The story of Samurai Jack is five seasons long, but it took a lot longer than five years to come to a conclusion. Seasons one through four aired between 2001 and 2004. Season five aired in 2017, 13 years later.
Ashi was a character that was introduced in Season 5. She was different from the other minions of Aku who pursued Samurai Jack in one important way.
Ashi was not a machine. She was partly human, but we never found out very much about her. Here are seven mysteries about Ashi that were solved and three questions that remain.
10 Answered: Who - Or What - Was Ashi's Mother?
This question is only partially answered. She was the High Priestess of the Cult of Aku.
There's no backstory about how Ashi's mother came to be a Daughter of Aku nor how she became the High Priestess. Her motives for joining the Cult and becoming a follower of Aku remain a total mystery.
We never see her face, but from her profile and black hair we know she resembles her daughters. She is callous and abusive towards them as if she's a machine herself. She trained them, followed them on their quest and confirmed their deaths.
The High Priestess refers to Aku as "our lord father" not "your lord father" when speaking to Ashi in Episode 7, "XCVIII." She never makes it clear if this is just an expression referring to all the women of the cult or if Aku is literally Ashi's father.
9 Answered: Would Ashi Survive Her Encounter With Samurai Jack?
The simple answer would be yes, at least at first. Ashi isn't killed by Jack like her sisters are.
She was a talented assassin without any godlike powers. As a Daughter of Aku, Ashi has some formidable power of her own and actually could have defeated Jack several times.
However, since the destiny of Jack is to destroy Aku and without Aku Ashi never would have existed, the ultimate answer is no. It's a tragic way to end the story and a very clever bit of writing.
8 Answered: Are All Her Sisters Really Dead?
The audience isn't sure at first. In a clever plot twist, we don't see all of the bodies initially. If Ashi survived the fall why couldn't her sisters?
The High Priestess appears in "XCVIII" to confront Ashi and kill Samurai Jack. She confirms that Ashi is the only one left.
7 Mystery: How Long Did Ashi Travel Looking For Jack?
Ashi pursues Jack for what seems like a long time. She goes through profound changes as she travels. Her hair, clothing and general personality are completely different by the time she finds him.
What isn't revealed is any kind of timeline and we never find out how old Ashi is. Jack doesn't age and it's possible that Ashi didn't age normally because of her ancestry.
How long did this journey last? Another related question is, how old is Ashi?
6 Answered: Was Ashi Stronger Than Her Mother?
The final battle was always between Aku and Jack, but we were also looking forward to the showdown between Ashi and the High Priestess. It's a tense fight. Ashi had just destroyed an entire army. Jack was meditating and totally vulnerable. He wouldn't be able to help her.
Ashi faced her mother alone and defeated her with a dramatic and symbolic move. She throws an arrow that stabs her in the back.
5 Answered: Will Ashi Fall For Jack?
There was a lot of romantic tension between Jack and Ashi, even from the beginning when she was still trying to kill him. It's a common romantic trope that the potential couple hates each other initially.
After they have a few adventures together it's not surprising to see them locked in a passionate embrace at the end of Episode 8, "XCIX."
4 Mystery: What Is The Order Of Aku, And Where Did It Come From?
We know a bit about the High Priestess, but the Cult of women that worship Aku remains a secret.
How long had there been a cult? Were there Priestesses worshipping Aku even before Jack's father inadvertently freed him? Had they existed since the time of Jack's exile into the future?
Aku reveals some of this during a rather comical flashback in episode "C" in Season 5. The origin of Ashi and her sisters is confirmed, and there's a crude effigy of Aku in the temple but no further information.
3 Answered: Who Is Her Father?
We know little about the High Priestess, to begin with, and we don't find out exactly where her daughters came from until later in the season.
The term "Daughter of Aku" is an expression that applies to all the women that are a part of the Cult. In Episode 9 of Season 5, "C", Aku reveals Ashi's origins. He calls her "a true daughter of Aku."
This means unlike her mother and the other cult members, Ashi was actually born from the essence of Aku and is literally his daughter.
2 Mystery: Is Ashi Really Dead
The general opinion is that Ashi vanished from existence, but nobody can agree exactly on what that means. Is not existing the same as being dead? And how can we be sure she doesn't exist elsewhere?
At the end of the last episode, we're not sure what happened to Aku, so we don't really know what happened to Ashi. Can Aku actually be killed, or only weakened and imprisoned?
Why didn't Ashi disappear when Aku was destroyed if her existence was dependent on Aku?
Maybe Ashi isn't really gone forever. It's possible that Aku isn't gone forever, either.
1 Answered: Is She A Human Or A Demon?
This question has different answers depending on which episode you're watching.
The black covering that Ashi wore as a bodysuit might not have been fabric at all. She had to use a lot of water and scrape her skin with a stone to get it off in Episode 6, "XCVII." Is it another skin or a layer of dark earth from the smoldering Pit of Hate?
When Aku controls her, the black covering comes back. Once Ashi regains control of her body from Aku, part of it is gone again. When Jack destroys him, Ashi stumbles and says, "I felt him leave me."
She doesn't use her powers again after that. It's possible she began as a demon-human hybrid but is completely human when Aku is destroyed.