Shenmue the Animation Release Date Set for February - Comic Years
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Shenmue the Animation Release Date Set for February

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BY January 21, 2022

Just before the turn of the Millenium, a surprisingly poignant and impactful game released on the SEGA Dreamcast. Shenmue felt very ahead of its time upon its December 1999 release. Not many games focused so heavily on narrative, at least not in the way this game did. This break from the norm is likely why it didn’t take off like other SEGA franchises. That said, it did develop a cult following. The games still come up often in conversation as some of the best story-driven games of the 20th century. Ovearll, a great story works across multiple media. That’s why the reveal of a release date for Shenmue the Animation is going to excite both gaming and anime fans with a Crunchyroll subscription. Let’s talk about the anime a bit and preview what’s coming in February.

A Story of Revenge and Realizing Its Best to Let Some Things Go

shenmue the animation release date crunchyroll anime Image Credit: Crunchyroll & Adult Swim

Crunchyroll officially announced its anime collaboration with Adult Swim, Shenmue the Animation, is coming on February 5. The 13-episode series will follow the events of the first game. Here’s a spoiler-free overview of the story if you’re so curious.

The anime takes place in 1985 and Ryo Hazuki’s father is pretty damn strict. It’s a tough life being the heir to a Hazuki Style Jujitsu master. One day, however, a mysterious man named Lan Di murders his father and steals a mirror from him. His father protected this item for his entire life – but why? Ryo soon discovers that there’s a lot of moving pieces in this entangled web of crime and underground operations. Events take him to Hong Kong and expose him to a world he never knew existed.

Between familiar plot elements and the familial aspect of the story, Shenmue the Animation should definitely work as an anime just like the game does. Horizon Forbidden West is aiming to similarly execute its story of family and responsibility well. I think it’s a theme deeply integrated into our psyche as people. Across multiple games, the Shenmue franchise delivers an excellent story. An anime makes sense to me as a long-time fan, and it’ll be here soon.

Watch Shenmue the Animation on Its Release Date of February 5 on Crunchyroll

shenmue the animation release date crunchyroll anime Image Credit: Crunchyroll & Adult Swim

Shenmue the Animation has a release date set for February 5 on Crunchyroll, the top streaming platform in anime. This show is a collaboration with Adult Swim – a partnership that is working out incredibly well. The Blade Runner Black Lotus was another collaboration between the two entertainment companies. I think given the usual audience of Adult Swim programming, Shenmue is likely getting its deserved treatment here.

If you’re a fan of video games, then it’s not a given that you love anime. That said, both media have similar ways of resonating with their fans. A great story, at the end of the day, can really take a good game or anime and make it great. Sure, how it looks matters too. Overall, we’re storytelling creatures and a great narrative goes a long way. Let’s hope the intrigue of Shenmue as a video game works well as an anime as well. I have a feeling it will.

If you are looking forward to the new series, then let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading Comic Years for all things anime, comics, and pop culture.

Featured Image Credit: Crunchyroll & Adult Swim

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Taylor is the Gaming Editor of Comic Years and a lifelong fan of video games. He holds two degrees in Political Communication and wrote a Master's Thesis on resistance movements, race, and the exploitation of college athletes. His wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards keep him sane.


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