Shenmue: The Animation - a, yes, animated adaptation of Sega's cult classic 1999 Dreamcast game - finally has a release date and will be down at the docks, eyeing up sailors, from 5th February on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.
A Shenmue anime was initially announced back in September 2020, with Telecom Animation Film (Tower of God, Lupin the Third: Part 5) handling production, and will see original series creator Yu Suzuki on executive producer duties while Chikara Sakurai (One-Punch Man Season 2, Magimoji Rurumo) takes a directorial role.
Unsurprisingly, Shenmue: The Animation is a retelling of the video game saga (much of the original Japanese voice cast will return), beginning with the murder of teenage martial arts pupil Ryo Hazuki's father and ending with...well, that's not exactly clear. The games have infamously taken their sweet time recounting Hazuki's adventures (what with that near-two-decade-long gap between parts 2 and 3) and the third instalment also ended on a cliffhanger, raising questions of how the series might choose to conclude.
Certainly, a trailer released last October suggested the 13-episode anime would get at least as far as Shenmue 2, and as Eurogamer's Martin Robinson pointed out at the time, there've been murmurings for quite a while that Hazuki's story might wrap in a medium outside of games.
Shenmue: The Animation is a collaboration Crunchyroll and Adult Swim and will be available via their respective services on 5th February, although precise regional viewing information is yet to be shared. Crunchyroll, of course, requires a monthly subscription while, in the UK at least, Adult Swim shows usually appear via All 4 and E4.
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