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Shenmue anime coming to Crunchyroll and Adult Swim

Ryo Hazuki’s story will be told in new animated series

Artwork of Ryo Hazuki from the original Shenmue Image: Sega
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Sega and Yu Suzuki’s epic video game series, Shenmue, is being adapted for television. Crunchyroll and Adult Swim announced Shenmue, an original, 13-episode anime series that follows the journey of Ryo Hazuki.

The animated Shenmue series will stream worldwide outside of Japan and mainland China on Crunchyroll and air on Adult Swim’s Toonami in the domestic United States. The news was announced in advance of the Crunchyroll industry panel at Virtual Crunchyroll Expo on Saturday.

Here’s the series’ official synopsis, and the first piece of key art for the Shenmue anime:

After he witnesses his father’s murder at the family dojo, Ryo dedicates his life to finding the man responsible — a mission that takes him from the streets of Yokosuka, Japan to the sprawling metropolis of Hong Kong, and beyond. Soon he’ll learn that larger, mystical forces are at play as he trains to become the ultimate martial artist in his quest for revenge.

Key art for the Shenmue anime featuring Ryo Hazuki, Shenhua Ling, and Lan Di. Image: Crunchyroll/Adult Swim Production

Crunchyroll and Adult Swim Production’s Shenmue is directed by Chikara Sakurai, whose credits include One Punch Man and Naruto. Animation production is being led by Telecom Animation Film, with production management provided by Sola Entertainment. Shenmue series creator Yu Suzuki is credited as executive producer.

A release date was not announced. Polygon has reached out to Crunchyroll for additional details about the anime’s story scope, as the planned, epic narrative of Shenmue is still incomplete.

The Shenmue series debuted in 1999 with the original Sega Dreamcast game. A sequel was released for Dreamcast overseas in 2001, and was released for the original Xbox in 2002. It took until 2019 for the next game in the franchise, Shenmue 3, to be realized, thanks in part to a crowdfunding campaign.

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