tek's rating: ¾

Samurai Jack, on Cartoon Network
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Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, this is one of the coolest cartoons ever. Very stylized animation, interesting stories. The evil shape-shifting sorcerer Aku attacked a Japanese kingdom long ago and was defeated by the king, who wielded a magic sword. Then years later Aku returned and was victorious. Meanwhile the king's young son went off to travel the world and learn from many masters... and when he was grown he returned to fight Aku with the sword. Before he could destroy Aku, the sorcerer opened a portal and flung the samurai into the distant future.

In the intervening years, Aku took over the whole world and is now in charge of pretty much everything. This is where the Samurai now finds himself. Some people in the future called him Jack, so that's what he calls himself now. He travels around helping folks who need his help, most of them victims of Aku's evil and all. Occasionally Jack fights Aku, who always gets away. Ultimately, Jack's trying to find a way to return to his own time and defeat Aku before this future can come about.

It's all really kind of bizarre, with aliens of every description and sometimes intelligent animals, like talking dogs or what have you. Lots of magic, lots of futuristic technology, lots of incredible battles. Very little talking, this is mostly a visual series, though some episodes have more talking than others. The battles are just absolutely stunning. And there's also a fair amount of humor in the series. And Jack is just so cool. He can be very calm and quiet, but he can also be a total bad-ass when he has to be (which is often). In one episode, there's a character called the Scotsman, who at first fights Jack, but by the end of the episode they become friends, and he'll occasionally show up again as an ally. I happen to think Jack and the Scotsman have one of the best friendships ever.... Anyway, not sure what else to say, but it's just a really awesome show.

It initially ran for four seasons, from 2001 to 2004. However, a fifth season began airing on Adult Swim in 2017. Unfortunately, by then I didn't have access to that, so I'm not sure when I'll get to see it. Oh, also there have been some comic books that I haven't had a chance to read, but would like to, someday.

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