Earlier this year, Samurai Jack made its long-awaited return to television thanks to Adult Swim. The late-night block saw the critically acclaimed cartoon return for a fifth season, and fans tuned in weekly for Jack’s final outing. The end of May finally brought about Samurai Jack’s finale, but the poignant episode split fans. While some loved the last episode’s symbolism, others felt the end was cheap.
However, according to one actor, it does not really matter what those critics thinks. They weren’t the ones who made the series, and Jack certainly doesn’t belong to them.
Recently, Phil LaMarr stood up to finale naysayers when he appeared on the podcast Namek vs. Saiyan. The actor, who voices Jack, was asked how he felt about the negative response to Samurai Jack’s ending. It was there the actor said he felt the only person who needed to be satisfied by the finale is creator Genndy Tartakovksy.
“Last time I checked, you didn’t write it or create or draw it, so I don’t know why it would be exactly what you wanted," LaMarr said, referring to the show’s critics.
"It’s what Genndy wanted. You wouldn't say, 'I think the Mona Lisa would be better if she just smiled. Come on, Da Vinci, lighten up. Go in and redo it.’”
Later on, LaMarr said he feels honored to have worked on a “work of art” like Samurai Jack. When the cartoon first debuted back in the early 2000s, both fans and critics praised the show’s stunning animation and philosophical musings. More than a decade separates the show’s fifth season from its fourth, and Samurai Jack ensured its last installment would be darker in nature. For most fans, the fifth season gave wrapped with a touching end befitting of Jack’s triumphant journey. But, for others, they are still coming to grips with the show and its piteous final frames.
The synopsis for Samurai Jack’s fifth season can be read below:
“It’s been 50 years since we saw Samurai Jack and time has not been kind to him. Aku has destroyed every time portal and Jack has stopped aging, a side effect of time travel. It seems he is cursed to just roam the land for all eternity.”
Samurai Jack originally ran for four seasons from 2001 until 2004. The show featured a time-traveling samurai prince who fought against a shape-shifting demon named Aku. Following the demon through time, the character assumed the name Jack after he reached a future, dystopian version of Earth. Now stuck, Jack attempted to kill Aku and get back to the past to prevent the future from ever becoming a reality.
Several cast members will be returning to the 10-episode season such as Phil LaMarr who originally voiced the show’s titular character. While LaMarr was initially unable to comment on his involvement with Samurai Jack’s fifth season, the actor was later able to do so following an appearance at AwesomeCon 2016.