militarypenguin: (SJ - memories)
Summary: Ashi revisits the marketplace. Takes place in an indeterminate time between episodes XCIX and C. Jack/Ashi.
Content warnings: None, just some good old-fashioned fluff.
Notes: Special thanks to Annie for being my beta!

The marketplace was as colorful and bustling with life as it had been when she first visited it with Jack. )
militarypenguin: (SJ - hop)
I’d been thinking about one of the reasons I love Jack as a character is because he never mocks or looks down on customs, cultures, or speech patterns he doesn’t understand (provided it’s one that’s not harming others, of course). He may express some confusion over it, but he’ll always do his best to respect these customs and even adopt them into his own lifestyle. This makes perfect sense for his character, considering he’s been trained and raised in a wide variety of different cultures.

My personal favorite instance of this, however, is in “Jack Learns To Jump Good,” when he meets the Monkey Man who uses the titular episode’s phrase “jump good.” Jack never tries to correct the man’s grammar or even question it, even when he seems baffled by it. Instead, he takes the phrase into his own vocabulary, never changing it into something more fitting of his speech pattern (such as “jump well” or “jump high”). It’s a phrase he shows deep respect and pride for when using, both because it refers to a valuable ability he learned, and to honor the tribe’s way of living and speaking. It’s a very admirable and endearing character trait.

The main reason I’m bringing all this up, however, is because of this excerpt from one of the Samurai Jack books (The Legend Begins):

All this time I thought he went by “Jack” because he needed to think up a quick name to hide his true identity (to protect his family, because it’s the key to something important, something of the sort). And it turns out to be because he takes the street lingo of these kids to heart and wants to cherish it and Jack I love you.
militarypenguin: (SJ - Jack)
Some of the most resonating demonstrations of altruism come from instances where one’s altruism isn’t required.

We see it in “Jack in Space,” where Jack gives up the chance of going back to save the lives of the scientists, as well as in “Jack Tales,” where he has his one and only chance at a magic wish to go back, and instead uses it to free the fairy who was going to grant it. Neither of these instances required Jack to put himself before others, because his travel to the past would ultimately undo any of the misfortunes that befall these individuals in the future. But he does, because it’s in his nature and the values he was raised with to be a compassionate and good person.

With such tales of altruism, there’s often the unanswered, haunting question of, “Am I a bad person if I’m not willing to make that act?” The former tales don’t entertain this line of thought, but there is the implied lesson of the importance in placing others’ needs above your own. A good moral to be sure, but how far should one go before one begins to neglect the care of oneself? (Especially when it’s, you know, preventing you from going home and undoing a cosmic evil.)

Enter “Jack, the Monks, and the Ancient Master’s Son.”

Read more... )
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