‘Rick and Morty’ Fans Unload on ‘Ugly’ Anime Sneak Peak
Rick and Morty: The Anime has been in the works since early 2020 when Adult Swim sneak-released a six-minute short featuring the characters of Rick and Morty in a gory, over-the-top anime action sequence titled “Samurai & Shogun.” Over the following couple years, five more shorts would drop featuring Rick, Morty and the rest of the Smith family in creatively re-imagined homages to beloved movies and shows from Japanese animation utilizing voice actors from the Rick and Morty Japanese dub in the lead roles. The short films enjoyed a warm reception from the Rick and Morty fandom who commended the Japanese creators’ ability to blend the character design of the Adult Swim series with traditional anime art styles — plus, most Rick and Morty fans are already massive weebs in the first place, so remixing the franchise with Japanese influences is to them what the Taco Bell/Doritos collaboration was to stoners.
Yesterday, when Adult Swim released a sneak peak of the upcoming full-length Rick and Morty: The Anime series on the same day as the Rick and Morty Season Seven finale, it should have been a slam dunk — instead, it’s being dunked on by the fans who can’t believe what the new show’s Japanese animators did to to the character models. It’s like if “Wubba lubba dub dub” had a face.
“Looks absolutely fucking mid,” reads one of the top replies on a Twitter thread for the announcement. Another user added, “So it's a worse version of the original, in Japanese,” while one pointed out, “It doesn’t even look like an anime, it just looks like Rick & Morty but with ass character designs.”
Over in the Rick and Morty subreddit, a post about the teaser video drew criticisms about the art style as well as the writing, with one user opining, “Really not sure how to feel about this until i see how it works out as a full episode, this clip is not entertaining in the way a random clip of the regular show is entertaining.” Another was more blunt, writing, “I don’t even know why someone would pitch this shit why just why.”
“What a terrible clip to pitch this thing to us,” one incensed fan wrote. “There is virtually no animation- nothing particularly interesting happening. 90% of the heavy lifting is CG rendered vehicles which the og series already handles. If you're going to announce an anime, show us some anime.”
Most of the complaints were focused on the art style and character design, though many users echoed the above sentiment that the clip wasn’t automatically “anime” just because it had Japanese voice actors. Many compared it unfavorably to the successful Scott Pilgrim vs. The World anime reimagining Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.
But the negativity of the responses wasn’t exactly universal — in the same Reddit thread, one Rick and Morty fan wondered, “Am I the only one that actually thinks it looks good?” to which the top response reads, “Yes.”