Show Notes – Samurai Jack

Samurai Jack- Episode 37

  • An american TV series
  • Premiered on August 10, 2001 with the first 3 episodes released together as a TV Movie called “The Premiere Movie”
  • Aired from August 10, 2001  and ended September 25, 2004 for 52 half hour episodes
  • Samurai Jack was created by Genndy Tartakovsky as a follow-up to his successful series Dexter’s Laboratory.
    • He intended to develop a series “that is cinematic in scope and that incorporates action, humor, and intricate artistry”.
    • Cartoon Network executive Mike Lazzo recalled Tartakovsky pitching him the series: “He said, ‘Hey, remember David Carradine in Kung Fu? Wasn’t that cool?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s really cool.’ That was literally the pitch.”
  • Took some of his thematic inspiration from Frank Miller‘s comic book series Ronin, including the premise of a master-less samurai warrior thrown into a dystopic future in order to battle a shape-shifting demon. Similarly, the episode “Jack and the Spartans” was specifically inspired by Miller’s graphic novel 300 that retold the Battle of Thermopylae

Created by



Written by


  • Genndy Tartakovsky


Directed by


  • Genndy Tartakovsky


Executive Producer


  • Genndy Tartakovsky




  • Genndy Tartakovsky


  • Dana Ritchey (2001–04)
  • Kelly Crews (2017–present)

Theme Music Composer


Production Company

Distributed by



  • But made appearances in tons of TV shows & movies



    • 2002
      • Nominated for
        • Annie Award: Outstanding Character Design in an animated TV production
        • Annie Award: Outstanding Production Design in an animated TV Production
        • Primetime Emmy: Outstanding animated program
        • TCA Award: OUtstanding achievement in children’s programming
      • Won
        • Annie Award: Outstanding Music
        • Annie Award: OUtstanding Production Design
        • Annie Award: Outstanding storyboarding
        • OIAF Award: Best TV series
    • 2003
      • Nominated for
        • Annie Award: OUtstanding Achievement in an animated production
        • Annie Award: Outstanding Directing in an animated TV production
      • Won
        • Annie Award: Outstanding Character Design in an animated TV production
        • Annie Award: Outstanding Production Design in an animated TV production
        • Primetime Emmy: Outstanding individual achievement in animation (x2)
    • 2004
      • Nominated for
        • Annie Award: Outstanding directing in a TV production
        • Primetime Emmy: Outstanding Animated Program
      • Won
        • Annie Award: Outstanding Production design in a TV production
        • Primetime Emmy: Outstanding individual achievement in animation
        • Primetime Emmy:Outstanding animated program



Critical reception

In 2004, British broadcaster Channel 4 ran a poll of the 100 greatest cartoons of all time, in which Samurai Jack achieved the 42nd position. The show was ranked 11th by IGN for its Top 25 Primetime Animated Series of All Time list in 2006. IGN also ranked the show 43rd in its Top 100 Animated Series list in 2009.

Matt Zoller Seitz, a film critic for and television critic for Vulture, considers Samurai Jack, along with Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars, to be a masterwork and one of the greatest American animated shows on television, mainly for its visual style:

“Although Tartakovsky is a good storyteller, in a silent-movie sort of way — expressing what’s happening moment-to-moment through picture and sound rather than in dialogue — I never watched either of these programs for their plots, and I don’t re-watch them for narrative, either. I re-watch them for the same reason that I visit art museums, attend live concerts, and pause during journeys from point A to point B in New York to watch dancers, acrobats, or street musicians: because I appreciate virtuosity for its own sake. And that’s what Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars and Samurai Jack give you, scene for scene and shot for shot …. The plot was never the point. It was always about the visual music that Tartakovsky, his designers, and his animators created onscreen.”


Reviewers of the 3D animated feature film Kung Fu Panda (DreamWorks Animation) have noted that the stylized 2D opening sequence is either inspired by or an homage to Samurai Jack


  • “Aku” is Japanese for “Evil”.
  • In Brazil, the name Aku was changed to Abu due to the original name’s unfortunate similarity to a Portuguese swear word meaning anus (Cu)
  • Phil LaMarr loved making this show so much, he would’ve reprised his role as Jack for free. However, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim offered him a salary before he got to admit this.
  • Many characters Samurai Jack encounters in the dark future reference cartoon characters, mainly from Hanna/Barbara cartoons whose characters are owned by Cartoon Network and also from various Japanese anime.


Check out our episode on Samurai Jack here.

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