Samurai Jack

Season 2 Episode 5

XVIII: Jack And The Ultra-robots

Aired Saturday 12:30 AM Mar 29, 2002 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes

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Episode Summary

Jack goes from destroyed village to destroyed village looking for the ultra-robots responsible for the destruction only to find that they were forcibly created by a scientist blackmailed by Aku.

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  • Awesome

    Some of the best action scenes in the show. The buildup to when Jack first faces his enemies, with flashbacks showing their massacre of entire villages, is wonderfully effective. Jack defeats his enemies with ruthless efficiency
  • Ultra-Jack Vs Ultra-Robots

    Much in the same vein as the doom dome episode, this episode is mostly combat-focused. Eight deadly robots have been constructed to lure and kill Jack, designed to withstand his sword and all of his fighting styles. The introduction of the episode focuses on Jack walking through a number of cities that lie in ruins with few survivors. The few that are alive speak of several terrible robots that massacred the population of each city, from cat people (humorlessly in scratching-post houses) to robots.

    Jack follows this trail of destruction to find 8 baskets out in the desert, which quickly awaken to reveal the 8 deadly "ultra-robots" responsible for the cities destruction. This scene is particularly eery at first, as you can tell that there's something not quite right about the 8 neatly placed baskets out in the middle of the desert. The robot's voices remind me a high-pitched Darth Vader (they even quote him a couple times).

    They quickly prove to be too much for Jack to handle, forcing Jack to (for the first time) give up, run, and hide. In his hiding place he finds the creator of the robots who was tricked by Aku, and only made the robots so that his city would not be destroyed. But the ever devious Aku decided to destroy the city anyway, using the robots that maker created. The scientist then gives him a bionic arm that is capable of giving Jack the strength he needs to cut through their adamantium exteriors.

    Jack, with his new robo-arm, faces off against the robots once again, quickly slicing through them (though with a few close calls). The highlight of this scene were probably where Jack slices the arm off the machine gun robot, and then uses the still-firing gun to destroy the Shuriken throwing robot. Not long after he gets to the final robot...the sword wielding one... And just at the wrong time, his robot-arm runs out of juice and falls to the ground, forcing Jack to go unaided into battle with the samurai robot.

    Desperate, he kneels down and begs about his ancestors for help. Just before the samurai robot brings his sword down on Jack's head, Jack rises with his sword aglow and brings it down on the robot with mighty righteousness, while the robot exclaims "...unbelievable..."

    This is another good example of an episode that doesn't require much story or background to stay interesting, and also still acceptable for young ages, as it's only robots getting sliced up and murdered (no cat people were seen dead or sliced up, only the robots). Again Genndy's genius at producing PG-rated gore and massacre.moreless
  • The first episodes I saw and alo my favorite.

    I loved this episode. It filled with action. Apparently Jack was strong enough to destroy the robots sword so he used a metal arm in order to destroy them. Man I remeber seeing commertials about this episode it aired it looked cool and thus this was my first Samurai Jack episode ever. Jack get's strength from his ancestors in order to destroy the last robot since his metal arm ran out of power. You know I haven't seen this episode for a very long time and I really wish if somehow I could see it again. Overall it's my favorite episode.moreless
  • After Samurai Jack encounters several cities destroyed he tries to stop the eight ultra-bots responsible with the help of the professor who originally created them.

    So far, this is my favorite episode of Samurai Jack. It begins when Samurai Jack discovers that several villages are destroyed by a mysterious enemy. The show's creators slowly and ingeniously reveal what the villains look like as well as the weapons they used based on first hand accounts that survivors shared with Jack and battles that Jack worked out as he observed the aftermath of the slaughters (showing that Jack is among other things a formidable detective). Then Jack comes across eight baskets which appear to be harmless until they turn into deadly robots like Transformers. What makes this episode truly special is the little details that are shown. I think that it is very powerful that you can see sadness in Jack's eyes when he realizes that all that destruction was caused because they were looking for him. I like the humanity that Jack is given. Most cartoons I've seen don't take the time to show those moments. I love how the robots have simple red circles for eyes. They convey an emotionless glare that is frightening. Each robot has a different style of weapon giving the animation directors a wide variety of different action to work with making the fight scenes visually unique (I especially like how the invisibility is portrayed). One of the minor flaws of the show is that often times the sword fights looks repetitious (this isn't a complaint just an observation). That is not the case in this episode. It shows Jack handling the adversaries in different ways and the different weapons are visually inventive (the exploding cords look cool as they're launched in the air, although I can't for the life of me explain how the robot is able to produce so many of them, I guess through the magic of Aku. I also like the grappling claws because I have always liked the look of animated chains). After being brutally defeated Samurai Jack flees. I like the visual effects used to show the robot's infrared scanner. It's a nice touch. Then samurai Jack meets the professor (who reminds me of professor Frink from the Simpsons) that created them and showed the humanity of even minor characters when he explains what happened when he made an agreement with Aku. It also shows how merciless and evil Aku really is placing him among one of the greatest fictional villains in my opinion. It is revealed that the robots are made out of adamantium (the same substance used to lace Wolverine's skeleton in the X-Men) and needs more strength to cut through them. So, armed with a robotic arm, he is able to face them. This battle shows how truly hardcore Jack is in battle. He is quick, merciless, unrelenting and very good at improvisation often using the robots own weapons against them. I especially liked how he used the black liquid to find the invisible robot. The only flaw this episode seems to have is that when Samurai Jack is asking his ancestors for strength why didn't the robot just kill him? He was merciless when destroying the villages so why did succumb to monologuing (quoting Darth Vader was a nice touch though). I understand that if that happened there wouldn't be a show but it doesn't seem to fit the character. However this is a squabble I have, it's a technique that is commonly used to create suspense (Austin Powers and The Incredibles exploit this weakness in villains nicely) but I guess in this case it works. This episode sticks out in my mind as one of the finest displays of the elegance and beauty of an animated fight sequence. The whole show is a masterpiece and this episode is a perfect example of the beauty of animated action. I love it.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The weapons/abilities for each of the Ultra-robots are as follows:
      #1 Circular Saws
      #2 Invisibility/Punching
      #3 Exploding Cords
      #4 Grappling claw-hand
      #5 Machine guns
      #6 Shurikens (throwing stars)
      #7 Flame-thrower
      #8 Sword

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Ultra Robot: We have been hunting you. We have come to destroy you.
      Jack: Your search is over. Come and get me.

    • Scientist: High five.
      Jack: What?
      Scientist: High five.
      Jack: What?
      Scientist: High five.
      Jack: I... do not understand.
      Scientist: Never mind.

    • Ultra Robot: Fool. Your sword does not match the power of Aku.
      Jack: Wrong. This sword carries the history and strength of my people. Its power is immeasurable. Great ancestors, hear my plea.
      Scientist: What are you doing?
      Jack: If I am worthy, grant me the strength to vanquish this evil abomination and send him back to...

  • NOTES (7)

    • Alternate title: "Jack and The Marauders"

    • The Scientist says that the robots are made out of a metal called "adamantium." This metal is a mainstay in the Marvel Comics Universe, and is probably most popularly know for its use on Wolverine's skeleton and claws.

    • Check out some of the creatures those Robots were destroying. They look reminiscent of the Star Wars creatures. Some looked like Jawas, others looked like a "Yoda" species.

    • There are a few things here that are a bit reminiscent of the Japanese anime hit series Escaflowne. There is one of the super-robots that can disappear exactly like an Alseides mecha robot. The other is when Jack's robe is half torn and he's wearing the robotic arm, it makes him oddly enough like Escaflowne's Folkien Faniel (Lord Van's brother)

    • This episode was the first in a Cartoon Network week-long special showing of past episodes entitled "Code of the Samurai," each of which symbolized part of the Samurai's Code ("Bushido"). This episode symbolized the Samurai's ideals of JUSTICE.

    • Although the "official" name for this episode is "Jack and the Ultra-Robots", commercials for it refered to it as "Jack and the Marauders."

    • First UK showing : 18th October 2002 6:30pm on CNX


    • Ultrabots' appearance
      When the bots are in their full form they still have baskets on their heads. This seems similar to the basket-headed bad guys in the beginning of Frank Miller's Ronin

    • Sword-bearing Robot: All too easy.
      This is direct quote of Darth Vader's from Star Wars Episode V.

    • Invisible Ultra-robot
      One of the Ultra Robots turned invisible exactly the same way like the Predator does in the Predator movies and AVP: Alien vs. Predator.