Monday, February 21, 2022

Shenmue The Animation Easter Egg: Xuhe Hall | Episode 3

 *** Minor Spoiler for Episode 3 ***

In Episode 3, when Master Chen is telling Ryo about the Chi You Men, a flashback plays showing Lan Di and his henchmen in an empty restaurant, and shaking down the manager for information.

This is another great example of the way the anime fleshes out the story to add additional details that are not seen in the game.

Hidden within this flashback is a small easter egg that may not be apparent at first sight, except to viewers who are able to read Chinese writing (not unlike a certain Shenmue plot point!) The front exterior of this multi-level building bears a large sign above with the characters 須賀楼, translated onscreen as "Xuhe Hall" - note that they are read from right to left, being in traditional order on the sign.
Xuhe Hall entrance: the characters are read from right to left.

The last character, 楼, is a suffix that means "building", which in this case has been translated as "Hall". This is the same character the buildings 

Now let's take the first two characters, 須 and 賀.

Although their Chinese pronunciation has been given as "Xuhe", these characters also exist in Japanese  where they are pronounced "su" and "ka" respectively. This combination of characters most frequently occurs in the names of people or places.

In fact, there is one very familiar placename in which they are found, as they are the "suka" part of the name of Ryo's hometown of Yokosuka! This can be seen in the comparison below of the characters on the sign board compared to those on the sale banner on Dobuita Street.

As Xuhe Hall seems likely to be a one-time location that will not appear again in the anime, it was the perfect place for the creators to have a little fun with the naming and put in this small Easter Egg.

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