Shenmue Wiki

"Tell Master Dou Niu... that I found two rats. Too bad, isn't it? You aren't getting away!"
―Yuan approaching Ryo and Ren armed with a chainsaw. — Listen (file info)[src]

Yuan (ユアン Ewan), whose full original name is Ewan O'Neill (ユアン・オニール Ewan Onīru)[3]
is Dou Niu's right-hand partner who is an high-ranking executive of the Yellow Head gang that operates in Kowloon. Yuan is a central antagonist in Shenmue II. Yuan often blackmails Kowloon's shopkeepers, as they are all afraid of Yuan and Dou Niu.

Yuan's gender is altered in the English versions of the game. In the original Japanese version, Yuan is a stereotypically effeminate gay man who has a relationship with Dou Niu. He is also a cross-dresser (someone who enjoys dressing in clothes primarily associated with the opposite sex.). There are no confirmations of Yuan being transgender. In the English version, Yuan was localized to be a woman, was given a woman's voice and female pronouns are used to refer to Yuan. Yuan is still a cross-dresser in this version. For the sake of consistency, this wiki uses male pronouns, as the Shenmue III official website [4]
does and due to Yuan being a male in Shenmue the Animation. For more information see gender.


Yuan is 170 cm (5'7") tall. He has short orange hair (Blond in the concept art for the game.) and wears bright red lipstick and has black eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. He has a gold circular earring on his left ear and wears a gold ring on both his middle fingers and has bright red nail polish. He wears a women's red short sleeved dress shirt with his stomach exposed and a black leather vest. He also wears a black belt with a gold buckle, zebra patterned pants and long black women's boots. In Shenmue the Animation, he wears no lipstick and has gold circular earrings on both his ears. His pants are also a solid gray color, and have no zebra pattern on them.


Yuan is sadistic and shows signs of being mentally unstable. An example of this would be when he was willing to torture Shuqin Zhang for information on Yuanda Zhu. He even claims that he was going to make him "spill his guts." He also maniacally chases Ryo Hazuki and Wuying Ren with a chainsaw when they infiltrate the Yellow Head Building and is intent on shredding them into pieces. He is also feared among the majority of people in Kowloon and they feel he's very dangerous and that there's something "wrong" with him. A cooked food stand owner in Kowloon, Jiayu Kun is one of the only people outside of the Yellow Heads that actually seem to respect Yuan in any way, although this is most likely due to him being attracted to him. Yuan is also a narcissist and has a very feminine way of speaking and acting which he is criticized and shunned by his henchmen for. He is second-in-command of the Yellow Heads and is the right-hand partner of the gang's leader Dou Niu, whom he has known for a long time. They are also involved in a romantic relationship, which is speculated why he has such a high rank in the gang.

Shen2 Following Yuan 74

Yuan being compulsively disgusted by filthy creatures.

Yuan hates filthy and ugly things and compulsively cleans anything dirty, messy, or smelly. He also seems to wear both men's and women's clothing as seen in the closet in his room. He is also clumsy when flustered which results in him tripping.

Yuan enjoys collecting knives and has a wall full of them in his room. He is also skilled at using knives and other weaponry such as steel pipes and chainsaws in combat. He is also a practitioner of the Mantis Dagger Fist.

In his room, a framed photo of Dou Niu can be seen on a table along with a small box with jewelry in it. If Ryo locks on to the box of jewelry, Ren will steal it from Yuan. He also owns a pet myna bird that repeats anything anyone says. Ren used this to his and Ryo's advantage to trick Dou Niu and escape from him when he was heading towards Yuan's room when they where rescuing Zhang.

Yuan seems to be fond of the color purple, as he thought the color of his refrigerator being purple would be perfect for his room, complaining to the apartment staff that it needed to be replaced because it wasn't the said color. He also enjoys drinking tea at the Cafe Anna and feels it's an "elegant" way to spend his time.

Shenmue II[]

Shen2 You punk 2

Yuan meeting Ryo for the first time.

Yuan is first encountered in the Lucky Charm Quarter, when the Yellow Heads capture Yuanda Zhu's aide Shuqin Zhang. He was about to hit Ryo Hazuki in the back with a steel pipe, but he dodged the attack by tripping him. Yuan then orders the Yellow Head members to attack Ryo, but then sees them on the ground knocked out, not knowing that they were beat up by Xiuying Hong.

Later in Aberdeen, Wuying Ren tricks Ryo into following him into interrupting a deal between Yuan and Gangfang Lin. Ren interrupts the meeting and escapes with the money, leaving Ryo to deal with Yuan and two other Yellow Head members (This scene is determinant and only happens if the player succeeds the command QTE when meeting Ren). If Ryo fails the fight with the two guys, they will leave him there on the floor tied up and Wong will come and untie him and tell him that Ren is at Pigeon Park. [5]


Yuan threatens Ryo and Ren.

Once Ryo and Ren are handcuffed together in the Dancing Dragon Building in Kowloon, after they sleep on the roof and try to escape at sunrise, Yuan comes out of the elevator door armed with a knife. He threatens them and attempts to cut them with his knife, until they both stop him. After this, Dou Niu comes out of the elevator and threatens to kill them for stopping his partner Yuan and attempts to do so by chasing them as they run away. Once Ryo searches the last of Huang the Wiretapper's tapes, there is a conversation with Yuan, his talking pet Myna bird, and Dou Niu about how he captured Zhang and was going to torture him for information on Zhu.

After realizing that Zhang is in danger, Ryo and Ren look for him. There are two alternate paths in finding out where Yuan is. One is through the Moon Child Orphanage in the Moon Child Building where Ren is or through asking at knife shops where Yuan is a frequent customer at. Either way, they'll find out that Yuan will be at the roof of the Three Birds Building at dawn, where he usually gets bird feed for his myna bird.

Shen2 Following Yuan 12

Yuan unconscious on the floor of his room.

Ryo and Ren end up following Yuan throughout Kowloon, as he does odd things like drinking tea elegantly, being compulsively disgusted at filthy creatures, and checking at a knife shop to see if his new knife for his collection is delivered to his room. After following him, Yuan enters his room on the 4th floor of the Golden Flower Building. Ryo ends up knocking on his door and once he opens it, he kicks him leaving him on the floor unconscious and they enter his room and rescue Zhang.

After Ryo and Ren find Yuanda Zhu in the Ghost Hall Building, Yuan, Dou Niu, and other Yellow Head members were following them and they capture Zhu.

At the Yellow Head Building where Zhu is held, Yuan at one point comes out a door armed with chainsaw and chases Ryo and Ren with it attempting to kill them. Once Ryo and Ren stop him, Yuan and Ryo fight hand-to-hand for the first time. After the fight, Ryo kicks Yuan into the elevator. Ren then handcuffs him inside the elevator and blackmails him with a can full of trash if he does not tell them where Zhu is. Yuan being disgusted by the trash ends up telling them that Zhu is on the 40th Floor. Even after he tells them, Ren kicks the trash can into Yuan with him screaming and being hysterically disgusted.

Shenmue the Animation[]

Yuan anime

Yuan as he appears in the anime.

Yuan appears as an antagonist in Shenmue the Animation. He is a central antagonist in Episode 9 through Episode 12. In Episode 9, he's with the Yellow Heads that capture Zhang at the Dou Jiang Diner. Ryo defeats all the Yellow Heads that are inside the diner, and approaches Yuan and the men that are with him. He orders them to attack him, but once he turns around, he sees all of them are knocked out, not knowing that they were all knocked out by Xiuying. Once Ryo meets Ren, as suggested by Zhang since he knows where Yuanda Zhu is located at, he agrees to take him to Zhu. But instead he leads him into a warehouse where Yuan is making a deal with Gangfang Lin. He turns off the lights, steals the money and runs off with it. Yuan thinking that Ryo is the one who stole it since he's the only one there, orders his men to attack him, but they are knocked out by Ryo.

Yuan knife anime

Yuan attempts to cut Ryo and Ren.

In Episode 10, after Dou Niu captures Ryo and Ren and locks them up, he and Yuan meet Lan Di at his hideout, telling him that Ryo and Ren know of Zhu and that they will find him. Shortly after, a Yellow Head member tells them that they escaped. As Ryo and Ren are about to use the elevator to leave, Yuan comes out of the elevator and attempts to cut them with his knife and they both defeat him. Shortly after, Dou Niu comes out of the elevator, enraged that they hurt his lover and attempts to kill them. While listening to a bunch of Huang the Wiretapper's cassette tapes, they learn that Yuan has captured Zhang. They hear a talking bird in the background, and that is their first clue. A man that runs a shop specializing in talking birds confirms that someone matching Yuan's description comes to his shop every day to buy bird feed. Ryo and Ren hide until Yuan comes to buy his bird feed, and once he gets it, they follow him to where he lives. Once Yuan is at the apartment building where he lives, he sees a bunch of smelly trash in the hallway and gets disgusted by it. Ren reveals to Ryo that Yuan is a neat freak. Once Yuan enters his room, he hears a knock on his door. Once he opens it, Ryo hits him in the stomach and knocks him out. Later on, once Ryo and Ren finally find Yuanda Zhu, Yuan approaches them, having followed them to Zhu. Other Yellow Head members and Dou Niu then appear to capture Zhu.

In Episode 11, Zhu takes out both of Yuan's men with his cane, but Yuan uses his knife to slice it in half, making Zhu at his mercy. Dou Niu flees from his fight with Xiuying when he learns that Yuan has Zhu in their custody. Dou Niu is upset about being dealt with by Xiuying and has Yuan deal with any repercussions from Xiuying, Ryo, and Ren. Yuan informs Dou Niu that Lan Di will arrive to pick up Zhu the following day, and Dou Niu relishes the thought that Hong Kong will soon be his.

Crazy Yuan

Yuan fed up with everything Ryo and his group have done.

In Episode 12, when Ryo and Ren are at the Yellow Head Building to rescue Zhu at one point, they're confronted by a chainsaw-wielding Yuan. After giving him a chase, they get him off their tail by kicking over some junk that traps Yuan in some junk and rubble. Just outside, Joy and Wong arrive at the building and Joy demands an audience with Dou Niu claiming the daughter of Chunyun Liang from the White Tai. Dou Niu frees Yuan from the rubble and Yuan is alerted of the arrival of Joy and Wong. In a separate room in the building, Joy has Wong search for Ryo and Ren by using the air vents. A panic-stricken Yuan worries that the sudden arrival of Joy is bad timing and Dou Niu puts out the order to have her locked up. Inside of the vents, Wong circumnavigates through them and finds himself inside the room that Yuanda Zhu is in. Just then, Yuan was about to enter the room, so Wong creates a distraction from the vents by scaring the rats inside of it to leap onto Yuan terrifying him. Once Joy is rescued, she wakes up and Ren hears from the walkie-talkie that Wong has Zhu and after they deal with the man that chased after Wong earlier that day, they're confronted by Dou Niu by the elevator. Elsewhere, Ryo's group is confronted by a deranged knife-wielding Yuan who attacks the group, but thanks to the combined efforts of Ren and Ryo, they defeat him and handcuff him to the elevator banister. Yuan then is successfully interrogated for the information about where the trade-off was to be held, after Ren threatens to throw a can of trash on him. Even after Yuan gives him the information, Ren kicks the trash into him, making him completely terrified and disgusted.


In the original Japanese version of Shenmue II on the Dreamcast, Yuan was a cross-dressing male or "okama" (オカマ okama) as they would use in in Japanese slang. However, the director Yu Suzuki and possibly Sega of Europe were not sure how players outside of Japan would take a obviously gay character, so for the PAL Dreamcast version they re-recorded his lines with a Japanese actress and made him a female.[6]
They also changed all of his references from "he/him" to "she/her" in the subtitles, however if you know Japanese, you should be able to hear they are indeed saying "he" when referring to Yuan. In the original Japanese version when Dou Niu says "What the hell did you do to my partner!?"(referring to Yuan), he is actually saying "What the hell did you do to my cute love thing!?". Yuan's gender change was also still intact in the English dubbed version of the game on Xbox. The English versions of the game hinted that Yuan was in a relationship with Dou Niu, while the original Japanese version directly stated it.

As revealed in a 2015 podcast with Yuan's English voice actress Lisle Wilkerson on the SEGAbits fan site, Yuan is still a cross-dresser in the English version of Shenmue II, but SEGA Of America wanted the voice to be as ambiguous as possible, to not anger western fans. They were actually having a hard time deciding whether to make him have a female voice or a male voice like the original version.[7]

Yuan's gender change could be considered censorship.

When selecting Japanese voices in Shenmue I & II, the game uses the uncensored Japanese audio, meaning Yuan has a masculine voice instead of a feminine voice. When free battling Yuan with the Japanese voices on, the game initially used the Japanese female voice during that fight, but this has been patched to use the uncensored Japanese male voice with a update on all platforms. Also when Japanese audio is selected, the English subtitles use male pronouns when referring to Yuan (Although in some instances it uses female pronouns, but this is most likely an error).

Also in Shenmue I & II, when viewing the information of a snapshot taken of Yuan, the game no longer uses female pronouns in Yuan's profile. It labels Yuan as "The executive of the Yellow Heads" instead of "She is the executive of the Yellow Heads" leaving Yuan's gender androgynous. Ryo's notebook also does not use gender specific pronouns when referring to Yuan, no matter which voice option is selected.

Yuan is also a male in both the Japanese and English versions of Shenmue the Animation. He has a masculine voice and male pronouns are used to refer to him. Dou Niu also refers to Yuan as his "cute little Yuan" rather than his "partner", making that dialogue very similar to the original Japanese dialogue of the game.


Shenmue II[]

  • "Come, we'll have some fun... Guys! Get him!"
  • "You won't get away with this!"
  • "We meet again... I'll rip you into pieces!"
  • "How does my blade taste? ... Master Dou Niu, I caught the rats."
  • "Oh, it's filthy! It stinks!" (Yuan after Ren kicks a trash can into him.)

Shenmue the Animation[]

  • "Poor kid is too cocky to realize just who he's messing with. Fine by me. Step on up, let's dance. Go on, boys. Show him a good ti-"
  • "Now that's a face I remember. Where's the moolah? ... You can't wriggle your way out of this one. Get him, boys!" (Yuan meeting Ryo for second time, thinking that he stole his money.)
  • "Well, looks who's here. I'll slice you both to ribbons!"
  • "I'm back, sweetie!" (Yuan talking to his myna bird.)
  • "You assholes... You've really done it now... ... Enough games! I'm shredding you all to pieces!"


  • Yuan's original name in the Japanese version is "Ewan" and his surname is "O'Neill" which suggests that he's European. His full name was revealed on the official Japanese Shenmue website decades ago, and interestingly his surname isn't mentioned in the Japanese guidebooks, or any other official sources. In the English version, his name was mistranslated to "Yuan", although it could have been changed intentionally to make his name more feminine since his gender was altered in the localization.
  • Besides Yuan's voice and references being modified between regions, there is another thing that was censored regarding the character. When Yuan chases Ryo & Ren with a chainsaw in the Yellow Head Building, and the player fails certain Quick Time Events that result in Ryo getting killed with Yuan's chainsaw, the screen originally faded out to red like blood in the original Japanese Dreamcast version. However, in the PAL Dreamcast release, this was changed to fade out to white. This change was kept in the English dubbed Xbox release. The change is also still intact in Shenmue I & II.
  • In the Japanese version, when Yuan pushes the buttons on the elevators, he's actually saying "Click." (ポチッと。Pochitto.). Yuan enjoys saying that when pressing the buttons on the elevators, and he is well known for that catchphrase by Japanese fans. In the English version, he instead says "Ah, yes".
    • Also when Yuan is about to fight Ryo hand-to-hand for the first time in the Japanese version, he's actually saying "This time I'll use my cute hands". In the English version, he simply says "This time I'll use my hands".
  • When Ryo describes Yuan's physical appearance to Hongji Huo at the Moon Child Orphanage if he goes there when looking for Yuan, the dialogue is drastically different in the English version compared to the original Japanese version. Originally, he says that Yuan looks and talks like a woman, but is actually a man and he then says "I'm in trouble". In English, he just describes Yuan's physical appearance such as the clothing he wears and his haircut.
    • When selecting Japanese voices in Shenmue I & II, the English subtitles are the same as the English voice dialogue, except male pronouns are used to refer to Yuan.
  • Yuan is the first cross-dresser character to appear in the Shenmue series, with the second being Qun Song from Shenmue III.
  • Yuan's zodiac sign is Aries and he has a AB blood type.
  • "YUA" appears on the #4 ranking in the Hang On arcade game which is the first three letters of Yuan's name and it's his character ID name in the game's files. This could mean that Yuan has played Hang On and possibly other arcade games, or it could just be an easter egg from the developers.
  • The Japanese voice actor who voices the original male version of Yuan in Shenmue II is Takahiro Sakurai, who also is the Japanese voice actor for the main antagonist of the series Lan Di. Sakurai is also the Japanese voice actor for Goro Mihashi, Shiro Kurita and Kouji Hase in Shenmue, and Zongquan Bai in Shenmue II.
  • Yuan's English voice actress in Shenmue II is Lisle Wilkerson, who also is the English voice actress for Joy, Xiuying Hong and some minor characters in the games.
  • In Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Lion Rafale can be customized to look similar to Yuan.[8]



PMirror Shenmue Wiki has a gallery for Yuan. DMirror