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Samurai Jack (character)

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"Samurai Jack" (real name unknown) is the titular character and main protagonist of the cartoon Samurai Jack. He is voiced by Phil LaMarr and Jonathan Osser (young).

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. This was possibly done by the animators in order to create a greater resemblance to his father. Jack also has long jet black hair that he ties into a topknot similarly to a number of his people who have been shown living in an area that greatly resembled the Edo period of Japan; however, the culture was more similar to the Nara and Heian periods. Jack's clothing consists of a simple white kimono with a gray lining on the sleeves and outer edge of his clothes tied together with a white sash as well as a pair of wooden sandals, called geta, that were destroyed in one episode by a group of bikers; however, they were later replaced by a jet repairman called Tengu who also crafted the very same sandals for his family and this later proved to be a great asset in allowing Jack to defeat the biker gang.

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.

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 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 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 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 bizarre circumstances that he often finds himself in, simply rolling with the proverbial punches rather than becoming upset or baffled.

Biography

Season One

Jack's story first began when he was born after Aku had his imprisonment by the hands of Jack's father. About a decade later, Aku escaped by an 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. 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 with and his signature kimono.

Jack travelled to the castle of Aku and found 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.

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.

Season two 

Season three

Skills and Abilities

  • Master Combatant: Jack has shown impressive mastery in many styles of martial arts some of which include the Shaolin Praying Mantis, Tiger and Eagle styles, as well as all the weapons the Shaolin use, Ninjutsu techniques, Greek wrestling and African stick fighting.  He 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].  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.
  • Master Archer: Jack has shown to have excellent skills in archery since he was trained by Robin Hood. His marksmanship skill was put to the test in Episode 3 when Jack used his archery skills to set off traps against the beetle drones and later used his last arrows on the beetle drones which they hit dead on.
Jack shirtless vs the zombies
  • Master Swordsman: Aside from Jack's ability to proficiently wield a vast number of weapons, he showed the greatest amount of skill with his sword. Jack is shown to rely primarily on swiftness and precision in his strikes in a balanced blend of attack and defense, and is able to land dozens of blows in seconds, and can even deflect machine gun fire from multiple directions. Coupled with the sword's extreme cutting power, Jack can also slice through structures, enemies and machines much larger than he is while also able to parry most strikes with ease. 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.
  • Superhuman Strength: Jack is shown to have immense physical strength despite his lean frame. He is able to cleanly cut through most machines with little effort and can easily throw opponents much larger than himself (although this may be due to skill more so than raw strength). He has also been shown to have the ability to push and lift objects that are far beyond what a human should be able to move. For instance, while fighting the Minions of Set, he managed to push a stacked stone column weighing, at least, many thousands of pounds. However, the extent of his strength is highly inconsistent, as he also once struggled to hold a large rock that weighed "one stone" (a large Scotsman, for comparison, weighs around "twenty stones").
  • Superhuman Speed: Jack is shown to be extremely swift on his feet and has performed incredible feats of speed and agility, able to avoid gunfire, carve through entire armies within seconds and in one instance, defeat a team composed entirely of highly infamous and skilled bounty hunters from all directions in the time it takes for a drop of water to hit the ground.
  • Superhuman Jumping Capability: At one point after arriving in the past, Jack inadvertently stumbled upon a group of monkeys who provided him with training that allows him to jump hundreds of feet into the air.
  • Superhuman Durability: Jack has shown many times throughout the series that he has a very high durability and has survived blows from powerful opponents and still been able to stand and fight, he also has a very high tolerance for great physical pain. He has also displayed an incredible tolerance for blunt force trauma, and has been slammed through rocks and dropped from heights that would kill a normal person on many occasions.
  • Survival Skills: Living amongst Aku's Orwellian regime greatly limits the places Jack can visit for a meal even when he has money; thus he frequents living in the wild and foraging and hunting his own food. As such he trained long ago the means to secure his own food in the wild, capable of setting traps or hunting. Thus he has a subset of skills such as Stalking and Concealment to aid in his obtaining food. He also knows how to cook. He is aware of basic medicine.
  • Willpower: Jack seems to possess a nearly indomitable force of will, and is 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).
  • Ninjutsu: Jack is also a skilled ninja, having been trained to blend in with the light. His ninja clothes are the same as his robe. He only needs to take off his robe and turn it inside out and lighten it up to make it into a make-shift ninja outfit.

Trivia

  • Samurai Jack is a Playable Character in "Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion"
  • He is a non-playable character in "Cartoon Network: Fusionfall."
  • Jack's body angles and features are similar to those of Professor Utonium from The Powerpuff Girls.
  • 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.

References

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

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