A list of characters from the Yakuza series of games and the tropes they embody.
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Kazuma KiryuThe Dragon of Dojima, fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan and our hero. Big and scary, but very kind and gentle as long as you don't get on his bad side.
- Alliterative Name
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: When the moment Kazuma declared himself the fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan during its 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.
- Badass: Oh, hell yeah.
- Badass Grandpa: By the fifth game, Kazuma is already nearing his fifties. Age may make him more calm, but it doesn't make him more frail or less badass.
- Berserk Button: Messing with either women or kids in front of Kazuma is one of the surest ways to bring down his wrath upon you. Especially do not mess with Haruka, Kazuma's adoptive niece.
- BFG: His unique weapon in Dead Souls is a freaking anti-material rifle.
- Characterization Marches On: Yakuza Zero will show how he went from a young, brash, hot-headed asshole to the epitome of a Nice Guy he became in Yakuza I.
- Cool Old Guy: By the time of the third game he's forty.
- 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.
- Friend to All Children: He's very good with kids, and actually runs an orphanage in the third game.
- The Hero
- Knight Errant: Very much so, though he often tries to settle down. It never works.
- Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters
- 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.
- Rated M for Manly: He's right up there with people like Kenshiro, Jotaro Kujo and Big Boss/Solid Snake as one of the most manly of men in popular fiction.
- 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.
- Red Baron: "The Dragon of Dojima".
- Shirtless Scene: A lot of them.
- Smoking Is Cool
- The Stoic
- 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.
- Tattooed Crook: An appropriate silver dragon on his back.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: His anti killing stance stems from the death of the 3 people whom he knew as family and his desire to be a good father figure for Haruka.
- Warrior Poet: Kazuma is very much the Samurai, and frequently displays a very sensitive, cultured side. He even starts a photography blog in the third game!
- Wife-Basher Basher: Yeaaaaah, be nice to your girl in front of Kazuma.
- 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.
Haruka SawamuraKazama'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.
- Deuteragonist: Of the first Yakuza, for all intents and purposes.
- Idol Singer: Her goal in 5 is to become one. When you realize that she's voiced by Rie Kugimiya, it brings to mind another role she did. Or another.
- Parental Abandonment: Her quest to find her mother Yumi is what brings Kazuma deeper into all the intrigue during the first game after he gets out of jail.
- Plot Coupon: She has one in the first game, which is why everyone's trying to grab her.
- Promoted to Playable: In Ryu Ga Gotoku 5.
- 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 school student.
- Tag Along Kid
Yumi SawamuraKazuma's true love, who along with Nishiki was one of his closest friends as a child. Kickstarts all of the events of the first game by stealing the laundered 10 billion yen from the Tojo Clan.
- Easy Amnesia: Averted. She spends a good few years recovering from the horror of seeing Nishiki kill Dojima.
- First Girl Wins: She would have if she'd survived the first game.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Haruka I Am Your Mother
ReinaA 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.
- Anyone Can Die
- 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.
- Nice Girl
- High Heel-Face Turn: Her attempt to kill Nishiki.
- Heel Face Door Slam: By the time she decided to redeem herself in some fashion, Kazuta nearly guns her down and she dies of blood loss during her escape with Shinji.
- Killed Off for Real
- Love Makes You Evil: The reason why she betrayed Kazuma and the others to assist Nishiki.
- The Mole: For Nishiki.
- 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 ClanThe 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.
Masaru SeraThird 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.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- 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.
Yukio TeradaFifth 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.
- Killed Off for Real
- My Death Is Only The Beginning
- Stout Strength
- Supporting Leader
- Reverse Mole: Pulls one worthy of Severus Snape, actually becoming the apparent Big Bad no less before revealing he had worked against his allies from the beginning.
- Redemption Equals Death: He wasn't really a bad guy, but had done enough bad things to qualify.
Dojima FamilyA very important family, counting Kazuma and Shintaro Kazama/Fuma as members. It didn't survive his death however, and breaks up shortly afterwards.
- Big Bad: Of the prequel.
- Non-Action Big Bad: As he is a strategist and not much of a fighter, it is his top three enforcers and the hired killer who are fought as bosses.
- Break the Haughty: The final act of the prequel is essentially this to him.
- Chessmaster and The Strategist: How he's normally described.
- Greed: His main defining trait. We get to see how far he is willing to go in the prequel.
- Power Trio: With both Fuma/Kazama and Shimano in regards of the Jingweon incident flashback in the second game.
Yayoi DojimaDojima'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.
- Katanas Are Just Better
Daigo DojimaDojima'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.
- Despair Event Horizon: In the fourth game.
- You don't see it on him, because he's kinda The Stoic.
- Final Boss: For Kiryu in 4.
- 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.
- Manipulative Bastard: In the fourth game.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the fourth game.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He wants to do what's best for the Clan, but won't betray his friends to do so. Until the fourth game, that is...
- Spoiled Brat: In the prequel.
- The Lancer: In the second game.
- The Captain: In the third game.
- Tattooed Crook: Has a tattoo of Fudō-myōō the fierce, angry guardian of Buddha entity. Perhaps reflects on his abilities of being a natural leader.
- 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.
Keiji ShibusawaOne of Sohei's top 3 enforcers in the prequel. As director of the “administrative affairs” of Dojima Family, he excels in matters of finance.
- The Dragon: To Sohei.
- Final Boss: For Kiryu in Zero
- Ink-Suit Actor
- Genius Bruiser
- Mirror Boss: Fights with 3 distinct styles in 3 different phases similar to Kiryu's first 3 fighting styles.
- Red Baron: The Dragon of Dojima. Before Kiryu defeated him anyway.
- Tattooed Crook: A Green dragon
Kuze DaisakuThe 2nd of Sohei's top 3 enforcers in the prequel. An ex-boxer, he is the most aggressive out of Sohei's three enforcers.
- The Brute: Does the most fighting of Sohei's enforcers
- Ink-Suit Actor
- Recurring Boss
- Yubitsume: He does this to his left pinky after losing his first fight with Kiryu
- Tattooed Crook: Great King Enma, who governs the underworld in East Asian mythology.
Hiroki AwanoThe 3rd of Sohei's top 3 enforcers in the prequel .As the man in charge of gathering information for Dojima Family, he makes threats using the information he gathered.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: After Majima defeats him he is subsequently killed by Lao Gui, who is Majima's true final boss
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Creates a large impact on a brick wall upon punching it.
- Ink-Suit Actor
- Manipulative Bastard
- Tattooed Crook: Momotaro, a hero in Japanse folklore.
Lao GuiA chinese assassin hired by Sohei in the prequel.
Nishiki FamilyOne 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.
Akira NishikiKazama's best friend, and far more idealistic and ambitious than his friend. Eventually the second trait leads him to his downfall.
- Final Boss/ Climax Boss
- Redemption Equals Death
- 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
- Evil Counterpart: He's pretty much a more ambition filled Kazuma that will do anything to be at the top once he hits the Despair Event Horizon.
- Expository Hairstyle Change
- Tattooed Crook: A carp, in contrast with Kazuma's dragon.
- Also meaningful if one hears about the story that if a carp reaches high enough in a waterfall, it will be become a dragon, which fits Nishiki's ambition to be in the top of the Tojo Clan.
Koji ShindoThe second patriarch of the Nishiki Family, and living up to the family's growing reputation by being an overly ambitious jerk.
- Ascended Extra: In the first game he was Nishiki's lieutenant, in fact the one who lead the ambush against Kazuma in Serena's back alley.
- Laser-Guided Karma: His comeuppance comes quite as fast the moment he reveals his betrayal.
- Katanas Are Just Better
- Smug Snake
Tsuyoshi KandaThe third patriarch of the Nishiki family, he's... well, read above.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He is simply too violent, and ignorant to be main villain material. He ends up being turned in by the third game's actual Big Bad, who had him as an Unwitting Pawn all along.
- Fat Bastard
- No Indoor Voice
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Brought Mine into the organization, and then proceeded to take him for granted. This was a bad idea.
Kazama/Fuma FamilyThe '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.
- Badass Mustache
- Dirty Business
- The Obi-Wan
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Hitman with a Heart
Osamu KashiwagiShintaro's loyal assistant, and a very calm, controlled individual.
- Big Damn Heroes: Brings the Kazama/Fuma family to support Kazuma and Shintaro against Shimano and his men for all out battle in the first game, making it his sole Awesome Moment in the series.
- The Captain
- Flat Character: Which can be lampshaded in the third game.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: His face is very scarred.
- Killed Off for Real: In 3, via helicopter attack.
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: His hair is tinted green for some odd reason. Strange, since this is a realistic game series.
Shimano FamilyA big, powerful family, they are one of the backbones of the Tojo clan under their ruthless Patriarch.
Futo ShimanoThe Patriarch of the Shimano family, Futo is big, nasty and shamelessly using greater events to grab himself greater power.
The Majima FamilyAnother 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.
Goro MajimaHead 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.
- A Father to His Men: Unexpectedly, his men as of Yakuza 3 are tremendously loyal to Majima. This is unexpected because in the first couple games (and the film) he's a...
- Bad Boss: In the first couple of games, Majima will beat the asses of his subordinates for any reason...sometimes, for no reason.
- Ax-Crazy: Indeed, he never flinches against danger.
- 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.
- It marches on even farther with Yakuza Zero, where it'll show how sane he was and how his sanity eventually took a dive off the deep end as what is seen in Yakuza I.
- Confusion Fu: This is arguably Majima's style of fighting.
- 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.
- Eyepatch of Power
- Hellbent For Leather: His usual outfit. Leather pants, snakeskin leather jacket, leather gloves, leather boots...
- Knife Nut: In SPADES. His signature weapon seems to be a tanto, which he handles with... rather disturbing fondness.
- Even more disturbingly, the fourth game reveals it's the same weapon he lost his left eye to.
- Pet the Dog: Goro Majima can be unpredictable at times, showing that he's not a Complete Monster despite being a Psycho For Hire.
- Recurring Boss: He's fought at least once per game, with the fourth one being the only one in which he doesn't take on Kazuma, instead facing Saejima in a surprisingly emotional fight.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: His unique weapon in Dead Souls is a combat shotgun.
- Tattooed Crook: His tattoo is a very appropriate Oni figure.
- Tranquil Fury: People are a lot more scared of him when he's calm, like during a business meeting.
Daisaku MinamiAppears in the fourth game as Lieutenant of the Majima family. Like his patriarch, he is both tough and crazy, but has been influenced by Western culture as well. Is also bad at karaoke.
The Hakuho ClanA family that emerged during the time gap between the second and third games.
Yoshitaka MineAn 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 erratic breakdown when Daigo is shot, which sets the events of the third game into motion.
- Big Bad of the third game.
- Climax Boss
- Evil Counterpart: Yet another one to Kazuma, being an orphan like him.
- 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 obsessive degree.
- Love Makes You Evil: The whole game's plot more or less started because this guy had a mental breakdown over finally finding love and acceptance from Daigo. And as a result he set out to destroy everything the guy had ever cared about. Read the line above.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: This guy really needs a therapist.
- Redemption Equals Death
- Shoryuken: One of his attacks.
- The Stoic: He never shows any emotion, commented one several times by other characters.
- Not So Stoic: Except for when he does, which normally gives you clear warning that someone is about to die.
- Taking You with Me: To the real Big Bad, by giving him a Dragon Suplex off ''a thirty story building''.
The Hamazaki ClanAn family working on the fringes of the Tojo, they are vital but mistrusted for their close links to the Chinese Triads.
Goh HamazakiBig, ugly and nasty, he's an opportunistic thug who will do whatever it takes to succeed.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: In 4, he becomes this way to Saejima during their prison break, especially when Saejima referred to him as his brother. He states that nobody has ever trusted him like this before and this may have prompted his Heel-Face Turn.
- Bonus Boss: He can be fought in the arena after the main game.
- Heel-Face Turn: In Yakuza 4.
- Killed Off for Real: In 4, he's fatally wounded when he takes a bullet for Taiga and passes away in hospital not long after.
- 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
Toranosuke SengokuThe 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.
- Badass in a Nice Suit
- Smug Snake: The worst, in a game filled with them.
- Sissy Villain
- 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.
Ryuji GodaThe 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.
- Berserk Button: Never refer to him as "The Dragon of Kansai". There is only one True Dragon, and he aims to be the one.
- 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.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Used as a contrast to Kazuma, although his hair is more than likely bleached.
- 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.
- Honour Before Reason: He openly dislikes trickery and manipulation, preferring to strike head on.
- 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
- Retired Badass: In Dead Souls, he leaves the Omi and takes up a new job as a takoyaki chef. When the Zombie Apocalypse hits Kamurochu, though, he comes out of retirement.
- 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.
- Tattooed Crook: Like Kazuma, his is a Dragon.
- 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.
- We Can Rebuild Him: With a chaingun attached to his hand if necessary.
- Worthy Opponent: He considers Kazuma one, and Kazuma is nice enough to return the favour.
PoliticiansAs always, heavily tied up in the Yakuza and normally evil.
Kyohei JinguA 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.
- Big Bad: Of the first game.
- Flunky Boss: By himself he is quite wimpy but he has a couple of SWA Ts to back him up.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: He used to be a nice guy, but making deals with Yakuza eventually led to greed and ambition consuming him.
Ryuzo TamiyaThe 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.
The PoliceA 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.
Makoto DateA 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.
- The Lancer: One of the most frequent and obvious.
Junichi SudoA 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.
Jiro KawaraOr '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.
- Cowboy Cop: Even worse considering he's Japanese, yet is more than a little fond of his service revolver.
- Cool Old Guy
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Frankly, he kind of did have a reason for Kaoru as her mother's dying wish is to ensure Kaoru's safety.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He does have morals, but is generally so bitter about everything that it's easy to mistake them for something else.
- Disappeared Dad: He is Kaoru's father, who under a series of events, could not see her.
- Papa Wolf: Another reason for his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, as to clean up Kaoru's past and ties with the Jingweon, as by Suyeon's dying wish
- 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.
- Taking the Bullet: Took shots for Kaoru, which eventually killed him.
Kaoru SayamaA Osakan cop famed for her spirit and determination, she's earned the title of 'Yakuza Eater' for her work in dealing with the clans.
- Action Girl: She can certainly handle herself just as well as any of the men.
- Break the Cutie: The second game is most definitely this to Kaoru once she finds out who her true family members are and what became of them shortly after the reveal.
- Fair Cop
- Parental Abandonment: She grew up in the care of a woman who explicitly wasn't her mother, but would never tell her who was.
- Put on a Bus: She left Japan at the start of the third game to receive special training in the United States.
Jouji Fuma/Kazama in the original JapaneseAn 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.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He dissappeard without a trace after the third game.
- 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.
- Defeat Equals Friendship
- 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 RichardsonA 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.
Ryu Ga Gotoku 4
Ryu Ga Gotoku 4
Shun AkiyamaThe 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!
- Badass in a Nice Suit
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's probably the nicest guy in Kamurocho, but he won't hesitate to break some teeth if he needs to.
- The Charmer
- 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.
- Perma Stubble
- Secret Test of Character: How he decides if his clients are deserving of a loan or not.
- Too Dumb to Live: He keeps his entire fortune in apparently an unlocked vault in his office instead of at a bank. Unsurprisingly it ends up getting stolen by the police. Granted it's because he doesn't trust banks (he used to work for one that fired him after framing him for embezzling all of the stolen money from the first game) but still, it's a remarkably boneheaded thing to do.
- However, with the money he's throwing around for his business, and his reaction to said theft, and how he gets rid of it all without a problem in the end, it's very likely he just doesn't care at all. He has so much money, and makes so much money, it's lost all value to him.
- Uncle Pennybags: The real reason he runs his loan business. As he says "money chances people's lives. I just like to see it happen up close and personal." He wants to give people money for free, he just wants to make sure they deserve it.
Taiga SaejimaNew 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.
- Animal Motifs: The tiger. Naturally, he and Kazuma end up fighting after they've barely spoken.
- Badass Longcoat
- Celibate Hero: To a degree. Saejima probably would if he could, but he has far more important things to do with what little time he has.
- He has a bit of a freak out when he sees Haruka. This is what tipped Kiryu off that he spent time in prison as, "you had the look of a guy who hadn't seen a woman in a long time".
- Charles Atlas Superpower
- Combat Pragmatist: Weapons, walls, enemies in any conceivable position... if it exists, Saejima has a finisher for it.
- Desperation Attack: Saejima gets more and better finishers at critical health.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: A lot has changed in the 25 years since Saejima was put away.
- Friend to All Children: For a self-admitted bad guy and convicted mass murderer, Saejima sure has a soft spot for kids.
- Good Old Ways: Saejima's general reaction to just about everything, especially the state of the yakuza.
- Homeless Pigeon Person: Saejima himself as well as most of his friendly contacts.
- Manly Tears
- Mighty Glacier: He's the slowest of the main playable characters, but can deal a ton of damage. When Kiryu tries to grab a heavyset sumo-type enemy he gets pushed away instantly, but Saejima can actually grab these guys like any other mook (with a certain upgrade) which is a testament to his monstrous strength.
- 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.
- The Scapegoat
- 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.
Masayoshi TanimuraThe 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.
- Big Brother Mentor: Plays this role to the immigrant children in his neighborhood.
- Boss Rush: In a sense. He doesn't get many random encounters, instead most of his levels gained comes from very long uninterrupted sequences against mooks and miniboss-strength enemies.
- But Not Too Foreign: His biological mother is a Thai woman.
- Counter Attack: The meat of Tanimura's fighting style involves parries and counters.
- Cowboy Cop
- Dirty Cop
- Fair Cop: Several characters remark on how pretty he is. A couple of guys even capitalize on it to pick up some girls.
- Inksuit Actor: His character design is modeled after Hiroki Narimiya, his voice actor.
- The Gambling Addict
- Glass Cannon: Hits like a truck (especially after he gains the ability to chain his hits directly into Heat moves that all have followups), but can't take a hit to save his live.
- Guns Are Worthless: Tanimura carries a revolver, apparently for no other reason than to shoot it into the air every now and then.
- Justified in that the police aren't supposed to use deadly force unless absolutely necessary. And he does use the gun when chasing down Sugiuchi.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He gladly takes bribes and is a vicious gambler, but almost all of his dirty money goes on to support immigrant orphans.
- Older Than They Look: He's around 30, but looks 18.
- Omniglot: Tanimura knows just about every language you'd hear in Southeast Asia.
- Justified since he appears to spend the majority of his time around non-Japanese speakers in Little Asia.
- Troubled, but Cute: A Bishōnen with issues.
- 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.
HanaAkiyama'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. Although since Dead Souls is non-canon, they were probably reusing art assets.
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Big Eater: She loves kalbi, and can eat at least two deluxe plates of it per meal. Usually she just goes for the all-you-can-eat deal.
- Brawn Hilda: Hana is a big girl, but she's also a martial arts expert that surpasses Akiyama. In contrast to the usual type, she's cute as a button.
- Cannot Spit It Out: She's clearly carrying a torch for Akiyama. Even he realizes it, but she just isn't his type, which makes it all the more painful when every other girl in Kamurocho apparently is.
- Fat Girl
- Hidden Depths: She's a martial arts expert with the singing voice of an angel. Having Aya Hirano (aka Haruhi Suzumiya) as her VA helps.
- Tsundere: Type B. She's a sweet girl, but all sorts of things can set her off.
Yasuko SaejimaFirst 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.
- Christmas Cake: She's well into her thirties, but has never married.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: To be precise, in her brother's.
- Femme Fatale: She plays up this angle to murder Katsuragi's targets.
- Inksuit Actor: Looks like an older version of her voice actress.
- Taking the Bullet: For Taiga.
- Woman in White: Her outfit for most of her appearances is a white trenchcoat.
Hiroaki AraiA close friend of Akiyama and a high-ranking member of the Shibata family. Akiyama has him pegged as the next successor to the Tojo clan. He's actually an undercover cop.
- A Father to His Men
- Even Evil Has Standards: He finally has enough when Munakata asks him to "take care of" the kids in Kiryu's orphanage.
- Final Boss: Akiyama's in 4.
- The Mole: For Munakata.
- Nice Guy
Takeshi KidoArai's underling and a sort of little brother to Akiyama. He seems like a non-threatening punk. "Seems" is the key word.
- The Dragon: To Arai.
- Final Boss: Saejima's in 4.
- Killer Rabbit: Kido seems like kind of a wimp at first, but there are constant teases of his fighting ability throughout. Then he goes toe-to-toe with Saejima for the finale...
- Undying Loyalty: Again, to Arai.
Isao KatsuragiThe lieutenant of the Ueno Seiwa clan, and its acting leader. He is a bad, bad man.
- Big Bad: Or so you think.
- Genre Savvy: He knows that against an absolute monster of combat like Saejima or Kiryu, he'd get his skull stomped in. So he sends his entire clan at them. It works against Saejima, but Kiryu doesn't even seem winded after going through an army to get to him.
- Not Quite Dead: It's easy to lose track of how many times he gets shot, to no effect. He's either wearing bulletproof armor or the bullets are fake. That last one is real, though.
- Smug Snake
- The Unfought: Despite being the major bad guy for the first three quarters of the game, you never get to fight him. Justified, as he's more of a thinker.
Junji SugiuchiA veteran detective, and something like a (very harsh) father figure to Tanimura. Turns out he's been a yakuza spy on the force for his entire 30-year tenure.
- Alas, Poor Villain
- Da Chief: Not the actual chief, but he fulfills this role for Tanimura.
- Dead Partner: For him, it was Tanimura's dad, which explains why Sugiuchi looks out for him.
- Evil Counterpart: To Tanimura, made very obvious in their final confrontation.
- Inksuit Actor: Looks near identical to his voice actor.
- The Mole
- You Killed My Father: He was the killer of Tanimura's dad.
Seishiro MunakataThe assistant commissioner of the police force. He has big plans for cracking down on crime. And is the true Big Bad behind everything.
- Big Bad: The real one.
- Evil Plan: One that has spanned three decades.
- Evil Old Folks
- Final Boss: Fought by Tanimura in 4's climax following Arai, Kido and Daigo.
- Flunky Boss: Tanimura has to fight lots of heavily armored guards to get to him.
- Good Old Ways: He prefers the days when yakuza were small-time and helped Japan from the shadows because it didn't have the power to influence the government.
- Inksuit Actor: Looks near identical to his voice actor.
- Knight Templar: Very convinced about his own self-righteousness, and believes his plan will cleanse the city.
- The Man Behind the Man: For both Katsuragi and Arai.
Kurohyou 1 and 2
Ukyo TatsuyaThe 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.
- Blood Knight
- Broken Hero: In the Drama, he is shown to be very emotionally unstable, especially after his sister Saeko's death at the hands of his friend
- Cynicism Catalyst : Saeko in the drama was killed by Naoto, a Drama only character.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: He is only 19 by the events of Ashura, too young to drink liquor at the bar, the Hostess Club Jewel offers a bunch of non alcoholic alternatives for him.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Taizan was revealed to be Tatsuya's long lost father, the reunion didn't last long though.
- Might Makes Right
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: He was rather enraged by Wardog's tactics during Ashura Hen.
Saeko UkyoThe 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
- Killed Off for Real: In the drama.
Nogizaki RyouThe 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
- Big Bad
- Cynicism Catalyst: Shizuka
- Driven to Suicide
- Heart Broken Badass: Shizuka's death was part of the reason he was willing to go so far to plot his revenge
Tsurumi TadashiThe 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 Pegasus, 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.
Kazuto NiotaThe 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.
DDAn arms dealer who has allied himself with Nikaido.
Misuzu AsagiA JSDF soldier who is stationed in Kamurocho during the zombie outbreak.
Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan
- Blood Knight: Early shows signs of this.
- Dual Wielding
- Declaration of Protection: To Majima's sister.
- Dying Moment of Awesome
- Expy: Of Kazuma Kiryu.
- Famed In-Story
- Graceful Loser: Accepts his defeat against Kojiro really quickly.
- Killed Off for Real
- One-Man Army: Literal example.