Does Samurai Jack Season 5 live up to its hype?

Samurai Jack Season 5 aired on March 11, 2017. Cale breaks down whether it lives up to the hype or not.

Thanks to Adult Swim having the foresight that this would be a big night for them, I watched the premiere of Samurai Jack Season 5 online along with upwards of 30,000 other people.

As I said in my previous article on the subject, the fourth season of Samurai Jack finished airing on September 25, 2004 before being cancelled. This left fans distraught and worried that they would never truly see the Samurai from the past accomplish his goals.

After series creator Genndy Tartakovsky announced the fifth and final season would air on Adult Swim in 2016, pushed back into 2017 after production slowed, fans rejoiced and began hyping the series up.

Many people looked at the outcry of joy, support and hope with a critical eye and said that even with many of the same people working on it, 13-years of hiatus will deteriorate the product.

Well I am here to say that the revival of Samurai Jack blew my expectations away. Other than the budget getting a boost, which shows in how beautiful the episode looked, and the show now airing on an adult network, so the creators no longer need to censor violence, the show is as strong as ever.

I watched the episode two times, back to back, and time seemed to fly because I was so enamored with it. It took me back to when I was a little kid, staying up late to watch it with my little brother and dad.

The art style looks more polished and less constricted by both the technology at the time and the vision of the creator. 13-years has given some of the characters a reimagining, but the feel of the show as a whole is identical to previous seasons.

The signature backgrounds and stylized characters are back and look better than ever. The cuts during action still draw you in and odd framing choices point you to areas that might have gone unnoticed to the average eyes.

On the note of drawing attention to something, Jack is seriously messed up after those 50-years have passed. I won’t delve into spoilers since this is an experience I want everyone to have for themselves, but let’s just say there is a large case of PTSD in store for the near future.

There are things shown, talked about and foreshadowed that I cannot wait to see more of in the future. As soon as I turned off the stream I was already anxious for the second episode.

The blood is minimal, but shows that coupled with the already darker tone, this season might get really personal for our favorite time-traveler.

Starting with next week’s episode I will break down each new one, but for the first week I hope you go and enjoy the final chapter of a cartoon classic.

RWBY Review

In all honesty, I had a much better time with Rooster Teeth’s RWBY than I thought I would. While the animation up to the newest volume, Volume 4, was jarring and bugged me to an extent, I got over it to have a good weekend of binging it.

Previously, I had tried watching the first episode of the series multiple times and failed to get over the weird animation, despite loving the music and the voice acting being up to standard. It wasn’t until I made a deal with a friend of mine that I would finish the job.

Over the past week, mainly the weekend, I was dragged through all four volumes of the pseudo-anime and after the first pair of episodes the things that stopped me from finishing them seemed to fade away. I started enjoying some of the quirky animation.

Now for the record, I will by no means call the animation of Volumes 1-3 good, Volume 4 is another story entirely and is another post in and of itself. The CG style does give the characters a certain charm in the way their movements aren’t perfect or sometimes go off model, but in comparison to what I think it could have been in a traditional 2D animated style, it holds back the story and characters.

The biggest compliment I can give this show is that when it works it works as well as any show I have binged. I am sure if I was watching it on a one episode per week basis the story and characters would have had a much bigger impact on me. As it stands I will keep up with the fifth volume when that does come out, but I am in no rush to watch the show from the start again.

The two other things I enjoyed the most about the show are the characters and the soundtrack. Each character in the show is unique, from the titular Ruby Rose to the lovable klutz Jaune Arc, they all have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to personality. The voice actors, in most cases, are great picks for their roles despite most of them having done no professional work before this project.

Soundtrack wise, composer Jeff Williams did a wonderful job making an atmospheric and emotional OST that I enjoy listening to when I need to unwind or am reading. There are a few tracks that feel a little out of place at times, but for the most part it was spot on and at its best moments I had goosebumps from how well it worked.

My main complaints have already been aired out a little, namely the animation and how it affected my intake of the early portion of the story. Once you get past that however, the show becomes a very enjoyable experience.

My time watching RWBY was a pleasant surprise and I am happy to give the Rooster Teeth product a solid 7/10. I highly recommend giving it a watch, especially with how accessible it is.