jack got his hat back! (However briefly.)

Tectorman wrote:
I saw that the episode was trying to make it look like romance, but honestly, it came across as more paternal (Ashi being the daughter Jack has never had a chance to have). You know, except for the end.

I know, right?! That's been me this whole season!

... though, actually, yeah, there were heavily romantic parts throughout this episode that I'd missed in the others - though I still felt some tonal whiplash, even in this episode.

Spoiler:

- The food thing felt like a father-daughter thing.
- The hand-thing (on the elephant-thing) is a pretty common trope for romance.
- The hat-making and handing over is much more father-daughter.
- The "Ashi: be care- *insert awesome ninja stuff* -ful." could go either way.
- The seriousness of the suck-the-poison and pretty much everything right up until Ashi's suit was eaten felt father-daughter.
- Then the suit was eaten. I suppose that could have gone either way, but it felt more romance.
- And then the end, of course.

Unless there's a pretty major Star Wars-only-more reference coming up (what is the reverse of the Oedipus complex, anyway?) - and I'm pretty sure there isn't - than it's a romance angle they're going with.

Tectorman wrote:
Also, noticed for the first time that the Earth in the opening shot looks just like ours. I always knew it was supposed to be an alternate version of our Earth, but it never really sank in until this episode's beginning. Makes me wonder where all the future cities that Jack occasionally visits are supposed to be. Are they analogs for New York, Hong Kong, etc?

Some of them prooooobably are (sort of), but I suspect they're broadly more of a pastiche of "generic similar culture" concepts (like the Scotsman) rather than a true legitimate city we'd recognize.

First of all, Jack's home is inspired by Feudal Japan - that puts it squarely in the 1100s to the 1300s. Besides, Jack's father was clearly a cavalier (that is, a warrior who is a mounted horseman), and Samurai who were cavaliers, more or less ended in 1575 as a major military element. At that time, New York City wasn't even founded (and was more or less an ice-sheet in feudal Japan). I haven't been able to find much on horse-drawn carriages in Japan (the Meiji period mentioned is far too late to have mounted samurai as a serious military force - as even the famous Rickshaw is too later, it may be an intentional or not anachronism introduced to represent the fact that Jack's father made contacts across the world, far earlier than any ever would have, due to the problem that is Aku), so that really doesn't help my case. The traditional tea ceremony is ancient, and reinforces the "before 13th century" vibe (due to it not being a status symbol - not to mention no Shogunate - but rather still associated with Buddhist religious rituals), but rather around the 12th century.

Still, over-all, places like Hong Kong certainly existed, though given that this all hypothetically takes place before European discovery (by a minimum of ~200 years, if the feudal Japan holds true), we're looking at a phenomenally different development (to the point of no longer being recognizable). Even the Celts (and thus "Celtic magic") would be preserved.

That said, as to anachronisms, there are many: the kilt, for example, dance raves (although: see Bacchus/Dionysus of ancient Rome - if that dude were in existence - and creatures like that seem to be assumed in this setting -, I guarantee Raves'd become a thing), and various modern conveniences and popular references.

So... probably, but it's never really been something anyone on the team has wanted to focus on. ;)

Also, if I've typed anything weirdly - sorry! One of my contacts folded up into my eye, so, even though I've switched to my glasses, my vision is blurry. XD


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Future episode spoilers:
So The Guardian's robot graveyard will be shown with Jack in there. I feel this will be a flashback since all the portals are destroyed and Jack would certainly remember the area. I very much believe this will be like The Scotsman where The Guardian was killed by Aku.


More on that:
Agreed; I suspect that this will be part of both:

1) a larger arc about Jack learning he needs others - shattering the myth of the "lone wolf" he's operated under for so long: after all, both he and the literal "lone wolf" existed in a community (however briefly) for each other's healing;

2) and bringing Jack back to that place of loss - that sense of anger he so recently denied - a piece of tragedy in what has been mostly a "good" thing (though I'd imagine there is likely to be a way to communicate with said Guardian again), hopefully turning this into a righteous anger, not a corrupting one.

... but I've already been pretty off on this series (i.e. the nature of Ashi and Jack's relationship), so...


Belabras wrote:
Also, romance!
Tacticslion wrote:

Yup. It's also proof that I read the situation very incorrectly.

I'm a little disappointed by that.

I wanted to clarify. Unlike others, the concept of a romance doesn't really bother me - especially when put into the context I quoted from Wikipedia, above, where each of them are actually fundamentally changing the nature (and, I suspect, mission) of the other.

But I am still a little disappointed, because I like the idea of Jack being an atypical male hero - a man who didn't need romance to pursue relationships. In this way, I would find him as another one of the (unfortunately quite rare) examples of heroes who don't need romance to form complex and important social relationships.

I, myself, and romantic, so I like romance - but I can also appreciate an a-romantic hero, too, and, to me, Jack represented that. Of course, I also think this Season is as much a moral lesson about forcing your own vision of a person on them (as opposed to just taking that person as they are - faults (at least "faults" as you perceive them) and virtues and non-fault/virtue-traits and all), so I suppose that works to be squarely aimed right at me, in this instance.

Anyway, it's an interesting season with a deep and complex set of concepts that it tackles. I also think that, within the confines of Samurai Jack, as a character, he would be about as awkward in any romance as we've seen him be: we've seen him be socially awkward, uncertain, and making poor judgments, before, so... seems legit!

... not how I was hoping it would go, perhaps, but I do agree it's nice that he can be happy with others.

Scarab Sages

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I'm not super sold on the Jack and Ashi romance, but after the whole Ikra thing, Jack needs to have a healthy relationship. I just don't like how much older he is than Ashi.

That said, it is very clear so far that she is a hero in her own right. As long as they continue in that vein (instead of, say, going down the 'woman in peril' path) I'm alright with it.

Here's hoping Scaramouche finally gets to Aku with that important and now thoroughly out of date message.


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I am dissapointed with the lack of Aku. Just a few very short scenes with a mahjor antagonist and we only have 2 episodes left! I think he really deserved more screen time going on about what he ha sbeen up to


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I don't think AKU has been up to anything. Hes kind of in purgatory. Hes won but not truly got rid of Jack so its like hes stuck in his own personal well you get the idea.


Vid,

I think it's more like "Aku's managed to stop Jack from finding his way home" (MAYBE!! I still think the Guardian and the Time portal there are around!) but he's unclear about whether he should kill the Samurai...or just wait around and see what happens.

Scarab Sages

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I think you are both underestimating just how much Aku is afraid of the sword. This whole situation with Jack trapped in the future was created because Aku knows he can't take Jack in a fight. Knows it. He has done everything he can to avoid direct confrontation, and after destroying the last time portal, he thought he could just run the clock out. Let Jack get old and weak, or just die of old age. Avoid that unwinable fight and let the clock run out.

But that isn't working. Aku knows Jack is still around. He knows the end is coming. I feel like that what the ennui is about. All Aku has accomplished is hollow in the face if that inevitable fate.


Bel,

There might be that, yes.


New episode. Wow, well you did say the issue would be settled but you had to go troll to do it especially when you wanted more focus on the whole Jack/Ashi thing, sure got a thing for age difference Mr.Anthony.

Scarab Sages

Oh man. Ikra all over again.


Which is another annoyance. 'Aku' is Jack's trigger word and Ikra seared in his mind, having Ashi being an Aku-cultist would set off the alarm bells about getting closer to her.


Regardless it's just one more thing for Jack to deal with. We'll see how this rolls out.

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