Retro Play: Samurai Jack

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Samurai Jack is our throwback pick for this week and it’s for good reason. The story open ups with the tenseness and trippy nature of a fever dream, as a shape shifting demon named Aku escapes his earth based prison.

The artistic direction indicates what’s to come, which means that Samurai Jack will be an artistic feast for the eyes. Aku then creates chaos in a medieval Japanese setting but then is found face to face with a samurai who wields an enchanted sword.

The samurai stands up to Aku so that his wife and son can escape. The story then becomes about the samurai’s son Jack who becomes a skilled warrior. This is done by training him in different cultures. This training makes him a formidable opponent for Aku.

Samurai Jack goes back to Japan and defeats the evil Aku, but Aku has a trick up his sleeve as he transports the Jack into the future, disabling him and his descendants from defeating him and therefore cementing his rule over Earth.

Samurai Jack Season 1 Screenshot

Samurai Jack is different from most shows out there because there isn’t a lot of exposition. The art speaks for most of the story, as you’ll see in the confrontations, the struggles, and even the development of the hero.

Samurai Jack is inventive on two levels: first it meshes both the world of traditional Japan with the futuristic possibilities of Sci-Fi. Aku has taken earthlings and turned our planet into an intergalactic trading port for criminal based individuals.

Jack is hired by a group of dog-humanoid archaeologists who are forced to be diggers by Aku. Their discovery of our version of dogs is intriguing to see unfold. This is topped off with a final show down between both Jack and the insectoid army of Aku.

Samurai Jack Season 1 Screenshot

The first episode is only a glimpse into what unfolds in the coming episodes, and we’d invite you to check them out if you haven’t already! The show can currently be seen on Hulu.

You should binge-watch Samurai Jack before the reboot airs sometime this year on Toonami.