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Adult Swim and Crunchyroll's 'Shenmue The Animation' Airs This Februray

Some time ago, anime streaming site Crunchyroll and US TV network Adult Swim announced they were collaborating on three original anime series with Japanese studios. The first two Fena Pirate Princess and Blade Runner Black Lotus began airing and streaming in 2021. The third, Shenmue The Animation, adaptation of the cult Sega game now has a release date, as Crunchyroll and Adult Swim have announced character details and casting for the series.

The animation production comes from Telecom Animation Film and Sola Digital Arts. This is in all likelihood going to be the final co-production between Crunchyroll and Adult Swim, as although at the time the series was announced both companies were under the WarnerMedia umbrella, Warner has since sold the anime streamer to Sony's Funimation.

The Shenmue series started life on the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast in 1999, but the game survived a lot longer than the console that hosted it. Eventually, a trilogy of games was released, most recently with the partially crowdfunded Shenmue III released on PlayStation 4 and Windows PCs in 2019.

The game's original creator Yu Suzuki is credited with the original concept, and Kento Shimoyama writing the screenplay. Kensuke Ishikawa is Chief Animation Director, while One Punch Man season 2' s Chikara Sakurai directs. The series will run for 13 episodes.

As with the previous Crunchyroll/Adult Swim coproductions, the dubbed version will air on Adult Swim on the Toonami block in North America, at 9.30 PM PST while Crunchyroll will stream the subtitled version worldwide (excluding Japan and China). The series will air weekly from February 5. Based on past evidence, we would also expect the dubbed version to air in the UK on the Adult Swim block on E4 and stream on All4, although this may be some time after the US airing.


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!


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 grandmaster 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.