‘Shenmue the Animation’: Release Date, Trailer, Cast, and Everything Else We Know About the Anime

A number of exciting anime series are planned for winter 2022, Shenmue the Animation among them. Based on the popular video game series, Shenmue‘s anime adaptation will give fans of the franchise the chance to experience its characters and story in a new medium. What can we expect from Shenmue the Animation, and when does it come out?

What is ‘Shenmue the Animation’ about?

Key art for 'Shenmue the Animation.' It shows the logo for the anime, as well as some of its main characters.
Key art for ‘Shenmue the Animation’ | Sega/Shenmue Project/Elation, LLC/Cartoon Network

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Shenmue the Animation brings the story from 1999’s SEGA game, Shenmue, to life. A Crunchyroll and Adult Swim original, the series promises to build on the world, storylines, and characters introduced in the cult classic and its sequels.

Set in Yokosuka in 1986, it will follow Ryo Hazuki, a martial arts student determined to avenge his father’s death. According to the official synopsis for the series, his quest for revenge will find him wrapped up in feuds between a number of gangs:

“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!”

Blending action and mystery, Shenmue the Animation is one of those adaptations that promises to enhance the source material further. And the trailer already has fans excited about what’s to come.

The ‘Shenmue’ trailer has fans pumped for the anime adaptation

Crunchyroll and Adult Swim released the trailer for Shenmue the Animation in January 2022, and it has fans of the franchise pumped for the anime adaptation.

The first look introduces Ryo right before shifting its focus to his father’s death. Emotions are high as Ryo realizes he may not know his father as well as he believed. And his journey to find answers looks suspenseful and action-packed.

The YouTube comments beneath the trailer are full of fans hoping the series gets a solid run. The enthusiasm is palpable after just one look at the show. Hopefully, it lives up to longtime fans’ expectations.

Who’s in the voice cast of Crunchyroll and Adult Swim’s new anime?

An anime is nothing without its voice cast, and Shenmue the Animation boasts a number of impressive talents in its lineup. Crunchyroll and Adult Swim haven’t released the full casting details for the show just yet. However, an email from Crunchyroll revealed some familiar names would appear in the credits:

  • Ryo Hazuki voiced by Masaya Matsukaze (Japanese) and Austin Tindle (English)
  • Lan Di voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese) and Scott Gibbs (English)
  • Shenhua voiced by Natalie Rial (English)
  • Nozomi Harasaki voiced by Cat Thomas (English)
  • Guizhang Chen voiced by Jeremy Gee (English)
  • Chai – voiced by Greg Ayres (English)
  • Wong voiced by Bryson Baugus (English)
  • Joy voiced by Luci Christian (English)
  • Xiuying Hong voiced by Christine Auten (English)
  • Ren voiced by Cody House (English)
  • Dou Niu voiced by Joe Daniels (English)

Many of the voice actors on this list will be familiar to anime lovers. It’s especially comforting to know Ryo and Lan Di will be portrayed by seasoned stars in both the English and Japanese versions of the series. Austin Tindle is known for roles in Attack on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul, and Scott Gibbs has held prominent parts in Food Wars! and Haikyuu!

Meanwhile, Japanese voice actor Masaya Matsukaze has worked on Attack on Titan, One Punch Man, and even the Shenmue III video game. Takahiro Sakurai has an equally impressive resume, including Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen.

According to Crunchyroll, more talent will be announced later on.

What is the release date for ‘Shenmue the Animation’?

So, when are Crunchyroll and Adult Swim bringing the Shenmue anime to the small screen? The companies recently announced a winter 2022 release date for the series. The anime debuts on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 9:30 p.m. PST.

The English dubbed and Japanese subtitled versions of the show will premiere on the same date. The former will air on Toonami in North America, while the latter streams on Crunchyroll worldwide (outside of Japan and China).

The anime will be comprised of 13 episodes in total, and there’s no word on whether it could receive a season 2. Either way, its release seems like a great way to celebrate more than 20 years of the video game series. Hopefully, it proves just as compelling.

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