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

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

How many times do you need to say goodbye, old man?
Screenshot: sega

Last night, we finally got a look at the next main game in the Yakuza Serie, like a dragon 8and the announcement trailer immediately had people racing online to put together memes mocking the new youth hairstyle of the stalwart protagonist of the series, Kiryu Kazuma. Although it is good to know that Grandpa-kuza is in a new Yakuza game, I couldn’t help but ask out loud: Kiryu, darling, why are you still here? Haven’t we already said goodbye?

During the Yakuza of the study RGG Summit 2022Sega announced three new games Yakuza games: like a dragon 8; Like a dragon: Ishin, a historical samurai spin-off of the series set in a fictional version of Kyoto in the 1860s; Y As a dragon Gaiden: the man who erased his name, which will depict the events in Kiryu’s life between Yakuza 6: The Song of Life Y like a dragon 8. although we already knew that LaD8 the game was comingthe announcement trailer confirmed that the game would have two leads in Ichiban Kasuga and Kiryu.

Having two or even multiple playable protagonists is not new to the game. Yakuza Serie. Yakuza 0, Yakuza 4Y Yakuza 5 they all have you playing from the perspective of characters not named Kiryu. While I’m excited to see Kiryu movement set reimagined in like a dragon‘s dragon quest-like turn-based combatnarratively, Kiryu’s return ignores the multiple narrative send-offs he already received throughout the series and highlights how dog shit Yakuza 6a game billed as his latest adventure.


Before I get into spoilers, this needs to be aired: Kiryu’s hair on like a dragon 8 it is bad. His hairdresser defrauded all of Japan by giving a 51-year-old man frosty gray hair. Apart from sports his best Virgil’s Devil can cry cosplayI guess there’s a pretty easy answer as to why she’s sporting this new mid-life crisis look. You see, in Yakuza 6Kiryu fights this guy named Joon Gi Hana Korean guy who sports a hairstyle similar to the one Kiryu wears. Yakuza 8Announcement trailer for . It turns out that Joon-gi Han is an identity that has been passed down to people throughout the series, and Kiryu rocks the hair in like a dragon 8 it could mean that he has now taken the nickname for himself. Hopefully she’s just taking fashion inspiration from him though, perhaps to dress up while doing undercover work on star dust, host club of Kamuroucho. Since Kiryu is friends with the guys who run the cabaret, it wouldn’t be out of the question for him, a man famous for his terrible disguises, to think that this incognito look is fooling anyone.

Now about why it’s a bit frustrating to see like a dragonThe Ichiban hero has to share the spotlight with Kiryu on his next adventure.

Spoiler tag for the Yakuza series.

along the main line Yakuza series, Kiryu has received three dismissals. In Yakuza 5ending scene ofKiryu lies bloodied in the streets in the arms of his adopted daughter, haruka, after a hard battle. The camera then pans away from her limp body and greets you with a single word, “End.” If you were a player in the west in 2012, that ending would basically be like how developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio says, “Yeah, Kiryu might be dead. Rip bozo.

But it turned out that Kiryu’s possible death was a fake. Amigo is as durable as a Nokia phone, and 2016 Yakuza 6: The Song of Life saw his glorious return. However, the game was billed as Kiryu’s last adventure, her true farewell. Unfortunately, the end of that last adventure sucked.

Read more: the end of Yakuza 6 it’s some shit

The culmination of Yakuza 6Kiryu’s story sees Kiryu abandon Haruka and their baby “still has that new baby smell”, haruto. In Kiryu’s hard skull, he justified her departure as a way to protect his family of orphans from being persecuted as a result of his criminal shenanigans. Watching Kiryu abandon his loved ones after spending 60 hours fighting to restore the family he had created for himself felt totally antithetical to his determination to be with them at all costs, a trait that defines him throughout. of the series. Needless to say, Yakuza 6The ending of not only marred the experience of playing his supposed “final adventure”, but also made his characterization up to that point feel criminally mismanaged.

King of the games

But nobody’s really goneand 2021 Yakuza: like a dragon saw Kiryu’s big return to the series as a super strong supporting character who helps protag Kyousuke Ichiban towards the end of the game. In a chapter literally called passing the torch, Kiryu, you know, passes the torch to Ichiban at the end of their shirtless macho fight. The fight serves two purposes, to allow Ichiban to blow off steam before he does anything reckless, and to symbolize Kiryu giving the JRPG-loving hero his stamp of approval as the series’ new lead. I guess that was a fucking lie..

For me, Kiryu returns as a dual lead in Yakuza 8 puts a lot of pressure on Like a Dragon Gaiden: The man who erased his name to walk back effectively Yakuza 6The half ending and smooth why the next three Yakuza games are going to do the series “Oops! All Kiryu” for the next two years. Hopefully, Kiryu’s presence won’t result in our perception that Ichiban suffers from the wolf effect going forward.

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