Rick and Morty just released an animated Samurai-themed short film.
And at this point, does this really surprise anyone? Helmed by Cartoon Network legend Justin Roiland, and pop culture maestro Dan Harmon (the genius behind Community), Rick and Morty is known for its irreverent use of pop culture, and unique storytelling.
While the second half of season 4 has yet to have been given a return date, this short gives fans a bit of a layover dose to help ease the pain of waiting. Entitled “Samurai & Shogun”, the short is produced by by Studio Deen, the same guys behind The Seven Deadly Sins, Rurouni Kenshin, and the Junji Ito Collection.
Rick and Morty are even voiced by Yohei Tadano and Keisuke Chiba, the same actors who voice the characters in the Japanese dub of Rick and Morty. That’s right, this short’s in Japanese!
And if the story seems a tad familiar, it’s ’cause it’s a homage to/parody of the legendary manga Kozure Okami, or Lone Wolf and Cub. A ’70s piece by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojim, Lone Wolf and Cub is arguably one of the most influential Japanese works to exist.
Not only has it been adapted multiple times into film, television, and for the stage, it has also been translated into English with the graphic novel cover art done by Frank Miller, whose own works were heavily influenced by Lone Wolf and Cub. And most recently, it has served as one of the more prominent influences of Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
So for those of you stuck at home and awaiting your next dose of Rick and Morty, this should tide you over till then. And if it isn’t enough, don’t forget Adult Swim’s streaming Samurai Jack!
Also, does anyone else find the way the eyes are drawn to be really disturbing? I mean, it’s not just me, right? The characters are clearly watching us, too!