Samurai Jack, Season 5

by John Holbo on May 14, 2017

12 years after Season 4 left us hanging, we get Season 5! I’m up to episode 8. It’s a bit harsher than the original – not really so appropriate for little kids. Normally I disapprove of that grim-dark development arc. But in this case it works out great. The story is great. The characters are great. Jack is back, and the animation is drop-dead gorgeous. Samurai Jack has always been one of my stylistic favorites. It hits a UPA flat-style cartoon modern sweet spot between a bunch of other influences: Kurosawa, Frank Miller, Bruce Timm, with a Mary Blair color palette and Eyvind Earle backgrounds. Season 5 is the most beautiful yet. They’ve taken it to next level.




Gary Othic 05.15.17 at 1:34 pm

Going to have to try and find this somewhere–loved Samurai Jack as a kid and am very intrigued by it’s heading in a darker direction.


John Holbo 05.15.17 at 3:22 pm

This is literally the first time since 1985 – “the year great comics ruined comics” (Chris Sims) – that I have actually approved of a comic or cartoon taking a ‘darker’ turn. It’s not soooooo much darker. It’s the same combo of fights and humor that it ever was, mostly.


Gary Othic 05.15.17 at 4:23 pm

That’s good to hear!

I think the problem, in general, is that a lot of creators mistake ‘darker’ for ‘everyone starts moping about and bad things relentlessly happen’. All the successful ‘dark’ turns I can think of avoid that and keep the essential essence of the series (e.g. Empire Strikes Back is the darkest of original trilogy Star Wars, but it’s also the funniest). It’s why I tend to prefer ‘more complex’ to ‘darker’

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