It’s been a busy weekend for the global anime brand Crunchyroll who spent the past two days rolling out a roster of new announcements and partnerships as part of its Virtual Crunchyroll Expo, including the renewal of its partnership with Adult Swim for the production of the original anime series Shenmue, based on the SEGA video game franchise.
The year’s expo was the first time Crunchyroll had brought the annual offering to the digital space, taking the opportunity to detail a slate of new partnerships, that also included a new deal with Loot Crate, a home video partnership with Sentai Filmworks, and news of the return of Dr Stone to Crunchyroll.
Leading the announcements, the anime brand will once again partner with Adult Swim for the production of Shenmue. The new anime series will stream worldwide outside of Japan and mainland China on Crunchyroll and will air on Adult Swim’s Toonami in the US.
“The first Shenmue video game was released more than 20 years ago and we’re so excited to be working again with Adult Swim to bring this franchise to life through anime,” said Sarah Victor, head of development, Crunchyroll. “We’re eager to show our fans more of this action-packed adventure series as we move through production.”
Shenmue is an anime series with 13 episodes, following the journey of Ryo Hazuki. After he witnesses his father’s murder at the family dojo, Ryo dedicates his life to finding the man responsible – a mission that takes him from the streets of Yokosuka, Japan to the sprawling metropolis of Hong Kong, and beyond. Soon he’ll learn that larger, mystical forces are at play as he trains to become the ultimate martial artist in his quest for revenge.
“The world of Shenmue is fascinating and unique, and we are so excited to partner with Yu Suzuki to bring his epic creation to anime- and make a kick-ass martial arts epic,” said Jason DeMarco, svp/creative director on-air for Adult Swim.
Shenmue, a Crunchyroll and Adult Swim Production, is being directed by Sakurai Chikara (season two of One Punch Man, Naruto) with animation production by Telecom Animation Film, and production management provided by Sola Entertainment.
Video game creator Yu Suzuki is also onboard as an executive producer.
Meanwhile, Crunchyroll and Loot Crate revealed more details behind the partnership to bring fans more from their favourite anime series. Crunchyroll is curating two different crates with Loot Crate: the Crunchyroll Crate and the Limited Edition Mobile Suit Gundam Life Crate.
The monthly Crunchyroll crate will include items from a lineup of anime titles, including the upcoming Crunchyroll Original series Noblesse, alongside fan-favorites Mob Psycho 100, Welcome to Demon School Iruma-Kun, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, alongside the brand’s beloved mascot Crunchyroll-Hime.
Also detailed was Crunchyroll’s new home video and electronic sell-through partnership with Sentai Filmworks. The global supplier and distributor will handle four titles to kick off the partnership, including Food Wars! The Fourth Plate, Ascendance of a Bookworm, Granbelm, and World Trigger. These series will appear as a mix of subtitled and English-dubbed content.
“We are delighted to expand Crunchyroll’s partnership with Sentai, and look forward to working closely with them to bring even more anime to fans in the US and Canada,” said Alden Budill, head of global partnerships and content strategy, Crunchyroll.
“Since at least 2011, Sentai and Crunchyroll have collaborated to bring exciting content to anime fans in new and innovative ways,” added John Ledford, Sentai CEO. “Through this latest content partnership, Sentai is thrilled to empower fans to own their favorite Crunchyroll shows on select Blu-rays and our award-winning Premium Box Sets.”
Crunchyroll has a global community of more than 3 million subscribers and 70 million registered users that enjoy the world’s largest collection of anime, including more 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes.