Sword fight between Samurai Rick and Ninja Rick results in one of them losing a head.

Over the years, filmmakers from around the world have looked to Japanese samurai movies as their inspiration for sword-fight scenes, blood and gore, and poetic tales of vengeance. Now, the creative team behind animated science fiction sitcom Rick and Morty have released their own short inspired by an epic Japanese tale, and this one takes it cues from the 1972 film Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance.

Oozing with references to the original film — with a very Rick-and-Morty-esque psychedelic interlude in between — the clip stars Rick WTM72 mimicking Lone Wolf and Cub‘s Ogami Itto, a disgraced former executioner to the shogun who pushes his son Daigoro in a baby cart as he wanders the countryside. And yes, Morty steps in here as the 3-year-old son.

Take a look at the clip below:

That was one of the bloodiest five minutes of Rick and Morty we’ve ever seen! Shogun Morty’s blood-splattered face was just one of the many highlights here, and our eyes were just as wide as his as we watched it all play out.

This masterful short tale was not only influenced by Japan, but created by some of its best talents too. Yohei Tadano and Keisuke Chiba, who play the characters of Rick and Morty in the Japanese version of the show, voice the characters of Rick WTM72 and “Shogun Morty” for the clip, which was written and directed by Kaichi Sato and produced by Koji Iijima from Studio Deen. 

The tagline “Drunken life, dreamy death” is equally as stirring as the animated fight scenes, where Rick WTM72 fights off a clan of Ninja Ricks.

There’s a nod to the weapons in the baby cart from Lone Wolf and Cub, when little Morty is propelled along as blades spin out on either side of him, slaying the legs of the enemy ninja. He and Rick then briefly disappear into another dimension as each ninja is slain with master swordsmanship, until only one foe remains.

▼ The leader of the Ninja Ricks, however, is no match for Rick WTM72.

▼ Let’s just take a moment to admire the detail on this close-up of the eyeball on Ninja Rick’s beheaded head at the end.

With sweeping music from the Lone Wolf and Cub series, this short is filled with a number of moody, tense, dramatic action scenes, and fans around the world have been heaping praise on the clip and its creators for the stunning visuals.

With the video already receiving in excess of 6.5 million views on YouTube in just a few short days, how awesome would it be if they expanded the narrative and turned it into a whole episode? It’d cause as much of a stir as that “Mulan Schezuan teriyaki dipping sauce” episode that puzzled Japan!

Source: YouTube/Adult Swim 
Images: YouTube/Adult Swim
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