Adult Swim has finally released the first official trailer for its Shenmue anime, a co-production with Crunchyroll. According to a release, Shenmue the Animation will premiere on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim on February 5 at 9:30 p.m. PT.
An official synopsis for the series – which will be immediately familiar to fans of the cult game trilogy – describes Shenmue the Animation as follows: “1986, Yokosuka. Ryo Hazuki trained to master Hazuki Style Jujitsu under the guidance of his father strict. in the Hazuki Dojo since 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 out the truth behind his father’s murder, but soon finds himself caught in a war between the underground organizations… Traveling from Yokosuka to Hong Kong, Ryo’s long journey begins!” Check out the trailer below.
The release also includes detailed information on some of the characters and voice actors:
- Ryo Hazuki voiced by Masaya Matsukaze (Japanese) and Austin Tindle (English): A high school student and heir to Hazuki-style martial arts. When his father is murdered by a mysterious man named Lan Di, Ryo begins a journey to perfect his martial arts and uncover the truth behind his father’s death.
- Lan Di voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese) and Scott Gibbs (English): A high-ranking member of the underground Chi You Men organization who murders Ryo’s father and steals the Dragon Mirror.
- Shenhua voiced by Natalie Rial (English): A young girl who lives in a rural village in Guilin under the care of her adoptive father. Plain and simple, she has a vast knowledge of plants, animals, and other natural survival skills.
- Nozomi Harasaki voiced by Cat Thomas (English): Ryo’s classmate who secretly admires her ever since he saved her from bullies in middle school. Strong and considerate, she usually spends her time helping out in her grandmother’s flower shop.
- Guizhang Chen voiced by Jeremy Gee (English): Guizhang was born in Yokohama and taught martial arts by his father from an early age. Since Ryo has a similar upbringing, although Guizhang acts cold, he feels close to Ryo.
- Chai – voiced by Greg Ayres (English): A member of Chi You Men. He has a unique condition allowing him to make superhuman-like moves. After Lan Di takes the Dragon Mirror, he begins to search for the second mirror.
- wong voiced by Bryson Baugus (English): A member of Heavens. He looks up to Ren like a brother and longs to be like him.
- Joy voiced by Luci Christian (English): Joy is a young woman who loves motorcycles. His father runs a trading business and many trust him. Like Ryo, Joy also lost her mother at a young age.
- Xiuying Hong voiced by Christine Auten (English): Her priest name is Lishao Tao. Although she is young, she is known as the grand master of Bajiquan. Her facial expression is still calm, but her clear eyes give the impression that she can see right through people’s hearts and intentions.
- ren Voiced by Cody House (English): The charismatic leader of Heavens, a street gang that operates in Beverly Hills Wharf. He is obsessed with money and doesn’t trust anyone but his friends. Ren is a rival to the Yellow Heads gang and plans to beat them one day.
- Dou Niu voiced by Joe Daniels (English): While being the boss of Yellow Heads, Dou Niu is also part of Chi You Men. To gain Lan Di’s trust, he also starts looking for Yuanda Zhu. Dou Niu has a large bear-like body, which puts Ryo and his friends in a tough spot when fighting him.
The series was first announced in September 2020. Shenmue the Animation is directed by Chikara Sakurai (One Punch Man Season 2) with animation production by Telecom Animation Film and production management provided by Sola Entertainment. Kensuke Ishikawa (Tower of God) serves as chief animation director, with scripts by Kento Shimoyama (We Rent Tsukumogami and Bleach) and original character design by Udaka.
Shenmue is far from the only animated or anime-style video game series currently in the works. The Castlevania Netflix series has a season 4 on the way, and the scripts for Devil May Cry are said to be “finished” already. Dragon’s Dogma hit Netflix in 2020.