At first glance, it wouldn't be natural to assume that the creator of the kid-friendly series Dexter's Laboratory went on to create a gloriously violent animated epic like Samurai Jack. But Genndy Tartakovsky marches to the beat of his own drum, and in 2001 Samurai Jack made its debut on Cartoon Network and changed the game for TV animation.
Jack was the adopted name of a warrior prince who faced the demon Aku in Japan's distant past. Unfortunately for Jack, his destiny was stolen from him when Aku banished him to the far future ruled by the demon himself.
Tartakovsky has admitted that his tale about a wanderer trapped in a distant land was inspired by the Kung Fu TV series. However, Samuari Jack also incorporated seemingly disparate elements like Japanese cinema, cyberpunk, and feudal designs to become something uniquely its own. The series wasn't afraid to go without dialogue, embrace comedy, or even tug at the heartstrings.
Yes, this show definitely had its emotional moments ... but what it didn't have was an ending. Cartoon Network stopped production after four seasons, and the show ended in 2004.
However, 13 years later, Tartakovsky returned to Samurai Jack for a fifth season on Adult Swim. This time, the series had no pretense about its target audience and gave fans the one thing they needed most from Samurai Jack: closure.
For more details about Samurai Jack, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Everything You Didn't Know!