Shozo Mizuki (the harbor bum) JP vs. EN

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The homeless man in Shenmue I, Shozo Mizuki sounds significantly different in the Japanese version compared to the English version. Originally he sounded more kooky, crazy, unstable and his voice was more higher pitched. In the dub, he sounds like a wise composed martial artist and his voice is deep and rough. The major difference in voice changes the whole character in general to me.

It is to my understanding, that most people prefer his English voice and I really fail to understand why? It has to be because of nostalgia. It's just his original voice made him more unique and made his character a lot more interesting and mysterious. In the dub, I'm pretty sure he's voiced by Ryan Drees, who voices at least three characters with the same exact voice (Shuqin Zhang, Zhangyu and Master Zhoushan).

We have so many wise martial arts master-type characters in the series, and I really like that the Japanese voice is giving us a different, more unique character.

I can't be the only one who feels this way, right?

In English, I thought he was a really boring character, but in Japanese I like the character a whole lot more and see him completely differently.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
As someone that played the original Shenmue in English first, I have to say I thought Shozo was one of the better performances in the first game. Yes, he had a gravelly voice but it was also mixed with exhaustion and despondence at times, which correlates with his living situation.

Unlike Ren where I felt there was a huge gulf in performance and characterization from Japanese to English, the handful of times I've played Japanese version of Shenmue, nothing particularly jumped out regarding Shozo's original performance.
 
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RyoHazuki36
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but it was also mixed with exhaustion and despondence at times, which correlates with his living situation.
You have a really good point there. I didn't think of that. I like how the Japanese voice sounds more unique and there's so many characters that have his same voice in English, so I prefer the Japanese, especially since his character was intended to be perceived differently (like he's supposed to be more crazy). But you really make a good point especially since it's the winter time and he has no shelter really.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
You have a really good point there. I didn't think of that. I like how the Japanese voice sounds more unique and there's so many characters that have his same voice in English, so I prefer the Japanese, especially since his character was intended to be perceived differently (like he's supposed to be more crazy). But you really make a good point especially since it's the winter time and he has no shelter really.

That makes sense, I mean given he is homeless it's likely he may be suffering from mental health issues so it makes sense he may not always be coherent and act cooky.

Thanks to the awesome @BlueMue you can listen to the English voice collection. I think the one thing the English voice-acting does quite well is portrays Shozo as weary and anti-social at times.

 

Seaman

#LetsGetShenmueIV
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What you people have pointed about Shozo seems to me very simpathetic with a rather underlooked character. Moreover, I felt a warm at my heart when read it.

About the voices western-japan differences its similar at the way animes were dubbed at the time (and still) with notable works but also localisations turning characters into something else. Here in Spain its wide known the voice of Dragon Ball's Krillin, from his deep japanese voice to a clowny "I got no nose" one.
However... we treasure it anyway, because nostalgia. But do the nostalgia factor invalidates the preference? I don't think so, as long we keep some perspective on.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Shozo was one of the many interesting Shenmue denizens. It's part of what sets the game apart IMO: the feeling that you never truly know these [supporting] characters, but you know just enough for your imagination to run wild and fill in the blanks yourself.

20 odd years later, and Shenmue 1 is still a special experience.

(PS- I'll always prefer the Japanese version; however, I'll never completely disregard S1's English dub)
 

JP_

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That makes sense, I mean given he is homeless it's likely he may be suffering from mental health issues so it makes sense he may not always be coherent and act cooky.

Thanks to the awesome @BlueMue you can listen to the English voice collection. I think the one thing the English voice-acting does quite well is portrays Shozo as weary and anti-social at times.

I agree – as much as the English dub is often mocked, there are good performances and this is one of them.
 
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That's a good observation. I have not noticed it yet for myself but I will listen more closely what the guy is saying during my yearly real time Shenmue run which is in progress now. This year I am going to play the japanese dub in the ps4 version. Last year I played the English DC Version.

To bad I do not have a japanese dreamcast copy in my collection. Minus the Dub I prefer the DC version over the Ps4 version.
 
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