Awesome Moment of Crowning: When the moment Kazuma declared himself the fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan during it's darkest hour, it's quite honestly the most badass thing he has ever done. Of course, the actual ceremony was never held as Kazuma quickly resigns, making this a slight subversion.
Does Not Like Guns: To the point that he outright brawls with zombies in the beginning of his act in Dead Souls. He manages to live with them, though.
Doting Parent: Although he's not very outspoken about it (he's not very outspoken about anything), Kazuma is very, VERY proud of his kids, and does all he can to give them a happy, wholesome life. He also doesn't take it overboard: he'll teach his kids a lesson, but he won't enforce it too much, letting his kids learn it on their own.
Disney Death: In the scene before the credits of both 2 and 3 it looks like he dies or is about to.
The Dragon of Dojima (before the events of the first game).
Fallen Hero: In the first game, as the Tojo Clan used to hold him in high regard until Dojima is killed, in which a majority of the clan holds a grudge against him upon his return. Subverted as Kazuma never committed the murder and took the blame for Nishiki willingly, thus he had never earned this trope.
Nice Guy: Kazuma missed his calling in life as the Patron Saint of Niceness. He helps any innocent bystander no matter how big or small the problem, rescues young girls, pets, old women crossing the street, and forgives men who try to kill him on several occasions at the slightest hint of their redemption. This makes his status as the entire underworld's Butt Monkey so far as picking fights go all the more hilarious.
One-Man Army: Over the course of the series, Kazuma has shown that yes, he is most definitely this.
Papa Wolf: Mess with his kids and you die, especially Haruka.
Pet the Dog: Kazuma is pretty much made of this trope. If you don't know who he is, you'd swear he's the nicest guy around. If you DO know him, he's still the nicest guy around, but you know what to do for him to STAY that way.
Real Men Wear Pink: The shirt he wears with his suit is a rather stylish old mauve, not to mention he's the chief chef at the orphanage.
He also learns some of his techniques in the third game by blogging.
Supreme Chef: A minor characteristic, but Kazuma does do all the cooking himself for the kids under his care. And to him it's Serious Business. Considering the games, this also means he overlaps with Chef of Iron under the "Ordinary" classification.
Would Not Hit a Girl: Together with children, Kazuma has a huge soft spot for women, and will never hit a girl, no matter what.
Kazama's adopted daughter, whose job is to be cute and get kidnapped once a game.
Dance Battler: In her playable appearance in Yakuza 5. Subverted, as she doesn't actually fight (unlike the other heroes); her random encounters and boss battles are street dancers and concerts, respectively.
She Is All Grown Up: Puberty has made her almost unrecognizable by the third game, and she's become much more independent and confident in her role as big sister over the orphanage. By the fifth game, she is a high schooler.
A woman who runs Serena during the first game. She's been friends with Kazuma and Nishiki for a long time as Serena was Kiryu and Nishiki's favorite hangout before Dojima's murder. Reina helps Kazuma by letting him use Serena as a hideout and takes care of Haruka whenever Kiryu has to go somewhere. Late in the game, it's revealed that she betrayed Kazuma out of love for Nishiki and became his informant. After attempting to kill Nishiki, she is rescued by Shinji and the two are killed by Kazuto Arase.
The Bartender: Allows Kazuma to use Serena as a hideout. In the second game, Kazuma carries a fever-inflicted Kaoru there for her to rest. The electricity's still on despite being shut down after Reina's death.
Redemption Equals Death: To an extent. She does try to redeem herself by trying to kill Nishiki, and it's not shown nor explained how, but...
Too Dumb to Live: Seeing Nishiki most likely had his marksman with him, going by the bullet wounds in Reina's corpse, it didn't go out so well.
The Tojo Clan
The main clan of the games, Kazuma's former employer and the most unhealthy place to work in the universe (over 8 onscreen lieutenant deaths and counting...). A large organization, with over 2000 employees and several families.
Third Chairman of the Tojo Clan. We don't know much about him as his death sets off the plot of the game, but he seems like a nice enough guy for a Yakuza.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules! - Literally. Realizing just how much Jingu went off the deep end is what drove Sera to conspire with Kazama/Fuma to engineer the theft of the 10 million yen that the Tojo Clan was laundering for Jingu to try and bring him down.
Fifth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, and former Omi Clan member. A nice, friendly guy, he was friends with many people in the Tojo Clan and worked hard to avert a war between the two. As a result Kazama convinces him to leave the Omi Clan and succeed him as Chairman. He continues this role briefly in the second game, before... things get complicated.
Demoted to Extra: We still know almost nothing about him, despite being awesome enough to have both his wife and son be accepted almost automatically as Chairmen of the Tojo Clan.
He's actually implied to be quite the bastard. For one thing, he cheats on his wife with multiple women (including Yumi, which sets off his own murder at the hands of Nishiki).
Power Trio: With both Fuma/Kazama and Shimano in regards of the Jingweon incident flashback in the second game.
Dojima's widow, who nurses a grudge towards Kazama for killing her husband. Later becomes acting head of the Tojo Clan for the second game.
Action Girl: All the more notable for being one of the few examples in the Yakuza world. Don't underestimate her skill with that sword she carries, and she's the only Tojo chairman who manages to last an entire game without being killed or injured.
Quickly Demoted Woman: She's not counted among the chairmen of the Tojo Clan, despite having guided it through possibly its darkest hour. Still it's impressive that she managed to attain leadership at all.
Dojima's son, when first encountered he's pretty much just another street punk. He is eventually convinced to aid Kazuma against the Omi clan and becomes the sixth Chairman of the Tojo Clan.
Authority Equals Asskicking: Just compare Daigo's fighting abilities from his days as a street punk and The Lancer to his run as the sixth Chairman of the Tojo Clan. Even more impressive as his opponent is Kazuma of all people.
You don't see it on him, because he's kinda The Stoic.
Final Boss: He's Kazuma's final opponent in the campaign.
Heel-Face Turn: He returns to being a full-on good guy during the events of Dead Souls.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: While emptying a pistol into and killing Koji Shindo was very shocking (especially when Kazuma actually spares the latter after a usual beat down), the fact that Koji betrayed the Tojo Clan and caused the deaths of Tojo Clan Officers is simply just too much to let him get off that easy.
Tattooed Crook: Has a tattoo of a either a deity or warrior of sorts, perhaps reflecting on his abilities of being a natural leader.
His tattoo is Fudō-myōō the fierce, angry guardian of Buddha entity.
Young Gun: In the second game as The Lancer. While he is skilled as a fighter, he isn't quite there compare to those like Kazuma or Majima, both who Daigo looks up to.
One of the youngest Families, and unfortunately one of the most ambitious and traitorous. Their Patriarchs try to kill Kazuma at least once a game, which never ends well (for them). Disbanded as of the fourth game.
Cynicism Catalyst: The death of his sister takes away his idealism, leaving only ambition to keep him going.
Despair Event Horizon: Took this pretty damn hard after he killed Dojima to save Yumi as Kazuma goes to jail, Yumi suddenly vanishes, and his ill sister dies. From that point on, he decides to ditch his ideals and complete his transformation into the Evil Counterpart
The 'nice' family, which spawned from the remnants of the Dojima family. Kazuma's main allies through the games, though they are thought of as somewhat ineffectual due to their focus on the needs of the Clan over their own.
Shintaro Fuma (Shintaro Kazama in the original Japanese)
Kazuma's father figure, and retired premier hitman for the Tojo Clan.
The Atoner: He killed Kazuma's biological parents in a hit. Given that he places all the children of his targets in Sunshine Orphanage, it can be reasoned he killed Nishiki's and Yumi's parents as well. Kazuma forgives him as he always considered Fuma to be his real father.
Another family that emerged from the Dojima break up, and as loose in their allegiances as their unpredictable Patriarch. In the second game Majima turns them into a (mostly) legitimate construction company, though they are no less dangerous because of it.
Head of the Majima family, and all round crazy dude. Known to be completely unpredictable, he is none the less highly respected for his skill and deceptive intelligence.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Yeah, he might seem like a Psycho for Hire, but this guy runs a legitimate construction company, has won incredible loyalty from his employees and has become one of the most senior Yakuza Lieutenants. He's no uncontrolled fool, just a little... eccentric.
Characterization Marches On: Majima has always been eccentric to the point of insanity, but in the first game is was played quite a bit differently then what we're used to from the character. His personality was more intimidating and unpredictable, he routinely abused his subordinates within an inch of their life if they were lucky, and despite his Worthy Opponent relationship with Kazuma he was still comfortably positioned in the role of antagonist. From the second game on he's more zany then psychotic, inspires immense loyalty from his men, and is always allied with the protagonists even when it wouldn't be advantageous to be so. In short, he went from this to this.
Dead Man Walking: During his chapter in Dead Souls, there's a point he gets bitten by a zombie. By Kiryu's chapter, his eye's gone red. He then goes to a sauna to try and sweat it out. Turns out The zombie bit him with dentures, and his eye's red because of high pollen!
The Dragon: To Kazuma from 2 onwards, making him one of the incredibly rare and incredibly awesome HEROIC examples: he's less The Lancer, and more just a force of nature that Kazuma unleashes on the underworld when needed.
A family that emerged during the time gap between the second and third games.
An extremely rich young man who was brought into the Tojo Clan by bribing Kanda. Since then, he's come into his own under Daigo's wing and suffers an erractic breakdown when Daigo is shot, which sets the events of the third game into motion.
Freudian Excuse: As a child, he grew up with no support from anyone, often ridiculed for his poor origins. This has led him to believe that money and power were everything, and later to attach himself to the only person who treated him as an equal to an obssessive degree.
The Unfought: Though he's a major bad guy in the third game, you never actually fight him. It's even more odd since - as stated above - he is a non-canon bonus fight in the arena, which shows that he's certainly got the skills.
What Happened to the Mouse?: He vanishes off screen once his plans have been screwed up and his family destroyed. He comes back right at the end, accuses Kazuma of ruining his life and (near fatally) stabs him in the gut.
The Omi Alliance
The Omi Alliance
The man behind most of the wealth of the Omi Alliance, he's a smug, smirking jerk whose only redeeming attribute is his skill with money.
Too Dumb to Live: Mouthing off to Ryuji Goda about how he's only successful because of his father - especially after he just carved a bloody gash in your chest with his katana - is a very stupid move.
The adopted son of Omi Alliance Chairman Jin Goda and the Patriarch of the Go-Ryu Clan, Ryuji Goda engineers a war between the Omi and the Tojo Clan while seeking out Kazuma in order to defeat him and claim the title of The One True Dragon.
Arm Cannon: One of the things he returned to the series with, and that is only the beginning of his awesomeness.
Back from the Dead: In Of The End/Dead Souls, where he is still alive due to a "what if" where he just passed out from his wounds instead of died.
Character Development: His arc in Of The End/Dead Souls is full of it. Explaining how he lost his original right hand by performing a quitting ceremony, left his own Family and the entire Kansai Omi Alliance, came to realize how futile it was to seek the position of the Only Dragon, and then earning his stay as a takoyaki cooker's apprentice.... Let's just say he came a long way.
Even Evil Has Standards: Ryuji's sense of openness in battle meant he didn't care at all for Sengoku kidnapping Haruka to set Kazuma up for an ambush at the Golden Palace and sliced open Sengoku's torso to accent the point. Of course Sengoku had the brilliance to accuse Ryuji of rising on nepotism, which only set Ryuji off and earned him a katana through the chest and a boot off the Golden Palace's balcony. After taking care of that interruption, Ryuji then lets Kazuma and Haruka leave undisturbed - although he made it clear that the Omi and Tojo were going to go head-on in exactly a day.
Evil Counterpart: Like Kazuma he's known as The Dragon and has a tattoo of one on his back, along with a certain sense of honor and a similar fighting style. He however lacks both Kazuma's loyalty and kind spirit, and so frequently misuses all of those virtues.
Insistent Terminology: In Of The End/Dead Souls, he hates it or scowls whenever someone refers to him as Dragon of Kansai, and reminds them that he is no longer yakuza
Spanner in the Works: His sense of honor and fair play are why the various Chessmasters consider him a predictable pawn in their plans, yet by the end his simple brute strength has derailed all of their manipulations.
There Can Only Be One: Goda's adversarial role with fellow Dragon Kazuma boils down to a belief that there can only be One True Dragon in the underworld, and he tries to face down Kazuma to that end.
Unknown Rival: Daigo has a good reason to dislike Ryuji, who the latter actually send the former to prison due to a set-up prior to the main story. However, Ryuji quite honestly doesn't remember or care about the incident when they meet again.
A wealthy businessman and politician, Jingu is very tied up in the Yakuza and seeks to use their wealth to gain greater political power for himself. He's also the former lover of Yumi Sawamura and the true father of Haruka.
The Defense Minster, Ryuzo appears in the third game as one of the two politicians vying for the Prime Minister job. His big plan for winning the position revolves around a new missile defense system for Japan, built in co-operation with the Americans.
A mix of good and evil police cast lie within Yakuza, some are honest investigators who try to stay honest in a world where police are organized gang members while others are self serving thugs with legal powers.
A scruffy, rather down on his luck detective, Date is one of Kazuma's closest allies.
Papa Wolf: While his relationship with his daughter, Saya, is not exactly stellar, he will kick the ass of anyone who harasses her.
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: He was originally a detective in the Homicide division who interrogated Kazuma following his arrest in the Dojima shooting, and came to suspect that Kazuma was taking the fall for someone else. Despite it being deemed an open-and-shut case, his persistence in investigating the matter didn't sit well with his superiors and they transferred him to the Organized Crime unit as punishment.
A police detective, Sudo is very cool and collected and very much the professional. His sense of justice is shown however when he defies his bosses at the end of the first game, and since then has becoming a staunch ally of Kazuma.
Or 'Killer Kawara', so named for the amount of suspects who die resisting arrest. A cop in the second game, he's viewed with suspicion by the other characters for his obvious keeping of secrets and lack of morals.
Power of Love: He went a good lengths to help Suyeon, a woman who crossed a nasty Despair Event Horizon into giving her a new life, to the point the two eventually gained a daughter together and that daughter is Kaoru.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When you realize why he tends to shoot up illegal aliens who had something to do with Suyeon's murder.
Parental Abandonment: She grew up in the care of a woman who explicitly wasn't her mother, but would never tell her who was.
Jouji Fuma/Kazama in the original Japanese
An agent of the CIA who seeks to ensure the Okinawa resort deal goes through by any means necessary. Is also the younger brother of Shintarou Fuma.
Badass Grandpa: While not technically a grandpa, he's sixty years old and still thoroughly kicks some ass.
Duel Boss: The inevitable confrontation with him is quite hyped, and he is one of the few bosses in the third game that fights fair and square, no weapons, no cheating, just straight up honorable beatdown.
Surprisingly Good English: Considering that he's Japanese by birth but an agent of a major American intelligence organization, he'd need to brush up on his English. We only hear two sentences though, but it's still decent.
The Unidentified Agent/ Andre Richardson
A mysterious individual who's only known motive is that he wants Kazuma dead. Is in fact the leader of a terrorist group known as Black Monday, and has conspired with Mine to bring about the events of the third game.
The Mole: He's managed to infiltrate the friggin CIA!
Ryu Ga Gotoku 4
Ryu Ga Gotoku 4
The first of the three new playable characters. A moneylender known as "The Lifeline of Kamurocho." He's famous for helping those nobody else will, and uses strange tests for applicants in lieu of charging interest or collateral. Once an up-and-coming financier, he was betrayed by his bank and left homeless, until he got caught in a literal rain of money. After some clever investing, he opened Sky Finance and became the man he is today. He's also friendly with the Tojo family and generally just a nice guy.
Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: It's not said exactly how much Akiyama made of his initial million, but it's enough for him to casually loan out tens of millions of yen to perfect strangers without charging interest or even usually bothering to collect.
Later in the game, it's shown he has 100 BILLION YEN!
Chivalrous Pervert: He owns and frequents the most popular hostess club in Kamurocho, and his tests for his female clients always seem to include becoming a hostess for a period of time and/or going on a date with him. He can also romance the most hostesses of the four protagonists.
Deadpan Snarker: Comes with being arguably the most lighthearted out of all the Yakuza 4 protagonists.
Extremity Extremist: He fights almost exclusively with kicks, though he's not entirely averse to using his hands.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite being loaded and throwing around millions of yen at the drop of a hat, Akiyama apparently only limits his expendable income to what he gets from side quests and thugs.
Guns Akimbo: His preferred unique weapons in Of The End/Dead Souls.
Loan Shark: A weird subversion: he loans out money with no interest and no collateral on the condition that people pass a Secret Test of Character. However, like regular loan sharks, he is very, very good at beating the crap out of people; in his case, though, it's usually either rival loan sharks or muggers looking to fleece him.
Nice Guy: With a little shopping, his niceness can get to the point where half of Kamurocho's vendors and homeless guys will gladly help him out in a fight.
New playable character number two. An ex-yakuza who infamously gunned down 18 yakuza in a noodle shop, and has spent 25 years in death row. After breaking out of prison, he returns to Kamurocho to find out what happened to his old family and why he was abandoned on that fateful night before the police catch up to him again. He was set up to take the fall by Kasturagi of the Ueno Seiwa clan, who was the real killer. He is the oldest and strongest of the four protagonists.
Rated M for Manly: Aside from being a hulking giant and stone-cold badass, there's also Saejima's way of capturing Revelations - since he doesn't have a camera, he carves elaborate sculptures out of chunks of wood. With a chisel, in a few seconds, while roaring.
Unfortunately, this also means he's too manly to try karaoke or woo some hostesses.
Remember the New Guy: He's actually Majima's best friend and they were a huge influence on each other in their early yakuza days. Funny that Majima never mentioned him.
Shaming the Mob: The mob in this case being rich and bloodthirsty spectators of a deathmatch tournament he's forced to participate in. He lectures them on what it's really like to kill someone.
The last of the new playable characters. A corrupt cop called "The Parasite of Kamurocho." He takes bribes, tickets anyone who looks at him funny, and ignores his beat to go gambling, drinking, and visiting hostesses. The death of his father at the hands of the Tojo family has left him with a venomous hatred of yakuza. Despite his flaws, he does genuinely care about the people of Kamurocho.
Weak, but Skilled: Has the lowest health of all four characters, but can counter any strike thrown at him and has powerful grappling moves.
Would Hit a Girl: He's the only protagonist that can fight a woman. Granted, it's a friendly sparring match, but neither one pulls any punches.
Akiyama's secretary at Sky Finance. She is very organized and tries to be Akiyama's voice of reason. She starts out as little more than a comic foil, but she eventually shows some very cool Hidden Depths.
Beautiful All Along: She comes back in the finale, minus a couple hundred pounds. For reasons unknown, she slips back into her old body type by the time Dead Souls comes around.
Tsundere: Type B. She's a sweet girl, but all sorts of things can set her off.
First introduced as "Lily" in Akiyama's chapter, asking to borrow an astronomical amount of money. A mysterious and beautiful woman. She's Taiga Saejima's younger stepsister, going through hell as Katsuragi's pet assassin to see her brother one last time.
Break the Cutie: Happened long before the game ever started. She takes it better than most, but there's still something a little off about her.
The main protagonist of Kurohyou, son of Amamiya Taizan/Nagi Tooru, Tatsuya is a street fighter who was forced into fighting for the Kuki Clan after he supposedly murdered Naoki Toda and stole from him. It turns out the guy he had killed was way tougher than he hoped Toda didn't live long however since he was silenced by the real killer Shindoh to cover up an insurance scam/assassination. He later becomes a professional boxer but returned to the Dragon Heat after a new gang from Osaka wedged into the turf and horrified by what they did.
Bash Brothers: Tenma, Tatsuya's friend/rival. Tenma would sometimes be on the receiving end of Tatsuya's beatings but ultimately the only friend Tatsuya has throughout the years.
The sister of Tatsuya and the owner of the pub Scarlet, while she knows about her little brother being a bundle of trouble. She didn't know about how much trouble he got in when he supposedly killed Toda Naoki.
Not Blood Siblings: Saeko's parents were killed in the fire, with no other living relative, Saeko was adopted by Tatsuya's father
The true leader of the Ashura Gang in Kurohyou 2. An orphan who grew up with Makoto at an orphanage, he became friends with Akita and his gang who formed the underground fight ring at Ashura. His troubles began when his girlfriend and childhood friend Shizuka died because of a scheme by Tsurumi Tadashi who had bribed a doctor to give a planned lung transplant and make her death look like a failed surgery and began plotting revenge
Heart Broken Badass: Shizuka's death was part of the reason he was willing to go so far to plot his revenge
The head of police in Kurohyou 2, just like Munakata, he was an assistant commissioner for the syndicate investigation division. Worked with Niotaa to spearhead Project Vegas, an attempt to corner the Kuki entertainment racket for Niota. Indirectly responsible for the death of Shizuka, Ryou's lover and childhood friend. He is also part of the investigation group of the Champion Street Arson, the very same one which killed Tatsuya's mother
Big Bad: Had been responsible for almost everything in the Kurohyou plot.
Corrupt Cop: He takes bribes, uses crimes to his advantage and the police force he uses is no better than thugs. He even has his own personal group of assassins to eliminate targets he deems a threat.
Driven to Suicide: After Ryou reveals what he did over hacked cameras with the final coup de grace shooting Ryou in cold blood and revealing how he had committed manslaughter by denying Shizuka the lung transplant.
The leader of the Niota Clan, a rival group competing against the Kuki Clan in Kamurocho. He is from Osaka and serves as the main source of headaches for Tatsuya throughout the series.
Karma Houdini: Despite having his plans to take over the protection business from Kuki, he never truly gets his just desserts. While he goes missing at the end of Kurohyou 2, he pretty much gets off scott free for what he has done to the Kuki.