While the second half of Rick and Morty season 4 still doesn’t have a release date, its US broadcaster Adult Swim gave us a surprise short film over the weekend called “Samurai & Shogun”, which as you can expect, gives a Japanese-themed makeover to Rick and Morty. In addition to their respective roles — Rick and Morty Japanese dub artists Youhei Tadano and Keisuke Chiba play Rick WTM-72 and Shogun Morty — the five-minute short is made in the anime style by Tokyo-based Studio DEEN, with writer-director Kaichi Satō, producer Koji Iijima, and executive producer Maki Terashima-Furuta.
In “Samurai & Shogun”, Rick WTM-72 and Shogun Morty are travelling through a wasteland when several Ninja Ricks emerge from portals. One of them declares that they’ve been looking for Rick WTM-72 because he allegedly kidnapped Shogun Morty. Before he can complete his demands though, Rick WTM-72 runs up and starts a massacre, killing every Ninja Rick that steps towards him. Right out of Japanese anime, blood spurts are like fountains and so are the exaggerated screams of the ones dying. Rick WTM-72 takes on all kinds of enemies as “Samurai & Shogun” progresses.
As Adult Swim’s senior VP and creative director, Jason DeMarco, has already confirmed on Twitter, the Rick and Morty short film “Samurai & Shogun” is inspired by the Lone Wolf & Cub manga, created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima in 1970. When the short premiered on Saturday, DeMarco also revealed that his team “spent a year putting [it] together”.
This isn’t the first time that Adult Swim has dedicated itself to producing a themed short that’s set apart from the continuity of the series. There was also the Australian-themed one in April 2018 called “Bushworld Adventures”. And we’ve also had the one where Morty went on a “strange trip” after dropping a vial of LSD in “Exquisite Corpse”.
Rick and Morty episodes — not short films — are available on Netflix in India.
Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.