The Shenmue series has always felt like it could have possibly been originally an anime series rather than a video game one, with the tale of Ryo Hazuki’s quest to avenge the death of his father seeming like it would fit very well in the halls of iconic anime plots. Now though, Shenmue is getting its own anime adaptation, and original series creator Yu Suzuki is part of the team behind it.
According to the announcement at the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo on September 5, Suzuki is signed up as executive producer, while Sakurai Chikara – who also directed the popular One Punch Man anime series – will direct the 13-episode series for Crunchyroll and Adult Swim. the animation production company behind this collaboration is Telecom Animation Film – who are responsible for Tower of God and Lupin the Third: Part 5 among others. In the US, the series will air on Adult Swim, while Crunchyroll will offer worldwide fans the chance to stream all the episodes outside of Japan and China. We’ve also got a look at the first official poster of the anime, you can see it below.
The original game series was released all in 1999 on the Dreamcast, if you can believe it, with a sequel following two years later in 2001. Shenmue III on the other hand, came out just under 20 years (yes, it was really that long coming) after the original in 2019, following one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever, to mixed reviews – read our review here.
“The first Shenmue video game was released more than twenty years ago and we’re so excited to be working again with Adult Swim to bring this franchise to life through anime,” said Sarah Victor, head of development at Crunchyroll in an interview with GamesRadar. “We’re eager to show our fans more of this action-packed adventure series as we move through production.”
“The world of Shenmue is fascinating and unique, and we are so excited to partner with Yu Suzuki to bring his epic creation to anime- and make a kick-ass martial arts epic!” said creative director Jason DeMarco.