Kazuhiro Nakaya provides voices for both Starter Villain Akira Nishikiyama and new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga.
Akio Ohtsuka voiced both Defense Minister Ryuzo Tamiya in Yakuza 3 and Koichi Adachi in Like a Dragon.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, both iterations of Joon-Gi Han are voiced by Yuichi Nakamura.
Cash Cow Franchise: In its native Japan, the franchise is certainly this for Sega and shows no sign of losing momentum anytime soon. In the ten years since the first game, several sequels, spin-offs and HD remasters have been released, with almost every game becoming best-sellers and falling under Playstation's "The Best" line. A prequel and remake of the first game were released to commemorate the series' ten year anniversary, and the the seventh game in the main series was released recently.
IGN has announced that the Yakuza 6 and Yakuza Kiwami will both be released to the western markets. This comes as a great surprise to fans of the series and it is an appreciated gesture from Konami, who really need to fix their image after the Kojima controversy and all the dirty secrets of the Konami production process that were disclosed. Yakuza Kiwami is a remaster of the original Yakuza game, which will feature the original title, paired with bonus content. The new additions to the game include an extended soundtrack, new cut scenes and completely reworked textures.
Possibly unintentional example. Andre Richardson in 3, who is voiced by Charles Glover, receives an Expy in Ishin named Thomas Glover.
In the live-action film, Goro Majima is portrayed by Goro Kishitani.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: The western versions of the first four games (especially the PS2 titles) were given relatively low print runs, turning them into sought-after collector's items. After the release of Yakuza 0, Sega saw fit to reprint them and sell them directly to online retailers, making them affordable to players who missed out on them the first time.
Meme Acknowledgment: At the height of series staple karaoke song "Baka Mitai" gaining widespread recognition as a meme due to deepfake technology allowing for edits of anyone and everyone singing it, Kiryu's voice actor Takaya Kurodatweeted about it, thanking everyone.
Milestone Celebration: In Japan, Yakuza 0 and Kiwami were both marked as 10-year anniversary projects, released in 2015 and early 2016 respectively, with the latter being a Video Game Remake of the original 2005 game. Outside Japan, Yakuza 5 was released on December 8, 2015, ten years from the Japanese release of the original game.
Newbie Boom: Outside Japan, although the series had a solid but niche following, many got their first start when the series jumped onto the PlayStation 3 with Yakuza 3. Following the demand for Yakuza 5, Sega decided to localize and publish Yakuza 0, which became a breakout hit and drew in several new fans to the series. It helps that as a prequel, it serves as an excellent starting point that doesn't require prior knowledge of the story or characters from the previous five games. 0 and Kiwami both became "Playstation Hits" titles in North America, a first for the series.
No Dub for You: The original PS2 game was dubbed in English for its western releases, but due to poor sales all the sequels were brought over with Japanese voices only in order to cut down localization costs. However, after the series enjoyed a resurgence in the west thanks to Yakuza 0, they started doing English dubs once again with the spinoff titles Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise and Judgment, and Yakuza: Like A Dragon' is the first mainline game since the original to have an English dub.
While all the mainline games have all seen Western releases in some form, the same cannot be said about Kenzan! and Ishin, the two period-themed spin-off titles, nor to the Kurohyou spinoff line that was available exclusively on the PSP. For a while, an English localization of Yakuza 5 was uncertain due to the poor sales of previous games in the west, but strong support from Sony's #BuildTheList campaign made it possible. However this came with one caveat: because the English version came out late during the PS3's lifespan in 2015 (three years after the Japanese 2012 release), it completely skipped over any physical disc release and went straight-to-digital on the PlayStation Store.
This applies not only to whole games, but also to specific versions. Ryu Ga Gotoku 1 & 2 HD Edition for the PS3 and its Wii U port, Ryu Ga Gotoku 1 & 2 HD for Wii U, were completely skipped over despite the fact that both games in the collection were already localized, likely for the same reasons that Sega considered skipping over Yakuza 5. And while Yakuza 0 and Kiwami were both localized late like Yakuza 5, they were released strictly as PS4 games in the west, as Sega opted not to bring over the PS3 versions.
The Other Darrin: Kiwami saw several voice actor changes due to either the voice actor passing away or from retirement. Key replacements include Shindo's and Terada's voice actor (Tomoyuki Dan and Kenji Nomura) and a majority of the actors in Yakuza Kiwami, most if not all of them were replaced by popular voice actors like Maaya Sakamoto, Tomokazu Sugita, and Toru Okawa. Terada was replaced by Go Shinomiya in Yakuza 2, but Nomura reclaimed the role in Kiwami and Kiwami 2.
Translation Correction: Yakuza 4 was the first game in the series to use the original Japanese names of characters who underwent a Dub Name Change in the localization of the first game. "Shintaro Fuma" became "Shintaro Kazama" again, and while "Kage" became "The Florist" again, he was also referred to as "Kage the Florist" in the fourth and fifth games. The post-Yakuza 5 localization team has set out to undo all the changes, deeming them mistakes. Kage/The Florist becomes "The Florist of Sai" in Kiwami, and the "Sunshine Orphanage" has been reverted back to "Morning Glory" in Yakuza 6. Only to revert back to "Sunshine Orphanage" in Kiwami 2