Created by Rémy “Trent” Louisin, Shenmue Master caters to French-speaking Shenmue fans. Originally to be named “Shenmue Angel” after its hosting provider, the site was launched as “Shenmue Master” on November 30th, 2001, coinciding with the release of Shenmue II in France.
With being one of the oldest Shenmue fan sites on the net, the work involved in creating such a wealth of information has been daunting. But with the help of good friends such as David “Shendream” Villeroy, Kenji Seang, and Arnaud “Shenman” Vergne, Shenmue Master offers in depth articles, analysis, interviews and the latest news within the Shenmue series.
The current form of the Facebook fan group, Shenmue 500K, came to be under the management of Aaron Barstow in 2011. Up to this point, the most widely used way of Shenmue fans to communicate was via message boards and forums, but now was the time to branch out to a new & exciting Internet tool: social media. Following on from Nick Wisniewski’s 2007 MySpace Campaign, Shenmue 500K uses Facebook as a gathering spot for Shenmue fans in the modern day era, offering articles and links to any and all Shenmue related content.
The instant connectivity of the Facebook platform offers Shenmue fans complete ease of access, including posting images and videos of Shenmue related content. From trips to real life Shenmue locations in Japan, to original fan creations, Shenmue 500K allows Shenmue fans across the world a place where they can all gather via the world’s biggest social networking site. With huge names such as Shenmue voice actors Corey Marshall, Lisle Wilkerson and Eric Kelso joining various other high profile figures within the gaming industry as members there, fans have never found it easier to interact with each other!
The vision of James Hamill could arguably be the biggest input a fan has had on the Shenmue series. In January 2012, he created Team Yu, with the aim of educating gamers on the distinction between Sega’s unwillingness to publish Shenmue III, and Suzuki’s own desire to continue the series for its fans. Preparation and planning was put into a launch of a new campaign, the Shenmue Tweetathon, held on the 3rd of each month, inviting fans to converge on Twitter for a day’s activity around the hashtag #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense, later changed to #SaveShenmue.
Not content with the successful announcement of a Kickstarter campaign in June 2015, Team Yu turned their attention to campaigning for HD remasters of the first two games, keeping the Shenmue Tweetathon going with the hashtag #SaveShenmueHD. With Shenmue 1 & 2 HD announced in April 2018, Team Yu still continue to support their monthly Tweetathons, encouraging fans to simply tweet #Shenmue on the 3rd, and keep the passionate spirit alive.
Their website offers various news articles and interviews, as well as one of the most extensive Shenmue timelines you will ever see on the net! (So good, we just had to use some of the content! With permission of course.)
When German Shenmue fan Philipp Scharlemann discovered that the domain shenmue.de was available, he jumped on the opportunity to claim it, and build a dedicated German blog site to the series. The key to harnessing a fanbase in a specific non-English speaking country is to literally, talk the talk, and Philipp felt that there was more than enough interest for a German language blog.
Since 2013, Philipp has authored blogs across every aspect of the series, from Shenmue 1, 2 and 3, Dreamcast themed blogs, constant news updates and Sega related content.
Canadian documentary film maker, Adam Sipione, first introduced his Shenmue Documentary, “A Gamer’s Journey – The Definitive History of Shenmue” on Facebook in December 2014. Immediately after that, photographs of his journey began to arrive. From interviewing lots of Shenmue fans, as well as numerous cast and crew from the Shenmue games, “A Gamer’s Journey – The Definitive History of Shenmue” does exactly what it says in the title; offer a definitive history and journey of the story of Shenmue. From its creation, development, journey and effect, the documentary went from strength to strength, teaming up with professional production studio, “Faux Pop”, and interviewing cast members such as Corey Marshall, Lisle Wilkerson, Eric Kelso, and Michael Naishtut.
In 2016, Adam had his first taste of Japan, attending the Japan Kickstarter Dinner for Shenmue 3, meeting Yu Suzuki and attending the YSNET development studios, shooting some small clips and scouting for a future trip. After efforts to partner with Sega, Adam has turned to Kickstarter to fund the remainder of the documentary. A release date is still TBD.
Shenmue Forever began on Twitter in November of 2015, to help promote the Shenmue Series. The power of the hashtag was already being demonstrated, and Shenmue Forever helped spread the word even further than before, doubling down on the #SaveShenmueHD campaign, with tweets and retweets galore.
Not only via Shenmue Forevers daily posts, each like and retweet of fans love and dedication to the series on the Twitter platform kept the promotion rolling. Whether sharing the content of fans who are artists, writers or just gamers whose lives have been forever changed by Yu Suzuki masterpieces, Shenmue Forever tries every day to share and promote the magic that lies beneath the surface of what people who never played Shenmue call a video game. The account’s positivity and photoshop work combine in equal measure, to keep the Shenmue love going, and will no doubt keep on going as future games arrive.
August 2016 saw long term community member and translator, “Switch”, launch his own blog entitled, “Phantom River Stone”. With living in Japan and also speaking the language with fluent proficiency, Switch was no better placed to dive deep into the world of Shenmue, exploring every aspect of the games conceivably possible! When we say deep, we mean DEEP! Starting off with general analysis, Switch quickly moved to providing translations for interviews with Yu Suzuki, and other Japanese media outlets.
His expertise became invaluable as more and more information came out about Shenmue 3, from Kickstarter updates to community interviews at major gaming events across the globe. Alongside his excellent translations, Switch and Phantom River Stone has went from strength to strength, including Japanese culture into his blogs, covering all sorts of direct and indirect Shenmue topics such as; Japanese culture and phrases, Shenmue Muecas insights, various takes on anyone and everyone involved with Shenmue down the years, and insights into the Shenmue games themselves. In December 2017, the site was hosted on Patreon, offering exclusive content for donors.
The Shenmue AM2 Podcast isn’t just named after the studio behind the original Shenmue games, But Andrew Leston and Matt Humpherys’ first initials come together to nicely describe their podcasts; A….M…x2 of them! Their first podcast hit Youtube in November of 2016, and they continue to host podcasts dedicated to discussing all things Shenmue. With a casual, laid back vibe, the two bounce off each other well and have continued to grow steadily with each episode.
Andrew and Matt have been joined by numerous guest members, including Corey Marshall as well as Eric Kelso. You can check out their latest content on their Youtube channel, as well as iTunes.
Despite having a 10+ year Youtube channel, hosting Shenmue related content for the past four, Bluemue launched his own Shenmue Blog in August 2017. Like a few other sites within the community, Bluemue’s original blog style and topics separate his blog from the rest, fixating on things that are set within the Shenmue world that you may not have seen, despite all these years of playing and replaying the games. Inanimate objects you will just never have spotted before, from Virtua Racing models and Sega MK2 consoles just… lying around within the Shenmue games!
He also has blogs on various aspects of the games, and how they relate to Japanese life and culture, offering insight as to what those strange objects in the games world actually are. Of course, we would be remiss if we didnt reference his youtube channel also, which you can easily find your way to from his blog site. Bluemue’s Youtube channel offers some of the most insane Shenmue videos on Youtube you will see, from model swapping, glitching, hidden/alternative cut scenes and more. Every scenario possibility that Yu Suzuki has thought of in the Shenmue games, Bluemue has attempted to discover, with some insanely interesting finds!
Launched by Riccardo Favara in 2018, Shenmue Italia seeks to bring news and content to the community’s Italian-speaking members, including opinion articles and links to other fan sites.
With Shenmue III’s Kickstarter quickly unlocking a stretch goal for Italian subtitles, Shenmue Italia represents an important resource for a new audience with greater access to the series than ever before!
Shenmue Guide has been delivering news and updates to Japanese-speaking fans since 2016, and helping them participate in activities and initiatives alongside the international community.
Due to its location and mother tongue, Shenmue Guide has also proven an excellent resource for Western fan sites to learn of otherwise unseen information from Shenmue’s homeland, allowing this to be disseminated in other languages to fans around the world.
Stuart Peacock, known to Shenmue Dojo members as “Miles Prower,” shares his personal thoughts and analysis of the series in his Shenmusings blog, founded in 2018.
Here you will discover aspects of the game and its history unfamiliar to most fans, through the perspective of a longtime contributer to the community.