EPISODE I | EPISODE II | EPISODE III


 
Airdate
August 10, 2001

Storyboarded and Written by
Paul Rudish and Genndy Tartakovsky

Directed by
Genndy Tartakovsky
Samurai Jack / Guard / Homeslice / Dog #1
Aku
Alien / McDuffy / Dreyfuss / Leader / Dog
Girl / Waitress
Cole Lampkin / Lizor / Rothchild
Brobot / Bouncer / Vada 2
Emperor
 
 Phil LaMarr
 Mako
 Jeff Glen Bennett
 Jennifer Hale
 Rob Paulsen
 Kevin Michael Richardson
 Sab Shimono

Aku the Shogun of Sorrow is loosed upon the world once again. The son of an Emperor is forced into exile after his kingdom falls to the wizard's dark power. Years of training around the world shapes the boy into a skillful samurai warrior. He heroically returns to defeat Aku and reclaim his homeland but is magically transported into the distant future by Aku's treachery. While fighting to protect the innocent from Aku's evil reign, the samurai begins his quest to return to the past.
 


 

 

 

 

 

 
Initially aired on one night as a special movie event, the program was split into three separate episodes on subsequent television airings

The Emperor's battle against Aku and Aku's imprisonment are revisited in Episode XXXVII and Episode XXXVIII
 

 
Young Jack's training during his exile around the world includes:
- Astronomy with Japanese sailors
- Horse riding in India
- Stick fighting with the chief of an African tribe
- Reading and writing in Egypt
- Wrestling in Greece
- Archery with Robin Hood
- Sailing with Viking warriors
- Axe-throwing in Russia
- Spear-throwing in Mongolia
- Martial Arts with Shaolin monks
During Jack's battle with Aku, the shape-shifting wizard takes on several animal forms:
- Gorilla
- Scorpion
- Squid
- Ram
- Bird

Jack's first adventure in the future, defending a hapless community from ruthless invaders, is an homage to Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai


 
The ruin excavation site resembles the City of Townsville from The Powerpuff Girls

 
Big Dog from 2 Stupid Dogs makes a cameo appearance as a canine excavator

Jeremy's Review

Critically acclaimed and nominated for an Emmy Award in 2002, the triple-length series premiere was incredibly unique for an action cartoon at the time. Notable sequences include young Jack's training montage that goes on without a single word of dialogue and Jack's gritty climatic one-man battle against the beetle drone army. A+