March 2017 brings the return of one of my favourite childhood as well as current heroes on Adult Swim for a 5th and final season; Samurai Jack. Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, he first appeared on Cartoon Network back in 2001 when that channel was practically my life. There are some really great cartoon shows these days but nothing compares to the classic weird Cartoon Network content.
The main reasons why I love the show are:
Visually it is in a different league to other cartoons. They ignore the conventional rules of colour and shape to create movement with questionable action. It is the type of show I find hard not to study whilst enjoying it. It can transition from fast paced to tranquil in one moment and I love that because it keeps me attentive at all times.
The audio is distinctive. For a ‘children’s’ cartoon, there is certainly a limited amount of verbal interaction. There are more sound effects than anything e.g low howling wind with frequent peaceful stages which always intrigue me (- I think that is why I also love Tom & Jerry so much). Even the theme tune is cool.
Jack’s story is complicated and far from boring. The concept is different, interesting and exciting due to including a mixture of Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Action.
(There is supposed to be an INK drawing of Jack here but to be honest, I didn’t have time and hate rushing my illustrations…)
The creators took quite a while to come back with new episodes (of which I didn’t even know they had planned to do so until last year) so I hope that period of planning adds to its quality. Too often, shows try to revive themselves after a long break and then the standard has evidently decreased, it’s too different or just forced. Xiaolin Showdown and The Powerpuff Girls are great examples of this I am sad to say. I think the misguided pressure to modernize the characters and appeal to current affairs was not a good idea. I loved those shows in their prime so I just pretend the revamped versions do not exist.
The trailer for the new season is definitely captivating and I noticed that there is likely be a lot more dialogue. Phil LaMarr will still be voicing Jack but sadly, Mako Iwamatsu the voice actor of Aku passed away so I am not sure how they will address the situation.
The fact that the show will now be on Adult Swim means serious business. I predict more mature scenes but with key elements from the past. Blood is shown in the trailer, in addition to it looking like he will not be dealing with just robots anymore plus a few questions need to be answered like WHERE IS HIS SWORD?
So I have high hopes for Jack – I don’t even necessarily need him to have a happy ending; I will just be happy to see some amazing animation sequences backed up by a solid story.