Shenmue spin-off series ~ Iwao Hazuki ~

Shenmue boasts a multitude of memorable and intriguing characters, each with their own unique personality that make them stand out. It's fascinating to imagine these characters having their own spin-off series, delving deeper into their individual stories. Characters like Iwao, Joy, Guizhang, Fuku-san, Goro, Ren, Wong, Xiuying, Nozomi, Shenhua, and countless others have left a lasting impression on fans.

In this series of posts, i will delve into the concept of Shenmue spin-offs and share my ideas for potential series that I would personally love to see. While these ideas are purely speculative, they aim to explore the possibilities and ponder if YS NET could potentially bring them to life in the future.

To kick off the series, I'd like to discuss the idea of a spin-off centered around Iwao Hazuki. Iwao plays a crucial role in the main Shenmue storyline as Ryo's father. A spin-off series focusing on Iwao would be an excellent opportunity to delve into his past, exploring his early adventures and shedding light on his motivations and experiences that ultimately shaped the events of Shenmue.

The spin-off could take us on a journey alongside Iwao, chronicling his martial arts training, his encounters with various allies and adversaries. It would be an engaging opportunity to witness Iwao's character development and witness the events that led him to the fateful moment at the beginning of Shenmue.

~ Iwao's Journey ~

Iwaos Journey.png

A spin-off featuring Iwao Hazuki would be a captivating and intriguing concept. Iwao Hazuki, who happens to be Ryo's father, embarked on his own journey to China many years before Ryo did.

The reasons behind Iwao's journey to China remain largely unknown. However, we do know that he visited Hong Kong/Kowloon, received training in Bailu Village alongside his friend Sunming Zhao, and, in Shenmue III, we discovered that he even ventured to Niaowu. We became aware of his visit to Niaowu because a monk presented Ryo with a skill book called Thunder Palm, which originally belonged to Iwao.

One of the remarkable aspects of Shenmue is that Ryo retraces the footsteps of his father, visiting the same places Iwao once explored. This element adds to the beauty of Shenmue.

During his time in Kowloon, Ryo even encounters Kai, who was a friend of Iwao's. Iwao and Kai became friends when Iwao was in Kowloon, Iwao was fascinated with Chinese martial arts.

It truly feels as if Ryo is following in his father's path, visiting the exact locations Iwao did during his time in China. It's as if Ryo is on a similar journey to the one his father undertook.

Given Iwao's unique journey to China, a spin-off dedicated to him would offer an intriguing and enchanting way to portray his adventure. It would serve as a beautiful means to expand the Shenmue story with more intricate details and further enrich the overall narrative

~ Story ~


The first game of the Iwao Hazuki spin-off series could take place in either 1969 or 1970, showcasing a younger Iwao residing in Yokosuka. In the game, Iwao would be living alongside his wife, Akane Hazuki, and their infant son, Ryo, within the Hazuki Residence. It would be intriguing to include Ine-san, a familiar character, in the game as well.

Tragically, Ryo's mother, Akane Hazuki, passed away from an undisclosed illness when he was only three years old. The specific nature of her ailment remains unknown, but an Iwao Hazuki spin-off series would have the opportunity to delve into this matter and explore it in great detail.

One of the primary focuses of the spin-off's first game could revolve around Iwao's quest to find a cure for Akane's illness. This pursuit would lead him to uncover a labyrinth of larger and darker circumstances, involving gangs, enigmatic figures, and the discovery of the Chi You Men, among other revelations. The game could meticulously depict Yokosuka as it was during the 1960s and 1970s, immersing players in the city's ambiance of that time, the inhabitants, and much more. So many possibilities for the first game in Iwao's spin off series.

~ Character Design ~

With AI i tried to do some of the character designs of some characters in the first game of Iwao's spin-off series, the results are really interesting.

~ Young Iwao Hazuki ~

In my opinion this design for a young Iwao Hazuki is really wonderful, i like this design a lot.
Young Iwao.jpgYoungIwao2.jpgYoungIwao3.jpg

~ Akane Hazuki ~ (Ryo's Mother)

Unfortunately Ryo's mother doesn't have an official design so I tried to imagine what she would look like, I liked the result.


~ Akane holding baby Ryo ~


~ 42 Year old Ine-san ~


~ Gameplay ~

In my opinion, spin-off series don't necessarily need to replicate the exact gameplay mechanics of the main series. With spin-offs, I believe it's refreshing to explore different approaches and experiment with new gameplay elements. When it comes to Iwao's spin-off series, i envision it as a unique experience that retains certain similarities to the main Shenmue series.

As of now, I don't have all the details regarding the gameplay of Iwao's spin-off series, but i plan to update this post as soon as more ideas come to mind.

~ Final Thoughts ~

The concept of an Iwao Hazuki spin-off series is truly captivating and intriguing. Iwao Hazuki's journey to China adds an additional layer of fascination. With Iwao's spin-off series, we would have the opportunity to delve into his relationship with Akane Hazuki and witness the moments when Ryo was just a baby.

We could explore in great detail Iwao's encounters with Kai in Kowloon, Iwao training in Bailu Village with Sunming Zhao, and his experiences in Niaowu. Moreover, we could delve into Iwao's significant time spent in the important location of Meng Cun, among many other exciting possibilities.

A spin-off series dedicated to Iwao Hazuki would allow for the expansion of the Shenmue story, the exploration of known and new characters, the introduction of diverse locations, and much more. In my imagination, i envision the Iwao Hazuki spin-off series spanning multiple games, each offering its own unique contribution to the narrative.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that YS NET will ever produce an Iwao Hazuki's Spin Off series. Additionally, it's unclear if Yu Suzuki is interested in developing spin-off series for Shenmue.

Personally, i believe that a visual novel, manga, or book series exploring Iwao Hazuki's journey would be a beautiful addition. However, I don't think an official Iwao Hazuki spin-off series will ever come to fruition in a official way. Nevertheless, I have faith that the passionate Shenmue community can create numerous wonderful stories to satisfy our craving for more Shenmue content.

I have many ideas for Shenmue fan projects, and a spin-off visual novel or book series centered around Iwao Hazuki is certainly one that excites me. I would love to create an Iwao Hazuki spin-off series for our wonderful Shenmue Community.

What about you? Do you like the idea of an Iwao Hazuki Spin-off series? What would you like to see in his spin-off? How do you envision Iwao's story unfolding? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

In my next post of this series of posts about Spin-offs i will delve into the realm of imagination and explore a potential spin-off series featuring the beloved character Joy as the main character.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read. And don't forget, always cherish and keep your loved ones and friends close to you. I'll see you all in my next blog post, bye bye. Hiki ~

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This is truly interesting, if things were as they should, for sure we would have this. Almost every IP have prequels.

This remind me of PSP, the "Prequels console" named by me, ha ha, what an amazing console with awesome games, many of them prequels, that console it would have been perfect for it!

Prequels tends also to introduce new things and incoherences with the main products, to make things bigger, newer and more varied, but it's not something that I care about too much in fiction because I always choose my favourite version of the story.

The concepts and the drawings are great! Ren would be another good character for a game, telling the story of how he survived in the streets and how he found the band.
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