Early in the series, Jack's face was depicted as long and rectangular; however, later in the show it became more like a square with a distinct eastern look. This was possibly done by the animators in order to create a greater resemblance to his father. Jack also has long jet black hair that he ties into a topknot similarly to a number of his people who have been shown living in an area that greatly resembled the Edo period of Japan; however, the culture was more similar to the Nara and Heian periods. Jack's clothing consists of a simple white kimono with a gray lining on the sleeves and outer edge of his clothes tied together with a white sash as well as a pair of wooden sandals, called geta, that were destroyed in one episode by a group of bikers; however, they were later replaced by a jet repairman called Tengu who also crafted the very same sandals for his family and this later proved to be a great asset in allowing Jack to defeat the biker gang.
In the image shown by the time portal guarded by The Guardian depicting an older version of himself, Jack is shown to have waist-long beard and hair. He is also shown to be wearing a golden crown and a red cape with scars all over his body.
Jack strongly exhibits the characteristics of a stoic hero. He is unfailingly kind and generous, and will always attempt to help those in need, as well as dispatching sage like wisdom to those he believes are in need of guidance. He often ends up sacrificing a chance to return to his own time in order to help someone else. He is also clever and rational, able to pose a plan or a strategy necessary to defeat the enemy, and also knowing his limits (such as when he is surrounded by too much enemies to defeat them by pure force).
However a running gag in the show is his inability or reluctance to understand the technology of the future, such as in one episode, Jack had attempted to escape Aku's fortress after rescuing two fairy like creatures by driving a hovercar, but he fails to operate it competently, claiming he prefers to walk.
Jack's story first began when he was born after Aku had his imprisonment by the hands of Jack's father. About a decade later, Aku escaped by an eclipse. Jack's mother went into hiding and sent Jack to train around the world, as was planned by his parents should Aku ever escape his prison and Jack's father fail to stop him. After years of training with some of the greatest warriors of the time, Jack returned to the temple his mother was hiding in and was given the sword his father used to defeat Aku with and his signature kimono.
Jack travelled to the castle of Aku and found his father enslaved and nearly skin and bones. He warned Jack that it was too early for him to fight Aku, but he didn't listen and continued on. Jack then confronted the sorcerer and the battle began. Jack managed to severely wound Aku, but before he could deal the final blow, Aku opened a time portal and threw Jack into it, sending him centuries into the future.
When Jack finally escaped the portal, he found himself in a dystopian future. After Jack escaped being crushed, he met three alien teens who called him "Jack." He asked them where he was and what was going on around him, and learned that Aku had conquered the world and spread his influence across the universe, enslaving many planets while using Earth as his base of operations. The teens then brought him to a bar where he could get a drink, but was attacked by crooks however he quickly disposed of them. This caught the attention of a group of dog archaeologists, who discovered the truth about Jack's origins and asked for his help in saving their group from Aku's oppression. Jack consented, and left with them, but not before giving them his new name Jack. Though they did not know it, the group was being watched by one of Aku's spies, who hastily informed him of Jack's actions at the bar.
Jack and the archaeologists later arrived at the mines the dogs were excavating and saw the tragedies that befell those incapable of fulfilling Aku's bidding. He and the dogs then came up with a strategy to defeat Aku's army of mechanical beetles. On the day of the attack, Jack faced the army and managed to drastically reduce their numbers using the very crystals the dogs were forced to dig for, but not before running out of artillery and being forced to fight the remaining ones on foot. Despite suffering several injuries, Jack managed to beat them after going into berserk-like yelling no there is no escape when the drones attempted to retreat. With the army defeated, the dogs thanked the Samurai and went their separate ways.
During his fifty years in Aku's time, Jack spent much of his time helping people, garnering the respect of everyone he has helped along the way. Some have even made efforts to take down Aku's minions that have tried to kill him before they even ran into Jack.
Jack has still not found a way back home or defeated Aku, but Aku's time travel spell has rendered Jack ageless. During this time, Aku had destroyed nearly every method of returning to the past.
In Episode XCVIII, it is revealed that at some point, Jack lost his sword after Aku prevented him from using the final time portal, destroying the way home and mutating a trio of rams that had been following the Samurai before escaping. Jack fought and killed the corrupted rams, only to have his sword fall into the pit where the time portal once stood, forcing him from then on to use futuristic technology such as firearms, explosives and a heavily-armed motorbike. Despite becoming disillusioned and haunted by the past, Jack still continues his journey, though his sanity appears to be slowly slipping away. During the course of 50 years, all the people and species saved by him, as well as other oppressed people on the Earth and the galaxy by Aku, had been inspired by his nobility and braveness in which they openly rebel against Aku and his minions.
In Episode XCII, he rescues a family from the Beetle Drones. While riding on his motorbike, he sees a plume of smoke in the distance but chooses to ignore it. When stopping for water, he sees extremely disturbing visions of his parents and his people asking why has he forsaken them, followed by a mysterious and ominous armored figure on horseback staring at him. This last apparition frightened Jack so much that he hastily departs on his bike. This happens again in the night in which his father, in a hellish vision surrounded by flames, expressed his displeasure of Jack having forgotten his purpose, and Jack sees the rider once more. He then leaves the spot in fear. Jack finally arrives at the source of the smoke in a ruined city, and only sees death when he arrives. He then runs into Scaramouch, who mocks him for his late appearance and loss of his sword before attempting to tell Aku the news. Jack destroys his phone mid-call and proceeds to fight him. During the fight he suffers another hallucination, this time with children and the armored rider. Eventually, he succeeds in defeating Scaramouch, claims the assassin's tuning sword and proceeds to leave the area.
In Episode XCIII, he travels to a fork in the road and turns left. He stops to deal with a large Large Beetle Drone which he easily destroys with his trident. After a while, the Daughters of Aku ambush Jack, and destroy most of his equipment and parts of his armor. He uses explosives to escape and then hides within the now destroyed Beetle Drone. He has a hallucination of himself saying he should give up and join their ancestors since Jack lost his sword. The hallucination urges Jack to honorably end his own life as there is no more honor in fighting and nothing can stop Aku now that his sword is gone. However, Jack refuses as he believes he can still find a way and his foes are always just "nuts and bolts". He then proceeds to hide in a nearby temple where the Daughters of Aku eventually find him. When one of the sisters manages to stab him in the stomach, Jack kills her. Jack is then horrified at the revelation he killed a human being and not a machine. After recovering his stolen tuning fork knife, he proceeds to destroy the temple as he plunges into the river below to escape, passing out from the blood loss. His unconscious body floats downstream, bleeding out in the river.
In Episode XCIV, a barely alive Jack continues to float downriver. After Jack manages to grab hold of a floating log, a frog hops on, warning him the Daughters are not far behind. Eventually, Jack reaches the shore and makes his way to a cave, all the while being stalked by the mysterious samurai. Inside the cave, Jack pulls the knife from his side with great discomfort before passing out. Upon waking up, his hallucination of himself appears again and taunts him over his first human kill, coming to the conclusion that Jack wanted the Daughters to kill him, though Jack himself denies this. The next morning, a blood-soaked Jack prepares to defend himself. Instead, an equally blood-soaked wolf enters the cave (the same wolf from the previous episode) and Jack passes out again. While unconscious, Jack remembers the time his father defended their family from a band of outlaws who had ambushed their carriage. Waking up again, Jack bonds with the wolf and nurses himself back to health. Remembering his father's lesson, Jack and the wolf part ways and Jack prepares himself for another confrontation with the Daughters of Aku. Soon enough, the Daughters track Jack back to his location. Echoing his father's words, a hidden Jack offers the Daughters an ultimatum: Leave, or face their destiny. The Daughters refuse and Jack, using the terrain and weather to his advantage, kills three of them, luring the final three to a fallen tree hanging over a cliff. Discarding his weapon, Jack sends two of the Daughters falling to their deaths before confronting the last one (revealed to be Ashi). Ignoring her threats, Jack simply unwraps her chain from his wrist to her apparent death. Unfortunately, the tree finally collapses from the struggle, sending Jack falling into the valley below.
In Episode XCV, following a nightmare about the Daughters of Aku, Jack wakes up in the snow, having survived the fall into the valley. Soon enough, he finds Ashi's body, seemingly dead on impact. Jack hallucinates that a murder of crows is taunting him for killing real people, though he quickly defends his actions, claiming the Daughters already chose their path. Unfortunately, Ashi also survived the fall, and Jack is forced to fight and tie her up once again. As a restrained Ashi continues to badmouth him while swinging from a tree, Jack ponders her way of thinking, and decides to convince her he is not an enemy. Before he can do so, however, a giant monster emerges from the ground and swallows them both whole. Against repeated attacks from Ashi, Jack manages to save her and break their fall, landing in the bowels of the beast. When they stop to rest, Ashi praises Aku and revels in her "victory", gloating that they are both trapped inside the monster and Jack will soon die as a result. Jack is more positive, however, having experience exploring the innards of large creatures, and determines there must be another way out. As Jack tries to explain that Aku is the true enemy, multiple blue-green creatures arrive and attempt to eat them, with Ashi kicking Jack towards the horde in another attempt to kill him. Using one of their severed appendages as a makeshift sword, Jack kills several of the creatures before rescuing an unhelpful Ashi, strapping her to his back and retreating deeper into the monster. While stopping to rest again, a small puff-ball creature appears before Jack and tries to convince him to escape without Ashi, believing she is only evil. Jack refuses to listen, but the creature's opinion is shared by Jack's self-hallucination. When Jack himself argues they are all in this predicament because of him, his hallucination reveals that Ashi has disappeared. Ignoring his past self and snapping off a makeshift mace from the monster's body, Jack kills the crab-like creature that abducted Ashi and brings her back. Unsurprisingly, she isn't grateful for the rescue. As Jack presses onward, Ashi continues to rant about his inevitable demise while singing praise for Aku. Finally fed up, Jack once again tries and fails to reason with her before being forced to take shelter from a hail of needles. Eventually, after hiding from a centipede-like creature, Jack takes the pieces of its discarded exoskeleton as makeshift armor, taking Ashi's disgust as a compliment. While climbing to a higher area, Jack determines a way out is close, causing Ashi to send them both falling. Fortunately, Jack manages to grab a makeshift vine and save them both, keeping Ashi on a longer leash for the rest of the climb. Finally, after reaching the top, Jack and Ashi spot an exit to the outside over a large pool of acid. As they hitch a ride on one of the flying creatures, a large, transparent fish-like predator spots them and gives chase. Using the other flyers to evade and hide, Jack and Ashi manage to reach the exit before it closes and escape from both monsters, landing in a surrounding ocean. Once outside, Jack rescues Ashi, then swims to a nearby desert island. As Jack harmlessly interacts with a ladybug native to the island, Ashi is finally convinced that Jack is not her real enemy and gradually starts warming up to him.
In Episode XCVI, Jack enlists the help of a sea serpent so he and Ashi can return to the mainland. Once ashore, Jack thanks the serpent for its assistance, then parts ways with Ashi. That night, however, following a brief hallucination from Jack's campfire, Ashi appears before him, demanding the truth about Aku. Jack tells her she already knows the truth, but ultimately relents due to her persistence, agreeing to show her more in the morning. Before they sleep, Ashi asks if Aku created the stars, and Jack responds by telling her his mother's story of how the Sun and Moon formed the heavens. The next morning, Jack shows Ashi solid evidence of Aku's atrocities, starting with the destroyed remnants of an entire forest, with only a single tree remaining as a reminder of the demon's might. After stealing fresh clothes from local vendors in a nearby city, Jack shows Ashi how Aku's regime provides asylum to intergalactic criminals, allowing them to ravage peaceful communities at their leisure. In another ruined city, finally seeing the truth, Ashi resolves to help end Aku's tyranny. Without his sword, however, Jack disagrees, claiming their is no way of stopping Aku, and thus, no hope. Sudenly, they find an injured blue humanoid in the rubble, who explains that all their children were captured and taken to a nearby factory. Jack and Ashi agree to help and infiltrate the facility. Discovering that the children are being mind-controlled by a high-pitched frequency, Jack keeps them occupied while Ashi searches for the source of the noise. Despite having his clothing torn to pieces and nearly being overwhelmed, Jack buys Ashi enough time to kill the factory's owner and destroy the control panel, freeing the children. Unfortunately, as the children's mind-controlling implants short-circuit and they fall unconscious, Jack cries out in pain, believing them to be dead. At that moment, the mysterious rider appears before Jack, telling him it is time. Depressed from his perceived failure, Jack agrees, and accompanies him out of the factory. By the time Ashi finds Jack in Episode XCVII, he is meditating in the middle of a cemetery, surrounded by the ghosts of other samurais and about to commit seppuku with help from the mysterious horseman. After Ashi reminds him there is always hope and informs him that the children they saved are alive, Jack finally overcomes his depression and intervenes before the Omen can finish Ashi, killing the apparition with the sword meant for his own disembowelment. Afterwards, Jack thanks Ashi for her help, complimenting her hair and new dress, and resolves to find his father's sword.
In Episode XCVIII, Jack and Ashi return to the mountain where Jack lost his sword on the back of a large bird. After exploring the pit, but finding no trace of his sword, Jack comes to the conclusion that after spilling innocent blood, the sword abandoned him, not the other way around. While Ashi stays behind to protect him, Jack meditates onto another plane of existence to find his sword, eventually reaching a house in the middle of a vast ocean, where a monk invites him inside for tea. Jack prepares a cup of tea as best he can, but after tasting it, the monk informs him that the tea (and Jack) is missing something: Balance. As a consequence, Jack's path to finding the sword remains blocked. Confused by the revelation, Jack begs the monk to show him the way, but the monk simply tells Jack he must do so on his own. Unhappy with the result, Jack's self-hallucination appears one more time, angrily claiming the monk knows the location of the sword and is hiding it from them. Instead, Jack states he already knows where the sword is, opening his eyes to the truth and dispelling his past self forever. The monk declares that Jack has found balance, and soon enough, Jack finds himself facing the deities Odin, Ra and Vishnu. Like his father before him, they deem Jack worthy of the sword, returning the weapon and restoring Jack to his original appearance. Once back on Earth, Jack finds Ashi after her fight, remarking that she's been busy. With his confidence, gi and katana back at his side, Jack states it's time to confront Aku.
In Episode XCIX, Jack and Ashi stop to rest in a city in the desert. Jack offers her some food from a local vendor, but she politely declines after it temporarily turns his head into a tropical fish. Soon, they board a large camel-like creature for transport across the desert, surrounded by several green anthropomorphic tigers, with Jack and Ashi acting awkward towards each other for most of the trip. Unfortunately, Jack quickly discovers a trap has been set, forcing Ashi and himself to fight the tiger-men, albeit somewhat awkwardly. After much fighting, the duo agree it's time to leave, escape off the creature and continue their journey on foot. Eventually stopping at an oasis for water, Jack makes new straw hats for himself and Ashi while strengthening their relationship. Continuing on, Jack and Ashi take refuge from a sandstorm inside a strange, towering structure, discovering it is actually a prison ship, though the prisoners themselves are nowhere to be found. Suddenly, Ashi is bitten and poisoned by a strange leech-like creature, but jack manages to kill it and remove the poison from her leg before it can spread further. A loud, animal-like cry is then heard, forcing Jack and Ashi to retreat. Failing to find the way they came in, the two head deeper into the prison, ending up lost after finding it much bigger than imagined. Arriving at a larger prison cell, Jack an Ashi confront their pursuer: A massive alien monster made of the same leech-like creatures from before. Fighting off the creature's attacks, but realizing they're vastly outnumbered, Jack cuts part of the ship with his sword, breaking a steam vent and buying them time to escape. Soon, Jack and Ashi are directed to the ship's armory, where Jack receives a device that can kill the monster (dubbed Lazarus 92) that is hunting them. Unfortunately, he fails to learn the device's activation sequence due to a misfired laser gun from Ashi. In the ensuing battle, Jack and Ashi take turns trying to activate the device while fending off the monster. Ashi loses her clothing in the process, forcing Jack to lend her his gi in embarrassment, claiming she needs "protection". As they are overwhelmed, Jack finally manages to activate the device, killing Lazarus 92 with a massive electric charge. With the threat over, Jack and Ashi finally realize their feelings for each other and kiss.
Immediately after, Jack and Ashi quickly realize they are kissing and stop, nervous and mildly disgusted from the venom. Ashi offers Jack his gi, but he insists she keep it until she finds new clothes, claiming the ship is drafty. Soon, they spot a hole in the ceiling leading outside. Ashi searches for something to wear while Jack heads back outside, finding a broken water pipe. After Ashi finds a sweater and boots in a locker room, she comes across Jack showering outside and kindly leaves him his gi. In private, however, Jack sees a bearded reflection of himself, warning him to be careful. Jack himself agrees, since this has never happened to him before and wonders what to do. That evening, after hunting some worms for dinner, the two awkwardly try to make small talk. Ashi asks Jack if he ever thinks about his home, and Jack answers that he does so all the time, opening up to her with the memories of his home throughout the seasons. When Ashi asks if there was a girl in his life, Jack explains there wasn't time, since he was only 8 when Aku returned. While Jack admits the time before Aku was nice, the memories of his home are the only way he will see it again. Before dawn, Jack leaves without Ashi and returns to the robot graveyard, only to find that the Guardian and his time portal have both been destroyed. Ashi soon confronts him, demanding to know why he left. Jack explains that, in addition to witnessing the suffering of many innocent people, Aku has taken everything from him, leaving him with nothing but memories, and doesn't want the same to happen to Ashi. Instead, Ashi assures him they will defeat Aku together. Sure enough, Aku himself appears before them, accompanied by Scaramouche. Aku claims he is aware that Jack lost his sword, having learned the information from Scaramouche. When Jack reveals the opposite, Aku telekinetically destroys Scaramouche's head in frustration. He casually prepares to leave as Jack attacks him, but smells something familiar nearby: himself. Jack is confused by this until Aku approaches Ashi. Smelling part of himself inside her, Aku remembers when he personally visited the members of the Cult of Aku, providing them with some of his essence. He then deduces that the High Priestess drank his essence shortly after and gave birth to the Daughters of Aku, making Ashi his biological daughter. When Jack attacks him once again, Aku simply uses his essence inside Ashi to control her body like a puppet, forcing her to fight against Jack. Jack pleads with her to resist, but she is unable to do so, assuring her she is nothing like her father or mother. Unhappy with this, Aku throws a giant robot on top of them and tells Ashi she needs to "bring out her best" (i.e., himself), corrupting her with an upgraded version of her old outfit. Initially outclassed by her new agility and reflexes, Jack manages to break Ashi's sword and cut her arm, briefly getting through to her. Ashi begs Jack to kill her and stop Aku, but he can't bring himself to do so and stands down. Before Ashi can finish Jack, Aku orders his daughter to stop, joyfully claiming the Samurai's sword as Jack kneels in defeat.
In Episode CI, Jack awaits his fate in Aku's Lair, he pleads with Ashi to resist her father's influence, though (on the surface) his cries fall on deaf ears. Fortunately, Jack's allies arrive to save him, having watched his planned execution on TV. Seizing the opportunity, Jack breaks free and makes a run for his sword, only to be stopped by Ashi. As Ashi is about to stab Jack, the samurai's allies break into Aku's lair and begin attacking the demon. Jack then escapes and meets up with the Scotsman, who tells him about his many daughters, Jack declines being offered to choose one of them as his spouse, which makes the Scotsman lash out at him before Jack tells him that he met someone. Meanwhile, Aku laughs off the armies' attacks as he squashes a Blind Archer, which turns them into a miniature clone of Aku. After more clones are created, they begin attacking more of Jack's allies. After getting beaten up by a giant samurai robot, he then goes up into the sky and releases needles onto the army, which kills the pilots of the mech. Jack later attempts to free Ashi from being controlled by Aku. She is freed after Jack confesses that he loves her. Aku then confronts Ashi, who says that Aku isn't her father. Ashi then realizes that she still has Aku's powers, and after a brief battle, she uses her power to create a time portal to return to the point where Aku sent Jack to the future. Then the ending scene from the first episode where Jack nearly defeats Aku in the past but was sent into the future momentarily. Now, Jack and Ashi then arrive out of the time portal with Aku exclaiming "You're back already?" Jack then starts slashing Aku with his sword which ends with Aku formed around Jack's sword. Jack then thrusts his sword into the ground and destroys Aku's tower, not before Jack and Ashi escape. Years later, Jack and Ashi are about to be wed, but Ashi collapses and explains that due to Aku's death, she will die as well, before passing away. Jack is then depressed and mourns in the forest over Ashi's passing. Jack then sees a ladybug and is reminded that everyone can live peacefully now, looking over at the Aku-free forest.
Skills and Abilities
- Master Combatant: Jack has shown impressive mastery in many styles of martial arts some of which include the Shaolin Praying Mantis, Tiger, and Eagle styles, Ninjutsu techniques, Greek wrestling and African stick fighting. He is well versed in a number of weapons that range from spears and staffs to nunchukus and shurikens, as shown in his fights at the Dome of Doom . In his youth, Jack also learned how to use unfamiliar weapons by observing others, and adapting their style into his own skills to use them more effectively as necessary.
- Master Archer: Jack has shown to have excellent skills in archery since he was trained by Robin Hood. His marksmanship skill was put to the test in Episode 3 when Jack used his archery skills to set off traps against the beetle drones and later used his last arrows on the beetle drones which they hit dead on.
- Master Swordsman: Aside from Jack's ability to proficiently wield a vast number of weaponry, he showed the greatest amount of skill with his sword. This was most likely due to the fact that the only weapon capable of destroying Aku was Jack's blade, allowing him to defeat a large number of enemies easily as shown in his battles with the beetle drones as well as the countless bounty hunters that Aku sends to capture Jack. Jack is shown to rely primarily on swiftness and precision in his strikes in a balance blend of attack and defense, able to land dozens of blows in seconds, as well as being able to parry machine gun fire from multiple directions. Coupled with the sword's extreme cutting power, Jack can also slice through structures, enemies and machines much larger than he is while also able to parry most strikes with ease. He is shown to be an equal match to the Scotsman's brute strength.
- Superhuman Strength: Jack is shown to have immense physical strength despite his lean frame, able to cleanly cut through most machines with no effort and can easily throw opponents much larger than himself (although this may be due to skill more so than raw strength).
- Superhuman Speed: Jack is shown to be extremely swift on his feet and has performed incredible feats of speed and agility, able to avoid gunfire, carve through entire armies within seconds and in one instance, defeat a team composed entirely of highly infamous and skilled bounty hunters from all directions in the time it takes for a drop of water to hit the ground.
- Incredible Jumping Capability: Since coming to the future, Jack has learned the ability to leap many times his own height to the point of looking as if he could fly while also being able to fall from great distances with no injury from a jungle man and his adopted tribe of white-furred gorilla's. This is due to the training method of having incredibly heavy boulders tied to his arms, legs and back and being forced to perform strenuous activities such as climbing up a tree via a vine, tight-rope running across a clearing until his body has adjusted to the weight. This has vastly increased his strength granting him new levels of speed and agility.
- High Durability: Jack has shown many times throughout the series that he has a very high durability and has survived blows from powerful opponents and still been able to stand and fight, he also has a very high tolerance for great physical pain.
- Survival Skills: Living amongst Aku's Orwellian regime greatly limits the places Jack can visit for a meal even when he has money; thus he frequents living in the wild and foraging and hunting his own food. As such he trained long ago the means to secure his own food in the wild, capable of setting traps or outright killing the animal himself. Thus he has a subset of skills such as Stalking and Concealment to aid in his obtaining food. He also knows how to cook. He is aware of basic medicine.
- Willpower: Jack seems to possess an indomitable force of will. He climbed one of the highest mountains in the world without the aid of provisions or cold weather clothing. Fight against countless drones despite pain. His ambition to defeat Aku remains above all despite his near hopeless situation.
- 'Ninja:' Jack is also a skilled ninja, having been trained to blend in with the light. His ninja clothes are the same as his robe. He only needs to take off his robe and turn it inside out and lighten it up to make it into a make-shift ninja outfit.
- Samurai Jack is a Playable Character in "Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion"
- He is a non-playable character in "Cartoon Network: Fusionfall."
- Jack's body angles and features are similar to those of Professor Utonium from The Powerpuff Girls.
- Even though he's called Jack, this is not his real name. At this point, the name his parents gave him is unknown. In flashbacks and the first episodes, his parents did not call him by name. It can be reasonably assumed that his name is of Japanese origin, given his background.
- He is voiced by Phil LaMarr.
- Due to the fact that Jack's real name was never revealed by the end of the series, he shall be referred to as Jakuto "Jack" Ishamori, for now until the official reveal.