Shenmue: The Movie made its debut showing Saturday in Tokyo. Game Watch reports a highly enthusiastic crowd response, and a packed theater--both excellent signs of continuing interest in the one-game franchise Yu Suzuki wants to extend to a series. The movie CG quality is reportedly slightly below current major film standards, but still definitely adequate.
Following the feature presentation, scenes from Shenmue II were shown. Additionally, the movie's three lead voice actors, and Suzuki himself, spoke with the audience from the stage. No firm release date has been given for the sequel; but Suzuki said that he wants to "get it finished before Microsoft starts going all out." Microsoft has shown signs of building Xbox's marketing momentum, so for Suzuki and Sega, earlier is better.