The Imakandi first appeared in Episode XXII: Jack and the Hunters.
The Imakandi are a race of bipedal alien felids who appear to live in a savannah-like environment on a planet far from Earth. They are shown to have a relentless desire to hunt various types of prey, and continually seek out greater challenges against which to test their hunting prowess. They are shown to have a strict code of honor, and will not kill a prey that has given them a worthwhile hunt. They appear not to care for material wealth or possessions, and cannot be bought. When Aku, for instance, came to offer them the opportunity to hunt Samurai Jack, the Imakandi disregarded his offer of limitless wealth and accepted only because Aku claimed that Jack would give them the greatest hunt they had ever experienced.
The Imakandi are a leonine race that Aku enlisted by promising to quench their thirst for the hunt, stating that Jack would be the greatest prey that they could ever hope to pursue. After a ceremony, the Imakandi arrived on Earth, and quickly found a trace of Samurai Jack. Tracking his scent to the sewers beneath one of Aku's cities, they ambushed and easily incapacitated the surprised samurai. Deeming Jack unworthy, the Imakandi decided to leave him for Aku. However, once Jack heard this, he quickly escaped his bonds and attacked the Imakandi. However, the four of them together outmatched him, and he was forced to flee into the city. Impressed at Jack's resolve, the Imakandi decided to resume the hunt.
Eventually after a long chase the Imakandi cornered Jack on a ledge high above the streets. One of the hunters ended the chase by firing what appeared to be an arrow at Jack. In a feat of incredible dexterity, Jack caught the arrow in mid-flight, shocking and impressing the Imakandi, whereupon the arrow morphed into a snake-like creature that bit his hand and injected an anesthetic poison into his blood, rendering him unconscious. Once they had arrived at a balcony with Jack, Aku appeared before them and demanded that they hand him over, but instead they refused, stating that the Samurai was the greatest creature they had ever hunted and deserved to be free. Before Aku could capture them, they teleported away in a blinding light. They returned Jack to where they had initially found him, and when he regained consciousness he found that they had left him a message that explained why they had released him, and told him to run free.
After Jack destroyed the past Aku, they presumably lost the hunting experience with Jack since Aku never came to their planet to recruit them to hunt Jack. Thus, the meeting with Aku never happened.
Powers and Abilities
- Master Hunters: Perhaps the Imakandi's greatest skill is their ability to track their prey quickly and efficiently, as shown by how they had found Jack shortly after arriving. Jack himself remarked about how he had never encountered more skilled hunters before.
- Teleportation: The Imakandi are capable of mystically based teleportation, as they were able, as a group, to teleport from their planet to Earth, as well as teleport with an unconscious Jack away from Aku when Aku came to take Jack from them. As they never use this power in the hunt itself, it is likely an ability created for the convenience of the story, allowing them to travel to and from Earth as well as removing Jack from Aku's clutches.
- Heightened Senses: The Imakandi have heightened senses of smell, hearing, and sight. Their senses are strong enough that they could hear a single sweat drop splash and figure out where it came from instantly. They were also capable of tracking Jack through a metropolitan sewer, despite the myriad of powerful smells within it.
- Enhanced Speed: The Imakandi have proven to be incredibly swift and agile as they were able to keep up with Jack while he was in a moving vehicle at high speeds. Their speed was somewhat inconstantly portrayed however, as Jack was able to keep pace with them on several occasions, and at one point, starting at the same distance away from a closing elevator, Jack managed to slip past its doors and enter it, whereas the Imakandi were too slow.
- Weapons Experts: The Imakandi have several weapons at their disposal from electric spears to anesthetic darts, however it should be noted that each of the hunters possess their own unique weapons.
- Master Combatants: The Imakandi have been shown to possess extraordinary fighting prowess, as the four of them together proved to be too skilled for Jack to fight head on. One of them managed at one point to catch a sword stroke from Jack between the palms of his hands.
- Enhanced Agility: The Imakandi have also shown themselves to possess agility that is on par with, or even greater than, Jack's own.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Matching their appearance, the Imakandi also have cat-like reflexes.
- The alien bounty hunter Huntor looks a lot like an Imakandi, although he is likely not a member of the species.
- Zeke's beard is also drawn similar to the facial hair of the Imakandi.
- Despite being great hunters, lions, which the Imakandi are based on, typically leave the hunting up to the females of the pride, while the Imakandi hunters are all masculine in appearance.
- They are one of the few opponents that Jack never manages to find a way to defeat, only escape from.
- Though considering that they are not truly evil, it's possible that Jack's sword wouldn't be able to hurt or affect them.
- Also, Jack did defeat them in Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time.
- They are among the very few characters who managed to foil both Jack and Aku, since they successfully captured the Samurai, yet protected him from Aku when he claimed him.