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Recap / Samurai Jack - S3 E11: "The Birth of Evil, Part 1"

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Approximately 65 million years ago, a gigantic and primordial monster made of pure evil attempted to devour everything in the universe. The gods Odin, Ra, and Rama fought and destroyed most of it, except for a small piece that slowly drifts away through outer space. Crash-landing on Earth, it causes the extinction of the dinosaurs, and proceeds to feed on the native life for the next few eons.

Now, during the dawn of human civilization, the monster has expanded greatly in size, and may threaten the fate of the whole world. The Emperor of Japan, who is the soon-to-be father of a baby prince (who will become Samurai Jack), sets off to destroy it. But in the process, he instead accidentally causes it to evolve into a giant demon named Aku.



  • A Day in the Limelight: An entire two-parter dedicated to the history of Aku, and later Jack's father.
  • Been There, Shaped History: It turns out that Aku (or at least the blob of concentrated evil he originated from) killed the dinosaurs.
  • Big "NO!": The Emperor lets out a peticularly heartbreaking one before Aku begins his attack on his kingdom.
  • Blob Monster: The formless evil that Odin, Ra, and Rama battled in the beginning.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The giant space blob attempted to devour everything in the universe, until the gods destroyed most of it. The remnant of the monster would later almost destroy Earth, until the Japanese Emperor decided to intervene...
  • Create Your Own Villain: The Emperor's attempt at destroying the mindless evil with a magic arrow accidentally turned it into a sapient demon named Aku.
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  • Curbstomp Battle: The Emperor attempts to fight Aku, but fails miserably due to his mortal weapons being unable to hurt the demon.
  • Darker and Edgier: Easily one of the darkest episodes in the series.
  • Downer Ending: The Emperor's attempt to destroy the mindless evil only brings it to life in the form of Aku. Afterwards, Aku ties the Emperor to a tree and forces him to watch as he destroys his kingdom and slaughters his people.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The entity that Aku was spawned from; a gigantic, primordial, mindless Blob Monster from outer space.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first thing Aku does once he is born is destroy the Emperor's kingdom, killing hundreds.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The black mass devoured any people, animals, and plants that got too close to it, allowing it to expand in size and strength.
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  • Forced to Watch: Aku decides to tie Jack's father to a tree and watch him burn down the Emperor's kingdom as punishment for trying to attack him.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The original black mass that the three gods fought is shown to be a mindless force of destruction with no real intelligence, just an organism with the intent to consume everything in its path. Ironically, the Emperor's attempt to destroy said evil is what gave it intelligence and a name.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Odin and the gods use their divine weapons to harm and almost entirely destroy the Black Mass.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Implied to be the fate of the men who were riding into the forest with the Emperor.
  • Monster Munch: Up to Eleven. When the Black Mass that will one day become Aku crash-landed on Earth, the first ones to fall victim to the then-animal instinct-driven Shogun of Sorrow were the Dinosaurs.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Odin, Ra, and Rama were able to destroy most of the blob... except for one smaller fragment that got cut off and fell out of their sight, slowly drifting towards Earth...
    • After being born, Aku wastes no time rubbing it in the Emperor's face that his attempts to destroy the mindless evil instead gave said evil a new face and personality.note 
  • Origins Episode: The episode explains the origins of Aku, while Part 2 gives a more detailed account of Jack's father battling Aku, and also shows Jack's birth. From a chronological standpoint, it's the very beginning of the series.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: The black mass causes the extinction of the dinosaurs when it crashes down on Earth.
  • Red Shirt Army: The Emperor takes a whole regiment of his men to battle against the black mass. They don't last long.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Emperor charges into battle once the mindless evil begins invading his kingdom, and later goes on to fight Aku after he gains a magic sword.
  • Say My Name: An unlucky peasant farmer discovers his dog's leash sticking out of a puddle of black goo, so he cries out his lost pet's name (Shinichi) in both fear and sorrow.
  • Silence Is Golden: The episode's dialogue is minimal as is, but there's none whatsoever for the first eleven minutes. And if you count the cavemen's speech, there's still no human voices for eight minutes.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: A likely unintentional example on part of the Emperor's advisors. The elixir was supposed to destroy the black mass, instead it only created Aku as we know him now.
  • The Unintelligible: The cavemen that the mindless evil devours speak gibberish.
  • Villain Ball: Aku would have flat-out won in the end if he chose to kill the Emperor after he failed to kill Aku with his mundane sword.note  Instead he decides to force the Emperor to watch as he destroys his beloved kingdom.
  • Villain Episode: The plot of the episode focuses mostly on the story of where the primordial evil that would eventually become Aku came from, and the events which lead to Aku's birth.
  • Wham Episode: This episodes shows that Aku is far more ancient than what was to be believed up until this point and also sets in motion the entire series afterwards.

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