Monday, January 15, 2024

Muecas Dan: Sega's Official Shenmue Fan Club

Muecas Dan logo and slogan ("We are the Muecas Club!! ~We Deeply Love Shenmue~")

What Was "Muecas Dan"?

"Muecas Dan" (ムーキャス団) was a Shenmue fan club that regularly published Japanese-language Shenmue content online. It ran from early 2001 to 2004, and its founding members consisted of staff from the official Shenmue project team.

Shenmue Cast FAN

Muecas Dan was formed by the official Shenmue team to communicate with fans. Fans who made contributions to their web magazine were recognized as Muecas Dan members.

Muecas Dan was introduced in the January 2001 (Vol. 60) edition of the Weekly AM2 online magazine, in a section initially called 'Shenmue Cast Fan' - here 'cast' referred to members from the Shenmue project team.

"Yes! We are Shenmue's Cast Fans!" - the logo for the Shenmue Cast FAN page

Muecas Dan

The "Shenmue Cast FAN" banner ran for a few weeks, after which a change was made to use the Muecas Dan logo and branding.

Muecas Dan content was presented in a tongue-in-cheek manner as a shadowy, elite organization with members known only by a code number or alias. Here are the self-introductions of the first two members:

"T.C." (later revealed to stand for "Top Cat")
T.C: "I'm T.C, Code Number 001 of the Muecas Dan. I've got the vigor of a Wednesday morning and no one can beat my hourly voice dubbing output! My special skill is imitating Ryo's voice!"
Giwara: "Hic. I can't drink anymore... Oh, it's my turn? I'm a sabotage specialist, Code Number 00... hic, 002. I'm also known as 'Giwara.' I can destroy everything from a chicken coop to a satellite - except for twelve things."
Although never stated outright, as pointed to by the humorous hints these two members were Masaya Matsukaze (the Japanese voice/actor for Ryo Hazuki) and Takumi Hagiwara (the Japanese voice/actor for Wuying Ren) themselves. Together with other members of the Shenmue project team, they would go on to write amusing responses to fan submissions each week.

Before long, the new Muecas Dan page would grow in size and become the main place for Shenmue-related content, and relocating to the website from mid 2001.

When Muecas Dan was launched on the official Shenmue website, the first two issues consisted of a FAQ to introduce people to what the club was all about. 

Below is our translation of this FAQ, which is presented by the self-described president of Muecas Dan, who went by the name of Mr. Zero (presumably derived from his code number) and had the habit of dropping the word "zero" into his sentences as often as possible!

----- Translation of the Muecas Dan FAQ (Parts One and Two) begins below ----

Muecas Dan FAQ: Part One

Zerooooo~! Everyone, are you enjoying the recently released Shenmue II? Let's see now... "It was stirring to see Ryo using a color pen in his notepad"..? "The panda girl in Aberdeen is cute"..? "The pigeons in Pigeon Park look delicious"..? I see. There are countless ways to enjoy the game, and that's what makes it F.R.E.E.! Playing however you like is the right way, zerooooo!

Oh, I apologize for not introducing myself. I am Mr. Zero, leader of the Shenmue-loving secret society "Muecas Dan"! This section serves as a gathering place for Shenmue fans from all around the world. In other words, it's a platform to share your passionate feelings about Shenmue, essentially the world's greatest Shenmue fan corner and Entertainment Zone! Hold on, those of you thinking of clicking the "back" button on your browser! Today I'll be giving a special talk for those of you unfamiliar with our Muecas Dan. I've called it "Ask Mr. Zero! The Muecas Dan FAQ"!

Q: What is Muecas Dan?

A: I just told you, zero! Well, even if I did, it's a fact of life that people tend to skip long passages of text. So just for you, let me explain it once again, and even more concisely! Muecas Dan is, to put it simply, a section for submissions within! There are no restrictions on content! I'm looking forward to your passion-infused contributions! I'll let you know where to send them later on, so be sure to read until the end, zero!

Q: I get that it's a place for contributions, but I don't know what to submit.

A: I mentioned this earlier too, zero! Well, even if I did, it's natural to feel bewildered when suddenly asked to send in "anything and everything". To help make it clear, let me give below some examples of works from our contributing craftsmen, comrade Anii Takahashi, comrade Mayuru and comrade Kume Shinono, zero!

  • Written Submissions
When you send a letter to Muecas Dan, our members, including myself, will respond kindly and politely, zero! Whether it's about Shenmue, a request for an investigation to solve a Shenmue mystery or a fan letter to the trio of Matsukaze, Hagiwara & Ishigaki - the content doesn't matter, zero!

  • Illustrations
When it comes to content submissions, illustrations reign supreme, zero! Shenmue illustrations, of course! Serious, cute, Hong Kong style or offbeat, we accept it all! Here's an example from comrade Kume Shinono, titled "Hair Indulgence"!

"Hair Indulgence" by Kume Shinono

  • Manga
Another mainstay of submission corners is the 4-Panel Manga! Frankly speaking, since it's a tougher challenge than an illustration, there's a good chance of acceptance! Also, we're eagerly awaiting Shenmue fan manga books! We're waiting...! We're waiting...! (echo).

Take a look at comrade Anii Takahashi's supreme work, "To Hong Kong"! (Comment from comrade Anii Takahashi: the man who resembles Shirō Yamaoka* is Ryo Hazuki).
[Note from Switch] Shirō Yamaoka is the main character of the 1993 manga series Oishinbo

"To Hong Kong" by Anii Takahashi

Panel 1. "Off to Hong Kong, at last..."

Panel 2. "That damn woman from Asia Travel Co. who pocketed my ticket..."

Clerk: "What a pain in the..." 

Panel 3. "When I get to Hong Kong, I'll track her down and make sure I get my money back."

Panel 4. The boat departs, with a young man aboard who has lost sight of his original purpose. Moreover, that woman is definitely not to be found in Hong Kong...


  • Craftwork
Basically, in Muecas Dan, anything goes! "Those who come are welcome, and those who leave... we will hunt down to the ends of the Earth"*, zero! ... Dear me, I seem to have gone off course. Think of Craftwork as arts and crafts! Cosplay, models, capsule toys, and more - we're looking forward to your creative creations! Take a look below at comrade Mayuru's "Summer Vacation Low-Effort Crafts", zero! A water pistol, a rose, an eyemask-on-a-stick... Hmmm...
* [Note from Switch] A humorous variation of a Chinese proverb that says "Those who come are welcome, those who leave are not regretted"
"Summer Vacation Low-Effort Crafts" by Mayuru

We want you to send in so much that it takes up 70% of AM2's postal items, zero! Our address is right here:

Postcards, Sealed Envelopes, Emails

Subject: "Muecas Dan" Department

(1) Postal code
(2) Address
(3) Name, Handle name (if applicable)
(4) Age
(5) Phone number
(6) For illustrations or manga, include the title of the work and comments about the work.

The following are optional:

(7) Email address
(8) URL of your own website (If you wish, we will link from this page. If you want a link, please be sure to indicate so.)

Please specify the above and send your work by email (

For postcards, sealed envelopes, handwritten illustrations, and manga submissions, please send them to the address below.

Submission of Postcards, Sealed Envelopes, Handwritten Illustrations, and Manga
  • There is no specified paper size, but please keep it as close to A4 size or smaller as possible.
  • Note: Submitted documents and works will not be returned.

〒144 - 8532
2-12-14 Higashikoshigaya, Ota-ku, Tokyo
SEGA-AM2 Co., Ltd.
AM2 Division "Muecas Dan" Department

Q: What kind of activities have you been involved in until now?

A: That's a great question, zero! Muecas Dan has added a Shenmue flavor to the readers' submission section of [the Dreamcast magazine] Dorimaga*¹. What's more, we've even featured our symbol in the main story of Shenmue II*²! And now, we've embarked on taking over Shenmue's official website, "," zero!

*¹ [Note from Switch] Following the release of Shenmue II, Shenmue-themed letters and illustrations from readers started to appear in the Dorimaga magazine, such as the one below.
Reader submission to Dorimaga: Shenhua complains her influence is weakened thanks to the various females Ryo has been meeting. "I had a bad feeling at the start when that woman, Harasaki, showed up..."

*² Muecas zippos can be found available for sale at certain stands in Shenmue II.

Muecas zippo in Shenmue II at a stand in the Rooftop Fight area in Aberdeen

Muecas Dan FAQ: Part Two

Q: What people are members of Muecas Dan?

A: Saying "people" isn't quite accurate, zero! That's because entry into our Muecas Dan isn't limited to just humans! "My pet Chappy is a huge Shenmue fan..." Zero~! That's perfectly fine, very fine indeed! Anyone can join, anyone can participate! That's what the Muecas Dan is all about. By the way, here is the current list of members, but you don't need to learn them by heart, so feel free to skip through it, zero!

Code Number 000: "Mr. Zero"

Mr. Zero

That would be me*¹, zero! As I'm being closely watched by SEGA, I'd prefer to keep details of my recent activities under wraps. Also, I have a long-standing rivalry with Taichou (and Hachi)*² from Dorimaga Magazine. Therefore, seizing control of the "Dorimaga-jin"*³ reader's section is one of the grand ambitions of our Muecas Dan, zero!
*¹ [Note from Switch] It was hinted that Mr. Zero represented Yu Suzuki himself. 
*² Taichou and Hachi were two fictitious characters whose humorous banter featured regularly in a small text section at the end of the reader-voted title ranking pages in the Dreamcast magazine "Dorimaga", a tradition stretching back to the era of Sega Saturn Magazine. 
The Reader Rankings in Dorimaga magazine always featured a short comedic interchange at the end between two characters named Taichou and Hachi.
*³ "Dorimaga-jin" was the name of the section in Dorimaga magazine that showed off readers' artwork and other submitted content.


Code Number 001: "T.C."

T.C. ("TOP CAT")

Here comes Mr. Enthusiasm! Hailing from Yokosuka, with a gang leader vibe, it's T.C.! This guy's a hard worker who jumped on his forklift to help with Shenmue II's distribution. Also, for some reason, he gets up early every day, zero!

Code Number 002: "Giwara"


He's the Muecas Dan's hands-on leader, zero. Despite his quick-tempered personality, he's surprisingly diligent, crafting Muecas Dan merchandise to give away to our members!

Code Number 003: "Group of Three"

Group of Three

As for this trio, I don't know much about them either... It seems like they might be individuals from within SEGA, but I don't have their exact background information. However, it was these guys who managed to get the Muecas Dan logo featured in the main storyline of Shenmue II, zero!


Code Number 004: "Kii-chan"


A boy in Muecas Dan who's the best at games, zero. Lately, he's been absorbed in VF4, so his Muecas Dan activities have taken a backseat. You can often find him at game arcades around Kawasaki!

Code Number 005: "Rihaviri"


* [Note from Switch] It is unclear how this name was derived. Perhaps it has a connection with the English word "rehabilitation" (referring to the process of treatment aimed at restoring one's health).

An old grandpa who absolutely loves microcomputers, zero. He's well-versed in Sega's history, and he tends to use obscure comparisons and metaphors in his SEGA trivia, so it's hard to grasp exactly what he's trying to say. Seeing tears running down his face as he viewed top-secret footage of Shenmue II's Disc 4 was quite memorable, zero!

Code Number 006: "Wacky"


Wacky is the Muecas Dan's resident artist and an idol-like figure for everyone, zero. Even someone like me can't help but be head over heels in LOVE with Wacky-chan (heart)*!

* [Note from Switch] Despite the female avatar, "Wacky" is the nickname of Kenji Miyawaki, Shenmue's chief character designer.

Code Number 007: "Yorgos"


Muecas Dan's one and only bird (a Great White Pelican) and the music composer. Just like Rihaviri, he's quite chatty, so listening to him can be a bit exhausting, zero!

The above are technically the group's leaders. However, they are currently taking part in a "Muecas Dan Intensification Meeting" at a training facility located at the foot of Mount Fuji, so they won't appear in this issue. Please look forward to their appearances in the order of their completion of this training, zero! 

Meanwhile, as the Muecas Dan network spreads throughout the world, it has quite a lineup of remote members!

  • Anii Takahashi @ Muecas Dan #011
  • Kume Shinono @ Muecas Dan #012
  • Matsumoto Amaguri @ Muecas Dan #013
  • Ribu @ Muecas Dan #014
  • Kurejiji  @ Muecas Dan #015
  • Mayuru  @ Muecas Dan #016
  • Kochou  @ Muecas Dan #017

----- End of translation ----


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