Shenmue: The Animation, Adult Swim’s co-production Shenmue anime with Crunchyroll, has been canceled. Season 2 was reportedly already in the works before the cancellation, and the news was shared Wednesday via Twitter by Jason DeMarco, the senior vice president of action and anime programming for Warner Discovery.
The anime adapting the cult classic Sega game was first announced back in September 2020, and then aired in February this year. Season 1 has already been removed from Adult Swim and other streaming sites but as of this writing will continue to be available on Crunchyroll. It’s being speculated that the show unceremoniously got the ax as part of a wider purge by Warner Discovery of its properties following its merger earlier this year. You can read DeMarco’s tweet below.
Sorry guys. This happened. You can still watch all of the anime on Crunchyroll and it will still be available as digital downloads. And yes, it’s looking like no S2 of Shenmue, even though sadly- it did well enough that we were gearing up for S2. Maybe one day… https://t.co/WpM3O6NcSC
— SPIRAL CURSE DEMARCO (@Clarknova1) September 28, 2022
Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki, who has managed to keep the series going thanks to a passionate fan base despite prolonged waits between releases, said earlier this year that he doesn’t have any concrete plans for a fourth game. However, he still wants to create a Shenmue 4 that will be approachable and welcoming to players who are new to the franchise. It is possible that the game could tell a story completely detached from the events of the previous games, but Shenmue 3 itself ends on a cliffhanger.
In GameSpot’s Shenmue 3 review, Heidi Kemps wrote, “The creative team seems determined to not move anything forward substantially when it comes to Shenmue–including the story, which ends on yet another unfinished cliffhanger. Shenmue III is certainly an interesting game thrown out of time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always enjoyable to play.”
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