Thursday, February 4, 2021

Interview with Shenmue Doujinshi Creator Mappy

Today we have a special interview with mappy, one of the team of artists (who are also of course Shenmue fans!) who recently released an amazing limited-print Shenmue doujinshi [fan-made comic book] called "Mankan Zenseki".

The cover of the "Mankan Zenseki" comic book.

The original interview in Japanese is included after the English translation.

The 100-page book was released on 29th December 2020, and is A5 size in size. The cover illustration, shown above, wraps completely around to the back, so if two books are placed together they will form the complete image! It was produced in Japan, but the creators even offered global shipping for Shenmue fans overseas. Note: due to popular fan demand, the book sold out quickly after its release.

The book represents an updated edition of content that the artists published previously between 2002 and 2008, with new comics and some color illustrations added.

Note on the illustrations in this post: Mappy has kindly given us permission to reproduce some sample pages from the book in this post, and Daniel Mann has done a wonderful job of turning these into English scanlations! (We plan to feature more of his sample page scanlations in a future post). Note that the panels read right to left.


PRS: To start, could you please introduce yourself?

mappy: My name is mappy. I have been a Shenmue fan since 2001.

Shenmue Fan-made Book “Mankan Zenseki”

PRS: I really enjoyed reading your Shenmue fan-made book! By the way, what does its name “Mankan Zenseki” mean?

mappyThank you very much for reading it! They call the more than 100 different types of imperial dishes in Chinese cuisine "Mankan Zenseki". Since this doujinshi was exactly 100 pages long, we decided on this title.

PRS: Could you tell us about the history of the book and how it came about? Who was involved in creating it?

mappyFrom 2002 to 2008, I was active as a Shenmue fan comic creator at the Comic Market. This time, with the release of 3, I came back and made a new doujinshi. The writing team consists of me, mappy, my husband Aragon, my sister Hawk, and my friend of 20 years ohji. All of us are involved in various fields such as manga, figures, and games.

PRS: Would you consider making an English version? (We would be happy to help with a translation!)

mappyWe are not thinking about it at the moment, but we are grateful for the requests we have received.

PRS: The polaroid photos of Dobuita that you included along with the books are really neat! When were the photos taken?

mappyThese photos were taken in 2019 when I visited Yokosuka for the Sacred Spot promotion.

The Shenmue Series

PRS: Could you tell us about how you first discovered Shenmue and what you thought about it? Was it at the time of the game’s release, or later?

mappyI was interested in this game and I bought it because it was set in Kowloon Walled City, but I found myself captivated by the city of Yokosuka (laughs).

PRS: What did you think of how Yokosuka and Japan were recreated? Was playing a game set in a real-world town that you could visit something that was unique for Japanese gamers at the time?

mappyI loved the somewhat sad and wistful scenery and was immersed in the world. I think Shenmue was quite a pioneering game at the time, and the background and density of the 3D city and the characters in it is something you don't see very often in modern games.

PRS: What is your personal ranking of the Shenmue games so far?

mappyFirst place: Chapter 1 ~Yokosuka~.
Second place: Shenmue 2.
Third place: Shenmue  3.

I especially like Chapter 1.

PRS: Who is your favorite Shenmue character, and why?

mappyI like the main character Ryo the most. As for minor characters, maybe Goro.

PRS: What is it that attracts you most to Shenmue?

mappyThe unique and atmospheric graphics, the strong characters, and the gritty story are very appealing. The various songs that match the game perfectly are also great.

PRS: Were you surprised how popular Shenmue is with gamers overseas?

mappyI was surprised at first, but when I learned the reasons, I was convinced that we're of exactly the same mind.

PRS: Are there any other games set in other real world locations you have a particular fondness for?

mappyI like the "Kenka Bancho" series, especially 1 and 2, because of their comical depiction of 80's style Japan.
The first game in the "Kenka Bancho" series about brawling high school students was released in 2005. The third game in the series was localized for release outside Japan.

Shenmue Events

PRS: Did you play “Shenmue Gai” (Shenmue City / Shenmue Town) which was released in 2011?

mappyI didn’t play it, even though I attended the launch presentation. The service was terminated while I was waiting for the iPhone version to be released.

PRS: How did you feel when the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter was announced?

mappyEvery year during E3, I had been hoping for the announcement, but I never thought that it would actually happen, and my heart stopped. That day, I received many congratulatory messages from my friends (laughs).

PRS: Have you attended any Shenmue events over the years? For example the Shenmue Premiere, TGS, the Network Jungle.

mappyI attended the “Shenmue-Gai” production presentation, the Shenmue Fan Meeting, and the 2019 Tokyo Game Show just before the release of 3.

The Shenmue Community

PRS: Could you tell us about your “Yokosuka Side Story” website that is mentioned in the fan manga?

mappyThis is a fan site that I run together with my husband Aragon, who is also a Shenmue fan. We mainly post fan art and reports on our “Sacred Spot” pilgrimages. We've made it in the nostalgic internet style of the time when Shenmue was first released. Please come and visit!

PRS: What sort of communication and activities do Shenmue fans get up to in Japan?

mappyEveryone posts up their own wonderful works on Twitter, including illustrations, cosplay, music, figures, and videos. Enthusiastic fans are interacting with each other across generations.

Shenmue's Future

PRS: What are your hopes for Shenmue this year?

mappyFirst of all, I hope that the new anime will be delivered safely. And also I wish for the development of the sequel to the main story, 4. This is something I hope that this will be realized at all costs. I'll do anything for it (laughs). I'm always ready to help fund it on Kickstarter!

PRS: Do you have any more Shenmue projects in progress or planned?

mappyI'd like to make a doujinshi with all my illustrations in one book.

A Message for Shenmue Fans

PRS: Finally, do you have a message for other Shenmue fans around the world?

mappyI believe it was the voices of the fans around the world that made the release of 3 possible. We were able to get the deluxe limited editions, records, and other goods from thanks to creators who understand Shenmue. As a fan of Shenmue in Japan, I'm very happy about that. Thank you all very much.

PRS: Thank you very much for taking part in this interview!

mappyAnd thank you very much too! 

This is the end of the interview. Would you be interested in purchasing an English version of this book, if one was ever to be considered in the future? Please let us know in the comments or on social media! We'd love to pass feedback about interest from fans back to mappy and the other project members.

The Japanese version of the interview follows below.


PRS: はじめに、簡単な自己紹介をお願いします。

mappy: mappyと言います。シェンム―ファン歴は2001年からになります。


PRS: シェンムーの同人誌を読むのがとても楽しかったです。「満漢全席」というタイトルですが、どういう意味でしょうか?

mappy読んで下さってありがとうございます! 中華料理で100種類を超える宮廷料理のことを、「満漢全席」と呼ぶそうです。今回の同人誌がちょうど100ページだったこともあり、こちらのタイトルになりました。
PRS: 今回のシェンムー同人誌が出来るまでの経緯を教えてください。どんな方々が制作に関わったのですか。


PRS: 英語版の出版は考えていらっしゃいますか?(翻訳は喜んでお手伝いいたします!)


PRS: ドブ板のポラロイド写真がとても素敵ですが、その写真はいつ撮ったものですか。



PRS: シェンムーを初めて知ったきっかけとその時の感想をお聞かせください。


PRS: ドリームキャストで再現された横須賀や日本の風景はいかがでしたか?現実世界の町を舞台にしたゲームをプレイすることは当時、日本のゲーマーにとって珍しいことでしたか?


PRS: シェンムーシリーズの3ゲームのランキング(好きな順)を教えてください

mappy1位・一章横須賀 2位・2 3位・3  です。一章は特別に好きです。

PRS: シェンムーのキャラクターの中では好きなキャラクターは誰ですか?


PRS: シェンムーの海外での人気の高さをどう思われましたか?


PRS: シェンムーの海外での人気の高さには驚きましたか?


PRS: シェンムーのように、現実世界を舞台にした、気に入っているゲームは他にありますか?

喧嘩番長 (2005)


PRS: 2011年に出た「シェンムー街」はその当時プレイしましたか?いかがでしたか。

PRS: 「シェンムー3」のキックスターターが発表された時はどう感じましたか?


PRS: これまでに何かシェンムーのイベントに参加したことはありますか?例えば、99年のデジタライランド、シェンムーの開発発表会、東京ゲームショウ、など。



PRS: 同人誌に出ている、「ヨコスカサイドストーリー」というサイトについて教えて頂けますか。


PRS: 日本のシェンムーファンはどのようなやり取りや活動をしていますか?



PRS: これからの「シェンムー」に対しての期待していることは?


PRS: 他に現在進行中や予定しているシェンムーのプロジェクトはありますか?


PRS: 最後となりますが、世界中のシェンムーファンに何か一言をお願いします。




PRS: この度は取材にご回答いただき、誠にありがとうございました。


Once again, thank you very much to mappy for taking the time for this interview and for sharing her perspective as a Shenmue fan in Japan!

Contact information:
Also check out the Yokosuka Side Story website for more Shenmue illustrations and art!

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  1. I would be interested if an english version is made available for purchase with international shipping.

  2. Will they end up doing another run of it? Or is it a one time deal. Because I totally would buy a copy of the original language book if they did another run of it.

    1. I think it was planned to be a one-time deal - but never say never, I plan to ask mappy about it with the overseas feedback.

  3. hope it's not too late but i would also totally buy this!