REVIEW: ‘Shenmue,’ Episode 11 – “Entangled”

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Shenmue Episode 11 - But Why Tho

Shenmue the Animation (Shenmue) is a Crunchyroll/Adult Swim exclusive action anime based on the video game Shenmue and is developed by Telecom Animation Film. With Xiuying steeping between Ryo and his Yellow Heads Gang pursuers it looks like he has been saved from an untimely fate. But now that the gang has Yonada Zhu, how can Ryo continue his quest in Shenmue Episode 11?

If you experience a special joyful giddiness whenever cocky brawlers get their teeth kicked by skilled martial arts masters, then Shenmue Episode 11‘s opening is for you. Going full master mode on the Yellow Heads Gang members, Xiuying doesn’t even bother to take one hand out from behind her back during her brutal beatdown of her enemies.

What makes this sequence particularly striking is how Xiuying dispatches her opponents. There is little of the fluidity or grace in her movements that one often receives in depictions of masters of the martial arts. Rather, Xiuying exchanges these elements for speed and economy of motion. A firm practitioner in the statement “The shortest route between two points is a straight line.” Xiuying darts in hits with a tremendous amount of force, and then instantly turns to her next opponent. Not a second of time nor an iota of energy is wasted.

Despite the near brush with disaster, no sooner can Ryo stand than he is ready to resume his hunt for Zhu. Having been given a tip about a person who may help him secure a route into the Yellow Heads Gang’s base, Ryo and Ren quickly continue their mission. The remainder of Shenmue Episode 11 is split into two halves. The first half involves Ryo facing some challenges to acquire the access he seeks. This feels like more filler that is probably drawn from the source material but serves little purpose here.

The second half spends some time with Wong and June as they continue to deal with the repercussions of Ryo’s entry into their world. The young man’s quest for answers has shifted their view of themselves and Shenmue Episode 11 takes a moment to show June’s struggle with what Ryo has presented her with through their interactions and how it conflicts with her past. While not as long or as in-depth as I would’ve liked, these moments help to further flesh out June. As she is my favorite character in this series so far, getting more of her story and her motivations was a nice and unexpected touch.

The animation in Shenmue Episode 11 delivers all the fights and soul searching with the same solid quality it has displayed in the past. The locations that the show visits continue to be impressive in their design and scale as well.

When all is said and done, Shenmue Episode 11 delivers another solid entry to the series. If it can just strengthen some of its core elements a bit more it may yet manage to rank up a bit as a series before the season draws to a close.

Shenmue Episode 11 is streaming on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.


Shenmue Episode 11
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Shenmue Episode 11 delivers another solid entry to the series. If it can just strengthen some of its core elements a bit more it may yet manage to rank up a bit as a series before the season draws to a close.