A Samurai Jack Community
Cartoon Network (ended 2017)
Well, there's not a whole lot to review with "XCIII", but that's why I get the big bucks. The storyboarding/artwork is superb and unique, as always. The action is well choreographed, although a little confusing just because the seven Daughters all look alike and the lighting is a bit dim.

There are three story elements going on. The main one is Jack fighting the Daughters. They ambush him in the forest, destroy his armor, and jack takes refuge in the wreckage of a beetle drone that he destroyed earkuer. There he is haunted by the ghost of his past self. Not surprisingly, Jack has some mental issues and his ghostly past self suggests that he kill himself and join his ancestors rather than face an eternity of undying battle with Aku with no chance of returning to the past. Real Jack insists that his opponents are just nuts and bolts.


The Daughters chase Jack into an abandoned temple. After an elaborate game of hide-and-seek, one of the Daughters confronts Jack and puts a knife in his side. Jack cuts her throat and is shocked to discover that for the first time, he's killed a human being rather than a robot. The samurai uses Scarmouch's vibro sword (remember that?) to destroy the temple behind him as he falls into a river and is swept away, bleeding to death.

In a parallel story track, a wolf is traveling through the forest and three green-striped tigers beset him. The wolf kills them, but at the seeming cost of its own life.


In the first four and a half minutes, we get a day in the life of Aku. Aku's is really really bored. He's conquered the world and probably the known universe, and doesn't have much to look forward to. He carps at mud aliens that bring him tribute, complaining that they're ruining his floors. When his head scientists bring him the plans for a new beetle drone, Aku laughs it off and says that he doesn't care about Jack anymore.

We then get a scene where Aku is meeting with (presumably) a subconscious version of himself as a therapist and confessing his problems and complaints. Including the fact that Jack "grew that stupid beard." The therapist doesn't let Aku mention Jack because "It is a safe place."


Greg Baldwin, doing the voice of Aku, is no Mako. But to the casual ear, he's pretty much indiscernible. This sequence is the only humor in the episode, and there are pretty bizarre scenes of Aku waking up, putting on his flaming eyebrows, and doing squats to warm up.


It's not entirely clear how the Daughters are putting up such a good fight against Jack. Yes, they have the advantage of numbers and a decade or two of training. And one of them does end up dead. Still, the impression is that Jack is fighting the most dangerous enemies of his 50+ years in the future, even if it's their first battle in the field. Then again, the "new" Samurai Jack is a continuing storyline. So there needs to be something to give Jack a running battle that will extend over multiple episodes. Rather than just Jack has an exciting adventure, Jack almost returns to the past through a time portal and/or kills Aku, but at the end Aku destroys the portal and escapes.

And Aku does get some character development, since he's now the ruler that has everything that he desires and is bored with it. Jack gets some character development as well, since he's beginning to crack under the pressure of being an immortal warrior trapped in an endless battle. It's not like we ever saw Duncan MacLeod (of the Clan MacLeod) dealing with centuries of watching his girlfriends wither and die, and the toll that a seemingly endless series of battles took on him.


Plus, hey, it's Adult Swim so the red stuff must flow.


But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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Mar 24, 2017
I enjoyed this episode. I thought the Aku stuff was a bit cheesy but it does make sense when you think about it. We've seen it with Zod in Superman II, Doom after he used Purple Man to take over the world and turned it into a docile utopia, and now with Aku. For the 1st two, they sought destructive ways to "resolve" their issues: Zod went after the son of his jailor and Doom destroyed the machine, putting everything back the way it was. I'm sure at some point Aku will try to kill Jack himself, just to end the boredom.

I also have to admit, I was surprised at the death of one of the daughters; didn't see that coming. So used to seeing just robot. Still, I think this was a good episode and it does set up a long story arc.

Can't wait for the next episode!
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