‘Samurai Jack Special Director’s Cut:’ Advance Hardcover Review

Nostalgia Goggles Activated.

I remember my childhood, growing up watching Cartoon Network.

Sure, I watched Disney and Nickelodeon, but Cartoon Network, it had something different. It showed cartoons that were complex and nuanced, and it did this while keeping it all PG friendly.

It was a second golden age of animation with classic characters being generated left and right. CGI was in its infancy, and even computer applications for traditional animation were new, so the art soared and was pushed to new heights.

Samurai Jack was one of my favorites. It was cyberpunk, it was historical, it had magic and technology, and because all the bad guys where robots, we got to see them get sliced to bits by a super sharp katana. 

Nostalgia Goggles Deactivated.

I was hesitant to review this book, because nostalgia is a corrupting factor. Many of the games I played, shows I watched, and albums I listened to just don’t hold up to 25-year-old me.

Samurai Jack remains solid.

Though usually I am against the idea of a house style, Samurai Jack’s simplistic, yet colorful, style was such a unique part of the original show that I am glad to see it well represented here. The book waxes a tad towards a more water-colored style at the end, but that isn’t at all a bad thing.

The storyline is as solid as it was when the show first debuted, and I have to give a big nod to both the writer and the artist for the sound effects; they really captured the essence of the show’s combat.

Despite claiming to be, this book is not a “Director’s Cut.”  Well, I guess that term isn’t well defined, but it isn’t something I’d call a director's cut. While I really enjoyed seeing the unfinished pages in the back and the comments of a few of its creators, I don’t feel that it qualified as a director's cut edition.

My verdict is this:

If you have never read a Samurai Jack book before, buy it. It’s a good introduction to the series, and there is a plethora of material to keep you sated. It is a solid, action franchise with a lot to offer.

If you are a fan of the show or '90s cartoons, buy the book and take a really well produced trip down memory lane. It doesn’t do anything new or special, but it’s worth a look. 

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