The Shenmue anime is set to hit Adult Swim and Crunchyroll on February

Shenmue the Animation is based on the Sega video game franchise of the same name and will adapt the events of the video games.


Shenmue is one of Sega's biggest and most popular video game franchises. Now, the series creator, Yu Suzuki, will see all his hard work bear fruit with Shenmue: The Animation set to hit Adult Swim and Crunchyroll next month.

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Sega first released Shenmue back in 1999, with the sequel coming in 2001. Many considered the narrative-driven action-adventure game as ahead of its time. The first Shenmue, in particular, was one of the few games to use open-world environments at the time, as well as quick-time events and brawler battles. Unfortunately, all of these pioneering mechanics came at a significant cost. Coupled with the low sales figures of the first two games, the future of Shenmue was quite bleak.

There's no doubt that fans will flock the anime adaptation of Shenmue. The only question is if there's enough interest to get more made.

Despite Shenmue's commercial failure, the pair of games attracted a cult following. To date, many gamers still consider Shenmue as one of the best video games of all time. Eventually, Shenmue's subsequent releases on Windows PCs as well as the PS4 and Xbox One paved the way for the third game with 2019's Shenmue III.

Unfortunately, Shenmue III felt too much like the original games but without the modern niceties. Thankfully, the series remains popular enough to warrant an anime adaptation. Fans are now about to see if Yu's best shot at telling Shenmue's story is through another medium.

The Shenmue anime will hit Crunchyroll and Adult Swim on February 5 and will run for 13 episodes. However, as Suzuki hinted before, the success of the animated series could open the path to future seasons and original stories.

Adult Swim will distribute the English dubbed version of Shenmue with Crunchyroll handling the subbed version of the show. Unlike the English preview linked above, the Japanese trailer pays much more homage to the source material. Of course, it should already go without saying, but there should be no difference between the two versions once they're on the air.

With only a few weeks to go before Shenmue's premiere, fans better start praying that this takes off. There's a better chance of future seasons of the anime getting made than Sega greenlighting a fourth Shenmue game.

In other video game adaptation news, Netflix just confirmed that The Cuphead Show! will start streaming on February 18. Meanwhile, speaking of Sega, the first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was finally released at TGA 2021.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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