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Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda, Darryl Kurylo (Yakuza, English version)
Portrayed by: Kazuki Kitamura (live-action film)
- "Step the fuck up, it's time to die!"
The Dragon of Dojima, fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan and our hero. Big and scary, but very kind, loyal and gentle as long as you don't get on his bad side.Kazuma was raised in the Sunflower orphanage along with his closest friend Akira Nishiki and the woman he's always loved, Yumi Sawamura. Raised by Shintaro Kazama/Fuma, he and Nishiki followed in his steps and joined the yakuza under the Dojima family in hopes to help the man who raised him. Three years later in 1988 at the age of 20, he was framed for murder and learned that the Dojima Family was seeking to obtain the Empty Lot where the murder took place, which was needed for them to gain control of the Kamurocho Revitalization Project. Seeking to prove his innocence, he teamed up with a Real Estate businessman named Tachibana and they tried to clear Kazuma's name while preventing the Dojima Family to get the Empty lot, since it would mean having Sohei Dojima as a future chairman, something Kazama feared. After the last of Dojima's lieutenants, Shibusawa, the would-be Dragon of Dojima, tried to get rid of Kazama's followers in the Dojima Family, he faced Kazuma in a final battle and was defeated and incarcerated. For losing the Empty Lot race to Masaru Sera, Sohei Dojima was disgraced and lost almost all his influence and power.Kiryu eventually returned to the Dojima Family where he became the feared and celebrated "Dragon of Dojima". Things seemed to be working out well until one night in 1995. After a collection, Kiryu learned that his childhood friend Yumi had been abducted by Dojima, who was still known for getting anything he wanted, including women. Knowing the consequences if he dared to interfere, he went out to stop him. By the time Kiryu got to his office, he found that Nishiki was already there, and had murdered Dojima for trying to force himself on Yumi. Knowing the consequences Nishiki would face and what he would lose, Kazuma took the blame for the murder and went to jail for ten years to protect his friends.However, he discovered that Yumi had lost her memory and disappeared after the incident, and after his release, that his closest friend had now become his bitter enemy, and ten billion yen was stolen from the clan. Seeking his friends and answers, he discovers Haruka, a young girl who is looking for her aunt Yumi and holds the key to the missing money. Kazuma fights to protect her at all costs, but loses everyone important to him in the ordeal, leaving only Haruka to keep him going. It's during this time that he's granted the title of Fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, but quickly gives up the position to start a new clean life with Haruka.After a year of peace, the Fifth Chairman is murdered by his former colleagues, the Omi Alliance, and Kazuma finds himself pulled into another conflict that's part of a larger scheme involving the Korean Jingweon mafia. After putting an end to it, he and Haruka decide to leave Tokyo and move to Okinawa where he runs an orphanage, but even then he continues to be pulled back into the life he thought he left behind. By the fifth game, he's left the orphanage and has become a taxi driver in Fukuoka, going by the name "Taichi Suzuki", but fate continues to call him back into action once more. Following the game's events, he's arrested and serves a three year jail sentence. He returns to the orphanage to discover that Haruka had left long ago and that her whereabouts are unknown, until he's told she was hospitalized after being struck by a car. He also learns about the existence of her infant child, Haruto, and the truth behind everything lies in Hiroshima.
- The Ace: Computers aside, Kiryu's practically a pro at everything he puts his mind to. Bashing people's (and tigers') heads in, saving people from going down the wrong path, raising kids, wooing hostesses, being a host, cooking, fishing, karaoke, batting, bowling, street racing, RC car racing, and even dancing when he was younger. Poor Nishiki never had a chance.
- Action Dad: He certainly counts when he takes in Haruka and the kids at the Sunshine Orphanage, even if they're not blood related.
- Adorkable: He has shades of this every now and then, but it's probably demonstrated best in some of the substories in Yakuza 0 in some of his more victorious moments, such as discovering a password for a shady sales dealer, after sneaking past some women to buy a dirty magazine, delivering a pizza to a woman when she actually needed something else, and Pocket Circuit Racing.
- Alliterative Name: Kazuma Kiryu.
- All-Loving Hero: To a fault, Kazuma believes in everyone he encounters, is very forgiving even toward his enemies, and never hesitates to lend a helping hand toward anyone who needs it most. Even when it ends up nearly killing him in Yakuza 3's ending, he still retains his optimism at death's door and is still willing to help those who have tried to kill him.
- Animal Motifs: The dragon, naturally. He wears a tattoo of a silver dragon on his back, which couldn't be more appropriate for his character. He's not just the strong and powerful God of Curb Stomp Battles who is Rated M for Manly, but he's also a Warrior Poet who possesses the wisdom of a sage.
- Arch-Enemy: Of Jo Amon and the Amon clan.
- Awesome by Analysis: Can create surprisingly effective techniques that come from observations of unorthodox and even plain wacky situations. He's also a quick learner and has been trained in the use of swords, staffs, kali sticks, nunchaku, brass knuckles, and tonfa.
- 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 subversion.
- Badass Baritone: Kazuma's voice is pure, unadulterated badass. He also uses it to great effect whenever he sings.
- Badass Driver: In 5, he dominates the street racing scene with his taxi.
- Badass Grandpa: By the sixth game, Kazuma is 48 and is an actual grandfather to Haruka's son. Age may make him more calm, but it doesn't make him more frail or less badass.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Light gray with a maroon dress shirt. A White pinstripe and an orange dress shirt with a gold chain pattern on it in 0
- Badass in Distress: Shockingly enough in an event that occurred prior to the first game, as he was captured and tortured by Lau Ka Long before Kazama/Fuma saves him.
- 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. Betraying your own sworn brother in a good way to anger him too.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's polite and respectful, but you do not want to see him angry.
- BFG: His unique weapon in Dead Souls is a freaking anti-material rifle.
- Big Brother Instinct: Toward Nishiki in "0" and the first game's flashback. He did ten years in prison because he couldn't bare the idea of Nishiki going to prison and in "0" he was willing to die if it means Nishiki could use his head to climb the rank in the Tojo Clan after Kiryu got the whole clan against him. Even Nishiki admits he'll die without Kiryu watching his back.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the first game, a group of punks cruelly throw rocks at a defenseless dog. When the next punk throws a big rock aimed at the poor dog's head, Kiryu catches the rock, then nails the thrower in the head with it. Kiryu proceeds to beat the shit out of all the punks, much to their shock and disbelief.
- Big "NO!": Would say this in Yakuza 3 if he didn't run away from Michiru the cross-dresser.
- Blood Brothers: With Akira Nishiki.
- Blood Knight: While he doesn't seem like it on the outside, deep inside he's always yearning for a fight, and will never back down from ever being challenged.Kazuma (Yakuza 5): Sounds to me like you're all just spoiling for a fight. There's something you're forgetting. I've been thirsting for a fight as well. For far longer than any of you.
- Bond One-Liner: He gets a very few of these...[to B-King inside the Batting Cage] "...I did feel the urge to hit some balls today. I suppose yours will have to do."[after beating down the Be My Baby fetishists] "I've done enough babysitting."
- Boxing Battler: Most emphasized in Yakuza 0. Two of Kiryu's three trainers, Bacchus and Kamoji, whom respectively teach the Brawler and Rush styles, are explicitly noted to have experience in boxing. Rush in particular features an emphasis on fast-footwork, Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs and a high-guard, bladed stance heavily influenced by boxing.
- Brain Bleach: Played for laughs during Kiwami's "Truth About Beauty" sidequest. When the attractive girl he was about to get it on with suddenly reveals "herself" to be a man, Kiryu goes catatonic from the shock, leaving him open to muggery as intended by the man and his sister. Fortunately, the effect only lasts a few seconds and he gets up in time to fight off his would-be assailants.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's undeniably rough, but he's definitely got a soft spot for kids and doesn't feel embarrassed about partaking in certain activities geared towards them.
- Bully Hunter: Kiryu does not condone anyone beating on those who can't fight back, especially on women, children, and animals. He'll wreck your shit if he catches you doing so.
- Catchphrase: "Step forward if you want to die!", which in the dub of the first game is translated as the above.
- The Champion: He serves as Haruka's in the first game and its remake, as there's not much the young girl can do to protect herself against the yakuza who are after her. He also serves as one for Makoto in the prequel, sharing the role with Majima.
- Character Development: Yakuza 0 show how he went from a young, brash, hot-headed asshole with a heart of gold to the epitome of a Nice Guy he became in the first Yakuza.
- Chick Magnet: Oh boy is he, probably the biggest in the series.
- The Comically Serious: Falls victim to this a lot, especially in the more bizarre and silly side quests. But Kazuma also will make the most mundane of actions look so dramatic and outrageous and not even realize it.
- Cool Old Guy: Since the games take place during the year they were originally released, Kazuma ages in real time. By the time of the sixth game, he's pushing 50.
- Counter Attack: His 'Komaki Tiger Drop' technique which he learns from Komaki. It requires very good timing, but is very devastating.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: He's the God of it.
- Death Glare: Throws them every time an enemy has gone too far with their actions.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments.
- Death Seeker: Has shades of it. He's always willing to put his life on the line and isn't afraid to die. Haruka suspects he's become one in Yakuza 3 before the final battle. In Yakuza 5, The Stinger shows that he's not scared to die because he knows people are waiting for him on the other side.
- Declaration of Protection: He gives one in 6 that neatly summarizes how much he loves Haruka.Kazuma: Haruka and I have less than nothing to do with your little war but hear me now... If the Tojo Clan even thinks about laying a hand on my family... I will bury all of you.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Yumi dies at the end of the first game, and he and Kaoru decide to go their separate ways to pursue other goals at the beginning of the third.
- Disney Death: Kiryu often appears to meet his end right before the credits, with The Stinger revealing otherwise.
- In Yakuza 2, he's shot before the final battle, and after Ryuji succumbs to his own injuries, Kiryu is too weak to escape before Kim's bomb goes off. Kaoru refuses to leave him behind, and the two decide they'll die together as the countdown hits zero. After the credits, Haruka is praying in front of someone's grave thanking them for everything, but it's Kim's. Kazuma and Karou are both still alive, and the bomb was a dud. It turns out Kiryu had a feeling based on Kim's last words to trust him.
- In Yakuza 3, Kiryu bumps into Hamazaki, now a bum robbed of his power. Kiryu tries to convince him to start over and do right, and when it looks like the former yakuza boss accepts his advice, Hamazaki instead stabs him in broad daylight, and Kiryu is left bleeding on the streets, ready to die for what he believes in, while Haruka attends to him. After the credits, Kiryu's back at the orphanage with his wound bandaged.
- In Yakuza 5, Kiryu's bullet wound reopens in the final fight against Aizawa, and after defeating him, a battered Kiryu walks back to Kamurocho on foot while it's snowing (and he's still shirtless). He eventually collapses on the abandoned streets from the blood loss and is ready to accept his fate. But he's discovered by Haruka just in time.
- In Yakuza 6, he's shot repeatedly protecting Yuuta, Haruka and Haruto from Sugai, after previously being struck repeatedly on the head with a pipe no less. After Sugai kills himself, Kiryu looks at Haruka's new family and tells them to be happy before passing out, leaving them to believe he's dead. Midway through the credits, he's shown recovering in a hospital, but makes a sudden arrangement to have his death officially declared to protect those he cares for, but not before seeing Haruka, Yuuta and Haruto off while writing his last will and testament.
- Doesn't Like Guns: While he doesn't necessarily abhor using guns, he prefers fisticuffs to the point that he tries to brawl with zombies in Dead Souls before settling with shooting them. Aside from that, he has no problems picking up guns in a fight as well as using them in shootouts.
- The Don: Temporarily, as the Fourth Chairman. Even after that he still holds some degree of the respect and prestige by those who know of him.
- Doom Magnet: Kiryu believes that if anything bad happens to those he cares about, it's all because of him. Since many of his enemies don't target him directly, but his friends and loved ones instead to draw him out, it's not hard to see why Kiryu feels this way.
- 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.
- In the fifth game, he can decorate the hood of his taxi with a huge decal of Haruka.
- When Haruka sings her song in the karaoke, he passionately does the wotagei dance and chants like the best idol otakus."Tiger, Fire, Cyber, Fiber, Diver, Viber, Jyaa jyaa!!"
- Doting Grandparent: In the sixth game, he takes care of Haruka's son as best as he can and is very affectionate towards him.
- Drives Like Crazy: Normally averted considering he's a taxi driver and the game penalizes not following traffic laws properly. On the other hand he also drives against a racing gang and pulls off some insane maneuvers such as driving on two wheels to get between two semi-trucks.
- Dueling Player Characters: In 4, he's fought as a boss in Saejima's campaign. In his chapter, he fights both Akiyama and Tanimura, who mistake him as one of Katsuragi's men. He has a rematch with Saejima in 5, although the player can choose who to control for it. Subverted in 0, where he and Majima don't actually meet within the game until the epilogue.
- Elder Abuse: A MASSIVE berserk button for him. Kiryu is unfailingly polite, helpful and caring towards the elderly, and abusing a senior citizen in front of him earns you a scenic trip through a window.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the opening of the first game, in order to protect those he considers friends and family, Kiryu takes the fall for a murder he didn't commit and goes to jail for ten long years. While this one action defines how truly loyal he is to those closest to him, it ended up creating even more problems than he intended, and later realizes he took the fall because he was too afraid to let destiny take its course.
- Even the Guys Want Him: The games aren't shy about showing off flamboyant men and crossdressers who are also attracted to Kiryu's masculinity. He tries to get rid of them as fast as he can.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: In 0, he has a shorter haircut than he does in the other games.
- Face of a Thug: Although he is a dangerous person, he gets slightly upset when people point out how scary he looks. Nishiki even mocked him saying that no matter what he wears, he still looks like a brutal yakuza.
- Faking the Dead: At the end of 6, Kiryu arranges to have himself legally declared dead and go into hiding in exchange for his silence regarding the Secret of Onomichi in order to finally give Haruka and the kids a life without the burden of being connected to a gangster.
- 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.
- He personally assumes this mantle after 6, feeling his actions has caused the Tojo clan to suffer through so much turmoil that he uses it as the reason for Daigo to not go to war with the Yomei.
- Fall Guy: He sets himself up as one in the first game to protect Dojima's real killer, Nishiki, from losing everything, including his ill sister. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out how he thought it would.
- First-Name Basis: Notably, this applied to him throughout the localization of the first 3 games, where he's referred to as Kazuma in the menus. Switched up from 4 onwards, where the menus call him Kiryu instead.
- Even in Japanese, very few characters call him by his first name, including Kazama, Yumi and Kaoru, indicating their relationship and how close they are.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
- Four Is Death: Kiryu is the Fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan and is a force to be reckoned with. Picking a fight with him is almost a death wish. Is also the most short-lived as Kiryu had been initiated as the fourth chairman then retired in the same day.
- Friend to All Children: He's very good with kids, and actually runs an orphanage in the third game, a role he considers his true calling in life.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Two instances actually, with the first being his rise to become the Dragon of Dojima. The first game did one better, as he goes from ex-yakuza hated by most of his former colleagues to Fourth Chairman of the Tojo Clan and later The Paragon.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: His fighting style is generally fairly straightforward and no-frills aside from fancy wrestling moves and creative use of his environment, particularly compared to other playable characters.
- Good Parent: Arguably the only thing Kazuma is better at than destroying thugs in bloody combat is being a dad. He loves all his children, gives sage advice, cooks and cares for them and is overall the coolest dad you could ever hope to have. Nothing brings out the best in Kazuma like his kids. Nothing brings out THE WORST in Kazuma like hurting one of his kids.
- Good Is Not Soft: Kiryu's allies and enemies alike find him just as trustworthy and reliable as he is a tough and dangerous force to be reckoned with. However, in Yakuza 5, after he's beaten a legion of Tojo Clan members, Aoyama thought Kiryu would simply show him the same mercy and compassion he had heard so much about, and would be easily spared due to Kiryu's unwillingness to kill. He didn't expect to be beaten within an inch of his life.Kazuma: Listen... I'M NO KIND HEARTED SOUL! I can take another name, and build a new life... But on the inside I'll always have that instinct, no matter how much I hate it... I'm Yakuza through and through.
- Guest Fighter: He and Majima appear in the crossover series Project X Zone. Prior to that, his Dead Souls incarnation appeared as a DLC character for the Japanese version of Binary Domain, and he appeared as a DLC character for Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational.
- The Hero: Of the series.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He suffers from a Despair Event Horizon at the end of the first game, having lost everyone he grew up with and was important to him, and is more than willing to return to jail for it. Thankfully Date snaps him out of it and reminds him that he's all Haruka has left and vice versa. He goes through a proper one in the fifth game, after Kurosawa shoots Katsuya and reveals that since he failed to kill Kiryu, he intends to have Haruka killed instead at her DREAM-LINE concert instead, leaving Kiryu to wonder why terrible things always happen to those closest to him. Thankfully his friends are there for him and have his back.
- Hidden Depths: While Kazuma's fists bring justice to man, his voice will shake your soul.
- Honor Before Reason: A large part of his character. Kiryu often tries to take the higher route whenever he can, but sometimes it backfires, ends up getting him shot or seriously injured, causing others to question his judgment. He also tends to get into fights when completely unnecessary in a refusal to back down from a challenge. In Yakuza 0, his unwillingness to break a promise takes him so far as to buy a porn magazine for a kid.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: He has prominent sideburns that adds to his presence.
- Humble Hero: Subverted. Kazuma comes off this way at first, considering he's not very boastful about his accomplishments or some of the things he's capable of, whether it's golf, fishing or karaoke. But when it comes to his strength and fighting abilities in the presence of thugs or other yakuza, he'll remind everyone who the biggest person in the room is.
- Hunk: Roguish good looks? Check. Chiseled jaw? Check. Sharp, piercing eyes? Check. Tall, imposing physique? Super check.
- Iconic Outfit: His greyish suit over his maroon dress shirt. You know something's going down when he changes into this in the later games.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Partially. From the PS3 games and onward Kazuma incorporated some of the facial features of his voice actor Takaya Kuroda.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Not that he's by any means unattractive at his current age, but many people noticed he was quite handsome back in Yakuza 0. In and out of universe.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: In games with multiple playable characters, Kazuma fits this role, having all-around balanced stats and attacks compared to others, though with an emphasis on power and the HEAT gauge, having some of the NASTIEST HEAT Actions and exclusive use of the Red HEAT mode.
- Knight Errant: Very much so, though he often tries to settle down. It never works.
- "The Myth" in 4
- "Isolated fight" in 5
- Large Ham: In 0, every extracurricular activity he does is performed with over-the-top flair, from playing arcade games to answering phones at the telekura.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: When he dons that gray suit of his, expect him to start cracking skulls. When he takes the suit off and goes topless, expect his enemies to start praying.
- Licked by the Dog: Kiryu LOOKS intimidating, to be sure, and he certainly is the bogeyman of mafiosi the world over, but animals adore him, and he returns the favor. Throughout the games, there's been multiple moments in which animals are being victimized, only for Kiryu to jump in fists flying, and he let his kids adopt a stray dog as their pet. And in Yakuza 6, cats get some love too, with Kiryu helping a cat cafe owner pick up stray kitties from the street to give them a loving home.
- Light Is Good: Very good.
- Lightning Bruiser: Not only can he withstand a LOT of punishment, but he hits like a truck, and can move incredibly fast. Especially while using this heat move.
- Like a Son to Me: Kiryu has always considered Daigo Dojima to be his own, which he admits in a heartfelt letter at the end of Yakuza 6. One of his biggest regrets is how he never really gave Daigo the fatherly affection and guidance he could've had as both a man and leader, since Kiryu was too busy trying to distance himself from the Yakuza's activities for much of Daigo's formative years. Nonetheless, Daigo returns the affection, proudly referring to Kiryu as "my father" once he finishes reading the letter.
- Limit Break: His Climax HEAT attacks in 5, all of which are recycled old HEAT moves:
- Essence of the Dragon King: Formerly known as one of his old Red HEAT attacks (the Komaki Dragon Kick), it's a simple yet painful jumping overhead spin kick. It's followed Kiryu for almost all of the games thus far and uses it for his shared Special Attack with Majima in Project X Zone 2.
- Essence of Drunken Thrust: Another old HEAT move which Kiryu can only perform while intoxicated where he mimics Akira Yuki's Tetsuzanko.
- Ultimate Essence: A near One-Hit Kill attack, which usually takes the form of a Megaton Punch.
- Hell's Floor: Exclusive to the third game, where Kiryu can unlock and perform this move on a weakened boss. It's a straight-up No-Holds-Barred Beatdown where Kiryu hits a German suplex, transitions into a cross armbreaker, a triangle choke, an Anaconda and guillotine choke and a final mounted punch to the face. In the fifth game, Shinada has this as a regular HEAT move.
- Living Legend: Especially in the later games, where almost everyone who knows his name regards him as such. When enemies in the later games initiate random battles, they'll recognize Kiryu and believe that their reputations will skyrocket should they beat him in a fight.
- Made of Iron: Kiryu can not only withstand a lot of punishment, but he tends to survive things that would easily cripple or kill anyone else. It's not uncommon for him to get shot in the story and recover within the next day, and he gets shot in just about every game.
- Man in White: Light greyish variant.
- In 0 he sports a white, pinstriped suit.
- Man of the City: One of Kiryu's most admirable traits is that, no matter where he lives, he quickly becomes a pillar of the community. He is a gracious and friendly neighbor, is always helping people in need around him no matter how petty their problem, invests and helps out in local establishments, and is quick to let the fists fly on anyone abusing or taking advantage of his neighbors. Both in Kamurocho and Okinawa, and even in his brief time in Osaka, he instantly makes friends and earns respect and admiration from the townsfolk.
- Mandatory Unretirement: This trope sums up Kiryu's life starting from 2. Each single time, he always tries to do an honest job and forget about Yakuza, but problems in the Tojo Clan and/or his friends forces him out of retirement into the organized crime world.
- Mercy Kill: Kiryu was forced to do this against the zombies in Dead Souls when it dawns on him that he simply can't put them down with his fists alone. This hit home when Kiryu had no choice but to shoot a zombified Nagahama in the head.
- Mistaken for Gay: Rumors to that effect spread amongst his taxi company co-workers in the fifth game, especially since he didn't frequent the hostess clubs until his boss took him out to one.
- Played for laughs in 3, where in order to infiltrate a couples hotel, Rikiya pretends that he and Kiryu are a gay couple wanting to get a room for some action. Kiryu was not amused.
- It comes back in Kiwami; Kiryu gets an interest in a 'martial arts' flick by the name of "Passionate Manly Bathhouse Battle", and swings by the DVD store to check it out. Majima, being Majima, gets the worst possible idea, nonplussing Kiryu enough to start a fight with him outside the store.
- Mr. Fanservice: To a mild degree. Aside from being shirtless often, he's also had a couple of shower scenes and one of his Premium Adventure outfits in Yakuza 5 exposes his rear.
- Multi-Melee Master: While on the brawling side he's at least above-average in all aspects, in terms of weapons he can use more types than any other character in 4 and is only matched by Shinada in 5.
- My Greatest Failure: In 6 his final letter is addressed to the person he considered to have failed the most: Daigo Dojima, the kid he brought in the Yakuza world only to immediately cut ties with him. He realized that while he saw him as a son and trusted him with everything, he never spent any time together as a family would, which lead to a lot of problems.
- Neck Snap: One of his HEAT moves in Kiwami, taken from Majima who first had it in 0.
- Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: Mostly apparent in Yakuza 3 when the setting switches to Okinawa, and most of Kiryu's neighbors clearly hold a lot of respect for him.
- 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.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- He takes the fall for a murder he did not commit to protect his friends, but it ends up creating even greater problems than he intended. Nishiki eventually betrays him, and Yumi has a child with Jingu, and is forced into a life of secrecy to protect Haruka from him. Kiryu eventually realizes if he had just let life take its course, many of these problems would not have happened.
- When he was younger, he ruined Kazama's chance at trying to stop the Jingweon massacre, believing he was in danger when he was negotiating with its leader at gunpoint. It was only after Kazama shot the man that poor Kiryu realized what was really going on.
- His life with Daigo is also like this, despite being a role model. He never helped Daigo through his time as a chairman, always putting him in difficult situations that had done lasting damage to the Tojo by Kiryu's absence, from getting nearly killed by Joji Kazama to handling the mess by himself against the Ueno Seiwa which leads to a fight to the purge in leadership that leaves the old generation of Tojo families all dead. By the end of 6, his final will to Daigo is that he cannot call himself a father figure of the Tojo for all he has done and tells Daigo not to fight the Yomei to avenge him and the Tojo.
- In Yakuza 2, where Kiryu encounters a fake Kiryu using his name and image to throw his weight around. When the fake tries to intimidate Kiryu by threatening to beat him up, Kiryu calls his bluff. Hesitantly, the fake throws a punch at Kiryu's face, who didn't even flinch at all, as if saying, "was that it?". He calmly removes the fist from his face before pounding the fake's in.
- In the same game, when he first meets Ryuji Goda, one of his mooks breaks a wine bottle over the back of Kiryu's head. Unfazed, Kiryu simply turns around, grabs his arm from an oncoming attack, and throws him off the balcony.
- Not So Above It All: In one of the new substories for Kiwami, Haruka tasks him with finding a present for a young girl to give to a boy she likes. Pocket Circuit Fighter reveals a new limited edition racing car that would be perfect for him, and even though Kiryu wins it for the boy, it's obvious he really wants one for himself. He's seriously bummed to find out it's the only one, even more so if he gives it away. He doesn't believe Haruka at all when she tells him he'll find another one.
- No Social Skills: Played with and subverted in various ways. Kiryu can be very socially awkward sometimes, but, to be fair, he's spent a lot of his life in prison (and for crimes he did not commit, to boot), which has stunted a lot of his knowledge on pop culture and social trends, and he obviously has ZERO social skills when it comes to thugs getting on his business. However, he has a natural talent for making lifelong friends (even if he has to beat the snot out of them first), and people in need always feel he's someone they can ask for help and depend on, which he totally is.
- Oblivious to Love: He has a tendency to miss the signs when a girl has feelings for him, which happens pretty often.
- Odd Friendship:
- Notably with Date, his Friend on the Force. Although Date tends to deny they're good friends, Kiryu seems to hold him in higher regard.
- With Goro Majima. For all the times they've traded blows throughout the series, it's never been personal on either end and they each have a tremendous mutual respect for one another.
- Oh, Crap!: Expresses this if the drag queen Michiru tries to "give him some thanks".
- One-Man Army: Over the course of the series, Kazuma has proven that yes, he is most definitely the king of the food chain. Demonstrated best in Yakuza 5 when he alone goes up against a small army of Tojo clan yakuza in the climax of Part 1.
- Out of Focus: In Yakuza 4, Kiryu is out of the spotlight throughout much of the story so it can explore the three new playable protagonists, but this is subverted when he returns in the last part, after it's revealed that the events taking place are related to him and the missing ten billion yen incident of the first game.
- Overprotective Dad: He shows shades of this whenever "Haruka" and "boyfriend" are in the same sentence. He completely loses it when he learns about Haruto and demands to know the identity of the father.
- Papa Dragon: Don't mess with his kids, especially Haruka, if you value your life.
- The Paragon: By Yakuza 5, he's gained the reputation as one within the Tojo Clan, due to his eagerness to help others and unwillingness to kill. Not everyone is pleased about this.
- Parental Substitute: For Haruka after she loses her real parents in the 10 billion yen incident, and are considered father and daughter by many. In Yakuza 5's Premium Adventure mode where he can bring her to tag along, not only does he still think of her as a kid (to her chagrin), but he's clearly torn that she's already thinking about boys.
- 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.
- Perpetual Frowner: He never smiles nor shows any other emotions for most of the time.
- When He Smiles: He WILL smile for his children and friends, and it is a very warm and honest smile.
- A Protagonist Is Ryu: The kanji used to spell "Ryu" in his surname is a homophone to the one meaning "dragon". Also his title, the Dragon of Dojima (Dojima no Ryu).
- Punny Name: Word of God says that his last name, Kiryu, is taken from the English phrase "kill you". It gets lampshaded by the hostess Riku in the fifth game.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: His Rush style ultimate move in Kiwami, complete with "ORAORAORAORA!"
- Rated M for Manly: He's right up there with people like Kenshiro, Jotaro Kujo and Big Boss/Solid Snake as one of the manliest of men in popular fiction.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The shirt he wears with his suit is a rather stylish old maroon, 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", as well as "The Fourth Chairman".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Goro, Akira, Ryuji, Rikiya, Tatsuo and Taiga's red and Haruka's purple.
- Reluctant Warrior: He becomes this in the fifth game, refusing to get involved in anymore of the Tojo Clan's affairs, but it's when a friend goes missing and another is reported dead that he realizes he can't escape what he is.
- Say My Name: "Shinji!!" "Haruka!" "YUMI!!!" "NISHIKIIIIIIIIIII!!!" "RIKIYAAAAAAAAAA!"
- The Scapegoat: In 0 Kiryu gets set up for a murder of a person he collected money from, so that Kazama will have to take responsibility for his actions and get demoted.
- Shirtless Scene: A lot of them. Dead Souls averts this for obvious reasons.
- Silver Fox: Despite being the second oldest protagonist, the dude is a bonafide Chick Magnet.
- Skyward Scream: Unleashes this when one of Kazuto Arase's underlings drag along Reina's corpse and finding Shinji lying on the ground coming close to death.
- Smoking Is Cool: He smokes often, and even has a HEAT action that revolves around this.
- Stance System: 0 gives him different styles to use. He retains the system in Kiwami.
- "Brawler" is an underdeveloped version of Kiryu's original fighting style. It thoroughly puts him as Unskilled, but Strong as his moves have longer recovery times and he's unable to pick up downed enemies. Furthermore he's a bit flashier in his execution.
- "Rush" emphasizes speed and agility with Kiryu's blows doing less damage but also having him pile them up in rapid succession. His block is also replaced with a weaving mechanic that gives him shorter recovery times in order to go back on the offensive ASAP.
- "Beast" turns Kiryu into a Mighty Glacier, enabling him to pick up heavy objects or enemies to use as weapons and he has faster execution of weapon-based attacks. His taunt can actually be used to knock opponents away and instead of a block he has super armor, turning him into an Implacable Man.
- Finally, his Legendary "Dragon of Dojima" style is his classic moveset minus the Komaki-style moves. In Kiwami Kiryu expands the style, adding Majima's knife skills and moves to it, but the style is tremendously nerfed for a good portion of the game.
- The Stoic: Kiryu's quite the reserved individual.
- 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.
- One of the minigames introduced in the fifth game involves him cooking noodles for customers, where he even dresses the part.
- Survivor's Guilt: Following the deaths of Kazama, Yumi and Nishiki in the first game. Early in the second game, when he's praying at Kazama's grave, he wonders why he's the only one who's still alive. While it's Haruka who keeps him from giving up on everything, this also plays a large part in why he's a Death Seeker.
- Taking the Bullet: He takes one for Haruka in the first game when her father Jingu attempts to shoot her the first time. He does this again in Yakuza 6 for Yuta, Haruka, and Haruto.
- Tattooed Crook: An appropriate silver dragon on his back.
- Technologically Blind Elders: Kiryu doesn't do a good job on keeping up with the latest trends in technology. This can be owed in part to his having spent ten years in prison, during which time technology advanced very quickly. Even after, however, the only high-tech gadget Kiryu really bothers with is his smartphone.
- There Can Be Only One: He agrees with Ryuji Goda that there can only be one true Dragon in Japan, a view he's apparently held since Yakuza 0.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Zig-zagged; While the series likes to treat him as having never taken a life to the point that even if he uses guns and blades enemies always end up getting back up, Kiryu has also gotten into gunfights where he's not only shot people but blown them up with explosives, making this more a case of Story And Gameplay Segregation.
- Tiger Versus Dragon: Seems to be theme that happens from time to time in some of his fights. In the first Yakuza he fights against Shimano, who has a tiger tattoo. In Yakuza 2 he fights actual tigers. In Yakuza 4 he fights against Saejima who also has a tiger tattoo, which notably ends in a draw. He fights against Saejima again in Yakuza 5 to the same outcome.
- Turns Red: He is the only playable character who can gain Red HEAT, which can be used for more powerful attacks. It can also prevent him from losing health.
- Undying Loyalty: To Shintaro Kazama/Fuma, the man who raised him. Kiryu idolizes him and joined the yakuza in hopes to help him and repay him for everything he's done for him. His loyalty is one of the plot points behind 0 as the other Dojima lieutenants try to use Kiryu to bring down Kazama to achieve their own goals.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Akira Nishiki, best demonstrated in 0 as they have no problems roasting on each other. Also with Goro Majima, in a sense.
- 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!
- Weirdness Magnet: The side missions get Kazuma into all sorts of zany scenarios that would ruin anyone else's sense of reality.
- Wife-Basher Basher: Yeaaaaah, be nice to your girl in front of Kazuma.
- Wrestler in All of Us: A lot of Kiryu's throws include giant swings, suplexes and chokes.
- Wolverine Publicity: Despite Yakuza 4's story focusing more on the new playable characters, he still appears in front of them on the game's cover. His image has also been used to market and advertise various products in Japan.
- 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. Although he does give an Armor-Piercing Slap to Haruka in the first game and accidentally knocks her down in his fight against Saejima in the fourth.
- Subverted in the first game's "The Truth About Her" sidequest. Kiryu almost falls victim to a brother/sister pair of con-artists — whose modus operandi involves tricking random men out of their wallets by having the brother (disguised in drag) seduce them before leading the unsuspecting men into a remote location, where the sister (dressed like a male Yakuza) then proceeds with the mugging. Kazuma, not knowing any better, subjects the sister to the same treatment he gives any other thug, followed by her brother when he tries to retaliate. The Kiwami version, "Truth About Beauty", adds more to this: Kiryu bluntly makes it clear that attempting to scam him earned both siblings a taste of the dragon's wrath, regardless of their gender.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: One of his HEAT moves when he is knocked down. Kiryu will quickly roll onto his back and kick at his opponents shins before leaping forward into a flying headbutt at the guy's crotch.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Oh so much. You do NOT want Kiryu to get angry with you, lest you want a brutal pounding.Kiryu: Today's been a very bad day, and it's put me in a real shitty mood.
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya, Debi Derryberry (Yakuza, English version)
Portrayed by: Natsuo (live-action film)
- "The man who brought me up was once what they call Yakuza."
Kazuma's adopted niece and Yumi's daughter, whose job is to be cute and get kidnapped once a game. Also raised in the Sunflower Orphanage, she first encounters Kazuma while she's searching for her aunt Yumi and her mother Mizuki, but is hunted by the various yakuza gangs for her connection to the missing ten billion yen. After the ordeal, Kazuma takes her under his wing and decides to start a new life with her, but the poor girl constantly finds herself pulled into the conflicts her Uncle Kaz is involved in.Appearing in every game alongside Kazuma (except the prequel), she ages throughout the series and has a different appearance in each game. In the first game and its remake (2005), she's merely nine years old, and by the fifth game (2012), she's sixteen and has already moved out to Osaka on her own to pursue a career as an Idol Singer. She's one of the five playable protagonists in Yakuza 5. At the end, performing in front of a huge audience, she's no longer able to bear staying away from those she considers family and reveals the truth behind her upbringing and the man who raised her.She returns to the orphanage following Kiryu's arrest and lives peacefully with the other orphans until it's discovered where she lives and the news goes viral. Fearing how she could affect the others living there, she leaves the orphanage without informing anyone of her true whereabouts. After Kiryu leaves jail and discovers this, she's hospitalized after being struck by a car in Kamurocho, and his only link to the truth is her infant son, Haruto and photo of Haruka in Hiroshima, which naturally takes him to Hiroshima to learn what happened and who is Haruto's father. She's stated to be nineteen years old as of Yakuza 6.
- Affectionate Nickname: Refers to Kazuma as "Uncle Kaz".
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: In 6. This is one of the biggest shocks Kiryu faces when he finishes his prison sentence.
- Big Eater: Dialogue between her and Kiryu in 5's Premium Adventure describe her as this. Kiryu can tease her saying this is why they should open a restaurant together.
- Big Sister Instinct: Whenever she feels the other kids at the orphanage are in danger, she won't let anyone near them. Just ask Mine and Hamazaki.
- Bound and Gagged: Happens just about every time the poor girl gets kidnapped.
- Break the Cutie: The games aren't necessarily kind to the poor girl, from being shot, slapped, kidnapped, and a lot of characters have been killed in front of her eyes. But for everything she's gone through, witnessed and suffered, it hasn't broken her. In the fifth game, she's bullied by her rival idols even after tragedy strikes, and while some realize she's a danger magnet, it's also made her stronger in the face of it. Then she gets hit by a car in the sixth game that triggers the game's plot.
- Cool Big Sis: Although she served as Kiryu's second-in-command at the orphanage, the other kids see her as the big sister in the family and look up to her. In one of the substories in Yakuza 5, when Taichi writes a fan letter to her under a pen name, it's clear who he's referring to when he says the people who left were like father and mother to them, indicating she graduated to Team Mom status.
- The Cutie: Her role in the series, and really provides the heart of it. There are times where she tags along and asks for things to buy, and it's hard to resist. And when people hurt her, there's hell to pay.
- Cry Cute: When her mother Yumi takes the bullet from Jingu, which is the saddest moment in the first game due to this. And in Yakuza 5, when she stops her concert to tell her audience she had to leave the family she loves, and when she discovers Kiryu bleeding in the streets.
- Daddy's Girl: She's learned a lot from Kiryu, and just like him she won't back down when push comes to shove. Several characters in the fifth game recognize her at this, and realize she's not to be underestimated considering who raised her.
- Damsel in Distress: She has a tendency of getting kidnapped throughout the games, usually to lure out Kiryu.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Declared as such by Yakuza 5, and Mirei Park is determined to keep the public from learning the truth of Haruka's past, knowing it would destroy her image and her career as an idol. She even goes so far to convince Kiryu to leave the orphanage and sever his connections with Haruka and the orphans so no one finds out.
- Designated Victim: Aside from getting kidnapped often, a lot of bad stuff happens to the poor girl. Even when she's playable, she can't escape from this.
- Deuteragonist: Of the first Yakuza, for all intents and purposes. It can also be argued that she serves as this for Yakuza 5 as much of the plot revolves around her idol career, especially toward the end as everyone fights to protect her from being assassinated.
- Didn't Think This Through: At the end of Yakuza 5, after spending the whole game hiding her Dark and Troubled Past from everyone including her fans, she reveals the truth behind her upbringing at a concert attended by thousands. She admits early on in Yakuza 6 that she got caught in the moment and wasn't thinking when she spoke to all those people, or consider the greater consequences of her actions.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Supine.
- Happily Adopted: Enough to accept Kiryu as her family and father figure, and in Yakuza 2, gives up the chance to make it big so she can be with him. In Yakuza 5, when she can no longer bear to be away from those she considers her family, namely Kiryu, she forfeits her career as an Idol Singer.
- 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.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Although Haruka grew up with Kiryu and the orphanage kids, who she considers family, she yearns for this when she moves to Osaka on her own. People at her school are afraid to talk to her because she's an Idol, which takes up most of her time as it is, leaving her incredibly lonely and eager for friends. The focus of her side story and some substories involve people trying to be her friend for the right and wrong reasons, some who have no friends themselves.
- Light Is Good: Often depicted wearing white. Note that her red and white color scheme matches her adoptive dad's maroon and grey one.
- Little Miss Badass: Hasn't thrown a single punch in the entire series for obvious reasons, but she won't back down when threatened. When Kanai is demanding she give him the letter she's carrying in 5, she doesn't even flinch when she refuses. She was also quite clever in her earlier appearances, and even had a good eye for gambling when she was nine!
- Living Lie Detector: Nothing gets past this girl, especially not from Kiryu or the other orphanage kids.
- Morality Pet: Mostly for Kazuma, who tries to change some of his habits in order to raise her right. Expect to see some of the other characters' better sides if she happens to be around.
- Nice Girl: Predominantly in the fifth game, where she innocently tries to be positive and friendly with everyone she can, even those who wrong her, and several rival idols find themselves irritated by her "goodie two shoes" behavior. But as Park points out, she's not naive about the realities of the world.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At the end of Yakuza 5, in a heartfelt speech she reveals the truth about her upbringing and the man who raised her. It comes back to bite her hard in the beginning of Yakuza 6, potentially affecting everyone else at the orphanage, which leads to her running away to Hiroshima, where she gets herself into even more trouble.
- Number Two: She's Kiryu's second-in-command at the orphanage, being the oldest of the kids.
- Obliviously Beautiful: In the fifth game, Haruka tells Park that she doesn't really think she's pretty, even though many characters point out how cute she is and attributes it to her popularity as an idol. Many other idols and dancers are clearly jealous of her looks, and it doesn't help that she's genuinely kind, which only irritates them more.
- Official Couple: By the end of 6, she and Yuta end up together and form a proper family with Haruto.
- Oh, Crap!: When she gets out of Sunshine Orphanage and sees Goh Hamazaki out of Okinawa Penitentiary No.1 in the fourth game. She's utterly horrified.
- Only Sane Woman: She becomes this when some of Kiryu's willingness to forgive people or eagerness to fight becomes questionable, and balances him out when he overdoes it. As she puts it, even he can be scatterbrained at times.
- Parental Abandonment:
- Her quest to find the mother she never met is what brings Kazuma deeper into all the intrigue during the first game after he gets out of jail.
- It's because she doesn't want that to happen again (Referring to Kiryu, of course) that she retires from the Idol business at the end of Yakuza 5.
- Plot Coupon: She has one in the first game, which is why everyone's trying to grab her. She learns of another one in the fifth game that also lands her in just as much trouble.
- Plucky Girl: Considering everything she goes through in the series, it's amazing she still turned out to be so sweet and cute as a button in Yakuza 5. Anyone else would've been scarred for life.
- Promoted to Playable: In the fifth game, she's given her own playable storyline about her idol career, although she engages in "dance battles" unlike the others.
- Protectorate: Mostly in the first game for Kazuma given her Plot Coupon, though targeting her is a very quick way to piss off the protagonists. She also becomes this for Akiyama in the fifth game, and everyone by the end of it.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Purple. She's usually blue throughout the story (with one notable exception being when Hamazaki returns), but she'll quickly become red when doing activities with her.
- Sailor Fuku: As part of her school clothes in 4 and Dead Souls.
- Satellite Character: It's hard to claim otherwise, but she's one to Kiryu, providing him (and the series) with a Lighter and Softer balance. Even in the fifth game when she's grown up, independent and living on her own, several characters recognize her as "the girl raised by Kiryu", as well as his Achilles' Heel.
- She Is All Grown Up: As the games take place in real time, Haruka ages appropriately throughout the series. 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 16-year old high school student, and even teases Kiryu about having a boyfriend in Premium Adventure mode, which nearly gives the Dragon of Dojima a heart attack. She's nineteen years old during the events of Yakuza 6, and also has a kid, who Kiryu is also very protective of.
- Tag Along Kid: Throughout the series, Kiryu can bring her along to visit places and do activities with her.
- This Is Unforgivable!: In the fourth game, she completely loses it when Hamazaki appears and wins Kiryu's forgiveness and trust overnight, considering what he did to him in front of her eyes in Yakuza 3's ending. She refuses to forgive him, but things change when Hamazaki dies and she realizes he gave his life up to help Kiryu.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: Her chapters in Yakuza 5 don't involve any fighting at all, instead she engages in rhythm-based dance battles.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Especially in her first appearance, where she's more clever and mature than one would think, knows more about what happens in the red light district than most are comfortable with her knowing, has an eye for gambling, and she's the one who brings Kiryu up to speed on what's changed since he's been in prison.
- Yakuza Princess: Downplayed as Kiryu isn't even in the Tojo Clan anymore, but she's treated with respect by its members, as they know she means the world to him.
Voiced by: Hidenari Ugaki, Mark Hamill (Yakuza, English version)
Portrayed by: Goro Kishitani (live-action film)
The Captain of the Majima family, formerly the "Mad Dog of the Shimano Family" and all round crazy dude. Known to be completely unpredictable and untamed, he is none the less highly respected for his skill and deceptive intelligence. Once an affiliate of the Shimano family until the man's demise, the Majima Family are 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, and is talked into returning back to the Tojo Clan in the third game.Majima is always eager to seek a challenge and only respects strength. In the first game, he's a constant hindrance in Kiryu's quest, only interested in fighting him as a rival and couldn't care less about the missing ten billion yen. He becomes something of an ally onward, shown to be immensely loyal toward those who win his respect, which is only earned by besting him in a fight. With the exception of games where he's playable, he's fought in almost every game as a boss. By the fourth game, he's toned down quite a bit, and it's shown that he was extremely tight with his sworn brother, Taiga Saejima.The beloved Ensemble Darkhorse of the series, Majima was finally Promoted to Playable in the non-canon Dead Souls. He is also one of the two main playable characters in the prequel Yakuza 0. After being excommunicated from the Tojo Clan after the failed Ueno Seiwa hit, Majima is given another chance to make a name for himself in the Japanese underworld.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Strokes a terrified Makoto's hair after he helps her escape from becoming a Yakuza hit in Yakuza 0.
- Affectionate Nickname: He tends to refer to Kazuma as "Kiryu-chan" or "Kazzy"/"Kazuma-chan" in the English translations.
- Ambiguously Bi: Definitely into women, but the lengths he goes to in pursuing Kiryu sometimes borders on Stalker with a Crush, plus he has a little too much fun with the idea of getting a kiss or more from Daigo in Dead Souls. This is to say nothing of his steadfast devotion and fondness for Saejima, which other yakuza describe as surprising and somewhat excessive even between sworn brothers, and which tends to bring out his more mellow side.
- Ascended Extra: In the original game, he was a Recurring Boss that was more concerned with fighting Kiryu than getting involved with the whole missing ten billion yen thing. In Kiwami, a remake of the first game, his role is expanded significantly with the new "Majima Everywhere" mechanic, where he can be fought at any given time in order to bring Kiryu back up to speed. Not only is he now the first person Kiryu meets in Kamurocho after he leaves prison, but Majima beats him in a Curb-Stomp Battle. Same goes for Kiwami 2 where he receives his own campaign.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: In 0, Majima does some undercover work at a rival hostess club, the Odyssey, in order to poach their top-earning hostess. When the manager of Odyssey confronts him, having seen through his Paper-Thin Disguise, Majima responds by listing the reasons why the club isn't performing as well as Majima's own club, using information he's gleamed through observing the club around him and subtly questioning one of their hostesses. He then uses this same information to make a deal that benefits both himself and his rival manager.
- Ax-Crazy: A rare example of a protagonist qualifying for this trope. Particularly in the first game, where he's introduced as a violent and unhinged maniac who's only interested in fighting Kiryu. He's on your side from the second game onward, but he's just as crazy, eager to bust some heads and never flinches against danger. It gets toned down from the fourth game onward, including the prequel.
- Badass Beard: A neatly trimmed goatee.
- Badass in Distress: A variant of sorts in Yakuza 5, where he's brought out to Saejima all beaten and chained up, and is forced to fight his blood brother to the death. Subverted as the audience knows Majima is on Kurosawa's side. See Fake Defector below.
- Badass Grandpa: He's 52 by 6 but is still a force to be reckoned with.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: If he's not wearing his usual snakeskin jacket, he'll be wearing this. It's also his default outfit in Yakuza 0.
- Bad Boss: As a crime boss, Majima treats his thugs like dirt, having no problem with beating them for arbitrary reasons or even sending them to a fight that he knows they'll lose (though despite it all, he's capable of inspiring intense loyalty). This gets Played for Laughs in Kiwami 2 when he sets up Majima Construction, where he harasses Nishida after he points out they don't know anything about construction at all, and Goro even threatens to kill everyone under him in an attempt to motivate them. Of course, this only seems to apply when it comes to gangsters since...
- Benevolent Boss: In 0, the staff at Grand and the customers regard him as one of the nicest men in the world and he will go out of his way to ensure that they are content and taken care of.
- Been There, Shaped History: His friendly advice to a government official he happens to meet by chance and rescue from a beating results in the bursting of Japan's asset price bubble and the subsequent Lost Decade. Naturally, this gets Played for Laughs.
- The man himself acknowledges it proudly (and hilariously) in one of the Majima Everywhere events in Kiwami.
- Beneath the Mask: On the surface, Goro Majima appears to be nothing more than an unhinged, bloodthirsty lunatic. Each game, however, adds more layers to his character and shows that there's more to him than meets the eye. Yakuza 0 finally reveals that his "Mad Dog" persona is just that — a persona he created at the end of that game's story which he maintains to this day. Underneath it all, he's actually a deep-thinking, morally conscious man who simply chose to live "crazier than the rest of 'em" in a conscious effort to make himself stronger (in his own way) and to cope with the harsh, unforgiving reality of the Yakuza lifestyle.
- Berserk Button:
- In Yakuza 0, hurt Makoto in any way or shape and the Mad Dog will hunt you down. No exceptions. Not even his boss, Shimano, as he makes it gravely clear to Sagawa before storming off to face Dojima's goons.
- Don't let him catch you putting recyclables in the trash where it doesn't belong.
- Big Damn Heroes: Has his moments and does so in the most ridiculously awesome manner possible. For instance, in Yakuza 3, when Kiryu is surrounded by a ton of agents with no escape, Majima suddenly comes in driving a giant truck (a giant pink truck no less) to clear the way and save the day.
- Blood Brothers: With Taiga Saejima.
- Blood Knight: He'll find ANY excuse to have a match with Kazuma. This also doesn't apply just to him; he's generally itching to fight with almost anyone and, in the case of everything in Dead Souls, anything. Taken to new heights in Kiwami.
- Breakout Character: Majima quickly became a fan favorite due to his crazy antics, enough for him to be Promoted to Playable in Dead Souls. He's also the deuteragonist of 0, and the remakes of the first two games expand his role significantly.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: 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.
- Car Fu: In the first game, he smashes a large truck into a building to get Kiryu to fight him. In the third game, he plows a giant pink truck through a crowd of agents to save Kiryu. Except he was so careless that he thought he almost ran over his favorite rival.
- The Champion: Although he shares the role with Kiryu at times, Majima serves as the predominant one in Yakuza 0 for Makoto.
- Character Development: Majima became less and less villainous as the series went on and even toned down his eccentric nature by the time of his reunion with Saejima. The prequel explains that Majima was never really a bad person, he decided to live his life at the fullest taking example of some of the finest people he met.
- 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.
- Chick Magnet: Thanks to 0, as before the list was only Mirei. However Makoto seems to have reciprocated his feelings despite never getting a chance to tell him, and there's all the hostess girls and even side missions. He can now even compete with Kiryu.
- Combat Tropes:
- Batter Up!: His Slugger style in 0 revolves around the use of a baseball bat.
- Fighting with Chucks: Not only does his Slugger style focus on using a Baseball bat, it can also use nunchaku, it has a special heat move associated with it called "Essence of Nunchacku".
- Confusion Fu: In contrast to Kiryu, Majima's fighting style is wilder and more frantic. His boss fights usually consists of him him quick-dashing around before trying to to take a swing at you.
- Dance Battler: One of his styles in 0 can best be described as a combination of capoeira and break dancing.
- Doppelgänger Attack: In the fifth game.
- Complexity Addiction: In Kiwami, while he's not above simply picking a fight with Kiryu on the streets, he'll also go into extreme and elaborate lengths just to create a scenario to fight him, including hiring a movie crew just to stage a faux-Zombie Apocalypse.
- Consummate Professional: For all of his weirdness, he's a very competent businessman who, as a cabaret manager, will go out of his way to guarantee his customers excellent service.
- Cool Hat: He wears a hard hat throughout the entirety of Yakuza 2. It's a good thing he had it when he tried to access Purgatory's underground systems.
- 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 has gone red. He then goes to a sauna to try and sweat it out. Turns out he's completely fine. The zombie that bit him was an old man with dentures and his bloodshot eye is due to his allergies. April is pollen season.
- Deuteragonist: Of Yakuza 0. However, from 2 onwards, he begins to have more and more weight in the story of each game, arguably making him one for the whole series as his character is also given greater importance than many others. He's crucial to Saejima's backstory, which explores more of his past, which is explored even further in Yakuza 5, the details of which play a significant role in the game's overall plot.
- Did Not Get the Girl:
- Yakuza 5 reveals that he had been previously married to Mirei Park, a then-rising idol. After she had an abortion without telling him, he left her so she could pursue her idol career, which eventually tanked. They planned to meet each other again twenty years later and reconcile, but Park was murdered before they could.
- Years before in Yakuza 0, Majima was tasked to kill a blind woman named Makoto Makimura, but he fell for her instead, and nearly lost her to a life-threatening injury. When the two meet again after she recovers, Majima stays silent so she doesn't recognize him, wanting to keep her far away from the dangers of the yakuza, and urges her doctor to take care of her instead. When he meets her again almost 18 years later in Kiwami 2, he learns that she had already gotten married and started a family, and she later leaves Japan to live abroad.
- Disguised in Drag: One of the many personas he adopts in Kiwami is the tattooed, one-eyed hostess "Goromi". Yeah, Kazuma isn't fooled for a second, but he still plays along with it.
- Domestic Abuser: Downplayed as he only struck his ex-wife, Mirei Park, once in their entire marriage due to her aborting their child without telling him about it at all.
- The Dragon: To Shimano in the first game.
- Dual Wielding: One particular HEAT action for the Slugger style in 0 (Essence of the Slugger: Hack Hit) has him wield his Demonfire Dagger in conjunction with his baseball bat.
- Also another style he can learn while training with
- Dueling Player Characters: Subverted in 0, where he never actually meets Kazuma until after the main story. He becomes a "fighting a previously playable character" example in Kiwami, given that his movesets in that game are lifted directly from 0.
- Establishing Character Moment: The prelude to his fight in the first game. Majima saunters over, all confident in himself and quite intimidating, before being smacked in the face by a baseball. He laughs it off, before beating one of his subordinates pretty badly for not laughing with him. This is more indicative of his personality in 1 however, he grows a lot more caring and less intimidating by the second game.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: One of his attacks in Yakuza 4 has him spinning like a top wildly around the arena with his arms spread out, knife in hand, but leaves him exhausted for a good time when he's finished. His unlockable "Mad Dog of Shimano" fighting style in 0 allows him to do a variant of this, but it's brief and can also exhaust him.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Between 1985 and the events of 0, he grew his hair out long enough to pull it into a ponytail. He goes back to his old hairstyle by the end of 0.
- Eyepatch of Power: Lost his eye before any of the games took place, the cause of which was finally explained in Yakuza 4 and revisited in 0. As far as he's concerned, he was too powerful as it was with both of his eyes.
- Face of a Thug: In Yakuza 0, countless characters compliment Majima by telling him how remarkable, thoughtful, and well-meaning he is, and never would have guessed because of how intimidating and scary-looking they thought he was at first. He's not exactly flattered by the compliment.
- Failed Attempt at Drama: When Majima and his men confront Kiryu in the batting center in the first game. Majima gives this dramatic speech about how he and Kiryu are destined to fight each other, until he gets beaned in the head by a baseball because he accidentally walked in the path of a pitching machine.
- Fake Defector: In the climax of Yakuza 5, he joins forces with Kurosawa instead of taking him out like he planned. However, Majima only aids him because Haruka's life is on the line, and is willing to give up his own life in place of hers.Majima: I couldn't do it... She means more to Kazzy than life itself. I couldn't just let it happen.
- Faking the Dead: Throughout the entirety of Yakuza 5, he does this in a failed attempt to discover and take out the game's Big Bad, It didn't work out completely like he planned.
- Final Boss: For Saejima in 5.
- Friend to All Children: A trait he shares with Kiryu. During his time in Sotenbori, Goro made a habit of helping out any kid he encountered on the streets, either through simple acts of kindness (e.g. buying stuffed animals for a lonely little girl) or defending them against malicious groups or individuals. Even after assuming the "Mad Dog" persona, children remain one of the surefire ways to bring out his inner goodness.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Was just a thug along with Saejima in the Sasai Family, a third-tier group under the Tojo Clan and after the botched Ueno Seiwa hit (where he was detained), he was disgraced and excommunicated from the Tojo for years, imprisoned in Sotenbori to work as a manager of a prestigious hostess club. Then he got his respect back and is now one of the most feared and respected figures in the underworld.
- Gilded Cage: In 0, Majima is located in Sotenbori, working as a manager of Grand, one of the biggest hostess clubs in Osaka, where money flows like a golden river under his management and the respect for him knows no bounds. However, he's aware that everything was set up by Shimano, who excommunicated him from the Tojo Clan, and that he can't leave Osaka and join yakuza until he's repaid his debt.
- Just to emphasise the point, Chapter 3 of 0; the chapter in which Majima first appears, is called "The Gilded Cage".
- Goldfish Poop Gang: He becomes this in Kiwami, dogging Kazuma in both Random Encounters and various sidequests.
- Guest Fighter: He and Kiryu appear as partners in the crossover series Project X Zone. Prior to that, his Dead Souls incarnation appeared as a DLC character for the Japanese version of Binary Domain.
- Handicapped Badass: Is missing an eye, but the lack of depth perception doesn't slow him down in the slightest.
- Heartbroken Badass: He's had the chance for a normal life with Makoto and Mirei, but circumstances drove a wedge between them. For Makoto he spends the entirety of 0 protecting her, but ultimately leaves her to a normal life as he knows how dangerous the yakuza lifestyle is. For Mirei, she wanted to be successful as an idol, already facing pressure due to her Korean roots and had an abortion without telling Majima. He left her, but because he truly wanted her to follow her dreams and only gets worse when she's murdered because of a letter he entrusted her with. It's implied they still held torches for each other, but even if Park hadn't been murdered they'd been in two separate worlds for so long it was unlikely they'd get back together.
- Heel–Face Turn: He's been a face for so long it's easy to forget that he was most certainly a villain in the first Yakuza game.
- Hellbent For Leather: His usual outfit. A snakeskin patterned suit jacket, leather pants, leather gloves, and leather boots.
- Hidden Depths:
- He may look like a rough thug and acts like a complete psycho, but Majima is also a skilled businessman. In the 80's, he turned two struggling hostess clubs into major money makers, and decades later is in charge of a profitable and legitimate construction company, in addition to running his own family in the Tojo clan to cockblocking two upstarts in a bid for the Captain position in the Tojo Clan at the very last moment when everyone thought he wasn't bringing in money.
- The only thing in his room while he's stuck in his gilded cage situation in 0 is a radio. Given how well he sings during this time, it's another hint to his enjoyment of music.
- He's pretty serious about taking better care of the environment. It was all the talk back in the mid-eighties, and he loses his shit in Kiwami when he sees a man put his plastic in the trash instead of the recycle bin where it belongs, thinking it's a man's civic duty to do so.
- Image Song: "Majima no MajiROCK", a bonus music track sung by Majima's voice actor given to those that preordered Kurohyō 2: Ryū ga Gotoku Ashura hen.
- In-Series Nickname: In 0 at least, several different people seem to be fond of calling him "Slim".
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: It's revealed in 5 that he was secretly married to Mirei Park, and she had an abortion without telling him to protect her career as a pop idol. He left her afterward, but also told her that he didn't want to get in the way of her pursuing her dream. In the ending of Yakuza 0, he also leaves Makoto in the care of her doctor after making sure he'd do anything to protect her.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In Dead Souls, he harshly yells orders at the survivors barricaded in the building to block the entrances to keep the zombies out as well as find any food or water to ration out. A moment later after sending the survivors their orders, a little girl thanks Majima, catching him off guard. She asks if he's there to save them, in which Majima's demeanor softened, saying that yeah, he's there to save them. The girl praises him, comparing him to a superhero, and goes to do what she can to help out. Majima then commented how that moment "killed his buzz" from before.
- Majima takes orders from "the strong", but it's clear that this he will not do things that go against his moral code. For example, he refuses to kill Makoto in 0 due to her being a blind, helpless civillian and a woman.
- Leitmotif: All of which are remixes of "Receive You":
- "Receive You - The Prototype" in 1, 2, Kiwami and Kiwami 2.
- "Receive and Stab You" in 3
- "Receive and Bite You" in 4
- "Receive and Slash You" in 5
- "Receive You the madtype" in Kiwami.
- Kansai Regional Accent: Implied not to be a legitimate one, as several characters remark on it in the fourth game. He amps it up when he tries Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In Dead Souls, when Majima gets bitten by a zombie, making him believe sooner or later he'll meet the same fate. He sees a man administer an "antidote" to a bitten victim, which removes the zombie virus from him. Majima immediately offers to buy a dose, which the man sells to him at an insanely high price. It was then revealed the seller and the "victim" were in cahoots and the whole zombie antidote was a scam. Majima angrily chases them down to make them pay for trying to con him, then finds them surrounded by zombies in their bid to get away. The con artists beg Majima to save them, who retorts they shouldn't worry if they get bit since they got a lot of the "antidote" to use on themselves, prompting them to confess it was all a scam. They fearfully promise to return Majima his money if he saves them from the zombie horde and get them to safety. Majima gladly takes back his money, but leaves the con artists to the zombies as payback for trying to cheat him.
- Knife Nut: In SPADES. His signature weapon is a tanto given to him by Sagawa and dubbed the Demonfire Dagger in 0, which he handles with... rather disturbing fondness. His final unlockable stance in 0 is to use it.
- Even more disturbingly, the fourth game reveals it's the same weapon he lost his left eye to.
- Madness Makeover: As shown by 0, he has a much cleaner appearance in his youth.
- Man in White:
- In Yakuza 0, he dons a bright blazing dance uniform during the Imagine Spot for "24 Hour Cinderella", which became available to wear in the game's Premium Adventure. He dons the same outfit in Kiwami as Everyone's Idol Goro after it was sitting in the closet for nearly 20 years.
- When he joins the Cabaret Club GP in Kiwami 2, he's sporting a white suit.
- Mood-Swinger: Majima can switch from one mood to another by a flick of the finger. One second he's a calm and collected yakuza boss, he's a raving madman the next. And let's not get started on karaoke.
- More Expendable Than You: Part of his reasoning for joining Kurosawa in the climax of Yakuza 5 and agreeing to fight his blood brother to the death, in order to save Haruka and not just for Kiryu's sake.Saejima: You actually gonna do this, brother?Majima: We don't, and her dream dies in front of 50,000 people. Ain't many who'd mourn our deaths. Wasn't a hard choice.
- Multi-Melee Master: In 0, as well as having two styles based on the usage of a knife and a bat, he can obtain and learn how to use various exotic weapons such as tonfas, nunchucks and dual swords.
- My Greatest Failure: The failed Ueno Seiwa Hit in which he and Saejima were set up, which cost him his eye and landed his blood brother in prison. In 0, he's eager to get back into the Tojo Clan so he can make amends with Saejima when his sentence ends, and still laments about it in Kiwami.
- Neck Snap: One of his HEAT moves in 0 called "The Essence of Choking".
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Remember how Yakuza 0 took place at the height of Japan's bubble economy? Guess who was indirectly responsible for bursting it?
- Noble Demon: Majima is actually quite honorable despite being a total nut, and his loyalty knows no bounds.
- Now, That's Using Your Teeth!: Does this with one Heat move from Breaker Style in 0. He stops a katana/wooden katana mid-slash with his chompers and kicks the guy in the head before throwing the sword right back at their gut, it just ricochets off if the Katana in questino is wooden.
- Oblivious to Love: In 0, apart from not picking up on Makoto's feelings, he also isn't aware that every girl working in his club is in love with him.
- One-Man Army: The second and fourth games show that he's easily capable of this, although they happen offscreen. Being Promoted to Playable in Yakuza 0 shows he's right up there with Kiryu, particularly toward the end.
- Pet the Dog:
- Goro Majima can be unpredictable at times, showing that he's not completely evil despite being a Psycho for Hire. The same scene takes on a deeper meaning considering what we discover in 0 and 5.
- Like Kiryu, he's made of this trope throughout Yakuza 0 in his substories and running the Sunshine Cabaret Club.
- Promoted to Playable: He's always been a major character in the series, and finally became playable in the spin-off Dead Souls. He was finally playable in the main series as the Deuteragonist of Yakuza 0, and Kiwami 2 introduces a new scenario following the events of the first game where he's playable once more.
- Pungeon Master: He makes a lot of silly puns in his substories in 0.Majima: (at the end of Crossed Words) Your own words are what get ya through life's toughest spots. Even when ya gotta... cross words. Heh... High five, brain.Majima: (possibly during Disciple of the New Order) Wanna avoid dangerous cults? Just practice safe sects!
- Put on a Bus:
- In Yakuza 4 Daigo sells him out to the cops and thus he's absent for the final confrontation. Considering that Majima is both a powerful patriarch and a top-class fighter he HAD to be taken out of the picture. He comes back at the end just in time for the inauguration of the Saejima family.
- In 5 he spends most of the game pretending to be dead with a lot of his involvement going on behind the scenes. He only shows up for the final chapter.
- In 6, he makes a brief appearance in the prologue, gets arrested along with Daigo in the opening chapter, and is absent throughout most of the game's story, only showing up again during the ending scenes. You can, however, use him in the Clan Creator mode if you purchase his card on the PSN store.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Really starts with his big pink truck in 3. Then we get Yakuza 0 with his very Camp karaoke imagine spots, and his fluffy pink fan during his disco performances. In Kiwami, he also gets into Pocket Racing and MesuKing, and takes the trope literally as "Goromi".
- 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. Saejima faces him again in 5 as his Final Boss.
- Taken to ridiculous extents in Kiwami, where Majima specifically stalks Kiryu in order to ambush him wherever he goes.
- Red Baron: The "Mad Dog of Shimano". At times he's referred to as "Mad Dog Majima", and in 0 he's known as "Lord of the Night".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kazuma's blue. The roles were reversed in 0.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In 0, after Makoto is (non-lethally) shot, he storms into the Dojima Family HQ to rip everyone there a new one. He's only stopped from killing Sohei Dojima and his hitman Lao Gui by Sera.
- Running Gag: Despite his missing eye not slowing him down in battle, it's used as a joke a couple times, like missing a girl he was flirting with in Yakuza 0 because she was standing on the wrong side of the street, or peeking around a corner in The Movie on his eyepatch side.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
"I know you made a mistake but as the Patriarch you have to owe up to it, if you say right then is right and if you say it's wrong then is wrong! That is way of the Yakuza. I don't like your decisions but in the end I will follow orders.
- He leaves the Tojo Clan in Yakuza 2 because he couldn't put up with Terada or the way he was running things. Expanded on in Kiwami 2 as he will still respect Terada's decision even if he doesn't like it.
- Expanded on in Kiwami 2: After Ibuchi hires Ryota, a subordinate of Majima's to kill people in Omi turf and thus provoking a war. Majima was able to expose Ibuchi's plans but Ibuchi commits suicide to avoid being tortured by the Tojo clan for conspiracy to usurp the Tojo. With war looming on the horizon, Majima willingly offers to disband his family in exchange for a temporary peace which is rendered moot as this was done with the planning of a certain Omi Clan member.
- During the first Tojo meeting in Yakuza 3. When he sees all the families trying to up each other, trying to kill Kiryu or searching for the Kazama look-alike, while Kashiwagi is trying to be the mediator ... Majima told them to do whatever they want, he couldn't care less, before leaving the room.
- Played for Laughs in a substory in Yakuza 0, where he swears off drug testing for life, and heads straight for the door when he's expected to stay on board for the sake of science.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: His unique weapon in Dead Souls is a combat shotgun and even has his own exclusive MJM-class shotguns that are purchasable weapons in later games.
- Slasher Smile: At times, he'll show a particularly crazy grin with a wide eye. One of his Heat actions in 0 and Kiwami 2 has him kick a knife into his enemy, and pull it out with a large smile on his face.
- Stance System: In 0 he's given his own, unique styles that contrast with Kiryu's.
- Thug is his default. As opposed to being an unskilled brawler like Kiryu, Majima is more refined and precise. He can disorient opponents leaving them open to nasty follow ups.
- Slugger is based around the use of a baseball bat, for both heavy swings and fancy twirls. Powerful, but also slow.
- Breaker has Majima doing dance moves as attacks. Certain combos let him pose to gain a lot of HEAT. Quick and very good for crowd-clearing, but often leaves him off-guard.
- And of course his Legendary "Mad Dog of Shimano" style, allowing players to actually play as Majima as depicted in his boss fights, being a Confusion Fu-centric Knife Nut.
- Stealth Mentor: In Kiwami, he stalks and fights Kazuma only to get him in a better physical condition and knock off the rust after his 10-year imprisonment.
- Strength Equals Worthiness: As mentioned in the quote above, it plays a large part in why he holds Kiryu in such high regard, but usually won't help him unless Kiryu bests him in a fight. However, with Saejima, Majima has him kicked out of the Tojo Clan in Yakuza 5 solely because he thought Saejima had grown weak and soft. It's only after his defeat in the finale that he treats his Blood Brother on the same level once more. It's also the reason why he follows Shimano, acknowledging his brutality.
- Stylistic Suck: Anytime Goro picks up the microphone at karaoke, he deliberately makes his voice sound as screechy and off-tune as humanly possible just to further add to the crazed, wacky image he projects. Yakuza 0 proves that he's actually a pretty good singer when he puts his heart into it.
- Tattooed Crook: His tattoo is a very appropriate Han'nya figure.
- 10-Minute Retirement: In Yakuza 2, he leaves the Tojo Clan to start up Majima Construction, but he's convinced by Kiryu (the usual way) to go back, and does by the beginning of Yakuza 3.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: He has this attitude toward Kazuma in the first game, demonstrated after his first boss fight when one of his underlings pulls a knife and Majima takes it for him.Majima: Kazuma... is my friend, you stupid fuck! Only I get the privilege of killing him!
- He pulls this again in Yakuza 2 in the endgame, telling Kiryu that he'd better not lose to Goda since they still have unfinished business, and would mess him up if he did.
- Tranquil Fury: People are a lot more scared of him when he's calm, like during a business meeting.
- Unwitting Pawn: He gets used by Shimano in Yakuza 0, enough that he goes full Heroic B.S.O.D. mode when he learns the truth.
- Use Your Head: When the gang needs help accessing Purgatory's systems in Yakuza 2, his solution is to headbutt the desk repeatedly until it descends below. He had a hard hat on, though it probably made little difference.
- Warm-Up Boss: He's the first boss in Yakuza 3, which is by far the easiest fight against him, but a bit too easy to be the last in the game...
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His default outfit has him wearing a suit jacket that's always wide open. Like the others, he'll occasionally fight shirtless, exposing the Oni tattoo he wears on his back.
- Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Fei Hu can teach a specific style when using Wooden Katanas.
- Wolverine Publicity: He is one of the most recognized characters of the series, and his unique character led him to be Kazuma's partner in Project X Zone 2.
- Younger Than They Look: Lampshaded a lot in 0 to the point where it irritated him how people kept calling him "sir" despite only being 24 by then. Ironically enough, the reverse occurs once he's reached his fifties, looking about the same as he did in his mid-thirties.
Voiced by: Koichi Yamadera
- "Money changes peoples lives. I just like to see it happen up close and personal."
The first of the three new playable characters starting from Yakuza 4. 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 related to the events of the first game. 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. He returns in Dead Souls to witness and take part in fighting the zombie outbreak, and in Yakuza 5, where he opens a new branch of Sky Finance in Sotenbori only to discover the death of a colleague, and helps Haruka discover the truth behind it.
- 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 Baritone: His voice sounds charming and smooth to listen to.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Wears a nice maroon shirt with black pants.
- 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.
- Breakout Character: Of the new Yakuza 4 characters, he's gets the most screentime in follow-up games. Tanimura, the character who actually fights the final boss doesn't even show up in Dead Souls or 5, and Taiga returns in 5 but in a new design.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Is too lazy to clean his office leaving it a complete mess and often forgets about or delays collecting loan payments to goof off. However, he's also a business graduate from a top-level university and knows where everything in his office is to the point where he knew something was off when the books on the shelf hiding his vault were out of order.
- He also has no known history of formal training in martial arts or just experience with street fighting like most of the cast prior to 4 but is naturally gifted with agility most men would die for and can kick ass with the best of them. It's possible he's self-taught due to having to deal with rival money lenders and the rough environment of Kamurocho, but it's never explicitly explained.
- The Champion: He becomes Haruka's in Yakuza 5 after her chapter takes a tragic turn and she needs a little muscle in Kiryu's absence.
- 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 in Yakuza 4.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Wears primarily black with a mauve blazer but is the nicest and goofiest of the main characters.
- Deadpan Snarker: Comes with being arguably the most lighthearted out of all the Yakuza 4 protagonists.
- Death from Above: His unique mechanic in 5 allows him to do aerial combos and his Meteor Strike Climax Heat is a nasty curb stomp from about ten feet in the air.
- Dueling Player Characters: He and Tanimura team up against Kiryu in the fourth game, mistaking him for one of Katsuragi's men. They get their asses handed to them, since it's Kiryu's chapter.
- Extremity Extremist: He fights almost exclusively with kicks, though he's not entirely averse to using his hands.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
- 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.
- Guest Fighter: His Dead Souls incarnation appeared as a DLC character for the Japanese version of Binary Domain.
- Guns Akimbo: His preferred unique weapons in Dead Souls. While lacking in firepower compared to the others' weapons, his pistols have unlimited ammo just like the default sidearms.
- Idiot Ball: 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.
- Inexplicably Awesome: His martial arts skills are never touched upon. He just happens to be a world-class fighter, despite his background being a stock trader and then homeless guy. He can keep up with Kazuma who has spent years fighting and training.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: With an emphasis on speed, since he's not squishy enough to be a Fragile Speedster. His individuals strikes may not hit very hard, but he does so many of them that they add up quickly.
- "Speed Star" in 4
- "Affected fight" in 5
- Launcher Move: Can perform air combos Rival Schools-style in 5.
- 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.
- Limit Break: His Climax HEAT techniques in 5:
- Final Drive: An overhead spinning axe kick which launches airborne enemies downwards.
- Meteor Strike: As the name implies, it's a Meteor Move where Akiyama leaps into the air and curbstomps his foe's face.
- Killer Kick Combo: Akiyama launches a brutal 11-hit combo culminating with a spinning side kick to the face.
- Meaningful Name: The meaning of his first name "Shun" has various connotations of "speedy" or "a fast person", and his combat style makes him the series' resident speedster.
- 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: As a sign of how slovenly he can be.
- Rags to Riches: He was living on the streets after losing his job as a banker. Luckily, he was right near Millennium Tower when a bomb was set off on its 60th floor, and he managed to snatch up some of the money that fell, using it to start Sky Finance and get a second chance at life.
- Red Is Heroic: Wears a purplish-red jacket and is one of the main protagonists from 4 onwards.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Taiga, Hana and Tatsuo's red. Ironically, he wears a red jacket, as mentioned above.
- Riches to Rags: Downplayed: in 6, Akiyama was forced into hiding as a result of escalating violence between the Tojo Clan and Saio Triad. To that end, he sold off his business and returned to living on the streets. By the end of the game, however, he is planning to reopen his office and resume business.
- Secret Test of Character: How he decides if his clients are deserving of a loan or not.
- The Smart Guy: Definitely has this role in Yakuza 5, often devising plans and strategies form the team.
- In the ending for Yakuza 6, he doesn't buy the story behind Kiryu's fate.
- Trash of the Titans: He really can't keep an office clean without Hana around.
- Uncle Pennybags: The real reason he runs his loan business. He wants to give people money for free, he just wants to make sure they deserve it. He even says it himself, as in his page quote.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: In one of the fifth game's substories, he encounters a group of schoolgirl bullies who try to pressure a girl into prostitution so they can use the money to go party. When one of the girls calls her brother and his gangster friends to take care of him, Akiyama gladly takes his anger out on them instead, saying he has a thing against hitting girls.
- Younger Than They Look: He's only 32 in Yakuza 4 but is viewed as much older by a variety of characters, with one NPC even wondering he has grandchildren. His older appearance (despite being just three years older than the youthful looking Tanimura) may simply be that the stress of going bankrupt and living on the streets aged him quickly.
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama
New playable character number two debuting in Yakuza 4. An ex-yakuza who infamously gunned down 18 yakuza in a noodle shop, and has spent 25 years in death row. After he learns he was set up, he breaks out of prison and 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 Katsuragi of the Ueno Seiwa clan, who was the real killer. He is the oldest and strongest of the four protagonists, and by the game's end, he's brought back into the Tojo Clan and made the boss of the Saejima Family.He also returns in Yakuza 5, turning himself in for the events of the previous game, but near the end of his sentence, learns that there are forces out there trying to prolong it, and escapes once again. In Yakuza 6, he returns to jail again to fulfill his previous sentence.
- Animal Motifs: The tiger. Naturally, he and Kazuma end up fighting after they've barely spoken.
- Badass Baritone: Speaks with a low tone.
- Badass Grandpa: He's in his fifties by 6, but age has not made him weak, and he's still built like a brick shithouse.
- Badass Longcoat: He's always wearing an beaten old coat.
- Badass in Distress: He's captured in the climax of Yakuza 4 along with his step-sister Yasuko. They catch up while Kiryu comes to their rescue.
- Bald of Awesome: As of 5, he's shaved off his hair.
- Barbarian Longhair: In 4 and 5's imagination segments.
- The Big Guy: He's the strongest guy of the bunch and one of the tallest.
- Big "SHUT UP!": When the crowd boos at him for not killing his first defeated opponent at a tournament deathmatch, then he gives them a touching speech about how murdering people traumatized him after the 1985 incident, and he sees his victims' dying faces every night in his dreams.
- Blood Brothers: To Goro Majima, stretching back to their early careers in the Sasai Family of the Tojo Clan.
- And seeing what Majima goes through in Yakuza 0 to return to the Tojo Clan in case Saejima would eventually return, Majima is very fond of him.
- Boots of Toughness: When in civilian clothing he always has one. Gotta make sure those stomps to the face hurt.
- 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".
- In Yakuza 5, while he can win over the voluptuous Kaguya, he finds her to be more of a pain and doesn't express much affection for her. It's pretty much stated that their "private time" wasn't intimate, but rather spent talking about what his dreams and aspirations were. Not that it stops him from fantasizing about her in the hot springs and checking her out in air hockey.
- Charged Attack: He can charge up his Finishing Moves to hit even harder.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: He's had a very long time to work on his natural strength in prison. Most of his fighting style revolves around his sheer muscle, and he's the only playable character to be able to pick up motorcycles and smash people with them.
- It gets even more absurd in Yakuza 5 where one of his HEAT actions has him punch the ground so hard it knocks opponents off their feet by causing a MINI-TREMOR. Goro Daimon would be proud.
- Combat Pragmatist: Weapons, walls, enemies in any conceivable position... if it exists, Saejima has a finisher for it.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Black shirt, pale green tailcoat, snowfield camouflage trousers, black military boots and he is on the light side of the characters in the entire series.
- Desperation Attack: Saejima gets more and better finishers at critical health.
- Dueling Player Characters: He faces off against Kazuma after he broke out of Okinawa Penitentiary No.1. They fight each other again in the fifth game to lure out the game's mastermind. Notably, for their rematch, the player has control of which character they want to use, although it has no effect story-wise.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: During the events of 4, he had long hair that reached his shoulders. After going back to prison in 5 to make amends for the past, he has his head shaved.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: A lot has changed in the 25 years since Saejima was put away.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
- Friend to All Children: For a self-admitted bad guy and convicted mass murderer, Saejima sure has a soft spot for kids.
- Gentle Giant: He gives this vibe, especially in Yakuza 5, since he softened up quite a bit.
- Good Old Ways: Saejima's general reaction to just about everything, especially the state of the yakuza.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: The man has no issues with picking enemies up and using them to hit other punks.
- Hidden Depths: He's a pretty good singer.
- When he was a young boy, he wanted to become a school teacher. Needless to say, that didn't end up happening.
- Homeless Pigeon Person: Saejima himself as well as most of his friendly contacts.
- Kansai Regional Accent: He sports one.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Saejima's beatdown/torture of Kugihara in 5. It's brutal, bloody, but feels so good.
- Large Ham: He holds nothing back when he sings, but have him do "Lively Interjections" on Rouge Of Love and he takes it Up to Eleven.Saejima: EVERYBODY SAY ROUGE OF LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!
- "Massive Fire" in 4
- "Hailstorm" in 5
- Limit Break: His Tiger Essence Climax HEAT attacks in 5:
- Tiger Essence of Bashing: Saejima leaps into the air while taking hold of his opponent and plants them with a modified flying Tombstone Piledriver.
- Tiger Essence of Blitzing: Saejima charges his way through a group of enemies ala a football player before grabbing the last man, tossing him upwards and slamming him down.
- Tiger Essence of Shockwave: A massive Ground Pound which knocks all nearby enemies off their feet.
- Living Legend: Convicted of killing 18 yakuza in a noodle shop has made him one in the eyes of the underworld. Unfortunately, it also paints a huge target on his back.
- Manly Men Can Hunt: His unique sidequest in 5 has him take up hunting, with his ultimate goal being to hunt an extremely dangerous bear.
- Manly Tears: During his speech to the crowd chanting for blood in the Underground Coliseum.
- 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.
- Promotion to Parent: After his mother died, Saejima had to be responsible both his own and his stepsister Yasuko's welfare, as his father had left the family early on.
- Punny Name: His first name "Taiga" sounds like Tiger.
- 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. In Yakuza 4, anyway.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Goh, Kazuma, Yasuko, Shun, Majima and Masayoshi's blue. He changes to blue in 5.
- 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. Probably due to Maijima's unwilling role in Saejima's frame up.
- The Scapegoat: He didn't actually kill anyone during the hit of 1985. All of the revolvers he was given were loaded with experimental rubber bullets. Isao Katsuragi shot everyone at the shop to pave the way for his own promotion, and had his own blood-brother shoot him to make him look like a survivor.
- 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. This is combined with What Measure Is a Mook? and "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Tattooed Crook: A tiger, contrasting with Kiryu's dragon when they fight.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Compared to his initial personality, he's far more mellow in 5.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Saejima's fighting style is based around brute force more than finesse. Even his sword style is unrefined, but considering how absurdly strong he is he doesn't NEED to be fancy.
- Written-In Absence: In Dead Souls, his absence is explained as being on business for the Tojo Clan in China.
Voiced by: Hiroki Narimiya
The last of the new playable characters who only appears in Yakuza 4. 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.
- Bishōnen: Several characters remark on how pretty he is. A couple of guys even capitalize on it to pick up some girls.
- Blue Is Heroic: Wears a blue jacket and is one of the protagonists of 4.
- 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, including his Final Boss encounter against Munakata.
- But Not Too Foreign/Mixed Race: His biological mother is a Thai woman.
- Counter Attack: The meat of Tanimura's fighting style involves parries and counters.
- Dirty Cop: He occasionally demands bribes in return for providing info if the police would start a raid on places where illegal immigrants are working.
- Dueling Player Characters: He teams up with Akiyama against Kazuma in the latter's fourth chapter, when they mistake him for an enemy.
- Fair Cop: He's a policeman and he's also very pretty.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- The Gambling Addict: He often goes out gambling during his shifts. His only mention in Yakuza 5 is when the Amon Clan returns and seeks him out as well, and when the others fail to contact him, they suspect he's out gambling and unaware of the situation. They have Shinada take his place.
- Generation Xerox: Joins the MPD after his father was assassinated in the late '80s.
- 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.
- Inksuit Actor: His character design is modeled after Hiroki Narimiya, his voice actor.
- Ironic Name: His name "Masayoshi" means "righteous" or "just", but he's a Dirty Cop. However, his heart is in the right place, as he spends the bribe money towards helping immigrant orphans, which also makes this a Meaningful Name.
- 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.
- Leitmotif: "Infinite Handcuffs"
- Meaningful Name: "Masayoshi" means "justice" in Japanese.
- Older Than They Look: He's around 30, but looks 18.
- Omniglot: Tanimura knows just about every language you'd hear in Southeast Asia, including Chinese, Thai and Filipino.
- Justified since he appears to spend the majority of his time around non-Japanese speakers in Little Asia, and being half-Thai on his mother's side.
- Put on a Bus: Unlike the other new playable characters Tanimura hasn't make any onscreen appearances outside 4. He isn't forgotten entirely as other characters mention him in passing, but it's unlikely he will ever return, since his voice actor retired from acting entirely in 2016 after allegations of using cocaine.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Taiga's red.
- Say My Name: "Sugiuchi!"
- 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.
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa
- "Quit writing my life story."
One of the new playable characters who only appears in Yakuza 5. Shinada is an infamous baseball player who only had one at-bat. That at-bat ended up getting him banned from playing baseball due to accusations of stealing signs from the opposing team, the Gigants. Fifteen years later, he's an adult entertainment writer for a newspaper, is dirt poor and indebted to several people, and is too lazy to find a real job. His luck changes when he's approached by a Mysterious Backer to learn the truth behind his expulsion from the game. Who turns out to be his old friend from high school, Daigo Dojima.
- The Ace: A lot of baseball players see him as such.
- Badass Normal: Other playable combatants so far and since have been Yakuza, a loan shark and a cop. In other words, experienced street fighters with an intimate understanding of the criminal underworld. Compared to every other protagonist, his unarmed fighting style is simple and unpolished, while his interactions show he can be uncomfortable and a bit naive about some of the danger and darkness that other characters take in stride. But, being a Yakuza game, Shinada still solves a grand conspiracy, taking on countless thugs along the way, and even goes toe to toe with an Amon like the rest of the heroes.
- Berserk Button:
- He really doesn't take it well when people attempt to manipulate him. Also punched the hell out of Daigo for being a yakuza.
- Mistreating or taking advantage of women is also a good way to end up in the hospital.
- Baseball is sacred to Shinada. Disrespecting the game with fixing, cheating or even mistreating equipment is unacceptable.
- Book Dumb: Admits he wasn't a great student, but when it comes to baseball he's a walking encyclopedia. Furthermore he's able to come to some surprising deductive conclusions during his investigation into the Nagoya Family.
- Broken Pedestal: Punches the shit out of Daigo when he learns he's a yakuza boss.
- Butt-Monkey: The guy's surrounded by all kinds of misfortune and can't seem to get a break. Granted, a lot of it is self-inflicted.
- Childhood Friend: Daigo Dojima's. Daigo looked up to Tatsuo as a baseball player in high school, and even got himself expelled for the sake of the team. Tatsuo just regarded Daigo as a classmate.
- Chivalrous Pervert: He likes the ladies, but also respects women and doesn't take kindly to anyone trying to take advantage of them.
- Cowardly Lion: He's a natural brawler and is built like a Greek god, but this guy is terrified of his loanshark and lets half of the town pick on him. He doesn't want any trouble and actively avoids confrontation, but back him into a corner, mistreat women or disrespect baseball, and you're in for a world of hurt.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Aside from being a Lazy Bum, he comes off as quite dense on things that don't involve baseball. But he can also unload a can of whoop-ass on anyone that picks a fight with him.
- Deadpan Snarker: By far the snarkiest of the playable characters in Yakuza 5.
- Fall Guy: He was setup to take the fall for Fujita, his baseball trainer, who was involved in the gambling scandal.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Shinada is terrible with money, blowing what little he makes on girls and booze. He scrapes by as a half-starved magazine reporter with a hefty debt to a loanshark, plenty of money owed to his best friend and a long tab at a local eatery, not to mention an overdue rent payment for his extremely shabby home. Yet in his shoes, you can make yourself astronomical amounts of money simply fighting thugs, selling loot, running errands and even racing chickens. No matter what you have in your wallet, Shinada always claims to be too broke to even pay for a kid to play at the batting cage.
- Given Shinada's reputation in the city, any time he fights the thugs chances are they know someone Shinada owes and the money is written off as an iou. So it isn't money he earned that he is spending, but the money he owe at some point to another person or just used to pay off the tab on someone else's dime.
- He Knows Too Much: The very moment he looks into the scandal from 15 years ago, everyone and everything around him is out to kill him. None of the others have ever had QTE's popping up simply by walking around town!
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After he discovers that Fujita tried to have him killed, every regular he knows is part of the Nagoya Family, he decides to skip town instead of finding out the truth. Thankfully Takasugi is there to snap him out of it.
- Heroic Build: He might be lazy, but that sure as hell doesn't include his training regimen which consists of 5,000 swings, 1,000 sit ups, and 1,000 push-ups every day. And the work shows.
- Honor Before Reason: Suffers it the most out of any character. After Daigo reveals himself and gives him the money he promised, Shinada absolutely refuses to accept what could possibly be dirty money, even after Daigo tells him he won't be able to get back on his feet and pay off his loans without it. In the end, he gives all of the money to Takasugi, wanting him to spend the rest of the money to give his kids a good life (and Takasugi's not even married), which leaves Shinada next to nothing. But since Takasugi didn't had family anyways, he considers the debt forgiven and repays the gratitude for helping everyone in Kineicho through the events.
- I Know Madden Kombat: Played with in that while he uses a lot of baseball-inspired moves in his combat style and specializes in weapons, he refuses to use baseball bats as weapons. If he gets his hands on one in a fight, he takes a moment to look at it nostalgically before setting it on the ground.
- Keet: Has his moments.
- Knight in Sour Armor: What happened 15 years ago has left him very bitter.
- Lazy Bum: He's lazy, down on his luck, indebted to several people, doesn't bother to find a real job, and misses deadlines with the one he has. As some others point out, he only gets by from taking advantage of the goodwill of others.
- Leitmotif: "What a FUNKTASTIC hit"
- Likes Older Women: He likes all women, but he prefers Milky who's older than him.
- Limit Break: His Climax HEAT attacks, which have a lot of improvisation with weapons and are less refined than his comrades':
- My Essence of Bashing: When equipped with a blunt, baseball bat-esque weapon, Shinada ricochets it several times off an enemy before swinging for the head.
- My Essence of Dragging: Shinada trips and enemy, grabs their legs, and drags them on the ground face-first.
- My Essence of Whirlwind: With a longer weapon, Shinada can spin it around like a tornado to launch enemies and slam them down.
- Lovable Coward: Not a coward by average standards, but in a franchise full of veteran street fighters and hardened criminals he's the only one who's actually afraid of shady characters like thugs, loansharks and Yakuza. That changes.
- Multi-Melee Master: Starts with higher mastery than any of the other characters with most weapons. He also gets special weapons with infinite durability, Climax Heat moves using weapons, and has unique Heat actions for when he draws a weapon out.
- Naïve Newcomer: Since Kineicho is supposedly free of the yakuza, he's not familiar with them or how they operate, and is clearly in over his head when he accepts the job to find the truth behind the scandal years before.
- New Meat: He gets this treatment when the group is challenged by the Amon clan and fights in Tanimura's absence. He's anything but thrilled to fight against a clan of dangerous assassins, which Saejima in particular calls him out for, while Sango sees him as just another target to destroy.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Almost every one of his faults and shortcomings are Played for Laughs throughout his story, and he patronizes his enemies like none other.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kazuma, Shun and Taiga's blue.
- The Reveal: He's Daigo Dojima's friend from high school.
- Sacrificial Lion: Was sacrificed to ensure Tojo and Omi would get the hell out of Nagoya, installing a long period of peace without Omi and Tojo duking it out in the streets.
- Tender Tears: After defeating Baba in the Japan Dome and hearing from Takasugi about him earning a special service from Milky for a good discount and how much the locals of Kineicho missed him so much.
- The Scapegoat: Was banned because he was accused of cheating. The team did cheat; he just never knew about it, which makes him very similar to the famous American baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson.
- The Slacker: If it wasn't for the Mysterious Backer appearing before him and having Takasugi accept the job for him, he'd probably still be sleeping in and missing out on his debts.
- Spanner in the Works: Kurosawa clearly wasn't expecting him to interfere with his back-up plan.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Tanimura, he's also well versed in chaining Heat moves after normal attacks, with more emphasis on weapons than Tanimura's counters and grapples.
- Weak, but Skilled: Not Shinada himself, but his unique weapons. They're not as strong as other weapons, but they can't be broken, allowing Shinada to almost have a Stance System.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Some of his Heat moves involve a snap DDT and a Boston crab.
Voiced by: Masami Iwasaki
One of the main antagonists of the second game, Ryuji is the adopted son of Omi Alliance Chairman Jin Goda and the second Chairman of its Go-Ryu Clan. He was behind the Omi's involvement with Jingu in the previous game and was involved with Terada's supposed murder, in order to start a war between the Omi and Tojo Clans with the help of the Jingweon mafia. He's also determined to bring down Kazuma and claim the title of The One True Dragon. He's actually one of the Jingweon mafia survivors, and learns that Kaoru Sayama is his half-sister. He suffers from life threatening injuries at the end of the game after putting a stop to the Bigger Bad's ambitions, but doesn't go out until he and Kiryu have determined who the one true dragon is in one final fight.He was announced as one of the new playable protagonists in the spin-off title Yakuza: Dead Souls, a non-canon entry that allowed him to be brought Back from the Dead under a "what if" scenario where he was merely defeated at the end of Yakuza 2 and ousted from the Go-Ryu clan, and aids the others in their fight against the zombie outbreak.
- Arm Cannon: One of the things he returned to the series with, and that is only the beginning of his awesomeness.
- Artificial Limbs: His right arm is mechanical in Dead Souls, and can turn into an Arm Cannon.
- Back from the Dead: In Dead Souls, where he is still alive due to a "what if" scenario 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.
- Big Bad: He's behind most of the events of Yakuza 2, aiming to get the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance to destroy each other.
- Blood Knight:
- His aim in Yakuza 2 is to have the Omi Alliance and Tojo Clan go to war, with the cherry on top ending with Kiryu's defeat. When Kiryu confronts him the second time, Ryuji is more than thrilled to finally fight him to determine who's the real dragon.
- Yakuza 0 also shows that as an elementary school kid (and a very large one at that), he picked fights with high schoolers to see how strong they were.
- Bully Hunter: He won't admit it, but it's implied to be his motivation for fighting in Yakuza 0.
- Character Development: His arc in 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 Blond: Used as a contrast to Kazuma, although his hair is more than likely bleached. Yakuza 0 showed that as a grade schooler, he already had bleached blond hair and a tan complexion.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: In his half-sister's.
- 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.
- Faux Affably Evil: Tends to act rather chummy with some of his enemies while making his motives clear. In the second game, he attends Terada's funeral in proper attire and offers the clan money as a polite gesture, which would've been fine if he didn't have his men start a fight outside Tojo HQ beforehand, and mock them relentlessly about how pathetic they've become when he arrives. Basically, he paid his respects at a funeral by taunting those who attended.
- Final Boss/Climax Boss: He's fought twice in the endgame, but ultimately serves as the game's Final Boss. Kiwami 2 takes it up a notch; the man has ten health bars to go through, beating Aizawa.
- Forgotten First Meeting: In one of Kiryu's substories in Yakuza 0, after being told a fortune teller that he would soon meet someone whose fate he'd be intertwined with, he bumps into Ryuji, who was in Kamurocho as part of a school trip.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a light scar above the left side of his lip. It's much more profound and noticeable in Kiwami 2.
- Go Out with a Smile: In a surprisingly heartwarming scene.
- Guest Fighter: His Dead Souls incarnation appeared as a DLC character for the Japanese version of Binary Domain.
- Healing Factor: He's capable of doing this in Yakuza 2.
- Honor Before Reason: He openly dislikes trickery and manipulation, preferring to strike head on.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: His sideburns are basically muttonchops without a beard.
- Insistent Terminology: In 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.
- Kansai Regional Accent: Like many characters in Osaka, he sports one as well.
- Katanas Are Just Better: He often carries a katana as his Weapon of Choice in Yakuza 2 and doesn't hesitate to show it off, and even uses it in his second boss fight.
- Killed Off for Real: In the main series canon.
- The Lancer: Becomes Kiryu's toward the end of Dead Souls.
- Large and in Charge: He is a giant wall of muscle and is the head of a major gang.
- Yakuza 0 reveals he was about as big as Kiryu and Majima even back in The '80s. While they were in their twenties, he was a grade schooler.
- Leitmotif: Yakuza 2 gives him "Bad Fortune Flower", and "A Scattered Moment" for the final fight against him. Both songs return in Kiwami 2 as "Bad Fortune, Not Bad" and "A Scattered Eternal Moment".
- Light Is Not Good: Wears a light beige suit.
- Light Is Good: In Dead Souls.
- Long-Lost Relative: He's Kaoru Sayama's half-brother.
- Mercy Kill: In Dead Souls when he finds out Nikaido infected the takoyaki stand master Goda was training under, turning him into an octopus hybrid monster. Goda was forced to kill him to put an end to his suffering, using a method to kill octopus painlessly for ingredients taught by the old man himself.
- Noble Demon: See Evil Has Standards above.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Once Kazuma puts an end to the Go-Ryu's invasion of Kamurocho, which leaves him completely exhausted, Ryuji uses the opportunity to pull out his sword and finish off his rival. He doesn't go through with it, thinking it would be a cheap victory, and won't be satisfied unless he takes down Kazuma at his full strength.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: A villainous variant. In the second game he teams up with the Jingweon Mafia, but he couldn't care less about their quest for revenge for what happened years before. He just wants to wage war against the Tojo Clan and watch Kamurocho burn.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: See Even Evil Has Standards above.
- Promoted to Playable: In Dead Souls.
- Recurring Boss: In 2.
- Red Baron: "The Dragon of Kansai". Just don't say it in front of him.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kazuma, Kaoru and Jin's blue.
- Retired Badass: In Dead Souls, he leaves the Omi and takes up a new job as a takoyaki chef. When the Zombie Apocalypse hits Kamurocho, though, he comes out of retirement.
- The Rival: To Kazuma in 2, as they both believe there can only be one Dragon in Japan.
- Sequential Boss: Along with Daijin Kim/Yukio Terada.
- 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 Be Only One: Goda's adversarial role with fellow Dragon Kazuma boils down to a mutual belief that there can only be One True Dragon in the underworld, and he tries to face down Kazuma to that end.
- Took a Level in Kindness: The Ryuji of Dead Souls is a far cry from his nastier incarnation in Yakuza 2. Self-reflection has made him a changed man, to the point where he no longer seeks violence just for the sheer hell of it and has become almost as benevolent as his former rival, Kiryu is.
- Unknown Rival: Daigo has a good reason to dislike Ryuji, who the latter actually sent 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.
- Vocal Dissonance: His appearance in Yakuza 0 depicts him as a kid still in elementary school, and picks a fight with Majima. His voice sounds no different than it does as an adult.
- We Can Rebuild Him: In Dead Souls, with a chaingun attached to his hand if necessary.
- Worthy Opponent: He considers Kazuma one, and Kazuma is nice enough to return the favor.
- Younger Than They Look: Yakuza 0 showed that as a grade schooler he was already large enough to be confused for an adult wearing a kid's backpack. As a grown man, it's very easy to make the mistake of placing him around Kiryu's age when Ryuji is, in fact, over a decade younger.
Voiced by: Kazuhiro Nakaya
The protagonist of Shin Ryu Ga Gotoku, taking place after the end of Kazuma Kiryu's saga.A baby was abandoned in 1977 near a deserted soapland. The baby was given the name Ichiban Kasuga. However, Ichiban barely had anything resembling a family. His mother had worked in the sex industry and disappeared shortly after giving him the name "Ichiban". His father's identity is a complete mystery. Instead, Ichiban was raised by the various street rats that many would consider "the scum of the world", but to him, they were his family. As a teenager, he ignored school and any semblance of a career, and instead opted to pick fights with punks and lift money off of them. He eventually ended up biting more than he could chew after beating up the thug of a Yakuza, whom then came for revenge. At the hands of their torture, he attempted to threaten them using the name of the Arakawa Clan. Instead, this further angered the Yakuza. This would have been the end of Ichiban... had none other than the head of the Arakawa Clan, Masumi Arakawa himself, came in and ended the conflict at the cost of his finger. Moved by Arakawa's sacrifice and strength, he insisted on pledging himself to the Arakawa Clan, and approached Arakawa for a hundred days until the old man finally accepted him into the family.December 31, 2000; a member of the Arakawa Clan became implicated in a murder of a member of the Tojo Clan. Not only that, the member was Arakawa's sworn brother. If this case went the way it was going, the clan would have to be disbanded. In order to keep the clan alive, Ichiban would have to retire from the Arakawa and turn himself in, taking the blame for the murder. The next day, January 1, 2001; Ichiban Kasuga turned himself in, finally repaying Masumi Arakawa for his kindness.Seventeen years later, Ichiban was released from prison, only to discover that the Arakawa's presence had completely disappeared from Kamurocho. The city had completely changed, and Ichiban could no longer recognize the city. As Ichiban suffered in quiet despair, he was approached by a detective who offered him a lead on Masumi Arakawa, who he claimed had been the one who changed Kamurocho...
- Afro Asskicker: As an adult, his hair appears to be a small afro-like style.
- Badass Beard: Sports a nice chinstrap on him, and being a Yakuza protagonist, the "badass" is a given.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Shin Ryu Ga Gotoku announcement teaser had him punching out a thug who was rushing to stab Kazuma Kiryu. Of course, this being Kiryu, this was completely unnecessary, but Kiryu appreciated the sentiment nonetheless.
- Ironic Name: His name, Ichiban (一番), literally means "Number One". However, he was born with absolutely nothing and spent a huge chunk of his life as a mere street rat.
- Red Is Heroic: Similar to Akiyama, Ichiban wears a red suit. Unlike him, Ichiban's suit is a little shinier, lacks stripes, and has a white undershirt.
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: After his prison term was up, he discovered Kamurocho had not only completely changed, but the Arakawa Clan had seemingly vanished, causing him a great deal of sorrow.
- Street Urchin: Grew up as little more than a punk before becoming a Yakuza.
Voiced by: Kengo Tora (Kurohyou 1), Takumi Saito (Kurohyou 2)
The main protagonist of Kurohyou, son of Amamiya Taizan/Nagi Tooru, orphaned at an early age after a fire in Champion Street broke out, killing his mother and leaving him orphaned with Saeko who was old enough to be considered his legal guardian. Raised by the streets alone, he quickly became violent and temperamental and took up judo classes and excelled in them. Ultimately he get in a schoolyard fight that ends with a student ending up going comatose and Tatsuya being arrested. Sentenced to two years in Juvenile Hall Tatsuya would develop a strong resentment towards authority after his release as he drops out at the age of 17. Doing part time jobs and picking fights with fellow thugs and gangs in Kamurocho like most aimless youth.Tatsuya soon became a street fighter forced into fighting for the Kuki Family after he supposedly murdered Naoki Toda and stole from him. Tatsuya quickly proves himself and gains the title "Kamurocho's Raging Dragon" for his victories in the Dragon Heat and learns that Naoki miraculously survived and discovers that the events were part of the same fire that killed his mother and how it connects to the politics of the Tojo, the cops and the landowners. He later becomes a professional boxer but returned to the Dragon Heat after a new gang from Osaka calling themselves the Ashura started working for the Nioka family.
- Animal Motifs: Kurohyou directly translates to Black Panther, so it's pretty safe to say it's his Motif, but he's also known as "Kamurocho's Raging Dragon" which gives him the same dragon motif that Kiryu has.
- 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: Like every Yakuza main character, he's always up for a good fight. Before Yakuza 0 came along his heat moves were very brutal.
- Brawler Lock: Can engage with most bosses with these.
- Boots of Toughness: One of his outfits gives him these along with a leather jacket and jeans.
- 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.
- Dark Is Not Evil: A lot of his clothing has many shades of the color black, but considering he's a Yakuza protagonist he isn't that bad.
- Fingerless Gloves: When fighting in Dragon Heat, he ditches his civilian clothing for MMA-style clothing including the shorts and gloves
- 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.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Some of his special Heat Moves against bosses has him use their own styles against them.
- Identical Stranger: With his slicked back hair, Ukyo bears an uncanny resemblance to Nishiki.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Taizan was revealed to be Tatsuya's long lost father. Sadly, the reunion didn't last long.
- Man Bites Man: One of his Heat Moves has him chomp on his enemy... while accompanied by cartoon-ish chomp sound effects...
- Product Placement: His famous black tracksuit comes from the Dresscamp brand.
- Red Baron: He's also known as "Kamurocho's Raging Dragon".
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: He was rather enraged by Wardog's tactics during Ashura Hen.
- Wrestler in All of Us: As per usual with most Yakuza protagonist's he has a few wrestling moves in his moveset, he can do a leg capture, a pilecriver, or suplex someone into a railing for instance.
Random mooks consisting of yakuza, punks, hosts and young hooligans who constantly go after the protagonists if they're wandering about in their territory for their money or just to find an excuse for reasoning with them or harass them for fun.
- Actually Four Mooks: Comes in groups ranging from 4-7 men.
- Bullying a Dragon: They always decide to pick a fight with someone who can easily hand them their asses.
- Dark Is Evil / Light Is Not Good
- Discreet Drink Disposal: They won't take kindly to Kazuma or any other protagonist going around town while inebriated, even if they wanted a drink as well or not."Hey, you! You're inebriated. And you don't seem to have gotten permission. No one gets to booze it up around here unless I say so! It's time to pay up!"
- Gratuitous English: Sometimes in the fifth game, and the subtitles don't even match what's being said.
- Hey, You!: In the English version of the first game:"Hey, you!""Hey, I'm talking to you, man!"
"Oi!" [Hey!]"Chottomatte!" ["Wait a minute!"]
- In other sequels:
- I Shall Taunt You: In the English version of the first game:"You take me for a fucking fool?! Huh?!""Stupid old fuck!""I'm gonna kill your ass, Kazuma!"
- Kansai Regional Accent: In Sotonbori in the second and fifth games.
- Money Spider: They usually give up money after defeat, particularly in 0 where they outright bleed money.
- Mooks In White
- Mugging the Monster: More often than not, they just want your shit.
- Oh, Crap!: When some of their tougher peers get taken out or the player draws out a powerful weapon such as a sword or a gun.
- Piñata Enemy: The Rich Bastards in the fifth game and the Noveau Riche in 0, who drop a lot of money when defeated.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In later games, some will run off and escape from the battle after you've decorated the pavement with their friends.
- Silly Reason for War: There are only so many variations of shaking people down for money the developers could write, and some of the casi bellorum eventually degenerate into "I'm conducting a survey about how much people get their ass kicked!"
- Suicidal Overconfidence"Where the hell ya from? Ya got guts not to show me proper respect! I'll teach yer dumb ass some manners!""We're having a terrible day. Do you mind if we take out our aggression on you? What the fuck's up with that look on your face?! You must have a death wish, old man!"
So you're just going to stare at me, huh? I'll give you 3 seconds to get the hell out of here before I make you disappear! One...! Two...! Three...! Oops! Time's up!"
- They also have specific lines in Yakuza 3 if you look at them in third-person perspective.
- Too Dumb to Live: You'd think that word would get around to not mess with the guy in a grey suit. Though in the PSP spin-offs it turns out some gangs have their newbies fight Kazuma as a hazing ritual.
A clan of powerful, mysterious assassins that has existed for generations, and have appeared in each of the main games. The notorious Recurring Bonus Bosses of the series, they are fought once all of the side quests are completed. Their leader Jo Amon constantly targets Kazuma Kiryu with the goal of killing him to prove that he's the strongest, and is joined by his three brothers in later games. Dead Souls has Kiryu fight against Jo Amon's undead ancestor, Rasetsu Amon, and in the prequel, he fights the previous head of the clan, the elderly So Amon.
- Badass Family: They are a family of powerful assassins and none of them are to be taken lightly.
- Badass Longcoat: They all sport one, save Noa.
- Bonus Boss: They are fought once all other sidequests are completed and are by far the toughest opponents in the game, far above any of the game's final bosses.
- Casting a Shadow: Some of them have access to weapons that fire Frickin' Laser Beams made up of negative light or dark energy. Jo and Noa can summon a Kill Sat attack which does a lot of damage, while So can fire one from his cannon, which is usually a One-Hit Kill.
- Combat Pragmatist: When simply being really fast and tough isn't enough for them, they'll bust out superpowers such as firing explosive umbrellas or even call down an attack helicopter that drop down chairs that can stunlock you.
- Dark Is Evil: They all wear dark clothes.
- Ditto Fighter: Although they do have a few unique moves of their own, for the most part their moves are taken from other bosses and even the playable characters.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In the third game, Jo explains the clan's philosophy that killing is the natural order of all living things, and allowing weakness to live on is a sin. Kiryu responds by saying that he's against killing, and he believes that one should keep on living without running away, a recurring theme throughout the series. Jo says that he finds Kiryu's philosophy incomprehensible.
- Four Is Death: In the second game, Kiryu is challenged by four of the Amon brothers. It's not until he's joined by three others that they challenge him to a rematch in the fourth and fifth games.
- Somewhat averted in 5 due to Noa, who targets Haruka since she was raised by Kiryu.
- It's Personal: The reason why they keep hounding Kiryu is that he tarnished the clan's reputation as assassins by beating Jo in the first game. Their grudge against him gets worse with each defeat. In the third game, Jo even threatens to kill everyone Kiryu cares for, both before and after his boss fight.
- Mirror Boss: Most apparent in the fourth and fifth games with the new protagonists, they all fight like whomever character they're challenging. Jo even gains access to Kiryu's Red Heat and Ultimate Heat abilities, and even his devastating Tiger Drop.
- Murder, Inc.: According to Noa, the Amon Clan holds tremendous power and influence over every industry throughout the world, from entertainment to politics, which allows her to partake in the Princess League at the drop of a hat.
- Palette Swap: In Kiwami 2, the brothers are completely identical in appearance, save for different hair and a hat for Sango.
- The Perfectionist: They are determined to be the best, the strongest, and must achieve victory at any cost. Then Kiryu came along and ruined all that...
- Pride: They're all consumed by it, and they always challenge Kiryu over a sense of tarnished pride.
- Professional Killer: Each one of them. It seems only Kiryu and his gang have survived against them.
- The Rival: To Kazuma and his circle. Later games introduce different family members for each of the playable characters, including a daughter who serves as Haruka's rival in the Idol circuit.
- Sequential Boss: When they're fought in the fourth and fifth games. Kazuya is fought first, followed by Jiro, then Sango, and finally Jo. It's the same order Kiryu fights them individually in Yakuza 2.
- Sinister Shades: They all favor creepy shades, although Sango doesn't in Yakuza 2. They drop a pair upon defeat, which is usually an Infinity +1 Sword of some sort.
- Sore Loser: They become this from the third game onward. Considering the training they've put themselves through just to defeat Kazuma and his pals, they don't take being beaten well at all, and refuse to accept defeat. Noa seems to be an exception.
- There Can Be Only One: So Amon tells Kiryu that only one can be the world's strongest, and it must be someone within the clan.
- Training from Hell: They put themselves through all kinds of hell and go to unbelievable and extraordinary lengths for the sole purpose of defeating Kazuma and his friends.Jo Amon (Yakuza 2): I traveled to Mexico to learn the ultimate killing arts. Trained in the Himalayas. I swam ten laps around the frozen cliffs of Iceland to temper my heart to black steel. And now, I have Komaki's hidden masterpiece. All of this, just to defeat you. That's my one compulsion. My raison d'être.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: The clan has rules against men fighting women as well as the opposite, which is why Noa cannot directly challenge Kiryu and has to settle for Haruka instead.
The mysterious leader of the Amon Clan. In the first game, he issued a challenge to Kiryu after he completed all the side missions in order to determine which of them was the strongest, and has bore a tremendous grudge against him since. In the second game, he has his three brothers attack Kiryu while he defeats Komaki and steals his ultimate technique, just to lure Kiryu out to face him. The third game reveals he was behind the commission of the IF7 machine and used it to test himself and gain information on Kiryu. In the fourth and fifth games, his brothers join him to take Kazuma and the other protagonists down. In the prequel, he fights against Majima on his first assignment, while his father So Amon takes it upon himself to fight Kiryu knowing the threat he presents to the clan.
- All Your Powers Combined: Being the oldest of the siblings, Amon can use his brothers' fighting styles at the drop of a hat.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: When he challenges Kiryu in Yakuza 3, Amon threatens to kill one person important to him every month, followed by everyone who knows him if he refuses to accept his challenge. When he's beaten, he says unless Kiryu kills him, he'd eventually kill everyone he loved. Kiryu simply tells him he won't let him, and will fight him again when he's become stronger.
- Attack Drones: In the sixth game, he summons flying quadcopters that can not only stunlock Kiryu but also drop explosive mines.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: In Dead Souls, he appears ready to take on Kiryu as usual, wanting revenge for his students being turned into zombies. But he's upstaged by his undead ancestor Rasetsu Amon, who fights Kiryu for possessing his treasures. Jo decides to put his fight with Kiryu on hold out of gratitude for saving him, but refuses to put an end to their rivalry.
- BFG: He uses one as a special move in the Clan Wars minigame.
- Blood Knight: He sought out Kiryu to prove which of them is the strongest, and won't rest until he surpasses and kills him.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: He actually addresses the player when he's approached in Kiwami, telling them what the concept stands for. This leads Kiryu to do an Aside Glance, not realizing he's addressing someone else.
- Character Development: In the first game, he's simply the powerful Bonus Boss that's amazed at Kiryu's strength when beaten. In the second and third games, he carries a tremendous and personal grudge to the point where he won't hesitate to go after Kiryu's friends and loved ones. From the fourth game onward, although he still fights Kiryu out of a sense of tarnished pride, he seems more concerned with preserving the honor of his clan.
- Cool Hat: Sports one in Yakuza 0, not unlike Sango in recent games.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: In the sixth game, upon defeat he is unlocked as a unit in the Clan Wars minigame. Kiryu invites Amon to join his team thinking he'll be a great addition to it, which would also give him the opportunity to fight many enemies and grow stronger. And if Amon chooses, he can fight Kiryu whenever he pleases. Amon accepts, believing Kiryu will regret it and he's a fool to think the clan can be used that easily.
- Determinator: He won't rest until he defeats and kills Kiryu, and has practically dedicated his life to it.
- The Dreaded: In Yakuza 3, he's clearly this to Minamida.
- Dual Wielding: Most apparent in his earlier fights, whether it's guns or beam weapons.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In Dead Souls, after Kiryu saves him from Rasetsu Amon, he not only puts their rivalry on hold out of gratitude, but he also gives him access to his Kill Sat weapon.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: One of his attacks has him spinning wildly with his arms spread and you'll take a ton of damage if you're caught in it. Whether he's armed while doing this depends on the game.
- Evil Sounds Deep: 6 gives him a deep voice.
- Expy: His combat moveset and appearance shall make you believe the unbelievable.
- Genius Bruiser: He designed the blueprints of the IF7 machine himself.
- Graceful Loser: Only in the first game, where he's amazed at Kiryu's strength. In Kiwami, he pretends to be in good spirits but makes it clear Kiryu hasn't seen the last of him, but still isn't completely bitter about his loss. Averted to hell in the later games.
- Guest Fighter: He serves as a Bonus Boss for Fist of the North Star (2018). Unfortunately for him, Kenshiro doesn't have the same issues with killing that Kiryu does.
- Guns Akimbo: He was usually armed with a pair of guns in his earlier appearances, which made him similar to Arase.
- Kill Sat: He can use one in his fight against Kiryu in Yakuza 4. Defeating his zombified ancestor Rasetsu in Dead Souls has Jo hand this to Kiryu as a sign of thanks. Now enjoy stomping holes in every living thing in sight.
- Large Ham: Back during his first assignment in Yakuza 0, where he's shown trying to develop a stylish opening line before he takes on Majima.Jo Amon: I swear upon the honor of the Amon Clan that I will wipe you off the face of the earth, Goro Majima! No, no, that still lacks flair... My peerless fighting technique shall be the last thing you ever see! Yes, yes, much better.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's incredibly fast and you'll lose a huge chunk of your health bar (or all of it) if you let your guard down.
- Leitmotif: The third and fourth games give him "Hear This In The Game". In Ishin, he gets "Fiercest Warrior", which has been remixed for each of his appearances since.
- Made of Iron: He has by far the largest health bar out of every opponent, and can take an unbelievable amount of punishment. He'll brush off those heat moves like it was nothing.
- Playing Possum: He'll pull this in Kiwami when it seems his life bar is depleted.
- The Power of Hate: In the third game onward, this is what drives Amon's ambition to beat Kiryu and is what makes him such a fearsome enemy.
- The Rival: To Kazuma, who would like nothing more than for Amon to open his eyes and abandon their rivalry.
- SNK Boss: While the other brothers are tough but reasonable, Amon chucks any sense of fairness right out the window.
- Strike Me Down:
- After his defeat in the third game, he demands that Kiryu do this to him. He's infuriated when he doesn't, and says he'll start to go after everyone Kiryu loves. Kiryu simply tells him he'll kick his ass again if he tries.
- He pulled the same thing earlier in Yakuza 0 when he was beaten by Majima, who simply ignored it.
- Suddenly Voiced: As a character encountered only in sidequests, 6 marks the first time he is given full voice acting.
- Turns Red: Like Kiryu, he has the Red Heat and Ultimate Heat Modes at his disposal, both of which engulf him in a red aura.
- The Unfought: In Yakuza: Dead Souls, Jo is not fought against at all. Instead, he gets overpowered by his revived ancestor, Rasetu Amon, whom Kiryu is forced to fight against.
One of the Amon brothers who debuted in the second game, and eldest next to Jo.
- Beard of Evil: He sports a distinctive goatee when he's introduced in the second game. It's gone when he returns in the fourth and doesn't return for Kiwami 2.
- Dual Wielding: In the second game and its remake, he attacks Kiryu with a pair of axes that are almost twice his size.
- Lightning Bruiser: Dude is as fast as Akiyama, but hits harder. Oh, he's also impossible to hit with regular attacks while he's in Heat mode. Ouch.
- The Rival: To Akiyama.
Jiro AmonAnother one of the Amon brothers who debuted in the second game.
- Doppelgänger Attack: Gains one in the fifth game.
- Drop the Hammer: That is also Made of Explodium and can send a guy like Saejima flying.
- Guns Akimbo: In the second game, he simply attacks Kiryu with a pair of handguns, not unlike Arase or his brother Jo in the first game. He gets a machinegun in Kiwami 2 and is far more lethal.
- Healing Factor: Recovers health while in Heat mode.
- Implacable Man: If he's in Heat mode he'll just counter Saejima's grapples. In Kiwami 2, when has 1.5 bars remaining, heat moves do not damage him.
- Mighty Glacier: In the fourth game onwards, he's slowest of the brothers, but he hits like a truck on steroids.
- The Rival: To Saejima.
The third and youngest Amon brother who debuted in the second game.
- BFG: He wields a bazooka when he confronts Kiryu in the second game and its remake.
- Cool Hat: Wears one when he returns in the fourth and fifth games. He also sports it in Kiwami 2.
- Counter Attack: Against Tanimura, he'll utilize them as well.
- Guns Akimbo: Dual-wields machine guns.
- Improbable Weapon User: In the fifth game, he uses a giant pole with a penguin at the end as a polearm as well as an umbrella that causes explosions on impact.
- Power Floats: In the fifth game, after taking enough damage he starts levitating and firing umbrellas like missiles.
- The Rival: To Tanimura and Shinada.
The eldest daughter of the Amon clan introduced in the fifth game, she challenges Haruka because she was raised by Kiryu and sees her as his daughter. As the clan has an ironclad rule that prevents men from fighting women and vice versa, she's unable to fight him and win back the honor of the clan, and takes her frustrations out on Haruka instead.
- Black Sheep: She considers herself the disgrace of the Amon Clan because she was born a woman.
- Graceful Loser: For the most part. Haruka actually gives her some well-needed advice about what it means to be the best upon her defeat. Not only is Noa grateful for it, but the two depart as Friendly Enemies. She's not happy if you beat her again, though.
- Idol Singer: She's an idol who challenges Haruka in dance competitions. It's too bad fighting Haruka is her sole motivation, given her talent.
- Kill Sat: This is her primary attack during her dance battle, and the reason you want to keep her HEAT as low as possible.
- Only Sane Woman: Compared to the others, she seems to be the only sensible person in the Amon Clan after she's beaten.
- The Perfectionist: She's been raised to believe that you're either the best or you're nothing. She dreads bringing failure and shame upon the clan because she's a woman.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Downplayed. Her red sunglasses give her this vibe compared to her brothers. But she's not really evil, just competitive. And troubled.
- The Rival: To Haruka. She firmly believes that if Haruka is the best and she defeats her, she'll be the best and therefore worthy of the Amon name.
- Sinister Shades: Heart-shaped ones.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only shown female member of the Amon clan.
The previous leader of the Amon Clan and the father of Jo and his brothers, who takes it upon himself to face Kiryu in the prequel after seeing him in a dream and realizing he would become a threat to the Amon Clan's reputation as the world's strongest fighters.
- Badass Grandpa: He's the oldest of the Amon Clan and isn't any less formidable because of it.
- BFG: He starts off his fight wielding a freaking cannon, which he can also fire a Frickin' Laser Beam with.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: He confronts Kiryu because he had a dream about a man who suffered years of solitude, only to meet a young girl and become unstoppable like a dragon, and become a threat to the clan's reputation as being the world's strongest.
- Evil Old Folks: The oldest of the Amon clan, aside from Rasetsu.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: As pictured on the right, he does this to Kiryu before they fight.
- Improbable Weapon User: During the 2nd phase of his boss fight he ditches the cannon and can grab patio chairs/tables he has being dropped in by a helicopter and use them to fight.
- Power-Up: Along with the aforementioned patio chairs/tables, his helicopter also drops in nondescript drugs that give him Super Armor for a short time. However, nothing stops Kiryu from using them as well.
Rasetsu AmonThe distant ancestor of the Amon Clan and the first Amon assassin. He was killed in a war many years ago where his vengeful spirit lingered on in Kamurocho's underground system in the Dead Souls spinoff. After collecting several cursed relics, Rasetsu returns as a super-powered zombie, much to Jo's shock.
- Came Back Strong: Rasetsu was from a time long in the past, but was still considered very formidable. As a zombie, he's lost none of his strength and possesses inhuman abilities.
- Energy Ball: Rasetsu fires rapid volleys of energy balls that can cause knock back.
- Invisibility: When Rasetsu gets knocked down, he'll vanish from view until he attacks or is shot enough times.
- Kill Sat: Can rain black beams of death upon you.
- Made of Iron: Considering he doesn't stall even after repeated shots from an anti-material rifle, this counts.
- Mind over Matter: When he first appears, Rasetsu sends Jo flying with just a glare before taking on Kiryu.
- Neck Lift: Will do this to Kiryu if close enough. Not only does it do considerable damage, Rasetsu heals in the process.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Rasetsu is nothing like the mook zombies flooding Kamurocho, He's not even one of the mutant type monsters either, as if that were even necessary.
- Revenant Zombie: Rasetsu comes back as a zombie, but with all his fighting skills intact. There's a reason why he's the first Amon assassin.
- Sinister Shades: He didn't have them when he first appears, but after incapacitating Jo, Rasetsu is suddenly wearing them. That's the sign he means business.
- Super Speed: Despite being a zombie, Rasetsu can move very fast to the point his movement is like a constant Flash Step.
- Turns Red: Rasetsu will emit a red Battle Aura just before unleashing a barrage of energy balls.
Tetsuo NikaidoA lieutenant of the Omi Alliance who started the Kamurocho zombie outbreak
- Broken Pedestal: How Nikaido views Goda when the latter disapproves of the former's methods.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Unleashed a zombie apocalypse upon Kamurocho because Kiryu defeated Goda back in Yakuza 2.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Bent on making Kiryu suffer for what happened in the second game despite never even meeting him before.
Voiced by: Shinnosuke IkehataAn arms dealer who has allied himself with Nikaido.
- Arms Dealer
- Big Bad: Of the game.
- But Not Too Foreign: He's Japanese-American.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Looks like an older woman but is really a man.
- Karmic Death: He ends up getting killed by the very zombies he created.
- Mad Scientist: Behind the zombie outbreak and utterly convinced it's for the better of humanity.
- Man Behind the Man: Nikaido seems to drive the plot, but it's DD who is behind everything.
Reiko HasegawaA mysterious scientist who manages to get in contact with each of the protagonists to give them certain tasks in killing the zombies and mutants running amok in Kamurocho's quarantine zone.
- Hot Scientist: A researcher who is quite the looker.
- Jerkass Façade: Tends to be dismissive towards the characters, but is hiding her painful past.
- Mission Control: Technically this. Hasegawa will email you the current entry points to the quarantine zone as well as the establishments that need to be liberated of monsters.
Voiced by: Chiaki KuriyamaA JSDF soldier who is stationed in Kamurocho during the zombie outbreak.
Kurohyou 1 and 2
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.
- Killed Off for Real: In the drama.
- Not Blood Siblings: Saeko's parents were killed in the fire, with no other living relative, Saeko was adopted by Tatsuya's father.
: Voiced by: Kenichi SuzumuraOne of the new fighters in Dragon Heat and one of Tatsuya's friends. Shinji has aspirations of joining the boxing league and fights in the Dragon Heat to earn money and reputation. After being saved from Ashura thugs, Shinji proves himself in a match to Tatsuya. However his dreams were nearly cut short due to Shinobu beating him in a street brawl and leaving him comatose for a good duration of the game. He comes back after receiving rehabilation.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: After receiving treatment at a massage, due to the accupuncture affecting his brain he becomes bloodthirsty and aggressive, Tatsuya takes a near fatal blow from him to get him back to his senses and spends most part of the game rehabilitating.
: Voiced by: Jun FukuyamaOne of the new fighters in Dragon Heat and Tatsuya's friend. He joined the Dragon Heat to help support his orphanage until the Ashura arrived to challenge the fight ring's members. A lady's man, he gains the romantic interest of Saeko and comes to her rescue when Ginta kidnaps her from her bar. He would die in the rescue, found barely moments with the bomb wired to Saeko rearming as he takes bullets meant for Saeko as Tatsuya come too late to keep him alive.
Saito TomotsuOne of the new fighters in Dragon Heat and one of Tatsuya's friends. Tomotsu is considered the weakest link for the fact that he has one of the worst losing streaks in the Dragon Heat at 9 losses and zero wins. Face with possible expulsion, his tenth match comes up as he is soon caught between love and finding his own inner strength.
Ryou NogizakiThe 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's death as a result of Tadashi's scheming.
- 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 Family, a rival group competing against the Kuki Family in Kamurocho and business partners with Naoki Toda at the Chinese restaurant Chouraku as their front. He is from Osaka and serves as the main source of headaches for Tatsuya throughout the series as he has connections in both Osaka and Tokyo, in the first series he was nothing more than a petty loan shark who owns one fighter who Tatsuya must beat. In the second game he becomes much more prominent as he makes a wager against the Dragon Heat in a fight club faceoff with the Ashura, a fight club in Soutenboori as revenge for losing his prized fighter and Naoki's death.
Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan
Miyamoto Musashi/Kazumanosuke Kiryu
Portrayed by: Kazuma Kiryu (Takaya Kuroda)
- Blood Knight: Early shows signs of this.
- Declaration of Protection: To Majima's sister.
- Dual Wielding: One of the fighting styles allows him to wield two swords at once.
- Expy: Of Kazuma Kiryu.
- Graceful Loser: Accepts his defeat against Kojiro really quickly.
- One-Man Army: Literal example.
Ryu Ga Gotoku Ishin
Ryoma Sakamoto/Hajime Saito
Portrayed by: Kazuma Kiryu (Takaya Kuroda)
- Asskicking Equals Authority: His fighting skills impress everyone in the Shinsengumi, so that he's made the Third Squad leader the day after he joins.
- Expy: Of Kazuma Kiryu.
- Martial Pacifist: Even though he mows down hundreds of bad guys, Ryoma still refuses to kill anyone who doesn't deserve to die in his opinion.
- Sword and Gun: He can wield both, separately and together.
- You Killed My Father: The reason he looks for his mentor's killer.
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: His death kicks off the plot.
- Parental Substitute: To Ryoma and Takechi.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He saves Ryoma from an unjust punishment for protecting a woman and her child.
Portrayed by: Yoshitaka Mine (Shido Nakamura II)
- A Father to His Men: Despite being knows as the "Demonic Vice-Commander", Hijikata is respected by everyone in the Shinsengumi.
- Expy: Of Yoshitaka Mine.
- Necessary Evil: He considers the Shinsengumi to be this, reasoning that peace can't be achieved without blood being spilled.
- Mercy Kill: He kills Yamanami after Ryoma spares his life, since as a deserter, he would receive a harsher death.
Portrayed by: Goro Majima (Hidenari Ugaki)
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Subverted. The real Okita was said to be a handsome man who happened to die in his 20s, and is usually turned into a full-blown Bishōnen in adaptations. Here he's portrayed by Majima, who's in his 40s. This fact gets lampshaded by Ryoma.
- Blood Knight: If Okita finds a worthy opponent, even if they're on the same team, he won't stop until he kills them.
- Eyepatch of Power: Considering the person he's based upon, it's not surprising.
- Expy: Of Goro Majima.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Ryoma.
- Knife Nut: He wields a tanto with his katana.
- The Lancer: To Ryoma/Saito.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: While an opponent is distracted with a thrown sword, Okita can close the distance and stab them with his tanto.
Portrayed by: Taiga Saejima (Rikiya Koyama)
- Bald of Awesome: Since he's based on Saejima's Y5 appearance, that's a given.
- Expy: Of Taiga Saejima.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: His haori has its sleeeves torn off.
Kogoro Katsura/Matsusuke Niibori
Portrayed by: Shun Akiyama (Koichi Yamadera)
Portrayed by: Akira Nishikiyama (Kazuhiro Nakaya)
- The Dragon: To Takechi.
- Expy: Of Akira Nishikiyama.
- Leitmotif: "Innocence for Violence and "For Your Sake".
- Serial Killer: Implied to be on his killing spree while fighting Ryoma. Historical Okada was a hitokiri.
- Worthy Opponent: He considers Ryoma to be his.