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In the distant past, a Japanese samurai embarks on a mission to defeat the evil shape-shifting wizard Aku. Before he can complete his task, though, he is catapulted thousands of years into the future. He finds himself in a world where Aku now enjoys complete power over every living thing. Dubbing himself "Jack," he sets out on a new quest--to right the wrongs that have been done by his enemy and to find a way back to his own time so he can destroy the evil for good. Written by
Alan Back <email@example.com>
Samurai Jack has something sorely lacking in American animated entertainment
greatness. Not since the Batman series, or perhaps ever, has a American
cartoon flaunted such daring visual bravado, intelligent cinematic storytelling, intense action, and a revolutionary spirit so confidently - it's a warmly welcomed shake-up to the monotonous humdrum continuum of TV animation in this country. Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of Dexter's Laboratory) has captured lightning in a bottle with his latest brainchild, and in doing so has demolished the mold for cartoons both present and future. Indeed, calling this show itself a cartoon seems somehow disrespectful and stereotypical. Here, the freedom allowed by the medium brings the story of Jack and his vendetta against a millenial nemesis named Aku in the far future feverishly to life. Every background, set piece, character, and detail are all strikingly imagined, almost shocking in their originality. The minimalist nature of the animation itself gives the program a unique and powerful vitality, and the abstract and sometimes surreal stylization is unlike anything ever seen in cartoons. Tartakovsky avoids the clunky and often lifeless quagmire of more detailed and lifelike approaches to action animation and instead opts for he intensity and impact of a comic book in motion, and the results are both awesome and beautiful.
More than anything else, Samurai Jack truly feels like a work of art, like something that is crafted rather than produced. It's a testament to the fact that animation in the U.S. can be cutting edge, revolutionary, and mature. Truth be told, I haven't been excited about a new television program in quite a while. Time will tell, but Samurai Jack seems destined for masterpiece status - not only here in America, but quite possibly worldwide.
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