Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ryo & Ren Comedy Video with English Captions (2001)

The Japanese voice/mocap actors that played as Ryo and Ren, Masaya Matsukaze and Takumi Hagiwara, created an slapstick video of themselves filming in the city of Shanghai - dressed as their characters - for the promotion of the upcoming Shenmue II.

Although this video has been around on the net for several years, being in Japanese it has not been been very accessible to non-Japanese fans. So now I have added English captions to allow it to be appreciated by a wider audience.

(The captioned video can be viewed directly a little further down in this post.)


The concept of the 15-minute video is ostensibly the filming of a new TV commercial for Shenmue II, which in reality is just a pretext for humorous interaction between the pair. The video was originally screened at the 2001 AM2 Summer Festival event (which you can read about in the previous post), and it was also later included as bonus content on the Japanese DVD of "Shenmue: The Movie".

A youthful Matsukaze takes on the role of director and drags Hagiwara around various parts of Shanghai in his quest for a suitable filming location. They have a great rapport and they are clearly enjoying themselves.

Hagiwara and Matuskaze in Shanghai
Hagiwara (Ren) is chided by Director Matsukaze (Ryo) for his unsatisfactory acting performance.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Yu Suzuki at the AM2 Summer Festival (2001) | Article Translation

Back in 2001 an event called the "AM2 Summer Festival" that was held in Tokyo in early September of that year. The event was attended by Yu Suzuki and helped to promote the soon-to-be-released Shenmue II.

Today's post is a translation of a GameWatch news article that conveys the atmosphere of the event, with photos of Yu and some of the Japanese voice & motion actors who worked on Shenmue.

AM2 Summer Festival

The article translation starts below.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tile-breaking Job | Early Shenmue Document Translation

A few weeks ago in a joint interview (Part One) with Katushiro Harada, Yu Suzuki shared an early Shenmue project document that had not previously been shown in public.

Tile Breaking
Ryo... ahem, Akira takes a practice swipe.
The document describes the concept for a Tile Breaking part-time job, with notes in Japanese text. I've translated these notes into English in the version below (click on the image to view in full size).

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Shenmue Comic: Training in Guilin

Today we take a look at a Shenmue-themed comic strip that was published on the official Shenmue.com website around the time of the release of the Shenmue games, to which I've added an English translation.

Comic strip in Japanese
The comic strip in Japanese only. (Read on for the translated version.)
First, a few background notes that tie in to the comic.

Muecas and Shenmue.com

This comic strip was part of a section of Shenmue.com called "Muecas" (a word that was formed from "Shenmue and Dreamcast" Cast Fans" - thanks to Kiyuu for the clarification! Trust me, it sounds less weird in Japanese). Contributors to those section were called the "Muecas team", and consisted of a group of actual Sega staff who had been working on Shenmue, as well as a number of fans from the general public.

Muecas team logo
The logo of the Muecas Team.
"We love Shenmue deeply"

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Kowloon Cut-scene Music: 65 Tracks | Shenmue II

To help fully appreciate the wealth of tunes contained in the Shenmue games, long-time contributor and administrator of the Shenmue Dojo Ziming has been working on a long-term project over a number of years (with input from other members of the community): to create several high-quality compilation videos for the in-game and cut-scene music.

Image credit: Riken Productions
This latest offering, which he has just released, represents the last entry in a project covering Shenmue II music and is a compilation of all the cut-scene music from the Kowloon area. In this single area alone, there are a staggering 65 cut-scene tunes representing almost three hours of music.