Adult Swim has finally dropped the first official trailer for its Shenmue anime, a co-production with Crunchyroll. According to a release, Shenmue the Animation will premiere on both Crunchyroll and Adult Swim on February 5 at 9:30 PM PT.
An official synopsis for the series–which will be immediately familiar to fans of the cult-hit game trilogy–describes Shenmue the Animation as follows: “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 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 boy and heir to the Hazuki style martial arts. When his father is murdered by a mysterious man named Lan Di, Ryo begins a journey to polish 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 organization Chi You Men 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 foster father. Pure and simple, she has vast knowledge of plants, animals, and other natural survival skills.
- Nozomi Harasaki voiced by Cat Thomas (English): Ryo’s classmate who has secretly admired him ever since he saved her from bullies in middle school. Strong and considerate, she usually spends her time helping 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 a young 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 do superhuman-like moves. After Lan Di has taken the Dragon mirror, he begins looking for the second mirror.
- Wong voiced by Bryson Baugus (English): A member of Heavens. He looks up to Ren like a brother and aspires to be like him.
- Joy voiced by Luci Christian (English): Joy is a young woman who loves motorcycles. Her father runs a trade business and is highly trusted by many. Like Ryo, Joy has 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 always calm, but her clear eyes look like she can see through people’s hearts and intentions.
- Ren voiced by Cody House (English): The charismatic head of Heavens, a street gang that operates in Beverly Hills Wharf. He is obsessed with money and does not trust anyone other than his friends. Ren is rivals with 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 trust from Lan Di, he also begins looking for Yuanda Zhu. Dou Niu has a large bear-like body, which puts Ryo and his friends in a difficult situation when fighting him.
The series was first announced back 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 from Kento Shimoyama (We Rent Tsukumogami and Bleach) and original character design from Udaka.
Shenmue is far from the only video game anime or anime-style series currently in the works. The Castlevania Netflix series has Season 4 on the way, and Devil May Cry’s scripts are reportedly already “done.” Dragon’s Dogma hit Netflix back in 2020.