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  1. #1
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    Default Aku, Shogun of Sorrow: A Respect Thread

    There's been a recent debate concerning Aku that has rekindled my interest in this weird, but interesting series, as well as in the chief antagonist of the same.

    So I broke out the Samurai Jack DVDs, watched the relevant episodes (thanks IMDB!), took notes and decided to start a new respect thread for Aku and which will perhaps be expanded to include Demongo, the Ultra-Bots and other noteworthy minions. This post will be the index with separate ones containing the feats, categorized according to type.

    Without further ado, let us begin!

    INDEX

    AKU

    Origins/Background (Great Darkness, Forest of Evil)

    Strength
    Speed
    Reactions
    Travel
    Durability
    Body & Regeneration
    Sword Vulnerability

    Shapeshifting
    Basics & limitations
    Special forms
    Size change & combat usage

    Telekinesis
    Energy attacks (heat vision, sonic shockwave, fire blasts)

    Magic
    Battle Magic (crystal prison, ringout eyebeams, time portal)
    Scrying & Teleportation
    Other Magic (animal control, illusions, matter creation, weather control)
    Situational Magic (evil clone spell, necromancy, soul trap, titan revival spell)

    Final Notes

    MINIONS OF AKU

    Demongo

    DJ Salvatore

    Ultra-robots
    Background
    Powers and abilities

    Minor robotic minions (Cyberninja, X-9)

    Aku's Robot Army
    Background & Beetle Drones
    Other robots (arab robots, slim robots, mantis robots, tick robots, mosquito robots, wasp robots)

    EXTERNAL SERVICE PROVIDERS OF AKU

    Imakandi
    Background
    Powers and abilities

    Minions of Set
    Background
    Powers and abilities
    Last edited by Estrecca; 11-27-2012 at 04:51 AM.

  2. #2
    God Of Tokusatsu Guy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estrecca View Post
    There's been a recent debate concerning Aku that has rekindled my interest in this weird, but interesting series, as well as in the chief antagonist of the same.

    So I broke out the Samurai Jack DVDs, watched the relevant episodes (thanks IMDB!), took notes and decided to start a new respect thread for Aku and which will perhaps be expanded to include Demongo, the Ultra-Bots and other noteworthy minions. This post will be the index with separate ones containing the feats, categorized according to type.

    Without further ado, let us begin!
    The Graveyard episode was Aku's best moment. The guy had Jack down and beaten. Not his fault the sword didn't work.
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    STRENGTH

    Aku has a significant level of superhuman strength, though stating exactly how much he has is rather difficult, particularly because his strength level appears to change with his size and because he never puts serious effort in his few existing strength feats.

    For example, in Jack and the Zombies (S3E4) he transformed into a relatively small demonic form (barely 3 meters tall) to wield Jack's katana comfortably. In this form, he was able to cut in half a small stone mausoleum with the sword, before turning the rest of the structure into rubble with a backhand of his sword-less hand.



    Meanwhile, in Jack and the Flying Prince and Princess (S4E8), Aku in his usual demonic form (the one which is 15-20 meters tall) crushed into scrap metal an android that was protesting his vile actions, using a single finger to do so.



    In Jack and the Warrior Woman (S1E6) when his body was roughly of the same size (though with the appeareance of the warrior woman Ikra) he lifted over his head the Guardian of the Oasis Jewel (a six-armed muscle bound giant, some forty feet tall).

    http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/9...raguardian.jpg

    Finally, in The Birth of Evil II (S3E12), Aku trampled the kingdom of Samurai Jack's father using a much enlarged form of his usual demonic appeareance, hundreds of feet tall. In this shape, Aku displayed strength enough to casually crush the top of a tower with a single hand.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img59/6058/ak...anttowercr.jpg

    However, this same super-sized Aku also has an offscreen strength feat that dwarfes all of the above. In Jack and the Lava Monster (S1E10) we are told that Aku punched a mountain, in order to leave one of his victims (who had been imprisoned for eternity inside a cursed crystal) buried forever in the core of the mountain. Since the feat is supported both by dialogue and a flashback animation of the event, this event seems 100% legit, for all that it happened offscreen.



    Quote Originally Posted by Lava Monster/Aku's Victim
    Then he came for me again.
    'Twas his enjoyment that day to punish me for eternity.
    Thrust me, he did, into the core of the mountain.
    'Twas his plan for me to spend all of eternity in the mountain, never to join my fallen comrades
    in Valhalla, the resting place of all great warriors.
    Last edited by Estrecca; 11-17-2012 at 03:26 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy1 View Post
    The Graveyard episode was Aku's best moment. The guy had Jack down and beaten. Not his fault the sword didn't work.
    He also did very well in the undersea episode. Heavy environmental advantage against Jack, sure, but he trampled the military of the amphibians.

  5. #5
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    Oh dear lord do I miss this series.

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    SPEED (I) - Reactions

    Aku tends to be outclassed by Jack whenever they come to blows.

    This, however, does not mean that Aku is slow reactions-wise.

    He isn't. He is clearly superhuman. We see in several fights, most prominently in Jack and the Zombies (S3E4) and Jack versus Aku (S4E9), that Aku can keep up with Jack in protracted fights.

    More important, however, is that Aku has a few reaction feats of his own that don't require power-scaling based in comparison with other characters.

    For example, in Jack and the Warrior Woman (S1E6), Aku-disguised-as-Ikra was able to dodge energy eyebeams fired by the Guardian of the Oasis Jewel, after the beams had been fired. Though the power of the attack was not great and its speed unknown, dodging an energy beam still seems a noteworthy deed.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img853/3056/a...yebeamsdod.jpg

    During Jack Under the Sea (S1E9), Aku double-crosses a race of amphibians and in retaliation they deploy their military forces against him. When a bunch of these amphibians shoot him from relatively close range, Aku cackles a bit, insults his attackers (fools!) and then moves his body underground in time for the projectiles fired against him to pass over his head.



    Later, at the start of Jack Learns to Jump Good (S2E1), Aku suddenly teleported next to a time portal and took it in his hand before Jack could cross it, despite the samurai being literally two steps away. Then, after dodging a few attacks from Jack though quick shape-shifting, Aku trolled his enemy for a little while, keeping the portal just a bit outside Jack's reach.


    http://imageshack.us/a/img685/2572/akutrollingjack.jpg

    A couple more such feats happened earlier in the series timeline (but later in the show's run). The first happened during The Birth of Evil I (S3E11), when Jack's father (an amazing anime style super-archer, capable of firing two arrows at the same time and of putting a dozen bolts in the air, before the first one hits a target standing two dozen meters away) shoots Aku with his bow. Aku laughs a little and moves his hand to intercept the arrows, after they have been fired.



    The second feat in the two-parter happens in The Birth of Evil II (S3E12). After the emperor receives the holy sword from the three monks representing the three gods, Jack's father attacks Aku atop a cloud Sun Wukong style. He initially tries to hit Aku from behind, but the demon somehow senses his approach and avoids the strike by opening a hole in the middle of his body for the emperor and his cloud to fly through.

    http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/7...einownbody.jpg

    To finish this brief overview of Aku's reaction feats, I will also mention something happening in Jack versus Aku (S4E9). When Aku is trying to persuade Jack to settle their war with a fair duel, the samurai is initially unreceptive and tries to attack his foe, who manages to dodge by transforming himself into a bat, before Jack's leaping attack can connect.

    http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/3...ingsmokecl.jpg

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    SPEED (II) - Travel

    Leaving aside the matter of reaction times, movement/travel speeds is also relevant to the subject at hand, so I'll briefly comment about the few relevant feats available.

    For starters, in a straight line Aku is capable of moving faster underground than Jack can run, something that we saw in Jack and the Zombies (S3E4). With Jack quite some distance away and running as fast as he could, Aku went underground and caught up with him within seconds. Jack was knocked down by the ripples caused by Aku's subterranean movement and captured when the demon emerged as a forest of tentacles.



    Interestingly, though Aku is capable of self-levitation, he seems to prefer teleport or flying in the shape of some winged critter. It should be noted, however, that even without teleporting Aku can move around really fast inside an atmosphere. Case in point, during The Birth of Evil I (S3E11), he shot himself in an arc as a blob of darkness, which allowed him to cross the miles between the Forest of Evil and Jack's kingdom in a matter of seconds.



    Something similar, but considerably more impressive, can be observed in Jack and the Hunters (S2E9). In this episode, Aku leaves Earth as a glowing meteor and goes to another star system to recruit the Imakandi hunters. Then, after getting their acceptance, he uses the same method to return to Earth. Considering the inter-stellar distances and short timespan involved, this tells us that Aku can travel at faster-than-light speeds in space.


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    DURABILITY (I) - Body & Regeneration

    Aku is not hugely durable, in the conventional sense.

    In his standard demon forms, mundane arrows have penetrated his body (seen in The Beginning, S1E1) and normal swords have carved huge gashes in his 'flesh' (observed in The Birth of Evil I, S3E11).


    http://imageshack.us/a/img20/5211/akuvsnormalsword.jpg

    He has, however, utterly insane staying power.

    And this is so, because he is ultimately a glorified blob monster.

    Aku has no flesh, no blood, no organs. He is just a living mass of evil jelly. Corrosive evil jelly, at that.

    http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/5...rosivebody.jpg

    So nothing really hurts Aku and he can truthfully claim that "no mortal can hurt the great Aku" (The Beginning, S1E1) and that "nothing of this world can hurt [him]" (The Birth of Evil I, S3E11). His body automatically repairs any damage he suffers and his parts, if separated, will try to reform (this was seen very clearly in Jack and the Ultra-robots, S2E5, when the fragments of Aku that powered the assassin robots fused with each other and were crawling towards Aku when Jack destroyed them with his sword).


    http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/607...ageultrabo.jpg

    The full extent of Aku's regenerative powers is undetermined, but highly impressive. Battling Jack he has repeteadly lost 90% of his body several times and returned to peak condition after a while. In Jack and Swamp Monster (S3E8), he actually did this mid-battle, returning to his normal size after Jack destroyed the vast majority of his body, although his temporary access to the magic artifacts of the titan Chronos might have been behind that one.

    In the whole, the greatest showing of regeneration is seen during the events in The Aku Infection (S4E4). After swallowing a tiny scrap of Aku's body during a battle against him, Samurai Jack's body transformed into Aku within a day, despite Jack's best efforts. Only a cleansing ritual organized by monks and Jack's last second weaponization of his spiritual purity saved him from being consumed by the infection.



    Besides the above, it is probably noteworthy that Aku has shown the ability to operate without any issues in outer space (Jack and the Hunters, S2E9) and underwater (Jack Under the Sea, S1E9). He might be vulnerable to illness, however since he seemed to be sick in the beginning of The Aku Infection (S4E4).

    http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/2804/akuill.jpg

    Incidentally, though his base durability is nothing to write home about, Aku has shown the ability to shift into far more durable forms. For example, the giant stingray form that he used in Jack Under the Sea, totally no-sold a massed torpedo attack which hit him directly and which caused a remarkably large explosion.

    http://img822.imageshack.us/img822/1...stingrayno.jpg
    Last edited by Estrecca; 11-19-2012 at 07:12 AM.

  9. #9
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    DURABILITY (II) - Sword Weakness

    The main threat to Aku in the Samurai Jack series is Jack's sword, a great weapon forged from the righteous ki of Jack's father and a lot of divine power provided by the three gods that had previously defeated the primordial darkness. As a result of all this good mojo, this blade is capable of causing major damage to Aku, since it burns away large sections of Aku's body whenever it cuts and when sufficiently weakened it is capable of imprisoning Aku inside its blade (as seen in The Beginning, S1E1, and The Birth of Evil II, S3E12).


    http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/586...swordvulne.jpg

    This is not to say, of course, that a small cut is enough to put down Aku. Guy has been beheaded with the sword (Jack and the Gangsters, S1E12) and nearly bisected more than once (Jack and the Zombies, S3E4) without it killing him. Nevertheless, injuries this traumatic tend to cause massive loss of body mass (which generally leads to Aku retreating in a small form) or disrupt Aku's control over his corporeal form.



    Lesser injuries, though painful and debilitating, can and have been healed in a few instances (Jack and Swamp Monster, S3E8, and The Birth of Evil II, S3E12).


    http://imageshack.us/a/img201/7012/a...ssworddama.jpg

    To finish, it should be noted that Aku's vulnerability to Jack's magic sword does not mean that he is equally vulnerable to ALL magic. For example, Aku battled the Elementals who created and guarded the Neptune Jewel and in spite of being defeated didn't seem to be injured by the elemental attacks.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img528/2335/akuvselementals.jpg

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    SHAPESHIFTING (I) - Basics & limitations

    Aku describes himself as "the shape-shifting master of darkness" and, by just about any standard, he is indeed a shapeshifter of enormous power.

    As the ability he uses most often in battle, Aku has transformed into an enormous number of different creatures, both real and supernatural, over his many appeareances.

    Thus, he has turned into giant scorpions (The Beginning, S1E1), giant cobras (Jack and the Gangsters, S1E12), giant goats (The Beginning, S1E1), giant spiders (The Birth of Evil II, S3E12), giant mantises (Jack and the Zombies, S3E4), giant bird things (in a whole bunch of episodes), giant bats (Jack versus Aku, S4E9), giant gorillas (The Beginning, S1E1), rats (Jack and the Zombies, S3E4), frogs (Jack and Swamp Monster, S3E8) and quite a few more. And he can also look like different members of the same species, so the "generic human form" he used in Jack versus Aku looks nothing like the female human warrior "Ikra" he claimed to be during Jack and the Warrior Woman (S1E6) or the old man form seen in Jack and Swamp Monster.


    http://imageshack.us/a/img6/9191/akuikraform.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img203/8039/akuoldmanform.jpg

    Moreover, he can also alter his shape to wield weapons in handless forms (such as when he replaced the stinger of his scorpion form with Jack's sword in Jack and the Zombies, S3E4) or enhance the capabilities of a particular form (like when he replaced the arms of his female human disguise with wings for flight in Jack and the Warrior Woman, S1E6).

    http://imageshack.us/a/img32/4959/akuscorpioform2.jpg


    This is not to say that Aku's shape-shifting is without flaw, of course. Even his best disguises (such as Ikra, which fooled Jack himself for a number of days) are limited to the green/black/red color scheme of his default demon form, animals seem aware of Aku's true nature regardless of his shape (or so is implied in Jack and the Warrior Woman) and his reflection shows Aku with his natural demonic appeareance even when transformed (seen in Jack and Swamp Monster).

    http://imageshack.us/a/img211/2138/a...inganimals.jpg

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    SHAPESHIFTING (II) - Special Forms

    Besides the more mundane shapes previously listed, Aku has used a number of strange forms, some of which have displayed unconventional capabilities. Forms such as a fire-breathing dragon (Aku's Fairy Tales, S1E13)...



    ...tentacle monsters (The Beginning, S1E1), giant pterosaurs (The Birth of Evil II, S3E12), giant balls (Jack Under the Sea, S1E9), Chinese dragons with flame breath and eyebeams that combine into some form of energy blast (Jack and the Zombies, S3E4)...



    ...krakens the size of a city (Jack Under the Sea), "forests" of tentacles (Jack Under the Sea) or giant stingrays (Jack Under the Sea, again), capable of releasing AoE shockwaves powerful enough to cause extensive damage to the buildings of a nearby undersea city.


  12. #12
    Master of Dickery Chrosis's Avatar
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    Awesome thread so far!

    But let's keep in mind that the Minions of Set were by far the most threatening thing in the series.
    ~Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long, long, year, stole many a man's soul and faith.

    So if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste. Use all your well-learned politesse, or I'll lay your soul to waste.


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  13. #13
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    SHAPESHIFTING (III) - Size Change & Combat Usage

    Besides turning into other things, Aku frequently uses shape-shifting to alter his body without actually transforming it into something else.

    This kind of alteration mostly takes the form of size change. Aku can (but rarely does) make himself smaller, as seen in Jack and the Zombies (S3E4), and quite often makes himself larger for purposes of mass destruction (as seen in quite a few episodes, including The Beginning, S1E1, and The Birth of Evil II, S3E12). The smallest humanoid form he has shown was about three meters tall and the smallest period his rat form, though he may be able to make himself even smaller if given a good reason. As for the large forms, Aku can dwarf ancient Japanese castles, modern buildings and match futuristic skyscrapers in height, so he can easily become hundreds to thousands of feet tall.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img4/3069/akusmalldemonform.jpg

    http://imageshack.us/a/img41/8294/akugiantsize2.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img690/8518/akugiantsize3.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img443/3438/akugiantsize4.jpg

    He can also use this size change in combination with his different transformations, which explains the large number of giant insects he can turn into. This was shown particularly well in Jack and the Warrior Woman (S1E6), when Aku expanded from normal human height to his standard demonic size without abandoning the appeareance of "Ikra".

    http://imageshack.us/a/img832/4623/akugiantikraform.jpg

    Beyond this, Aku can use the fact that his default body is actually a mass of evil jelly to fight in particularly funky ways. His first appeareance in The Beginning showed that he is capable of absorbing projectiles that hit his body and shoot them back to the attacker, in The Birth of Evil II he opened a hole in the middle of his body so that an enemy attack would pass through without actually touching him, and the same episode showed him dividing himself into thousands of drops of darkness that took human shape and fallen weapons to become an army of human-sized Akus in the battle against Jack's father.

    http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/1...bsorptione.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img822/7134/a...einownbody.jpg


    Nevertheless, the very best display of this potential for unconventional fighting happened in the graveyard battle from Jack and the Zombies. In this instance, Aku exploded into a mass of darkness that spread over much of the graveyard and attacked Jack by sprouting tentacles, clawed hands that would attack from several sides at the same time and such. Jack, without his sword, was quickly overwhelmed by these attacks, in spite of his attempts to disengage.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img11/8755/ak...sstideform.jpg

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    TELEKINESIS

    Aku has displayed moderately strong telekinetic abilities in a number of instances (though never offensively), to levitate a story book during Aku's Fairy Tales (S1E13), to lift the heavy stone that sealed the chamber in which the Minions of Set were trapped in Jack in Egypt (S3E5), and many other times besides.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img138/6493/a...ytalesbook.jpg


    However, Aku's best telekinetic showings are from Jack and the Zombies (S3E4). We were shown that Aku can use TK against anything in his field of vision, without obvious range concerns, since he used it through his scrying portal to make Jack get to the graveyard in which he planned to ambush him, by remotely moving a branch the samurai was using to choose his path. Afterwards, Jack entered a fog bank and Aku helped him get lost by moving around trees with the same means.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img189/8184/a...stickmanip.jpg

    Later, in the graveyard battle, Aku in his small demonic form used telekinesis again to raise a section of the ground, forming a rock wall in Jack's path. Considering the amount of material involved, this is likely the best feat of the lot in terms of telekinetic force requirements.



    Also, it probably should be mentioned that despite Aku gesturing most of the times he uses TK, this doesn't seem to be a strict requirement. During Jack versus Aku (S4E9), Jack corners human form Aku, who cheats and makes a stone column topple with a glance, in order to distract his opponent and make his escape.

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    ENERGY ATTACKS

    Heat Vision

    Besides shapeshifting, laser vision is probably the power Aku uses most often in the series.

    Though Aku can fire the beams instantaneously, he'll sometimes charge energy in his eyes for several seconds before releasing the beam, for greater destructive effect (as seen in The Beginning, S1E1) or a long burst (he has been seen to sustain the beam for up to thirty seconds).

    As with physical strength, the power of the heat beams appears to increase along with Aku's size. When he is his usual size, the beams are less than a feet wide and their firepower is barely enough to punch through stone walls or cut sections of a large tree trunk (Jack and Swamp Monster, S3E8), yet when he is a giant he can set a city on fire within seconds (The Beginning) or destroy armies with beams a dozen meters wide (The Birth of Evil II, S3E12).

    In addition to the above, Aku is consistently portrayed to have some trouble hitting highly agile enemies with his beams. Jack has managed to dodge or reflect the beams in a number of instances and so did his father while riding a magic cloud against the demon shortly after his release (The Birth of Evil II).

    http://imageshack.us/a/img715/3406/a...flectedtre.jpg


    Sonic Shockwave

    During the battle against Jack at the end of Jack and Swamp Monster, Aku shouted loudly and created with this an omnidirectional sonic AoE that sent Jack flying into a tree perhaps a dozen meters away from his former position. Despite this, the attack caused no noticeable damage to Jack.



    Fire Attacks

    Besides his GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS (TM), Aku can generate fire and use it to attack his enemies in several different ways.

    In Jack and the Zombies (S3E4), Aku with his usual size and appeareance used fire breath against Jack from a distance of a few meters. The attack lasted a few seconds and failed to actually hurt the samurai, but completely incinerated the shield that Jack used to protect himself from the flame.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img839/8256/akufirebreath.jpg

    In Jack and Swamp Monster, Aku generated around his hands blue fireballs that he threw as if they were solid objects. These strange projectiles were singularly underwhelming in power, since Jack was able to defend himself by creating a small wave of water with his sword. Contact with the water turned the blue fire into green smoke.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img855/8316/a...uefireball.jpg

    Finally, in The Birth of Evil I (S3E11), Aku in giant mode projected streams of flame from his hands to set on fire the castle belonging to Jack's father, as the opening action of his first attack against the human of that kingdom.



    In a related note, although not used as an attack, Aku in his Ikra disguise displayed fine fire control by illustrating the alleged backstory of the person he was posing as making figures with the flame of a bonfire (Jack and the Warrior Woman, S1E6).

    http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/5...irecontrol.jpg
    Last edited by Estrecca; 11-21-2012 at 03:42 AM.

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