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Shenmue The Animation S01E04 Shackles – Analysis

Posted on March 3, 2022 at 08:00 AM GMT

Welcome back to my Shenmue analysis, this time for episode 4 Shackles. This analysis will have SPOILERS of the anime and the games. The episode start with Shenhua, it looks like she is in the cave, Lan Di appear and Shenhua is surprised about that, then Ryo wake up and we saw that this was another nightmare that Ryo had. This scene is similar to the bad ending of Shenmue II so it was a nice touch to put this scene in the anime in my opinion.

In the scene we see Ryo in a travel agency, he is trying to find the ticket to Hong Kong, Ryo is reading something in this scene, maybe a book to learn mandarin? we can see Ryo with this book in the boat scene in the anime trailer as well, maybe we will see in detail about this in other episode. The attendant talk with Ryo in mandarin, she asked if Ryo was looking for flights to Hong Kong, Ryo understood and said yes. Maybe in the Hong Kong part of the story we will even see more characters talking in madarin and i think this is a nice detail in the anime.

The attedant then showed to Ryo the best price for a ticket to Hong Kong. In the next scene we see Ine-san in the Hazuki Residence, she was probably calculating the bills of the residence, Ryo saw everything and i think this added more to the story was a nice detail, in this moment Ryo realized that she can’t help him, that he will have to find another way to earn money for the trip to Hong Kong.

Fuku-san noticed that Ryo was looking and then Ryo showed the Hong Kong pamphlet for him, Fuku-san decided to give his savings to help Ryo just like it happened in the game. Ryo counted the money in his room and saw that this money is not enough for the trip, we can even see an easter egg with 2 casette tapes from the games, Flower Girl and Go Go, another nice detail in this episode.

Ryo decided to go to the harbor to search for a job, Goro appears and called Ryo his bro, Ryo don’t understand that but Goro said that is just his way of showing respect.

Goro thinks that Ryo is working in Master Chen’s organization and we learned that the character that was hiding in the previous episode was Goro, it was nice to have the confirmation about that.

Goro said that if Ryo needs anything that he is there to help Ryo, Ryo say that he need some quick cash, then Goro said that he will grab a kid off the street and jack him up, Ryo stop Goro and say that not like that and ask if Goro can help him to find a job near the harbor instead. Goro say he knows the people in the harbor and that he will help Ryo. We see that Goro is slowly change his ways of living. In the next scene we see Ryo talking with Goro and Mai-chan about finding a job in the harbor. Ryo is surprised that Goro and Mai-chan know each other.

Goro say that Mai-chan was getting into all kind of trouble, but he helped her straightened her right out, then Mai-chan said that he didn’t do diddly squat. In my opinion was Mai-chan that help Goro improve in life as a person. Mai-chan said that she get loads of customers from Alpha Trading company and that they are looking for help.

In the next scene we see Ryo talking with Ryozo Yada, another NPC from the game so is nice to see him in the anime as well, he is the manager of the freight handling division of Alpa Trading company. Ryozo ask if Ryo can start the job right away, Ryo said yes and thanked for the opportunity, then Ryozo say that Ryo have to learn the ropes first and called Mark.

Ryozo said to Mark that Ryo just signed up and asked if Mark can help Ryo to teach him how to work a forklift, Mark agreed with this, then Ryozo say that if Ryo have any questions that Mark is the one to ask about it, Ryo then say that is good to meet Mark but Mark is serious and do not say a thing about that, he just say for Ryo to follow him.

Mark teached Ryo about the forklift and then said that this covers all the basics, for Ryo to figure the rest out for himself. Ryo wanted to say something but he stopped because he noticed that Mark was leaving the place and doesn’t want to talk with him. Mark is more serious and quiet in this version but in my opinion is understandable, Mark in this moment of the story is sad, suffering bullying by the Mad Angels and wants to find his brother so i like the way Mark is in this episode, i love Mark in the game but i also love Mark in the anime.

In the next scene we saw Ryo working in the forklift job, Ryo say that he thinks he is starting to get the hang of it, another worker said to Ryo for Ryo to bring that one near him, Ryo said sure and then he lost control of the forklift for a moment, this showed that Ryo still needs practice with the forklift. The other worker got angry with him but Ryo said sorry, in my opinion is nice to see Ryo learning about to drive the forklift little by little this way.

Ryo finished his work and thanked Mark for helping him in the day, Mark continues to be serious and just said… “sure” for Ryo, then Goro appears and talk with Ryo about the job, Goro ask how the new job is going, if Ryo gonna land a fat paycheck. Mark was climbing the stairs and decided to stop and observe them. Ryo said is too early to say, then Goro said for Ryo to get that money rolling in so they can have a wild party. Mark heard that and didn’t like it and decided to leave, then Ryo asked why Goro decided to drop by, Goro said that he thought about showing the neighborhood for Ryo.

Goro explained that the harbor is Mad Angels territory, that Ryo gotta tread pretty lightly. In the next scene we see Goro showing all the places in the harbor, that he knows all the best places around Shin Yokosuka port. Ryo go to many places in the port with Goro then they stop near the ocean with a beautiful view. Ryo then see the number 10 on the floor with a chalk nearby and ask Goro what this is, Goro say that this is kind of a message board, that when guys discover a vacant warehouse, they joy it down there, then everybody can gather up and hang out, that Ryo should come by next time. This details don’t have in the game and i think is a nice detail.

Ryo said thanks but he will pass, Goro said that Ryo needs to be more chill, after that Goro said for Ryo to follow him cause they got even more to see. In the next scene we see Guizang in warehouse number 8, Guizhang remember what Ryo said to him that no matter what happens Ryo will always be Iwao’s son, then Master Chen appear and asked what is it, Guizhang asked about him continue to tailing Ryo, as his bodyguard.

Master Chen said that Guizhang know as well as he do, that this was just a cover to allow Guizhang to keep tabs on him, that now that Ryo discovered the phoenix mirror they can’t afford to get involved any further, it would only escalate tensions, that their hands are tied, that although, it is a shame to fail Yuanda Zhu, What exactly Master Chen meant with that? i love the scenes with Master chen and Guizhang in the anime, nice addition to the story.

In the next scene we see Ryo working again, we see that he is having a difficult time about getting the crates right in the places, Mark was near observing Ryo but did not talked with him. I remember how sometimes i had a difficult times with crates and forklift in the game as well, it is a beautiful touch that the anime team added in this scene, the team really played the game.

After that we see Nozomi in the Hazuki residence talking with Fuku san, Fuku-san explained that Ryo is working in the warehouse district in Shin Yokosuka Port, that if Nozomi wants to tell Ryo something that he will pass for Ryo. Nozomi said no that this is okay, that she will stop by again, then Nozomi get out of the Hazuki residence and start to reflect that Ryo is skipping class and work this late in the school year, she looked forward and we see the beautiful view that Nozomi is viewing of harbour in Amihama from the Hazuki Residence, so beautiful.

In the next scene we see Mark climbing the stairs again after work, Ryo tried to talk with him but Mark doesn’t want to talk, Mark decided to observe them again, then Goro appear again and said cheers to a day of honest work, he gave a coffee for Ryo. Ryo asked why Goro are being so helpful to him, Goro then talked that when he was little his dad said he would go grab some cigs and never came back, so he hardly remember what he was even like, that he really wanted to get to know his dad but he didn’t have the guts to go out and find him.

Goro said he heard about what happen to Ryo’s dad from Mai, that Ryo had it way worse than him, but Ryo didn’t just throw in the towel and give up, that Goro thinks that this is awesome, that he tought that he got to help Ryo, and that maybe one day he will find the courage and got out to find his own dad, after that Goro said that he wants to see Ryo continue his journey, and said sorry because he didn’t mean to bring Ryo down or something like this. Goro also said that he wants to visit Iwao’s grave one of these days, Mark was obeserving everything and Mark was beggining to understand Ryo and Goro. I love these scenes, it gave even more depth and character development for Goro and Mark.

Ryo then asked for a favor, Goro said that anything within his power he will do it. Ryo wanted to know what he need to do to meet with the Mad Angels, Goro felt surprised and asked what the hell Ryo want with this, then Ryo explained that the Mad Angels are connected to his father’s death, then we see that Mark is surprised as well, it was in this moment that Mark really understood Ryo, and why Ryo is working in the harbor and in my opinion this scenes were done in a beautiful way. In the next scene we see Ryo walking what it looks like Sakuragaoka in this version, he remember Goro saying for him that he can’t help Ryo with the Mad Angels, that they will do bad things with him.

Ryo was walking and thinking like this but he stopped and saw Guizhang in front of him. Ryo asked if his back to play bodyguard, that he tought the Master Chen’s organization were through with him. Guizhang said that not exactly and started a fight with Ryo, Ryo still had difficulty in this fight, Guizhang used The Swallow Dive and we see that Ryo was sweating and paralyzed, Ryo was really impressed by this move, the fight ended after that. Guizhang said that this move is The Swallow Dive, a technique that he is prepared to teach for Ryo now. I love this scene and the animation is beautiful, Ryo have more fights with Guizhang in the anime than in the games, also in this scene we see that vending machine similar to the vending machine in the first game, another nidce detail in this scene.

Ryo wanted to know why he wanted to teach Ryo this move, Guizhang replied saying he failed to answer Ryo’s questions, Guizhang said that if he were in Ryos shoes he would do exactly the same. In this scene we see character development for Guizhang, Guizhang decided to help Ryo and Ryo learned with him The Swallow Dive Move, in the game Ryo learned the same move with him so is nice to see in the anime as well.

The next scene is in Bar MJQ, in this moment Terry is talking with his goons and learned that Ryo is working in the harbor, he is planning on doing something bad against Ryo. After that we see Ryo walking in Sakuragoka, he saw Nozomi in front of him and they decided to go to Sakuragaoka park. Ryo asked if she were waiting this whole time for him and said sorry for her. Nozomi said that she heard that he got a part-time job and asked if this is true, Ryo confirmed and Nozomi wants to know the reason for this, if his willing to share it with her.

Ryo explained the situation, Nozomi said she had no idea that Ryo had been searching for the truth behind what happened to his father all this time. Ryo asked if she is worried, Nozomi said yes then Ryo said sorry. Nozomi stand up and said she believe that Ryo should do whatever he think is right. Ryo was happy to hear that and remembered about the advice Nozomi wanted from him, then Nozomi said that everything is okay but she looked sad while saying this and then they part ways. Nozomi will not confess her love for Ryo in this version? i hope that the confession will happen in the next episode but i really enjoy this scene with them in the Sakuragaoka park.

he next scene is in Nozomi’s house, she was eating near her grandmother Toki Aida, another NPC from the game so is nice to see her in this episode. Her grandmother asked what Nozomi is going to do about her father’s proposal, Nozomi wants to know what her Grandma think about this situation, then her Gradma said that if Nozomi moved away to Canada she would realy hate to see her go, but thinking about what’s best for Nozomi, she knows that Nozomi should be together with her parents. The next scene is in Nozomi’s room, we can see many photos of Nozomi and her friends. The first photo is Nozomi, Eri and Mayumi. The second photo is Ichiro, Ryo and Naoyuki, the third photo is Ryo and Eri, and the last photo is Ryo, Ichiro, Naoyuki and Nozomi, the same photo that we see in the game, Nozomi is thinking what will be her decision, she will stay in Japan or she will go to Canada? This scenes with Nozomi in her house have a beautiful soundtrack in my opinion.

The Next Day… Yokosuka Port

In the next scene we see Ryo working in the port again, Ryo didn’t put the crate exactly right, this remind me when i play the first game, sometimes this things happen to me when i play so was really nice to see this details with the forklift during the episode, the anime team is really paying attention to the Shenmue details and this is beautiful.

Mark saw that Ryo was having a hard time and decided to help him, Mark said for Ryo to stop that he will fix that up for Ryo, in this moment we see that Mark now understand Ryo more, we see that Mark wants to help Ryo now. In the next scene we see Goro and Mai-chan at the Aida florist, Nozomi was there to welcome them, Mai asked who in the world has got Goro buying flowers, Goro say that it’s for his bro, that Goro need flowers to put on Iwao’s grave. Mai asked if this is for Ryo-niichan.

Goro got angry and said that Mai can’t call Ryo like that because Ryo is not from her family, Mai said that this doesn’t matter, that’s just how she always known him, as the Hazuki dojo kid, Ryo-niichan, this part with Mai saying that is cute.

Goro still angry and said that Mai don’t know how big of a deal Ryo is, that Ryo is about to take on some serious baddies by himself, all to get to the bottom of his dad’s murder, Mai wants to know what baddies, Goro replied “The Mad Angels”, Nozomi was hearing everything and asked what are the Mad Angels, Goro don’t know who Nozomi is but Mai explained for him that Nozomi is a classmate of Ryo.

Nozomi wants to know more about the Mad Angels but Goro understood that it was bad to talk about this, then Nozomi’s grandmother appear and asked if Nozomi could make a delivery to Saijo’s bar for her, Nozomi said of course. In the next scene we back in the harbor and we see Ryo and Mark inside a building, Ryo wants to know why all of a sudden Mark started to teaching him properly about the forklift, Mark just replied… “Tomorrow is another early day, Get yourself home” and then he left. After that outside of the building we saw some people of The Mad Angels hitting Mark and bully him, they wanted to know about Ryo and they want Mark to bring Ryo to them.

Mark said he never heard about Ryo and then Ryo arrived there, Mark said for Ryo to run but Ryo bests this members of the Mad Angels and then they ran away, Ryo saved Mark. Ryo asked if Mark is okay and then Mark thanked him, Mark said that this are members of the Mad Angels, Ryo said that he knew about that but asked why Mark did stand up for him, then Mark said that Ryo remind of himself, at first, he thought that Ryo was just another kid looking for some quick cash to goof around with, but he realized that Ryo is not like that, then Mark said that he didn’t come in the harbour just to earn money, either, that he came to find his little bother, that he heard that his brother joined the Mad Angels.

In the next scene we see Nozomi in the Yokosuka Bar arriving with the flowers for Saijo-san, she heard two people talking about the Mad Angels but talking for a short time they leave the bar. Nozomi wanted to know what are the Mad Angels, Saijo-san said he don’t know but he was lying and Nozomi noticed that, then Nozomi said she is trying to get information to help Ryo, for Saijo-san to tell her what he can, Saijo-san said that all he can say is that there not the kind of guys that a girl like her should be trying to dig up dirt on.

After that we see that Nozomi followed those two that were in the bar, she asks herself if this is where the Mad Angels hang out and then a member of the Mad Angels appear behind her asking if she need something from them, this part with Nozomi do not have in the game and i think it was a beautidul addition.

In the next scene we see Ryo arriving in the Hazuki Residence after working. Ine-san asked Ryo if he was out with Nozomi, Ryo said no and asked what’s going on, Ine-san explained the situation, she said that Nozomi’s gradma called earlier, that she said that Nozomi never came back after she went out to make a delivery.

Ryo decided to leave the house and then someone in a motorcycle asked if he is Ryo Hazuki, then Ryo asked who is he, then he responded The Mad Angels and said for Ryo to go to warehouse Number 17 or they will give Nozomi something to cry about, then Ryo asked if they kidnap Nozomi, he said for Ryo to not keep Terry waiting, he was about to leave but Ryo ran and hit him and then he fall in the ground, Ryo picked the motorcycle and said he will taking this for a spin. This part is different in the anime, i would prefer Naoyuki appearing in this part but the scene they created for the anime is cool as well. In the next scene we see Ryo arriving in the Harbor and we can see Warehouse 17, the place is bigger in the anime if we compare to the place in the game. Ryo enter in the warehouse and then he met Terry. Terry asked if the Chens send him but Ryo said he got nothing to do with Master Chen, that he is after the man called Lan Di and that’s it.

Terry said… “The Chi You Men, seriously?” Ryo want for Terry to let Nozomi go but Terry said that he will only do that if Ryo prove that he don’t pose a threat to The Mad Angels, Terry wants for Ryo to kill Guizhang, only this way he will be convinced that Ryo is not with Chens organization, but Nozomi will stay with them until Ryo finish Guizhang, i remember that in the game Terry let Nozomi go before that, was an interesting change in the anime version.

In the next scene we see Ryo with 2 members of the Mad Angels behind him, one of them with a knife, Ryo is thinking how he can save Nozomi, he stopped and remembered what Goro said to him about wanting him to continue his journey, also he remembered about Nozomi saying for Ryo that she believe that Ryo should do whatever he think is right. After that Ryo say he need to take a leak first, they let Ryo do that and then Ryo change the number on the ground to 17, i believe that Ryo did this for Goro to see, this way Goro will save Nozomi, this did not happen in the game but in my opinion is a nice addition to this version of the story.

In the next scene we see Ryo and Guizhang, Guizhang asking what Ryo want with him, Ryo replied saying they have to fight and Ryo started to attack him. Guizhang is surprised but Ryo said for him to not say anything, then Guizhang said that Ryo gave him no choice. One of Terry’s goons say for Terry that Ryo and Guizhang started fighting, the soundtrack in this moment is amazing. The fight continues while Terry and some of his goons are watching, Ryo and Guizhang used at the same time the Swallow Dive, the move that Guizhang teached for Ryo, both fallen on the ground after that, Terry see that and say that now he will take Yokosuka for him, the episode ends with Terry laughing while we see Ryo and Guizhang on the ground.

What we can expect to see in the next episode?

In my opinion we will see the continuation of the fight between Guizhang and Ryo, i think the fight is not over because in the japanese trailer of the anime i saw some scenes that are not in this episode. After that we will see the 70 man battle and i hope it will be an intense moment just like it is in the game. In this part we will probably see Goro looking at what Ryo did on the ground, Goro will probably see the number and will save Nozomi in the warehouse number 17.

Also in this scene maybe we will see Mark’s brother or at least a confirmation if he is alive or dead, in the game this did not happened. The Mark story with his brother was introduced in episode 4 so it would be nice to give some type of closure in relation to Mark story, something that do not happen in the game because in the game we don’t know if his brother is alive or not. After the 70 man battle i think we will see the famous scene of Nozomi with Ryo in the motorcycle, i think Ryo and Nozomi will talk after that, maybe she will confess that she is in love with him but she decided to go to Canada, maybe will be in this scene or in other scene that she will give the amulet to Ryo. I hope we can see Eri taking the photo of Ryo and Nozomi in the harbour, to me this scene is important and sweet.

Probably in this episode we will see more of Shenhua in Guilin and maybe Lan Di arriving in Hong Kong in his search for Yuanda Zhu. I think after that Ryo will help Nozomi and Megumi to save the kitten and after that Ryo will go to the the harbour and will learn that he is fired from the forklift job. Probably Ryo will see Tom and learn the Tornado Kick with him, Tom will say to Ryo that he is leaving Japan and the goodbye scene between them will happen. I still have hope that we will see at least one scene with Shozo Mizuki, one of my favorite characters in Shenmue so is sad for me that Shozo did not appeared in this episode. In the next scene i think Ryo will talk with Guizhang and Master Chen, Master Chen will arrange for Ryo to go to Hong Kong as a way to say thanks for defeating The Mad Angels.

Ryo will probably say goodbye to everyone dear to him like Goro, Mark, Nozomi, Fuku-san and Ine-san, maybe we will see Ryo saying goodbye to Naoyuki and Ichiro as well. After that Ryo will come back to the harbour and will learn Swallow Flip with Master Chen and Guizhang, i think this scene will be similar to the one in the game, the scene where Chai will appear and will broke Guizhang’s leg. Ryo will win the fight and after that he will say goodbye to Master Chen and Guizhang, he will enter the boat to begin the trip to Hong Kong, and we will see that Chai will enter in the boat as well, i think the episode will end maybe in this scene and Shenhua talking the poem like in the first game, maybe will end in a fight scene with Chai on the boat or maybe even with Ryo arriving in Hong Kong, i really don’t know, all i know is that i’m looking forward for the next episode.

Final thoughts

Good episode. This episode is a calm episode where we see Ryo trying to get money to get to Hong Kong, we see Ryo working with the forklift, more depth and character development for Goro, Mark and Guizhang. More scenes with Nozomi. Some things about these characters are not in the game and i really love the way the characters are presented in this episode. It is a slice of life episode, a calm episode with Ryo talking more with Nozomi, Mai-chan, Fuku-san and Goro and getting the forklift job, Ryo working, Mark observing Ryo and changing his opinion about Ryo after hearing about Ryo’s father, Ryo talking with Nozomi in the park, Ryo saving Mark and much more. Was intersting to see the scene of Ine-san with the calculator and Ryo seeing everything, it added more to the story and i felt it was one of the reasons why Ryo wanted to get a job in the anime, Ryo realizing that Ine-san can’t help him and that he needs to find a solution on how to earn money by himself.

I really love that the anime team expanded Goro in the anime, Goro talking about his father, Goro buying flowers because he wanted to put the flowers in Iwao’s grave, this and much more added even more development for Goro and i love that. Also love the way the anime team did Mark, Mark is even more serious in the anime and this is understandble, he is sad, suffering bullying by the Mad Angels and he wants to find his brother, it is possible that maybe we will see his brother in the next episode. People who haven’t played the game don’t know Ichiro and Naoyuki, these characters only appeared in the photos in Nozomi’s room, would be nice if these characters really appeared since the first episode, this way adding more emotion to the situation about Ryo wanting to leave Japan and leaving his friends. I hope Ichiro and Naoyuki appear at least in the next episode. I hope that we will see Tom and Shozo Mizuki in the next episode as well.

I still have hope that we will see Megumi and the kiiten in the next episode, i think is possible that we will see the scene of Nozomi and Ryo helping Megumi-chan to find the kitten. Some things are happening in a different way in the anime so is not impossible for this things to happen in the next episode.

I think the fight Ryo VS Guizhang is not over yet because in the japanese trailer i remember other scenes of the fight that are not in this episode. In my opinion Ryo changed the number to 17 so Goro can see that and help Ryo, maybe it will be Goro that will save Nozomi in the Warehouse 17 while Ryo and Guizhang are fighting Terry and his goons. We lose in some areas but we win in others like more screen time and development for Yamagishi-san, Goro, Lan Di, Shenhua, Nozomi and many more, maybe we will even see more about Yuanda Zhu, Ziming and Niao Sun in the anime. It is an adaptation and i think the scenes the anime team added in the story are really good.

If after seeing the anime the person wants to see more about Shenmue and this way having a complete Shenmue experience then the person can always play the games, one media complement the other and this is good in my opinion. The more Shenmue in more media the better, i hope we can get a Shenmue Manga someday.

So far i love the anime but i just think that 24 episodes would have been even better, Shenmue series have many interesting NPCs that they can create more stories, this way more time to develop the story, showing more characters, more character development for them, expanding some stories like Nagai Industries, more slice of life scenes and much more.

This is one of the reasons why i think the anime with 24 episodes would be even better, i love Shenmue so more content this way would be awesome in my opinion but i love the anime and i think is beautiful that we are getting an entire season with 13 episodes. So far it is a beautiful adaptation with new things added to the story and lore of Shenmue, in many ways is faithful to the original material, the attention and care the anime team have with the details of the Shenmue World is wonderful, the soundtrack of the anime is beautiful and much more, the anime is really like a breath of fresh air for this wonderful franchise, i’m looking forward for the next episode. In the next episode Ryo will arrive in Hong Kong? what will happen in the next episode? all i know is that i love Shenmue forever and that i’m looking forward for the next episode, and remember to always keep friends… those you love… close to you…

Next week i will come back for the analysis of episode 5 Equal, thank you all for reading, bye bye. ~

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