“Fifty years have passed…but I do not age…Time has lost its effect on me, yet the suffering continues.”
Evidently Jack has been having a bad time of it since the conclusion of season 4. Long time Cartoon Network viewers may recall the last released episode Samurai Jack was ‘Jack and the Baby.’ The episode, a relatively light romp features Jack getting into the usual scrapes while tending to a baby. It couldn’t be further from the tone of the new trailer.
No matter how long (17 years to be precise) the fanbase waited for closure, Jack has endured far more based on his new look. Bearded, without his usual topknot and kimono, Jack is looking far more Mad Max in this new series. Two crucial differences emerge in the trailer between season 5 and previous appearances of the samurai. Firstly, the trailer is notably more violent in tone, scrapping wires and motor oil for blood and guts. Secondly and even more noteworthy is the absence of Jack’s magic sword. Jack is soon using various guns and spears but his trademark katana is nowhere to be seen.
Jack’s blade is a physical representation of the human spirit, wielded only by the righteous. If this is still the case, only two explanations are possible. Either Jack has lost the sword or his years of suffering have rendered him too jaded to wield the blade. Based on the appearance of Jack’s father, chiding his son for forgetting his purpose, the latter seems more likely. If this is the case, Jack’s quest will likely require him to regain his sense of heroism before he is capable of fighting the good fight.
Conspicuously absent is the big bad demon wizard Aku. Voiced by the late Makoto Iwamatsu, the villain’s more hammy character traits may be difficult to square with this darker tone. In his place appears a gang of female assassins, each dressed to resemble their demon overlord. These antagonists seem like ideal material for the rusty samurai to get back in the game, but whether they’ll cut the mustard for an entire season remains to be seen.
The series will premiere on Saturday March 11th.