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- The montage of Jack slowly moving from country to country, learning not just the martial arts but also the different cultures and values of each land he visits and pretty much fully integrating himself into each civilisation before moving on. Becomes even more heartwarming when you remember that Aku's existence literally threatens the world and Jack is being trained by teachers all over the world in preparation for him to defend it. Summed up well in this comment from YouTube.
"When you fight to save the world.... It's best if you know what it is you're fighting for."
- After years of travelling the world, who should Jack meet near the end of his training? His mother. The Empress and her son tearfully embrace for the first time in years. It's like a small shred of the home he lost, and what's awaiting Jack once he returns to his time and achieves his destiny.
- When Jack returns to Japan, he fights his way through a bunch of Aku's demonic minions, and (very briefly) gets to reunite with his father. It's more of a sad Tear Jerker though, because the Emperor has clearly suffered the effects of being Aku's slave for too many years.
- The ending, when the Viking warrior finally gets his wish: to die at the hands of another great warrior (Jack), thus freeing him from his curse, and earning him passage into Valhalla.
- If not for Aku's narmy attempt at fairy tales, the children prove their faith in Jack as a hero is unyielding. At the end, after Aku stops his storytime and leaves in anger, the children begin telling their own collaborated story of how Jack will defeat Aku.
- Jack tries to rescue a fairy trapped in a magical orb, who will grant one wish in her lifetime. He doesn't realize that what enters the orb cannot leave it, and gets his hand stuck with the fairy (who's trying to give him advice). She explains that he needs the control orb from the gargoyle, and Jack, after much butt-kicking, gets it. Before it expires, the gargoyle looks at Jack's trapped hand and laughs. The fairy explains that the orb will only work with the control word, which only the recently-deceased gargoyle knew, and "Now we'll never be free." Cue pained look from Jack, a moment of despair, and then:
Jack: "I wish we were free."
- The Scotsman beckons Jack to help him rescue his wife. All throughout the adventure, the Scotsman does nothing but talk about his wife with fondness and joy, showing us how much he misses her. Even when it turns out she's a bit exaggerated, the Scotsman still sees her as the most beautiful creature on the planet.
- And by the end, in her own special way, the Scotsman's Wife proves she does care about her husband and is even boisterously happy at points. Apparently once her anger runs out, she's not so bad.
- In general, this episode is both Heartwarming and a Tear Jerker, as it deals with Jack's nostalgia for his bygone childhood.
- After getting his sword and gi back from the orphan girl who stole them while he was bathing, Jack returns to the swamp from the beginning of the episode to retrieve the very valuable tusks from the robot slug he defeated. He gives the little girl the tusks, and she says, "I'll never go hungry again."
- After a very rough day involving a robotic biker gang, Jack stumbles upon a Japanese family who welcome him in with their traditional style of hospitality. Jack gets to see that his perpetual struggle is paying off, that the people suffering under Aku's rule have learned to hope again because of him.
Jack and the Rave
- When Jack frees a bunch of teenagers from Aku's mind-controlling rave music, Olivia and her father reunite.
Olivia's Father: "Olivia?"
- After it accidentally ate a time artifact, Jack is so angry at the Creature that he promises first thing in the morning they are parting ways. Only, the Creature is truly sorry for upsetting Jack. As the night wears on, the Creature finally nods off to sleep after faithfully watching over its friend. But not before it smiles lovingly at the samurai, certain Jack will forgive it in the morning.
- The chirping/dolphin noise the Creature makes when it calls out to an absent Jack the next morning. It's too cute!
- The ending of this horrifying episode, when the little girl is finally reunited with her family thanks to Jack defeating the demon.
- Shortly before he sets off to fight the evil swamp monster, the Emperor wordlessly comforts the crying Empress. It's his way of telling her that though he's doing this because "his subjects are also family", he'll always love her most of all. He puts a gentle hand upon her pregnant belly, wishing he could stay for the birth of their unborn son. She reciprocates the gesture by putting her hand on his.
- The ending. The image of the young Emperor holding newborn Jack after everything he went through is as powerful as it is beautiful.
- The lead-up to the image: As Aku is imprisoned in the tree, the sun comes out, and all goes quiet. Suddenly, a baby's crying is heard, and the Emperor follows the sound to find his frazzled and exhausted, but otherwise unharmed wife and his newborn, crying son. As the Emperor approaches, the baby immediately stops crying and smiles up at him, as if recognizing that this man is his daddy.
Samurai vs. Samurai
- Just when they start to fight, Jack clearly did not see Da Samurai as a real opponent. However Jack still humors him, and between the beatings gives Da Samurai life advice, telling him to first understand his own strengths and weaknesses, to not hide behind this built-up facade of a personality, and to let his true self shine through.
- We have Jack telling Da Samurai that he has taken the first step towards becoming a true samurai after the man, up to this point an obnoxious blowhard until Jack deflated him, pushed Jack out of the way and took an energy blast for him.
- Then at the end of the episode, he runs off after Jack, calling him "sensei" and practically begging him to give him more advice and training. It just goes to show how much he took his lesson at heart and is motivated to become a better person and a true samurai. The look of sheer shame on his face shortly before that only drives the point home further.
- Jack's mother and father coming to him in his hour of need, during his internal fight to regain control of his body from the Aku infection. When Jack felt that he's losing to the evil inside him, the spirits of his parents reminded him of the goodness in him, and how it has been strengthened by those he helped since his coming to the future. In the end, he exorcised the demonic corruption and freed himself. This not only counts as an epic heartwarmer, but a joyful tearjerker as well.
- When they show the panorama of dozens of minor characters whom Jack had saved or helped. You know that every single one of them would wish for Jack to prevail.
- Everything that the Scotsman went through to help an amnesiac Jack. It must have taken days, maybe even weeks to find the source of the problem, but that didn't matter to the Scotsman. All that mattered to him was that a friend of his was in trouble.
- Add to this was how amnesiac Jack is vastly different in personality and ability to how he was before, ending with the Scotsman doing what he can to keep him from harm's way. The clincher? He always tries to make an excuse as to why amnesiac Jack is messing up. Remember when they first met? He was almost always finding ways to humiliate or insult Jack. Now? He's thinking of any excuse he can to defend and preserve Jack's honor.
- He spends the entire adventure becoming more and more frustrated that he can't find out exactly what happened to Jack, but follows up whatever information he can without even hinting at giving. When he finally encounters what he quickly figures out to be how Jack "lost his brain," he looks at his brain-addled friend with a genuine smile - not a goofy grin like he usually does, but a very heartwarming "we've got 'em now" smile. Then comes the "bring it on" smirk.
- Then, when he finally finds the Sirens who enchanted Jack in the first place, he demands an explanation for what they did to his friend and the sirens smugly confirm they were the ones who wiped Jack's memories and even show him Jack's kimono and sword which they kept as a trophy, cue the Scotsman going utterly ballistic.
- Also both Heartwarming and Awesome is fact that the Scotsman is actually capable of resisting the Sirens' spell. Because there's only one woman's voice that can beguile him.
- During the fight itself, when the sirens sic their brainwashed slaves on him (including Jack), he refuses to hurt them and instead plays a loud song with his bagpipes to break the spell; unfortunately he needs both hands to do this leaving him defenseless when the Sirens merge together into a three headed serpent and tries to crush him to death. Even then he refuses to stop playing in order to keep everyone free, which leads to Jack coming back to his senses and saving him in return.
- When the adventure is done, they spend what is implied to be a very long time just laughing and reminiscing together - the kind of thing Jack barely gets to do while trapped in the future. So much time, in fact, that they miss the boats off the island they're trapped on.
- At the end, when he gave up a opportunity to slay Aku to help the kids get to their ship (so that they help their people save their home from enemy invaders), he told them how he knew what they're going through and couldn't allow them to fail. At the end they won their war and built a statue to honor and remember Jack.
- When the alien Prince and Princess find out that Jack is also a prince, they bow to him just before they leave and call him "Your Majesty", acknowledging his royal heritage as a form of respect.
- Jack clearly relates to them and sees his story in their mission. After they refuse to take the chance to escape when he's surrounded by enemies and help him fight - just as he's done before himself, and which almost never happens otherwise - he opens up a little to the flying children, and they reassure him. In the last scene he seems genuinely happy.
- Generally, X9's affection towards Lulu. Out of context, one would think it was just another romance about a guy who softens up when a girl comes into his life. And a girl did come into his life, but in the form of an adorable little Pug dog. It's refreshing to see how love comes in many forms.
- X9's trumpet playing. It's so nostalgic and haunting.
- This episode is all about a retired robot assassin being forced to come out of retirement and fight Jack when his pet dog is abducted and used as a bargaining chip by Aku. After Jack inevitably slays X9, his last words are to tell him to take care of his pet, and it is clear that Jack wasn't ignoring this statement, as can be seen by the sympathetic look he gives afterwards.
- The African Chief welcomes young Jack with open arms, informing him that he looks just like his father.
- The Chief's son is initially very disrespectful towards Jack, but it isn't long until he accepts him as his temporary surrogate brother and starts bonding with him.
- After Jack saves the African tribe from the men sent by Aku to capture him, the Chief decides that Jack has completed his training and tells him he's ready to continue his long journey to prepare to defeat Aku.
- Pretty much the entirety of this episode, which proves that Jack would be a great dad if he ever got the chance to settle down.
- There's a very cute moment when Jack entertains the Baby by retelling the story of Momotaro, which he learned from his mom as a little boy.
- The blue alien "Emoji Family" whom Jack saves at the beginning are all very cute and lovable, especially when the daughter thanks Jack for saving them.
- The entire opening fight shows that even though Jack may have fallen into disgrace and despair, there's still a part of the friendly, loyal, all-caring samurai warrior we all know and love inside of him.
- Similar to the above, when Jack ultimately heads back to the smoking village he initially ran away from. The guy's been taking a psychological beatdown for 50 years at this point. He's more cynical, more violent, more pessimistic. And yet, despite him trying to avoid it, despite how broken he's become, he still doesn't have it in him to just let an innocent village burn. But unfortunately, he arrived a bit too late to save anyone.
- During training, one of the Daughters tries to help Ashi up after she falls off and hangs from a platform. It's a small sign that there is some inherent compassion and familial bond in them even when the rest of the cult is doing everything they can to stomp it out of them, as evidenced by their mother stops her to use the situation as an opportunity to teach them never to help the weak. It ends up backfiring spectacularly on them when that lack of compassion and Social Darwinist philosophy is the very reason Jack is able to kill at least three out of the seven Daughters of Aku, because even though they attack as one, they neglect defending their siblings because they must not "help the weak".
- Jack's childhood flashback. While traveling with his mom and dad, their carriage is ambushed by several assassins. The Emperor comes to his family's defense and kills all the thugs. Jack is shocked by the carnage, so his father has to explain his actions with some martial wisdom while gently cleaning the blood from his son's face.
- The Emperor's awkwardness and look of guilt as he's cleaning up his son, showing that even though he wants to use this as an opportunity to teach Jack an important lesson, he doesn't want his son to be any more frightened than he already is.
- It's also a small comfort to the audience that the battered, shell-shocked beardo we've been with for the last few episodes is, indeed, still the hero we know and love.
- The White Wolf taking care of a wounded Jack. All of it. Especially when he sleeps next to him, keeping him warm and functioning as a pillow.
- Although it's a sad indication of how little they know about the world, the Daughters of Aku get one when they spot a deer for the first time. In a way, it's like seeing an Adorkable side to them like never before. Then, we have a stag come along, mistaken by the sisters as an agent of Aku. They believe that he's going to destroy "the weaker one". But in a small act of love triumphing over evil, the stag proves them wrong and lovingly nuzzles his mate instead.
- Jack, despite having lost most of his idealism, actually tries to convince the Daughters of Aku to leave peacefully, and live out the rest of their lives. He does so using the exact same words his father once used to attempt to diffuse a hostile situation with some bandits. But it's too bad that Jack still has to dispose of his attackers by any means necessary.
- Although Jack has forsaken the idea of never taking a human life, he immediately realizes that Ashi is merely a brainwashed pawn of Aku. Believing she can be redeemed, Jack repeatedly saves her life while they're inside the monster; despite her constant rejection of his heroism, and she repeatedly tries to kill him, and he gets called out on his unnecessary mercy by his hallucinations.
- While traversing through the giant creature that has swallowed the two, Jack and Ashi end up finding themselves in a large cavernous part of the beast, where many smaller luminescent creatures are floating above them. The sight is not only beautiful to the audience, but it is one of the few times that Ashi is awed by the sight, and Jack delivers a line that is likely what she has going through in her own mind.
Jack: "Even in the bowels of the darkest creatures, there is beautiful light."
- The source of the Daughters of Aku's ruthlessness comes from their strict and cruel mother who is quick to punish them for even the most innocent of missteps. Due to this, they have never known anyone who ever treated them with kindness, are confused by the concept of being kind to others and appear to not have matured emotionally. When Ashi, the last surviving Daughter, attempts to strike Jack down when his back is turned, she gets distracted by a ladybug and is shocked to see Jack let it go without harming it. This is in a stark contrast to her mother who coldly kills another ladybug, stating that it has no business in Aku's order. She is moved by his random act of kindness and is unable to bring herself to kill him.
- The Scotsman buying his daughters time to escape, even if it means losing his life. And he does it by literally taunting Aku until he gets bored and kills him.
- While the Scotsman rants at Aku, he reaffirms his faith that Jack will eventually save the world. Jack may have given up all hope on himself, but his old friend still believes in him.
- Just when the Scotsman's poor daughters are grieving him, he suddenly rises from his ashes as a ghost, much to their joy. The Scotsman himself doesn't look worried at all that he's become a blue spirit, and then he tells his kids a new plan for resisting Aku:
Scotsman: "We regroup and plan to fight another day! We'll amass a BIGGER army! We'll find Jack, and finally defeat that BIG BABY!"
- Also heartwarming on a meta-level, as many predicted that not only would Season 5 kill off a beloved character, but that said character would be the Scotsman. They were right, but with the Scotsman resurrected as a ghost, he's still not completely gone from the show.
- Jack tells Ashi of the story his mother told him as a child about the origin of the stars. The smile on her face makes it clear that she's finally experiencing some of the childhood that she was denied for so long.
- Jack thanking the sea monster that brought him and Ashi to the mainland.
- The hope that appears on the villager's face when he realizes who he's talking to. Jack might have lost faith in himself, but he'll always be a hero to others.
- Ashi happening upon the alien children and finding out they're alive. This is probably the first time in her life that she's genuinely proud of something she's done.
Ashi: "SAMURAI JACK!!"
- Although the victory is short-lived, it's also sweet when Ashi grows worried at Jack's absence, showing how quickly she turned from hating to loving him. For once, she calls him by his full name:
- The Woolies are back, and they're willing to pick a fight with someone they think is working for Aku, believing that Ashi is still trying to hurt Jack. They're mistaken, but it really is heartwarming to see that there are people who remember Jack fifty years later, and are willing to stand up for him.
- The very concept of this episode: Ashi, now firmly on the side of good, travels the world not unlike the samurai that she now searches for. Along the way she sees first hand the effect that Jack's had through his travels, meeting old characters and revisit locations from earlier in the series.
- Despite the past few decades of non-stop fighting being pure hell for Jack, this episode made clear that his actions were not completely in vain: the Woolies still remember Jack saving them from their slavers, the Three Archers had guarded their people and honored his memory for releasing them from the evil well's curse and the most poignant scene is where Ashi enters the party rave and everyone makes a S-salute with their hands while a 60+ year old Olivia sings about how they'll honor Jack to their dying day for his saving them from Aku's evil. While he may not have advanced in his quest and he is on the point of despair in this episode, Jack has succeeded in inspiring countless to rebel against this world's oppressor.
- The ravers performing the dance Jack used to blend in, Ashi eventually joins in and she clearly had fun doing so.
- One of the last places Ashi finds is a tough guy bar run by Da Samurai, now a cranky old bartender. She asks where to find Jack, and everyone assumes she wants to fight him, and tell them of their last escapades against him as a form of Villain Respect. Da Samurai in particular calls back to how he used to consider himself awesome before Jack made him realize otherwise, and he gave up his sword since their encounter.
- When Ashi finally finds Jack, he's about to commit seppuku with the Omen as his second. She spends the ensuing fight convincing Jack that all of his efforts weren't in vain, and that she's finally seen all the good that he's done for the world. She's come a far way from the single-minded huntress whose sole purpose in life was killing Jack.
- The thing that finally snaps Jack out of his Heroic B.S.O.D.? Ashi revealing that the children from the last episode survived, meaning that Jack hadn't failed them after all.
- And the thing that gets him back on his feet? The Omen lunging at Ashi to strike her down. Cue Jack leaping to his feet and using the sword that had been meant for his seppuku to save Ashi's life.
- When Jack compliments Ashi's Good Costume Switch, the quiet smile she gives him is rather adorable.
- The very end of the episode. Jack has snapped out of the depression that's been haunting him this whole season, and he's ready to go find his lost sword.
- The final issue of the IDW Publishing comic series. An aged and experienced Jack leads a hidden resistance army composed of all the people he's met and helped throughout the years. At his side stands an equally older Scotsman, and it's revealed that they've uncovered the secret to Aku's teleporting fortress, and are about to unleash the deciding battle. The story ends on a hopeful note as the assault finally begins. Here, Jack realizes that the answer is not in travelling back to the past, and comes to terms with the fact that his kingdom's and family's time is over, and ultimately decides to fight for the future of the world and those in it.
- Remember when the Guardian of the time portal said it's not yet time, and revealed an aged Jack with a crown of sorts on his head? This is the time he was referring to, when Jack finally confronts Aku. Hopefully, his decision to fight for the future would allow him to save the past as well.
- What is more: among other things, Jack had been lamenting (albeit not explicitly) the fact that he was done out of his legacy and lost his honor as a prince when he failed to defeat Aku. At the end, we see him as a king, leading his own people. After a long, hard struggle, he finally stepped in his father's footsteps and became a true leader.
- We also see snippets of the lives of those that Jack has touched; Da Samurai who took up the fight for justice, the Baby he once rescued and learned from him, the Three Blind Archers he saved, the mer-people who's kingdom he's liberated, and so forth. Each of them now appears in the camp and each has a story to tell, but the one thing they all had in common was that Jack, through his simple deeds, had brought them all together to fight for what is right.
- On a meta-level, the story's central character is a scribe named Mako after Aku's deceased voice actor. He also gets well acquainted with a man named LaMarr, a man Jack once saved who is obviously based on Jack's voice actor Phil LaMarr.