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Samurai Jack (character)

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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

"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. 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. 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.

In Season 5, Jack has grown a large beard and wears full armor resembling a traditional Samurai. He also wears a gun holster across his torso.

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 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, Jack has become disillusioned with the idea of ever completing his quest. Despite this, he will still save those suffering from the evils of Aku in front of him. At the same time, he also becomes open-minded with futuristic technology in which he begins to utilize firearms, hi-tech explosive and riding a motorbike.

Biography

Early Life

Jack was born a prince to his father's land. 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.

Jack's 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 their leader 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. At the same time, he has overcame his reluctance toward technology as he now can use firearms, explosive and ride a heavy-armed motorbike. Despite becoming disillusioned, Jack still continues his journey.

Powers and Abilities

  • Ageless: The effect of time travel has rendered him unable to age, allowing him to potentially live forever. As a result, despite being well-over 50 years old, he has remained physically unchanged. To which, his physical health and appearance remains as it was during his prime. Furthermore, this also appears to keep his vitality, performance, and overall conditioning in the same state. However, he is still vulnerable to pain and injuries. To which he can be killed the same as any normal being.
  • Limited Telekinesis: In Jack and The Haunted House, he can levitate his sword to cut the demonic bonds utilized by the demonic spirit just by intense willpower and focus. Seemingly, he learned this technique from witnessing the Shaolin monks' usage of Qi in such physical means.
Jack shirtless vs the zombies
  • Intelligence: Jack has demonstrated a high level of understanding and intelligence, being 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. Jack also has high levels of precision and accuracy rarely failing their goal and they are a great distance Jack rarely misses its target.
  • Marksmanship: Jack is shown to carry a laser pistol after his 50 years journey in the future. He is also skilled in using laser pistol and Vulcan gun as well as hi-tech explosive.
  • Motorcycle Intuition: Jack is shown to use a motorcycle after 50 years in the future.
  • 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 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.
  • Master Melee Fighter: 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]. After 50 years, he begins to adapt to modern technology, which he begins to use firearm and ride motorbike.
  • 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 destroys their armor. After 50 years, he is shown to able to fight a large amount of assassins using only a combat knife.
  • Ninjutsu: Jack is also a skilled ninja, 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 chi so that he is dressed in pure white, and tying white bandages around his face, hands, and feet, after which he employs his training.
  • 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 Resilience: 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.
    • 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: He 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 Orwellian 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).

FusionFall

Main article: Samurai Jack (FusionFall)

Quotes

  • "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."
  • "Fifty years have passed. But I do not age. Time has lost it's effect on me. Yet the suffering continues. Aku's grasp chokes everything. Past, present, and future."
  • "It's always bad at first, but then I find a way."
  • "Leave here now and live, or stay and face your destiny."

Trivia

  • 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.
    • Though it's possible that traveling back in time will just create an alternate timeline rather than actually changing the current one.

References

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

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