Shenmue the Animation Episode 12: Some Reflections

Shenmue really is coming to a conclusion with this episode. Ryo and Ren are having fun just running around the Yellow Head base, Joy and Wong having their own little exploration of fear and trying to conquer to change, and Yuang Zhu somewhere in the Yellow Head’s building. This is definitely an episode that has a lot of small moments of either comedy or just problem solving. Sometimes both. This episode had a lot of good bits of personality that I couldn’t help but enjoy. Same with some stupid villains that end up being useless in moments that could be cool but aren’t.

So let’s talk about some of these villain moments because I feel like everyone needs a good laugh. The three guys chasing Joy and Wong, who are on a motorcycle, are really the most worthless guys possible. One guy taking a bike from a bystander and then showing up late when the plot settles itself, because normal characters on bikes can’t beat motorized vehicles, is hilarious. Same with the other two just showing up in a car also too late to help anyone. Then there is Yuan with a chainsaw in the middle of a tight hallways. Did he really think he could do anything with that against Ryo and Ren in that situation? Apparently, but he’s so stupid.

I can keep going with that too. Wong’s moment of cleverness when he used rats landing on Yuan to scare him in the room with Yuanda Zhu was held. Wong and Yuanda got away while Yuanda is being pushed in his wheel chair by a small boy. Great moment for Wong, another moment that shows how stupid Yuan is. Same with Yuan just getting afraid over getting a little dirty with garbage during a very simple interrogation by Ren. The guys know to get to the roof top to save Yuanda Zhu now and the final episode is going to be a roof top fighting scene like so many classic action films. We wouldn’t get that without knowing how cool Ren is in that moment and in general.

With Ryo’s moment of owning one masked guy who seemed like a mini boss with the four wudes he learned over his trip, Ryo showed some great growth with defeating that strong guy easily. I guess the wudes learned along the way weren’t a waste or way for him to just handle trauma or ignore what Xuiying was trying to say to him about revenge. That’s nice. I wish it wasn’t just to save a knocked out Joy. Joy did have some awesome moments of re-owning her past to fight the Yello Heads again and it did allow Wong to do what he wanted to do, but it felt lacking compared to everyone else even if it was important to her who isn’t a fighter.

In general, this episode was fun. Very much had some Scooby Doo energy with characters running from one area to another, getting lost or playing around in hallways. Mostly because the only real threat in the entire Yellow Head gang is Don Nui himself because he’s a big guy. But he is one big guy in a large building who can be avoided or tricked. Well, until he met with Wong and Yaung Zhu in the hallway before the two were about to escape. So the series ends next week and it will hopefully be a good episode like this one where Ryo will be traveling somewhere else where the mystical girl is predicting he’s going. Ryo has a lot of goodbyes to give. See you next week.

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