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SYFY WIRE Adult Swim

Rick and Morty head to Tokyo in strange, tear-jerking anime short from 'Tower of God' director

By Josh Weiss
Rick and Morty vs. Genocider

Satiate your ravenous appetite for more Rick and Morty content with "Rick and Morty vs. Genocider," a brand-new anime short from Tower of God director Takashi Sano. Considerably building on the foundation laid by the Lone Wolf and Cub-inspired release from earlier this year, "Genocider" runs for the length of about half a normal episode of the hit Adult Swim series.

Produced by Sola Entertainment and beautifully animated by Telecom Animation Film (which is owned by TMS Entertainment, the same studio that made 1988's Akira), the short finds Morty (voiced by Keisuke Chiba) heading to Tokyo to find Grandpa Rick (voiced by Youhei Tadano) and stop the titular Genocider after Ricks and Morties have been attacked across multiple dimensions. Everything else is up for debate after that because things get super weird, despite the assertion of the video's YouTube caption that "nothing weird happens." Die-hard fans will notice several callbacks to previous episodes like "Total Rickall" and "The Ricklantis Mixup."

The fascinating concept of altering the past through the manipulation of memories is not only super on-brand for the show, it also leads to one heck of a tear-jerking conclusion. Think of the raw emotions on display in the endings for "Auto Erotic Assimilation," "The Wedding Squanchers," and "The Old Man and the Seat," and then multiply them by 10. If the network continues to drop little anime shorts like this one in the lulls between seasons, you won't hear any complaints from us.

Watch now:

"This project came together because of the director's love for Rick and Morty," Jason DeMarco, SVP and Creative Director for On-Air Adult Swim, exclusively tells SYFY WIRE. "Luckily, both Dan and Justin and my bosses at Adult Swim are excited by the idea of seeing how different artists and cultures interpret the show, so I was given free rein to take this project somewhere I thought would make an interesting piece. Working with Sola Entertainment, we sat down with Takashi Sano and his unit and asked if they might be interested in telling a Rick and Morty story. They jumped at the chance and 'Rick and Morty vs. Genocider' is the happy result."

The "Dan and Justin" DeMarco refers to are series co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland.

Adult Swim showed off some unfinished animation from Season 5 this past weekend during Comic-Con@Home. No premiere date has been fixed yet, although we'll probably have to wait until next year for more episodes to drop. Learn more from our coverage of the Rick and Morty panel right here.