Jumping in the Jashi debate
Instead of thinking about this from a Jack perspective (“Jack is still physically in his 20s, so it’s okay!”), think about it from Ashi’s. Her whole life has revolved around Jack. From the moment of conception, she knew who he was and was trained to kill him. Ashi was a child when Jack was an adult. She grew up hearing about this adult man. So regardless of the friendship they end up developing, regardless of whether or not Jack actually ages, to Ashi, Jack was that age when she was a girl. It’s inevitably going to feel like there’s an imbalance of power, no matter how many armies Ashi can kill.
Ashi’s existence has always been about Jack. Even when she was on her own seeing the world, she was still looking for Jack. Many of us hoped for a relationship where Jack would help Ashi gain her own independence. Instead, Ashi is with Jack. Again.
And honestly, this relationship could have worked. Plenty of cartoons have developed relationships from friends to lovers and done so well. It’s just that with the limited number of episodes, this show couldn’t and didn’t develop it right.
This is especially the case since Ashi is still discovering the world. She doesn’t know a thing. A few episodes ago, she was confused by a deer showing affection for another deer for goodness sake! How is she supposed to understand any of this? How is she supposed to understand sex?
That and the fact that it’s easy to mistake Ashi for a teen, and we’ve got a huge problem here. If such a large number of people were able to read Ashi as a teen, and if such a large number of people read their relationship as a teacher/pupil relationship, it’s a bit alarming that the show would take that and throw romance at us instead.
Then there’s the simple fact that many of us are frustrated that a romantic relationship between a man and a woman can spring up over the course of less than ten episodes, but in other series, it takes multiple seasons before side characters can be shown in a same sex relationship. It’s not Samurai Jack’s fault obviously (I don’t think anyone is saying Jack had to be gay), but it’s contributing to people’s hatred for heteronormativity.
I’m only writing this because I’m sick of hearing people whine about “the SJWs!!!!” when honestly, it’s a lot more complicated than that. People critiquing Jashi aren’t wrong. Go ahead and like the ship, but if you honestly think that people hate it because its straight and crazy feminists love to complain about everything, maybe stop and think that there are some valid arguments.