I know season five of Samurai Jack just started; however there are a lot of great things to say about this season thus far. Sometimes bringing back a beloved series that has been out of action for years could result in disaster. Fortunately, the first three episodes of the continuation of Jack’s quest were breath taking. I feel as though the premiere of an old friend from Toonami is off to an amazing start.
Proper Execution of Dark Themes
One thing that stood out to me as I watched was the atmosphere of the developing plot. The events that lead up to episode 4 clearly gave me the feeling that darker themes may become a bit more common. It was said that this season is going to be the finale to Jack’s quest; so I feel like a darker tone came with the territory. I am not saying the previous seasons didn’t display any form of edginess. However, Samurai Jack was a bit more light hearted and provided the right amount of action needed at the right time back in the day. I feel a series doesn’t have to be dark in order to become great; because incorporating more serious elements into something must convey meaning and relevance in order for it to be effective.
Darker themes should be used to bring out the viewers’ emotions; which results in engaging interaction between the content and the viewer. I followed the previous seasons of Samurai Jack to understand just how much Jack has suffered at the hands of Aku and time travel. Throughout the series Jack has been traveling aimlessly to get back to the past to finish his fight with Aku in order to undo the damage Aku has done. Unfortunately, Jack was never able to complete his task at the end of season four. During the first three episodes of season five you will begin to see a side of Jack that has never been shown before. Jack’s inner conflict, physical suffering, and use of vivid imagery together creates a meaningful sense of dread that makes getting drawn into the story believable.
I am an anime watcher. Content found in anime is very imaginative and creative. Being an avid anime watcher made me thirst for something different over the years. I would say the return of quite a few well known anime franchises made anime seem a bit more repetitious nowadays. Samurai Jack season five fixed my issue with a style of art that was missing from my life for quite sometime. Samurai Jack is more of an abstract form of art. The characters and backgrounds are recognizable; but doesn’t depict an accurate representation of shapes and figures.
Samurai Jack combines the art style with incredible imagery that allows you to see and articulate the emotion that is being portrayed. This kind of style allows the viewer to connect with the characters in a more intimate fashion. The way backgrounds are used during action scenes are so unique that it can be difficult to put into words at times. For instance, the battle between Jack and a group of worshipers of Aku showed forms of imagery that made it very clear to me that Jack is in a dangerous fight for survival. When Jack was hiding while wounded, Jack’s entire body was colored black while the blood on his body created an outline of Jack; which made him visible. The moment I described created all kinds of emotions within my mind; thus putting me on the edge of my seat.
Jack’s Mental Change
Jack’s mental struggle was shocking for me due to the fact that I knew who Jack was and how he behaved. In previous seasons, Jack was confident, well poised, and resourceful. However, in season five I saw a completely different man. The culture of the samurai involves discipline. Samurai are well dressed, groomed, and in control of their emotions. During this season, Jack is not his former self. Jack no longer wears his kimono, grew out a dingy beard, and struggles to believe in his own ability.
Jack is also fighting without his trusty sword; which is powerful enough to stop Aku. Jack displayed numerous acts of desperation, struggled with his inner demons, and did a certain something that he has never done before. One can say that his seemingly endless journey has taken its toll on him; or maybe one event made him a broken man. I will leave that for you to decide for yourself.
If you have not watched a single episode; then I highly suggest you tune in Saturday nights on Toonami on Cartoon Network. I am sure it will be an unique experience that will make you come back for more.