Adult Swim revealed that a new anime series for Rick and Morty and Ninja Kamui are in the works to be released on HBO Max and Adult Swim.
Rick and Morty are going on animated adventures in a whole new way! This week, Adult Swim announced they would releasing two new anime series called Rick and Morty: The Anime, along with an action/adventure series called Ninja Kamui. It was confirmed that Rick and Morty: The Anime would be a ten-episode series and while there was not a synopsis provided, Adult Swim noted that this would be an original work with adapted themes and events from the main series.
Rick and Morty: The Anime was said to be directed by Takashi Sano (Tower of God) who made two popular anime shorts for Rick and Morty before, titled Rick and Morty vs. Genocider and Summer Meets God (Rick Meets Evil). It was stated that Sano’s work on the shorts inspired and acted as a catalyst for the full anime series being developed.
Adult Swim had also created three anime-inspired shorts before: the first one was called Samurai & Shogun, released in March 2020, the sequel was released in November 2020 and then a third short called The Great Yokai Battle of Akihabara, which aired in October 2021. The animation team for Rick and Morty: The Anime will be Telecom Animation Film (Lupin III, Shenmue the Animation).
“The multiverse-straddling exploits of Rick and the gang pose challenges to the family bond, but they always rise to the occasion,” Sano shared in a statement. “It’s such a life affirming sight, and Jerry is no exception. I am honored to have been given an opportunity to tell a new story about this amazing family. I hope you enjoy their adventures!”
As for Ninja Kamui, Adult Swim released a description and synopsis of the anime series, which is directed by Sunghoo Park (Jujutsu Kaisen, God of High School). The story is expected to follow the story of a former ninja who escapes his clan, tries to hide from his violent past in modern day America, only to be forced to confront his past overseas—it almost sounded like a ninja version of John Wick.
Park explained, “This is a story I’ve always wanted to tell. Transgression and punishment of a ninja who loses everything and goes out for revenge, and what lies at the end of his road. I am very excited about this new project and hope fans will be too.” It sounds like we will be getting some good ‘ol vengeance inspired by The Batman.
The crew behind Ninja Kamui would be Takeshi Okazaki (Afro Samurai, Star Wars: Visions, Batman Ninja) designing the characters, while E&H production and Sola Entertainment (Lord of The Rings: War of The Rohirrim, Blade Runner: Black Lotus, Ultraman) would be producing the series. Here was the synopsis shown by Adult Swim for Ninja Kamui:
“Ninja Kamui follows Joe Higan who is a Nukenin – a former ninja who escaped his clan and is hiding from his violent past in rural America with his family. One night, he is ambushed by a team of assassins from his former organization who exact bloody retribution on Joe and his family for betraying their ancient code.
Rising from his seeming “death,” Joe will re-emerge as his former self—Ninja Kamui—to avenge his family and friends. Kamui is a 21st century ninja, a shadowy anachronism who pits his ancient skills against high-tech weaponry with brutal finesse. He must face off against trained assassins, combat cyborgs, and rival ninjas to bring down the very clan that made him.”
While I have been slowing making my way through the original animated series, I could see how the wacky, psychedelic form of Rick and Morty could be translated into anime, similarly to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures. I trust Ninja Kamui will do great as well, with their superb team and having Park as the director, who just shattered many records for his anime film, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, which was based on the original anime series.
The president of Adult Swim, Michael Ouweleen, said in a statement on the two new series, “Toonami helped introduce anime to the U.S. audience 25 years ago, and is creating new, dynamic originals for the next generation of anime fans…These two series build on the legacy of those recent originals such as Fena: Pirate Princess, Blade Runner: Black Lotus, Shenmue the Animation, with Uzumaki and Housing Complex C, premiering later this year.”
Personally, I cannot wait for both shows to be released as they both sound like really awesome ideas with creators who appeared to be just as excited about working on it. Sadly, no release dates for Rick and Morty: The Anime and Ninja Kamui have been announced yet, but they will both be aired on Adult Swim and HBO Max.