Shenmue, the beloved action-adventure video game franchise from Sega and Ys Net, is getting an original anime series from Crunchyroll and Adult Swim. The show is being directed by Chikara Sakurai (One Punch Man season 2) with the leading role of Ryo Hazuki being voiced by Masaya Matsukaze in the Japanese language version, (Matsukaze voices Hazuki in the video game series). Shenmue the Animation will premier on Feb. 5 on the streaming platform Crunchyroll and Adult Swim on Toonami in North America.
The cult-hit Shenmue first came to the Dreamcast in 1999. Judging by what we’ve seen so far, the animation appears to be based on the original story of the games. According to a release, the new 13-episode adaptation will tell the story of Ryo Hazuki, a high school boy and martial artist on a search to find the man who murdered his father.
Animation production is being led by Telecom Animation Film (Tower of God) with further production management provided by Sola Entertainment (The God of High School). Austin Tindle (Tokyo Ghoul) will voice Hazuki in the English dub. Lan Di, a high-ranking member of an underground organization, will be voiced by Takahiro Sakurai in Japanese and Scott Gibbs in English. In the English version, the simple town girl Shenhua will be voiced by Natalie Rial, and Hazuki’s close friend, Nozomi Harasaki, will be voiced by Cat Thomas.
Crunchyroll and Adult Swim announced that the two companies would start teaming up to bring more anime stateside in 2019. In 2020, Crunchyroll released the first season of its original anime series, Tower of God and the streaming company has continued to create original content since. Last year, the platform released a number of original new series, including Blade Runner: Black Lotus.