The Shenmue anime series is almost here, over a year after it was announced at the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo. It will premiere on February 5th 9:30PM PST/February 6th 12:30AM EST, with Crunchyroll offering its subscribers the Japanese subbed version outside of Japan and China. Meanwhile, the English dubbed version will air via Adult Swim’s Toonami anime block. Shenmue tells the story of Ryo Hazuki, who journeys from Yokosuka, Japan to Hong Kong to find his father’s killer.
The first Shenmue game was developed and released by Sega for the Dreamcast in 1999, and the second one was launched for the same console a couple of years later. Its third installment came way later in 2019. Series creator Yu Suzuki debuted the project at Sony’s E3 press conference in 2015 and relied on fans’ support via crowdfunding to make it happen. Shenmue III easily reached its $2 million goal and ended up raising over $6 million on Kickstarter.
Shenmue the Animation was directed by Chikara Sakurai (One Punch Man Season 2) and will be 13 episodes in all. Kensuke Ishikawa (Tower of God) served Chief Animation Director, while Kento Shimoyama (BLEACH) wrote its script. Masaya Matsukaze and Austin Tindle voice Ryo Hazuki in Japanese and English, respectively. Lan Di, a leader of the Chinese cartel Chi You Men, is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese) and Scott Gibbs (English).