Happy 50th Birthday to Ryo Hazuki, star of the ongoing Shenmue franchise!

Today is the 50th birthday of Ryo Hazuki, fictional star of SEGA and Yu Suzuki’s ongoing Shenmue series. Ryo’s birthdate is given as November 29th, 1968, making him 18 at the time of Shenmue. In fact, Ryo’s 18th birthday is the same day that Lan Di murdered his father. Oddly, this fact really isn’t mentioned in the game (to my knowledge) but knowing this really makes those fateful opening moments all the more heartbreaking for Ryo. Assuming Ryo survives the events of Shenmue III and potential future sequels, he would be 50 years old today, four years older than his father who was murdered at 46.

If you’d like to know what Ryo is currently up to, back in 2010 on The Saturn Junkyard blog I wrote a pretend interview with Ryo asking him about his SEGA Saturn to learn how he was able to own the console ten years before it was actually released. Ryo let slip a few details of his current situation.

Happy birthday, Ryo!

New Project X Zone 2: Brave New World screens and art show off Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki


Famitsu has dropped another batch of Project X Zone 2: Brave New World character reveals for the upcoming Bandai Namco Entertainment published SRPG crossover featuring SEGA, Capcom, and Bandai Namco characters. In this latest batch SEGA representation is light, but the inclusion of Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki is huge. Of course, we knew of Ryo’s inclusion for a few weeks. But in this reveal it is confirmed that Ryo will be a Solo Unit character, meaning he won’t be teamed with another Shenmue character (I was really hoping we’d get Wuying Ren). It has also been confirmed that Ryo’s Japanese voice actor Matsukaze Masaya will be returning to the role. Masaya will also be voicing Ryo in Shenmue 3, which means we’ll get our first listen of Masaya’s return to the role in Project X Zone 2!

Other SEGA characters revealed include two NPCs: The evil rabbit eared Ranmaru from Sakuza Wars: So Long My Love voiced by Asai Kiyomi and Garijanon, voiced by Norio Wakamoto, of Resonance of Fate who will be sharing a cutscene with Segata Sanshiro.

After the break, check out the SEGA character screens and art, and check out all the new images over at Famitsu!

Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki to appear in Project X Zone 2: Brave New World


Japanese website Games Talk has let slip that Shenmue‘s Ryo Hazuki will be joining the cast in the SEGA/Capcom/Bandai Namco crossover Project X Zone 2: Brave New World! Ryo appeared in a piece of artwork from the game featuring several other new and already revealed characters. The artwork itself was in a series of screenshots from the Korean localization of the game. It is unknown at this time if Ryo is a solo unit or is a part of a team. Fingers crossed it’s a team, as that would mean an additional Shenmue character (Ren? Goro? The kitten!?).

After the break, check out a few more screens from the Korean version which feature Virtua Fighter characters.

SEGA Retrospective: Let’s get sweaty as we celebrate a SEGA Dreamcast classic, it’s Shenmue Week!

Welcome to a franchise week that many readers have been requesting ever since we began to dedicate seven days to classic SEGA titles, this is Shenmue Week! Like Jet Set Radio Week, we’re going focus exclusively on the first game of the franchise throughout the week. While Shenmue and its sequel are not incredibly different games from each other like Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future, we felt that both Shenmue titles are both so epic on their own that to try and cram both into seven days would do a disservice to the series. Not to mention, we love Shenmue so much that the prospect of another Shenmue Week in the future is something we’re looking forward to.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s travel back in time, before Shenmue II and before the original Shenmue. Before the series went by the codename Project Berkley, to a time in the mid 90s when SEGA’s Yu Suzuki was working on a SEGA Saturn prototype known as The Old Man and the Peach Tree.

UPDATE: Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki now available as DLC in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed for PC

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed‘s Steam store page has updated with the addition of Ryo Hazuki DLC! Unlike past additions to the PC version of the game, Ryo does not appear as a free update, but rather has to be purchased for $1.59. Riding in a trio of classic SEGA arcade machines (Hang-On, Space Harrier, and OutRun), Ryo just about beats Ages in terms of fan-service. But the real question is, who would win in a race? Daytona USA’s Hornet, or Ryo in an OutRun cabinet? Only one way to find out…

Yogscast May Have Slipped About Ryo Hazuki in Sonic Transformed


Shenmue 3 still isn’t a thing, but the Yogscast may have revealed S0L’s surprise a little early. During their recent stream around 40 minutes in they had a character select screen that looked larger than normal, and of all the faces to be on there besides Simon was none other than Ryo Hazuki as seen here, and went so far as to have him in a race.

He isn’t steering a forklift but he’s riding an arcade cabinet playing OutRun instead. I assume it’ll transform into WaveRunner cabinet on water and an After Burner II cabinet in the air.  No dates have been revealed or any other details, but Sega fans can rest assured that their demands for more Ryo and more SEGA stars are indeed being met.

UPDATE: Or maybe the hovercraft mode is Ryo riding a Hang On cabinet to keep in theme with the works of Yu Suzuki.

First 4 Figures Ryo Hazuki statue up for pre-order today – Exclusive edition revealed!

First 4 Figures will be putting the Ryo Hazuki statue up for pre-order very soon, and in anticipation of this they have posted up a video detailing the statue. Or should we say statues? First 4 Figures will not only have a regular edition of the statue, limited to 750 statues featuring Ryo standing at 12 inches high on a city street base, but there will also be 350 statues in a Exclusive Edition featuring a special Phoenix Mirror base.

After the break, check out the full details. As soon as the pre-order goes live we’ll make sure to update this article with the prices.

Update: Pre-order here. Regular edition is priced at $169.99, exclusive edition is priced at $184.99.

First4Figures releases Ryo Hazuki statue teaser trailer – “Let’s get sweaty.”

Via our friends at the Shenmue Dojo comes a short, but sweet, teaser trailer for the first non-Sonic SEGA statue from First4FiguresShenmue star Ryo Hazuki! Standing roughly a foot tall (final height has yet to be shared), Ryo is in his classic “wanna wrestle?” pose. First4Figures have also shared, via their Facebook page and in the trailer above, that more non-Sonic SEGA characters will be made into statues in the future, as part of a new SEGA All-Stars range. Who do you want to see? Ulala, Vyse, Orta, and Beat are on my wish list for sure.

First 4 Figures teases Ryo Hazuki statue

First 4 Figures, makers of the many Sonic the Hedgehog statues, has revealed a teaser for a Shenmue Ryo Hazuki statue. The teaser, which can be seen in full after the break, shows Ryo in his iconic “wanna wrestle?” pose. Price and size have yet to be known, but given F4F’s past releases, this statue could go from $130+ and could reach 12 inches tall. Some fans have noted that Ryo’s face seems off. It could just be the lighting, or perhaps Ryo has changed a little since we last saw him in Shenmue 2. The statue’s announcement follows the release of Insert Coin’s Ryo Hazuki jacket hoodie and t-shirt, as well as Ryo’s cameo in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and his win in the All-Stars Racing DLC character poll spearheaded by fans. Could all this be building towards Shenmue 1&2 HD in 2013? After the break, the full statue teaser image.

Ryo Hazuki Opens a Café, Milk Not On the Menu

Don’t worry, Yu Suzuki has not created Shenmue Diner Dash for cell phones. Instead, Ryo Hazuki’s Japanese voice actor Masaya Matsukaze has opened a cafe in Akihabara with a unique twist (don’t all Japanese cafés have a unique twist?). Matsukaze’s cafe, called “Seiyu Café”, is staffed by voice actors and has a voice acting theme. The interior of the space resembles a recording studio, and throat-friendly drinks are sold alongside alcohol and sweets.

5 Things Shenmue III Should Have

If there is one thing Shenmue fans can’t get enough of, it’s ‘Shenmue III’ speculation. Fans have put everything from obscure items found in the Hazuki basement to AM2 concept art under a microscope in hopes of finding clues towards what we could expect from a ‘Shenmue III’. Unfortunately, that speculation went from fun in 2002 to nearly hopeless in 2005 to hopeless in 2009. Despite a sequel being nowhere in sight, the past year has provided a few glimmers of hope:

In October 2009 Ryo was announced to be in ‘Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing’ and in January 2010, Sega actually acknowledged that Shenmue exists and that fans want it. Couple that with Sega’s continued support of the Yakuza series (they got a “3”! And a “4” to boot!) and the return of a 2D Sonic on home consoles after 16 years and one could argue that Shenmue fans could move from hopeless back to nearly hopeless.

With all that in mind, let’s fuel that hope and take a look at 5 things ‘Shenmue III’ should have!

Shenmonth Begins!

May is Shenmonth! That’s right, a whole month devoted to articles about the beloved Dreamcast series ‘Shenmue’. Expect an article a week at the Dreamcast Junkyard and SEGAbits. If writers here or from any other Sega blog wish to participate, feel free to grab the header image above, slap it atop a blog post and write whatever you wish about ‘Shenmue’. A “Top Ten Ugliest NPC Characters” article is up for grabs.

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Forklift Number 5 of 1000

Ryo's Forklift

It’s here! The major award has arrived: the ‘Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing’ Ryo Hazuki forklift statue. The short version of how I came about the figure: I entered a Sega contest a few months back and last week I won the figure. The figure was limited run of 1,000 was was only available via the online contest, with a handful making it over to Europe and distributed via Sega Europe’s Free Stuff Friday giveaway. Now enough chatter, let’s take a look at the figure!

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Win limited edition Ryo Hazuki forklift figurine

Look at that awesome figure, wouldn’t you want to have one? I would! Problem? There are only 75 made. So you should all sign up and hope to get one. If not you can always try ebay and pay way too much for one. Enter the contest here.

Getting that error? Well, I forgot to mention that the contest is only for US residents only.