Recent teasing and rumors about the Shenmue The video game series came to fruition on Friday with a surprise announcement at the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo that the cult game series Sega will soon receive an animated adaptation, with series creator Yu Suzuki on board as executive producer.
Crunchyroll released an official announcement shortly after the Expo presentation, confirming that production is already underway at Telecom Animation Film anime studio with a one-season, 13-episode pledge. The episodes will air on Adult Swim’s “Toonami” block in the United States, while Crunchyroll will carry its broadcast rights to much of the world. No date was attached to the information.
The announcement did not confirm any concrete details on what to expect regarding the plot. Suzuki-san has publicly stated that he wants to continue telling the story of the series after the events of 2019. Shenmue III, but at least one insider, who teased the news on the ResetERA gaming forum days before it was official, suggested the new series would be a retread:
The[[[[Shenmue TV]season covers the first game and part of the second game. Includes plenty of story ideas that they were never able to put into play, whether for budget, time, or maturity reasons. It will be an animated tale for adults of Shenmue 1 and 2 with lost story beats.
If this seemingly well-placed source were correct, that would be great news for anyone interested in the story, characters, and atmosphere of the first two games in the series – but not necessarily interested in their dated gameplay. The same could be said for any eventual anime version of Shenmue III, a game that broke Kickstarter records (and melted Kickstarter servers) when it was announced in 2015 but hasn’t necessarily wowed fans four years later.