Monday, February 7, 2022

Shenmue The Animation: Episode One Releases & Opening Theme

At the time this post is being written, the first episode of Series One of Shenmue The Animation, called Thunderclap, has now been released worldwide - outside of Japan - on CrunchyRoll, which has the Japanese voicing with English subs, and on AdultSwim in the US with the English dub.

The opening theme sequence is impressive, with a dynamic flurry of characters and images set to the catchy beat of the official Opening Theme by Kashitaro Ito, which is named "UNDEAD-NOID" - we are curious about the meaning behind this name! This was in fact played at the end of Episode One, but will presumably play at the start of each episode going forward, together with the (yet-to-be-heard) official Ending Theme called Sympathy.

From our point of view, the Japanese-voiced first episode did not disappoint! All the key story beats were covered, while much of the slower-paced exploration scenes were condensed or skipped to keep the story flowing smoothly, and this worked well for an anime. Noticeably, Ryo's human side was allowed to show through more than in the game, including some nice additional interaction with his father. 

For a deep-dive review of the first episode, check out Stuart's great post on Shenmusings.

Shenmue Forever has also produced this summary of the overwhelmingly positive reactions in a poll on Twitter. A great deal of positive feedback has been reported from the wider anime community.

Episode Two, which is called Daybreak, will follow within the week:

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