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Shenmue Dojo Blog

Join us as we discuss our thoughts, theories, feelings and ideas across the entire Shenmue spectrum in Blog form!
Welcome to my blog post where i will share my opinion about a wonderful theory. This blog will have SPOILERS of the games and the anime. Ren Wuying is one of the most popular characters in the Shenmue series. Ren is an important character in the story. There is a theory that Ren will die sacrificing himself to protect Ryo, in this blog i will share my thoughts and ideas about this theory. Ren first appeared in the story in the game Shenmue II. In the game we see that Ren cares a lot about money/treasures, it is the thing that Ren cares the most, during the game Ren help Ryo and we can see that deep down Ren cares about Ryo in some way, but after Kowloon Ryo go alone to Guilin. In Shenmue III Ryo see Ren again in Niaowu, Ren helped Ryo again, and in some scenes we can see that deep down Ren cares about Ryo, especially in the ending when Ryo was losing against Lan Di and Ren tries to save Ryo, but Lan Di kick Ren and Ren fall on the ground, in the other moment of this fight Ren say for Lan Di that he will give the Phoenix Mirror if he let Ryo go, it was a fake Phoenix Mirror, when Lan Di let Ryo go Ren throw the Fake mirror to outside of the Fortified Castle, this way saving Ryo again in the battle. The castle was on fire but Ryo still wanted to fight Lan Di, but Ren was there and he pushes Ryo so Ryo can go out of the castle. Ren made Ryo give up about continue this fight, in other words, Ren saved Ryo again in this fight. Ren saved Ryo 3 times in this fight, and especially in this fight we can see how much this friendship is important for Ryo to not go to the wrong path in extreme situations, Ren is an emotional support in these moments, for Ryo to gain his sanity back in this moments, and all of this was possible with Ren protecting and helping Ryo in these extreme situations. If Shenmue IV happen we will probably see Ryo, Ren and Shenhua travelling together, we will probably see these characters getting even more closer to each other. In the anime Ren shows even more how much he cares about Ryo, Ryo made an impact in Ren's life, Ren decides to follow Ryo. In the rooftop part Dou Niu was about to hit Ryo but Ren was there and saved Ryo, Ryo was losing his sanity because he wanted revenge against Lan Di, but Ren managed to calm Ryo and Ryo even thanked Ren because of this, again Ren being an emotional support for Ryo in these extreme situations. Like i said Ren helped Ryo to gain his sanity back in this moments, and all of this was possible with Ren protecting and helping Ryo in these extreme situations. Can you all imagine if Ren was not there in these situations in the games and in the anime? probably something bad would have happened to Ryo, but Ren was there to save Ryo in all these situations and this is really beautiful, and this shows that deep down Ren cares about Ryo. In the anime It is interesting that Ren said a lot of times the phrase Junnen Hayai da yo, Akira phrase when he wins a fight in VF, probably in the Legend of Akira scripts/novels Ren say this phrase a lot, probably is his catch phrase. I think in the scripts/novels Ren die and as a way of honoring and remembering his friend Ryo (Akira) decide to use Ren's bandana as his headband, and decide to say Junnen Hayai Da Yo a lot as well. As a way to honor his friend that died protecting him, and through pain and sadness i feel Ryo will finally understand the last words of his father... "Keep friends... those you love... close to you." Some people only learn lessons in life in the hard way, i can talk about myself as an example, i don't want to talk about my life in detail on the internet anymore, but for people here to understand the theory about Ren i will say one thing. I lost my mother, my mother is not here with me but i'm still learning lessons with my mother, about the things that my mother used to say to me, i learned some lessons in life in the hard way. i don't think is a bad idea to go this route with Ryo, for Ryo to lose Ren and after that finally learn the lesson to "keep friends... those you love... close to you." Ryo need to fully learn 2 important lessons 1. "Keep friends... those you love... close to you." Ryo only see the path of revenge in front of him, Ryo is not focusing on love and friendship, Ryo right now in the story only care about revenge, so probably at one point of the story Ryo will fully learn this lesson, maybe in the hard way with Ren's death, if Ren die it will probably have a big impact to the story and in Ryo's life so i like this theory. 2. "Martial arts are used to protect people's lives. If you use your fists otherwise, you will walk on the path of evil, too!" Same thing i said in the other lesson, Ryo right now only see the path of revenge in front of him, in the final moments Ryo will probably learn this lesson, Ryo will probably not go to the path of evil like Ziming went. Ziming is like a Ryo but a Ryo that went into the path of evil. Maybe in this chapter card is Ren's face in the up part of the card, and in the other part is Akira probably holding Ren after he died. If this happen it will probably be one of the most emotional moments of the entire Shenmue series. If Ren die it will probably have a character development for him before he die, probably Ren will realize that money/treasures are not the most important things in life, that the real treasures are friends. Ren will probably realize how much he cares about Ryo, and how much he see Ryo as his friend and then will sacrifice himself for Ryo, Ren will protect Ryo again but this time it will be the last time, Ren will not resist the injuries and will die, but before that he will admit for Ryo how much he cares about him, how much he view Ryo as a friend. One of the Shenmue themes is friendship so this is possible As a way to honor his friend that died protecting him Ryo will pick Ren's badana and use as his headband. I know that a lot of things changed since VF RPG days, but in my opinion when Yu Suzuki changed to Shenmue he did not changed the main journey of the main protagonist. This is the reason we see Ryo learning Bajiquan moves, Akira's fighting style is Bajiquan, this is the reason Ryo have similar things with Akira, this is the reason why it looks like Ryo is a younger version of Akira, because Yu Suzuki did not changed the main journey of the protagonist, the main journey of Ryo is the same story since VF RPG days, this is how i feel about this. All i know is that i like this idea, if Ren die it will probably have a big character development for him before he die, it will probably have a big development for Ryo, it will have a big impact in the story and in Ryo's life so i love this theory, it will be really emotional if this happen, if this happen it will be one of the most emotional moments of the entire Shenmue Series. And you? how do you feel about this theory? Ren will die sacrificing himself to protect Ryo? share your opinions in the comments below, thank you all for reading, and remember to keep friends... those you love... close to you, see you all in my next blog post, bye bye ~
Welcome to my last Shenmue anime Analysis of the first season of the Shenmue anime, this time for the season finale, EP13 Shenmue, this Analysis will have SPOILERS of the anime and the games. The episode begins again with Ryo, Ren and Joy climbing the stairs to get to the rooftop, the door open and Ryo see Lan Di, Lan Di is in the ladder of the helicopter. Ryo and Lan Di look at each other, Ryos eyes begin to turn red, in this moment Ryo remember when Lan Di killed Iwao Hazuki, his father. Ren and Joy arrived there and see that now Yuanda Zhu is with the 2 Chi You Men members, Ren see that and say what the hell, Joy say what is this. After that someone yell and we see that it is Wong. Dou Niu is threatening to throw Wong off the building just like in the game. Dou Niu say that this is far enough, that if Joy and Ren try something then he will throw Wong off the building. Dou Niu say that is sarting today he will work under the great Lan Di, Wong say to cut it out, for Dou Niu to get his hands off and to let him go. Wong try the way he can to escape but nothing work. Dou Niu continue... he say that this whole city will soon be groveling at his feet. The helicopter get more near to the rooftop and Ren say that the person must be Lan Di. Ryo is angry and touch the plaster, Lan Di gets off the helicopter to the rooftop, Ryo make the position to fight and we see Ryo's eyes more red than before, this in my opinion is to show how much Ryo is losing his mind and sanity, the red eyes is to show how much Ryo want revenge and this is a beautiful detail, loved it. Ryo yell Lan Di in a angry way, Matsukaze-san did a wonderful job with this, just with this yell i can feel the anger, sadness and pain Ryo is feeling in this moment, wonderful job. Ryo yell more and in a attack position Ryo start to run to Lan Di, Ryo try to punch him but Lan Di blocked the punch, he blocked the punch and say... "It's you... the Hazuki boy." After that Lan Di kick Ryo two times, in the same way that happen in their fight in Shenmue III, really interesting detail. Ryo and Lan Di look at each other again. Dou Niu ask if they don't care what happens to Wong and Lan Di make a gesture with the hand for Dou Niu to stop, Lan Di make the position to fight and say... "Come" for Ryo. Ryo try to attack but nothing worked, Ryo try to punch but Lan Di grab Ryo's arm and say... "You have improved, somewhat." It is interesting that this phrase is really similar to the one that Lan Di say in his fight against Ryo in Shenmue III, another detail of the Shenmue III fight that the anime team put in the anime. Ryo try to kick but didn'tworked, Ryo try a little bit more but with no success, then Lan Di do the same move he did against Ryo in the first episode, Ryo fall in the ground. Joy say "Ryo" and Ren run to help Ryo. Ren say for Ryo to no let Lan Di get him so wound up, Ryo and Ren look at Lan Di, Yuanda Zhu say enough and Lan Di's goons try to hold him, Yuanda Zhu say that there is nothing to be gained by bringing harm to these people, that he will tell for Lan Di what he want to know, but to first put Wong down. Dou Niu gets angry and say that Yuanda Zhu don't give the orders there, that he will not put Wong down, but Lan Di say very well, for Dou Diu to release Wong. Wong feel happy about that, Dou Niu gets angry and throw Wong to the ground in a strong way, Joy run to help Wong. Lan Di make a hand gesture for his goons to not hold Yuanda Zhu anymore, with his wheelchair Yuanda Zhu get closer to Lan Di and wee see a nice shot that all the characters are paying attention to this. Yuanda Zhu say... "It's in Bailu Village." Lan Di without questioning just grab the letter of the helicopter to leave the place, Ryo get up and say Lan Di in a angry way but Ren say for Ryo to quit it with this. Dou Niu is worried and say... B-b-but what about... my total domination over Hong Kong...?" Lan Di's goons say for Dou Niu to hurry and clean up this mess, that this is a valuable opportunity for Dou Niu to show to Master Lan Di that he can do something useful. Dou Niu gets angry and say that he will squash Ryo and his friends flat into the dirt, Joy say that this is not good and Wong is worried as well, Ren get near Yuanda Zhu to help him and say for them that they are making a break for it, and ask for Ryo if Ryo is hearing him, but Ryo can't stop looking at Lan Di, Ryo's focus is on Lan Di, Lan Di look at Ryo as well. Dou Niu start to run to attack Ryo but Ryo don't move because his focus is on Lan Di, Yuanda Zhu say to watch out, Ren pushes Yuanda Zhu's wheelchair and say for Yuanda Zhu to make himself scarce. Ren start to run to help Ryo, Dou Niu is about to punch Ryo but Ryo just don't care because his focus is on Lan Di, at the right time Ren manages to grab Ryo while Dou Niu punch Ryo in the back and Dou Niu start to laugh. Ryo and Ren are sent away, but Ryo again say "Lan Di" in angry way like the only thing that matters is his revenge. Ren gets angry and grab Ryo's tshirt, Ren say for Ryo to use his head, to snap out of it already, that his obsession with revenge is making him blind to everything happening right in frong of him. After that we see a short flashback of Xiuying saying for Ryo "Becoming blind..." Ren continues and say for Ryo... "Listen to me! You're not the only one whose ass is on the line now! Remember what you said? You can't stop until you reach your goal, dammit!" We see a short flashback of when Ryo say that he can't stop, the flashback ends and Ren say for Ryo to move, Ryo touch Ren shoulder and say... "Yeah... you're right, thanks" and we see that Ryo's eyes are not red anymore, meaning that Ryo is more calm now about the situation, i love this details in the anime. We see Wong, Yuanda Zhu and Joy looking at them. As far as i remember this scene with Ren trying to calm Ryo down don't have in the game, it is a itense scene and show that deep down Ren cares about Ryo, this is one of my favorites scenes of the episode, beautiful addition. Ryo make the position to fight and say for them to make a break for it, Joy say okay but Lan Di's goons are there and say not so fast, that noone of them are going anywhere. Ren go there and say to leave the suits to him, for Ryo to kock Dou Niu down a peg. Dou Niu gets angry and say that he is sick and tired of dealing with goddamn annoying brats. Ryo punch Dou Niu's head but it felt like it was nothing to Dou Niu, he even smile, Dou Niu grab Ryo's head, throws him on the floor and stepped on Ryo's head and say that Ryo can't beat him. Joy and Wong are worried about Ryo. Ryo say... "Father... what more must I do?" and a flashback begins where Ryo remember a lot of different moments of him with a lot of characters. First Ryo remember Iwao saying for him that it's still not enough, that he is lacking and to keep that in mind, the second character Ryo remember is Yamagishi-san saying for him that a father does not show all of his faces to his son. The third character Ryo remember is Master Chen saying for him that he refuse to lead a young man like Ryo into such a lions den, the fourth character Ryo remember is Guizhang telling for him that if he were in Ryo's shoes he I'd do exactly the same. After that Ryo remember Hanhui Liu asking him why he practice martial arts. The last character Ryo remember is Xiuying saying that like the stillness of the surface of water, Ryo must clear his mind, to become free from distraction and channel his focus entirely on his mind itself. The flashback ends, Ryo open his eyes and punch Dou Niu's feet, Ryo managed to escape. After that Ryo decide to close his eyes again, Dou Niu say... "Is there a problem? You've got your eyes shut tight! I guess that means you're ready to die!" Joy and Wong see that and get worried, Wong say "What's wrong? and Yuanda Zhu say... "Wait, that technique..." Dou Niu say for Ryo to burn in hell, Dou Niu try to attack him, with his eyes closed Ryo was able to block Dou Niu's punch, Ryo open his eyes, Ryo jumps on top of Dou Niu and attack Dou Niu with a kick, Dou Niu gets angry, Wong say this is a sweet move and Yuanda Zhu say that Ryo can master it. After that we see Ren bests Lan Di's goons, and after that Ren say... "Sorry, fellas. You will need a few decades of training to even come close to beating me!" It is interesting that Ren said again Junnen hayai da yo, one of the phrases that Akira Yuki say when he wins a fight in Virtua Fighter. Ren say this phrase in the games as well? i don't remember right now but this is a beautiful detail, it is Ren's catch phrase in the anime, loved it. Dou Niu gets angry and say that he is gonna wring the life right of Ryo, Ryo start to think... "Channel all of my focus..." while he was thinking Dou Niu run saying that he will kill Ryo. Ryo continues..."Entirely... on the mind!" Dou Niu try to attack Ryo but Ryo manages to stop all the attacks, in the last one Ryo grab Dou Niu's arm and push Dou Niu to the side, after that we see Ryo with a serious face and red eyes preparing to do a move, all the characters looking at him, Ryo do the Coulter Elbow Assault in Dou Niu. Dou Niu fall on the ground and Ryo win the fight. Wong is happy and say way to go, Yuanda Zhu say that Ryo achieved the serenity of a polished mirror. Joy is looking at Dou Niu, the killer of her mother, knowing that Dou Niu is defeated she makes a calm face with her hands together, Joy is finally at peace in relation to this situation, beautiful addition, i love that we see more of Joy's story in the anime, loved it. Ren look at Joy and smile, Ren know Joy's story so it is a nice touch to see Ren looking at her and smiling this way, deep down Ren cares about Ryo, Joy and Wong. Lan Di was there looking at everything in the ladder of the helicopter, Ryo look at Lan Di and the helicopter go away, Ryo say... "Lan Di... We are not done" and the scene ends. Overall the rooftop part is intense and beautiful with beautiful additions, loved it. Ren's Hideout In Ren's Hideout Yuanda Zhu got to know that Iwao died at the hands of Lan Di, he say that fate is a cruel mistress indeed, Ryo ask for Yuanda Zhu why would Lan Di kills his father. Yuanda Zhu say for revenge, that Lan Di sought retribuition for the death of his own father, Sunming Zhao. A small flashback begin where Lan Di ask Iwao if he remember Sunming Zhao, the flashback ends and Ryo say that Lan did mention the name Sunming Zhao. Yuanda Zhu explain that Lan Di's real name is actually Longsun Zhao, and that he firmly believed that Ryo's father, Iwao Hazuki was the one who killed Sunming Zhao, Lan Di's father, however Yuanda Zhu do not know the truth behind that accusation. Ryo make a sad face and say i see. Ren was in the couch and say for Yuanda Zhu "Hey, gramps" Ren get up and say for Yuanda Zhu to tell them what is the deal with the mirror that Ryo has, for Ryo to show the mirror for Yuanda Zhu. Ryo show the mirror and say that his father kept ahold of this mirror. Yuanda Zhu say he know of it, that this mirror used to belong to Sunming Zhao, Lan Di's father, that this Phoenix mirror is paired with another known as the Dragon Mirror, and together they form a key. This key is the key to a massive fortune of hidden treasures that are intended to revive the Qing Dynasty. Ren is excited to hear this and say that he knew it, that nobody got a better intuition for this stuff than him. Wong and Joy say at the same time... "Uh-huh, sure" and Ren ask for Yuanda Zhu how can they get their hands on this treasure. Yuanda Zhu say that only by bringing both mirrors together will the secret to that be revealed, Ren make adisappointment face and say that the Phoenix Mirror alone doesn't do squat. Joy say that this is not the real problem there, that after all this, hardly any light has been shed on the truth surrounding the murder of Ryo's father. Yuanda Zhu say that Ryo should go to Guilin. Ren say "Guilin?" and Yuanda Zhu continue, he say that Guilin is the place where Sunming Zhao (Lan Di's Father) and Iwao Hazuki (Ryo's father) once underwent training together, that Guilin is also home to the rare Phantom River Stone, which was used to craft these mirrors, that the descendants of the craftsmen should be living there, too, that Lan Di is making his way there now. Ryo get up of the chair and say... "Lan Di?! Back then..." We see a short flashback and Yuanda Zhu say for Ryo... " That's right, that he told Lan Di about Bailu Village in Guilin. Ryo make a serious face and say "Bailu Village... Lan Di! at this moment Ren noticed that Ryo stopped touching the cut on his cheek. Yuanda Zhu say that the answers should lie there, for Ryo to have faith in Iwao... in his father and to keep pursuing the truth. Everyone look at Ryo, Ryo say "I will!" and the scene ends. In the next scene we see Ryo, Wong and Joy on the streets of Aberdeen. Ryo is walking when Wong say "Hey Ryo! You're leaving, huh?" and Joy say for Ryo "Don't Go doing anything stupid." Ryo turn around and say... "Of course. I owe you both so much. Thank you." Wong wave at Ryo and say bye for him, Ryo say later and then leave. Wong say that Ryo will be okay, that Ryo is toughter than nails, Joy agree and say they will see see him again someday. Outside of the Man Mo temple we see Fangmei with the broom cleaning, Fangmei see Ryo and Ryo ask "How've you been, Fangmei?" and thanked for all her help. Fangmei make a sad face and say that it is true, that he is leaving Hong Kong soon, Ryo say yes. Hanhui Liu appear and say... "Well then, does that mean you've made sense of the Master's teachings? Ryo respond that he is not sure yet about that and that's why he is going to Guilin, Hanhui Liu wish good luck for Ryo, Fangmei say that she got it all figured out, that the reason why Hanhui Liu gave Ryo so much guidance was because he had Master Xiuying in mind the whole time, Hanhui Liu just say that she talk too much. Ryo thanked Hanhui and Fangmei for everything. Hanhui say for Ryo that Xiuying is waiting him inside the temple, for Ryo to go and see her, Ryo say "right" and go inside the temple. Ryo is in front of Xiuying, Xiuying say... "So, you're choosing to leave. And chase after Lan Di." Ryo respond no, that he is going after the truth, Xiuying get near Ryo and say "Take this" and give to him the white half of Yin-yang symbol she once shared with Ziming. Ryo ask "What is it?" and Xiuying say... "I don't want you to end up being like my brother. A martial artist fueled by rage, barreling toward his own destruction, while Xiuying say this we see the flashback of when Ziming and Xiuying were young. Xiuying continue... "More than anything, I hope you avoid that path." Ryo say... "To some extent, I understand how your brother felt. And deep down... I know that you do, as well." Xiuying is so surprised that she turns aroud to look at Ryo. Ryo say that he is not going to die, that he is certain that somewhere her bother is alive too, Ryo thanked Xiuying for everything and do the bow for her, Xiuying look at Ryo in a serene way, probably having hope that Ryo will not take the same path as her brother. I love this scene, it is a emotional scene, seeing Xiuying saying all of this for Ryo and concerned about him, all of this while we see Xiuying and Ziming flashback. Ryo is like a Ziming that propably will not go to the same path, this scene is really emotional to me, i even cried. In the next scene we see Hong Kong Tea Shop, inside the Tea Shop we see Guixiang Lee, Jianmin Tao and the attendant of the shop, without saying a word all the characters look at Ryo in a proud way while seeing Ryo leaving Hong Kong. In the cemetery we see white flowers in the grave of Joy's mother, Joy is there and she say... "Huh? Hey Mom... Did dad come to pay you a visit? I guess sometimes I should visit him myself. Beautiful ending to Joy's story in the events of Shenmue II in the anime, we see that the things about her past is resolved and now Joy can move on with her life, beautiful to see that Joy story got expanded in the anime, and wonderful to see a lot of character development for Joy in the anime, a beautiful closure to her story in the events of Shenmue II, loved it. Elsewhere we see Ren’s henchmen gawk looking surprised at something, Ren appear and say... "Hey. What's with all the dumb looks?" they say for Ren to just look, we see Wong saying... "Come one, come all! Step right up and be amazed! I've got the best deals on fresh bananas that you've ever seen! It's first come, first served, folks! buy before they're gone!" and we see some people there, one of them looks like the character Deling from the game, really nice to see this character in the anime as well. Beautiful character development for Wong, Wong changed his life and it is not robbing people anymore, now he is a salesman. Wonderful character development, and wonderful closure for Wong's story in the events of Shenmue II, loved it. Ren’s henchmen gawk continue... "Him? A salesman? Has he totally lost his marbles?" and Ray say for them to not be stupid, that there never been anybody in this town with their head on straight to begin with. While saying this Ren walk away, Ren look at the sky and say... "Guilin, eh? Sounds like a good time" and we see the sky is changing from Hong Kong to Guilin In Guilin Ryo is in the river ferry, Ryo look at the back of the photo and say... "Bailu Village." Ryo look at the photo and say... "And this man, standing next to my father... He might be." Ryo look at the sky and see that a storm is coming. Yingshuihe River Near the Yinghuihe River rain begin to fall, Ryo decide to stop his trip because of the rain. Ryo think that he wasn't prepared for a downpour. Ryo remember that according to the locals, he need to pass through the mountains on this path to reach Bailu Village. A goat is in danger in the river, because of the storm the river is rough and the goat is in trouble. Ryo sees that and it is surprised. Shenhua is there as well and decide to jump on the river, Ryo say "Seriously?" and enter on the river as well, Ryo manages to hold Shenhua and ask for Shenhua to let the goat go, that if Shenhua don't do that she will drown. Shenhua say no, that the goat will never make it without her. Ryo say "Dammit!" and try to find a way to go out of the river, Ryo sees a branch hanging low enough to reach and say "There" and manages to reach, Ryo managed to save Shenhua and the goat but passed out from exhaustion while Shenhua look at Ryo and the scene ends. The scene with the goat is nice. Ryo is unconscious and dream with his father, in the dream in a self reflection moment Ryo say for his father... "Father... you were always getting on my case. Telling me that i'm lacking. Now, after meeting so many people, it's finally hit me. Maybe the thing i've been searching for is whatever is lacking. That's why i've come so far. Father... I'm not done. I'm going to keep moving forward..." and the Ryo wakes up in Shenhuas house. I love this self reflection moment of Ryo and with a beautiful song, emotional scene for me, it is so beautiful to see Ryo's journey, Ryo growing as a martial artist and as a character little by little, beautiful scene. Shenhua enter in the room and thanked Ryo for saving her, she say that the baby goat made it out too. She also say... "My name is Shenhua. And you?" Ryo say his full name for Shenhua and ask where is this place, Shenhua say is Bailu Village, Ryo say "Really?!" Ryo start to run and get out of the house, he have a vision of his father for a moment. Ryo stop and say... "That tree..." Shenhua get near Ryo and explain that the tree it's called the Shenmue tree, that it blooms those beautiful flowers around this every year, that the Shenmue tree is like family to her, that she grew up with it, and that the flowers that bloom on the Shenmue tree are called Shenhua. In this moment we see flashbacks when Shenhua was a baby and a child. Ryo say "Huh?"Shenhua look at Ryo and say that yes, it is her namesake. Shenhua say "let's go back inside." Ryo go back with Shenhua to the house, Ryo ask if Shenhua live there on her own. Shenhua say no, that she live together with her father, that her mother is gone. Ryo look at the Diagram of the mirrors on the table, Ryo say he don't believe it, Shenhua ask what's the metter and Ryo ask what is this diagram. Ryo pick the Phoenix Mirror in his jacket. Shenhua explain that her father told her that it's been passed down in their family for many generations. Ryo put the Phoenix Mirror in the Diagram and see that they match. Shenhua ask where did she get that mirror, Ryo say that it's something that his father had. Shenhua say that the mirror it's made of Phantom River Stone, Shenhua is surprised and ask for Ryo how on earth did it end up with him. Ryo ask what's wrong, Shenhua explain there's a legend in Bailu Village, that long ago, special mirrors were made from Phantom River Stone at the direct order of the Emperor, but there were terrible disputes over their ownership, due to the hidden powers they contained, many lost their lives, that her father may be able to tell for Ryo more about the mirrors. Ryo ask for Shenhua to please take him to meet her father, Shenhua say sure and we see the entrace of the cave. Inside the cave Shenhua say that the door is ajar, Ryo ask what's on the inside, Shenhua say she dont' know, that her father has never allowed her inside. Shenhua say this isn't normal, that something is wrong there, Ryo say... "Shenhua, let's go in" and both enter in the place. Shenhua find a letter that her father wrote for her, we also see the Sword of Seven Stars there. Shenhua begin to read the letter... "Dear Shenhua. My purpose is now fufilled. I have completed the Phoenix Mirror, our family's life work." At this moment we hear Shenhua's father voice talking what he wrote in the letter, "Village lore has long spoken of this fateful day. Shenhua, my girl. Take the bearer of the Phoenix and undergo the trial of proof. Then entrust yourself to him. And go forth, together. I bequeath to you our family heirloom, the Sword of Seven Stars. Think of me as the sword and keep it by your side. Know that i am watching over you, forever." Shenhua finish reading the letter, Ryo put the Phoenix into the cave pedestal to trigger the reveal of the two big mirrors carved into the cave walls. Ryo and Shenhua are so surprised looking at the giant mirrors, for a moment Iwao appear and say "Ryo" and a serious Ryo say the name of his father. While looking at the giant mirrors we hear Shenhua talking about the prophecy again... "Coming across the sea, from a distant land in the east, he shall appear. A Young man, unware of his own strength A strength that can both destroy him, and bring his dream to fruition." Ryo and Shenhua look at each other, after that the universe appear and we see images of a lot of characters, we see Joy with Wong in one image, Xiuying training with Hanhui and Fangmei watching in other image, Nozomi Harasaki near Aida florist, in the other image we see Master Chen and Guizhang with a crutch because of his injured. The next image we see Ren in his hideout, next image we see Lan Di in a place that it is probably Niaowu, a location in Shenmue III, and in the last image we see Iwao Hazuki and Sunming Zhao at the time where the two trained together in Bailu Village, these characters are Ryo's father and Lan Di's father. While the images were appearing Shenhua continue... "When he is ready, he shall seek me. We will traverse this barren road together. As it was written upon the stars, from long, long ago. A Dragon will rise from the earth, conjuring dark clouds to blot out the heavens." The scene change and we see Ryo with Shenhua atop a Guilin cliff. Shenhua continue... "A Phoenix will descend from above, delivering purple winds with a flap of its wings. Yet even as the sky is devoured by darkness, a single morning star radiates it's bright light." Shenhua and Ryo look at each other and after that to the sky as a single star shines upon them from the sky. The scene ends and we see the Phoenix and the Dragon like the first episode. Shenhua finish "That long, winding tale... shall now... begin." On the screen appear "The story Goes On..." and the episode ends. What can we expect to see in the next season of the anime? The second season is not confirmed but i can imagine what will happen, i feel that first we will get the game Shenmue IV maybe in 2024 or even next year, it will depend if the development is advanced, i have hope that Shenmue IV is in development, after the release of Shenmue IV i think that we will see the announcement of the second season of the anime. If things happen the way i imagine then the second season will probably tell the story of Shenmue III and Shenmue IV. I imagine that Yu Suzuki will share even more pages of the story with the anime team, i think we will see an expanded version of the story of Shenmue III, with more details, more scenes and character development for characters like Master Sun, Master Feng, Shiling Lin, Qiu Hsu, Grandmaster Bei and many other characters. Probably we will see even more stories with the side characters in Bailu Village, characters like Xiuyu Yeh, Master Sun, Yanlang, Master Feng and many others. i hope we can see flashbacks of the time Iwao trained with Sunming Zhao there, maybe Ryo talk with Master Feng and then the flashbacks will begin, these flashbacks don't have in the game and will be a beautiful way to expand the story of Shenmue III. Would be really nice to see all the night conversations of Ryo with Shenhua there, Bailu Village to me is like a second home for Ryo, will be nice to see a lot of scenes of Ryo and Shenhua talking similar to the game, this night conversations are part of the story as well. Would be nice to see more about Shenhua's powers in the second season. In Niaowu the story will probably get expanded as well, i hope we can see more scenes and character development for the characters Shiling Lin, Qiu Hsu and Grandmaster Bei, the characters are interesting to me, i just feel that the characters needs more scenes with Ryo and character development, this way when Ryo leave Niaowu will be really emotional for the viewers. I love Shenmue III characters, i just think that some of them need more scenes with Ryo and things like that like Shiling Lin for example. The anime team will probably expand the Red Snakes and Blue Spiders story and characters. The second season of the anime is a beautiful opportunity to make Shenmue III even better, i love Shenmue III but some things could have been better like more story and scenes for the side characters in Niaowu like Shiling Ling, Qiu Hsu and Grandmaster Bei, so the second season is a beautiful opportunity to expand the story and the characters of Shenmue III even more, i think will be beautiful if the anime team do that with Yu-san helping them sharing more pages of the story. Maybe in the second season we will even see Baisha, the place that was cut out in Shenmue III, maybe with the second season Yu-san will have the opportunity to see his story the way he imagined about these wonderful locations, i really hope we can see Baisha in the second season of the anime, it is a different, unique and beautiful location and i hope we can see in the anime. I don't know how the story of Shenmue IV will be, but i feel that it will be these cards... Some of these cards or all of them. We will probably see Ryo, Shenhua and Ren travelling together, and will be really interesting to see this in anime form. It will probably be the Chi You Men Arc, we will probably see all the leaders of the Chi You Men, we will probably see Ziming, i feel that one of Ryo's next master will be a Shaolin Monk in Luoyang, Shaolin Temple/Pagoda forest and Dengfeng, Ryo will probably learn important moves, Ryo will probably learn more Bajiquan moves in Shenmue IV, these Bajiquan moves are super important and advance the story, Shenmue is a martial arts story, so everytime Ryo learn important moves and improve as a martial artist this advance the story as well. We will probably see Ryo fighting Ziming, maybe Ryo or Ren fighting Niao Sun or the other leaders, maybe we will see Ryo fighting against Lan Di again and much more. So everything i wrote now about Shenmue III and Shenmue IV could easily be an entire Shenmue The Animation second season with 13 episodes. Would be nice if the second season have more episodes, but maybe it will be 13 episodes again because of budget and things like that, and i understand that, all i know is that i hope we can get the game Shenmue IV, and after that the second season of the anime telling the story of Shenmue III and Shenmue IV, i hope we can see a Shenmue Manga as well, this is my dream for the future of the Shenmue franchise What NPCs do you want to see in the second season? In Bailu Village i want to see more of Iwao Hazuki, Sunming Zhao, Akane Hazuki, Master Feng, Master Sun, Zhen Wei, Lin Zhou, Zixiong Su, Yanlang, Wenxu Su, Chai, Calzhe Zhou, Shenhua, Xiuyu Yeh, Guangming Mo, Guanzhong Tao, Huang Hu, all the martial artist that train in the Bailu Hall, the temple nun in the Man Yuan Temple and many other characters in Bailu Village, maybe even a little bit of Lan Di and Niao Sun there. The anime can expand more a lot of these characters in Bailu Village. In Niaowu i want to see more of Shenhua, Ren, Lan Di, Niao Sun, Longqi Ge, the story and members of the Red Snakes and Blue Spiders, Shiling Ling, Qiu Hsu, Grandmaster Bei, Shuqin Zhang, Jialing Ma and many other characters in Niaowu. The anime team can expand more a lot of these characters in Niaowu. Final thoughts of the Episode and Final Thoughts of the Season In my opinion the Lan Di VS Ryo fight is okay, i'm just curious about what the anime team will do in the Fortified Castle when the times comes. we will see the Fortfied Castle in the anime? i'm not sure about that. It is interesting that Yuanda Zhu said for Lan Di to go to Bailu, without even questioning Lan Di return to the ladder of the helicopter to go to Bailu, as far as i remember this don't have in the game, interesting addition. In this version Lan Di went to Bailu Village, Ryo is there now as well, in the second season Ryo will find Lan Di there? probably not but it is interesting to think about it, was a big moment to me seeing Yuanda Zhu talking about Bailu to Lan Di and Lan Di deciding to go there, really interesting. Ryo was losing his mind and sanity because he want revenge, then what happened? REN SAVED RYO, Ren even managed to calm Ryo down, as far as i remember this don't have in the game and it was a intense scene to me, amazing addition, we can see that Ren really care about Ryo. This scene with Ren trying to calm Ryo down is super intense to me, one of my favorite scenes of the entire season, loved it. I love the fight Ryo VS Dou Niu, i love the way the anime team did it and i'm glad that this part is in the anime, beautiful fight and conclusion to the rooftop situation. Character development for Ryo, Ryo got stronger in a lot of ways because of everything that he learned we the people he met, beautiful development. It is interesting that Ren said again Junnen Hayai da yo, Akira phrase when he wins a fight in VF, probably in the Legend of Akira scripts/novels Ren say this phrase a lot, probably is his catch phrase. I think in the scripts/novels Ren die and as a way of honoring and remembering his friend Ryo (Akira) decide to use Ren's bandana as his headband, and decide to say Junnen Hayai Da Yo a lot as well, as a way to honor his friend that died protecting him, and through pain and sadness i feel Ryo will finally understand the last words of his father... "Keep friends... those you love... close to you." Some people only learn lessons in life in the hard way, i can talk about myself as an example, i don't want to talk about my life in detail on the internet anymore, but for people here to understand the theory about Ren i will say one thing. I lost my mother, my mother is not here with me but i'm still learning lessons with my mother, about the things that my mother used to say to me, i learned some lessons in life in the hard way. i don't think is a bad idea to go this route with Ryo, for Ryo to lose Ren and after that finally learn the lesson to "keep friends... those you love... close to you" Ryo need to fully learn 2 important lessons 1. "Keep friends... those you love... close to you." Ryo only see the path of revenge in front of him, Ryo is not focusing on love and friendship, Ryo right now in the story only care about revenge, so probably at one point of the story Ryo will fully learn this lesson, maybe in the hard way with Ren's death, if Ren die it will probably have a big impact to the story and in Ryo's life so i like this theory. 2. "Martial arts are used to protect people's lives. If you use your fists otherwise, you will walk on the path of evil, too!" Same thing i said in the other lesson, Ryo right now only see the path of revenge in front of him, in the final moments Ryo will probably learn this lesson, Ryo will probably not go to the path of evil like Ziming went. Overall the climax in the rooftop part is really good and intense, i enjoy a lot. The talking with Yuanda Zhu is nice, i think some things were cut out but i understand. The goodbye scenes are beautiful and emotional to me, the scenes with the songs really touched my heart and i cried, when Wong appeared trying to sell banana, we can see that Wong really changed after meeting Ryo, and we see that now Ren will go to Guilin as well, i don't remember if in the game Ren talked about going to Guilin, but here in the anime was a nice scene that Ren talked so interested about going to Guilin, if this is not in the game is a nice addition, and explain more Ryo seeing Ren again in Niaowu. All the goodbye scenes and seeing Xiuying talking with Ryo and remembering about Ziming and seeing that Joy and Wong really changed made me cry, really emotional. Beautiful character development for Joy and Wong, Beautiful closure to their stories in the events of the Shenmue II, intense and emotional, loved it. Ryo made a impact in Guizhang, Mark, Joy, Wong, Xiuying, Ren and many other characters in the story, it is beautiful to see these character developments in the story. About the Guilin part... well... i never imagined that the anime team would cut out the entire journey to Bailu Village, i thought that some cuts would happen but not the entire journey. Ryo just woke up in Shenhua's house, this make it seems that her house is really near. It is really sad to me that one of my favorite parts in videogame history was cut like that in the anime but i really understand, with just 13 episodes is understandable. I love the part when Ryo save Shenhua and the goat, as far as i remember in the game is a deer, but this change is okay to me. I love seeing Shenhua showing the Shenmue tree for Ryo, Shenhua explaining about the tree for Ryo, nice scene. The ideal would have been a Shenmue anime with 24 episodes or even 34 episodes like VF anime, but probably because of budget we couldn't get more episodes and i really understand that, it is what it is, but to me just the fact that we got a Shenmue anime is amazing. With 13 episodes the anime team managed to tell the story of Shenmue I and II in a beautiful way with a lot of new content, new stories for the characters, more development for them, a lot of characters getting expanded like Guizhang, Nozomi, Joy, Wong, Ren, Lan Di, Shenhua and much more, this is one of the beautiful things about the anime to me. Some things that i love were cut out in the anime like everything about Shozo Mizuki, Ryo learning the tornado kick with Tom and the goodbye scene, Nozomi confessing her love for Ryo, the journey to Bailu Village and much more but i really understand, with 13 episodes is really understandable Some things i prefer the anime version and other things i prefer the games version. The season began in the cave scene and ended a little bit after the cave scene, the circle is completed now in relation to this. The anime in my opinion is a companion to the games, it is not something to replace the games, it is not something to look 100% like the games, it is something to walk side by side with the games and to me this is wonderful. I hope one day we can get a Shenmue Anime Blu-ray release and Shenmue Anime soundtrack. I have hope that we will get the announcement of Shenmue IV this year, and i have hope that one day we will get the second season of the anime telling the story of the games Shenmue III and Shenmue IV. LetsGetShenmue4 LetsGetShenmueSeason2 I would like to thank all the people who read my anime analysis, your support means a lot me, it was really intense to me doing this every week, english is not my first language, and it is not easy to put everything together in analysis like this in a weekly basis, but i managed to do it and i'm really happy with the result. From now on i will do more posts here in the blog, i will write about a lot of things about Shenmue. What a beautiful journey it has been to follow the Shenmue anime with everyone here, thanks everyone, and remember to keep friends... those you love... close to you... see you all in my next blog post, bye bye. ~
We made it to the end. Here’s the recap of the Season 1 finale: Shenmue. An Epic Showdown Ryo Hazuki blasts through the roof access doors of Kowloon’s Yellow Head Building to reveal a scene that will prove to be the most perilous moment of his journey yet. Don Niu stands at the edge of the building, holding Wong off the side and prepared to drop the boy to his death unless his commands are obeyed. Yuanda Zhu is closely guarded by two Chi You Men enforcers. Presiding over this chaos is Lan Di, hanging in the air over the building and holding the rope ladder of a helicopter adorned with his syndicate’s insignia. The sight of his father’s killer sends Ryo into an absolute vengeful rage, focusing him solely on attacking Lan Di. With pure red in his eyes, Ryo charges fist forward as the villain steps foot onto the roof of the building. The Chi You Men leader seems genuinely surprised to see the Hazuki son, as he intercepts Ryo’s punch with ease then pushes him back a couple feet with a kick. Don Niu, dissatisfied to have lost control of the situation, prepares to act on his threat to Wong’s life before Lan Di stops him by simply raising a hand in the air. He is prepared to take on Ryo’s challenge and signals him to attack. Ryo charges again, mustering every bit of offense he can in his attacks, but is swatted away each time. Lan Di notes his martial ability has improved a small amount from their first encounter. A few attacks more from Ryo make no difference and Lan Di decides to end the lopsided bout with a strike to Ryo’s gut, mirroring the takedown he used on him at the Hazuki Dojo. Ryo flies backwards while the rage in his eyes finally breaks and has to be caught by Ren on the way down. Yuanda Zhu has seen enough. Not wishing to be witness to a young man’s death, he offers up the information Lan Di seeks from him to end the conflict. Wong is released from captivity at the insistence of Zhu and chagrin of Don Niu. He tells Lan Di the item is "in Bailu Village”, presumably referring to the Phoenix Mirror held by Ryo just a few feet away. Satisfied, Lan Di signals for his rope and returns to the helicopter, while Don Niu sees his chance to dominate Hong Kong slipping away underneath a sea of failures. As a last opportunity to impress Lan Di, the Chi You Men enforcers instruct the behemoth man to clean up the mess that festered on his watch. He turns to our heroes, intent on stomping out the rats before him. The Giant Falls Ryo can’t accept that his father’s killer is getting away again and is utterly consumed as Don Niu moves to take him out. Ren rushes to pull him out of the way but Ryo still takes a massive fist to his back, sending the two flying. Still consumed by nothing but vengeance against Lan Di, Ren finally steps in to shake him out of his stupor, letting him know it’s blinding him from his ultimate goal: learning the reasons for his father’s death. Ren’s words remind him of Xiuying warnings and he finally realizes what he was about to lose sight of. Thanking Ren, Ryo turns toward Don Niu, finally prepared to defend his friends and end this dangerous situation. As Ren takes on the two remaining Chi You Men members, Ryo strikess right at Don Niu’s head, landing a powerful yet inconsequential blow on the giant. In turn, Don Niu lifts Ryo by his head and slams him to the ground, leaving him writhing underneath the gangster’s massive sandals pressing into his neck. In this moment of despair, Ryo calls forth all the lessons learned throughout the season, starting with his father’s words of wisdom and ending with Xiuying's guidance to clear his mind like the surface of the water. Snapping to, he frees himself with a shot to Don Niu’s ankle and stands before him, eyes closed. While Yuanda Zhu can see the techniques being employed that will win Ryo this fight, Don Niu belives he’s giving up and ready to be finished. The ogre charges and is shocked to find his punches are now being expertly deflected. Ryo catapults off the big man to deliver a Swallow Dive to stun him. More punches are blocked with ease as the young Hazuki is focused entirely on maintaining a state of serene clarity in this fight. He redirects the energy of Don Niu’s last attack, opening up the opportunity to land a perfect rendition of the Counter Elbow Assault taught to him by Xiuying on Don Niu’s midsection. The Yellow Head leader goes down hard, completely defeated and never to live out his dream of owning Hong Kong. Finally seeing the criminal who killed her mother receiving his moment of justice, Joy looks on with gratitude in her eyes. Meanwhile, Ren has taken down the Chi You Men grunts to end the danger completely. Lan Di turns away from watching the outcome of the fight, flying off on the helicopter as Ryo swears they are far from finished with one another. Sins of the Fathers Back at Ren’s hideout, the gang hears the answers Yuanda Zhu has to give. We learn Lan Di’s real name is Longsun Zhao, son of Iwao’s old friend Sunming Zhao. Lan Di killed Ryo’s father for revenge, firmly believing him to be the man responsible for Sunming’s death. Zhu is unable to validate that Iwao was involved in Zhao’s death. Ren moves them along to the mirrors, thrilled to find out that when brought together they act as a key to accessing a trove of treasures, sealed away for the purpose of reviving the old Chinese Qing Dynasty. Sunming Zhao held the mirror before it landed in Iwao’s possession. Joy correctly notes that little light has been shed on the truth Ryo is seeking, so Zhu advises the next step in his journey will be to travel forth to the Guilin region of China and visit Bailu Village. Lan Di is headed that way now and there will be answers to seek from the descendants of the craftsmen that created the two mirrors from the Phantom River Stone, native to that area. Ren notices Ryo has finally managed to stop reaching for the scar left by Lan Di, and Yuanda Zhu ends the conversation reminding Ryo to keep faith in his father throughout his journey. Promise to Return A day or two later, it’s time to say farewell to the friends made in Hong Kong. First up are Joy and Wong, greeting Ryo on the streets of Aberdeen. They remind him not to do anything stupid, which he agrees to before leaving their view. The two reflect their belief that Ryo will be fine and they’ll see him again someday. Fangmei diligently sweeps the entrance to Man Mo Temple as Ryo appears and thanks her for the help she gave while in Hong Kong. Hanhui emerges from the courtyard and inquires if Ryo mastered Xiuying’s teachings, to which he replies he must go to Guilin to find out. Visiting with Xiuying inside the temple, she remains concerned about his path and imparts one last time her wish he not live out a rage-filled life as a martial artist, like her brother did. To that effect, she gives him her white half of the Yin-Yang symbol she once shared with Ziming. Ryo tells Xiuying he can understand the anger her brother felt, but also knows deep down she has experienced it as well, before learning to master it. Ryo plans to do the same and swears not to get killed, before telling Xiuying he believes her brother is alive and out there somewhere as well. The light in her eyes reveals a moment of faith in Ryo as he says goodbye and thanks her for everything she’s done for him. In a final send off for the Hong Kong gang, we see Joy pleasantly surprised to see fresh flowers from her father resting at her mother’s grave. She resolves to visit him herself, indicating the family estrangement is finally coming to an end. Elsewhere, Wong is living up to his promise to lead a better life, setting up a banana stand at the port. Ren’s henchmen gawk, wondering if the boy has lost his mind when their leader reminds them no one in the town had it to begin with. Ren looks off to the horizon, thinking of the riches he is certain to wait for him in Guilin… Day of Destiny Ryo arrives in Guilin by river ferry and begins to make his way to Bailu Village, after receiving directions to cross over the nearby mountain path by a local. He’s forced to crouch at a river bank as dark clouds turn into a downpour. Ryo notices a small goat struggling to stay afloat in the river currents and then spots a girl jumping in to rescue the animal. Knowing she’s just put herself in grave peril, he swims after her and implores her to let go of the goat so she doesn’t drown. She refuses to let the animal die, so Ryo has to think quickly to save both of them. He sees a branch hanging low enough to reach. With every ounce of strength he has, Ryo pulls all 3 of them out of the bustling river currents and onto the bank before passing out from exhaustion. While unconscious, Ryo dreams of his father and reflects that his journey is ultimately to gain what Iwao deemed him to be lacking. He swears to continue pressing forward. Awakening in an unfamiliar bed, Ryo is greeted by the girl, Shenhua, who took him back to her house for rest after the river encounter. She expresses her gratitude for helping her and they exchange introductions before revealing they are in the very Bailu Village Ryo seeks. He rushes out of her house and immediately has a momentary vision of his father at a magnificent tree standing in the yard. This is the Shenmue tree, he’s informed by Shenhua. She gets her own name from the beautiful pink Shenhua leaves that blossom on the tree this time of year. They head back inside and Ryo learns that Shenhua lives here with her father, while her mother has passed on. Ryo is amazed to spot a diagram on a table with the Dragon and Phoenix mirror designs. He places the Phoenix Mirror in front of her and she can hardly believe he would have this item in his possession. The mirrors were crafted in her village by order of China’s Emperor long ago and became the subject of terrible conflicts that claimed many lives, due to a hidden power within them. Believing her father may know more, the pair rush to the cave where he’s been working nonstop the past couple of weeks. The entrance to the cave’s work area, usually carefully locked, is ajar and Shenhua senses something is amiss. Inside they find an ornate sword and a letter from her father advising her the fateful day has arrived and his life’s work of completing the Phoenix Mirror is complete. The letter instructs her to entrust herself with the man bearing the Phoenix and undergo what he calls the ‘Trial of Proof’. He’s left her the family heirloom Sword of Seven Stars and wants her to keep it with them on their journey. The letter closes with a message that he’s always watching over her. The season closes out the same way it began, placing the Phoenix Mirror into the cave pedestal to trigger the reveal of the two giant mirrors carved into the cave walls as the series prophecy is recited by the voice of Shenhua once more. Ryo then stands face to face with her atop a Guilin cliff as a single star shines down upon them from the sky. Destiny has brought them to each other to traverse the rocky path they must face together. The Story Goes On… Comparison to the Games Full spoilers for Shenmue 2 & 3 in this section. He Got Off the Chopper: Lan Di finally got tired of holding that rope ladder and stepped foot onto the Yellow Head building, something that does not happen in the games. This sequence brought elements of Ryo’s encounter with Lan Di in the Old Castle at the end of Shenmue 3 into the fight. The quips about Ryo’s improved fighting skill and his inability land a blow on the villain both happen during the final boss fight of the third game. Justice for Joy: A nice touch was to add additional payoff for Ryo’s defeat of Don Niu via the Counter Elbow Assault. Joy gets to walk away from this encounter knowing her father’s killer will never ascend to ruling Hong Kong’s criminal underworld. Because her backstory is not fleshed out this way in the games, the Don Niu fight doesn’t carry this additional weight there. Banana Man: Wong realized there’s money in the banana stand and gave up petty theft. The end of the Kowloon section in Shenmue 2 might leave you feeling Wong could be better off as he waves goodbye to Ryo, but nothing of the boy improving his life is ever shown in the games. Those Mountains Look Like Hills: Shenmue 2 features a lengthy section of traveling with Shenhua to Bailu Village over the mountains after Ryo saves her and the goat in the river. During this time, the player is given dozens of opportunities to converse with Shenhua, learn about her, the village, and life in rural China. Pressed for time, the anime cuts this section and fast forwards the introductions to take place at her house in the village. I had wondered how an action focused series would handle this serene sequence, which is a complete change of pace from the rest of the game that took place before it. Ultimately, the answer is they chose not to handle it at all. Gravity Bound Sword: The Sword of Seven Stars is a part of the trigger mechanism for revealing the giant cave mirrors in the game. It defies gravity and floats in Shenmue 2’s ending sequence. This was later retconned in Shenmue 3. Since this was the first time seeing the sword in the anime, it’s worth noting they didn’t use it to light up the cave. Final Thoughts on the Season That was one heck of a ride. This finale had some real Shenmue magic to it in the form of the face off with Lan Di and Don Niu. I had a legitimate excitement for the sequence that I frankly didn’t expect to have, given it was revealed Ryo would fight Lan Di in some of the earliest promotional key art. Also, after getting over the shortening of the Guilin sequence, I again had goosebumps at the end. I’ve seen this sequence in the cave play out dozens of times now yet the anime managed to get me excited for it all over again. It really speaks to the power and potential of Shenmue’s narrative. The past 13 weeks have provided episode after episode that faithfully adapted, and in some ways, strengthened the story of Shenmue. A number of subplots were cut and fans have noted what’s missing thoroughly. I feel an extra four or five episodes would have allowed them to cover everything that was missed, but ultimately 13 episodes is what was possible. I choose to give the showrunners grace and say I’m okay with what was left out, considering what they were able to add was pretty great. I appreciated how they went the extra mile to provide additional depth to many side characters and give them more to do throughout all the episodes. Nozomi, Goro, Wong, and Joy were the main beneficiaries of this and I say each of them comes out of this series better off than they were going in. Ryo himself got a decent personality upgrade. I hope that carries over into Shenmue 4. I’m thankful this anime series was made. It has been an opportunity for people completely unaware of Shenmue to learn why it has a legion of fans that never gave up on the series and continue to fight for its continuation to this very day. I see comments online almost every day of someone saying they’re going to try the games because they liked the anime. I’m heartened by that and see a bright future for Shenmue. If you’ve been following these recaps over the past 13 weeks, I’d like to say thank you for reading. I don’t consider myself a writer and putting these together was no small challenge. I ended up with a much higher word count than I thought I would hit coming into this. It has been, and will continue to be an honor to participate in a community as great as this one. Now let's hope to see Season 2 of Shenmue the Animation in the near future!
Welcome to my Shenmue anime Analysis, this time for EP12 Guidepost, this Analysis will have SPOILERS of the anime and the games. The beginning of the episode is a recap of what happened in the ending of EP11, Wong running away from the Yellow Head member, finding Joy, Joy helping him escape with her motorcycle, Wong telling for Joy what he heard, that the Yellow Heads got Ryo and Ren under surveillance, that they know everything. We see Ryo and Ren trying to find Yuanda Zhu, the duo enter in a room but Yuanda Zhu is not there, Dou Niu arrive there. Ryo and Ren go out of the room and Dou Niu is right in front of them, the scene ends like this. As far as i remember this is the first time in the season that a episode began with a recap of the previous episode like this, maybe the anime team did this because of budget, but i remember that some animes do short recaps like this in every episode, it is not something rare for anime to do this as far as i remember, maybe in this case was because of budget, i don’t know but i understand. Joy stop the motorcycle and ask if Wong is sure about what he heard, Wong say positive, that they been keeping tabs on them this whole time, then Joy ask what Wong will do about it, Wong say he will help them, Joy say that she already told him before, that they don't stand a chance against these people, to just let it go. Wong go out of the motorcycle and say he want to change, and that to tell the truth he hate living like this. We see flashback of wong robbing people and robbing food, he say that he slave away by stealing over and over, but that doesn't guarantee there is food on his plate the next day, that school was never an option for him and so neither was a real job, that he constantly fed himself the same excuse that this is just the way life is when you don't have any parents. Wong continue... Wong say that everything changed when he met Ryo, that he realized that nothing is set in stone like that, that if he just do something, anything, to help Ryo out then he get the feeling that he will change. Wong say that he will go help Ryo with or without Joy and start to run away, Joy looks sad while seeing Wong leaving. I love this part so much, we see character development for Wong, Wong saying that he want to change, that he hate living robbing people and that he will try to help the duo is a big character development, Wong really changed after meeting Ryo, loved that and i love the interactions of Wong with Joy, Ryo and the other characters, really beautiful and emotional. Yellow Head Building, Kowloon We see a nice shot of Kowloon and the Yellow Head Building, after that inside of the Yellow Head Building, Dou Niu laugh and Ren say to forget about Dou Niu, that they need to find Yuanda Zhu, Ryo agree with that, Dou Niu try to punch them but the duo dodge and begin to run away, Dou Niu say "Pesky little rats" and begin to run to catch the duo. The duo arrive in a place where there is a hole, they see a board connecting to the other side, Ren say he will go first, he managed to arrive on the other side, Ryo begin to cross the board while Dou Niu is running and getting closer to them, Dou Niu say "Get back here" but Ryo managed to arrive on the other side, after that Ren kick the board and Dou Niu almost fall in the hole, Ren say that Dou Niu is stupid, for him to just try leaping over that if he is so desperate. Dou Niu gets angry and say for the duo to fight like men, Ren say "Let's get moving" Ryo agree and the duo run away. Really nice to see board moment in the anime in some way, loved it. In the next scene we see Joy stoping her motorcycle near the Come Over Guest hotel, the hotel where she indicated for Ryo in other episode. Joy look at the window of the hotel and a flashback begin, Joy remember a lot of moments with Ryo, when she met Ryo, other time when she interrupted a fight to help Ryo, she also remember when Ryo thanked her for the hotel and when he said his name for her, and the last moment Joy remember is when Ryo said that he cant abide by that until his accomplished his goal, that he came to Hong Kong to make that happen. The flashback ends and we see how meeting Ryo had a impact on Joy emotionally, it is wonderful to see Joy getting expanded in this scene. The member of The Yellow Head that was searching for her appear again and said for the other goons to go after her, then Joy go away with her motorcycle. A man with a bicycle was passing near the Yellow head members, one of them stop the bicycle and yelled for the man to fork it over, the man got scared with that. In the next scene with see that Wong is running to go to the Yellow Head building to help the duo, Joy appear and say for Wong to get on the motorcycle, Wong say okay and got on the motorcycle, Wong ask what Joy is doing there and if she changed her mind. Joy respond only in his dreams, that Wong got all those goons riled up and now they are even after her. They see the Yellow Head member getting closer to them with the bicycle. Joy say for Wong that she don't have a choice, she have to go with him now, Wong laugh and Joy go away from the Yellow Heads member with her motorcycle. We see character development for Joy here, meeting Ryo made an impact in her life and Joy changed after meeting Ryo, her decision to help is not just because of Wong, deep down she wants to help Ryo and Ren as well, beautiful character development for Wong and for Joy, both changed after meeting Ryo, Ryo made an beautiful impact in Wong and Joy, i love how the anime expanded Wong story and Joy story, these things don't have in the game, it is beautiful to see more stories about the characters i love, this is one of the beautiful things about the anime, loved it. Joy ask for Wong how he will get inside of the Yellow Head Building, Wong respond that he will try to find a good spot to sneak in somewhere, Joy say that she really doubt a spur-of-the-moment plan like that will work well, Joy also said that she will keep them occupied for a while, for Wong to use that chance to search for Ryo and Ren. Wong agree and Joy tell her plan for Wong, Joy say that she will tell that he is his baby brother and for him to just play along until both gotten inside, Wong made a worried face and say "Wha...?" and the scene ends. In the next scene we see Ryo and Ren continue their search for Yuanda Zhu, Ren say that they just gonna have to search as they go, the duo climb a ladder and Yuan appear with a chainsaw, Yuan say "Why hello boys" Ren say "Here comes trouble" and Yuan use the comunication radio to talk to other member of the Yellow Heads, Yuan say for the other member to tell Master Dou Niu that cornered the pair of annoying rats. Yuan say for the duo that this is the end of the road. Yuan turn on the chainsaw and try to attack Ryo but he managed to dodge, Ren say to run for it and the duo run away, Yuan say that they won't get far and start to follow them. While they were running two members of the Yellow Heads running at them but the duo bests them. Ryo and Ren continue to run, Yuan yell for them to get back there. Yuan was getting near them but Ryo kick the beams holding a damaged section of walls in place, collapsing a barrier between them, Yuan fall on the ground and say that Ryo and Ren are dirty rats, and that was a cheap move, after that Ryo and Ren made a high five to comemorate what happened and then they continue to run, this high five of Ryo with Ren is in the game as well so it is really nice to see here in the anime, nice detail. In the next scene we see a shot of Kowloon and the Yellow Head building, Joy and Wong arriving in the Yellow Heads building, Wong and Joy run to try to enter the building but 2 members stop them and ask what Joy and Wong want there, Joy ask if they are in with the Yellow Heads, one of them say "What's it to you?" and Joy respond to let their boss know that he got a visitor. To tell him it's Chun's daughter, from the White Thai, after Joy said that Wong is surprised and the member of Yellow Heads as well. We go back to the Yuan situation, Dou Niu is angry and kick the barrier away, Yuan say "Master Dou Niu! My hero!" and Dou Niu say that this is a mess, Yuan is still on the ground and say "Please forgive me." Someone is in the comunication radio and Yuan ask what is it, and one member say that they got trouble. In the next scene we see Joy and Wong sitting and waiting in a room, Wong say for Joy that this charade will not work, that he is just a kid and even he heard that name, a flashback of the White Thai begin and Wong continue... he say that Ten years back, the White Thai was a giant syndicate that had total control over the gambling scene in Hong Kong, and the hired muscle that took care of all their dirty deeds were Dou Niu and his goons. The flashback end, Wong say that rumor is that the Yellow Heads betrayed the top brass and sold them out to a rival gang, and that using that name there definitely isn't gonna end well. Joy say to spare her the history lesson, that now it's time for Wong to go look for Ryo and Ren. Wong ask how and that if he get caught snooping then they are all screwed, Joy say that there is more than one way to get around and she look at the air ducts on the wall, Wong look as well. We back to the Yuan situation, Yuan is talking on the comunicator radio with another member, Yuan say "Chun's daughter? After all these years? The timing couldn't be worse! Is she trying to sabotage our deal with the Chi You Men?!" and then Yuan ask for Dou Niu what they we do about that. Dou Niu respond that there is no need for them to deal with her now and to lock her up somewhere, Yuan say for Dou Niu "As you wish" and the scene ends. I love the details about Chun's daughter and the flashback of White Thai, this don't have the game, it is beautiful to see the story getting expanded this way. In the next scene we see Ryo and Ren running, Ren stop and say that it almost feels too quiet now and Ryo agree. Ren say that now is their chance, that is time to track down Yuanda Zhu. Ren is with the comunication radio and they hear Yuan's voice saying for everyone to listen up, that Chun of the White Thai has a daughter who just showed up at the Yellow Head Building, for Lu Zhang to lock her in the basement cell, and for the other members to hurry up and catch those meddlesome rats before the guest arrive. Ryo say "Let's go" but Ren say to wait, Ryo ask what's wrong and Ren ask himself if Yuan was serious about Chun's daughter being there, Ryo ask what about it, Ren say he know Chun's daughter, that Chun's daughter is Joy. It is nice to see Ren worried about Joy like this, loved it. Back in the room we see Joy alone, some member of the Yellow Heads enter the room, one of the members say for Joy that she is coming with them, Joy is with her eyes closed and didn't talked with them, the member ask where is her brother, she respond "Suppose he went to take a piss" the member of the Yellow Heads grab Joy arm and say "Don't give me that bullshit!" after this Joy grab his arm and say "Don't think you can push me around because i'm a lady!" and then Master Baihu arrive in the room. He walk in a slow way and say that he do not want to harm her, for her to just do as told. Joy say "And what if i don't want to?" after that Master Baihu start to be faster and hit Joy, she fell unconscious on the ground. One of the members say to lock Joy up in the basement, and the other say that her brother slipped away and to find him. Back with the duo, Ryo ask for Ren why Joy is there, Ren don't know, Ren say "Remember what Yuan said? Yuan told them to lock her up in the basement" and Ryo say "Then we go there!" and the scene ends. We see 4 members of the Yellow Heads searching, 2 of them went to the lower floors, and the other 2 upstairs. Wong is hiding and saw everything, Wong say that is awesome, that Ryo and Ren haven't been caught yet, we see a rat passing near Wong, Wong say that Joy was right, he won't get caught moving through there, Wong keep moving and is in doubt about which way to go, he choose a way and see a air duct passage with light, he say that this looks promising. He open the passage and fall on the ground of the room and hurted a little. Wong see Yuanda Zhu and sah "Wh-What the...?" and Yuanda Zhu say that he didn't realize the Yellow Heads were recuiting children so young, Wong say that he is not one of the Yellow Heads. Wong ask... "Who even are you?" and he respond... "My name is Yuanda Zhu." Wong is surprised, Wong say "The real deal?!" and Yuanda Zhu respond that this is a strange thing for a kid to say, Wong say that his buddy Ryo is here, that they can get him out, outside of the room Yuan ask how are the things with Yuanda Zhu, one of the member say no problems about that. Yuanda Zhu say they are coming, that Wong need to go now, Wong say "Right now? but how..." outside of the room Yuan hear noises, Yuan open the door of the room quickly and see that Yuanda Zhu is there, Yuan is relieved and say for Yuanda Zhu to not scare like that. Wong is hiding again and Yuan say for Yuanda Zhu... "We are leaving to hand you over now. Say your sad goodbyes to Hong Kong while you can." Wong ask himself what should he do, after that many rats appear near Wong, Wong say that he got it, he pick the lighter and lights it up. Yuan say for Yuanda Zhu... "All right, time to go" and then all the rats fall in Yuan's shoulders and face, Wong is happy that his plan worked. Yuan is afraid of the rats and go out of the room, Yuan jump in one of t he Yellow Heads members back, while this happen Wong help Yuanda Zhu to leave the house by pulling his wheelchair, i love this scene with Yuanda Zhu, Wong and Yuan, really nice to see Yuanda Zhu talking with Wong, a nice surprise to me. Back to Ryo and Ren, the duo arrive in the basement, 3 members of the Yellow Heads are there, the duo see that Joy is locked, Ren say that they can't talk themselves outta this one, the duo make the position to fight when Master Baihu appear and say for the members of the Yellow Heads to stand aside. Baihu ask for the duo if they are friends with Joy, Ryo say that's right, that Joy is coming with them. It is interesting to see the in this part Ryo's eyes turn blue, probably to show how much he want to save one of his friends, to show how much Ryo's friends mean to him, in this case Joy, this is a really a nice touch, i don't remember if in other episodes this happened but this is a beautiful detail in this episode, loved it. Baihu say amusing and that the woman will go free but only if Ryo can defeat him, In this moment Ryo remember when Kai said for Ryo for him to open his mind's eye, the flashback end and Ryo close his eyes. Baihu try to attack Ryo, Ryo open his eyes and dodge the attacks. After that another flashback begin, in the flashback we see Jianmin Tao, Zhoushan Xuan, Guixiang Lee and Zhangyu Kong. These characters are the characters that taught the 4 Wude for Ryo, Ryo remember all the 4 Wude GON, JIE, YI and DAN. The flashback ends and Ryo try to punch Master Baihu, Baihu block the attack and try to kick, Ryo managed to evade the kick and then Ryo kick Baihu in the head. Baihu fall on the ground. The 3 members of the Yellow Heads are scared after seeing this, Ryo look at them with a serious face and then they run away. Ryo say for Baihu that this fight is over and that they are taking Joy with them, Baihu say for Ryo to state his name, Ryo say his full name and Baihu respond "A name that i will... remember..." and then Baihu fall unconscious. It is a short fight, but i think i understand why the anime team did this way, for me Ryo winning against Baihu quickly is to show that Ryo really improved as a martial artist and as a character, that everything that he learned made a impact on him and that he changed with that, Ryo is stronger now, if i think about it this way i can accept the fight because character development for Ryo, but i agree that the fight could have been way better, a longer fight with more tension. In the next scene we see the outside of the Yellow Heads building and the motorcycle of Joy near the door. The member of the Yellow Heads that is with the bicycle finally arrived, he was really tired and sweating, he see Joy's motorcycle and ask himself why Joy and Wong come there. A car arrive with 2 other members, one of them ask where is Joy and Wong, The one with the bicycle said "You had a car...?!" this member enter the building and see Yuan still scared about the rats. He ask for Yuan what is this situation, Yuan say Rats, filthy rats, the member say "Rats? what are you talking about? Do you mean Ren and that japanese kid?! and Yuan respond... "No, idiot! I'm talking about real, live rats!" then the member ask for Yuan where is Yuanda Zhu, Yuan enter in the room and see that Yuanda Zhu is gone, Yuan say "That goddamn brat!" the member say "Brat? Oh shit!" and then the scene ends. In the next scene we see Ryo holding Joy, Joy open her eyes and see Ryo and Ren, Ryo ask what the hell she is doing there, Joy respond... "As if you have to ask! I came to save two dumbasses from throwing their lives away!" Ren say tha this is a way to flirt with danger, Ren also say that all that's left is Yuanda Zhu, Ren start using the comunication radio again. Joy ask about Wong, Ryo is surprised and Joy ask if he haven't met up with Wong yet. In the comunication radio they hear Yuan's voice saying for the other members to find Wong, that he broke Yuanda Zhu out and now they are on the run, to catch Wong immediately. In the next scene we see Wong pushing Yuanda Zhu's wheelchair to try to escape the building, the member of the Yellow Heads that was with the bicycle in the other scenes appear in front of them saying he is gonna rip Wong's head off, Wong say to give him a break already, Yuanda Zhu say for Wong to keep charging ahead, Wong is insecure about continue but Yuanda Zhu say for Wong to trust him. Wong continue charging ahead and the member of the Yellow Heads continue to run to grab them, when the member got really near them Yuanda Zhu used his cane to attack him, this way Yuanda Zhu bests the member of the Yellow Heads, Wong is really impressed by that and continue to keep charging ahead. They are almost reaching the elevator, the light of the elevator turn on meaning the elevator is almos there on the floor, Wong is happy about that and say that this is great, that they will get out of there. The door of the elevator open and we see Dou Niu there, Dou Niu get out of the elevator and say... "Hey, Kid. Keep this up and i will see to it that you are sleeping with the fishes tonight!" Wong is so surprised about that and was not able to stop charging ahead the wheelchair. These scene of Yuanda Zhu with Wong is a beautiful surprise to me, i love all the new scenes with Joy, Wong, Yuanda Zhu and other characters in this situation, this expanded more the Yellow Heads building part of the story, some things don't have in the game and it is beautiful to see the story getting expanded like this, the paths of all these characters connecting like this for the rooftop part, loved it. In the next scene we see Ryo, Ren and Joy running when they encounter Yuan, Yuan lick the knife and say... "You assholes... "You've really done it now... Enough games! i'm shredding you all to pieces!" and try to attack Ryo and Ren, the duo managed to dodge some attacks. Yuan keep trying to attack when Ren kick the hand of Yuan, this way the knife is out of Yuan's hand, after that Ryo say for Ren to put Yuan down for good. Yuan try to attack Ryo, Ryo dodge the attack and kick Yuan, Ren push the button for the elevator to open and then Yuan fall inside of the elevator. Ren pick handcuffs and put in Yuan so Yuan can stay in the elevator. Joy ask for Yuan where are Wong and Yuanda Zhu, to spit it out about that. Yuan say "How should i know! I'd never tell you even if i did!" Ren get angry and Ryo say for Yuan... "You said that Yuanda Zhu would be handed over. Where is the handoff happening?" Yuan say "Shucks, I forgot" then Ren pick a trash can and say "Oh yeah? Guess you don't mind a taste of this, then." Ryo ask what is with all the garbage, Ren say that he told this before, that Yuan is a cleaning maniac. Yuan begs for Ren not to do this, Yuan is scared and say that the deal will go down on the roof. Ryo say "Great! Lets go!" and push the button of the other elevator. Ren made it seem like he was leaving, Yuan is relieved about that but the Ren say "Thanks" and kick the trash can for inside the elevator, then after that Ren enter in the other elevator and Ryo push the button so they can go to the roof. We see how the trash can messed with Yuan, the door of the elevator close and Yuan yell because of what happened. Ryo, Ren and Joy are inside of the elevator waiting to get to the roof, the door of the elevator open and the trio begin to run to get to the roof, the door open and the helicopter is there, a white mark of The Chi You Men is in the helicopter, Ryo stop running and we can see Lan Di hanging on the helicopter ladder. They look at each other, Ryo's eyes turn red to show how much he want revenge, this is a beautiful detail, Ryo say "Lan Di" in a angry way and then the episode ends. What can we expect to see in the next episode? In my opinion we will probably see the fight Ryo VS Lan Di and Ryo will lose in a fast way. Probably after that Ryo will fight Dou Niu and remember Xiuying's words, Ryo defeat Dou Niu, i hope this part is not cut out in the anime, Ryo defeating Dou Niu is important to me, this victory show how much Ryo got stronger in that part of the story. Maybe after losing against Lan Di Ryo will be on the ground and Lan Di will ask Dou Niu to finish Ryo, and after that Ryo will win against Dou Niu. I hope we can see the talking with Yuanda Zhu. I'm also looking forward to see Ryo saying goodbye to all his friends in Kowloon and Hong Kong, it will probably be an emotional scene. The name of the episode is Shenmue so i imagine that we will see something about the Shenmue tree, i noticed as well that Ryo and Shenhua say the name of the last episode together, i agree as well that this is probably a hint that Ryo will meet Shenhua in the next episode. I really don't want to see the Guilin part in a fast way. To me the Guilin part in the game is gentle, calm, mysterious, interesting, ZEN and much more. So many wonderful moments in Guilin like Shenhua singing, Ryo training Tai Chi, all the beautiful places Ryo and Shenhua pass to arrive in Bailu Village and much more, it is one of my favorite parts in videogame history. I don't want to see the Guilin part in a fast way so i hope the season ends with Ryo trying to save Shenhua and the deer, or with Shenhua saying for Ryo to follow her, i don't know something like that, but it is possible that maybe the season will end in the cave scene and this will come full circle in relation to the first episode. Maybe it will end with Shenhua showing the Shenmue tree for Ryo, Shenhua explaining for Ryo that this tree is the Shenmue tree, this way the people that never played the games will know why the name of the anime is Shenmue, then maybe we will get a scene similar to the game like this and then the season ends, i think if the season ends like this will be really nice, and the people that never played the games will probably be intrigued by the Shenmue tree and will want to see a second season of Shenmue, but like i said i really don't want to see the Guilin part in a fast way, so i think maybe the best is to end with Ryo meeting Shenhua. How you think the season will end? tell for us in the comments below. Oh, and i can't forget, i have hope that after that we will see Yu Suzuki saying that Shenmue IV is in development. ❤️ What NPCs do you want to see in the next episode? I want to see Dou Niu, Lan Di, Shenhua, Xiuying, Yuanda Zhu, Wong, Joy and many others. I still have hope that maybe we will see Ziming and Niao Sun similar to the Shenmue Side Story manga, if this scene happen it will be a good setup for the second season, and you? what NPCs you want to see in the season finale? tell for us in the comments below. Final Thoughts Another beautiful episode. What the anime team did with Wong is beautiful, beautiful character development, Wong even said he hate living robbing people, Wong really changed after meeting Ryo, and i love his determination to help Ryo, like i said about the previous episode, for Wong Ryo is like his older brother now. I love Joy in this episode as well, Joy remember a lot of moments with Ryo and we can see how Ryo made a impact in her life and then Joy decide to help as well, beautiful. Joy and Wong getting expanded is one of the beautiful things about the anime, it is really emotional, loved it. Seeing the paths of all these characteres uniting like this in the Yellow Heads Buidling is beautiful, some things in relation to this don't have in the game and it was a beautiful way to see the scenes and how this all connected to the rooftop part, beautiful way to expand the story and with character developments, loved it. I agree with many people about the Ryo VS Baihu fight, it was a short fight, but i think i understand why the anime team did this way, for me Ryo winning against Baihu quickly is to show that Ryo really improved as a martial artist and as a character, that everything that he learned made a impact on him and that he changed with that. i say this because before winning Ryo remember about what Kai said and about the 4 Wude, so to me this is to show how much Ryo improved as a martal artist and as a character, Ryo got stronger, so if i think about it this way i can accept the fight, but the fight could have been way better, a longer fight with more tension. This is one of the reasons why i say a Shenmue anime with 24 episodes would have been even better about more content and development, but just the fact that we are getting a Shenmue anime is beautiful and amazing. The scenes with Dou Niu are nice, the scenes of Ryo with Ren, and i love that the high five of the duo is in the anime, same thing about the scenes with Yuan, really nice scenes. The scenes of Wong with Yuanda Zhu was a beautiful surprise to me, loved it. Yuanda Zhu again defending himself. The final scene with Ryo and Lan Di looking at each other was a beautiful way to end the episode. The name of EP 13 is Shenmue so i imagine that we will see something about the Shenmue tree, i noticed that Ryo and Shenhua said the name of the EP together in the ending. The season will end in the cave? i think is possible but i feel that the anime team will need to cut out a lot of things about the Guilin part so the anime can end in the cave. I don't want to see the Guilin part in a fast way, the Guilin part is so gentle, calm, mysterious and much more, one of my favorite moments of the Shenmue series, so i hope the season ends with Ryo meeting Shenhua. Maybe Ryo trying to save the deer and Shenhua, or maybe ending with Shenhua saying for Ryo to follow her, i don't know but something like this, i will prefer if the season ends with Ryo meeting Shenhua, the season will probably end in Guilin. Just one more episode left to end the season, like i said in the other weeks, i will miss this time of Shenmue content every week. 😿 I have hope that we will get the announcement of Shenmue IV after the last episode of the anime, let's continue to believe that Shenmue will continue, let's continue to believe that one day Shenmue will be completed in game form, and of course the second season of the anime, i have hope about these things, LetsGetShenmue4. ❤️ Next week i will come back for my Analysis of the season finale of the anime, episode 13 Shenmue, thank you all for reading and remember to keep friends... those you love... close to you, bye bye. ~
We’re so close to the end. This week brought all the major players together on one rooftop. Here’s the recap of Guidepost. Scurrying Rats We pick up right where things were left last week, with Wong narrowly avoiding capture on the streets of Hong Kong by the Yellow Head lieutenant after hearing their plans to spring a trap on Ryo and Ren. Joy saves him and is filled in on the impending doom facing the pair in Kowloon. Inside the Walled City, Don Niu stares down the two men he calls rats, cornering them inside a hallway of his gang’s headquarters and ready to put an end to their interference in his machinations. Ryo and Ren have to think fast in the face of this ogre-shaped man. Not wanting to repeat the futility of attacking Don Niu again and focused on finding Yuanda Zhu, they instead time a dodge to squeak past his punches and scamper away. He gives chase down the dark hallways of his dilapidated headquarters, putting fresh holes in the walls with the unadulterated force of his mass as he bowls himself after them. The come across a huge hole in the crumbling building that falling through would prove fatal. The pair balance their way on a single board connecting the two sides of the building across this hole. Once Ryo is on the other side, Ren kicks the board that Don Niu’s mass might have broken anyway, leaving an uncrossable gap between them. They leave the scene to continue looking for Zhu while Don Niu rages for the pair to come back and face him. Changing Hearts and Minds Back in Hong Kong, Joy’s motorcycle comes to a stop as they’ve finally lost the Yellow Heads chasing after Wong. She asks the boy what he plans to do with the information he overheard and Wong replies he needs to help Ryo. Joy remains unconvinced, reiterating her statement from the previous episode there’s little they can do to assist. Wong steps off the bike and decides at this moment to express his true feelings. He’s weary of the direction of his life, committing petty theft on a daily basis and merely scraping by. He’d convinced himself that as an orphan he had no choice but to live this way and closed off his mind from pursuing legitimate paths to make his way in the world. Wong has found new inspiration and quit making excuses for himself after witnessing Ryo’s determination. The first step in his journey has to be helping Ryo in his hour of need, so he runs forward without Joy, resolute to go make a difference. Now on her own, Joy seems to regret choosing not to help. She stops her motorcycle in front of the Come Over Guest House where she secured Ryo a place to stay and reminisces about the young man she’s taken such a strong interest in. Three Yellow Heads come across her and recognize the red motorcycle as Wong’s getaway vehicle. They chase Joy and she roars away. The lead Yellow Head steals a bicycle from a local resident passing by and gives chase. Joy finds Wong sprinting toward Kowloon and motions him to get on her bike, accepting she’s now in the gang’s crosshairs and has to get involved. In a humorous moment, the Yellow Head on the bicycle rattles forward at them on the unsteady contraption, getting left in the dust by Joy’s motorcycle as she burns rubber speeding away. Discussing their strategy to get inside the Yellow Head building, Joy decides to be a decoy while Wong sneaks away to go looking for Ryo. To the boy’s chagrin, he’s directed to pretend he’s her kid brother while she does the talking when upon arrival. Chainsaw Massacre Back at Yellow Head HQ, our duo run into Yuan who’s ready to escalate their violent encounters to a whole new level. Carrying a chainsaw he struts before them and takes a swipe at Ryo’s head. Ryo ducks the attack and they high tail away from the crazed Yuan, managing to lose him down a hallway after kicking the beams holding a damaged section of walls in place, collapsing a barrier between them. A few moments later, Don Niu blasts the barrier away with a powerful kick to free his apologetic first mate, when a call comes through that the daughter of the White Thai organization is in the building, demanding to see them. That daughter, Joy, has arrived to provide the distraction critical to buying Ryo more time. Following Xiuying’s confrontation with the Yellow Heads during the previous episode, Yuan momentarily speculated she could be the daughter of the woman they killed in their bombing ten years prior, returning now to take vengeance against them. The idea was quickly dismissed, but hearing now the real daughter of White Thai leader Chun is actually in their midst now sends a chill down the spines of Don Niu and Yuan, who believe Joy could be there to wreck their deal with the Chi You Men. In the waiting area, Joy sits with Wong and motions him to begin the search, using the classic move of traveling through the air ducts to avoid detection by the gang. Don Niu decides they aren’t going to deal with Joy right now, directing Yuan to lock her up somewhere out of the way. The distraction has bought Ren and Ryo a few moments of peace as they make their way through the building, ready to focus on finding Zhu. Unfortunately, another distraction takes their eyes off the prize as Ren hears on the radio that Chun’s daughter is to be detained. Recognizing this would be Joy, the pair now need to intervene and save her while the gang refocuses its efforts on finding them. Joy is cornered by her jailers, putting one of them in an arm lock for trying to grab her when the mysterious masked fighter seen last week enters the room. Apparently working with the Yellow Heads, he instructs Joy not to put up any more resistance, knocking her out with a neck chop after she refuses. They take her unconscious body to the basement, with Ryo headed that way for the rescue. Wong is having success moving through the air ducts, despite a few rats accompanying him and ends up breaking into the room where Yuanda Zhu is being held. He’s overjoyed to have found the wheelchair bound elder, hoping to make the rescue before Yuan returns to take Zhu to the handover. Wong scurries to the air duct and with some quick thinking, uses his lighter to scare the rats out of the duct, straight onto the squeamish Yuan’s head. A freak-out ensues and Wong is able to sneak Zhu out, guiding his wheelchair down the hallways hoping to make contact with Ryo, who’s just reached the basement. A Masterful Takedown Knowing they aren’t going to be able to negotiate Joy’s release, Ryo and Ren prepare to engage the Yellow Heads guarding her, when the masked fighter appears and takes an interest in Ryo. Master Baihu says she’s free to go if he’s bested in combat by the young Hazuki and a fight ensues. Ryo opens his mind's eye to track the powerful fighter’s movement, using the techniques he learned last episode fighting in the dark to dodge Baihu’s incoming onslaught. He then recalls each of the Wude: GON, DAN, JIE, and YI, as he needs to embody all four to win this battle. Ryo takes Baihu off his guard with a punch toward his chest, then follows up with a strong kick to the master’s neck to send him flying to the ground in defeat. Baihu swears to remember the name Ryo Hazuki as he passes out, opening a path to retrieve Joy from her cage. Hilariously having finally made his way to Kowloon on the bicycle, the sweat drenched Yellow Head lieutenant approaches Yuan, still dazed from his encounter with the rats and pulls him out of his stupor. Realizing the Wong made off with Yuanda Zhu, they signal the entire building to get after them. The trio in the basement hear this on the radio and Joy, who just woke up in Ryo’s arms, explains the boy came with her to the building and yet another rescue is now needed. They rush up to find Wong and Zhu, who are still having success getting through the building utilizing some walking cane Kung Fu moves on incoming thugs. Their luck abruptly ends when Don Niu steps off the elevator they were hoping to take, bringing the boy’s valiant escape to an end. Encounter with Destiny An absolutely frantic and wild eyed Yuan stops the trio rushing to Wong’s aid. With a knife in hand, Don Niu’s right hand man takes one last shot at ending Ren and Ryo for good. Ren disarms with a kick to the wrist, and Ryo adds another kick to the gut to send Yuan flying into the elevator. They handcuff him to the arm rails and demand to know where the Zhu handoff is taking place. Yuan relents and reveals the deal is going down on the roof after seeing his neat freak self face to face with a can full of garbage aimed at his head by Ren. They head off in a neighboring elevator to find Zhu and Wong, but not before the devious Ren gives Yuan a final sendoff with a kick of the dreaded garbage can straight to his face. Reaching the top floor, the trio sprint their way up the last set of stairs to the top of the building. As Ryo bursts through the roof access doors, he takes notice of a helicopter adorned with the Chi You Men insignia, hovering over the building in the sunset sky. Hanging off a rope ladder extended from the chopper is none other than the killer who set his quest into motion. Ryo calls out to Lan Di with rage in his eyes. Comparison to the Games Spoilers for Shenmue 2 in this section. Weaving Joy and Wong In: Joy and Wong’s activities were once again heavily involved in the Yellow Head infiltration story, whereas the games only have the player view their rescues from Master Baihu and Don Niu by Ryo. This was likely done to provide a subplot for the episode so viewers weren’t just watching the duo of Ren and Ryo run through each floor of the building before the Baihu encounter. How Wong and Joy ended up captured in by the Yellow Heads is never addressed in the game, so this is another instance of the show filling in details left up in the air until this point. Master Baihu Gets Nerfed: No real way around pointing out the incredibly epic fight with Baihu in Shenmue 2 was not portrayed with the same grandeur in this episode. The key story beats of the fight are basically all there, but the action itself failed to portray the mysterious fighter with the gravitas that would inspire decades of fan theories about his real identity. An anime newcomer could easily be forgiven for thinking he’s not an important character. Yuanda Zhu Got Some Moves: Wong’s rescue let us get a bit more insight into Zhu’s mannerisms and inclination to defend himself. Taking down the Yellow Head lieutenant as they barreled down the hallway gave us a nice contrast to the largely helpless old man we witnessed struggling away from Don Niu at the climax of the Kowloon segment in Shenmue 2. Final Thoughts Penultimate episodes often have to run at a breakneck pace and cover a ton of ground before heading into the finale, as was the case here. On the whole I felt this episode did a good job of setting us up for the climactic showdown with Lan Di to close out the season. There was a lot more humor in this episode than we’ve seen up to this point, and I enjoyed it. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the jokes worked for me. I genuinely laughed when the Yellow Head showed up at their headquarters exhausted from the bike ride and the two others followed right behind in a car. Yuan’s antics were just silly enough to work without undercutting his crazy, sadistic side shown when taking on Ryo and Ren. I do have to express mild disappointment with Master Baihu’s fight sequence. It likely ended up this way from a dwindling budget, but nevertheless It was an oddly edited scene that threw in a ton of flashbacks in lieu of the epic action the showdown deserved. I liked the idea of including the four Wude in the fight. Rather than play flashbacks though, Ryo could have instead used the Iron Palm that Jianmen taught him in the fight while flashing the GON symbol on the screen as a way to show his growth as a martial artist through practice. Repeat that three more times with similar sequences highlight the rest of the Wude and you could have witnessed an incredible fight on the screen. Looking elsewhere in the episode, I appreciated seeing how Wong expressed his wish to lead a better life to Joy. It was a nice character moment that served to show the positive impact Ryo can have on those he encounters on his journey, despite the temporary danger they're thrown into. Ren, Joy, Wong, and Xiuying have all had aspects of their life altered by Ryo’s presence and scenes like that one hammer home how the series is about more than simple revenge. We wrapped on a big moment and next week will be an opportunity to bring a fresh new dynamic to the face off with Lan Di at the top of the Yellow Head building. I’m really looking forward to it and hope the showrunners kept enough of their budgetary powder dry to deliver an epic finale. It's kind of hard to believe we're nearly at the end so quickly. These past 12 weeks have really flown by. This Saturday, the season closes out with the aptly titled Shenmue. I’ll see you one last time next week for a final recap. Enjoy the finale!

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