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BeCareful
"Be Careful, Samurai."
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Thanks are not necessary. It is my duty to oppose the minions of Aku and my mission to vanquish the very demon himself.

—Jack, The First Fight

Fifty years have passed, but I do not age. Time has lost its effect on me, yet the suffering continues.
Aku's grasp chokes the past, present and future. All hope is lost.
Got to get back. Back to the past. Samurai Jack.

—Jack, Intro for Samurai Jack (Season 5)

"Samurai Jack" (real name unknown) is the titular character and main protagonist of the cartoon Samurai Jack. Throughout the series, he is voiced by Phil LaMarr.

Appearance

ChildJack

Jack as a child.

Early in the series, Jack's face was depicted as long and rectangular; however, later in the show it became more like a square with a distinct eastern look.

As an adult, he is fairly tall and lean but fit in built, and has long jet black hair that he keeps tied in a Japanese chonmage topknot. Jack's clothing consists of a simple white kimono robe (sometimes referred to as a gi) with gray trim on the sleeves and edges, a white obi sash around his waist, and a pair of wooden geta sandals. His geta were once destroyed in Episode XXVI by a group of bikers, then later replaced by a jet repairman called Tengu who crafted the very same geta sandals for himself and his family. Throughout the show, whenever Jack's kimono is severely damaged in battle, he simply tears off the top half to continue fighting unhindered. Because he starts each new episode with his kimono fully intact, it can be assumed that Jack repairs his clothing in-between episodes.

In the image shown by the time portal guarded by The Guardian depicting an older version of himself, Jack is shown to have waist-long beard and hair. He is also shown to be wearing a golden crown and a red cape with scars all over his body.

As of Season 5, Jack has grown a large beard and wears full samurai armor with a mask resembling a Japanese oni demon and a gun holster across his torso. In Episode XCII his mask was destroyed by a horde of Beetle Drones, and he discarded his helmet and shoulder pads while fighting Scaramouch. He appeared with his full armor again in Episode XCIII only for it to be completely destroyed by the Daughters of Aku, shortening his beard and leaving him wearing only tattered rags.

Personality

Jack strongly exhibits the characteristics of a stoic hero. He is unfailingly kind and generous, and will always attempt to help those in need, as well as dispatching sage like wisdom to those he believes are in need of guidance. He often ends up sacrificing a chance to return to his own time in order to help someone else. He has had considerable development during his time in the future. Initially, though polite and refined, he was very quick to anger and even more quick to being frustrated or irritated. His quest to return to his own time, having been thwarted again and again, even convinced him for a short time that returning to the past was impossible. However, over time, he has become much more patient and calm. He is also clever and rational, able to pose a plan or a strategy necessary to defeat the enemy, and also knowing his limits (such as when he is surrounded by too many enemies to defeat them by pure force). He is also extremely good at thinking on his feet, often improvising his way out of lethal, or impossibly bizarre, situations. He is also a very solitary man, tending not to socialize due to his focus on his quest.

However a running gag in the show (During Seasons 1-4) is his inability or reluctance to understand the technology of the future, such as in one episode, Jack had attempted to escape Aku's fortress after rescuing two fairy like creatures by driving a hovercar, but he fails to operate it competently, claiming he prefers to walk. He is also quite good at keeping his wits about him when confronted with the outlandishly strange circumstances that he often finds himself in, simply rolling with the proverbial punches rather than becoming upset or baffled.

After 50 years in the future, between losing his father's sword (the only means of killing Aku) and all known means of return to the past being destroyed, Jack has become disillusioned with the idea of ever completing his quest. He is emotionally vulnerable, showing signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as he is often haunted by hallucinations of his family the people of the past, constantly asking him why he didn't return to save them. Also, in Episode XCIII, in his mind manifests a hallucination of Jack in his prime. The hallucination demands that Jack give up and end his constant suffering, means that Jack is contemplating seppuku (suicide) in this episode. Despite his weariness and seeming lack of hope, Jack refuses to surrender, continuing his quest to save people from Aku's tyranny wherever possible.

At the same time, he also becomes open-minded with technology in which he begins to utilize hi-tech weaponry, explosive, and riding a motorbike. Despite his decades of training and fighting as the ultimate warrior, and his seemingly endless journey hardening his overall outlook, Jack's general nature is still rather inexperienced, having never directly taken the life of a human-being or sentient alien. He is able to distance himself from the knowledge of all the robots and androids he has destroyed by noting that they are just "nuts and bolts". However, upon actually killing such a being, one Daughter of Aku, he was left horrified at the sight. However he later comes to term with his first kill after a memory of remembering his father's word of wisdom and is able to handle killing the remaining Daughters of Aku.

Biography

Early Life

Jack was born a prince to his father's land, in an era greatly resembling Japan's Edo period in appearance, albeit with culture closer to the Nara and Heian periods. His story first began when he was born shortly after Aku was imprisoned by Jack's father. About a decade later, Aku escaped with the help of a solar eclipse. Jack's mother went into hiding and sent Jack to train around the world, as was planned by his parents should Aku ever escape his prison and Jack's father fail to stop him.

Training with his teachers

His mother took him to a Japanese ship whose Captain who took him from his homeland. On the journey he is taught astronomy and how to navigate via the stars. The ship takes Jack to Arabia where a sheikh taught him to ride horses. From there, he is taken to Africa where he was left with a tribe of bushmen who taught the art of fighting with a staff. After reaching proficiency, he was brought to Egypt where he was educated by their best scholars. Jack eventually moves to Greece to learn the art of wresting followed by a trip to England where he met Robin Hood who trained him on how to use a bow and arrow. He then traveled on a viking long boat working as a member of the crew. In Russia he was trained in the art of axe throwing and later went to Mongolia where he was taught combat on horseback. His final training took him to a shaolin temple where he learned their discipline and martial arts.

Confronting Aku

After years of training with some of the greatest warriors of the time, Jack returned to the temple his mother was hiding in and was given the sword his father used to defeat Aku along with his signature kimono. Jack traveled to the castle of Aku, finding his father enslaved and nearly skin and bones. He warned Jack that it was too early for him to fight Aku, but he didn't listen and continued on. Jack then confronted the sorcerer and the battle began. Jack managed to severely wound Aku, but before he could deal the final blow, Aku opened a time portal and threw Jack into it, sending him centuries into the future.

The Future

When Jack finally escaped the portal, he found himself in a dystopian future. After Jack escaped being crushed, he met three alien teens who called him "Jack." He asked them where he was and what was going on around him, and learned that Aku had conquered the world and spread his influence across the universe, enslaving many planets while using Earth as his base of operations. The teens then showed him a bar where he could get a drink, but was attacked by crooks however he quickly disposed of them. This caught the attention of a group of dog archaeologists, who discovered the truth about Jack's origins and asked for his help in saving their group from Aku's oppression. Jack consented, and left with them, but not before giving them his new name Jack. Though they did not know it, the group was being watched by one of Aku's spies, who hastily informed him of Jack's actions at the bar.

Jack and the archaeologists later arrived at the mines the dogs were excavating and saw the tragedies that befell those incapable of fulfilling Aku's bidding. He and the dogs then came up with a strategy to defeat Aku's army of mechanical beetles. On the day of the attack, Jack faced the army and managed to drastically reduce their numbers using the very crystals the dogs were forced to dig for, but not before running out of artillery and being forced to fight the remaining ones on foot. Despite suffering several injuries, Jack managed to beat them after going into berserk-like yelling no there is no escape when the drones attempted to retreat. With the army defeated, the dogs thanked the Samurai and went their separate ways. Jack would then go on many adventures, make friends, and help out many people as he searched for a way back in time or an opportunity to destroy Aku.

50 Years in the Future

Jack has still not found a way back home or defeated Aku, but Aku's time travel spell has rendered Jack ageless. During this time, Aku destroyed nearly every method of returning to the past and Jack lost his sword in a pit at some point, forcing him to rely on futuristic technology such as firearms, explosives and a heavily-armed motorbike. Despite becoming disillusioned and haunted by the past, Jack still continues his journey, though his sanity appears to be slowly slipping away.

In Episode XCII, he rescues a family from the Beetle Drones. While riding on his motorbike, he sees a plume of smoke in the distance but chooses to ignore it. When stopping for water, he sees extremely disturbing visions of his parents and his people asking why has he forsaken them, followed by a mysterious and ominous armored figure on horseback staring at him. This last apparition frightened Jack so much that he hastily departs on his bike. This happens again in the night in which his father, in a hellish vision surrounded by flames, expressed his displeasure of Jack having forgotten his purpose, and Jack sees the rider once more. He then leaves the spot in fear. Jack finally arrives at the source of the smoke in a ruined city, and only sees death when he arrives. He then runs into Scaramouch, who mocks him for his late appearance and loss of his sword before attempting to tell Aku the news. Jack destroys his phone mid-call and proceeds to fight him. During the fight he suffers another hallucination, this time with children and the armored rider. Eventually, he succeeds in defeating Scaramouch, claims the assassin's tuning sword and proceeds to leave the area.

In Episode XCIII, he travels to a fork in the road and turns left. He stops to deal with a large Large Beetle Drone which he easily destroys with his trident. After a while, the Daughters of Aku ambush Jack, and destroy most of his equipment and parts of his armor. He uses explosives to escape and then hides within the now destroyed Beetle Drone. He has a hallucination of himself saying he should give up and join their ancestors since Jack lost his sword. The hallucination urges Jack to honorably end his own life as there is no more honor in fighting and nothing can stop Aku now that his sword is gone. However, Jack refuses as he believes he can still find a way and his foes are always just "nuts and bolts". He then proceeds to hide in a nearby temple where the Daughters of Aku eventually find him. When one of the sisters manages to stab him in the stomach, Jack kills her. Jack is then horrified at the revelation he killed a human being and not a machine. After recovering his stolen tuning fork knife, he proceeds to destroy the temple as he plunges into the river below to escape, passing out from the blood loss. His unconscious body floats downstream, bleeding out in the river.

In Episode XCIV, a barely alive Jack continues to float downriver. After Jack manages to grab hold of a floating log, a frog hops on, warning him the Daughters are not far behind. Eventually, Jack reaches the shore and makes his way to a cave, all the while being stalked by the mysterious samurai. Inside the cave, Jack pulls the knife from his side with great discomfort before passing out. Upon waking up, his hallucination of himself appears again and taunts him over his first human kill, coming to the conclusion that Jack wanted the Daughters to kill him, though Jack himself denies this. The next morning, a blood-soaked Jack prepares to defend himself. Instead, an equally blood-soaked wolf enters the cave (the same wolf from the previous episode) and Jack passes out again. While unconscious, Jack remembers the time his father defended their family from a band of outlaws who had ambushed their carriage. Waking up again, Jack bonds with the wolf and nurses himself back to health. Remembering his father's lesson, Jack and the wolf part ways and Jack prepares himself for another confrontation with the Daughters of Aku. Soon enough, the Daughters track Jack back to his location. Echoing his father's words, a hidden Jack offers the Daughters an ultimatum: Leave, or face their destiny. The Daughters refuse and Jack, using the terrain and weather to his advantage, kills three of them, luring the final three to a fallen tree hanging over a cliff. Discarding his weapon, Jack sends two of the Daughters falling to their deaths before confronting the last one (revealed to be Ashi). Ignoring her threats, Jack simply unwraps her chain from his wrist to her apparent death. Unfortunately, the tree finally collapses from the struggle, sending Jack falling into the valley below.

Powers and Abilities

  • Ageless: Due to a side effects of Aku's time-travelling spell, Jack does not physically age, potentially able to live indefinitely. Also as a result, he has retained his youthful appearance along with prime health and vitality, despite being in his eighties. However, he is still vulnerable to pain and injuries, and could be killed the same way as any normal human. The inability to age does not apply to his metabolism either, as he still requires food and rest to live.
Jack shirtless vs the zombies
  • Cunning: Jack has demonstrated a high level of understanding and intelligence, proving to be an expert at planning and creating strategies for confrontations, using his surroundings to his advantage, and seeing through Aku's deception on quite a few occasions. This cunning allows him to easily plan for his opponents and make strategies, both ahead of time and in the heat of the moment.
  • Master Archer: Jack has shown to have excellent skills in archery since he was trained by Robin Hood. His archer skill was put to the test in Episode 3 when Jack used this skill to to set off traps against the beetle drones and later used his last arrows on the beetle drones which they hit dead on.
  • Master Marksman: Jack has high levels of precision and accuracy with firearms even at a great distance, rarely missing his target. Jack is shown to carry a handgun after spending 50 years in the future. He is also skilled in using heavy firearms such as a machine gun with a rocket launcher.
  • Master Martial Artist: Jack has shown impressive mastery in many styles of martial arts; some of which include the Shaolin Praying Mantis, Tiger and Eagle styles, Greek wrestling and African stick fighting. In his youth, Jack also learned how to use unfamiliar weapons by observing others, and adapting their style into his own skills to use them more effectively as necessary. After 50 years, he is shown to skill enough to kill three highly skilled Daughter of Aku with only his bare hand bu turning their strengh and weapon against them.
  • Master Melee Fighter: Jack is well versed in a number of weapons that range from spears and staffs to nunchukus and shurikens, as shown in his fights at the Dome of Doom[1]. After 50 years, he begins to adapt to modern technology, where he relies on firearms, a motorcycle, and a retractable polearm.
  • Master Swordsman: Jack's signature and arguably greatest skill is his performance with a sword. Jack's style relies primarily on swiftness and precision in his strikes, balancing with strong defensive stances that parry his opponent's strikes until finding an opening for a decisive blow. Very few opponents have been demonstrated to be a match for his swordsmanship, among them The Scotsman and The Ninja, and even fewer can outright defeat him, such as The Guardian. His trademark technique is Horse Cut, which he jumps into the air and slashes the opponent with tremendous force during his fall to break their defense or destroy their armor. After 50 years, he is shown to able to fight a group of assassins using only a combat knife.
  • Motorcycle Intuition: Jack is shown to know how to ride a motorcycle after 50 years in the future.
  • Multilingual: Due to his travels around the world in his native era, Jack was taught by many different cultures, including African, Greek, Russian, Mongolian, English, and more. Presumably he learned the local languages and dialects of his teachers during this time period, as international tongues were rare in his period of history.
  • Ninjutsu: Jack has had training in ninjitsu, having been trained to blend in with his surroundings. His preferred style is to blend in with the light. He does this by simply reversing his kimono so that he is dressed in white, and tying white bandages around his face, hands, and feet, after which he employs his training. 50 years later he is even able to blend even with little clothing to disguise himself with.
  • Peak Human Conditioning: From spending the majority of his life preparing to face Aku and constantly facing adversity in his quest to return home, Jack has honed his body to the absolute limit of human potential.
    • Peak Human Agility: Jack is extremely agile and he often use it to his advantage against his opponents and Jack can easily do back-flips to avoid danger and land on his feet with ease.
    • Peak Human Endurance: Jack has shown many times to be highly resistant to harm. He withstood powerful blows from inhumanly strong opponents relatively unfazed and being slammed through rocks only to quickly brush it off. Even with injures he does sustain, he has a high threshold for pain, able to continue fighting with no hindrance to his performance. He has even survived falls from great heights that would kill a normal person. Jack also has an unfathomable reserve of stamina. In addition to rarely tiring, even after such, he is shown able to fight off hundreds of opponents for days. And still able to move and survive despite losing a lot of blood as seen in Episode XCIV.
    • Peak Human Senses: Jack's years of training have honed his senses to surreal levels. With them, he is highly alert to any approaching threat and likewise is able to quickly react to even the fastest of opponents. With his sense of hearing alone, he was able to defeat the Blind Archers, taking in the whole environment to consistently steps ahead of the three archers.
    • Peak Human Speed: Jack is shown to be extremely swift. With his natural reflexes and sheer footwork, he is able to able to avoid gunfire, carve through entire armies within seconds and even defeat a team composed entirely of highly skilled bounty hunters from all directions in the time it takes for a drop of water to hit the ground. He has also demonstrated the ability to use his sword to deflect bullets from a gatling gun with little effort.
    • Peak Human Strength: Jack has deceptive raw strength for his lean frame, able to cleanly cut through most machines with little effort and can easily throw opponents much larger than himself. Also, following his training with the blue monkeys, his strength increased immensely, able to jump about while weighed down all over by large rocks and boulders. In building up his muscles for this improved physical prowess, he also gained the ability to jump about hundreds of feet into the air, even from a stationary position.
  • Survival Skills: Living amongst Aku's regime greatly limits the number of places Jack can visit for a meal even when he has money; thus he tends to live in the wild where he must obtain his own food. As such, he is a proficient hunter, trapper, forager, and cook. He also has basic medical skills, and he tends to patch himself back up after his battles.
  • Willpower: Jack seems to possess a nearly indomitable force of will, able to force himself through virtually any hardship in order to vanquish Aku. This ability is not absolute however, and he is capable of becoming disheartened and, at one point, he nearly gave up his quest (though on that occasion he got over himself in rather short order after being reminded of what it was that he fought for).

Weapon and Equipment

Main weapon:

Jack's Sword: The mystical katana forged by Ra, Odin and Vishnu to vanquish Aku. The sword is currently lost in a pit during Jack's unknown battle. Originally, this is the only weapon Jack uses to fight most of the time until he's forced to use other high-tech weaponry after losing the sword.

Extended weapons:

Electric Trident: Jack is shown using a retractable trident with a dragon-shaped head sharp enough to penetrate and pull out the electrical components of Beetle Drones, while the reverse end emits an electric charge strong enough to cut through anything. It is revealed that the dragon-shaped head can spin like a drill to penetrate the biggest Beetle Drone easily. Lost during Jack's battle with the Giant Beetle Drone.

Tuning Knife: Jack gets this knife after killing Scaramouch. The knife can transform into a tuning fork shape and emit a high magnetic frequency that shatters objects on contact. Stolen by one of the Daughters of Aku, but later recovered. Jack used the knife to destroy the temple's hallway during his escape, preventing the Daughters from following him. Lost in the river.

Laser Pistol: Jack's personal sidearm. The rounds are powerful enough to penetrate multiple targets at once and destroy a golem's head with one shot. Destroyed during Jack's first encounter with the Daughters of Aku.

Mini-gun: This weapon is more advanced than the real-life equivalent, since it can be wielded like an assault rifle and has a built-in rocket launcher at the center. Jack keeps this stowed in his motorcycle. Smashed with a kanabo by one of the Daughters of Aku.

Kunai: Jack threw a kunai at Scaramouch's smartphone to prevent him from talking further with Aku. Presumably lost during Jack's first encounter with the Daughters of Aku.

Samurai armor: This armor provides additional protection for Jack with high durability and built-in retractable shields that can be thrown as projectiles. The armor originally had a demon mask until it was destroyed during a confrontation with the Beetle Drones. Destroyed during Jack's first encounter with the Daughters of Aku.

Motorcycle: Jack's own ride doubles as a weapon. The wheels sprout spikes used for destroying multiple enemies. Destroyed with a tripwire by the Daughters of Aku.

Explosives: Jack carries a whole belt of explosive devices, but mainly uses them to escape from desperate situations. All were used during his escape from the Daughters of Aku.

Combat knives: Jack wields two long Bowie knives with brass-knuckle hilts when fighting against Scaramouch. Both of these are shattered during the battle by the tuning knife, though Jack is able to throw the second at Scaramouch before it explodes, damaging him with its fragments in the process.

Other Weapons: Jack occasionally and briefly uses other weapons he finds but does not keep (and even did this while he still had his sword). In Season 5, he uses Scaramouch's own scimitar to destroy him but discards it due to its weight. He later uses an ancient sword and battle-axe while fighting the Daughters of Aku in a temple, but both are destroyed. In his rematch against the remaining Daughters, Jack killed two of them with spears he had created and fought the rest with their own weapons.

FusionFall

Main article: Samurai Jack (FusionFall)

Quotes

  • "What has happened to our land, Father?"
  • "Aku!"
  • "I am the lost son of the land that you have pillaged! I am here to reclaim it, for my people, for my father, for my birthright!"
  • "They call me... Jack."
  • "Shinobi, warrior of the night. Trained to use the darkness of the shadow. I know your arts as well. But I have been trained to use the light!"
  • "Fifty years have passed. But I do not age. Time has lost its effect on me. Yet the suffering continues. Aku's grasp chokes everything. Past, present, and future."
  • "No, Father. Aku destroyed the way home!"
  • "It always seems bad at first, but then I find a way. They are just nuts and bolts. Just nuts and bolts."
  • "You have chosen this path. Life works in strange ways. Your choices have clearly led you here. As have mine. I will give you a new choice. Leave here now and live, or stay and face your destiny."
  • "Very well. The decisions you make and the actions that follow are a reflection of...of who you really are."

Trivia

  • It's suggested that Jack is predestined to defeat Aku and go back to his original time, but that it will take years to do so.
  • Samurai Jack is a Playable Character in "Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion".
  • Jack's body angles and features are similar to those of Professor Utonium from The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Jack's true age (prior to Season 5) is unspecified. While in the first episode, in the montage of his training, under a few of his teachers, he appeared older than he was in the last scene, from child to adulthood. According to Rothchild's age-o-meter, Jack's particles/cells date back to 25 B.A - 25 years before Aku took over Earth completely. This suggests that Jack was at least 25 years old at the time Aku sent him to the future.
  • Even though he's called Jack, this is not his real name. At this point, the name his parents gave him is unknown. In flashbacks and the first episodes, his parents did not call him by name. It can be reasonably assumed that his name is of Japanese origin, given his background.
  • It should be noted that if Jack were to just take the opportunity he had at the time to travel back in time, none of the people he saved would have experienced the pain and suffering Aku inflicted on them.
    • It is possible, that if this were to happen, traveling back in time may create another alternate timeline rather than actually changing the current one.

References

  1. Samurai Jack series; Episode XVI: Jack and the Smackback
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