Samurai Jack (2001-2017)
Descroption: In the distant past, a Japanese samurai (Phil LaMarr) embarks on a mission to defeat the evil shape-shifting wizard Aku (Mako and Greg Baldwin). Before he can complete his task, though, he is catapulted thousands of years into the future. He finds himself in a world where Aku now enjoys complete power over every living thing. Dubbing himself “Jack”, he sets out on a new quest – to right the wrongs that have been done by his enemy, and to find a way back to his own time so he can destroy the evil for good.
Creator: Genndy Tartakovsky
Stars: Phil LaMarr, Mako, Kevin Michael Richardson
Creator Genndy Tartakovsky has acknowledged taking some of his inspiration from the Frank Miller graphic novel “Ronin”, including the premise of a masterless samurai warrior thrown into a dystopic future ahead of our present.
In Brazil, the name Aku was changed to Abu due to the original name’s unfortunate similarity to a Portuguese swear word meaning “anus”.
“Aku” is Japanese for “evil”.
When this show came back for its fifth season, it received a lot of support from fans as the show shifted from airing on the usual Cartoon Network to Adult Swim. This interesting shift meant that the writers had a more creative way to advance the plot without the restrictions placed by Cartoon Network, whose target audience is children and young adults.
Many characters Samurai Jack encounters in the dark future referenced cartoon characters, mainly from Hanna-Barbara cartoons whose characters are owned by Cartoon Network, and also from various Japanese anime.
This show is most famous for being able to tell the story of each episode visually and with little to no dialogue.