Samurai Jack Season 5 Review: Episodes XCII & XCIII – The Beginning of the End


Episodes XCII & XCIII – The Beginning of the End

  • Genre : Action, Sci-fi, American Animation
  • Airing Date : Episode XCII - March 11, 2017 | Episode XCIII – March 18th, 2017
  • Studios : Cartoon Network

Eleven years after the conclusion of season 4, Cartoon Network and Genndy Tartakovsky have graced us with a 5th and final season of the time-traveling samurai's adventures. While we know this is not technically anime, Samurai Jack is unlike most American cartoons and clearly draws its influences from the Japanese animation that we all know and love. And that is probably why Samurai Jack has been so popular among anime fans.

We at Honey's got a chance to screen the first two episodes before the release date this Saturday, March 11th!, so we'll be sharing our impressions to help you decide if you'd like to watch the last season! (Though if you were already a fan, you probably will).

Contains Spoilers


Samurai Jack Season 5: Episodes XCII & XCIII Story and Plot Outline

Episode XCII

It's been 50 years since we last saw Jack, and boy has he changed! He rides a badass motorcycle, wears armor, and has a rugged full beard and long, messy hair. He continues fighting evil robots to rescue those in need and looks like he doesn't even break a sweat doing it.

Jack is as stoic as ever, but something's different. Over the last 50 years, Aku has destroyed all the time portals, leaving Jack stuck in the future and dealing with an unexpected side-effect; he doesn't age. Not only that, but he seems to have visions (hallucinations?) of his father and his people asking why he abandoned them, people suffering and people dying. We're not sure why Jack sees these people, but he seems distraught, guilty, and tired. Especially so when he sees a mysterious dark silhouette of a samurai on a horse.

To make things worse, there is a cult that call themselves the Daughters of Aku. We see one of the women give birth to septuplet sisters who are destined to be trained to “serve their master” and finally succeed in their endeavor, to kill Samurai Jack and gain Aku's favor.

Jack faces one of Aku's assassins who just destroyed a village to lure him out. This particular robot can control objects and form golems by manipulating sound waves. After a serious blow from one of the golems, Jack starts having the visions and freaking out again. Snapped back to reality by a blow from his enemy, he continues to battle like only he knows how. After taking his opponent's weapon, of course, Jack makes easy work of him.

Meanwhile, the Daughters of Aku grow up and receive extreme training that puts their lives in danger at every turn, all to defeat Jack. Though one of them seems to be more curious than the rest about the world outside of the dark mountain hideaway they've been raised in. The girls are taught that “the samurai is out there leaving a wake of devastation” and when their training is done, the little killing machines are sent after Jack.

Episode XCIII

In the next episode, we finally see what Aku has been up to for the last 50 years. He has worshippers come offer him tribute, and his personal evil mad scientists are proud to present him with a new killer robot, the “most epic version of the Beetledrone yet!”. Aku isn't impressed, as he seems to no longer have a desire to destroy Jack. He considers him a wandering lunatic, so he just lets his scientists send out their drone if they so wish. But then we cut to Aku with his counselor and we find out that he does, in fact, care. He is very frustrated by the fact that Jack isn't dead even after the portals have been destroyed and it's been 50 years. He only hopes someone can come and help him get rid of the thorn on his side.

While Jack is riding his motorcycle through a forest, he comes to a clearing. Suddenly, with a rumble, the giant Beetledrone appears, but it takes Jack only a couple of seconds to finish it off. Jack gets on his bike and rides off, but not too long before hitting a cable and being ambushed by none other than the seven Daughters of Aku. Jack is outnumbered and the girls take his weapon and his armor, but he manages to get away somehow.

Hiding within the carcass of the Beetledrone, Jack begins to hallucinate once again, but this time he sees his old self, in his white robe, no beard and his hair neatly tied. Jack talks to himself and tries to convince himself to just “finish it”. He's tired and going crazy, but then he gets a second burst of strength and motivation after the same dark samurai silhouette from before appears in front of him.

Jack manages to escape from inside the Beetledrone and ends up in some ruins, still being chased by the Daughters of Aku. The chase continues in the dark labyrinths inside the ruins and Jack is pushed to his limits by the seven little assassins.

What I Liked About Samurai Jack: Episodes XCII and XCIII

One thing that immediately stands out is that everything you remember about Samurai Jack is there. The character design, the ambiance, and of course, the music and sound effects. There's even the poetic juxtaposition of images, like in episode XCIII, where we see a strong lone wolf getting ambushed and beaten up by a pack of vicious tigers alternating with the scenes of Jack being ambushed by the Daughters of Aku and getting his ass kicked as well. So artistic.

But the differences are also something to love. And there is one BIG difference. This season of Samurai Jack is much, much darker. Jack is no longer the motivated, benevolent samurai we used to know. Being stuck in the future and not aging has really taken a toll on our hero and it's almost painful to watch. As most of us are also older and wiser than when we first met the samurai, it just feels... right.

Discussion Time: Should You Watch Samurai Jack Season 5?

If you were ever a fan of Samurai Jack, you will certainly enjoy this last season. And really, don't you want to know how it ends? However, if you've never watched it before, it may not be as meaningful or exciting.

Why You Should Watch Samurai Jack Season 5

1. It's The Final Chapter

While it's been 11 years, this has been declared as the final season of Samurai Jack. We finally get to see what happens to him. With all the portals now closed, does he even have a chance at going back to the past? Will he finally defeat Aku?

When you're a fan of a series that didn't have a clear-cut ending, you will more than likely want some closure; so no matter how long it's been, it will fill your heart to not only see Jack again, but to find out how his odyssey ends.

2. The Brooding Samurai

As if his disheveled The-Last-Samurai look wasn't enough to intrigue you, Jack's mental instability, sadness and dark thoughts are incredibly moving and get you hooked immediately.

We see a side of Jack that we never had and that he probably never thought he had. A side revealed only by the darkness and injustice he has been facing for the last 50 years. This darker, more adult version of Jack and the world he lives in will make you fall in love with the show all over again.

3. New Twists

While we can't reveal what exactly is different or new, besides the darkness in our hero's heart, there are quite a few surprises in these two episodes alone that will catch you off guard and make you want to watch more. You'll have to watch it to find out what they are. ^_~

Reasons to Skip Samurai Jack Season 5

1. You Want to Remember Jack as He Was.

If you did watch the first 4 seasons and fell in love with the pure and kind hearted samurai, seeing him fall into the darkness and possible insanity may not be what you want. If you want to keep your memories of Jack light and fun with just a few spots of darkness, this season may not be for you.

2. You've Never Seen The First Four Seasons.

This one is easy to fix if you're willing to watch the past seasons. But if you're not willing to watch them all to catch up, the 5th season may not have the same impact on you as it would if you were familiar with all the characters and their interactions throughout the story. Though they are somewhat explained in the first two episodes, it's just not quite the same.


Honey’s Final Thoughts

I have always been a fan of Samurai Jack and would recommend that anyone who has never seen it do so and catch up to enjoy the 5th season fully. All in all, it's looking to be a great finale for a classic many of us grew up with, and the new darker tone it has is refreshing unpredictable. We can only imagine what will happen next!
We hope you've enjoyed this review and that it has helped you decide whether or not you want to give Samurai Jack's 5th and final season a watch.

♪♪Gotta get back,
back to the past,
Samurai Jack...♪♪
Watch out!

Lizzy Nyanko

Translator/Writer

Author: Lizzy Nyanko

I’m a Mexican-American gypsy cat-girl living in Tokyo. I love all kinds of anime, all things Japanese, photography, cats, food and I live for new experiences! When I’m not writing or watching anime, you’ll find me in thrift shops, roaming around Tokyo, hiking, festivals or at an izakaya. I’m always busy doing something, but I answer comments as soon as I see them, so let me hear what you have to say! Nya~!

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