An all-new anime series from Adult Swim and Crunchyroll has formally entered production, Deadline confirmed today. Shenmue, based on SEGA’s cult classic action-adventure video game series, will be a 13-episode series set to stream on Crunchyroll and air on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block.
Shenmue is a series of games originally launched on SEGA’s Dreamcast console back in 1999 with the first game under the same title. It was followed by a sequel, Shenmue II, in 2001, before entering an 18 year hiatus. Shenmue III was released in November 2019, following a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 that earned $6 million dollars. The series incorporates elements of the social simulation and role-playing genres, including an intricate storyline with detailed background characters alongside traditional fighting game staples.
The original Shenmue will be the basis for the plot of the upcoming anime series. Shenmue follows 18-year-old martial arts prodigy Ryo Hazuki who commits himself to finding the man who killed his father. The ensuing globe-trotting adventure takes Hazuki from the bustling city of Yokosuka, Japan to Hong Kong and the mountains of Guilin. Along the way, he discovers the ancient, mystical history of his bloodline – and how far his family’s sworn enemies will go to end it.
Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki will act as Executive Producer for the series. Chikara Sakurai (Naruto, One Punch Man) will direct the animation produced by Telecom Animation Film. The co-creator of Toonami and the creative director of Adult Swim, Jason Demarco, told Deadline that “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!” Demarco reiterated his excitement for the series on his Twitter, while also revealing the series was greenlit shortly after the release of the third installment last year.
It’s true! @adultswim and @Crunchyroll are making a 13 episode SHENMUE anime! Yu Suzuki is producing. We’ve been working on it for a while and I’m so excited to finally be able to talk about it! https://t.co/8rMkzVAzax
— SPIRAL CURSE DEMARCO (@Clarknova1) September 5, 2020
This will be Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s third collaboration for a series. The companies are currently working on Fena: Pirate Princess, an original series, and Blade Runner – Black Lotus, a series based on the Blade Runner series of films. No official air date for Shenmue has been announced.