French animator, Malec, and his team have made a pretty strong case for an anime, English-subbed episode of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty with a new fan-made video.
The video in question turns the title sequence of the popular adult-oriented sci-fi cartoon into a pitch-perfect parody of Japanese animation, complete with a catchy theme song by KronoMuzik (geniusly modeled after Ryan Elder's synthy one) that includes English lyrics such as, "No age for love" and "Do you feel it, come on."
Beyond that, some of the show's biggest and most memorable moments are animated beautifully in the style of anime: Rick and Morty evading the Cthulu-esque alien (the moment that closes out the main title sequence), Morty grieving over his own corpse ("Rick Potion No. 9"), King Jellybean assaulting Morty in the restroom of the Thirsty Step ("Meeseeks and Destroy"), Rick's fight with the sewer rats ("Pickle Rick"), and Rick's fight with the President on the White House Lawn ("The Rickchurian Candidate").
Malec and his animation team of Martial, Charles Lemor, Coralie Nagel, Marie Renaud, Yann Legal hit every anime beat perfectly, both asthetically and emotionally.
"We chose Rick and Morty because we just love it. It's super funny, clever, very emotionnal and well executed, you know the deal," Malec told SYFY WIRE.
Watch it below:
As for specific anime influences on the video above, Malec said:
"Considering the originality of the show, we didn't want to make a shōnen manga opening. So, we decided to adapt the animated shōjo standards, in a universe where everyone is beautiful, intended for a female audience, pushing the link between the two characters as if they were a student and his teacher. Obviously, the color and the sensitivity of the final product gives an inevitable taste of Yaoi manga (as many people noticed) but which did not displease us. In the end, we were very inspired by the opening of sports anime like Free!, and designs are very inspired by devil man cry baby. And if you are a real anime fan and look closer, you can see some references to many others anime!"
One of his personal favorite moments is Morty's giant arm from "Rickmancing The Stone." While drawing this shot, Malec used the scene in Akira when Tetsuo Shima turns into a giant monster as a reference. As for the most difficult moment to animate, it was:
"The cut when camera turn around Morty and Rick. It's a real pain to draw this kind of cut because you have to control all the volumes. Its all about method and patience. Nothing funny ahaha... (i'm very sad inside right now)."
The song is naturally sung in Japanese, but we asked Malec to translate into English for us.
"[I] argued a loooonnnnnng time with my co-authors about what we would sing in this video," he said. "At the end, we decide that it has to be as naïve as an opening song can be and ambiguous as possible, for the fun. As you may have understand, it's Morty who is singing and he is expressing his passionate relations with Rick, despite of all the pain and the difficult moments he is living because of him."
Here are what the lyrics mean:
Before i met you,
I thought i was a normal kid
Now, i found dark and dirty living way
Though i thought you hated me
But you always protected me
If you hurt me, i know now it's because you wanted me to become stronger
No matter live, no matter die, can i always love you?
Tell me, no age for love
It's warm inside do you feel it,
I have lot of love for you
I will be always beside you
Do you feel it,
Come on, grandpa let's go
Since Rick and Morty often uses the Multiverse concept toward its storytelling goals, it's not hard to imagine this anime-inspired reality existing somewhere out there in the universe.
How awesome would it be to get an entire episode set in this world, similar to what we got in Season 3's "The Ricklantis Mixup"?
Malec's own video also brings to mind the short X-Men: The Animated Series-influenced tag done by Titmouse's Anthony F. Schepperd, who spoke to SYFY WIRE about the making of the animation.