‘Samurai Jack’ Creator on Final Season: ‘Everybody’s Going to Be Bawling’
Photo: Adult Swim

The premiere screening of Season 5 of Samurai Jack began with a live performance by Tyler Bates, who composed the music for the new season. Like the show itself, it was alternately dark, stylish, crushingly loud, teasingly light, jazzy, hard-driving, hilarious, terrifying, and fun. Bates brought an eight-piece ensemble to play selections from the show and, in addition to as many as four people playing taiko drums, the multi-instrumentalists also moved between standup bass, flute, bowed electric guitar, bullhorn, a synthesized string section, and two full drum kits.

Related: Review: ‘Samurai Jack’ Is Back, as Exciting and Beautiful as Ever

Samurai Jack — if the three new episodes screened for a packed 1,600-seat house are any indication — hasn’t lost a step in the 12 years it’s been away. Nor has the move to Adult Swim from its original home at Cartoon Network changed the core of the show. Yes, there is now blood. Yes, there are rivers full of moaning corpses. Yes, there is a robot assassin who talks like Sammy Davis Jr., an entertainer who died before much of Jack‘s audience was born. But, explained Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky, after experimenting with a much gorier version of the show (“Initially we were chopping heads”), they realized, “This doesn’t feel right.” The first time Jack takes a life, they opted for a “stylish, designed blood flow” rather than a more realistic splatter.

Once Tartakovsky made the decision to return to Samurai Jack, “all it took was one email and one phone call.” Adult Swim executive Mike Lazzo called the next day. “How much? How many? That’s all he said.” Within two weeks, they were in production.

The original incarnation of the show was borne out of a sense of frustration. “Most animated TV shows are talking; it’s just constant talking. I wanted more,” said Tartakovsky. “And I wanted it to be visceral. I wanted it to feel like a ’70s movie, like French Connection or something.” But the idea goes back even further. “I’ve been having the same dream since I was 10: The Earth is destroyed. Mutants come alive. I’ve got my samurai sword. I go next door to the girl I have a crush on. I grab her — she’s survived, of course. And we travel the world fighting mutants.”

Tartakovsky had always intended to come back and properly end the series. But after four seasons, the team was a little burned-out. They took a break, and by the time they might have been ready to return, they were already working on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The final story has been in the creator’s head for the past eight years: “It hasn’t changed,” he said. But changes at the network — and his eventual hiring by Sony Pictures Animation — prevented him from coming back. “I didn’t want to beg anyone to do it. I really wanted them to ask me.”

Photo: Adult Swim

In that time, there had been multiple attempts at making a live-action version, all of which met with failure. “We’d work on a script, the script’s terrible, it doesn’t go anywhere, it dies. Somebody else get the idea to do it. Same thing.” Tartakovsky said studios would always strip away the parts of Jack that were integral to its success: “Everybody wants to make Jack their own thing rather than what it should be.”

One thing that may leave fans disappointed: When asked directly if Jack has a real name and if he’ll ever say it, Tartakovsky gave a hard “No.” Which doesn’t rule out somebody else saying his name, but it’s best not to hold your breath.

He is very confident, though, that fans will be satisfied with the final episodes. “I’ve never done this and I don’t want to give it away, but what we’re doing is something I’ve never done, and I want to do it so special that everybody’s going to be bawling at the end.” So get those hankies ready, because it doesn’t sound like there will be any sequels or spinoffs after this. Tartakovsky noted, “The ending is an amazing ending, and it should be done.”

The final season of ‘Samurai Jack’ premieres Saturday, March 11, at 11 p.m. on Adult Swim.

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“Happy Birthday- Hajime!”- Hajime from @skillshotlabs‘ awesome app game Notice Me Senpai had a birthday on the 26th of November, and birthday or not, I REALLY wanted to draw one of my favourite senpai’s with his favourite cafe item- the Japanese Taiko drum. Had to do a bit of research to find some good references of the drum, and I fought to get his contagious smile the way I like it, but I made it!

Taiko Drum Master “Angel Dream”

The previously announced Taiko Drum Master crossover song, “Angel Dream” has been released along with a few items! “Angel Dream” is sung by Riina Tada, Rika Jougasaki, and Chieri Ogata and you can find it in your permanent songs. There also three new room items: Stuffed Don-chan and Kacchan and a Taiko Drum Master arcade machine. Additionally, you can now equip Taiko-themed rhythm icons and sound effects from your Live settings!


I literally couldn’t believe that refining the insights WASN’T how the Taiko drum thing was brought up. It just seemed to make the most sense what with the fact that Rayfa can refine the senses is a thing.

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I’ve been very MIA this week due to my Taiko instructor re-introducing the Miyake style to us, a Taiko drumming style that was popularized by the Japanese group Kodo. 

  • top three pics were from a workshop with Watanabe Kaoru sensei, a seasoned player for Kodo and master of Miyake
  • bottom two pics were from last night’s practice where my teacher decided to kill us and have us do pushups while balancing on the legs of the person playing LOL

With there being a Gashat coming that’s based on Taiko Drum Master, I took a look and found that they actually put “EXCITE” on the arcade game! Nice.

Cinderella Master Treasure☆!

Another album has been announced, featuring “Treasure☆”, a song originally released as part of the Cinderella Girls 5th Anniversary and “Angel Dream”, the Taiko Drum Master collab song. The album comes out Mar. 22.

  1. Treasure☆ - Uzuki Shimamura, Rin Shibuya, Mio Honda, Mika Jougasaki, and Riina Tada
  2. Treasure☆ for DereRadio☆Mix - Uzuki Shimamura, Rin Shibuya, and Mika Jougasaki
  3. Treasure☆ for Cindrella Party! Mix - Mio Honda, Riina Tada
  4. Treasure☆ (Karaoke Version)
  5. Angel Dream ~Cinderella Girls Collaboration Mix~ - Chieri Ogata, Rika Jougasaki, Riina Tada
  6. Angel Dream ~Chieri Ogata Solo Remix~ - Chieri Ogata
  7. Angel Dream ~Rika Jougasaki Solo Remix~ - Rika Jougasaki
  8. Angel Dream ~Riina Tada Solo Remix~ - Riina Tada

Taiko-Bashi by Wolfgang Wiggers

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Taiko-Bashi or Drum Bridge. 

Small handcolored albumen print from a tourists album. One of the most photographed scenes in old Japan. Probably Kameido Temple in Tokyo?

A destiel AU were Dean and Cas, plus all the gang (Sam, Jess, Charlie, Jo, Ellen, bobby, Rufus, Missouri, Gabe, Balt, Garth, Pam, ash and of course Mary) are all waiting outside of the Supreme Court to hear the verdict about legalizing same-sex marriage in the entire country. They are all holding their rainbow flags, sporting their love is love shirts and holding signs.

When the verdict is announced everyone there breaks in celebration. Cas and Dean immediately hold onto each other, kissing sweetly on the lips and tears streaming on their faces. Everyone is so happy, taking turns to congratulate them and any nearby couple.

Cas reaches for his pocket and tug Dean’s shirt. Dean was hugging Sam . When Dean turns Cas is on his knees and everyone there just hold their breath. Dean and Cas had agreed not to get married until every state made it legal. Dean is in shock, bug eyed, heart beating like taiko drums, eyes glued to Cas’ gorgeous face.

Cas smiles sweetly and holds up the ring, hands sweaty and tremulous.

“Dean Winchester, will you do me the honor of becoming my husband?”

Dean almost choked, passing the flag to Sam next to him without breaking eye contact with his man.

He leaned down close to Cas’s face, warm breath tilling his lips and then smiles “You bet your sexy ass I’ll give you that honor,” he said crashing their lips together.

Cas put the ring on Dean’s ring finger, gummy smile at full force. “Good, because it has been burning a hole in my pocket for more than 5 years,” he whispered. And Dean almost tackled him to the floor.

The end~


the latest 3ds taiko english patch made a really important localization decision for the thing that was already the best thing in the game imo


The road to completion of SEIMEI: (partial translation by me)
1) choreography
2) costume
3) music edit
4) expressing the Japanese way

1) Choreography – by Shae-Lynn Bourne
She watched the movie and did research. Talking to Yuzu in the rink,
Shae: “Seimei’s power comes from his mind.  His facial expression does not change. He does not have to do anything physically. So you have to show quietness, stillness, but you’re still strong. (turns and facing backwards)… and this is such a nice change.”

That day, they were doing the steps to go with the beat of the Japanese taiko drums. Actually this part is based on one scene in the movie ‘Onmyouji’. It is the climax of the story, the fight between Abeno Seimei and Douson.

Shae-Lynn to reporter: “Seimei never fights with weapons. He fights with his mind….. He has to use his mind but he always wins. Good always prevails. His mind is more powerful. I want to show that character in Yuzu’s skating.”

Yuzu: “There is a lot of taiko in the music. Before this, I have not had a programme where I had to show strength of power.  It is rather unique and has the Shae-Lynn style of choreography.  I think it has become something very good.”

2) Costume
It is modelled on the 'kariginu’ worn during the Heian period. From the design to the sewing, in all the little details, Hanyu gave his requests and modifications were made many times.

3) Music edit
Using his personal computer, he worked on it full-scale for the first time this season.
(In the car, listening to the music with his laptop)
Yuzu: This part is long. Maybe a difference of 0.8 seconds.
Reporter:  Does 0.8 second change the ease (of the performance) for you?  
Yuzu:  Yes, it is different.

Narrator: To make a space of 0.8 second before a jump, the speed of the music was adjusted.  The fact is, this very slight space makes a big difference to the ease of the jump. The adjustment was made in the middle of the performance. It is after the most difficult jump;  between the 2 combination jumps.  This is exactly where the speed was adjusted. (10:50)
Even to one-tenth of a second, Hanyu is fastidious about doing it right.  He made adjustments repeatedly day by day as the music was completed.

4) Expression of the Japanese style
He had a talk with Kyogen performer, Mansai Nomura-san.
Y: This season, it’s 'Onmyoji’ and the name of my programme is SEIMEI.
M: Is it Abe no Seimei and also 'seimei’ meaning life?
Y: Yes, that’s right.
M: Just as I thought. ^^
(the rest of their talk has been translated previously.)

How did the world see Hanyu’s 'SEIMEI’?

Choreographer Jeremy Ten: “I am not Japanese but I understood what he was trying to convey. When I watched his performance, I felt something.”

Journalist Tatiana: “His new programme is so interesting. I think because he chose a Japanese theme and unique Japanese music. There are some movements that are distinct to the Japanese culture.”

End of video:

1) Scene from rehearsal of finale for gala exhibition at 2015 Skate Canada.
Yuzu does a spread-eagle into quad toe loop. Oda-san says to do a quad toe immediately after a spread-eagle is extremely difficult.

2) Scene from 2011 Cup of China.
Matsuoka-san said Yuzu was in 4th place at that competition but after the gala finale was over, he just came out and did a quad in front of everyone and then a 'victory pose’ and looked like all his regrets were forgotten.
Oda-san said when he saw that beautiful quad in 2011, he thought, “Ah.. really, his era has come.”
Arakawa-san said he constantly wants to challenge his own limits, like trying new kinds of quads, and he will do it in any kind of place.

(My translation. Some parts are summarised. The part at Seimei Shrine has been translated in a previous post.)