Sunday, August 26, 2018

"Don't you know that blackmail is waaaay uncool?" | Translation Analysis

"Don't you know that blackmail is waaaay uncool?" | Translation Analysis
Today's analysis by Phantom River Stone: Ryo's words when he comes across some punks shaking someone down at the harbor may sound cheesy, but how do they stack up against the original Japanese?
"Don't you know that blackmail is waaaay uncool?" The line by Ryo Hazuki is delivered seriously, but has found affection with the fans for its slightly cheesy, over-the-top words, and is one of the most recognized lines from the English version of Shenmue.

It occurs during the scene when Ryo scolds two thugs who are attempting to extort money from a man at the harbor.

Something that may have crossed the mind of players of the English version is whether the line sounds more convincing, or has difference in meaning in the Japanese version of the game. Today we'll attempt to answer that question.

Other Quirky Lines: 

Here are some of our previous posts in which we have analyzed specific quirky, but often iconic, utterances heard within Shenmue:
Let's proceed with today's analysis.

The Scenario

A bus pulls up at the bus stop, and the back doors open. Ryo Hazuki steps out and looks around him at the barbed-wire fencing and commercial buildings of Amihama. After getting his bearings, he locates the main entrance of the harbor area, and walks through.

As Ryo enters the harbor compound, his attention is caught by the sound of thuggery...
As Ryo enters the harbor compound, his attention is caught by the sound of thuggery...
As he does so, the snarling voice of a thug reaches him:

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Yu Suzuki Accepts the Special Award at CEDEC 2018 | Video

Yu Suzuki Accepts the Special Award at CEDEC 2018

As reported last month, the organizers of CEDEC 2018 voted to select Yu Suzuki for the annual Special Award in recognition of his pioneering and revolutionary contributions to the game industry. The Special Award, decided by members of the CEDEC steering committee, is given for "overall contributions to game development". (See our earlier blog post.)
  • CEDEC: the Computer Entertainment Developers Conference, held annually in Japan primarily for members of the entertainment industry.
The awards ceremony was held yesterday on August 23rd at the Pacifico Event center in Yokohama, and Yu Suzuki attended in person to receive his award, starting with a selfie he tweeted prior to the ceremony.
Yu Suzuki via Twitter: "Here I am at CEDEC!"
Yu Suzuki via Twitter: "Here I am at CEDEC!" (source tweet)
Watch a short clip of Yu receiving his award below (our thanks to Shenmue 3 Ambassador Ali Novin for permission to include this exclusive video and photographs).

The short speech that Yu Suzuki gave in acceptance of the award translates follows:
"My ideal for game creation is something that combines technology with [artistic] sense at the highest level; something that I’m always thinking about. I’m extremely happy to have the honor of receiving this kind of award from CEDEC, which has so many technically skilled members from the industry. Thank you very much."
After the ceremony had finished, a group photo was taken with all the CEDEC award winners, with Yu Suzuki taking at the front and center of the group.

Yu Suzuki with the other award winners at CEDEC 2018 (photo courtesy of Ali Novin)
Yu Suzuki with the other award winners at CEDEC 2018 (photo courtesy of Ali Novin)

Quote from Yu Suzuki

Fans of Shenmue and his numerous arcade hits of the past will know how well-deserved it was for Yu to receive this recognition. Congratulations, Yu!

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Shenmue 3 Announcement & Video Tomorrow at Gamescom

A short but exciting Kickstarter update, entitled "Gamescom 2018 Update #1", has been released announcing the news that a Shenmue 3 announcement is planned for the opening day of the Gamescom event tomorrow. Furthermore, a video is also being prepared for the announcement.

Key details:
  • Shenmue III announcement/video planned for Tuesday the 21st, at 11:00~13:00 CEST (17:00~19:00 JST) Correction: the time in JST converts to 18:00~20:00 JST.
  • Livestreaming available at the Gamescom official website

Below is a high-resolution version of the image that accompanied the update. In the background we see the Shenhua character model at the left (with her hair in plaits), and on the main monitor is a night scene of what looks to be a ferry at the Choubu habor, with a full moon and star-studded sky behind. An identification number, M06_S0006, appears in the top-right corner; similar to the ones seen in previous cut-scene stills.

Although it is hard to see clearly, it appears there may be figures standing on the wharf... No doubt this will become clear in tomorrow's video!

Source: link to official update
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Sunday, August 12, 2018

New Series: Yu Suzuki's Research Trip to China Part 1 | Kazunari Uchida's Blog Post Translation

In the early 1990s, Yu Suzuki spent two weeks in China gathering material for his upcoming Virtua Fighter II game, and his findings also greatly influenced his creation of Shenmue. In this first part of a new series, Phantom River Stone has translated blog posts by the person who accompanied Yu on this journey.
Today's post topic was selected by Phantom River Stone patrons in our monthly poll for a topic suggestion for the month of July. 

In the year 1994*, Yu Suzuki made a trip to China to research and gather material that had a direct impact on his creation of the Virtua Fighter games, and also on his later concept for "Virtua Fighter RPG" which eventually came to be known as Shenmue.
*Note: a correction has been made to the year. Originally this was stated as 1993, based on sources such as Yu Suzuki's GDC 2014 talk and corroborated by the online biography of Kazunari Uchida who accompanied him. However, articles in issues of the Japanese Beep! MegaDrive at the time confirm that the year the trip took place was 1994.
To date there has not been a lot of information available about this trip. Yu has made mention of this trip during presentations, notably his talk on Shenmue at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco at which he shared photos of some of the places visited. Then during my investigation for this article, I came across some posts on a personal blog that were written by the person that Yu made the trip together with - and who later worked with him on the actual Shenmue project: a man by the name of Kazunari Uchida.

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

"What is Shenmue" SEGA Video Series | Parts 1 & 2: Storyline and Characters

SEGA Europe has released two videos narrated by Corey Marshall, the voice of Ryo Hazuki in the English version of Shenmue. The first part details the storyline of Shenmue and what makes it so compelling. The second part delves deeper into the characters encountered during the journey.

The videos showcase footage from the soon-to-be released Shemue I & II (its release date is August 21st for most regions outside of Japan).

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Poll Result: Patrons' Choice Topic for August

Every month Phantom River Stone holds a poll among our patrons to choose a topic for the blog in the coming month. The results are in for August, and the most highly-voted topic (including accumulated votes from previous months) was...

...a look at that iconic line from Ryo Hazuki: "Don't you know that blackmail is waaaay uncool!"

If you've ever wondered what the original Japanese line said (does it sound just as cheesy as the English line?) then this article should satisfy your curiosity!

Ryo admonishes Goro at their first encounter.
Ryo admonishes Goro at their first encounter.
We'll be releasing it on the blog later this month. If you're interested in reading it early, check us out on Patreon - the $2 tier will get you early access as soon as its ready, plus access to all early-access posts for the month.
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Masaya Matsukaze Looks Forward to Meeting Shenmue Fans | Photo

Masaya Matsukaze, the Japanese voice of Ryo Hazuki in the Shenmue games, recently tweeted that he will be attending the Otakon event in Washington this week.

His tweet is accompanied by a photo of himself signing one of the First 4 Ryo Hazuki figurines, and he seems to be looking forward to meeting Shenmue fans at the event, writing (our translation):
"Shenmue 3 is in development; Shenmue I & II has been announced for a November release in Japan, and sooner for overseas. I wonder if I'll meet Shenmue fans again in America? (^o^)/"
Masaya Matsukaze signing a Ryo Hazuki figurine
Masaya Matsukaze signing a Ryo Hazuki figurine
  • Otakon is an annual event which describes itself as "a celebration of Asian pop culture and its fandom," covering anime, manga, music, movies, video games and more.
Source: Twitter

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Shenmue I & II Japan-Exclusive Limited Edition: Details & How To Order

The official website for Shenmue I & II in Japan
The Shenmue I & II release date in Japan has been announced - together with a special edition! Phantom River Stone summarizes the key information.
What a fitting announcement for Shenmue Day (on the 3rd of every month) - SEGA knows Shenmue fans will be paying close attention.

The release date for Shenmue I & II in Japan for the PS4 has been announced today on SEGA Japan's Shenmue I & II website as Thursday 22nd November, and together with this they have announced a special Limited Edition! Read on for details.

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Shenmue Documentary Pitch Video "Making Of"

A Gamers Journey: The Definitive History of Shenmue, which is currently running a Kickstarter campaign (see our recent introductory post) has made tremendous progress, now passing 500 backers.

As a thanks they have released a behind-the-scenes video on the making of the "antique shop" scene at the start of their campaign pitch trailer, which is a recreation of Ryo Hazuki's visit to the antique shop in Dobuita to retrieve an item left to him by his father.

Read the update on the project Kickstarter.

If you are interested in supporting the documentary on Kickstarter, click here to visit the main campaign page..
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