During the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo, the company announced its teaming up with Adult Swim to adapt the game series Shenmue into an animated series. Shenmue the Animation is now in production with the creator Yu Suzuki acting as Executive Producer.
Shenmue the Animation will be a thirteen-episode series and will likely be released on the Crunchyroll streaming platform. Telecom Animation Film, who previously worked on Tower of God and Lupin the Third: Part 5, will be working on the animated production. Directing the series is Chikara Sakurai, who previously worked on Magimoji Rurumo and One-Punch Man Season 2. Additional cast information, such as the voice actors, are still unknown.
Not many additional details have been released by Crunchyroll or Adult Swim so far. An official Twitter account for the animated adaption was created this month, which contains video clips from the creators and the first piece of key art.
Most recently, the creator and anime director discussed their process and hopes for the upcoming adaptation.
When asked what key themes he wants to see in the animated adaptation, Suzuki states he would like to see the game’s themes of friendship, courage, love, and family displayed along with expressing the culture and spirit of Japan. He hopes that loyal fans will accept this new retelling of Shenmue.
The director, Sakurai, also answered a few questions. He stated that he was interested in the game when it was first released, but didn’t get to play it until later. Sakurai wants to preserve the game’s integrity in animated form.
For now, neither Suzuki nor Sakurai revealed any additional details about the animation itself. Fans will have to wait to learn which plots will be covered, or if any of the unique mini-games, like using a forklift or playing Lucky Hit, will be included.
Shenmue was first launched on the Sega Dreamcast in 1999, with the sequel later releasing in 2001. The third game in the series wasn’t released until November 2019 after 18 years. It was brought to life in thanks to devoted fans who donated over six million dollars. The third game continues Ryo Hazuki’s quest from Japan to China to avenge his father and complete his martial arts training.
More information concerning Shenmue the Animation will be released at a later date.