SPOILERS ahead for the season finale of Samurai Jack.
Samurai Jack just concluded with its final episode and boy does it go out with a bang. The animation once again is superb and the characters are still extremely well written. The shows creator Genndy Tartakovsky has brought the franchise back to its former glory and ends the show with a satisfying but bittersweet conclusion.
Samurai Jack’s Friends Come To His Aide
After 50+ years into the future, Jack is given another chance to stop Aku from his evil reign. But Jack can’t do it alone. Season 5 has reintroduced previous characters from the other seasons who Jack saved from Aku’s tyranny. Some of these characters include the Monkey Man, Robo-Samurai, the Woolies, the once blind archers, and of course the hilarious Scotsman (in ghost form).
The final battle is epic in every way possible. The other characters come to Jack’s aide who’s then able to work with his friend Ashi to have one last chance to strike down Aku with his legendary sword. Jack’s chances aren’t wasted as he slices and dices his way through Aku (literally). Jack is victorious and the entire time period is reset before Aku’s dominion around the world can take place. However, what Jack didn’t realize was that killing Aku also meant wiping away Ashi’s existence.
Why This Ending Works To End Jack’s Tale
All in all, love triumphed over evil. With Jack having expressed his love to Ashi, she was able to fight the darkness inside of her and in turn sent Jack back to the very moment Aku would be defeated. Without Ashi, Jack would not have prevailed.
The final scene proves heartbreaking for both Jack and its viewers. As Jack is getting to marry Ashi, Ashi realizes that without Aku she would never have existed. She collapses and fades away from existence leaving Jack all alone once again.
This ending is depressing to watch but makes the most sense. Ashi would never have been around if Aku was killed and her death was inevitable. Ashi’s ultimate sacrifice was absolutely essential and needed to happen for Aku’s reign to come to an end. The story is wrapped up beautifully. Though it ends on a downer, it’s told in a poetic way.
The Final Scene Gives Jack A Beacon of Hope
This scene is very poetic in every sense of the word. The scene is reminiscent from one of the earlier episodes when Ashi realizes there’s life outside of the confinement she’s been living in when a lady bug lands on her hand. That was one of the big turning points in her life when she began to understand that there was more to life than what she was raised up to become.
The ladybug here once again symbolizes that feeling of hope and innocence as the final shot goes from a dark shadowy abyss in the mountains to a ray of sunshine. Jack smiles as the ladybug flies off his hand as the colors of the tree’s and the hills begin to show.
It’s a beautiful sendoff to a legendary Cartoon Network show that took everyone completely by surprise. Genndy Tartakovsky’s unique storytelling and artful animation gave this show a special touch and is certainly worth a second viewing. It’s satisfying to know that they have finally finished this series after an over ten year hiatus. This show had to wrap up and they did it perfectly.