Top 5 'Samurai Jack' Episodes
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A long time ago, in a galaxy far away…. Oh wait, that’s "Star Wars." Long ago in a distant land… that’s better. This is how every episode of the legendary series "Samurai Jack" begins. The series is about the story of a samurai who goes on a journey to defeat the evil shape-shifting demon, Aku. In the beginning of the series, the evil dark God is confronted by the noble sword wielding samurai and nearly killed. Just before the final strike, Aku opens a portal in time and sends the samurai thousands of years into the future where Aku rules the earth. The samurai must then search the planet to discover a portal that will send him back to his time and defeat the master of evil.

In 2004, the show ended abruptly after a four-year, four-season run. Fans were disappointed and outraged. However, in December of 2015, series creator Genndy Tartakovsky announced that the series will be returning for a fifth season some time in 2016. Further reports have also claimed that the new season will be ten episodes and will be much more violent than it previously was. Upon hearing the news of the return of this childhood favorite of mine, I decided to binge watch the entire series (more times than I care to admit). During this time I have decided to make a list for what I feel are my personal favorite episodes of Samurai Jack.

5. XXXII (Jack and the Traveling Creatures)

How often do you see Jack get his ass kicked to the point of defeat? In this episode, Jack is taken to a portal in time by a group of traveling creatures who refer to Jack as the chosen one. At the gate of the time portal’s entrance Jack is confronted with a guardian who says only one man is prophesied to use the portal, a man who can defeat the guardian. After an epic battle against the guardian, Jack loses. But before the guardian kills an unconscious Jack, the guardian is told by the time portal not to kill Jack, and Jack is taken away from the battle field. We then hear the guardian say that it is not yet his time to use the time portal. Not yet...

4. XL (Jack vs. the Ninja)

How do you defeat darkness? With the light of course. After Aku trains a dark ninja to defeat Samurai Jack, the evil ninja sets forth to find the samurai and defeat him, resulting in an epic battle of beautiful aesthetics and excellent music. Samurai Jack disguises himself in white to blend in with the light of day where as the dark ninja is masked in black, trained to be a warrior in the darkness of the shadow. The result of the samurai cloaked in white battling a ninja in black is an incredibly memorable fighting sequence.

3. XVIII (Jack and the Ultra-robots)

In this episode, mechanical assassins designed only to cause mass destruction and to kill Samurai Jack result in a nearly unbeatable foe for the show’s honorable samurai. After a scientist makes a deal with Aku to create the deadly assassins as long as he and his town is spared, he quickly realizes after their creation that he was deceived and the mechanical killers run amok destroying his livelihood. When Samurai Jack faces these relentless foes, they prove to be more powerful than his sword can handle. When the scientist who created them shows Jack his latest and last invention, a mechanical arm that gives Jack the strength to cut through their metal bodies, Jack goes back on the battle field to fight them. Just before Jack is about to defeat the last robot, the battery in his arm runs out. This causes Jack to bow down and pray to his ancestors to give his sword the strength to defeat his evil foe. It’s awesome, epic, and all-around fantastic. High-five! ;)

2. XXX (Jack and the Zombies)

After Jack follows a road that leads him to a haunting grave yard, the deliverer of darkness, Aku, raises the dead to kill Jack in an epic battle that ends with one of the few times the audience truly feels the terror of Aku. When Aku takes the warrior’s sword and chases down the defenseless samurai, Jack is totally exposed and helpless without his sword. As he runs for his life, we get a clear sense of how powerful the evil master of masters truly is. Once Aku takes hold of Jack and is seconds away from bringing down Jack’s sword upon Jack, we are left with a feeling of disbelief, wondering how Jack could possibly escape. Then once the sword does nothing to the warrior we learn that, in the hands of evil, the sword cannot harm good. Jack takes the sword, swings the hell out of it onto Aku, then goes on to continue his journey after Aku escapes (like the rat he is).

1. XXXVII & XXXVIII (The Birth of Evil)

Personally, I felt like no other episode in the series had the kind of cinematic scope and incredible story as The Birth of Evil. This two-part episode is the origin story of who I feel is the most interesting character in the series: Aku. His origin begins in the earliest of times, when the Gods of the universe are fighting to defeat a great evil black mass in space. After a series of strikes, a vestige of the foe falls down to Earth during the Mesozoic Era and crashes onto the earth, creating a pool of black matter that will grow and consume everything in its way for millions of years. When the pool of death reaches the village of a yet to be born Jack, Jack’s father journeys to the center of its mass and shoots an arrow into it hoping to destroy it. Aku, The Sultan of Suffering, King of Darkness, Master of Masters then emerges from a pool of dark matter and rains hell upon the earth. Jack’s father soon obtains a sword forged by the Gods that will hold the only power on earth capable of defeating Aku. After an incredible battle between Aku and Jack’s father, Jack’s father imprisons Aku, returning the story full circle to when the series began. This episode certainly had the greatest longevity of any episode and it was also excellently crafted. Regardless of how superb the fifth season will be I am certain this episode will remain among my absolute favorites.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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