Saturday, April 28, 2018

Shenmue Premiere Poster (1998) | Shenmue Merchandise

The Shenmue Premiere event was held in Japan and the end of December 1998 in Yokohama, with additional events through the New Year in cities through-out Japan. SEGA did not hold back on budget for these events: each lasted two hours, and were free of charge to attendees; and all attendees received a bag packed with Shenmue merchandise.

The expectation and excitement was huge, as it would be the first time the general public would get a decent look at Yu Suzuki's new game, one that had been the source of much speculation in the preceding months.

The large B2-sized poster below is one that was used to advertise the Shenmue premiere events. Most of the poster is occupied by a picture of Shenhua, with an informational panel further down with the words: "Whatever could it be, this emotion? The Shenmue Premiere." The name of the Director & Executive Producer is also shown: Yu Suzuki.

A poster for the Shenmue Premiere
A poster for the Shenmue Premiere (image courtesy of Retro Import Gamer)
Underneath this are details of the dates and times of the event, with a map at the right showing how to access the convention hall for the kick-off event in Yokohama.

The text reads:

Shenmue Premiere 20th December 1998 (Sun) at the National Convention Hall, Pacifico Yokohama, Minato-mirai, Yokohama. 
Session 1) 10 am – 12 pm.Session 2) 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm.Session 3) 5 pm – 7 pm (5000 attendees each) 
Special guest appearances by Hiroshi Fujioka and Managing Director Yukawa! 
Shenmue Premiere will be at the following 5 main cities [Session 1) 1 pm – 3 pm. Session 2) 4 pm – 6 pm]
  • 9th Jan, 1999 (Sat) Osaka (2500 attendees) 
  • 10th Jan (Sun) Fukuoka (2500 attendees) 
  • 15th Jan (Fri) Hokkaido (2500 attendees) 
  • 16th Jan (Sat) Sendai (1000 attendees) 
  • 17th Jan (Sun) Nagoya (1500 attendees) 
Entry is free at all events. Please arrive prior to the start. Entry tickets will be distributed in front of the venue (all seats are reserved). All attendees will receive original Shenmue merchandise that can only be obtained at this event.
This short video (for which I translated the English subtitles a couple of years back), captures the atmosphere and scale of the Shenmue Premiere.

Shenmue Collectors!

Our friends at Retro Import Gamer (who provided the photo for this article) have this poster available on their Ebay store, and despite its age is in near-perfect condition. Shipping is from the UK. Although not cheap, it would make a fine addition to any Shenmue collection.

Link to the Shenmue Premiere poster on Ebay.

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