After being sent into the future by evil wizard Aku, young samurai Jack makes a quest to return to the past and undo the destruction caused by the wizard. Along the way Jack enlists allies to defeat some of Aku's henchmen and other villains before getting to the top dog to defeat him and find the portal that can return Jack to his own time. "Samurai Jack" was created by Genndy Tartakovsky, who had previously created "Dexter's Laboratory," one of Cartoon Network's first original series.
Samurai Jack is an American animated action-adventure television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network. Tartakovsky conceived Samurai Jack after finishing his work on his first Cartoon Network original series, Dexter's Laboratory, which premiered in 1996. Samurai Jack was inspired by Kung Fu, the 1972 televised drama starring David Carradine, and Tartakovsky's fascination with samurai culture.
The titular character is an unnamed Japanese samurai prince who wields a mystic katana capable of cutting through virtually anything. He sets out to free his kingdom after it is taken over by an evil, shapeshifting demon known as Aku. The two engage in a fierce battle, but just as the prince is about to deal the final strike, Aku sends him forward in time to a dystopian future ruled by the tyrannical demon. Adopting the name "Jack" after being addressed as such by beings in this time period, he quests to travel back to his own time and defeat Aku before he can take over the world. Jack's search for a way back to his own time period transcends Aku's control, but Jack's efforts are largely in vain due to the way back to his home ending up just out of his reach.
Premiering on August 10, 2001, Samurai Jack originally ran for four seasons comprising thirteen episodes each until September 25, 2004, without concluding the overarching story. The show was revived twelve years later for a darker, more mature fifth season that provides a conclusion to Jack's story; it premiered on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim as part of its Toonami programming block on March 11, 2017, and concluded with its final episode, which serves as the series finale, on May 20, 2017. Episodes were directed by Tartakovsky, often in collaboration with others.
The series has garnered critical acclaim and won eight Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Animated Program, as well as six Annie Awards and an OIAF Award.