When it’s not bringing out Christopher Lloyd to haul the series into a live-action multiverse, anime is probably one of Rick and Morty’s most beloved influences to riff off of. While its latest anime short might not have quite the mood of its previous, time-twisting riffs on Japanese media, it certainly goes all-in on some silly shonen action.
Adult Swim has now uploaded (for United States viewers at least—sorry, rest of the world) the full 11-minute anime short released for Halloween this year, The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara. Directed by Starship Troopers: Traitors of Mars’ Masaru Matsumoto and animated by Yamato Works Inc, the short reunites Rick and Morty’s Japanese voice actors, Yohei Tadano and Keisuke Chiba once more to send them on a hunt for... a toaster screw?
Yes, this time the adventure is a little more on the zany end of things, after the earnest Rick and Morty vs. the Genocider or the Lone Wolf and Cub homages of Samurai and Shogun. Having spent 30 years developing a toaster that sends notifications when your toast is done (by violently exploding, it would seem), Rick whisks Morty over to Akihabara to locate the perfect screw to complete the machine. Expecting to find a devilish den of inequity and demonic forces, instead, the duo finds... well, modern Akihabara, and all the maid cafes, nerd shops, and other accouterments you’d expect. Not exactly the kind of weirdness you’d usually find on Rick and Morty!
It doesn’t take too long for things to turn into an unholy demonic kaiju vs. giant robot fight of course, because that’s just how things go sometimes. But it’s interesting to see that after two relatively self-serious dips into anime homage, now Rick and Morty decided it was time to go full-tilt into a zany riff on the medium’s more action-packed highlights.
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