On a bizarre, futuristic alternate Earth, a lone samurai armed only with the magic sword of his ancestors, treks through a savage world on his quest to return to his own time.
Samurai Jack fights his way through hordes of wierd alien warriors and criminal thugs, robotic armies, and dangerous monsters. He was the prince of a mythical Japanese kingdom in a previous time, liberating his nation from the enslavement of Aku (voiced by Mako), a powerful but buffoonish demonic being who is the embodiment of all things evil. Jack triumphs over Aku, but Aku cast a spell on Jack, sending him many centuries into the future. Jack finds himself in a nightmarish dystopian world subjugated by Aku's all-powerful totalitarian police-state.
Precisely WHY is this an excellent show for young people?
In this profoundly imaginitive series, Samurai Jack is a noble warrior fighting for the cause of justice, right, and good. He generously helps many oppressed people along the way, teaching them how to fight Aku's evil armies and gangs of henchmen. In the course of his quest, Jack frequently endures harsh ordeals of battle, deprivation, climate, and basic survival. He bravely stands alone against powerful adversaries who sometimes inflict grievous and brutal abuse upon him, forcing him to retreat and re-assess his strategy.
... But then Jack counter-attacks with new tactics and even greater resolve, and prevails against his opponents. He NEVER gives up! Not only is Samurai Jack a mighty warrior, he is pure of heart, merciful, and kind.
Being a father, I have largely searched in vain for contemporary cartoons that have anything of substance, suitable for my child.
Children are exposed to quite a bit of nondescript meaningless trash, in animated form. Samurai Jack is a most welcome exception!
I find this to be a triumphant, intelligent, and truly worthy presentation of the heroic ideal for young viewers.