The folks at Adult Swim decided that there was not nearly enough anime Rick and Morty this year, or not nearly enough Rick and Morty shorts in general, so lucky us: we’re blessed with round two of Studio Deen’s samurai spin on the multiversal duo.
Released as part of the Adult Swim Festival, Samurai and Shogun Part 2 follows up on last year’s 3DCG animated short, imaging Rick as a wandering samurai, guarding one of the few remaining Morties in the multiverse as he is hunted by a clan of rival assassins who want the boy dead. Oh, and those assassins are other Ricks, of course. With director Kaichi Sato returning (known for his work on CannibAlien, Dynamic Venus, and ANNA Kidnapper), and featuring the vocal talents of Rick and Morty’s Japanese dub stars—Yohei Tadano as the various Ricks, Keisuke Chiba as Morty, and Akiha Matsui as Summer—the short follows up on last year’s surprise Lone Wolf & Cub riff, as Rick pulls out a desperate trick to stop Morty from facing certain death.
Although the original short certainly got into some more out-there, Rick and Morty elements, the sequel definitely pushes aside more of the jidaigeki film homages (even if there’s still plenty of swordsmanship going on) for something a little more shonen, right down to power up special attacks and secret hidden techniques that get to be explained to you before they’re unleashed. It wouldn’t be fair to say either of the Samurai and Shogun shorts were particularly grounded—they’re still both Rick and Morty adventures—but Part 2 is definitely less interested in the tonal mood of the first in favor of a bit more wild hack-and-slash action.
It’s going to be action that’ll need to sustain you for a while—with season five now in the books, it’s probably going to be another long wait before Rick and Morty returns to Adult Swim for season six. Maybe we’ll even get a few more shorts along the way?
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