Bringing Yakuza’s Kiryu Back In Like A Dragon 8 Is Silly


A red sideways eight circles around Kiryu and Ichiban's faces.

How many occasions do you should say goodbye, previous man?
Screenshot: Sega

Last evening, we lastly acquired a have a look at the following mainline sport within the Yakuza collection, Like a Dragon 8and the announcement trailer instantly had people on-line racing to assemble memes poking enjoyable on the youthful new hairdo of the collection’ longtime, stalwart protagonist, Kiryu Kazuma. Although it is good to know that the grandpa-kuza is in a brand new Yakuza sport, I could not assist however ask out loud: Kiryu, child, why are you continue to right here? Haven’t we already stated our goodbyes?

During the Yakuza studio’s RGG Summit 2022Sega introduced three brand-spanking-new Yakuza video games: Like a Dragon 8; Like a Dragon: Ishin, a historic samurai spin-off of the collection set in a fictionalized model of Kyoto within the 1860s; and Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, which can depict the occasions in Kiryu’s life between Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and Like a Dragon 8. Although we already knew that LaD8 sport was comingthe announcement trailer confirmed that the sport would have twin protagonists in Ichiban Kasuga and Kiryu.

Having twin, and even a number of playable protagonists is not new to the Yakuza collection. Yakuza 0, Yakuza 4and Yakuza 5 all have you ever taking part in from the angle of characters not named Kiryu. While I’m excited to see Kiryu’s moveset reimagined in Like a Dragon‘s Dragon Quest-like turn-based fightnarratively, Kiryu’s return ignores the a number of narrative send-offs he is already obtained all through the collection and highlights how dog-shit Yakuza 6a sport marketed as his remaining journey, was.


Before I get into spoilers, this must be aired out: Kiryu’s hair in Like a Dragon 8 is dangerous. His barber let all of Japan down giving a 51-year-old man frosty-gray hair. Aside from sporting from his greatest Vergil Devil May Cry cosplay, I assume there’s an easy reply to why he is sporting this new, mid-life disaster look. You see, in Yakuza 6Kiryu fights this dude named Joon-gi Hana Korean dude sporting an analogous coiffure to the one which Kiryu is rocking in Yakuza 8‘s announcement trailer. Joon-gi Han, it seems, is an identification that is been handed all the way down to individuals all through the collection, and Kiryu rocking the hair in Like a Dragon 8 might imply that he is now taken on the moniker for himself. Let’s hope, nonetheless, that he is simply taking style inspiration from him, maybe to disguise himself whereas doing a little undercover work at Stardust, Kamuroucho’s host membership. Seeing as how Kiryu is buddies with the fellows who run the cabaret, it would not be out of the query for him, a person infamous for horrible disguises, to assume this incognito look is fooling anybody.

Now, onto why it is a bit irritating to see Like a Dragon‘s hero Ichiban having to share the highlight with Kiryu in his subsequent journey.

Spoiler tag for the Yakuza series.

Throughout the mainline Yakuza collection, Kiryu has obtained three send-offs. In Yakuza 5‘s remaining sceneKiryu is mendacity bloody within the streets within the arms of his adopted daughter, Haruka, after a hard-fought battle. The digicam then pans up from his limp physique and greets you with a single phrase, “Fin.” If you had been a participant within the west in 2012, that ending principally reads like developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s means of claiming, “Yeah, Kiryu could be useless. Rip bozo.”

But it turned out that Kiryu’s potential dying was a fakeout. Dude’s as sturdy as a Nokia telephone, and 2016’s Yakuza 6: The Song of Life noticed his wonderful return. However, the sport was marketed as Kiryu’s final journey, his true send-off. Sadly, that final journey’s ending was some bullshit.

Read extra: The End Of Yakuza 6 Is Some Bullshit

The end result of Yakuza 6‘s story sees Kiryu abandon Haruka and her “nonetheless acquired that new child odor” toddler, Haruto. In Kiryu’s thick cranium, he justified his leaving as a technique to defend his household of orphans from being hunted because of his prison antics. Seeing Kiryu abandon these he cherished after I’d spent 60 hours combating to revive the household he’d made for himself felt completely antithetical to his resolve to be with them in any respect prices, a defining attribute of him all through the collection. Needless to say, Yakuza 6‘s ending not solely marred the expertise of taking part in his would-be “remaining journey” but in addition made his characterization as much as that time really feel criminally mismanaged.

King of Games

But nobody is ever actually goneand 2021’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon noticed Kiryu’s grand return to the collection as a super-strong aspect character that assists the protagonist Ichiban Kasuga in the direction of the top of the sport. In a chapter actually known as Passing the Torch, Kiryu, y’know, passes the torch to Ichiban on the finish of their macho-shirtless battle. The battle serves two functions, permitting Ichiban to blow off some steam earlier than doing one thing reckless and symbolizing Kiryu giving the JRPG-loving hero his stamp of approval because the collection’ new protagonist. I suppose that was a fucking lie.

For me, Kiryu returning as a twin protagonist Yakuza 8 places a whole lot of strain on Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name to successfully stroll again Yakuza 6‘s half-baked ending and easy over why the following three Yakuza video games are going to make the collection “Oops! All Kiryu” for the following couple of years. Hopefully, Kiryu’s presence would not end in our notion of Ichiban affected by the The Worf Effect going ahead.


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