Adult Swim Con's special Toonami broadcast debuted a cool new anime short featuring Rick and Morty, and with it came some fun Dragon Ball and Akira shout outs to name a few. Titled "Rick and Morty vs. Genocider," this new short was directed by Tower of God director Takashi Sano, produced be Sola Entertainment and animated at Telecom Animation Film. It was a much longer outing than the Lone Wolf & Cub inspired work, Samurai & Shogun, and even featured some story beats that connected it directly to the main animated series' saga. And tons of Easter Eggs to go along with it.
Much of the Easter Eggs in the beginning pertain to the mainline Rick and Morty series (especially with the return of Evil Morty to the franchise), but the anime ties begin to kick in towards the end of the short as Rick takes action against the Genocider. This begins with a fun shout out to Dragon Ball as Rick gives himself a power boost and begins to call himself "Super Rick" as he flies around.
When Rick takes the fight to Genocider, he activates a secret substance that he has lodged in his teeth. This acts as sort of a super steroid that gives Rick a "Super Saiyan" like aura as he begins to fly around and dodges several gravity shots that were fired at him. Floating around, he begins to dodge the blasts much like Ultra Instinct Goku would and eventually sends the blasts right back at the Genocider's ship.
This results in a massive explosion that should seem instantly familiar to fans of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira. The orbital explosion that springs forth is slightly angled differently than the famous explosion that comes at a focal point in Akira's post-apocalyptic story. Not only did this short carry a lot of fun Easter Eggs for dedicated Rick and Morty fans, but the anime was a great way to show anime fans some love as well.
The success of these two anime shorts have fans hoping for more someday, and perhaps the franchise will branch out with more anime experiments like this someday! What did you think of Rick and Morty's newest anime short film? Did you catch all of the hidden Easter Eggs and shout outs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!