It’s a bad day for Shenmue fans and anime lovers: the show has been cancelled. Despite having good viewership numbers and even its own producer expecting a season 2, the anime likely heads to the graveyard. Many suspect these removals are due to Warner Bros. Discovery cuts, which is affecting a large portion of shows.
Shenmue anime cancelled
With the cancellation of the anime, they pulled the first season from streaming services as well. Many suspect these actions are due to the Warner Bros. Discovery cuts. With Warner Bros. and HBO merging, a lot of shows were caught in the crossfire, including Shenmue the Animation as its latest victim.
Warner Discovery SVP of Animation and Anime and producer of the Shenmue anime Jason DeMarco expressed his disappointment amidst the anime cancellation:
“It’s looking like no [season 2] of Shenmue, even though sadly- it did well enough that we were gearing up for S2. Maybe one day…”
The Warner Bros. Discovery cuts affect more than just Shenmue. Other anime were removed from the Adult Swim website, including Blade Runner: Black Lotus, Fena: Pirate Princess, Lazor Wulf, and Tigton. The unreleased Batgirl, which reportedly finished filming, will never see the light of day. DeMarco commented more on the removals on Twitter.
Will the English dub appear on Crunchyroll?
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely. In response to a fan asking that same question, DeMaco said “I don’t think they’re interested in that. And not sure if it would even be allowed.” Though Shenmue’s English dub leaves streaming services, the Japanese version remains available on Crunchyroll.
Some fans had clever things to say on Reddit about having the Shenmue anime cancelled. One user commented “Unintentionally accurate adaptation of the games.” If you aren’t particularly familiar with Shenmue, the series never received a 4th game despite having no ending.
Will Shenmue ever wrap up? Probably not, and the anime can’t wrap it up for us now either.