Jack returned last night to us via Adult Swim, and in short, Jack is back. This series starts of 50 years after the original series finale, but Jack hasn’t aged at all. Now he’s sporting the very long hair and beard you see in the associated photo. Aku is nowhere to be found, but his league of female assassin followers have been hard at work. They’ve been cultivating a team of seven very talented, very murderous women to kill the samurai. Throughout the episode Jack is dealing with the internal torment of guilt, not being able to return to the family he’s left in the past. This guilt manifested itself in a few very visceral, and surrealist scenes which show that this Jack we’re seeing here is not the same Jack we knew. This Jack is just as skillful, but his resolve is broken, and he’s not nearly as hopeful as the Jack we once knew.
The guilt of Jack’s past is manifesting itself in very strange ways. Throughout the episode Jack envisions moments of his past, and all of these moments are accompanied by a shadowy figure. Very ominous. Very ominous indeed. Throughout the rest of the series I’m sure we’re going to be treated to hints as to who this shadowy figure is. Is it someone we know? Is it Jack? Possibly a reincarnated Aku? Speculation and hypothesizing aside, the first episode was a gorgeous, instant classic.
The big action sequence of the episode was with the Sammy Davis Jr. wannabe pictured above. A few moments on-screen and he became an instant favorite. Claiming to be Aku’s best assassin, Jack and the Sammy-bot engaged in a very bizarre, very beautiful fight to the death. The most intriguing part of this battle is when the Sammy-bot (not his actual name) pulled out a flute and summoned a rock monster to battle Jack. Not only that, but when Jack destroys his flute the overconfident Sammy-bot he continues to scat which works just as well in controlling the rock creature.
Overall, the return of Samurai Jack was a grand success, and set up plenty of questions to keep us guessing throughout this season. Where is Aku? Who is the strange shadow figure? Will Jack finally get back to the past? I suppose we’ll have to watch and see.
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