Earlier in September, Crunchyroll in partnership with Adult Swim and Telecom Animation Film announced a new Shenmue animated series. According to Famitsu (translation via Siliconera), the core voice cast from the Shenmue games will reprise their roles in the upcoming anime. Currently, a broadcast window has not been announced, however, it will be available on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim platforms outside of Japan.
A recent Famitsu interview with Yuu Suzuki (Shenmue creator) and Yuu Kiyozono (producer for the anime) revealed new details about the production, voice casting and storyline of the series. It is reported that the budget for the series is “higher than a typical anime.” Moreover, it is said that the animation team wanted to capture the feel and look of Showa-era Japan in the 1980s. Kiyozono added that that specific aesthetic evokes a lot of nostalgia for the Japanese people from that period.
He continued, saying that the show had been in development during the production of Shenmue III. Suzuki states that he considered the possibility of Shenmue III being an anime or a manga as opposed to a third game.
Thanks to Famitsu and the translation by Siliconera, we know he added the following:
Shenmue is a bit of a unique game. It might be kind of difficult to get a wide audience to play it. But now that it’s becoming an anime, the barrier for entry will be lowered. … I hope people watch the anime, get interested in the series, and play [the] games.”
As mentioned before, the original Shenmue voice cast will return but there will be newcomers in the anime. According to Segabits, the new series is set to have thirteen episodes. Similar to the first game, the show will follow Ryo Hazuki as he attempts to find the man who killed his father. The anime will cover Ryo’s arrival in Hong Kong.
The Game Series
Over the years, the Shenmue series has attracted a cult following. Its first two games are often cited by many outlets as among the best of all time. The series is known for its large-environments, realism and pioneering open-world features. Will you be watching the Shenmue anime? How did you feel about Shenmue III and its contribution to the acclaimed series? Let me know in the comments below!