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Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda, Darryl Kurylo (Yakuza, English version)
- "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 Fuma/Kazama, he and Nishiki followed in his steps and joined the yakuza under 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 when his boss had Yumi abducted and tried to force himself on her, but Nishiki murdered him to save her. 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.Shortly afterward, 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 Jingweon mafia. After putting an end to it, he and Haruka decide to leave Tokyo and move to Okinawa where they both run 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.
- 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.
- 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 slight subversion.
- Badass Baritone: Kazuma's voice is pure, unadulterated badass. He also uses it to great effect when 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 starting to go grey. 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. White pinstripe with a yellow shirt 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 "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: 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."
- Catchphrase: "Step forward if you want to die!", which in the dub of the first game is translated as the above.
- Character Development: Yakuza 0 show how he went from a young, brash, hot-headed asshole 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.
- 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: The ending scenes in 2 and 3 before the credits make it look like the end for our hero. After the credits, he's shown alive and well. However, the stinger for 5 makes it appear as if he's on his last leg, until he hears a familiar voice call his name.
- Does Not Like Guns: To the point that he outright brawls with zombies in the beginning of his act in Dead Souls. He manages to live with them, though - considering the nature of the undead, he doesn't have much of a choice. Gameplay in the main titles can subvert this, allowing Kazuma to pick up guns dropped by enemies and he has no problems shooting a pistol during car chases.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: Kazuma looks near identical to Takaya Kuroda.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: In the 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Man in White: Light greyish variant.
- In 0 he sports a white, pinstriped suit.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Neck Snap: One of his HEAT moves in Kiwami.
- 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: When he was younger, he ruined Fuma's chance at trying to stop the Jingweon massacre by negotiating with its leader while he was at gunpoint. Thinking Fuma was in danger, Kazuma attacked its leader, who Fuma shot before he could kill Kazuma. It was only then that poor Kazuma realized what was really going on.
- Odd Friendship: With Date, his Friend on the Force.
- 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 shown that yes, he is most definitely this. This is shown 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.
- 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 most manly 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.
- 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, "Dragon of Dojima" is his classic moveset minus the Komaki-style moves, while in Kiwami Kiryu expands the style, adding Majima's knife skills and moves to it.
- 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. He even dresses the part.
- Tattooed Crook: An appropriate silver dragon on his back.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: His anti-killing stance stems from the death of the 3 people whom he knew as family and his desire to be a good father figure for Haruka.
- Turns Red: He is the only 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 Fuma/Kazama, the man who raised him. It becomes a plot point in 0.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Nishiki, as seen in 0.
- 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.
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya, Debi Derryberry (Yakuza, English version)
- "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, 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.
- Affectionate Nickname: Refers to Kazuma as "Uncle Kaz".
- 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.
- 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.
- Designated Victim: Aside from getting kidnapped often, a lot of bad stuff happens to the poor girl. Even when she's playable.
- Deuteragonist: Of the first Yakuza, for all intents and purposes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- In the demo for 6, she's now twenty.
- 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 Character: Most people didn't expect that the fifth playable character in a Beat 'em Up series would be Kiryu's adopted niece.
- 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)
- "I only respect strength. You should know that by now. I don't take orders from weak shits."
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 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.
- A Father to His Men: Unexpectedly, his men as of Yakuza 3 are tremendously loyal to Majima. This is unexpected because in the first couple games (and the film) he's a...
- Affectionate Nickname: He tends to refer to Kazuma as "Kiryu-chan" or "Kazzy"/"Kazuma-chan" in the English translations.
- 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.
- Ax-Crazy: Indeed, he never flinches against danger.
- Badass: No matter what you say of Majima's mental health, his sheer badassery allows him to get away with most of his crazy antics.
- Badass Beard: A neatly trimed goatee.
- Badass Grandpa: He's in his fifties by 6 but is still a force to be reckoned with.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: If he's not wearing his usual yellow shirt, he'll be wearing this. It's also his default outfit in Yakuza 0.
- 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.
- Big Damn Heroes: Has his moments and does so in the most ridiculously awesome manner possible.
- Blood Brothers: With Taiga Saejima.
- Blood Knight: He'll find ANY excuse to have a match with Kazuma.
- 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 Kiwami, a remake of the first game, expands 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.
- 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.
- Combat Tropes:
- Batter Up: His Slugger style in 0 revolves around the use of a baseball bat.
- Confusion Fu: In contrast to Kiryu, Majima's fighting style is wilder and more frantic.
- 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.
- 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.
- Disguised in Drag: His expanded role in Kiwami has him stalk Kiryu to the point where he disguises himself as a hostess.
- Domestic Abuser: Downplayed as he only struck his ex-wife, Mirei Park, once in their entire marriage due to her erasing their child without telling him about it at all.
- The Dragon: To Kazuma from 2 onwards, making him one of the incredibly rare and incredibly awesome HEROIC examples: he's less The Lancer, and more just a force of nature that Kazuma unleashes on the underworld when needed.
- Dueling Player Characters: Subverted in 0, where he never actually meets Kazuma until after the main story.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Between 1985 and the events of 0, he grew his hair out long enough to pull it into a ponytail.
- Eyepatch of Power: As far as he's concerned, he was too powerful as it was with both of his eyes.
- Failed Attempt at Drama: When Majima and his men confront Kiryu in the batting center. 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.
- Final Boss: For Saejima in 5
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, leather boots...
- 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.
- Leitmotif: All of which are remixes of "Receive You":
- "Receive You - The Prototype" in 1 and 2
- "Receive and Stab You" in 3
- "Receive and Bite You" in 4
- "Receive and Slash You" in 5
- Kansai Regional Accent: Implied not to be a legitimate one, as several characters remark on it in the fourth game.
- Knife Nut: In SPADES. His signature weapon is a tanto, which he handles with... rather disturbing fondness. His final unlockable stance in 0 is to use it and bringing it out causes him to laugh maniacally.
- 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.
- 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.
- Neck Snap: One of his HEAT moves in 0.
- Noble Demon: Majima is actually quite honorable despite being a total nut, and his loyalty knows no bounds.
- One-Man Army: The second and fourth games show that he's easily capable of this, although they happen offscreen. In Yakuza 0, we get to see it when he decimates the Dojima family.
- 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.
- Promoted to Playable: Has always been a major character in the series, but finally became playable in Dead Souls. He's also the Deuteragonist of Yakuza 0.
- 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.
- 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, including disguising himself as a hostess.
- Red Baron: The "Mad Dog of Shimano".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kazuma's blue. The roles were reversed in 0.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: During the first Tojo meeting in Yakuza 3. When he sees all the families trying to up eachother, 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.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: His unique weapon in Dead Souls is a combat shotgun.
- 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 also tricky to use.
- And of course his classic Mad Dog 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.
- Tattooed Crook: His tattoo is a very appropriate Oni 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.
- Tranquil Fury: People are a lot more scared of him when he's calm, like during a business meeting.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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
- 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.
- The Charmer
- Chivalrous Pervert: He owns and frequents the most popular hostess club in Kamurocho, and his tests for his female clients always seem to include becoming a hostess for a period of time and/or going on a date with him. He can also romance the most hostesses of the four protagonists 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Too Dumb to Live: He keeps his entire fortune in apparently an unlocked vault in his office instead of at a bank. Unsurprisingly it ends up getting stolen by the police. Granted it's because he doesn't trust banks (he used to work for one that fired him after framing him for embezzling all of the stolen money from the first game) but still, it's a remarkably boneheaded thing to do.
- However, with the money he's throwing around for his business, and his reaction to said theft, and how he gets rid of it all without a problem in the end, it's very likely he just doesn't care at all. He has so much money, and makes so much money, it's lost all value to him.
- 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. As he says "money chances people's lives. I just like to see it happen up close and personal." He wants to give people money for free, he just wants to make sure they deserve it.
- 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.
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.
- Animal Motifs: The tiger. Naturally, he and Kazuma end up fighting after they've barely spoken.
- Badass: This guy can give Kiryu a run for his money and completely wreck much less skilled fighters.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Voiced by: Hiroki Narimiya
The last of the new playable characters and only playable in 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: His biological mother is a Thai woman.
- Counter Attack: The meat of Tanimura's fighting style involves parries and counters.
- Cowboy Cop
- Dirty Cop
- Dueling Player Characters: He teams up with Akiyama against Kazuma in the latter's fourth chapter.
- Fair Cop
- Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- Inksuit Actor: His character design is modeled after Hiroki Narimiya, his voice actor.
- The Gambling Addict
- Glass Cannon: Hits like a truck (especially after he gains the ability to chain his hits directly into Heat moves that all have followups), but can't take a hit to save his live.
- Guns Are Worthless: Tanimura carries a revolver, apparently for no other reason than to shoot it into the air every now and then.
- Justified in that the police aren't supposed to use deadly force unless absolutely necessary. And he does use the gun when chasing down Sugiuchi.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He gladly takes bribes and is a vicious gambler, but almost all of his dirty money goes on to support immigrant orphans.
- 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.
- 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 of 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 explusion from the game. Who turns out to be old his friend from high school, Daigo Dojima.
- The Ace: A lot of baseball players see him as such.
- Badass: He can kick a large amount of ass. He goes toe to toe with Daigo Dojima in his chapter.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Badass: Ryuji's fighting skills are every bit the match of Kazuma himself.
- Berserk Button: Never refer to him as "The Dragon of Kansai". There is only one True Dragon, and he aims to be the one.
- Bully Hunter: It's shown to be his motivation for fighting in Yakuza 0, where he's depicted as an early teen.
- 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.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: In his 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.
- Final Boss/Climax Boss
- 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.
- Honor Before Reason: He openly dislikes trickery and manipulation, preferring to strike head on.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner
- 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.
- The Lancer: Becomes Kiryu's toward the end of Dead Souls.
- 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.
- Kansai Regional Accent: Like many characters in Osaka, he sports one as well.
- Killed Off for Real: In the main series canon.
- Noble Demon: See Evil Has Standards above.
- Promoted to Playable: In Dead Souls.
- Recurring Boss: In 2.
- 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.
- 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 twelve year old, where he fights against 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.
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!"
- Green and Mean
- 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:
- 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 Extortionists in 0, who drop a lot of money when defeated.
- Purple Is Powerful
- Red and Black and Evil All Over
- 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.
- Turn Red
A clan of powerful, mysterious assassins that has existed for generations, and have appeared in each of the main games. The notorious 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 elder 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.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 while Kiryu takes on So Amon.
- All Your Powers Combined: Being the oldest of the siblings, Amon can use his brothers' fighting styles at the drop of a hat.
- 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.
- 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, reminding them what the word stands for. This leads Kiryu to do an Aside Glance, saying it's like they've known each other for ten years.
- 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.
- 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. He seems to retain this in Kiwami, where he's in good spirits after he's beaten. Averted to hell in the later games.
- Guns Akimbo: He was usually armed with a pair of guns in his earlier appearances, which made him similar to Arase.
- Guttural Growler: In the second game, where most of his voice clips consist of inhuman growling.
- 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.
- 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 gets remixed for 0 and Kiwami.
- 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.
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.
- Dual Wielding: In the second game, 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.
- Healing Factor: Recovers health while in Heat mode.
- Implacable Man: If he's in Heat mode he'll just counter Saejima's grapples.
- 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.
- Cool Hat: Wears one when he returns in the fourth and fifth games.
- 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 female member of the Amon clan.
A seemingly older member of the Amon clan who Kiryu fights in the prequel.
- BFG: He starts off his fight wielding a freaking cannon, which he can also fire a Frickin' Laser Beam with.
- 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.
Voiced by: Shinnosuke IkehataAn arms dealer who has allied himself with Nikaido.
- Arms Dealer
- Big Bad: Of the game.
- But Not Too Foreign: 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.
Voiced by: Chiaki KuriyamaA JSDF soldier who is stationed in Kamurocho during the zombie outbreak.
Kurohyou 1 and 2
Tatsuya UkyoThe main protagonist of Kurohyou, son of Amamiya Taizan/Nagi Tooru, Tatsuya is a street fighter who was forced into fighting for the Kuki Clan after he supposedly murdered Naoki Toda and stole from him. It turns out the guy he had killed was way tougher than he hoped Toda didn't live long however since he was silenced by the real killer Shindoh to cover up an insurance scam/assassination. He later becomes a professional boxer but returned to the Dragon Heat after a new gang from Osaka wedged into the turf and horrified by what they did.
- Bash Brothers: Tenma, Tatsuya's friend/rival. Tenma would sometimes be on the receiving end of Tatsuya's beatings but ultimately the only friend Tatsuya has throughout the years.
- Blood Knight
- Broken Hero: In the Drama, he is shown to be very emotionally unstable, especially after his sister Saeko's death at the hands of his friend
- Cynicism Catalyst: Saeko in the drama was killed by Naoto, a Drama only character.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: He is only 19 by the events of Ashura, too young to drink liquor at the bar, the Hostess Club Jewel offers a bunch of non alcoholic alternatives for him.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Taizan was revealed to be Tatsuya's long lost father, the reunion didn't last long though.
- Might Makes Right
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: He was rather enraged by Wardog's tactics during Ashura Hen.
Saeko UkyoThe sister of Tatsuya and the owner of the pub Scarlet, while she knows about her little brother being a bundle of trouble. She didn't know about how much trouble he got in when he supposedly killed Toda Naoki.
- 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
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 Clan, a rival group competing against the Kuki Clan in Kamurocho. He is from Osaka and serves as the main source of headaches for Tatsuya throughout the series.
- Karma Houdini: Despite having his plans to take over the protection business from Kuki, he never truly gets his just desserts. While he goes missing at the end of Kurohyou 2, he pretty much gets off scott free for what he has done to the Kuki.
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
- Dying Moment of Awesome
- Expy: Of Kazuma Kiryu.
- Famed In-Story
- Graceful Loser: Accepts his defeat against Kojiro really quickly.
- Killed Off for Real
- One-Man Army: Literal example.
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.
- 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: Averted. While the real Okita was said to be handsome man who happened to die in his 20s, 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.
- Leitmotif: "Innocence for Violence and "For Your Sake".
- Recurring Boss
- 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.