Back in late March, Adult Swim dropped the first “Samurai & Shogun” cartoon short on their official YouTube channel. It’s a seamless hybrid of the show’s main characters crossed with the aesthetic of hyperbolically violent Japanese samurai anime. Think “Rurouni Kenshin” or “Samurai Champloo,” but with an added layer of Dan Harmon’s proprietary brand of insanity. Given that the Venn diagram of “Rick and Morty” fans and anime fans has a lot of overlap, it’s no surprise that the show would experiment with this style. It isn’t even the only time they’ve done so; the “Rick and Morty” team released a claymation teaser back in June featuring the main characters exploring the wildly popular world of “My Neighbor Totoro.”
They’re back at it again with this one, and it picks right up where the first animation left off. It starts with Rick picking up the severed head of his most powerful enemy — an alternate reality version of himself — as the clip transitions between bloody anime violence and images of Rick committing seppuku. The English subtitles are largely nonsensical, akin to what might happen if you scan a thousand anime scripts into a script-writing A.I. machine to see what it spits out. Morty also appears to fall in love with a geisha robot. It’s weird, it’s wacky, it’s fun, and the full animated short is going to air this weekend during the Adult Swim Festival on YouTube (and possibly HBO Max) for fans to enjoy.