All five seasons of the animated series Samurai Jack are now available to stream for free on Adult Swim.
Samurai Jack was created by Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone Wars), based on his love of the 1970’s television series Kung Fu and his longtime fascination with Samurai culture.
Samurai Jack won eight Primetime Emmy Awards (including Outstanding Animated Program), six Annie Awards, and an OIAF Award. Samurai Jack is praised by many for its amazing visuals and stylistic animation. It initially ran for four seasons on Cartoon Network from 2001-2004.
Twelve years later it was revived for a final season on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s programming block targeted at adults from 8pm to 6am. The final season was ten episodes that concluded the story of Jack finding a way to defeat the evil Aku and return to his life in the past.
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Samurai Jack’s Final Battle
Aku himself introduces the central story best in the Samurai Jack intro from seasons 1-4:
“Long ago in a distant land, I, Aku, the shapeshifting master of darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil! But a foolish samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose me! Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future, where my evil is law! Now the fool seeks to return to the past and undo the future that is Aku!”
While the Samurai who adopts the name Jack is trying to defeat Aku and return home, he helps the inhabitants of the future world he has been flung to. He gains allies and fights smaller foes that are common on the Aku controlled Earth. The fourth season had a very open-ended finale that left audiences to assume Jack would continue his mission to defeat the evil overlord and find a time portal to return home.
This ending did not wrap up the story, and Tartakovsky initially expressed interest in a film to conclude the story, but after multiple attempts that did not pan out. Instead Adult Swim picked it up for a final season of ten episodes.
The first four seasons were stand-alone stories each episode included the overall narrative of Jack trying to defeat Aku and return to the past which was relatively easy to follow even if a fan jumped into the show at a random episode. The final season is a serialized ten episode story with much darker and more adult themes.
This is evident in the fifth season Samurai Jack intro that is narrated by Jack instead of Aku:
“50 years have passed, but I do not age. Time has lost its effect on me. And yet, the suffering continues. Aku’s grasp chokes the past, present, and future. All hope is lost. Gotta get back. Back to the past. Samurai Jack.”
With social distancing and stay at home orders in effect this is the time to binge watch television. So, whether it is an old favorite and watching this will give you a comforting nostalgia or a new great animation that you want to experience for the first time, you can now stream the entire Samurai Jack series on AdultSwim.com.