Some new Rick and Morty content for your Monday afternoon: Adult Swim has released a six-minute short film called Samurai & Shogun on its YouTube channel. And it’s definitely a head-spinning, blood-bursting, visually stunning fever dream. Inspired by samurai film tropes, this unexpected Rick and Morty release introduces viewers to Samurai Rick. Among cornfields and an ominous purple sky, a group of Ninja Ricks portal to Samurai Rick, seeking to take an unusually powerful Shogun Morty from him. Swords are raised and a bloodbath ensues.
Jason DeMarco, the Senior Vice President and Creative Director explained the concept. “The idea for a Rick and Morty anime short came from myself,” he said, adding, “we are always making interesting little Rick and Morty Network IDs, with other artists doing their interpretation of the characters, and I thought it would be cool to do an anime take on the show,” per Observer.
The short was created by Studio Deen, the makers of the Junji Ito Collection and Ranma ½. DeMarco discussed the process, saying, “Adult Swim went to Maki Terashima, a producer we’ve known for years, who took the idea to Studio Deen.” He added, “Studio Deen spoke to Kaichi Sato, who is a massive Rick and Morty fan, and asked him to direct it. From there, Adult Swim oversaw all of the work, but Studio Deen and Sato were the people driving the project.”
Rick and Morty Season 4 is currently on hiatus, which made Samurai & Shogun all the more surprising.