Shenmue The Animation Episode 4: A Community Effort

Definitely my favorite episode so far. I say that as an aside thing, but it really felt like the complete Shenmue experience. Like the journey is taking some good turns and that it isn’t just Ryo Hazuki’s journey anymore. It’s everyone’s journey now. Apparently the forklift part of Shenmue has been a joke for a while, but it was here in a way that merged the story together rather then probably a lot of mini games that felt like work? So I don’t know how the gamers feel about that, but it felt like a natural point of conclusion to Ryo finding his way to Hong Kong to get that ticket.

I can’t help but also think that everyone is finding their own little bot of journey by seeing a little bit of themselves in Ryo. I mentioned that before, but it’s true. Goro, the guy Ryo easily defeated last episode, knows Ryo’s story and wants to help out where he can. Same with Guizhang Chen who helped Ryo discover a new fighting technique. And finally, Mark, the guy who instructed Ryo on how to use a Forklift, got to know Ryo’s journey and helped where he can too. It’s really cool to see Ryo become a community avatar in this sort of way.

Lastly, there is the merging of Ryo’s world he just discovered when uncovering his mother’s secrets to the older, normal one he just left. Nozomi is that anchoring point and the poor girl clearly has a crush on him and wants to know more about him. Too bad the Mad Angels she discovered kidnapped her and made her an exchange for Ryo to beat up Guizhang. A good climatic moment that I think we obviously know it’s a ploy. It’s kind of obvious to me that Guizhang knew something was up the second Ryo asked him to fight. I mean, come on.

So yeah, that was a very good episode. One that is still really good visually because the action scenes still looks grounded while being visually stunning and energetic as well. The Aesthetic is jut as good too because the art style is just great. Really good but classic character beats as well which leads to just an excellent stories there. I just really like it and glad this exists too. Blade Runner: Black Lotus was a fun show, but I find myself just enjoying the pure shonen adventure of this one. So old school and comfy. Excellent comfort food.

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