List of Shenmue characters
- 1 Main characters
- 2 Supportive characters in Shenmue
- 3 Supportive characters in Shenmue II
- 4 Niao Sun
- 5 References
- Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze (Japanese), Corey Marshall (English)
Ryo Hazuki (芭月 涼 Hazuki Ryō) is the protagonist of the Shenmue series; the player controls him throughout as they progress through the game. He is an 18-year-old Japanese teenager who lives in Yamanose in Yokosuka, Japan. Ryo has been taught in the Martial Arts by his father, Iwao, since he was young. All we know about his mother is that she died when Ryo was young. After his father is killed by Lan Di, Ryo swears vengeance for his father.
- Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese), Paul Lucas (English)
Lan Di (蓝 帝, Pinyin: Lán Dì, born Zhao Longsun) is the principal antagonist in both Shenmue and its sequel Shenmue II. Lan Di kills Iwao Hazuki, Ryo's father, at the beginning of Shenmue. He blames Iwao for the death of Zhao Sunming (Later revealed to be his father in Shenmue 2), and takes a precious stone mirror engraved with a dragon design. This mirror is called the Dragon Mirror, and is one of a pair - the other being the Phoenix Mirror. Ryo swears revenge and chases after him, but almost always finds himself one step behind Lan Di.
Lan Di is one of the four high-ranking members of the Chinese criminal syndicate known as the Chiyoumen. He is master of a legendary Chinese martial art known as Tiger Swallow Style.
- Voiced by: Hazuki Ishigaki (Japanese), Debora Rabbai (Shenmue), Akasha Scholen (Shenmue II) (English)
Ling Shenhua (Ling Shen Hua, 玲莎花, Japanese: Rei Shenfa, Pinyin: Líng Shāhuā) is a mysterious girl who appears in the dreams of Ryo Hazuki in the first Shenmue. Shenhua grew up surrounded by nature. Her innocent looks hide her power and courage created by the wilderness of China. In Shenmue II, Ryo is able to meet her in person, and saves her life near the Bailu Village, Guilin.
Shenhua is 16 and grew up in the wilderness of China, surrounded by nature.
In the US version of the first game, her name is written as Sha Hua (Ling Sha Hua). It is later amended to the spelling of Shenhua/Ling Shen Hua in Shenmue II.
Supportive characters in Shenmue
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Fujioka (Japanese), Robert Jefferson (English)
Iwao Hazuki (芭月 巌 Hazuki Iwao) is the father of Ryo Hazuki. In the very first scene, Ryo returns to his home to find a man named Lan Di attacking his father after revealing that Iwao had killed a man in China whose name was Zhao Sunming and acquired both the Dragon and Phoenix Mirrors. Lan Di kills Iwao and gains possession of the Dragon Mirror after threatening Iwao with the death of his son whilst choking Ryo. This sets the stage for the rest of the game, as well as its sequel, Shenmue II, as Ryo sets out to avenge his father's death.
Not much is known about Iwao but by talking to people, and a few of Ryo's memories, we learn that Iwao constantly trained in the martial arts, eventually going to China to learn more. It appears that he spearheaded the creation of the Hazuki style of Martial Arts. We also get the impression that he was a calm and serious father; there appears to be nothing to suggest that he would murder a man. He is seen eating a meal with Ryo and teaching his son to appreciate the hard work of others and health by making him eat his carrots; Iwao, training Ryo at the cherry tree and teaching him to be centered; telling Ryo to keep his friends close at the dojo; and Ryo finding a letter from Iwao, telling him to live by his convictions.
- Voiced by: Megumi Yasu (Japanese), Ruth Hollyhan (English)
Nozomi Harasaki (原崎 望 Harasaki Nozomi) is a childhood friend of Ryo's and has had romantic feelings for him for a long time. However, they can never pursue a romantic relationship despite their obvious feelings for each other because of Ryo's vendetta. During the game, she is kidnapped by Terry as bait to bring out Ryo but Ryo quickly comes to her rescue. The night Nozomi tells Ryo about her departure to Canada, she gives him an amulet as a memento of her. Later in Shenmue, she leaves Japan for Canada and gives Ryo an emotional goodbye.
- Voiced by: Shinichi Namiki (Japanese), Dennis Falt (English)
Chen Yaowen (陳躍文, Japanese: Chin Yōbun, Pinyin: Chén Yuèwén), also referred to as Master Chen is the manager of the Yokosuka Trading Company and a master of the Yan Qing Style, a martial art taught through generations of his family. He is instrumental in helping Ryo in his search for Lan Di and arranges transport to China for Ryo and Chen Guizhang, Master Chen's son and business protege. Master Chen is also the uncle of Joy.
- Voiced by: Tetsuya Sakai (Japanese), Eric Kelso (English)
Chen Guizhang (陳貴章, Japanese: Chin Kishō, Pinyin: Chén Guìzhāng) works for his father at his Yokosuka Trading Company where he is being trained to take over, he is also being taught the Yan Qing Style of martial art passed down through their family. Guizhang becomes an ally of Ryo and together they defeat the 70-man gang known as the Mad Angels. His father Master Chen arranges for Ryo and Guizhang to travel to China together in Ryo's search for Lan Di but Guizhang injures his leg saving Ryo from an attack by Chai shortly before boarding the boat to Hong Kong, as such Guizhang stays in Japan and tells Ryo that he should go on ahead and that he will catch up soon when his injury has healed.
- Voiced by: Issei Futamata (Japanese), Paul Lucas (English)
Chai (チャイ) is the first game's main antagonist (Lan Di is the main antagonist of the series). He bears a striking similarity to the character of Gollum from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. is a self-proclaimed master of a martial art which is unheard of. His background is shrouded in mystery, but he is revealed to be in line with Terry during the course of the game and is attempting to work for Lan Di, by stealing the second mirror from Ryo and later on, by attempting to kill him, in order to stop Ryo from following Lan Di to China. During the final battle between the two, Ryo succeeds and Chai falls into the water. Chai survives this encounter and manages to climb on board the ferry which Ryo has boarded to go to China in pursuit of Lan Di. It is revealed in the Shenmue II comics from the Xbox version (revealed to be the Boat chapter; Chapter 2 of the saga), that he kidnaps a girl from the same boat to lure Ryo out to fight once more. Chai loses the battle once again and falls back into the water. It is debatable whether Chai survived this encounter or not, since he is not seen again during the course of Shenmue II, but at the same time, he managed to survive at the end of the first game when he fell into the water and it was not corroborated by Ryo whether he had indeed climbed onboard again, which leads to speculation over his whereabouts.
Supportive characters in Shenmue II
- Voiced by: Takumi Hagiwara (Japanese), Eric Kelso (English)
Ren Wuying (刃武鷹, Japanese: Ren Ūin, Pinyin: Rèn Wǔyīng) is the 19-year-old leader of the notorious street gang The Heavens. Ren's gang is based in Beverly Hills Wharf, Aberdeen. He is charismatic and both his words and actions lead the way. Ren does not trust anyone, and is obsessed with money. He is quick-witted and good at gambling, largely due to his prowess at cheating (near the end of the game, Ren gives Ryo either a two-sided heads coin or a two-sided tails coin, depending on which side, heads or tails, Ryo chooses during a cutscene in the game). Ni Xian Weng (Wong), another member of the Heavens, looks up to Ren as an older brother, though they are not related. Him and Wong are good friends too, and is friends with Joy(in game he says that she's not his type. She is too tough for him.)
As Shenmue II progresses, Ren becomes acquainted with Ryo and joins him on his quest, though his initial motivation is more for his own greed than out of friendship. However, it should be noted the two do show some level of friendship.
- Voiced by: Rio Natsuki (Japanese), Lisle Wilkerson (English)
Joy is a young woman who can most often be seen around Aberdeen riding her motorcycle. She is well known in the area because of her father who is a well established businessman, who also trades with Master Chen in Yokosuka. As such, a lot of people know and are friendly to Joy. She is friends with Ren and the various Heavens members such as Wong, she is also cousin to Chen Gui Zhang and niece to Chen Yao Wen.
After she first meets Ryo in Aberdeen she becomes interested in helping him out and does so on several occasions such as showing him to a place to sleep and getting him a job at the harbour. She and Wong follow Ryo and Ren to Kowloon and try to help them, but in the process Joy is captured by the Yellow Heads, at which point Ryo sets out to rescue her.
- Voiced by: Kōichi Kitamura (Japanese), Dean Harrington (English)
Zhu Yuanda (Yuanda Zhu) is the 66-year-old owner of the Five Star Corp. trading corp, which went bankrupt some time ago. He also wrote a book on martial arts called The Wulinshu. Zhu Yuanda went into hiding from the Yellow Head and the Chi You Men after the death of Iwao (who probably presumed that he had the Phoenix Mirror). He went into hiding in the Ghost Hall Building, an old run-down building in Kowloon. He was the man who sent Iwao Hazuki a warning letter telling him that Lan Di was coming for him, but it arrived too late...
- Voiced by: Ikue Ōtani (Japanese), Jasmine Allen (English)
Xun Fangmei (薫芳梅, Japanese: Kun Fanmei, Pinyin: Xūn Fāngméi) is an assistant to Master Tao. Fangmei is a very cheerful fourteen-year-old girl who will help anyone that she can, and because of her great kindness is well liked. Fangmei lived in the same orphanage as Xiuying and Ziming Hong, leading to her being adopted by Xiuying when she was very young, and because of this, Fangmei works to her utmost at the temple to merit her kindness. Fangmei doesn't like to just sit about and do nothing, she likes to get stuck into work. She is especially fond of Ryo.
- Voiced by: Kumiko Watanabe (Japanese), Akasha Scholen (English)
Wong (Ni Xianweng) is a 13-year-old member of Wuying Ren's gang The Heavens. Wong adores Ren as though he was his older brother, and admires his masculinity and daring lifestyle. Wong may seem like a regular street urchin, but he is honest and he never forgets to return a favor. He is liked by Ren because he has a gift of lock-picking which is useful to him when causing mischief. He is also good friends with fellow Heavens members Cool Z, Sam, and Larry.
- Voiced by: Chō (Japanese), Ryan Drees (English)
Zhang (Shuqin Zhang) is an assistant to Zhu Yuanda and the main contact for the Chawan Sign used by martial artists. Zhang is wanted desperately by the Yellowheads as he has vital information on Yuanda Zhu. He is 44 years old.
- Voiced by: Mahito Tsujimura (Japanese), Steve Martin (English)
Jianmin (Jianmin Tao) is an old man, a master of 'chen style' tai chi, which incorporates offensive moves. He can be found in the park in the South Carmain Quarter, and will answer Ryo's questions, as long as he can spar with him first. Jianmin teaches Ryo one of the four Wude.
Guixiang (李桂香 Li Gui Xiang, Guixiang Li) is a master of Chen-Style Tai Chi. She actually taught Jianmin Tao this style of Tai Chi. Guixiang is constantly being hassled by the Yellowheads who want to evacuate her from her home at the Yan Tin Apartments, but she stands her ground and refuses to leave. Guixiang is also very aware of the Chawan Sign, teaching it to Ryo and she herself uses it to communicate.
- Voiced by: Masayuki Kumagai (Japanese), Dean Harrington (English)
Dou Niu (Togyu) is the leader of the Yellowheads gang. He controls large areas of Kowloon, where the Yellowheads are based. He uses his large size to his advantage in battle and is very strong, but he is also quite clumsy which gives an advantage to Ryo Hazuki and Ren Wuying in fighting him. He is 38 years old.
- Voiced by: Satsuki Tsuzumi (Japanese), Lisle Wilkerson (English)
Hong Xiuying (Hong Xiu Ying 红秀瑛, Japanese: Kou Shūei, Pinyin: Hóng Xiùyīng) is the thoughtful Master of the Man Mo Temple going under the pseudonym of Master Li Shao Tao (桃李少 Táo Lǐshǎo). She is very fond of Chinese culture and is extremely skilled in martial arts. Xiuying is hesitant at first upon hearing as to why Ryo is in China. Revenge is a topic known all too well for Xiuying and she tries to make Ryo give up and go home. After Ryo persists, even learning the four Wude at her instruction she gives in. She lets him stay at her apartment for the rest of the game and makes him air out books at the temple, her method of teaching him patience. She teaches Ryo lessons and new fighting skills. It appears she knows Lan Di in a way, after hearing Lan Di's name come out of Ryo's lips she immediately tells him to stop pursuing revenge, for it is fruitless. Xiuying doesn't talk much, and has a look of sorrow in her eyes.
Xiuying has an older brother named Hong Ziming (红柴明 Hóng Zìmíng) who went off to search for the Chi You Men who supposedly killed his and Xiuying's parents when they were children. Xiuying begged him on hands and knees not to go, but Ziming did not yield. Before he left, he gave her the yang piece, keeping his yin half with him, and which she has kept ever since. Near the end of the game, Xiuying gave the white stone to Ryo. Xiuying believes that he has fallen onto the path of evil and has joined the Chi You Men he sought to destroy. Her own fighting style is Bajiquan and Piguaquan; she can be seen practicing it in a scene. She has also sparred with Ryo twice, (both ending with her unscathed) and helped him to take down various opponents.
Niao Sun is a character who is yet to be seen but artwork of her has been around since before the original game was released. She has appeared in promotional artwork, merchandise and in the video shown at the Shenmue Premiere Event where she was shown in a showy forest, sometimes thought to be Tibet. Additionally, it is often thought that it is her face on the cover of the Shenmue Orchestra Version soundtrack CD. Not much is known about her except that she was said to be first appearing in Shenmue III and that she is one of the four leaders of the Chi You Men. Her style of fighting is unknown and she is said to be in charge of the south, in accordance with the astrological direction of her respective heavenly beast, the red phoenix. She also appears in one of the bonus comics that can be unlocked in the Xbox version of Shenmue II alongside Ziming. A conceptual picture of the four Chiyoumen reveals she, besides Lan Di, is the only one not completely shadowed out, indicating she was intended to be one of the main antagonists of Shenmue III.
- "Ryo Hazuki — The 10 Best Asian Characters In Video Games". Complex. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2014-01-18.