We review the Blu-ray release of Samurai Jack: The Complete Fifth Season.
It’s been thirteen years since Samurai Jack left us with Season Four. Now, fifty years in the in-story timeframe, our favorite katana-wielding (gun-toting now, because he lost his blade), time-traveling hero is back. He hasn’t aged—as a side-effect of time travel—but he’s ever more determined to stop Aku (originally voice by that late Mako Iwamatsu, now voiced by Greg Baldwin).
The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray was just released, and it contains all ten episodes of Season Five. The transfer to Blu-ray from its original airing only a few months back isn’t much of a change—unlike the remastering process that needed to be done with the original four seasons since they’re over a decade old, long before high-definition was standard. However, like all modern day physical media since DVDs, the biggest benefit—aside from owning the show—are the special features.
The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray contains two main pieces of goodies: “The Evolution of Jack!” and “Pitch Movies.” “The Evolution of Jack!” is an in-depth interview with Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky. He discusses both the changes of Jack as a character and the show since its 13-year hiatus.
One of the most striking differences is the animation. In the original four seasons, the show resembled ancient paintings—one of the biggest selling points of the series. Since most animated programs are done digitally these days, Tartakovsky was concerned about keeping the show’s “hand-painted” feel. The team worked meticulously to update the show, but also preserve the original artistry of which it was known for.
Another point Tartakovsky makes is the show’s change of direction into darker territory. Granted, Samurai Jack was never that much of a children’s show. However, Season Five really moves into more serious realms—showing more graphic deaths than the original. It’s always an enjoyable and nostalgic ride to see how your favorite show has grown in sophistication.
For the other special features, the Blu-ray provides storyboards of pitch movies that are given a lively walkthrough via Tartakovsky’s animated (pun intended) voice-over. It allows audiences and fans to venture into the mind of the creator during his development process.
Samurai Jack: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray is something every fan should consider owning. Just the special features alone gives audiences an appreciation of this animated legacy that was over a decade in the making.
Samurai Jack: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray was released on October 17, 2017 retails for $24.98.