EPISODE XXXVII | EPISODE XXXVIII


 
Airdate
August 16, 2003

Storyboarded and Written by
Don Shank and Genndy Tartakovsky

Directed by
Robert Alvarez and Genndy Tartakovsky
Aku
Caveman #2 / Holy Monk / General
Young Samurai Jack's Mom
Young Emperor / Caveman / Dog Owner
Odin
Ra / Rama
 
 Mako
 Phil LaMarr
 Lauren Tom
 Keone Young
 Richard McGonagle
 Daran Norris

The Powers That Be set out to destroy the ultimate evil in the universe. During the fray, one of its tendrils falls to planet Earth, wipes out the dinosaurs and expands into a vast pit of death. When the blight devastates his kingdom, an Emperor attempts to destroy it once and for all with magic and a poisonous arrow. Ironically, the Emperor's efforts revive the evil, giving birth to Aku. The Powers That Be rescue the Emperor and forge a magic sword from the Emperor's human spirit. After a grueling battle, the Emperor imprisons Aku with the power of the sword.
 


 

 

 

 

 

 
Initially aired on one night as a special movie event entitled "The Birth of Evil", the program was split into two separate episodes on subsequent television airings
 

 
Norse God Odin, Egyptian Sun God Ra and and Indian Deity Rama represent the benevolent Powers That Be

Previously, Odin appeared briefly in Episode X and Ra appeared in Episode XXXI

 
Plant life grows out of the footsteps of Odin's stead Sleipnir, a design choice paying homage to the Forest God from Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke

 
After receiving the magic sword, the Emperor rides to challenge Aku on a cloud, inspired by the Monkey King Sun Wukong's mode of travel
 

 
During the Emperor's final battle with Aku, the dark sorcerer changes into several forms:
- Wyvern
- Giant Spider
- Samurai Army

Jeremy's Review

Winner of the 2004 Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program, this hour-long two-parter features everything that makes Samurai Jack such a great show: spectacular animation, excellent direction and plenty of references to the mythology of various world cultures. The only thing I find somewhat jarring is how the creators decided to completely change the Emperor's character design from what was established in previous episodes but this is a minor gripe as this is one of the most mind-blowing shows of the series. A+