The first trailer for the Shenmue anime has been released.
The animated series is a collaboration between Adult Swim and Crunchyroll, and will premiere on both on February 5.
The trailer suggests the anime is likely to stick to the plot of the game, and also shows some of the more well-known elements of Shenmue, including Ryo driving a forklift and playing an arcade machine. You can watch it here:
The series will consist of 13 episodes, but it’s not yet clear whether it will cover the events of just the first game, its sequels or even beyond that.
A plot synopsis for the series, released by Adult Swim, reads as follows:
“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. Travelling from Yokosuka to Hong Kong, Ryo’s long journey begins.”
Ryo’s voice in the Japanese dub of the series will be provided by Masaya Matsukaze, who voiced Ryo in all three Shenmue games in Japan.
In the English dub he’ll be voiced by Austin Tindle, who’s best known for voicing Ken Kaneki in the Tokyo Ghoul series.
However, the game seemingly failed to find a significant audience beyond its 70,000 Kickstarter backers. Shenmue 3 debuted at No. 17 on the UK chart and sold just 18,000 copies during its launch week in Japan. In the UK, Shenmue 3 sold a little more than half of the previous year’s Shenmue 1 and 2 remasters at launch.
Shenmue 3’s publisher Deep Silver subsequently called it “a core niche” game and not a “a mass-market product.”