I’m still trying to mentally process the fact that one of my favorite childhood shows has finally come to a close. We finally got the closure we had been seeking for a decade.
Like many others, I was a massive fan of the series as a child. I watched every single episode and fell in love with the art style, the humor, and the story. When I heard of the return I was ecstatic and nervous. I did not want this to be another PPG situation (that’s the only acknowledgement I’m going to that revival). Thankfully, this was far from that.
This will be a review of the entire season, but with a focus on the finale as well. Obviously, this is going to be a spoiler filled review. If you haven’t seen this season, it’s awesome GO AHEAD AND WATCH IT WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WAITING FOR???
Before we delve in, I would like to thank Genndy Tartakovsky for not only creating this masterpiece (IT IS A MASTERPIECE) of a show, but also by bringing it back after years so that fans could finally receive the closure we’ve wanted for so long. Not only Genndy, but to all of the cast members, producers, artists, and all of the other staff that jumped back on this project so that it could finally be completed.
I just wanna say I absolutely love the decision to move Season 5 to Adult Swim. Not only was it perfect for the now older fan base, but it was absolutely necessary for the darker themes that this season took. PTSD Jack, actual blood being shown instead of just oil from Aku’s robots, the adult humor, everything made this season so much better.
We still had a lot of the same things from previous seasons that we loved: The corny humor, the gorgeous artwork and scenery, and the themes of good versus evil, honor, humility, and heroism.
If you have been keeping up with my Samurai Jack live tweets, you know I absolutely LOVED Ashi. I love the addition of the Daughters of Aku, or what I referred to as the weird bad bitch death cult. I am so relieved that they gave Ashi a huge purpose in the final episode, as being the only way Jack could regain access to the past after Aku had destroyed the final time portal. Most of my relief is so that some will finally stop complaining about her character.
My favorite Ashi moment was that when she ABSOLUTELY ANNIHILATED THAT ARMY OF ORCS. SLAY, MY QUEEN. LITERALLY. That moment where she was leaping into the army to kick some ass with that music layered in the background….. man. One of my favorite moments in the entire season.
Not only was she the key to the past, but she also was essential for the bittersweet ending that we received. I saw it coming, but I still was emotionally #wrekd. Damn you, Genndy. You bastard.
One thing I missed dearly in this season was the original voice for Aku (rest in peace to the great Mako Iwamatsu). Greg Baldwin did an excellent job taking on Mako’s take of Aku. Baldwin’s work began to grow out of me once Aku got out of his malaise.
Now on to that finale
The finale was almost exactly what I wanted. Resolve, a coming together of all of the seasons and characters that we loved, and a bittersweet ending. We even finally got to see the original intro for one last time. That moment is when I began to get emotional about the series finally coming to a close.
And to have Ashi disappear during the wedding…. GENNDY, YOU BASTARD. That hurt. It was absolutely perfect, but it hurt. I have seen some upset about what happened to Ashi, but it was absolutely necessary to avoid a massive plot hole. The moment with the ladybug at the end was so beautiful and touching. It provided for a perfect ending that this show deserved. Everything about that scene was beautiful. The visuals, the moment itself, the music. A perfect sendoff.
I just wish that we had more of a final battle with Aku. What we received seemed way too quick for the buildup given, as that final battle was what the entire show was about. Jack traveling back to the past and defeating Aku. If we had an hour episode or two part finale, I believe the finale would have been perfect.
This season was so fantastic to me. It wasn’t a perfect season, but it was exactly what the fans wanted and what the show needed. My only issue is that I wish we had either 11 or 12 episodes rather than 10. 11 episodes if there was an hour finale, 12 if we had a finale broken into two episodes. With it only being 10 episodes, I feel like the season felt a little rushed. The finale is where this is really felt, especially in the latter half of the episode.
I really do hope this is a closed book for the ending of Samurai Jack. The story has been told and has ended. There is nothing more to tell from this point. All of the staff from the show are going their own ways. They only came together to do this final season (which is why I am forgiving about the rushed feeling during the season and the final episode). Anything made after wouldn’t be the same Samurai Jack that we know.
Now what I would love is for a comic book series that takes place either before or during the show. I would love to see some stories about Jack’s own father, the Scotsman, or what happened during the 50 years between seasons four and five. I’m aware that a comic book series exists, but I would love to see more from one of these perspectives.
Overall, with a few issues mainly relating to pacing and the amount of episodes, this season really was a perfect sendoff for this series. I couldn’t have asked for anything else. The original feel of the show was preserved, with some improvements. If you haven’t checked out season five of Samurai Jack, you need to ASAP. Especially if you were a fan of the first four seasons. If you haven’t watched any of the previous seasons, please let me know who you are so I can block you.
Thank you so much, Genndy. That’s all I can say.