Samurai Jack Finale – One of the Best?

Samurai Jack has finally come to an end. After ending over a decade ago with no conclusion, many thought that we would never see the end of Jack’s journey. After coming to blows with the evil entity known only as Aku, Aku out of desperation thrust Jack into the future where Aku ruled all. The initial series showcased Jack’s role in the future as he wandered through the land in hopes of one day ending Aku and returning to his time.

When the show was revitalized, we learned that fifty years had gone by and Jack has not aged a day due to the means he got to the future. A shell of his former self and one veering on suicide, it was a Jack we did not expect. This was also the case with Aku who had gone into a apathetic depression as he destroyed all the means for Jack to travel to the past in the hopes of Jack’s dying of old age but to no avail. Now both were at a standstill in their journey. Jack, yielded the only weapon that could kill Aku but lost it in a past confrontation. Aku is holding up in his tower in fear that Jack will finally seek him out.

By the final episode, Jack had fallen in love with Ashi, the daughter of Aku. Being the daughter of Aku proved to be his downfall as she had all his powers, which included time travel. Using her abilities to transport herself and Jack to mere moments after Aku initially sent Jack to the future. Without missing a beat, Jack finally ended his enemy. What next? Jack and Ashii are to be married but of course things will not go smoothly. Since Ashi was born in the future and Aky was killed in the past, she was a walking paradox. Fading away at her and Jack’s wedding, Jack is left heartbroken.

Despondent once again, Jack is next seen wandering. This time he stumbles upon a cherry blossom tree where a lady bug lands on him. A bittersweet smile comes upon his face and the series ends with a image of Jack under the tree.

Like life, most things are bittersweet. Jack’s life has never been easy. The day he was born was the same day that Aku came to be. Spending his whole life training to be the one to defeat Aku, he almost succeeded before being sent to the future. Spending fifty years in the future making no connections (despite living an impact on the people he encounters lives) and when he finally does, she turns out to be the daughter of his arch nemesis. Their love was destined to fail but it certainly left a mark. So while he may have defeated his arch nemesis and thus created a better future, he has lost a lot. The woman he loved is gone and presumably most of the people he encountered in the future as that no longer exists. Being in the future tainted Jack as he was forced to take other living beings’ lives. Let’s not forget that Jack while being in his 20’s, he is mentally somewhere in his 70’s. He has lived a lifetime.

But the ending was good as it showed that there was still hope in the world. The cherry blossom reminded Jack of Ashi and how it symbolized her change from cold blooded killer to a caring person. Showing that while he has lost a lot in his very long life, this is still a better future than what we came back from. That there is still hope in the world and that the sacrifices and loss were not for nothing. It was a beautiful finale to a great animated series.