A lot of people compare Rick and Morty to Japanese animation for its wildness, innovation, and focus on teenage emotions. Its visuals are innovative for American animation, but French animator Malec dropped a video over the weekend that shows how dazzling it could be if reimagined in the style of anime.
Malec and his team, who also anime-fied Game of Thrones and produces a series of pop-culture rap battles, transformed the Smith-Sanchez clan into the blushing, bubble-eyed, spiky-haired bodies characteristic of Japanese animation for their short, If Rick And Morty Was An Anime. Fan-favorite snippets from the series, like buff Summer, Pickle Rick, wine-drunk Beth, and Jerry's dumb hat are all spliced into a 90-second remake of Rick and Morty's intro theme. KronoMuzik's splendidly generic anime music soundtrack is an excellent touch.
The video is cool because it knows its audience. Rick and Morty fans are incredibly thirsty for an anime crossover. "Rick and Morty is anime " is a recurring Twitter troll that's met with 50 shades of ironic derision, unironic scorn, and wistfulness for an actual Rick and Morty anime episode.
Members of the media are even more dazzled by the idea than fans on Twitter. In August, Titmouse's Anthony F. Schepperd animated an X-Men inspired promo for the show, which publications said, "Depicts an insane new season," and "Promises an absolutely epic new season," implying "anime action" would play a role in future episodes. In reality, Adult Swim hires young animators to use their characters in experimental bumps all the time, and they never have anything to do with the show itself. Stop-motion animator Lee Hardcastle did a series called The Non-Canonical Adventures of Rick and Morty to quash any suspicion that they have bearing on the show itself.
Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland owe Adult Swim 70 episodes of Rick and Morty. That's a lot of chances to cave to their audience and do an anime episode, the same way Harmon did a whole claymation episode of his previous NBC series, Community. However, if he and Roiland are as committed to ignoring anime fans as they are to shutting out deep conspiracy theorists, then it won't happen any time soon.
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