An anime series based on one of the best action-adventure games is coming to Crunchyroll, and soon. Shenmue the Animation is an animated series covering Ryo Hazuki’s quest for revenge against his father, and we have the first trailer.
In the video, we get a bridge-notes for the overall narrative. Ryo is a young man working in his family’s dojo who witnesses his father’s murder. Enraged, he sets out to find who did it and bring them to justice, only to become wrapped up in supernatural forces as he scales Hong Kong and Japan looking for the murderer. There’s plenty of fights, some arcade game nostalgia, and a bit of forklift driving, just like the videogames.
The first season will be 13 episodes, and it was announced back in 2020. Chikara Sakurai, who worked on season 2 of One Punch Man, is directing, with series creator Yu Suzuki serving as producer. This adaptation was in the works for quite some time before being revealed, studio Telecom Animation Film working concurrently with development on 2019’s Shenmue 3.
Since the first came out in 1999, Shenmue has become a cult favourite, particularly among SEGA fans. The original was the most expensive game ever made when it came out on the Dreamcast, pioneering open-world design and immersive RPG mechanics. Poor commercial performance led to the series being shelved after two mainline releases, only to be brought back for a third in 2015.
You can watch the dubbed trailer here:
The official synopsis for Shenmue the Animation reads: “1986, Yokosuka. Ryo Hazuki has trained to master the Hazuki Style Jujitsu under his strict father in the Hazuki Dojo from his childhood. However, one day a mysterious man named Lan Di murders his father and takes the ‘mirror’ his father was protecting. Ryo is determined to find the truth behind his father’s murder, but soon finds himself getting stuck in a war between the underground organisations… Traveling from Yokosuka to Hong Kong, Ryo’s long journey begins!”
Shenmue the Animation premieres on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim February 5. Check out the best anime movies for more sleek action.