Alongside the Takeshi Sano-directed short "Rick and Morty vs. Genocider," the Kaichi Sato-written and directed "Samurai & Shogun" ranks up there as one of our two favorite "alt-universe episodes"- and definitely a universe we'd like to see explored further. Well, so does Sato- and from we've learned from a recent interview the director had with Otaku USA, it sounds like everyone's getting their wish. "We're currently planning a sequel to 'Samurai & Shogun.' I have a number of good ideas, so I definitely want to make them happen." In fact, Sato would like to have a chance to be a part of the main series' creative sandbox. "This is just a dream of mine, but someday I would like to participate by implementing my own ideas into the main story of 'Rick and Morty.' As a Japanese animator, I think I'm a person who's quite on the alternative side, but going forward, I would like to work for both major and independent works, so I hope you will keep me in mind."
Written and directed by Sato, and produced by Studio DEEN, "Samurai & Shogun" is an Adult Swim-commissioned anime-style short that finds Rick WTM72 (Yohei Tadano) and Shogun Morty (Keisuke Chiba) in a Lone Wolf and Cub-themed dimension. A nasty group of Ninja Ricks isn't willing to let go of Shogun Morty without a fight – an option that Rick WTM72 is more than willing to oblige:
Ahead of the season's home release on Blu-ray box set,Sato shared some of the original designs he pitched to executive producer Maki Terashima-Furuta and Jason Demarco, SVP/Creative Director for Adult Swim and co-creator of late-night anime block Toonami. As you can see from Terashima-Furuta's tweet that follows, it didn't take long for Adult Swim to give them the go-ahead:
The Rick & Morty season4 Blu-rayBox is out now! Also included "the Samurai and Shogun" which I directed, in a bonus feature.
— kaichisato＠Samurai and Shogun (@kaichisato) September 26, 2020
These are the preliminary designs of Rick and Morty that @kaichisato pitched to us, and instantly approved by @Clarknova1. I am so pleased by how the final short turned out. 佐藤監督の初期のデザイン提案です。 素晴らしい作品を作って下さりありがとうございました。 https://t.co/QkzIsEvenQ
— 🍭Maki Terashima-Furuta🍭 (@MakiTerashima) September 26, 2020