The first of my treasures I found almost by accident. I was travelling through the hall of the winds. A large chasm that is shaped in such a way that strong gust wiped down it every few minutes. My enchanted cloak did nothing to stop the force of the wind, that made every step a brutal task. The arduous journey was for but one purpose, to reach the great desert. I had heard of a long-lost circle of power, that was placed their by a wizard in white.
At this point in my walk, I was so sheltered in by my meager protective clothe, that I almost did not notice a strange fissure in the side of the rock. It gave off a comforting warmth that spread through my toes. I eagerly walked into the room pulling my face mask off and breathing in the dry air. It seemed to flow in a circular pattern, making a miniature wind storm.
At its eye, was a platform of pure ivory. It was taller than any man could hope to reach, and was completely smooth to the touch. Around its base was small rocks that formed a haphazard staircase.
With infinite care, I ascended it, hoping that the top would contain the source of the heat. It stretched into what seemed to be infinity, my feet already lumps of numb flesh.
What seemed like hours later, I made it to the top. The wind now whipping around faster than my eyes could take. Tears streaming as the air took what little moisture I had. I managed to open my eyes for just a moment.
Then I saw it, the treasure I had worked for.
A sword, planted halfway into the stone. A white blade curved ornately.
I recognized it immediately. It was Jack’s blade.
The 90’s where a phenomenal time for cartoons. With the introduction of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network as a steady stream of high-grade cartoons it was a great time to be a kid.
The level of variety that was offered puts current area to shame. If I was to tell someone from any other generation that their was a time when a creepy show about a dog who faced demons and a show about super powered little girls .
But everyone remembers those, us 90’s kids love to talk about the super popular ones that everyone remembers (even when the shows did not actually start in the 90’s) . The point of this is point out the obscure, and I am willing to be that not many people remember the four season long epic that was Samurai Jack.
This show had one goal in mind. Atmosphere. It is a very quiet show actually, there are long stretches of silence, punctuated by small quiet noises. Like the wind, or a single chirping bug.
The benefit of this is a visual one, without all of the distractions of a normal hyperactive cartoon. The backgrounds can be frankly stunning, with anime style lines and angles.
Sadly this may have been also the reason the show did not reach the level of popularity it should have. It is just too methodical to be exciting to a kid. The action scenes may be some of the most graphic and insane things a kid could see, but it did not happen enough for the young mind.
I am saying that children cannot handle art, I just find the show to have aimed at the wrong demographic. It could have been allowed a slightly higher level of violence and could have easily caught the eyes of the Otaku’s that were beginning to rise around the same time.
But taken as it is, it is a profound and beautiful show, that can be slow but is never a slog.
I wish I had more to say on this show, but sadly due to its very short life. It did not have the benefit of creating more characters as well fleshed out as Jack. Nor did it get to create a story line beyond the simple Hero vs Villain that the show has. It really is a shame.
Well, this completes the first of Netflix Quest. Next up #9!
ONWARD TO VICTORY!
This is but one part of the grand Netflix Quest! To check out the others, click here.