Shenmue the Animation Episode 11: The Right Course

I’m pretty tired after a few days of go go go, so I might not be as focused when writing this. I worked pretty hard at my job for a few days, had a day trip at an anime convention, and then Easter was pretty busy too. It was a lot of on and go time, so I am writing this with not as much energy as I could, but this should be a short post I think. At least I hope so. Even with a lot of things going on with Shenmue, there isn’t a lot of real material of subtext in this episode for me to dig into because episode 11 is almost like episode 10 with some small changes.

This was another episode focused on finding Yuanda Shu after he was kidnapped. Xuiying stood it to defeat our big boy Don Niu while Yuan was doing some not so good stuff upstairs and that fight will happen eventually. I mean, Don Niu and Ryo meet again at the end of this episode. So it is a lot of Ryo just chasing around the Yellow Heads and defeating fighters in their ring until the Yellow Head’s base is finally revealed. There was also a small interlude where Xuiying taught Ryo a move where he has to be calm of mind like Spike from Cowboy Bebop.

I don’t think there is an interesting of stuff to talk about in regards to Ryo just beating up people again to find clues because that has always been Shenmue and how its structured at its core, but there are elements about Xuiying just teaching Ryo a new move in the middle of it that don’t work out as well as it could considering that its only two minutes of the episode and we see Ryo ever learn it himself, it’s just assumed. Xuiying did it to help Ryo find another path beyond revenge because they see a bit more eye to eye now, but he just uses it to defeat enemies faster after he calmed his mind. Maybe this is to help him later and not immediately? Something to consider for later I suppose because maybe Ryo is too young to take those lessons instantly.

This episode did throw a bit more things for Joy, Wong, and Ren to do. Ren was dismissed by Ryo earlier on, but he came back in a big way to finding Yuanda Zhu even if they didn’t find him now. Great bro energy through out the episode from them. Joy was having some issues with helping anymore with the Yellow Head until she saved Wong later on from listening in on some Yellow Heads. I feel like our cool motorcycle lady is slowly passing through her own trauma of what happened to hear with the Yellow Head gang in her backstory. Wong is starting to change his ways as a street urchin who steals, but he was mainly the device for this episode to move forward a bit more.

One thing that I need to absolutely mention is just how good the fighting animation is in this episode. It was always good, but this show helped make Xuiying feel much stronger then everyone else through eye trace lines (so cool) and aura as she dodged everyone easily. You can tell that she is a master of exceptional skill because not many people in the show have been that powerful yet. Ryo used some of her ability to defeat opponents, but isn’t as strong yet and that was characterized well in just the animation itself. Some incredible work there. Especially when there were extra fights thrown in that were well animated to sell a scene.

So, that not having a lot to say thing was a lie apparently. Even tired, it feels like I can just ramble on shows and episodes for so long if I felt like it. But in regards to concluding thoughts, it was another good episode. A bit lacking and somewhat repetitive with some pathos that feels like a stop gap, which could have been the point, but it was interesting. I am excited to see how Ryo fights Don Niu this time. Has he learned enough in a day or two to finally take the big guy on? What about what happens afterwards? I am pretty excited to see and look into all of this next episode.

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