One of the biggest cult hits on the Cartoon Network, "Samurai Jack" boasts an animation style that manages to be primitive, yet fascinating and often beautiful to the eye. The series, which plays out like a cross between a samurai movie, a sci-fi picture and a video game, focuses on the hero of the title, Samurai Jack (voiced by Phil Lamarr), a warrior sent through time by the evil Aku. Throughout the series, Jack attempts to get back in order to try and save the world from Aku, who has the ability to take on different forms and send his warriors to defeat Jack.
"Samurai Jack" is, at its core, a pretty familiar series: Jack has to defeat new enemies each episode who stand in front of his search for the portal home. What makes the show stand out is both its wild, unique look and the show's ability to take on the seriousness of a samurai picture and yet also be sharply funny at times - not only in regards to the dialogue, but also with the show's comedic timing and often priceless character expressions.
Cleverly written and delightfully entertaining, "Samurai Jack" also doesn't go light on the action sequences, which are gracefully played out, as they occasionally even go into split-screen or widescreen in order to properly frame the action. Finally, the voice work is simply fantastic. I'm surprised that "Samurai Jack" hasn't become even bigger than it is - it's a gem of a series. Season 4 was the last season for the show, unfortunately, and the creators then went onto "Star Wars: Clone Wars".
40. 4- 1 401 14 Jun 03 XL: Samurai versus Ninja
41. 4- 2 402 21 Jun 03 XLI: Robo-Samurai versus Mondo Bot
42. 4- 3 403 28 Jun 03 XLII: Samurai versus Samurai
43. 4- 4 404 5 Nov 03 XLIII: The Aku Infection
44. 4- 5 405 12 Nov 03 XLIV: The Princess And The Bounty Hunters
45. 4- 6 406 23 Aug 03 XLV: Scotsman Saves Jack (Part 1 of 2)
46. 4- 7 407 23 Aug 03 XLVI: Scotsman Saves Jack (Part 2 of 2)
47. 4- 8 408 19 Nov 03 XLVII: Jack And The Flying Prince And Princess
48. 4- 9 409 24 Nov 03 XLVIII: Jack versus Aku
49. 4-10 410 25 Sep 04 XLIX: The 4 Seasons Of Death
50. 4-11 411 25 Sep 04 L: Tale Of X9
51. 4-12 412 25 Sep 04 LI: Young Jack In Africa
52. 4-13 413 25 Sep 04 LII: Jack And The Baby
VIDEO: "Samurai Jack" is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame by Warner Brothers. 1.33:1 full-frame is the show's original aspect ratio, but there are some moments throughout the episodes that are presented in widescreen in order to fully capture the action. The image quality throughout was nothing short of a delight, as sharpness and detail seemed very good (for animation) and the picture offered consistent definition.
Some minor shimmering was spotted at times, but the majority of the presentation appeared crisp and clear. No edge enhancement or pixelation was spotted, nor were any flaws with the source material. Colors looked bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: "Samurai Jack" is presented in 2.0 audio by Warner Brothers. The audio mix handles the ridiculously catchy theme song well, in addition to the crisp effects and clean-sounding dialogue.
EXTRAS: Genndy's roundtable featurette, Genndy's new projects feturette, deleted scene and promos.
Final Thoughts: "Samurai Jack" is a must for animation fans, as it's a superb combination of action, drama and sharp comedy. The DVD set provides fine audio/video quality, as well as a few nice supplements. Highly recommended.