Samurai Jack is an American action-adventure animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network. It follows "Jack", an unnamed Japanese samurai who, after nearly defeating the ultimate evil being known as Aku, is sent forward in time by him to a dystopian future ruled by the tyrannical shape-shifting demon. Jack, who is brought to the future with only a sword, a robe, and sandals, quests to travel back in time and defeat Aku before he can take over the world. Jack's search for a way back to his own time period transcends Aku's control, but Jack's efforts are largely in vain due to the ways back to his home being just out of his reach.
Tartakovsky conceived Samurai Jack after finishing his work on his first Cartoon Network original series, Dexter's Laboratory, which premiered in 1996. Samurai Jack was inspired by Tartakovsky's enjoyment of the Kung Fu televised drama starring David Carradine as well as his fascination with samurai culture. On August 10, 2001, Samurai Jack premiered with a three-part made-for-TV movie called The Premiere Movie. It ran for four seasons consisting of thirteen episodes apiece until September 25, 2004, without concluding the story. A revival was produced twelve years later, resulting in a fifth season that provided a conclusion to the overarching story. The fifth season premiered on Adult Swim's Toonami block on March 11, 2017, and the final episode, which served as the series finale, aired on May 20, 2017. Samurai Jack episodes are directed by Tartakovsky, often in collaboration with others.
The series has garnered critical acclaim, and won eight Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Animated Program, as well as six Annie Awards and an OIAF Award.