Shenmue Is Getting Turned Into Anime Series, Original Creator Attached

Hand-to-hand combat and plenty of forklift action are coming to Crunchyroll. The cult-favorite Shenmue game series is getting turned into an anime series with original creator Yu Suzuki serving as executive producer.

Announced during the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo on September 5, the Shenmue anime series is a collaboration with Adult Swim and will be directed by One-Punch Man’s Chikara Sakurai. The 13-episode series doesn’t have a release date yet, but Shenmue fans are used to waiting a long time.

After the original two games released on Dreamcast, it took another 18 years to get Shenmue 3. That likely only happened because of a Kickstarter campaign that still stands as the biggest ever for a video game, attracting more than $6 million in donations. The game took nearly two years longer to develop than was initially planned and didn’t perform particularly well outside of its Kickstarter campaign sales.

Shenmue 3 released to somewhat lukewarm reviews back in 2019, with its gameplay and visual style largely unchanged from its predecessors. That certainly appealed to longtime fans, but it also made the game feel oddly dated on modern platforms. In GameSpot’s Shenmue 3 review, critic Heidi Kemps praised the supporting cast’s personalities and the game’s side activities but found the combat to be “archaic” and the story poorly paced.

Shenmue is far from the only video game anime or anime-style series currently in the works. The Castlevania Netflix series finished its third season this year, and adaptations of Dragon’s Dogma and Devil May Cry are also in development.

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