The first full trailer for the new season of Samurai Jack is here, and it's much different than the show you watched back in the day. Creator Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Hotel Transylvania) and writers assured fans this would be a much more adult take on the futuristic samurai we first met in the early 2000s, and they were not kidding. Check out the trailer and see for yourself.
Let's start first with the overall visual upgrade the series has gotten. While 50 years have passed since Jack started his journey to destroy the demon Aku within the story itself, it has been 13 years since there has been any new Samurai Jack, with the last episode airing September 25th, 2004. You wouldn't think animation has changed all that much, but there's a clear sharpening of color between the animation of the series' first run to present, taking advantage of the wide use of high-def TVs.
Almost right off the bat, we're struck with these more adult themes as we see a grizzled Jack still in the future, questioning his sanity and his morals while appearing to lose a battle he has long fought. All the positivity and confidence we witnessed in the first four seasons of Samurai Jack seem to be gone in Season 5, and I love it. (If you're unfamiliar, the series originally saw the samurai warrior sent to the future by the evil demon Aku to prevent Jack from destroying him, and Jack has since been trying to return to the past to destroy his foe.) As we've mentioned in previous coverage, the new season begins years after the last episode of Season 4, and the fact that the hero has not aged in that many decades tells us Aku's spell did more than just transport Jack to the future.
Another thing you should be noticing is blood. Go ahead and double check the past episodes, there was no red blood in any of them. Sure, Jack might get a scratch on his face or he'll slice a robot apart that sprays motor oil everywhere, but we definitely never saw something as graphic as Jack taking a knife to the abdomen! It's safe to say violence and adult themes will be used in full throughout this new season.
It's saying something that the Samurai Jack I loved as an 8th grader is still just as appealing to me at age 27. This is likely intentional and necessary, as a generation of children that were born when the show last aired are now my age when I was watching the original series. Obviously, I'm excited about it, and so much so that I'm already bummed out that this is allegedly the final season of the series, and there will be no follow up after this reboot of sorts. I shouldn't be so down, because I know I should be lucky to even see the series ending at all, but I can't help but be greedy in the face of this awesome trailer.
With episodes that are said to be chock full of twists, turns and surprising reveals, Samurai Jack will premiere on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block shortly before Toonami on Saturday, March 11th, at 11 p.m. EST . It's not on our midseason premiere list yet, but you should check that out anyway because there are a lot more shows premiering this season to be excited about!