In an unexpected turn of events, Adult Swim and Crunchyroll announced today that the two companies will be teaming up with Sega to produce Shenmue -The Animation-. Based on the Dreamcast title of the same name, this new series will consist of 13 episodes with production being held by Telecom Animation Film (known for Lupin the Third: Part 5 and Tower of God). Chikara Sakurai (One-Punch Man Season 2) will be taking the director’s chair and original game creator/designer Yu Suzuki will serve as an executive producer.
Sarah Victor, head of development for Crunchyroll, said in a statement, “The first Shenmue video game was released more than twenty years ago and we’re so excited to be working again with Adult Swim to bring this franchise to life through anime. We’re eager to show our fans more of this action-packed adventure series as we move through production.”
Jason DeMarco, senior vice president and creative director of on-air at Adult Swim, added, “The world of Shenmue is fascinating and unique, and we are so excited to partner with Yu Suzuki to bring his epic creation to anime- and make a kick-ass martial arts epic!”
Apart from those comments and the announcement, we only have a teaser poster to go off of. I’d imagine with such a limited episode count, this first series will be covering the entirety of the original Shenmue and neither of its sequels. I don’t see how you could cram 60+ hours of a game series into such a short runtime, especially since the episodes will likely be 22 minutes each.
Shenmue -The Animation- will be the third collaborative effort between Adult Swim and Crunchyroll. Previously, the two companies worked on Bladerunner – Black Lotus and will be launching Fena: Pirate Princess next year. Shenmue will likely come sometime after Fena’s premiere.