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Samurai Jack Series Finale Review · 8:52pm May 20th, 2018

Hello everyone.

Today is the one year anniversary of the Samurai Jack Series Finale, and I figured it’s high time I give my thoughts on it. And yes, there will be unmarked spoilers, so if you have not seen the show and have no idea what I’m talking about, then I suggest you stop reading and go watch the entire show to get an idea.

It opens with one of the Scotsman’s daughters riding frantically back home to warn her father that about something, only to be shushed by her sisters. The Scotsman tells his daughter to be quiet, saying that the whole world already knows.

Elsewhere around the world, all of the people that Jack has helped throughout the series - the rave kids, the Triseraquins, the Woolies, the Monkey Man and his tribe, the formerly blind archers, the canine archaeologists, the Andromeda Robots – gather around their televisions, which now have a fiery screen displayed on them. Everyone waits, wondering what will happen next. And what do we get?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we get a lovely homage to the original opening of Samurai Jack. We even get it with Mako, Aku’s original voice actor, doing instead of Greg Baldwin, who voiced him in Season 5.

So after that, Aku reveals that he has captured Samurai Jack and the magic sword, the one weapon that can truly defeat him. He also boasts that Samurai Jack is dead, and that he, Aku, is the one true master of everything. Then, Aku tries to pick a weapon with which to kill the samurai, but admits that he is not really sure how to do it.

Meanwhile, a broken Jack begs the transformed Ashi to keep fighting Aku’s influence over her. For the uninitiated, this is what Ashi looked like pre-transformation:

She was part of a cult called the Daughters of Aku, a group trained by Ashi’s now-dead mother the High Priestess to kill the samurai. Thankfully, Jack was able to show her how Aku is not the benevolent deity that the High Priestess claimed he was, and that he, Jack, had a goal to rid the world of Aku once and for all. Unfortunately, when Ashi and Aku met, Aku realized that some of his essence was in her body, and used it to transform her in to the demon she is in the present.

Aku then realizes that he can use his transformed daughter to kill Jack, and Ashi complies against her will, transforming her right hand into a small, black blade, as Aku notes that the simplest solution is usually the best one. Jack begs Ashi to fight back, but she nevertheless tries to run him through with the blade she formed.Just when it looks like that Jack is done for good, an enormous explosion sounds, breaking open part of Aku’s lair and knocking everyone to the ground. When Aku looks outside, who should he find but all of Jack’s allies, who are there to rescue him. (Gee, maybe telling your most feared enemy’s dearest allies that you were about to execute him on live TV was a bad idea, eh, stupid?) :ajbemused:

So anyways, a massive battle ensues, and Jack is relieved to see that he has not been abandoned in his time of need. With newfound determination and Aku distracted, he runs to his sword, only for the transformed Ashi to block his path. (Seriously, who didn’t see that coming?) Ashi quickly puts Jack on the defensive, and the samurai is forced to flee for his life.

Meanwhile, the battle with Aku is not going so well either. While Jack’s allies do try to put up a good fight, there’s only so much they can do near-indestructible being of darkness. Even Aku thinks that their efforts are weak, and “squashes” an entire regiment of archers into an army of miniature clones, which he unleashes upon the other fighters. Fortunately, at that moment, the Scotsman and his daughters show up in a last-ditch effort to provide help, and they proceed to tear through the Aku clones with virtually no effort.

Back on the ground, as Jack tries to run away from Ashi, the Scotsman blow his bagpipes, knocking the demoness away while his daughters charge. The Scotsman tries to give his old friend a hug, somehow forgetting that he’s a ghost, and tries to introduce him to “[his] bonny daughters”.Jack marvels that there are “so many”, and the Scotsman, proud of them, asks his friend to take his pick. (Um, Scotsman, I’m sure Jack appreciates what you’re doing for him, but now is not the time to play matchmaker for him! We have a giant evil demon king trying to kill them!) :facehoof:

While grateful, Jack declines, saying that he already found someone, and the Scotsman eagerly asks who the lucky lady is. At this, Jack motions toward Ashi, who is currently fighting some of the daughters, and the Scotsman snidely remarks that “she’s not [his] type”. (Oh, Scotsman, if only you knew.) :twilightsheepish:

At this, the giant robot samurai from Season 4 comes in to help in the fight. Aku scoffs that the stone samurai will be able to do anything – until it starts punching him in the face. At that moment, while the Scotsman is distracted, Ashi quickly snatches Jack and tries to devour him. While there, he sees the real Ashi currently locked in battle with Aku’s essence and tries to come to her aid.

Meanwhile, the stone samurai keeps punching Aku in the face, and at one point even rips off his horns. But by this point, the giant demon king has had enough and quickly recalls his clones into him. He transforms into a giant black cloud and starts raining black spikes on everyone, effectively taking them out of the fight – except the Scotsman, who plays his bagpipes again to destroy the spikes and protect his daughters.

While all this is going on, Jack frantically searches through the black essence for Ashi, and begs her to keep up the fight. But Ashi insists that it’s too late for that, and Jack, anguished, shouts out . . .


Ah yes, the Anguished Declaration of Love. An age-old plot device in which a character declares his or her love for another after much anguish.

Anyways, after that, the essence kicks Jack out, he closes his eyes, preparing for the fully-transformed Ashi lunges forward to kill him.

Or does she?

It turns that the ADOL is what allows Ashi to regain control of herself, and much more. When Aku asks her if Jack is dead and Ashi says no, Aku moves forward to attack her, only to reveal that she inherited his power set – weapon morphing, eye beams, the works. Upon realizing this, she stretches her arms to grab Jack’s sword and give it back to him, then uses her time travel powers to take both Jack and her to the past before Aku can do anything.

I think Future-Aku’s final words sum up what’s going to happen to him in a nutshell.

“Oh no.”

Yep, this tyrannical overlord, who has caused misery to Jack and, by extension, the world for the past 5 seasons, knows that his time is about to come to an end.

As they travel to the past, Jack prepares for the final inevitable showdown, and he holds hands with Ashi as he prepares to face his destiny.

Cut to the past, where we see Past-Jack about to finish off Aku for good before Aku sends him into the portal that flung him into the future. But before he can start his plans for world domination, the present Jack and Ashi appear. (Wait, does that mean that the first time Aku flung Jack into the future, the future Jack and Ashi also appeared offscreen way back in the first episode? Or am I over-thinking this too much?) :applejackconfused:

Anyways, the present Jack, who is now a seasoned veteran, easily curb-stomps the much weaker Past Aku, who can only try to fruitlessly evade the samurai’s attacks. This battle is so one-sided in Jack’s favor it’s not even funny. (Well, maybe a little.)

Anywho, once Jack finishes off Aku for good, the villain’s lair comes crashing down, leaving behind only debris. At that moment, Ashi collapses, saying that she felt Aku leave him. Jack assures her that Aku will never hurt anyone ever again.

Now that the Shogun of Sorrow is no more, the land of Japan goes into a state of celebration over his demise and Jack’s subsequent marriage to Ashi. All of Jack’s old mentors from around the world come to his homeland to celebrate his victory. Jack himself is looking forward to the joyous occasion.

Unfortunately, even in death, Aku still got the last laugh. Right before she walks down the aisle up to him, Ashi finally collapses again. Jack tries to help her, but she reveals to him that with Aku gone, she would never have come into being, right before she disappears from existence. Everyone is saddened by the disappearance of the bride, but no one is more heartbroken than Jack himself. (Poor guy.)

Jack decides to go off to a forest to sulk, but while there, he comes across a ladybug. (It was a ladybiug which led to Ashi questioning her initial beliefs about Jack and Aku.) Instantly, he is reminded of Ashi, and smiling, he comes to terms with his loss, knowing that without her sacrifice, he would never have been able to get rid of Aku. The ladybug flies away, and the sun starts coming out, signaling that bittersweet though his predicament is, Jack will have a bright future, all the while this beautiful Japanese music plays:

(Fun fact: The lyrics translate to “Your love has been set free”. Quite fitting, actually.)

And with that, the episode, and by extension the series, comes to a close.

Final Thoughts:

This finale was beautiful. It gives one of the most iconic cartoon villains in history a fitting sendoff, and it tells us that every victory has a cost. Even though the ending was bittersweet and leaves many questions unanswered, it still brought about an uplifting resolution. A perfect finale for an excellent series.

I give this episode a 9.1 out of 10.

And that’s it for now. Bye bye, everybody.

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