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VCRX: Shenmue Anime Announced, Onyx Equinox and More

The latest convention to take its 2020 edition online was anime streaming site Crunchyroll's Crunchyroll Expo (CRX), which took place September 4-6. The WarnerMedia owned brand's event has been a relatively recent addition to the convention calendar, the first event only taking place in 2017. This year's Virtual Crunchyroll Expo (V-CRX) featured a number of streamed panels from the company and guests that could be viewed by fans around the world. Several new announcements came out of the expo.

Crunchyroll has been involved in coproductions for years now, but has really stepped up their game with the launching of the Crunchyroll Originals slate. At the Expo it was revealed that they are collaborating with fellow WarnerMedia company Adult Swim to produce an adaptation of the classic SEGA video game series Shenmue. Animation production is being handled by Telecom Animation Film and the 13-episode series will be directed by Chikara Sakurai (One Punch Man Season 2). Original creator Yu Suzuki will be on board as Executive Producer.

Shenmue was originally released for the SEGA Dreamcast in 1999, with a sequel following in 2001. Shenmue III was released in 2019 for PlayStation 4 and PC, after a successful KickStarter campaign.

This will be the third collaboration between Crunchyroll and Adult Swim following the previously announced Blade Runner Black Lotus and Fena: Pirate Princess.

Crunchyroll also announced new details for their upcoming Original series Onyx Equinox. The series is created by Mexican animation artist Sofia Alexander (Storyboard artist on Infinity Train and writer on the new Powerpuff Girls) who will also provide the voices of Nelli, K'I'K and Meque. The voice cast also includes Olivia Brown as the protagonist Izel, Kimberly Woods as Xanastaku, Alejandro Vargas-Lugo as Yaotl,  Carolina Ravassa as Zyanya and Patrick Pedrazza as Yun.  The series will launch starting Saturday, November 21.  A new trailer has also been released.

Onyx Equinox follows a young Aztec boy named Izel who is saved from death by the gods and is chosen to act as ‘humanity’s champion,’ forced to discard his apathy toward his fellow man and prove humanity’s potential on a journey that will take him across ancient Mesoamerica.

At V-CRX Crunchyroll announced a new partnership with US anime distributor Sentai Filmworks. Sentai will be the newest company to take over distribution of Crunchyroll titles on home video (Crunchy previously had deals with Funimation and Viz).  Sentai will release a selection of the streamers shows on Blu-Ray and in some cases as Premium Box-Sets. The first four titles announced are Food Wars: The Fourth Plate,  Ascendance of A Bookwork, Granbelm and World Trigger.

Independent animation distributor GKIDS Films held a panel at which they announced that an English dub was being produced for the Masaaki Yuasa film The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl.  The film was previously released theatrically and on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital by GKIDS as a subtitled only title. The new dubbed version will stream on Crunchyroll in Early 2021, with more details to be released later.

Crunchyroll is planning for Crunchyroll Expo 2021 to return as an in-person event at San Jose McEnery Convention Center for August 6-8 2021.