Samurai Jack / Tropes - Season 5

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_6142.jpeg
"It always seems bad at first, but then I find a way."

"Fifty years have passed, but... I do not age. Time has lost its effect on me. Yet, the suffering continues. Aku's grasp chokes the past, present... and future. Hope is lost. Gotta get back... back to the past... Samurai Jack."

We now introduce the long-awaited fifth season of Samurai Jack, arriving on [adult swim] thirteen years after the show seemingly ended with no conclusion.

Set fifty years after Season 4, Jack is still stuck in the future looking for a way to return to the past, and to his own surprise, his body has not aged. He has lost all sense of time and is slowly going insane from the struggle. As his journey drags ever on, the samurai wonders if he will ever succeed in his mission to destroy Aku. The evil demon, who has not shown himself in years, also suffers from depression; his hated nemesis has evaded every peril, including death by natural causes. But unknown to either, a cult of Aku worshipers have raised and trained a band of deadly assassins, for the sole purpose of killing the staunch samurai and winning Aku’s favor.

Creator Genndy Tartakovsky returned for this final season, which serves as a true Grand Finale for the series. The show started airing March 11, 2017, on [adult swim]'s Toonami block, and concluded on May 20, 2017.
    open/close all folders 

    A-F 
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Aku's forces are the only ones who hate Jack. Everyone else adores and respects him for the good he's done to the point XCVII is one long march of Ashi meeting people who have nothing but admiration for him, including statues and songs created in his honor. Even the bounty hunters at Da Samurai's Bad-Guy Bar who Jack defeated in the past respect Jack.
  • Abusive Parents: The High Priestess of the Daughters of Aku couldn't care less about the safety of her own children and even tortures some of them herself. Their father is even worse; it's Aku himself, who forcibly takes control of Ashi, making her try to kill Jack and even turning her into an Aku-like demon creature. Worst parents ever.
  • Adult Fear: The Daughters of Aku aren't cursed or controlled by some ancient evil, but were instead systematically abused by uncaring parents, a problem that very much exists in real life.
  • The Ageless: Jack has stopped aging as a side-effect of the Time Travel, and is the same age that he was in the original series despite fifty years passing. Notably, Aku was aware of this, and very much regrets it, as it means he can't just let time do his job for him.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Jack manages to kill one of the Daughters... and instead of being a heroic, triumphant moment as his previous victories, it's treated somberly, reflecting the fact that Jack just killed an abused young woman. Similarly, after killing 5 more of them, Jack hallucinates dozens of crows screaming "Murderer!" at him, and decides to protect the last of them, Ashi.
    • Scaramouche could also be seen this way. While he was unrepentantly evil, he was completely loyal to Aku and was killed just for giving out-of-date information. The reasons being that he was too slow to deliver that information were mostly not his fault.
  • Alien Blood:
    • The tiger-like alien creatures bleed bright green blood.
    • While trapped inside a giant monster, Jack fights and kills some insectoid creatures that bleed blue and green blood.
  • All Adult Animation Is South Park: Averted. Despite the upgraded violence, this show's sense of humor isn't much more vulgar than it already was, the only spikes occurring in "XCVII" where we learn that Ashi's skintight jumpsuit was actually a solid layer of ash and coal dust, leaving her naked after she scrubs it off; and when Scaramouche verbally acknowledges someone's head looking "like a talking penis".
  • Amazon Brigade:
    • The Daughters of Aku, a group of assassins specifically born and trained to kill Jack. Apparently the leader gives birth to everyone, and gives them Training from Hell as they grow up. The Cult of Aku itself is all-female.
    • A literal brigade is formed by the many daughters of the Scotsman himself- apparently he's been really busy over the last 50 years. He describes the female army as his 'pride and joy', though he does rebuke them for going into battle so scantily clad (by his standards, anyway.)
  • Ambition Is Evil: Because Aku isn't as proactive, killing Jack has even greater value than it ever did, so more are competing to get his attention. The High Priestess especially wants to kill Jack to get Aku's attention and curry his favor, to brutal levels.
  • Animation Bump: Digital technology has been kind to this show. There are a number of more expansive layouts and even a handful of scenes animated on ones and twos, including a surprisingly long slow-mo shot (not an easy feat with hand-drawn animation).
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Asked by the High Priestess to Ashi when she slips during her training, while grinding the butt of her staff into her daughter's knuckles on the hand she's desperately holding onto the ledge with.
    High Priestess: Are you weak? Are you weak? ARE. YOU. WEAK?!
  • Art Evolution:
    • With Season 5 being digitally animated and produced 13 years after the hand-drawn original, it's to be expected. Even flashbacks to previous episodes are re-animated with better quality.
    • Jack's facial close-ups were also subtly tweaked compared to the original. His eyes share the outline-less look and his wrinkles are consistently flesh colored.
    • Jack himself is drawn with far longer limbs in a recognizable but mildly more realistic style, although he also seemingly lost his nipples, we see them again in "XCVIII".
    • It has also been noted that Aku has slightly less emotive facial features in the new season, primarily due to the fact that the animators do not include his eyelids in most shots.
  • Audience Shift: The first four seasons were rated TV-Y7. The fifth season is rated TV-14 (or, on occasion, TV-PG), and is geared to the adults who watched the original back then in the year 2001.
  • Audience Surrogate: Aku himself becomes this at the start of XCVIII. When Jack becomes enraged, Aku says "So angry" while looking directly at the viewer, saying out loud what everyone is thinking.
  • The Atoner: Jack does this in a few episodes but especially in episode XCVIII.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The Daughters of Aku are all offense, and strip Jack of most of his weapons in a matter of seconds. Jack fares way better when he is the one attacking since they don't cover each other and are at a size disadvantage when it comes to blocking.
  • Back for the Dead: The Scotsman is reintroduced by leading an attack on Aku, who disintegrates him. Then it's (kinda) subverted when he comes back as a ghost.
  • Back for the Finale: A lot of allies Jack made and people he helped out appear in the series finale to help him defeat Aku, including the Scotsman and his daughters, the Triseraquins, the Spartans, Rothchild, the Woolies, the three archers, and the Monkey-Man who taught Jack to "jump good".
  • Bad Boss:
    • The High Priestess of the Daughters of Aku is very willing to allow her own loyalists to die so she can weed out the weaker Daughters.
    • Aku again shows why no one should ever work for him, let alone lie to his face when he kills Scaramouche for making an honest mistake.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • Something Jack eats in XCIX temporarily changes his head into a fish. He's unaware of it, but senses that something is off... perhaps it was something he ate.
    • Aku turns Ashi into a female clone of himself once he discovers the traces of himself that reside within her.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Double-subverted; even though Jack saves her and refuses to kill her, Ashi is still hell-bent on murdering him, because she was brought up to believe Jack was evil. Then she sees him sparing a ladybug, and realizes that he's actually kind to everyone and not a bad person.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones:
    • As usual, Jack barely speaks but still holds his place as a One-Man Army.
    • The Daughters of Aku have minimal dialogue in their debut, but pose as Jack's greatest enemies.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Scaramouche is a flamboyant fast-talker (he was styled after Sammy Davis, Jr.), but he's also a formidable fighter and has wiped out an entire village just to get Jack's attention.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Aku, the High Priestess and Inner Jack/Mad Jack. Aku no longer gives a hoot about Jack, so it's up to her to be Jack's primary opponent in Season 5. As for Inner Jack/Mad Jack, he has been unconsciously haunting Jack in the decades since he lost his sword and the last time portal was destroyed, driving him to acts of violence, making him lose all hope in his cause, and even nearly driving Jack to suicide. While he is in many respects a product of Aku's scheming, he ultimately caused as much harm to Jack by himself as Aku ever did. He effectively serves as the Disc One Final Boss of season 5, and Jack cannot defeat or even fight Aku until he beats Mad Jack.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Jack and Ashi at the end of XCIX, to a recording of Dean Martin's "Everybody Loves Somebody."
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just when Ashi is about to execute Jack at Aku's bidding in Episode CI, an army of Jack's old friends and allies detonate the walls of Aku's fortress, freeing Jack from his bonds in the process. Later, the Scotsman and his daughters show up to reinforce Jack's rescuers.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Uttered by Jack in Episode XCVI when he believes the blue furry children he was trying to save have all been killed.
    • Also uttered by Ashi when Aku transforms her into a demonic version of herself.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jack returns to the past with Ashi's help and kills Aku for good, ensuring the thousands of years of Aku's rule will never blight the world, but in the process all of the allies he made in the future likely no longer exist, and Ashi vanishes from existence as a result. While Jack is heartbroken over losing her, he comes to terms with it and cherishes the time they shared together.
  • Black Comedy: The humor is still there in this continuation of the original series, but some of it is a bit darker than it was before.
  • Blatant Lies: The Daughters are made to believe that Aku is a benevolent entity and that Jack is the destructive force; whether the instructors truly believe this or not is unclear.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The show isn't that much more violent than its predecessor, but Jack finally has to kill living enemies and even takes some serious scars in his battles. However, they shy away from outright showing anything more gruesome like decapitations or dismemberment, or waist-chopping, etc. The only time that happened to a non-robotic being was to the Omen, and he wasn't a mortal being.
  • Bloody Handprint: In Episode XCIV, Jack leaves one of these on a tree while staggering through the forest, still bleeding from his wound. It later helps the Daughters of Aku track him.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: A non-video game example. Jack's armor tends to break into pieces or come off his body any time they are attacked, protecting Jack but forcing him to improvise and scavenge for more armor, just like his weapons.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Ashi killed an entire army bare-handed to protect Jack while he meditated. That alone literally makes her a One-Man Army in itself, but she was bested by Jack, an indirect display of Jack's own skills to best Ashi in battle.
  • Book Ends: The Season premiere shows Ashi's birth while the finale shows her death by fading out of existence since Jack kills Aku making as if the bad future never existed in the first place.
    • Likewise in the original series the first scene shows the sun rises over a dead tree where Aku was imprisoned, While the final scene in season 5 shows Jack standing on the cherry tree in his time as the sun beams over the forest meaning that the future will be bright.Which coincidentally is the same cherry tree where Jack shows Ashi the terrible things Aku did to the world back in Episode XCVI.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The blue, furry children in Episode XCVI, who are being controlled by the operator of the Factory.
    • The three little sheep in Episode XCVIII are a combination of this and Baleful Polymorph as a result of Aku's dark magic on them, as they immediately turn on Jack.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Jack attempts this in Episode C, abandoning Ashi when he fears that Aku will harm her just as he has done to so many of Jack's loved ones.
  • Bring It: Appears in the teasers, though not in the show, for the fight with the Daughters of Aku in episode XCIV, Jack gives the daughters an ultimatum before battling them in a snow forest.
    Jack: Leave here now, and live. Or stay, and face your destiny.
    Daughter: Our destiny is your death!
    Jack: ...Very well.
  • Broken Ace: After a fifty year Time Skip Jack has officially become this.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Jack lost his magic sword at some point in the Time Skip. He's still one of the deadliest warriors on the planet, has figured out modern technology, and is capable of wiping out an army of beetle drones without breaking a sweat.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Scaramouche is a silly, jovial scatting robot voiced by Tom Kenny who casually calls Jack "babe" and contacts Aku on a smartphone. He also massacres an entire town and gives Jack a truly impressive fight through the use of supernatural musical abilities and dagger fighting.
    • Scaramouche goes so far as to make a call to Aku at a cruise ship's pay phone. Collect. Which Aku accepts.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Jack's apparently been swallowed by giant creatures so many times that for him it's more annoying than concerning.
  • Butt-Monkey: Scaramouche. While presented as a credible threat in the first episode, he was quickly beheaded and dispatched by Jack. Getting his head cut off wasn't enough to kill a robot like him, so he starts on a journey to tell Aku that Jack lost his sword. Along the way, he rubs people just the wrong way to get abused by numerous passengers on the ship, and getting onto the ship was an ordeal itself. When "C" finally comes around, he manages to tell Aku that Jack lost his sword, only to be instantly killed as soon as Jack shows the sword in his possession.
  • Call-Back:
    • Jack fights a horde of robotic beetles in a samurai armor, just as he did in the climax at the start of the series. Unlike then though, he isn't using his sword because he lost it. Fortunately, it seems that (for now) Aku does not know this.
    • While running through the rain to seek shelter from the Daughters of Aku, the lack of light combined with the heavy rain makes it impossible for Jack to track them so he instead closes his eyes and uses his other senses to locate them much like he does in "Jack and the Three Blind Archers".
    • The bandits wearing featureless box masks that were struck down by Jack's father in Episode XCIV were also seen in Season 2 Episode 6, where three of them blocked a bridge and were defeated by a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Lone Wolf and Cub.
    • During his second fight with the Daughters of Aku, the animation style takes on a very similar look to Jack's ninja battle back in "Jack vs the Ninja", and he even shows off some of his ninja training by killing two of the Daughters in an ambush by bursting out of hiding from the snow. Similarly, just as Jack demonstrates his ability to camouflage himself in bright white environments, in this case a snowy forest, the Daughters of Aku are adept at hiding in pitch black environments, namely the dark ancient tomb.
    • In "XCV", Jack mentions that this isn't the first time he's been swallowed by a giant monster. He's referring to the times that he was inside a dragon (from "Jack and the Farting Dragon"), and a two-headed worm monster (from "Jack Tales").
    • In "XCVI", the Dominator uses audio frequencies (and implants) to turn blue, furry alien children into vicious monsters. A similar strategy was employed by Aku's minions in Season 3 Episode 2, when an evil DJ used music to turn teenagers into destructive hooligans.
    • In "XCVII" Ashi meets several people Jack helped in the past, including the Woolies from "IV", the three cursed archers from "VII", the ravers from "XXVIII", and Da Samurai from "XLII". In addition, the port town Scaramouche visits appears to be the same Wretched Hive that the Scotsman takes an amnesiac Jack to in "XLV", and the cemetery that Jack nearly commits seppuku in bears a striking resemblance to the one from "XXX".
    • In "XCVIII" the leader of the army that Ashi faces claims that they'll rip her to pieces before taking those pieces and ripping them into smaller pieces much like Gordo the Gruesome threatens Jack in the Dome of Doom. Likewise Jack's final confrontation with his Enemy Within ends with him banishing him much like he does with Mad Jack and finally, the final part of Jack's journey has him being brought before Odin, Ra and Vishnu to the same realm that his father had the sword forged and the sequence where he finally regains his sword is pretty much a shot for shot recreation of when his father first gained the sword.
    • CI has Aku's opening preamble from the original series, along with accompanying scenes, played for the world to see leading up to Jack being imprisoned by Aku. As Jack faces execution, people he helped over the course of the whole series rally to his defense.
    • Also in CI, one of the few things capable of genuinely harming Aku is the Robo-Samurai. In "Robo-Samurai vs Mondo Bot", it's mentioned as being an ancient magical giant, and thus like the Scotsman's Celtic Magic is capable of harming him due to its mystical nature.
    • Again in CI, the series comes to a close with Jack visiting a tree. That's the very same tree and the destroyed forest around it that he showed to Ashi that finally sealed her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In Episode XCVIII, when the High Priestess tells her daughter Ashi for the last time to kill Jack, Ashi refuses and calls her out for abusing her and her sisters, subjecting them to torture, brainwashing them into believing that Jack is evil and Aku is good, and raising them to kill Jack without giving them the strategy on how to survive, making their mission seem like a suicide mission. This turns into a fighting battle against her.
  • The Cavalry: Shows up in the Grand Finale, and consists of Professor Rothchild the archaeologist dog and his numerous grandchildren in flying mechs, the Ravers riding giant birds, the Triseraquins and their flying fish, the Three Blind Archers and their entire tribe mounted on the Woolies, the "jump good" ape tribe, the 300 Spartans, the Scotsman's ghost leading all his Amazon Brigade daughters, and finally the Robo-Samurai, piloted by Max and the Andromeda robots.
  • Cerebus Call Back: The Daughters of Aku's belief that Aku is a benevolent deity and Jack is the villain is a dark Call-Back to "Aku's Fairy Tales", where Aku attempted to brainwash children by switching his role with Jack's and failed miserably. Except this time, someone succeeded with the Daughters, and it's no longer a laughing matter.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Despite the original show having its dark moments, the final season is now totally okay with showing deeper psychological traumas, Bloodier and Gorier violence, and ups the ante on the show's conflict. It's pretty safe to say that Samurai Jack is no longer the all-ages adventure cartoon it used to be.
  • Chained Heat: A variation on this trope occurs in Episode XCV. While Ashi is chained up and (mostly) helpless, Jack hauls her around on his back as simply leaving her would mean her death.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: Although Jack is ageless, his voice is growing a little weary and aging along with his voice actor, Phil LaMarr.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The tuning dagger Jack took from Scaramouche comes in handy when he uses it to escape his first fight with the Daughters of Aku.
    • Overlaps with Chekhov's Gunman. The corpses of the rams that Jack killed at the beginning of Episode 7 prove useful later that same episode when Ashi uses the horns from one of them as an Improvised Weapon in her fight against her own mother.
    • During the Sisters of Aku's final training, Ashi was able to perform an Arrow Catch before using it to kill the archer who fired it. Ashi does another Arrow Catch on an arrow her mother fired at Jack while he was meditating.
  • The Clan: In Episode 5, one of the armies attacking Aku's tower is made entirely of Scotswomen... led by the Scotsman... and they all call him "dad". He and his wife have been busy over the last 50 years...
  • Climax Boss:
  • Closed Circle: Used in Episode XCIX when Jack and Ashi are forced to seek shelter in a crashed prison ship due to a sand storm. Although they try to leave, they become lost trying to get out, forcing them to deal with the ship's sole remaining prisoner - Lazarus 92.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • A show staple. Over the course of the second episode, Jack goes from being covered head-to-toe in armor to basically wearing a loincloth, and in the fifth, he both "acquires" and then entirely loses an entire, snazzy outfit.
    • Ashi's grass outfit gets cut up in XCIX. Jack throws his own robes over her in the middle of a heated battle just for decency.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Jack is more than willing to use anything he can get his hands on, including guns. He has to, since he lost his sword. Jack is also more willing to use the environment to get an advantage and snatch weapons from his enemies to use against them. And in a more specific instance, when Jack learns about Scaramouche's tuning fork's delayed explosion attacks, Jack lets him hit one of his daggers with it, then throws it at Scaramouche, exploding it in his face.
  • Combination Attack: The Daughters attacks fight with perfect synchronicity, the most notable example is when they adopt a Shiva-like stance and appear as one Daughter with six limbs and three weapons.
  • Conspicuous CG: Downplayed. Jack's motorbike is CGI, but it's cel-shaded, making the effect less noticeable and jarring.
  • Continuity Nod: Aku's "Evil Scientists" from "Tales of X9" reappear here. It's unclear if they're the same people who created the X series or their successors who dress and act similarly, though their designs are similar and the Scientists were shown to live far longer than humans could.
    • Throughout Episode XCVII, Ashi encounters many people and beings whose lives improved due to their encounters with Jack in the first four seasons.
  • Continuity Snarl: In "Jack and the Spartans", a dying old Spartok retells the story on how he met Jack and thought he had died. Here he looks exactly like his first appearance when he first met Jack in the finale.
  • Cool Bike: Jack's new ride is a mechanized bike that seemingly never runs out of fuel, can easily support his weight in his massive armor, and has wheels that can turn into giant spiked weapons. It doesn't last long.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Ashi's entire existence has shades of one: she was born when a Made of Evil Eldritch Abomination granted his cult a bit of his essence, which her mother drank and was impregnated by. And when she finds it out, said abomination turns her into a puppet and morphs her into a Humanoid Abomination. It's like something straight out of H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Creepy Cemetery: In Episode XCVII, Ashi travels to a cemetery that's very creepy because of the Omen and the ancestors. And standing next to them is Jack, who's about to commit a ritual Seppuku.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Jack's opening fight with the army of robotic beetles ends decisively in his favor.
    • In the next episode he comes up against "The Ultimate Beetle Drone" - the biggest, toughest, most advanced Beetle Drone ever created. He takes it down with a single spear throw.
    • Jack's father vs a group of bandits that murdered his guards and is threatening his family. The bandits never had a chance and Jack's father is completely unharmed in the next scene.
    • The Scotsman's army vs Aku in Episode XCVI. He simply transforms into a giant ball and rolls over them. He then turns the Scotsman into a pile of ash with his Eye Beams.
    • Ashi rips through an army of orcs trying to kill Jack with only a small bit of Clothing Damage to show for it.
    • Once Ashi takes Jack back to the past, Past Aku never had a chance. While he tries to fight back, Jack, now 50 years stronger and more experienced, annihilates him.
  • Darker and Edgier: So far the season has featured more visible blood, less ambiguous violence, Jack's constant urges to end his life, as well as the Scotsman's death at the hands of Aku.
  • Darkest Hour: After a relatively grim season, it finally reaches a climax in Episode C. Aku realizes Ashi is his daughter and transforms her into a demonic being, forcing her to attack Jack. He is unable to slay her and releases the sword, which Aku snatches up and holds aloft in triumph. For that moment, at least, Aku has finally won.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Jack combats the Daughters of Aku in the ruins of a dark temple, which almost leads to his death when the Daughters utilize the shadows to their advantage.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode XCVII features Ashi as the viewpoint character in her search for Jack, all the while encountering several characters who have crossed paths with Jack in the past.
  • Death of a Child: This is definitely applied in this season, due to the more lax censorship of [adult swim]. In the season premiere, Jack explores a village that was destroyed by the villain Scaramouche. Jack sees a lot of human corpses, and at one point his guilty conscience makes him hallucinate that the dead children are pleading him to save them.
  • Death Seeker: In Episode XCIII Jack argues with a hallucination of his own doubts that tells him things like "our ancestors are waiting for us" and "wouldn't you like for it to all be over?"
  • Decon-Recon Switch:
    • Deconstruction: This season is more than just Darker and Edgier. It clearly shows the consequences and cost of being a warrior stranded in the future fighting an immortal creature that is a personification of evil. Many elements of the first four seasons that had uncomfortable implications are explored in depth as well as the toll it would take on Jack and those involved. To wit:
      • Jack is fine with destroying robots in brutal ways with fluids and parts flying everywhere, but this season makes it clear that in all that time, he never knowingly took a human life. This didn't matter so much at first, as it was primarily Aku who was after him, and Aku prefers sending machines and monsters. This season shows what would happen if others besides Aku wanted to come after him and DIDN'T use robots or machines but real people. When Jack takes his first human life in self-defense, he is horrified and disgusted with himself and even when he resolves to kill in self-defense, he is still haunted by his actions and victims.
      • Jack and Aku learn the hard way that by some fluke, Jack has been rendered ageless and therefore continues to live no matter how many centuries pass (provided that nothing physically harms and kills him). It was fine for Jack being in a stalemate with Aku for only a few years and provided that there was a chance to go home. With the last of the time portals destroyed and Aku effectively withdrawing from open conflict, Jack has to wander around playing the good Samaritan putting out small fires while the overall inferno (Aku's subjugation of the world) blazes unabated. Saying that this has not been good for either Jack or Aku's mental health, would be an understatement.
      • While things were shown to be bad under Aku's rule in the previous seasons, this season in particular doesn't pull any punches about what a Crapsack World the Earth is ruled by Aku. The new opening of the show is downright bleak and when Jack fights his first serious villain, the audience can clearly see the butchered corpses of the villagers Jack went to save. Jack is later forced to show Ashi a good hard look at how bad the world of Aku is when he shows her a single beautiful tree that was once part of a grand forest. Aku destroyed every tree but that one because he wanted people to despair at what once was. Later Ashi kills a torturer who was using brainwashed children as weapons.
      • Spending 50 years going around fighting the forces of Aku using any and every weapon you can find may make you an unbelievably skilled warrior, but it will also take a toll on your mind. What's more is that Jack was only going through the motions without any resolve or determination behind his actions. Add that to the fact that he's suffering from some very serious internal turmoil and guilt lead to a very strong but also mentally unbalanced protagonist.
    • Reconstruction: At the beginning of the season and primarily towards the end, many of the elements deconstructed are slowly put back together. While things have overall seemed lost and Jack had lost himself to despair and rage, it is shown that one man can make a difference and that many small actions over time can produce huge results.
      • While Jack became horrified that he had to kill, he still killed in self defense. Moreover, he gave his attackers plenty of warning and the chance to walk away with their lives. Regardless of the Daughters of Aku's circumstance and how much choice they had in their actions, Jack was justified in his actions and conducted himself as a hero showing concern for his foes and only used lethal force as a last resort. Even Ashi, a former Daughter of Aku turned ally to Jack, acknowledges that while Jack may have killed her sisters, he bears no fault or blame for the act (that falls squarely on their terrible mother).
      • It turns out that going around helping people all of the time in spite of (or because of) the world being a terrible place does make a difference as people will be grateful for the little bit of hope that you've given them. Do it enough and word starts to spread a about a man dressed in white saving people from the forces of evil incarnate. A man who can't be stopped or beaten. A man who (so far as the general population knows) can't be broken. You're not just a guy going around helping people and fighting Aku's forces anymore. You've become a folk hero and legend to inspire everyone who dreams of being free from Aku.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion:
    • Scaramouche explodes after Jack defeats him. His head survives, though.
    • The Ultimate Beetle Drone goes up in a pretty impressive explosion after Jack wrecks it.
    • The Dominator explodes after Ashi defeats him. Stands out as he was actually human, meaning it was probably his Powered Armor doing the exploding.
    • When Jack finally kills Past Aku, his essence spreads throughout his lair before violently exploding and taking the whole place with him.
  • Defiant to the End: Ashi, who continues to taunt and bloodlust after Jack even after he spares her life and tries to reason with her.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Jack is very much nearing this. The last fifty years have not been kind to him, especially as Aku has apparently eliminated every source of time travel on Earth (including the time gate guarded by the Guardian due to sheer overwhelming force). The ever-growing futility of his task has been wearing down on our samurai noticeably. It doesn't help that he's lost his sword, so he can't even hope to defeat Aku in the present.
    Jack: I've fought Aku for ages. I've seen countless innocents die. I've lived this nightmare for what seems like an eternity. There is no way to defeat him. There is no hope. No way out.
    • Ironically, Aku himself is also toeing the line. Sick of constantly failing to kill Jack, he withdrew to his lair in an attempt to just let time take its toll on Jack, as he had destroyed every way for Jack to return home. It would've been a good idea...if Jack had not become The Ageless. Now Aku has been reduced to moping around his lair, not really caring when his scientists show him a new model of the beetle drones, and having therapy sessions with himself.
  • Destination Defenestration: Ashi finishes off her No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of the Dominator by throwing him through a window.
  • Determinator: The Shiroi ōkami (White Wolf) fighting for survival against three Eldritch Abomination tigers - just like Jack in the same episode. Both win, but at a very heavy cost in blood and wounds.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Samurai Jack reclaims his sword and iconic outfit after sharing tea with good spirits and overcoming his dark reflection, revealing that it was a Secret Test of Character from the ancient gods who forged the sword itself.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Jack returns to the past and defeats Aku... at a terrible cost. Being made in part from Aku's body in the future, Ashi ceases to exist when Aku is destroyed in the past.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Aku genuinely had no idea displacing Jack in time would make him The Ageless. As a result, his attempt to just destroy any way for him to get home and then let time kill Jack for him failed, and Aku is beside himself (in one scene literally) because that was really his last resort.
    • The Daughters look around the clearing as Jack gives his ultimatum for them to leave or he'll have to kill them, expecting an attack from anywhere and forming a circle. They're completely blindsided when it turns out Jack was fighting like a ninja rather than a samurai and was actually below the snow the entire time, at which point he ambushes and quickly kills one of them.
    • Aku once more is surprised by Ashi's mere existence. He visited a cult and gave them a small part of his essence to worship (thinking it would be even better than the "nice" statue they already had); not once did it cross his mind that one cultist would drink the essence and become pregnant by it. He takes it far better than the other moments he gets blindsided.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When his attack on Aku goes pear-shaped, the Scotsman admits it was a mistake and orders a retreat.
  • Dirty Business: During his time in the cave, Jack flashes back to his childhood where his father was forced to kill a group of mountain bandits to protect his family. Remembering his father's words of wisdom, Jack overcomes his guilt and hesitation towards fighting the daughters of Aku.
    The Emperor: The decisions you make and the actions that follow are a reflection of who you are. You cannot hide from yourself.
  • Disc-One Final Boss:
    • The 7 Daughters of Aku chosen specifically to kill Jack have six of their members murdered by him and the de facto squad leader Ashi performing a Heel–Face Turn...with not even half a season in.
    • The Omen shadows, terrifies, and tries to get Jack to commit suicide for most of the season until Jack finally overcomes his demons and defeats him.
    • The High Priestess who sent the Daughters confronts Ashi three episodes away from the finale, and after an intense battle, is killed by her.
  • Disney Death: Ironically, despite being much more adult than the first seasons, this one has a lot of fake-out deaths.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Jack tosses 3 off the Daughters off of a cliff and then falls off himself in episode XCIV. Ashi and Jack are both revealed to have survived without any major injuries (though Ashi seemingly coated herself in the blood of her dead sisters to ambush Jack) in the next episode.
    • Ashi kills her mother by impaling her on a thrown arrow, sending her plummeting to her death.
  • Divide and Conquer: Jack utilizes this tactic against the Daughters in subtle ways after managing to kill one of them in single combat. He doesn't split them up, but he does things like tie up all but one's weapons by tricking them into lodging them in a tree, leaving the last one open, and luring them onto a narrow tree were he can fight them one at a time.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: In the Grand Finale, Aku makes a broadcast through TV monitors all around the world, first airing the show's intro from the first four seasons, and then announcing that he will crush the hopes of everyone by killing their hero Jack in a Public Execution. Cue the Big Damn Heroes moment from all of the inhabitants.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Jack's father gave this ultimatum to some bandits who ambushed his carriage. They refused to leave peacefully, forcing him to kill them to protect himself and his family. Jack gives the same exact ultimatum to the Daughters before their second battle; like the bandits, they refuse to leave. Jack has no choice but to kill all of them, except for Ashi (who miraculously survived).
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Jack thinks that he doesn't have to worry about the Daughters of Aku because they're "just robots". He is quite wrong on both counts.
    • Aku is still keeping tabs on Jack after fifty years because he believes he still has the magic sword with him that is the only thing that can end his life. Funnily, Scaramouche tried to tell Aku over the phone that Jack lost the sword, but at that point Jack had already decided He Knows Too Much before he could explain. Scaramouche continues to look for means of contacting Aku but is unsuccessful each time, thus continuing to keep the lost sword a secret from Aku but when he finally manages to reach Aku with the news, Jack has manged to get his sword back. As a result, Aku kills Scaramouche when they track down Jack and discover him to have his sword.
  • Dream Sequence: In "XCIV", Jack passes out from blood loss from the stab wound he got in the previous episode. He has a dream where his inner conscience reminds him that he just took the life of someone with real flesh and blood. The mysterious shadowy mounted warrior shows up as well.
  • Driven to Suicide: Defied in Episode "XCIII", where Jack's inner self argues with him about wanting to end all the suffering and waiting. Jack stops himself from finishing the suggestion of ending his life. Then in "XCVI", Jack believes he failed to save a group of children that had been brainwashed into vicious attack drones, and follows the Omen off to commit Seppuku. It takes a last second intervention from Ashi to back down.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Actually Played For Black Comedy. When The Scotsman returns to the series, he instantly gets vaporized by Aku like an insignificant insect. However, he instantly returns as a ghost thanks to ancient Celtic magic in his sword, so he's only dead physically.
  • Dwindling Party: The Daughters of Aku lose more and more of their members as the story goes on. Ashi is the Sole Survivor in the end.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Jack finally manages to travel back to the past and eliminate Aku before his reign could really take off. While Ashi disappears into thin air because of No Ontological Inertia before they can marry, Jack remembers when she changed sides when a ladybug lands on his hand, reigniting his hope for the future.
  • Electric Torture: The Dominator subjects Ashi to this in Episode XCVI. He even runs out of juice while shocking her and goes to recharge his Power Armor.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The series begins with Jack fighting a horde of robots, as he usually does, but afterwards, he narrates how it's been 50 years, without any sort of progress on his quest, and how he's lost hope in getting home. This sets the darker tone into place.
    • There's also the fact that Jack wheels in on a motorcycle, guns blazing to take down the army of Beetle-bots that shows he's lost a lot of his Good Old Ways in the interim. Not only has he lost his sword, He's abandoned his Gi, his sandals, his hat, his Samurai Ponytail...
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Daughters of Aku are confused when they see two animals loving each other since they were raised without love or mercy.
  • Evil Gloating: The Dominator brags to a captive Ashi about how he brainwashed the blue furry alien children to become murderous killers. He really, really should have kept his mouth shut.
  • Evil Matriarch: The High Priestess leading the Daughters of Aku gave birth to seven new recruits and submits them all to Training from Hell so they'll be ready to defeat Jack.
  • Exact Words: Scaramouche bets his life that Jack lost his sword. Aku kills him when they find that Jack has reclaimed it.
  • Exposed to the Elements: When Jack is being chased through the forest by the Daughters of Aku, him wearing nothing but a loincloth seems there mostly to showcase his vulnerability against such relentless foes. The fact that it's snowing doesn't seem to affect him at all.
  • The Faceless: Several times Jack hallucinates a figure clad in armor on horseback. Aside from that, we know nothing about who or what that figure is, not even what it looks like. When he speaks, the credits later identify him as The Omen.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: The High Priestess' raising of her daughters is a horrifically cruel reflection of Jack's own...and that cruelty is exactly what makes it a less efficient means of creating the World's Best Warrior than Jack's did. It not only leaves them utterly incapable of functioning outside their given mission and ignorant of the outside world to the point of not knowing what a deer even is, raising a group meant to fight as a unit to have a Lack of Empathy and actively avoiding helping each other at all costs left a vulnerability Jack was able to exploit to directly kill one and defeat the group as a whole. Contrast with Jack, who was both the World's Best Warrior capable of fighting in near any environment and a fairly well adjusted human being because of the more benevolent parts of his raising.
  • Fan Disservice
    • Jack receiving some Clothing Damage leaving his muscular body exposed loses a lot of its sexiness when we see how beaten, bloody, and bruised he is, especially when he's limping for his life thanks to a knife stuck in his abdomen.
    • The bodysuits the Daughters of Aku are wearing... they're not typical bodysuits. They're some kind of ambiguously dark substance that bonds to the skin of the Daughters of Aku after being shoved into a pit of burning coals. While naked. As children.
  • Fanservice:
    • The Daughters of Aku are all beautiful girls wearing form-fitting ninja suits, so naturally this trope was in play to a small degree for the first half of the season. However, it took off in Episode XCVII, when it was revealed their outfits were actually a kind of soot that clung to their skin. Ashi removed her "clothing" in a suggestive bathing sequence and put on a costume made from leaves and flowers that really compliments her figure.
    • The Scotsman's daughters also fall under this trope; despite being huge and muscular, they are also very stacked and wearing revealing outfits, something which their father calls them on for going into battle like that.
  • Fatal Flaw: The Daughters Lack of Empathy and attachment to each other. It results in them not even caring or really changing their combat style as Jack starts reducing their numbers, and even results in one of them dodging Jack's attack and letting it impale her sister rather than cover her.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Jack lost his sword, and Aku somehow does not know this. Even though it's revealed in Episode XCVIII that, 50 years earlier, Aku destroyed the last time portal and turned all three cute goats into the monsters that Jack had to kill before the villain left. If Aku had stayed behind to see Jack's carnage and his depression at killing the transformed goats that made him lose his sword, the villain would have succeeded in destroying Jack.
  • Flashback: At the beginning of Episode XCVIII, we finally get to see why Jack lost his sword.
  • Flying Weapon: Scaramouche has a floating scimitar he moves through the air via Magic Music.
  • Foil:
    • The Daughters of Aku are Jack's dark equals and opposites. Jack's father had him spend his youth training across the world in order to become strong enough to defeat Aku. The Daughters of Aku spent their entire lives in a cult temple and underwent the most brutal training imaginable in order to become strong enough to kill Jack and earn the favor of their "father." Jack is willing to embrace death, being that he is a samurai, while the Daughters see death as a fate deserved by the weak and sneer at their fallen for their weakness.
    • Jack's parents and the High Priestess count as this. Both may have tasked their own children to fight their respective enemy one day. But whereas the Emperor and Empress did their best to give their son a good, loving childhood before Aku's return, the High Priestess never gave the Daughters of Aku even one day to just be kids. But what truly sets them apart? When Jack's training is nearly complete, he is reunited with his mother, who proudly rewards her son's efforts with a tearful hug.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first episode, the High Priestess claims that Aku's fire stirs within the Daughters. This is later to be revealed literal because the High Priestess consumed Aku's essence in order to get pregnant with her Daughters.
    • In Episode XCVII, one of the Woolies says that he sensed evil in Ashi. We learn three episodes later that Ashi has Aku DNA in her.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Episode XCVII reveals that those black bodysuits the Ashi and the rest of her sisters are wearing are not suits at all, but rather black ash burned into their skins when her mother threw her and her sisters into a pile of...something...as some sort of tribute to Aku. Ashi and her sisters were naked the entire time we've seen them until Episode XCVII, when Ashi finally undergoes a Good Costume Switch and scrubs the black ash off her. Same goes for the High Priestess mother in Episode XCVIII, when she disrobes herself... and also reveals that she seemingly has the same black ash burned into her skin when she jumped into the hot coals after pushing her daughters there.

    G-L 
  • Gatling Good:
    • Episode "XCIII" features Jack shooting at the Daughters with an assault rifle with functioning rotating barrels.
    • The Scotsman has a Gatling gun replacing his old machine gun leg, though it's not very effective against Aku.
  • Good Costume Switch: In episode 6, Ashi literally scrubs the jet black outfit off her body with pumice stones to cleanse herself of her past. Once realizing she was naked, she forms a dress inspired by flowers and grass after seeing the world's beauty for what it truly is.
  • Good Counterpart: The Scotsman' warrior daughters to the Daughters of Aku. The High Priestess submitted her daughters to brutal training with a social Darwinist mentality, abusing them at every turn, to force them to serve and die for Aku, while the Scotsman truly cares for his daughters, gladly dying for their safety, and has them helping him to willingly save the world from Aku's evil.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Despite the new season being Bloodier and Gorier, they still shy away from outright showing decapitations and other forms of gruesome dismemberment. During a flashback in episode XCIV, for a flash second, a silhouette of a bandit is shown being bisected in half by the Emperor.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Ashi and Jack travel back in time to immediately after Jack was sent into the future at the start of the series and kill Aku. This being thousands of years before Aku could father Ashi, she fades away into nothingness.
  • Grand Finale: "CI" brings the series to a final end, where Ashi uses her powers to enable Jack to go back in time right after Aku had originally sent him to the future and kill the evil being once and for all. With peace restored to the world and the Bad Future averted, Jack and Ashi then prepare to get married, but Ashi gets erased from existence because she is Aku's daughter. Jack is depressed that his one true love couldn't exist without Aku, but he lightens up and decides to cherish the time they had together.
  • G Rated Sex: The fight with the Lazarus monster is just one long, extended metaphor for sex between Jack and Ashi. Her clothes get torn to shreds by the monster, leading Jack to put his ghi on her, and the two end up struggling in the Lazarus monster's worms grunting each other's names suggestively until being painfully electrocuted by the device meant to kill it. All of this ending in a Big Damn Kiss, cementing the imagery.
  • Groin Attack: Heavily implied in episode 6 when the bar patrons are sharing stories about their fights with Jack.
    Tattooed thug: I used to go the bathroom! Now I go in a bag!
  • Growing with the Audience: A given, considering this series has a more mature tone than the original show and anyone who saw the original show when it first aired as a child was most likely at least in their 20's at the time this revival aired.
  • Gut Punch: Fans who had any doubt that the show would be Darker and Edgier likely lose that doubt in the cult-like, ritual birth scene of the first episode, and it only gets worse as the Daughters' training routines are shown. This ain't gonna be pretty...
  • Half Breed: Ashi literally is a true daughter of Aku. Aku himself paid a visit to the cult and left the High Priestess with some of his essence in a cup. She drank it, somehow became pregnant, and Ashi was born.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
    • Scaramouche gets sliced in half by Jack. The only part of him that survives is his head.
    • The Omen meets his end when Jack bisects him at the waist.
    • The immediate action Jack does fresh out of the time portal is to cleave Aku vertically. And then he does it again and again.
  • Hammerspace: Each of the Daughters of Aku seem to be equipped with one, as they are never depicted with their weapons while running but can draw them from behind their back at a moment's notice.
  • Hate Sink:
    • The High Priestess who trained the Daughters of Aku (actually her own daughters) is a vile and humorless monster that manages to be just as twisted as her dark god. Unlike her daughters or even Aku's Laughably Evil followers, there is absolutely no moment where the High Priestess is portrayed as a likable or redeemable character.
    • The Dominator in episode 5 is built around this, lacking any likable traits and is all around an utter scumbag.
    • Aku himself became one near the end of the season. During the events of Episodes "C" and "CI", Aku demonstrated how horrible and cruel he truly is.
  • The Heavy: With Aku becoming the Greater-Scope Villain in Season 5 and the High Priestess in Big Bad Ensemble with Inner Jack / Mad Jack and Aku himself, we have Scaramouche the Merciless. Not only is Aku's favorite assassin, he spends most time in Season 5 trying to talk to Aku about Jack's lost sword. He also slaughtered an innocent town filled with men, women and children... just to get Jack's attention.
  • Heel Realization: Ashi undergoes one when she sees Jack interacting with a ladybug. During her youth, Ashi had admired one, but her mother immediately squished it and told her such frivolous distractions were not part of Aku's order. She realizes the results of her conditioning and pulls a proper Heel–Face Turn in the following episode.
  • Heroic Fatigue: 50 years of constant fighting has not been kind to Jack who is showing signs of severe PTSD.
  • Hero Killer: The Daughters of Aku were pretty much raised from birth to be this, and almost live up to it by making Jack spend most of their first fight running from them. Even though Jack manages to slay one of them, she still manages to stab him as she dies. Downplayed, as it's made clear that Jack could match them one on one; the problem is there's an entire team of them.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Scaramouche is defeated when Jack uses the explosive effects of Scaramouche's own dagger to damage his throat, preventing him from scatting and thus leaving him totally defenseless. Jack kills him with his own scimitar, too.
    • Aku thought he could just destroy all the ways Jack could get home and then let time get rid of Jack for him...unfortunately for Aku, sending Jack to the future made Jack The Ageless, meaning that method won't work, essentially leaving him trapped with an enemy he's failed to get rid of despite a long time trying with the one weapon that can kill him for eternity.
    • Jack dispatches one of the Daughters with her own sword.
    • Jack manages to tie Ashi up with her own chain sickle.
    • The Dominator is revealed to be a human wearing a suit of Powered Armor. After being given a thrashing by Ashi, the suit explodes, killing him.
    • Ashi kills the High Priestess by impaling her on one of the arrows her mother tried to kill Jack with, sending her falling to her death. Doubly so, as Ashi was only skilled enough to kill her because she trained her.
    • Aku awakening Ashi's powers allows her to keep them when she regains control via the Power of Love and use them against him...including his time travel powers. She promptly takes Jack back to the past, allowing him to kill Past Aku, erasing Future Aku from existence.
  • Hope Bringer: Samurai Jack is officially confirmed to be a messiah-like hero who has encouraged hope in the world dominated by Aku.
  • Hope Spot: Jack found a time portal and jumped into it, only to have Aku, who was waiting in ambush, reach in and pluck him out.
    • All the fans kept waiting for a sign of the Guardian still being around, his portal and him being the constant defender of it that even Jack couldn't defeat him initially, knowing it was the only possible Portal left that could return Jack home. Come Episode C, it turns out Aku actually defeated the Guardian when it was thought no one but Jack could do it, definitely destroying the last remaining portal and permanently trapping Jack in the future.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: A recurring theme is, even if Jack no longer believes in himself, he's become a beacon of hope in Aku's dark reign. XCVII is basically a Continuity Cavalcade showing people who Jack has inspired and saved who went on to see him such.
  • Hotter and Sexier: It's an old children's cartoon turned for older teenagers and adults so this is natural. Ashi has been naked through her whole life through getting melted in hot ash and is constantly shown nude in the show and some outfits are pretty revealing. Episode 8 is also full of G Rated Sex. When the show has nudity it doesn't hold back much (It's only slightly censored).
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Back in the first 4 seasons, the major threats in Samurai Jack were the demon Aku and his armies of robots and demonic minions. However, in this season, a few humans stand out by being just as cruel and twisted as Aku (and that's saying a lot!).
    • The High Priestess leading the Daughters of Aku is a sociopathic monster who pushes her followers into her way of thinking and if they refuse to accept her beliefs or fall in battle, then she brands them as weak and leaves them to die.
    • The Dominator is an actual human antagonist doing dark things to the innocent civilians. He abducted innocent alien children to use as a power source and weapons, seeing them as nothing more than tools to an end.
  • Humiliation Conga: Boy, Ashi really suffers a lot in Episode XCV. First, she suffers an embarrassing defeat from Jack where she ends up tied in her own chain struggling like an animal caught in a trap while having a Villainous Breakdown, is pitied and constantly rescued by her archenemy, is rendered almost completely helpless as she flails around screaming for revenge, and is carried all throughout Jack's journey like a baby on his back.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: After recovering from their first encounter, both physically and mentally, Jack sets his own trap for the Daughters of Aku while they're still relentlessly hunting him. It works and he kills all but one of them.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Jack tries his best to convince Ashi to fight Aku's influence and regain control of her body in "Episode CI". All the while, we see Ashi struggling to fight it off, but failing. Only after declaring his love for her, does she finally regain control.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Jack disposes of 3 of the Daughters by impaling them on sharp weapons.
    • When an entire army starts coming after Jack, Ashi starts off the fight by sending dozens of them onto their own spears.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: The 7 Daughters of Aku all have really nice figures. It might make you wonder if they've even eaten while on their hunt for Jack.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Jack introduces himself at the beginning of this season with a lot of weapons, one of which is a motorcycle with a built-in automatic gun and retractable spikes in its wheel. Scaramouche, being a Musical Assassin, has a golem-summoning flute as his primary weapon and also has a bladed tuning fork that causes things it hits to vibrate until they explode. Jack scavenges the tuning fork from Scaramouche when Jack defeats him.
  • Improvised Armor: Jack finds some carapace in Episode XCV to use as armor.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • Likewise, in an earlier scene in the same episode, Jack snaps off the razor-sharp leg of a still living beast attempting to disembowel him and Ashi.
    • Jack uses his sheath in tandem with his sword to fend off a leech monster in XCIX.
    • Ashi uses broken glass like throwing stars to fend off a leech monster in XCIX. She's been shown to proficiently use any nearby weapon, showing instant mastery.
  • I Owe You My Life: The Three Blind Archers are still grateful to Jack for saving them from their curse, to the point of building a statue in his honor and telling Ashi if Jack ever needs them all he needs to do is ask for their aid and they'll gladly come.
  • Irony:
    • Jack feels hopeless about his current situation, unknowing that Aku has pretty much given up actively trying to kill him. Likewise, Aku is a nervous wreck over his inability to kill Jack...unaware that Jack lost his sword.
      • It's also revealed that Aku had a part in Jack losing the sword in the first place by making him give into his rage and ultimately be deemed unworthy to use it, but he had already left before that happened and never found out about it.
    • The Daughters of Aku were raised with the sole purpose of killing Jack. They never had a choice in the matter. When they confront Jack the second time, he likely gives them their first choice in life: run and live or fight and die.
    • The High Priestess raised her seven daughters to be the perfect team to kill Jack, in order to obtain the notice of her god, Aku. It was all pointless. Aku lets worshippers into his fortress to pay tribute to him, she could have literally visited his home. Jack himself is despondent and thinking of suicide. And not only do the daughters fail, the sole surviving one manages to snap Jack out of his despair when he was on the cusp of committing seppuku, saving his life and renewing his focus on ending Aku. Then said daughter kills the Priestess to save Jack.
    • During the fight with the High Priestess, Ashi uses a horn as an Improvised Weapon. The horn used, however, is from one of the sheep Jack slaughtered in his moment of rage.
  • Ironic Echo: "I will undo the evil that is you, Samurai!"
  • Ironic Name: One of Aku's top assassins is named "Gentle-Jim."
  • It Gets Easier: After killing one of the Daughters of Aku, Jack undergoes a Heroic B.S.O.D. because this was the first human he ever killed. While having a fever dream, he flashes back to his childhood where he watched his father kill bandits in self-defense. This ends up * giving him the resolve to adapt to a "kill or be killed" mentality with the rest of the Daughters.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: In the final leg of their travels together, Jack leaves Ashi behind because of his lifelong experience with loss.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Jack and his sword is the only thing that can destroy Aku. He starts off the season as a Broken Hero after spending fifty years of making zero progress in either killing Aku or getting back to the past.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The High Priestess raising the Daughters of Aku almost shows Ashi a moment of compassion when she gives the girl a heartwarming speech about the beauty of the world...then she tosses her daughter to a Giant Mook, telling her to give Ashi a harsher beating.
  • Joker Immunity: Deconstructed. Jack is a bit of a wreck about failing to kill Aku for 50 years...and Aku is a nervous, depressed wreck for failing to kill Jack for 50 years.
  • Just a Machine: Jack uses this reasoning as to why he can destroy Aku's robotic bounty hunters indiscriminately, as they're just "nuts and bolts." It's also why he doesn't let himself die by them, they are machines and therefore he can outclass them. He is visibly shocked when he finds this does not apply to the Daughter Of Aku whose throat he just cut.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: Subverted. Aku destroyed all the time portals Jack needs to return to his time, and decided to just wait until Jack died of old age. However, it turns out that Jack became The Ageless due to being thrown through the time portal, meaning that he can't just wait him out.
    • Played straight and also for laughs in poor Scaramouche's case. He's the only surviving (to put it generously) member of Aku's army who knows that Jack lost his magic sword and repeatedly tries to inform Aku, but is interrupted every time. Aku would immediately curb-stomp Jack and cut the series short if Scaramouche succeeded.
  • Karmic Death: Aku is so vile that he gets two.
    • Future Aku meets his end when his daughter who he'd turned into a living weapon and put into an And I Must Scream situation managed to turn the tables on him via the Power of Love. She promptly uses the power he himself awakened in her to send Jack back in time, allowing him to kill past Aku and erase the future Aku from time. Doubly karmic, as Aku had his victory practically dangled in front of him, only for it to be torn away from him and turn into his most crushing defeat, the exact same thing Aku purposefully did to Jack when destroying the last time portal.
    • Past Aku meets his demise when Jack returns from the future...and because Aku cast him there in the first place, Jack is now so much stronger from the 50 years in the future that he easily annihilates Aku. In addition, Aku died the same way he loved to kill others: facing a being who outclassed him to such a degree that any meaningful offense is impossible and dying as terrified as his victims often were.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Scaramouche finally tells Aku that Jack lost his sword, but once they find that he has it, Aku kills the assassin before he can explain that he wasn't lying.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Played with. The Scotsman returns in "XCVI" as an old man, and charges Aku's tower, only to confront Aku himself. After listening to an earful of his old ramblings, Aku turns him to ash with an eye blast. However, the Celtic runes on his sword return him to the world as a ghost.
    • Scaramouche is killed after Aku discovers that his information about Jack is wrong.
    • Jack kills Past Aku in the finale, erasing future Aku from existence.
  • Killed Offscreen: The Guardian, who was tasked with protecting a time portal in Jack and the Travelling Creatures, was killed in a battle against the sheer overwhelming armies of Aku, allowing him to destroy the time portal. All that remains are his broken red glasses.
  • Killing In Self-Defense: Jack kills the first of the Daughters defending himself. While shaken and decidedly not wanting to kill a human being, he comes to the realization that they're trying extremely persistently to kill him and nothing less will actually stop them.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Jack has hit this territory. While he still fights Aku's forces, he's become completely and utterly broken. Having been trapped in the future for fifty years without aging or finding a way back home, he's essentially just a shell going through the motions, and even finds himself arguing with his own subconscious over how hopeless his situation is.
    • The armor Jack wears even invokes this trope. It gives the longtime viewer an immediate visual cue that something about him is different, and the armor itself resembles Aku, suggesting that Jack is in a dark place.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Despite being a Darker and Edgier show, the Daughters of Aku really stick out as the most dead serious, threatening antagonists Jack has ever faced. They nearly succeed at bringing Jack down in their first encounter, which few antagonists have even come close to accomplishing. To add even more irony to that, Aku himself is slowly giving up on his desire to have Jack killed and is still Laughably Evil as ever while his own worshippers are taking on the darker traits instead.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Aku cursed at least one hero who tried to stand up to him with immortality for fun. 50 years later and he's a complete nervous wreck because he accidentally granted Jack chronological immortality and thus has no way to actually get rid of him.
    • The High Priestess put her Daughters through Training from Hell for their entire lives. Only to be killed by Ashi when she tries to kill Jack herself.
  • Laser Guided Tyke Bomb: The Daughters were born and raised for one purpose only — hunt down and kill Jack. Deconstructed, as they're shown to have absolutely no knowledge of anything except that to the point they don't even know what basic human affection is.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Season 5 is much darker, bloodier, and kid-unfriendly then the previous four seasons, and it also has swearing. On top of that, none of the episodes have official titles attached to the roman numerals and the numerals themselves jump forward by a full 40 places from the last episode to air, suggesting a huge gap between them and the end of Season 4
  • Last-Second Chance: Before their rematch, Jack gives the Daughters of Aku the choice to just walk away and leave unharmed. They refuse. They really should've taken it.
  • Lean and Mean: The Daughters of Aku are mostly made up of nimble, female ninja assassins who desire Jack's head for Aku.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Aku's comment that he's the "new Aku."note  Also, at the end of his therapy session, both Akus (It Makes Sense in Context) look directly at the screen.
  • The Load: In Episode XCV, Ashi invokes this by purposely slowing Jack down while he tries to break them out of the literal belly of a beast so they can die together.
  • Long Game: Aku has decided to just wait until Jack died of old age. He hasn't had much success.
  • Lured into a Trap: The Daughters of Aku lay one for Jack and ambush him. Jack returns the favor the very next episode.

    M-S 
  • Made of Explodium:
    • Anything hit by Scaramouche's dagger. Exploited by Jack to kill Scaramouche, and then claim the dagger.
    • Being a robot, Scaramouche himself also suddenly explodes after being cut in half with a sword by Jack.
    • The Dominator blows up when Ashi literally just throws him through a window despite being a man in a suit rather than a robot.
  • Magic Music: Scaramouche can summon massive golems with his recorder, and can control flying swords via Scatting. Jack takes advantage of this by first breaking his flute, and during the climax of the fight, damaging his throat.
  • Magic Skirt: Ashi's outfit, made of plant leaves after she washed off the charred surface from her skin, flitters up during her battle scenes but does not go all the way up. Fitting as it is obvious she is Going Commando.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Scaramouche's dagger is a variant: that can make things explode with a touch via Resonant Frequencies.
  • Mauve Shirt: The Daughters of Aku spend their whole lives being trained to hunt down and kill Jack, and they show they're capable to do so. After killing the first one in an abandoned temple, he later swiftly dispatches all of them except for Ashi in the following episode.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • The first arc of season 1 opened with Jack barely surviving a battle with an army of beetle robots. This season opens with Jack easily destroying another army of the same robots with far more brutal means, to show his growth in both prowess and cynicism over his 50 year quest.
    • Jack's Opening Narration in this final season mirrors Aku's own in season 1-4, with Jack discussing his battle across the ages with Aku from his point of view. Similarly, it ends on the words "Samurai Jack" just as Aku's monologue ended with "Aku".
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: Played With in episode XCVIII. While Ashi was fighting off a literal army who was trying to kill Jack, Jack himself was in the middle of making tea during his spiritual journey. The scene jumps back and forth between exciting violence and the calm, quiet process of making tea.
  • Miss Fanservice: Ashi, who gets a nude scene bathing off her blackened skin and dons a revealing grass ninja outfit. She loses the outfit in a battle with an insectoid creature, leaving her stark naked until Jack covers her with his robe.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In the first episode, we have Jack living up to the legendary hero he is by kicking ass as well as a vocally-graphic birth scene, then we're introduced to the hammy Scaramouche in the closing minutes of the episode. This is, however, very consistent with many episodes in the first four seasons.
    • Similarly, in the second episode, we see that Aku hasn't changed much aside from a slightly more dour demeanor towards his subjects and servants, even having a comedic therapy session with himself. However, Aku's wish for someone to get rid of Jack seems to be coming true, as directly after this scene Jack is on the run from the Daughters.
    • The serenity of Jack performing a tea ceremony as part of his Vision Quest to reclaim his sword is interwoven with Ashi brutally slaughtering the army sent to kill Jack and having a showdown with her mother.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Ashi is the only Daughter of Aku with a given name amongst the cultnote  and appears to be trusted as the de facto leader of the squad.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The tiger creatures, whose jaws are nearly the same lengths as their bodies.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Having lost his sword, Jack now uses whatever he can take off his enemies and his surroundings, including handguns, rifles, spears, tasers, layered shields, straight swords, axes, daggers, scimitars, a kanabou, weaponized tuning forks, and a weaponized bike.
  • Mugging the Monster: The bandits who attacked Jack's father and family completely underestimated him, and pay for it with their lives.
  • Musical Assassin: Scaramouche is a hired killer who uses music themed weaponry, including a telekinetic flute, a flying sword powered by scatting, and an explosive tuning fork dagger.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Jack when he kills one of the Daughters of Aku and realizes that she's a young human girl, not the robot assassin he thought he was dealing with.
    • When Jack fights a bunch of Brainwashed and Crazy children, and believes that he killed all of them by accident, he's so broken up about it that he goes with the Omen to commit Seppuku.
    • During a flashback in Episode XCVIII, Jack has this reaction upon killing three cute rams that were transformed into monsters by Aku's magic. His shock is so great that he drops the sword, which leads him to nearly losing it forever.
    • Aku, since he inadvertently made Jack immortal thanks to his own time travel magic. Needless to say, he's quite depressed about it.
  • Mythology Gag: From the trailer for season 5, Jack recites a familiar set of words: note 
    Got to get back — back to the past.
    Samurai Jack.
  • Naked People Are Funny: It is revealed in the sixth episode that the Daughters of Aku weren't really wearing bodysuits and that they were actually covered with ash from being exposed to hot coals when they were children. This revelation isn't played for laughs, but Ashi realizing to her embarrassment that she has nothing else to wear after washing the ash off her body is clearly meant to be humorous.
  • Neck Snap: Believe it or not, Jack actually punches one of his enemies so hard in the face that their neck twists to the point it kills them.
  • Never Say "Die": Played straight by Jack himself, who threatens the Daughters of Aku by claiming they will "face [their] destiny" and tells his hallucinations to shut up right before they suggest he kill himself. Averted hard by the Daughters, who do not mince words about their ultimate intent for our hero.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer for the fourth episode implies that Ashi wasn't going to have a big role in the episode, or ended up dying from the fall in the last episode. In reality, she's only wounded and she even performed a Heel–Face Turn at the end.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • The Daughters' mother's horrible raising, specifically punishing them for daring to help their siblings and restraining their entire existences to a single temple, ultimately left them with several glaring flaws that Jack exploits to beat them. Had their mother just let them develop a desire to aid each other, Jack probably would've had a significantly harder time beating them.
      • Not just the training, having the Daughters in the first place was helped Jack, as Ashi helped Jack overcome the emotional turmoil that he'd been suffering since he lost the sword. This ultimately led to Jack regaining the sword in the seventh episode.
    • Aku tried to be pragmatic about killing Jack by destroying all the time portals and hiding away so that Jack would simply die of old age. But, thanks to displacing him in time, Jack became The Ageless, so it's not an option, all thanks to Aku's own interference.
    • In a way destroying the time portals was this, as before returning to the past and killing Past!Aku was Jack's primary goal and he just took any opportunity that presented itself to try and kill the present Aku. After getting his sword back, Jack states they're going straight for Aku. By destroying the time portals, Aku effectively promoted himself from a side goal to having Jack fully devoted to killing him.
    • Aku turning Ashi into an Eldritch Abomination in the first place. Not only does Jack snap Ashi out of it later with an Anguished Declaration of Love, but Ashi inherits all of Aku's powers in the process, including the ability to make time portals.
  • Nightmare Face: Jack's hallucinations of his parents, his lost friends, and a dark reflection of himself all display creepy facial expressions. To the point where it feels like a running gag.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Scaramouche, the robot assassin who Jack fights in Episode XCII is clearly inspired by Sammy Davis, Jr., right down to his speaking mannerisms, vocal range, and verbal scatting.
  • No Title: Unlike all other episodes from previous seasons, none of the episode titles in Season 5 have a name beyond their act number (in Roman numerals). Even more bizarrely, the numbers given are the sum of their actual number in the series plus 39 (i.e. "Episode XCII" means "Episode 92", when it is actually the 53rd episode), to represent the decades passed by the Time Skip.
  • Nominal Importance: During the introduction to the Daughters of Aku, only Ashi is called by name on screen. Guess which one of the Daughters survives their complete thrashing by Jack?
  • Nothing but Skulls: In the opening, when Jack talks about the future choked by Aku, it shows him looking mournfully over a landscape of nothing but endless robot skulls on pikes.
  • No Social Skills: Because of their hellish upbringing, the Daughters of Aku have no idea what is a simple show of affection between two deer when they rub their noses together.
  • NOT!: In the Grand Finale, Aku broadcasts the opening intro from the first four seasons on every TV around the world, and when the intro finishes, the villain makes a Jump Scare appearance with, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!" before announcing that he will execute Jack.
  • Not Hyperbole: When Aku in the original opening stated that his evil is law in the future, episode XCVI makes it clear that Aku wasn't saying that to gloat—crime is tolerated and people are free to be evil.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • The wolf that was believed to have died after enduring a brutal battle with the alien tigers. The next episode reveals that it survived its battle, and helps Jack recuperate while they share a cave.
    • The Scotsman gets a dose of Aku's laser eye beams and is rendered to nothing but ash. Thankfully, he comes back in his prime as a ghost thanks to the Celtic runes on his sword.
    • Scaramouche turns out to have survived the explosion from Episode 1, but he's reduced to a talking head. He can still get around by hopping and taking other beings' bodies. As a result, he brings Aku to ambush Jack.
  • Not So Different: Jack and Aku's endless stalemate has taken a toll on both of them: Jack has lost hope of returning to the past and is undergoing Sanity Slippage because of it, while Aku is depressed and anxious over the thought that Jack might be here forever. In XCIII they both even have a Talking to Themself moment, with Jack confronting his nihilism in the hallucinatory form of his "younger" self, and Aku sprouting a second body to give himself therapy.
  • The Nudifier: While fighting Lazarus-90 in "XCIX", Ashi ends up having her Garden Garment devoured by the creature, leaving her naked.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Scaramouche when Jack brandishes his sword (episode C). This after he tells Aku that Jack lost the sword. Aku has the same reaction just a moment before that.
    • In the Grand Finale, Aku has an expression of absolute horror when he realizes Ashi inherited his powers, giving her the power to send Jack back to the past.
    Aku: Oh no...
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Ashi thinks Jack is doomed after they're swallowed whole by a giant monster. Jack simply replies this has happened to him multiple times to the point he's more concerned about her indoctrinated state than being in a monster's stomach.
  • One-Winged Angel: Ashi, in 'C', completely against her will, as Aku takes over her and forces the part of him inside her to transform her into a miniature, female version of him.
  • One-Woman Army: Ashi single-handedly massacres an army of 1000 warriors and her own mother in order to defend Samurai Jack.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Deconstructed. Aku and Jack's battles are no longer a once a week affair, as Aku doesn't want to be reminded that he can never stop Jack, and thus doesn't even know Jack has lost his sword. Instead, Aku leaves it to his minions to attack Jack, and tries to simply forget Jack even exists.
    Aku: That was the old Aku. This is the new Aku, and he really doesn't care about that pathetic samurai.
  • Off-Model: In episode XCIV, Hallucination!Jack is this trope played for horror. It's the same model as young Jack, but bent and distorted in such a way to emphasize Jack's impending breakdown.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: It's revealed that the reason why Jack lost his sword was because his heart became consumed by rage and despair. He didn't simply lose it, it vanished from the earthly plane. When Jack overcomes his anger and despair, he is greeted by the gods who created the sword and tell him that he is chosen. This trope is somewhat downplayed as anyone can hold and swing the sword around (Aku did it while Jack was fighting zombies and he took it from Jack by using his evil power to telekinetically pull it from Jack) but it cannot be used to harm the innocent in evil hands and it has no power if the user lacks a clear and noble soul.
  • Our Ghosts are Different: The Scotsman returns as a ghost in the form of his younger self, thanks to the ancient Celtic magic within his sword after he was vaporized by Aku. This doesn't slow him down in his efforts to resist Aku in the slightest. It also let him gain access to Magic Music strong enough to harm Aku.
  • Out of Focus: Aku, for the first half of the season. He doesn't appear at all in several episodes, and in the ones where he appears he does little more than mope around his lair. He steps out for a few minutes to kill The Scotsman and a bunch of his men, though. After that he's right back to just moping about Jack.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On:
    • The Scotsman gives this order to his squad of somewhat scantily-dressed daughters.
    Scotsman: I take you out for a day of battle and ya dress like you're going out dancin'! COVER YOURSELF!
    • Ashi experiences a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of a fight in XCIX. Jack tries to show some decency by averting his gaze and giving her his robe.
  • Plot Armor: Played with. The Scotsman is instantly vaporized by Aku within less than two minutes into his return this season, but he then comes back as a spirit, stating that he has a new plan to bring Jack back, meaning that his role in the story isn't finished yet.
  • The Power of Love: What frees Ashi from Aku's influence in episode CI.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Subverted. Aku destroyed any way for Jack to get back to the past, intent to just let the samurai die of old age. Unfortunately for Aku, Jack is now The Ageless, because Aku displaced him in time.
  • Psycho for Hire:
    • It's revealed Aku actively invites alien criminals that were banished from their homeworld for their crimes to come to Earth and slaughter people.
    • Scaramouche is a Robotic Psychopath who remorselessly slaughtered an innocent village filled with men, women and children.
    • The Dominator is sick and twisted to the point of getting off on enslaving children and torturing Ashi for no reason except he can. And unlike Aku's robots, he's human.
  • Public Execution: In the Grand Finale: Aku makes a worldwide broadcast of his attempt to kill Jack execution-style, first by airing the intro from the show's first four seasons, and then forcing all of the inhabitants Jack has rescued through the years to watch as their precious savior dies. However, all the inhabitants decide they can't stand for that, and they make a Big Damn Heroes moment in saving Jack while Aku is fiddling around with many methods on how to kill Jack, who tries talking some sense into Ashi to break out of Aku's control.
  • Razor Wire: The Daughters use this to trash Jack's bike in the second episode.
  • R Rated Opening: Word of God says this is the reason why the original theme song wasn't used in the opening of the first episode, as it would've been too jarring to go from will.i.am rapping to a scene of ritualistic childbirth.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Even in the original series, the fact that the Status Quo Is God and no actual progress can be made on either returning to his own time or killing Aku in this time was often shown to affect and dishearten Jack. Fifty years of this, and losing the one thing that made it possible to kill Aku in any timeline, have left Jack a shell of a man. Even Aku is affected by their stalemate, as he can't kill Jack and Jack can't go back to the past.
    • In XCIII, Jack grabs a battle axe at the center of the crypt. In another story, a legendary blade would be a hero's salvation during a difficult battle. Unfortunately, legendary also means old, and it breaks after a few hits.
    • While phenomenally trained the Daughters are literally decades behind Jack in terms of skill and experience. Their initial success is largely due to shock and surprise. Once Jack recovers and stops holding back, he swiftly kills them.
    • The Daughters' mother more or less forbade them from covering or backing each other up. While they're fantastic at attacking as one, they make no effort to actually cover each other in a fight which directly results in the death of one and indirectly leads to the others' defeat. This also means that they weren't allowed to mourn one another as Jack slaughtered them. As a result, Ashi comes to the objective realization that Jack had no choice but to defend himself, and doesn't blame him for killing her sisters.
    • While the Scotsman's forces are considerable, they don't have anything that can hurt Aku, and are swiftly trounced by him. The Scotsman realizes this and calls a retreat rather quickly.
      • The Scotsman decides to hold Aku off while his daughters escape. Being elderly and wheelchair-bound however, he can do little but hurl scathing insults before Aku vaporizes him.
      • On a less important note, The Scotsman scolds all the girls for wearing such Stripperiffic outfits to a battle.
    • The High Priestess is slain by Ashi, because of her single-minded drive to kill Jack without confirming Ashi's death first. Just like the Daughters were slain by Jack because they were trained in combat, but not in strategy.
    • Jack already had Past!Aku's number in their original fight. As a result, the Final Battle between a 50 years stronger and more experienced Jack and an already badly beaten Past Aku is a Curbstomp Battle in Jack's favor.
    • Ashi was born from Aku's essence. And with Past Aku's demise, she is erased along with Future Aku.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The last trailer for the final season uses the already existing "Hang'em All" by the Synthwave band Carpenter Brut, to illustrate the show's retro future aesthetics.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Initially, Jack's subconscious plays the rational, intellectual blue to Jack who, although still apparently calm and even-tempered, lost his sword due to succumbing to rage, momentarily becoming a red oni. Gradually, his subconscious transforms into a full-blown red oni—even turning red—while Jack maintains his serenity and composure, filling the role of the blue counterpart.note 
  • Ret Gone: Ashi takes Jack back in time, allowing him to destroy Past Aku, thus erasing the future one from existence...and sadly, because she was born from his essence, her along with him. By extension, this is the fate of the future timeline and every character in it as well. Otherwise, any character who doesn't suffer this fate won't be as how Jack knew them.
  • Religion of Evil: The Daughters of Aku seems very cult-like, raised in a dark temple where both training and brainwashing occurs to make them focused and deadly. They even bow down chanting to a giant statue of Aku.
  • Retired Badass: Da Samurai is now an old bartender working at the same bar he ironically fought Jack at.
  • The Reveal: Ashi actually is Aku's daughter. He also has complete control over her body.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Jack tricks the Daughters of Aku into thinking he's hiding among the many trees surrounding them during his monologue. Turns out Jack was actually hiding under the snow right in the middle of the clearing the entire time. He kills one, then he hides behind a tree.
  • Role Reprisal: While it's a given that Phil LaMarr would return to voice Jack, less obvious is Greg Baldwin voicing Aku. While he's The Other Darrin to Mako, he did voice the character before in the FusionFall game, so it also qualifies as this. Later, John DiMaggio returns to his role as the Scotsman.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • In the second episode, Jack's fight against the daughters is contrasted with a lone wolf being mobbed by monstrous tigers. The wolf kills all of the tigers, but dies of its wounds shortly afterwards... or so it seems. Appearing in the next episode covered in wounds and gore before a similarly bloodied Jack, and helps him recover from his wounds.
    • When Jack kills his first human being he slowly begins to lose his mind, which results in his hallucinations looking more physically warped than before with a monstrous demeanor as they call him a murderer, implying that this is how he now views himself.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: The Daughters of Aku spent their entire lives going through Training from Hell in an isolated temple, never being allowed to learn of what actually exists outside. They are outright baffled by the sight of an elk, and when they see the antlers on a male, they think that it is a minion of Aku.
  • San Dimas Time: Jack's assumption of this trope is the root cause of his suffering: He believes his family and nation are suffering while he is trapped in the future. It later turns out 50 years in the future was 10 seconds in the past.
  • Sanity Slippage: The years have not been kind to Jack's mental health. He frequently hallucinates his own father, mother, and civilians reprimanding him for failing to save them. In addition to that, every time he hallucinates he envisions the same armored figure on horseback, overlooking the suffering. Same for Aku, though at least he has himself as a therapist to talk to.
  • Save the Villain: Jack not only spares Ashi, but he actively tries to protect and convince her to see things his way. And it pays off!
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: The Daughters of Aku somehow locate Jack and give him a fight for his life, which he barely escapes from. Now Jack's problem involves trying to get away from them.
  • Scenery Gorn: The collection of massive robotic bodies around the Guardian's time portal that Jack must climb through and around to progress.
  • Scenery Porn: The acclaimed art style once again lends itself very well to the painted backgrounds. Jack's spiritual journey to reclaim his sword is a stand out example.
  • Second Rider: While Jack has had recurring allies in the past, Ashi is Jack's first ally to join him on his adventure permanently. She even follows the trope by first being a dangerous enemy before becoming a valuable ally post Heel–Face Turn.
  • Self-Surgery: Jack sews his stab wound shut with a splinter of wood and some string while recovering in a cave.
  • Seppuku:
    Jack's Mind: There's no more honor... Come to think of it, the only honorable thing to do is—
    Jack: Quiet!
    • Believing that he killed a bunch of Brainwashed and Crazy children, Jack tries to go through with it in episode 6. Lucky for him, Ashi snaps Jack out of it by telling him how much of a Hope Bringer he is, along with the fact that the kids are still alive.
  • Sequel Series: This limited series opens 50 years after the original four seasons, and serves as a Grand Finale for Jack's tale.
  • Sexy Silhouette:
    • Ashi provides one against a stream of water after bathing in Episode XCVII.
    • Jack himself gets one in "C" when he washes off all the gunk from the previous episode.
  • Ship Tease: Episode XCIX starts off with Jack and Ashi's being forced to awkwardly invade each other's personal space on a crowded transport. Both try to respect each other's space, but there's something developing there. A Will They or Won't They? tension is in the air for most of the episode. At the end of the episode, they fully embrace and kiss each other after having just survived a life-threatening battle. The accompanying music of Dean Martin's "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes" only seals the deal.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: A large part of the season is devoted to showing how Jack has influenced and inspired the world by showing everyone the possibility of living in a world free of Aku. In the irony of having to accomplish such a goal, Jack goes back in time in the finale and defeats Aku, meaning that everyone in the future that he saved and inspired no longer exists, or no longer exists the same.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Appropriate that Ashi, the main Daughter of Aku in this Tartakovsky series, has the same hairdo as Ilana, the protagonist of another Tartakovsky series. Both are also voiced by Tara Strong.
    • In episode XCV, the ground breaking open that's actually a giant beast roars like Godzilla.
    • Episode XCVI features two towards two classic cartoons. One of the passengers on the boat is a humanoid dog that resembles Astro. One of the patrons in the bar Ashi visits is a robotic Popeye. (Funny in that Tartakovsky was developing a CGI theatrical feature of Popeye for Sony Pictures until Sony scuttled it for the forthcoming feature The Emoji Movie.)
    • The crashed prison spaceship, in which Jack and Ashi battle Lazarus-92, bears a striking resemblance to the mysterious monolith from Stanley Kubrek's 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Furthermore, the monolith in the 1968 film is a not of terrestrial origin, but was constructed by aliens, to serve the purpose of driving forward human development and human technological innovation. It is not specified in Episode XCIX, nor in Episode XCIIX in which the spaceship is first shown drifting through space, when the spaceship prison crashed onto Earth. Just as the alien monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey provides a tangible connection between the distant past and distant future, and has time-distortion effects within the Solar System - including the human inhabitants of Earth; the crashed prison ship, inhabited by the creature inmate Lazarus-92, discovered by Ashi and Jack, provides a space of chronological continuity. This is reinforced, rather than contradicted, after Lazarus-92 is defeated, by Jack's emotional description of the Past he once knew, and the loved ones he believed to have become, "just memories." Jack tells Ashi of his memories while the duo camp next to the crashed prison spaceship. The distortion of time is also present along with the crashed prison spaceship's presence, through Jack's chronological exile by Aku, and subsequently, by Jack's immunity to the effects of age while trapped in the future - which, for Ashi, is her present time.
    • One of the ruined giant robots in Episode C bares a striking resemblance to Ultraman.
    • The animals ridden by part of the Scotsman's army are clear expys of Tundro of The Herculoids.
  • Silent Antagonist: The special assassin squad working under Daughters of Aku don't receive any dialogue until their third episode.
  • Slashed Throat: In Episode XCIII, Jack ends the life of a Daughter of Aku by slashing her throat in the heat of combat. The sight of blood takes him by surprise, as he reasoned that Aku would continue sending robots after him, but then her mask splits open.
  • Snow Means Death: It is snowing in episode XCIV, when Jack massacres the majority of the Daughters of Aku.
  • The Social Darwinist: The High Priestess training the Daughters of Aku will not tolerate weakness and is happy to allow her own followers to die. The message was hammered into the daughters pretty well too, as they comment on the daughter who Jack killed in the second episode.
    Death is failure.
  • Spanner in the Works: The anthropomorphic dogs in XCVII abuse Scaramouche's head and kick him in the ocean not only delaying the news that Jack lost his sword but also postponing the eventual ambush by Aku on Jack.
  • The Spartan Way: The Daughters were raised by being put into life-threatening battles from the time they were children.
  • Spy Catsuit: Played with as while it looks like one, it's really a layer of char from hot coals the Daughters were dropped in. When Ashi undergoes her change of heart she scrapes it off.
  • Stalker Without a Crush:
    • Aku and his cult are obsessed with Jack, not because they love him, but because they seek to kill him.
    • Despite this, Aku prefers the company of his fiery Pit of Hate as well as himself as a therapist instead of trying to deal with Jack directly.
    • The Omen exploits Jack's despair and is trying to get him to commit sepukku.
  • Status Quo Is God: Deconstructed, as 50+ years of being unable to resolve their conflict has left both Jack and Aku depressed wrecks.
    • Jack's inability to find any way to return to the past and resolve the series' overarching plot has left him a broken, borderline suicidal Shell-Shocked Veteran after 50 years of battle. It's made worse by the fact that he's lost his sword, so he can't even hope to defeat present Aku.
    • As noted under Orcus on His Throne, Aku nonchalantly claims to have gotten tired of trying and failing to get rid of Jack, and while his forces still fight him, the Lord of Darkness says that he doesn't really care about Jack at all. Actually, it bothers him quite a bit, especially since he inadvertently made Jack The Ageless and thus can't even wait for Jack to die of old age - Jack could be there forever and Aku's not sure he can handle that.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • At one point, Jack hallucinates that a murder of crows call him a murderer.
    • The guy Scaramouche sneaks on the boat with is a literal dickhead.
  • Sword Drag: Ashi does this across the back of a giant robot after being transformed into a demonic being.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Jack has to do this when a strange leech creature attaches to Ashi's leg and he notices the green liquid is spreading.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Omen who's been following Jack around speaks for the first time in the closing minutes of Episode XCVI.
    Horseman: It is time.

    T-Z 
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: In Episode XCVII, Ashi confronts Jack, who is about to commit seppuku, accompanied by the Omen and the ancestors. While fighting them off, she gives Jack a Rousing Speech to let him know that he is not alone, that everyone she's talked to (whom Jack had saved through the seasons) is standing up for him, and that the children who he believes he killed in the previous episode are actually alive because he (and Ashi) saved them. She eventually succeeds, and he breaks out of his deathly trance long enough to stop the Omen from killing him and Ashi.
  • The Teaser: Episode XCII starts off with Jack saving three refugees from Aku's army, then explaining the story. Jack's monologue becomes the Title Sequence, replacing will.i.am's song from the first four seasons (although the song is still played during the closing credits).
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted; Aku, having gotten tired of dealing with Jack and feeling he'll never be rid of him, is shown relying on a therapist to deal with it, said therapist being himself.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: The Daughters of Aku look like ordinary girls beneath their masks, but their destiny is to assassinate Jack by any means necessary.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted in the second and third episodes. Jack accidentally killed one of the Daughters of Aku while thinking she was a robot in the second episode. In the third, the memory causes him deep guilt until he recalls a memory of his father dispatching assassins and explaining that it was their own choices that led them to their fate. After this, Jack has no problem fighting the rest of the Daughters of Aku to the death.
    • Also something of a Revision or Retcon as a sparse few episodes from the original series had Jack implicitly killing enemies who were human or at least certainly not robots; most notably The Princess and the Bounty Hunters. Word of God admits that they misremembered these episodes and retroactively declared that any human enemies definitely survived, which works well enough given that the show couldn't be explicit about such things back in the day.
  • Time Skip: About 50 years after Season 4, though Jack is still young as a side effect of the time travel Aku put him through.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jack used to be a simple samurai wearing a robe, straw hat, and katana. Cue the start of the season 50 years later, where he's now wearing samurai armor, riding a tricked-out motorcycle, and has a huge number of different weapons ranging from guns to a spear to explosives — but NOT the sword.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Due to spending decades trapped in a Bad Future, Jack may turn away from signs of people in trouble (such as not paying attention to the village Scaramouche was destroying), though he quickly starts feeling guilty and hallucinating. Jack's subconscious is also frequently shown lashing out against the hope he clings to. It's a stark contrast to his portrayal in prior seasons.
    Jack's subconscious: There's no way home! There's nothing to fight for!
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After her Heel–Face Turn, Ashi grows into a kind and compassionate person who'll gladly stand by Jack's side as he rediscovers his hope of fighting against Aku.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Ashi's lines from episode XCV and beyond appear in the teaser, spoiling she survives her Disney Villain Death in XCIV.
  • Training from Hell: The Daughters of Aku have a very intense training course to go through if they ever want to be the greatest warriors. Too bad it never included "actually caring for each other"; when Jack had to fight them, their callousness lead to one killing another and Jack wiping out the rest, excluding Ashi.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: In the first episode, Jack's story is told over a course of a couple of days, while the Daughters' story is told over the span of about over a decade, meeting up at the present of Jack's story by the end of the episode or the beginning of the next episode.
  • Undying Loyalty: In "CI", the friends Jack makes and inspired in the course of the series went out of their way to rescuing him, knowing full well they are risking their lives for his sake.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Demongo makes a cameo in the season despite being dead.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: For a while Ashi isn't exactly thankful that Jack has saved her life multiple times when stuck inside of a monster with him. This eventually changes when she undergoes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Un Installment: The original series ended at Episode LII (52) and this one starts at Episode XCII (92), leaving episodes 53 to 91 behind in the Time Skip.
  • Un-Robotic Reveal:
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The Daughters of Aku were just innocent children who were forced to learn brutal techniques to survive and kill enemies.
  • Victory by Endurance: Aku had hoped that by preventing Jack from going back to his own time and avoiding facing him directly, he could let time do the work of ending Jack for him as the samurai grew older. After all, Jack is human and Aku has Complete Immortality as long as that sword isn't involved. But he was unaware that Jack had become The Ageless as a result of his initial temporal journey, so now Jack is stuck in the future with Aku, who has grown tired of having to deal with him.
  • Villain Decay: Aku seems to have lost a lot of interest in killing Jack and has almost given up on combating him completely. It doesn't help that he's literally began to talk to himself and close himself off from his own followers. He's back to form as of "C", gleefully corrupting his daughter Ashi and forcing Jack to surrender the sword with little effort on his part.
  • Villain Respect: The bad guys at Da Samurai's bar has formed this kind of respect to Jack. One of them even calls him "The toughest SOB out there".
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ashi completely loses it when Jack defeats her and her fallen sisters.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The opening to XCIII in a nutshell. Aku gets up, does his morning stretches, meets with a delegate of mud-people (and complains about them messing up his carpet), and has a therapy session with himself.
    • Aku and Scaramouche take the time to dance in celebration when the latter shares the news that Jack has lost his sword.
  • Vision Quest: Jack has to go on one to reclaim his sword. He succeeds after managing to vanquish his anger and despair represented by Inner Jack, with the three gods that created his sword to begin with returning it to him afterwards.
  • Visual Innuendo: After Jack recovers his sword, Ashi is pushed up against him and complains that something is poking her, evoking an apology from Jack.
  • Walking Armory: Without his signature sword, Jack now carries multiple weapons at once - a Blade on a Stick, a gun, various daggers, grenades, shoulder armor that can slide down to form shields, and a Gatling gun strapped to his bike. He loses all of them in his fight with the Daughters.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Jack brings up the theme song's lyrics as a Survival Mantra.
  • Wham Episode: Due to the short episode count of this season, it's packed with these.
    • XCIV. Jack comes to terms with the fact that he's taken a human life. Realizing the Daughters of Aku cannot be helped, he stops holding back, and fights the rest of the Daughters to the death.
    • XCVI. Ashi performs a Heel–Face Turn, while Jack crosses the Despair Event Horizon after mistakenly thinking that he let a large group of children die, and seemingly walks with the Omen towards death. Oh, and the Scotsman died and is now a ghost.
    • C. Jack discovers that the Guardian eventually was destroyed by a completely overwhelming assault from Aku's forces, allowing him to destroy the time portal he was guarding. Even more than that, Ashi literally is a daughter of Aku, having his very essence inside her blood. Aku forcefully possesses her and makes her fight Jack. When she begs for Jack to kill her, he falls to his knees and drops his sword, allowing Aku to take it from him.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Jack, as a result of being trapped in the future for fifty years, unaging and unable to stop Aku in the future or return to the past, has become depressed and even suicidal.
  • Wham Line: In the final episode, Aku narrates the opening from Seasons 1-4 to the world! The intro we've been watching this entire time is Aku documenting Jack's journey after having already beaten him!
    Aku: [when all of Jack's allies are watching TV] "Long ago in a distant land..."
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: The Daughters of Aku are baffled by the concept of kindness when they see two deer nuzzling each other in a caring way, making it clear that they don't like or understand what the compassionate animals are doing.
    • It's notable that Ashi's Fatal Flaw/ Saving Grace (her appreciation for natural beauty) is hinted at here; though she declares she dislikes the deers' affectionate behavior, she does the creatures no harm; she only stomps her foot to scare them away.
  • White Mask of Doom: All of the Daughters of Aku (as well as their mother) wear pale white doll masks while they carry on their goal to kill Jack for good.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Ashi yells about how Jack will eventually die during her Villainous Breakdown.
  • A Wizard Did It: The Scotsman's sudden rebirth as a Spirit Advisor is explained with just the words "Celtic Magic", and never brought up again.
  • Womb Level: Episode XCV is spent almost entirely in one of these after Jack and Ashi are swallowed by a monolithic beast.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: In episode XCVI, there are a lot of shots dedicated to showing the natural beauty and splendor of the world with Ashi often being shown being awed by the sights, from seeing ocean from the back of a sea serpent, gazing up at the stars at night and imagining the splendour of a beautiful forest, with the latter being contrasted with the reality of a ravaged wasteland save but one tree which Aku deliberately left behind as a reminder.
  • The Worm That Walks: Lazarus-92 from Episode XCIX is a seemingly sentient mass of blue leech like creatures capable of splitting itself into multiple attackers. Though Jack and Ashi can slice apart the individual leeches, it has a seemingly endlessly supply. The creature comes close to finishing off both Jack and Ashi, though they are able to use a weapon specifically designed to kill Lazarus-92 to stop it in time.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Daughters of Aku are shown going through a training montage as they grow up, starting with a muscular large woman beating and punching them both in plain view, and as shadows cast upon the wall by the light in the room.
  • Wrecked Weapon:
    • In XCIII Jack's attackers seem to make a point to destroy whatever weapon he picks up as they swarm him. As he runs away through the tomb, disarmed and all but naked, he looks like he's really missing his divine katana.
    • In XCVI, after the Scotsman distracts Aku from pursuing his daughters and is subsequently killed, his shattered claymore is flung away and lands in front of his horrified children. Fortunately, even broken, the Celtic runes engraved on his sword allowed the Scotsman to return as a spirit in his physical prime.
    • In C, Jack wrecks the sword demon!Ashi is trying to use to kill him, causing a glancing blow that has her screaming in pain.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Ashi got this twice as a kid.
    • During the "sparring session" with the burly cultist, Ashi is distracted by a beam of sunlight and follows it to take a peek at the outside world. Her mother catches her and begins to give a rather touching speech about how that is what the cultists are fighting for... before grabbing Ashi by the throat, berating her for her lack of focus, and tossing her back to the Giant Mook for "discipline".
    • During Ashi's flashback, she's shown stopping her sparring session with one of her sisters to marvel at a ladybug. It's one of the few times that they show genuine happiness at something other than Aku or killing Jack. Unfortunately her mother catches her, once more berates her for lack of focus, and then cruelly crushes the ladybug in front of her.
    • At the start of XCVIII, Jack finally comes across an unguarded time portal, and jumps right into it, coming this close to finally returning home...only for Aku to literally snatch him out from it at the last possible second, and destroy it before his eyes. To make matters worse, Aku gloats that this was the last time portal in existence, making Jack have a Freak-Out that causes him to lose his sword in his anger.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Ashi tells Jack this at the end of XCVII to snap him out of his Heroic B.S.O.D., telling him not only are the children he thought he failed still alive, but he saved her and so many others, making them all far more than they ever could've been without him. Jack tries to return the favor in C, when Ashi is being controlled by Aku to fight against Jack, but fails to save her from being corrupted.
  • You Have Failed Me: Ashi's mother the High Priestess to Ashi in XCVIII. And Ashi dishes right back.
  • You Shall Not Pass: The Scotsman opts to hold off Aku so that his daughters can escape the battle. Since he's extremely old at this point, all he can really do is shout insults. Although he quickly gets vaporized, the tactic actually works, as reminding Aku of his impotence in fighting Jack makes him depressed, and he loses interest in chasing the survivors.
  • Your Head Asplode: Aku kills Scaramouche by blowing up his head when they track down Jack and discover him having his sword back, despite Scaramouche's earlier boast that he'd "bet his life on it" that Jack had lost it
  • Zerg Rush: The Daughters of Aku outnumber Jack seven to one, and use that to their advantage by rushing him as a pack.

Watch out! 

Alternative Title(s): Samurai Jack 2017

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/SamuraiJack/TropesSeason5