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Video Game / Yakuza 6

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Spoilers for all preceding Yakuza entries will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
The legend of the Dragon of Dojima ends.

"Haruka, Haruto, and the others... they mean more than the world to me. If it means keeping them safe... I'd gladly give my life."
Kazuma Kiryu

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, known in Japan as Ryu ga Gotoku 6: Poetry of Life, is the seventh main series entry in the Yakuza series following the prequel Yakuza 0, and is the final installment to feature Kazuma Kiryu in the lead role. It was released in Japan as a Playstation 4 exclusive in December 2016, and released in the West in April 2018.

Taking place four years after the events of Yakuza 5, Kiryu has spent the last three years in prison in order to clean his slate and his conscience. When he is released, however, he learns that his adopted daughter, Haruka Sawamura, has disappeared without a trace. Just before he was sent to prison, she had announced not only her retirement from her career as an Idol Singer, but also that her father was none other than the infamous Dragon of Dojima. The public backlash against her was so severe that she left in order to spare her family at the Morning Glory Orphanage any grief on her behalf. He tracks her down to Tokyo, only to find that she had been involved in a hit-and-run collision that has left her comatose.


Kiryu learns that Haruka was protecting a baby during the attempted hit, and learns the child's identity: Haruto Sawamura, Haruka's son. With the identity and whereabouts of the infant child's father unknown, Kiryu takes Haruto under his care. He then learns that before her accident, Haruka had traveled to Jingaicho, Onomichi, a coastal town in eastern Hiroshima and home of the Yomei Alliance, a crime syndicate so powerful that the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance could not even touch them. Kiryu now finds himself walking into unknown territory, into a city that no one from the Tojo Clan has set foot in.

To what lengths is Kiryu willing to go to help his family? Why is the Yomei Alliance after Haruka's son? And what fate awaits the Dragon of Dojima?

Billed as the "final chapter of Kazuma Kiryu", Yakuza 6 features a brand new engine, built from the ground up to take full advantage of the Playstation 4. In addition to Kiryu's stomping grounds of Kamurocho, players will now travel to the Hiroshima town of Jingaicho, a completely new setting that differs greatly from the massive urban playgrounds of previous games. Battles now begin and end seamlessly, store interiors can become battlegrounds, and characters react more realistically when attacking and being attacked. Players can also switch to a first-person camera view when travelling through the cities, allowing them to take in the environment in a brand new way, as well as take advantage of various nooks and crannies in the city to discover new locations. In addition, the slew of minigames and diversions for which the Yakuza series is so famous has been expanded upon, with returning classics such as hostess clubs, gambling parlors, batting cages, and video arcades (now including Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown and Puyo Puyo) joined by new, oddball activities such as cat cafes, chatting with camgirls, managing a baseball team, and deep-sea diving.


Sony's partnership with Sega in publishing the series overseas starting with Yakuza 5, as well as the massive hype surrounding the American and European release of Yakuza 0, lead to the simultaneous announcement of Yakuza Kiwami, the enhanced remake of the original Yakuza, and Yakuza 6 coming to the west.

Although series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi has stated that this was the end of Kiryu's story, the series would continue on. Following the game's release, numerous games were announced: Shin Ryu Ga Gotoku, a mobile spinoff, introduced the series's new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, who would also serve as the leading man for the seventh main series entry, Yakuza: Like a Dragon. A spin-off, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, based on the popular manga, combines the characters and settings of that series with the gameplay and humor found in the Yakuza series, and features many of the same voice actors such as Takaya Kuroda as the voice of Kenshiro. Yakuza Kiwami 2, a remake of Yakuza 2 utilizing an improved Dragon Engine, which also introduces a mini-campaign that has Goro Majima playable once more, which explores his departure from the Tojo Clan. Re-releases of Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5 bring the entire saga of the Dragon of Dojima to the Playstation 4. Finally, Judgment begins a new story in Kamurocho focusing on Private Detective Takayuki Yagami in a spin-off title that takes place in a post-Kiryu world.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life/Ryū ga Gotoku 6: Poetry of Life includes examples of:

  • A Commander Is You: "Clan Creator" is a new RTS minigame wherein Kiryu builds, trains, and directs a street gang to fight off the shadowy forces of JUSTIS. Between missions, players can upload their own gangs online to pit against other players'.
  • Adult Fear: Hoo boy. When Kiryu returns to the orphanage, he finds that Haruka fled the orphanage three years ago, and hasn't called home in over a year. He goes to Kamurocho to look for clues, only hours too late to save her from a hit-and-run. It takes the span of a day to learn that his teenage daughter has become a national pariah, a single mom, and a coma patient - and he couldn't protect her from any of it.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Hiji app turns out to be more dangerous than its designers originally intended, and doesn't hesitate to put our hero in danger whether it's to help others or preserve its existence.
  • Alertness Blink: An exclamation point will appear above enemies' heads if they spot Kiryu roaming the streets.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: One of the common complaints western players had for Yakuza 5 was a Manzai mini-game that required strict timing relative to when the Japanese spoken dialogue ends. The subtitles and the audio sometimes vary significantly in length, leading to confusion and worse scores than a native speaker might get. A similar sort of mini-game exists in this title that uses a sliding transparent bar timed to the audio to indicate when the speaker will finish talking superimposed over the subtitles, avoiding the issue.
  • As Himself:
    • Darts legend Paul Lim appears as himself in a substory.
    • The six New Japan Pro-Wrestling wrestlers in the Clan Creator mode also appear as fictionalized versions of themselves.
  • Badass and Baby: When Kiryu takes custody of Haruka's son.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Right after the tutorial fight, Kiryu returns to the bar he was drinking from, states he's "made it just in time" and looks into his bag. A powdered white substance then falls onto the bar stand, leading the player to think Kiryu has taken up snorting cocaine. Then it's revealed he's put the substance into a mixing spoon and Kiyomi hands him a kettle. The substance is in fact powdered milk, which leads into the next reveal of who Kiryu is preparing the milk for... and that turns out to be Haruto.
    • Another for the end-game: Kiryu leaves a parting letter apologizing for not being much of a father. The player may assume it's for Haruka, but the actual recipient is Daigo.
    • Also from the end-game: it's heavily implied that Kiryu died from the gunshot wounds he suffered in the final battle; but the final scene reveals he faked his death in order to protect his family.
  • Baseball Episode: Kiryu briefly joins an amateur baseball team in chapter 3. This opens up the Baseball minigame and substory chain, allowing Kiryu to mold the Setouchi Warriors into the #1 team in Hiroshima.
  • Battle Aura: A mainstay of the series. Bosses envelop themselves in a glowing aura when their health reaches a certain point. Kiryu's own Extreme Heat Mode glows blue.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The whole Hirose family. Small-time even on in their own turf, their patriarch is a doddering old man and the Yomei Alliance's most trusted assassin and the four stooges under his banner aren't exactly intimidating until they start thrashing higher-ranked, better-trained mooks a dozen to one.
    • Familiar doofuses Sodachi and Saigo turn up in Kamurocho and Onomichi respectively, begging Kiryu to help them train with a couple of quick sparring rounds. They're pathetic combatants who can barely take a punch at first, but grow stronger with each loss until they can hit like pissed-off rhinos. (Beating them at this level grants a ton of Strength, Agility, and Spirit experience.)
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Pocket Circuit Fighter pulls this one in his substory. His target? His wife!
  • Bittersweet Ending: It's the end of the line for the Dragon of Dojima, and it's far more bitter than any other game in the series. While Kiryu survives the adventure, and Haruto and Haruka are reunited with Yuuta (who now has the resolve to be a good husband and father for them), he has faked his death to protect them from the never-ending fallout of his yakuza past. Meanwhile the Tojo Clan is left in dire straits, and the ending implies that the future will be a bumpy ride for all who remain under the Tojo Clan banner. This is outright confirmed in Like A Dragon: The Tojo are pushed out, too weak to fight the growing distrust of the public, and the Omi controls Kamurocho with a iron fist.
  • Bland-Name Product: As ever, the Poppo convenience stores are a thinly veiled copy of the real life Lawson chain.
  • Bomb Disposal: One of Kiryu's Troublr missions in Kamurocho tasks him with finding a bomb somewhere in the city within ten minutes and disarming it. He's given a couple of clues, but despite the bomber taunting Kiryu about his knowledge of the city, the bomb is in an area brand new to this game.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Shangri-la is home to a powerful miniboss in a black gimp outfit who stalks Kiryu at every turn. He growls instead of speaking, and is kept in a caged-off enclosure at the bottom of a pit.
  • Book-Ends: In the climax, Kiryu takes a bullet to protect Haruto, his non-biological grandson, just like how in Yakuza 1, Kazama lay on top of a grenade to protect Haruka, his non-biological daughter.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The dilemma between Kiryu and Akiyama on how to handle Haruto plays out like this. From Kiryu's perspective, if Haruto is taken in by the state then he'll be placed into an orphanage and Kiryu - known only as an ex-con of a yakuza to the authorities - will be denied access to him, leaving Haruto without any family to take care of him if Haruka doesn't pull through. On the other hand, Akiyama correctly points out that Kiryu taking Haruto from the hospital is effectively kidnapping him, which would definitely land Kiryu back in jail again if he's caught by the police. While he acknowledges Akiyama's reasoning, Kiryu refuses to back down and the argument is only resolved by fisticuffs.
  • Call-Back: Yakuza 6 recalls several characters and events from previous games.
    • The Order of Munan Chohept Onast from Yakuza 0 returns in 2016 Onomichi, along with its original guru, Munan Suzuki. Having served his time in prison, Suzuki has turned over a new leaf and implores Kiryu to help him shut down the cult once and for all.
    • The Pocket Circuit Fighter reappears, now with a wife and son. Sometime after the events of Kiwami 1, he moved back home to Hiroshima to take over the family tofu shop. And you'd better believe he still keeps the old Pocket Circuit jumpsuit.
    • Sodachi, the martial artist who Saejima helped in Yakuza 4, returns here. Sadly, he had to close down the dojo, but has found a new goal in hitting the gym and bulking up to test his mettle against Kiryu.
    • Saigo the ex-military man resurfaces in Onomichi, seeking the perfect self-defense technique.
    • All the way back at the beginning of Kiryu's story he was on the verge of getting his own offshoot of the Dojima clan before the incident that landed him in prison. Here, at the end of his story, the Kiryu Clan is finally a reality.
    • A couple of substories revolve around the fallen and largely forgotten Snake Flower Triad introduced in the first game. Aside from seeking recognition, its members are fighting to be the successor of Lau Ka Long.
    • The final showdown against Tsuneo Iwami eventually becomes a callback to the finale of Yakuza 0; like Shibusawa, newcomer Tsuneo believes his empire can be built on the blood of innocents and looks to kill Kiryu as the crowning moment of taking charge of his clan. Kiryu for his part is still unmoving in his belief of some form of nobility and honour in being a Yakuza, only he's now more than willing to kill Tsuneo for what he's done to his family. The positioning of the two characters prior to the fight is also similar and there's even a familiar music cue when they both reveal their back tattoos.
  • Celebrity Cameo:
    • AV actresses Anri Okita and Yua Mikami are part of the new LiveChat minigame, both in live-action video.
    • Paul Lim, an internationally renowned darts champion, makes an appearance in a substory and can be challenged to a game of darts. Beware, though: his skills at darts have been perfectly replicated.
    • One of the hostesses is portrayed by and modeled after Saki Akai, a female professional wrestler.
  • Central Theme: Family and life, what does it means to be a family and a father figure in more ways than one.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: The hostesses that Kiryu goes out with wear street clothes when they meet up for a date, but magically change into their hostess dresses for the final rooftop scene.
  • Compliment Backfire: Kiryu is less than thrilled to hear that he makes a perfect Ono Michio, ridiculous mascot costume and all.
  • Dating Sim: Hostess clubs return once more as well as Kiryu being able to use chat with camgirls.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • Upon defeat, the members of JUSTIS join Kiryu's clan and are unlocked as leader units.
    • After defeating Jo Amon yet again, Kiryu convinces the assassin to join up with the Kiryu Clan. After all, he reasons, how better to catch an enemy off-guard than by allying with him?
  • Demoted to Extra: With Kiryu being the sole playable character once more, former playable characters Haruka, Akiyama, Saejima and Majima are delegated back to NPC status. In the case of the latter two, compared to the previous games, they play a much less significant role and barely even appear.
  • Department of Child Disservices: One agent of child services shows up to take Haruto away as Haruka is in a coma, the father is missing and for some reason Kiryu never officially became Haruka's legal guardian. He is completely apathetic to the cause and is pretty blunt that all he cares is that his organization doesn't get blamed if Haruto dies. Date smooths things over with him and reassures Kiryu that he is just an exception to the rule as Japan's child services are usually well-intentioned but severely understaffed.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • The members of the Hirose Family practically thrive on this, and although they can hold their own in a fight, they rarely come out on top of any fights they initiate.
    • Many of Haruka's actions throughout the game count as well, from revealing the truth of her family at the idol concert in the last game, running away to Hiroshima, and the circumstances leading to Haruto's birth.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: In the penultimate chapter, Patriarch Toru Hirose dies in the arms of his captain Nagumo.
    • Subverted by Kiryu himself, who appears to bleed out in Yuta Usami's arms after Taking the Bullet for a hostage. The salvo isn't fatal, however, and he turns up alive in a small clinic later on. The secrecy of his survival enables him to fake his death.
  • Do Androids Dream?: In the substory "I, Hiji", Kiryu installs a state-of-the-art smartphone assistant that happens to be a sentient AI. Hiji is flirty, ambitious, capable of lying to serve her own ends, and has a sense of self-preservation that kicks in when Kiryu tries to uninstall her. She can also network with other instances of herself, manipulating her users with dubious advice. It's probably a good thing she hasn't secured much of a market share yet.
  • Downloadable Content: Aside from free updates that include costumes and items, SSR Cards of certain characters are available to purchase to use in the Clan Creator mini-game. This is also the first game in the series to have purchasable in-game content.
  • End of an Age: An overarching theme of the game is the end of the Yakuza heyday and slow death of their way of life. It's demonstrated by things like the old guard dying out or being arrested and the new blood unwilling to stick with tradition or honor, or the public shift in opinion from romanticizing the Yakuza as rugged, honorable rogues to the dangerous criminals they ultimately are. This is largely Truth in Television: in more modern times, there has been a revelation that the Yakuza are, in fact, organized crime and a threat to society, and intense crackdowns on them. With the End of an Age being such a prominent theme in this entry, it fits as a sendoff to its oldest and most beloved protagonist.
  • Experience Points: This game uses a new system of stat growth, where everything Kiryu does in and out of combat grants him five different types of experience (Strength, Agility, Spirit, Technique, Charm) that he can use to improve his stats (Health, Strength, Evasion, Defense, Heat Gauge) and learn new skills.
  • Expy: One of the sidequests involves Kiryu learning how to use "Hiji", a parody of Siri.
  • Falling Damage: Averted. Kiryu can now jump from building roofs, including three- or four-story offices, which sends him crashing into the pavement. Kiryu will get up and brush it off without suffering damage.
    • The exception is if you try it in a battle stage, like Onomichi's cargo island and its stacked shipping containers.
  • Fighting Your Friend: One of Kiryu's first boss battles is against Akiyama, over a disagreement that's elaborated in Both Sides Have a Point above.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Matsunaga is seen putting the finishing touches to a scale model of the IJN Yamato, which he had built out of pride because the actual ship was laid down, completed, and launched at the Kure Naval Arsenal in Hiroshima. Iwami Shipbuilding is actually building, in secret, the Yamato Mark II, and they've been at it since the mid-1940s.
    • Of all the people who seem to be bent out of shape over Haruka's disappearance, Yuta is the most visibly angry at her potential baby daddy walking out on her. Considering they had an intimate relationship, it's possible that he's projecting his own fears of failure onto him.
    • Hirose mentions how he used to wear a ski mask when he wanted to beat the hell out of yakuza in his own clan without being recognized. He also used said ski mask to murder Matsunaga and Nagumo's fathers as part of the secret Yomei purge.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: When Hirose presents masks to his family, he casually jokes about using them to beat the crap of people without being recognized. After Nagumo fails to use it properly, he dons the mask himself and shows it's proper use in a Funny Background Event. This moment becomes this trope when it's revealed that Hirose used the mask to murder a lot of people, including Nagumo's and Matsunaga's fathers.
  • Funny Background Event: The day after Kiryu and the Hirose boys come back from their escapade of disguising themselves with ski masks, Hirose declares he'll show them how to wear one. While a serious conversation happens in the foreground, Hirose can be seen in the background practicing wrestling moves on Yuta.
  • Game Within a Game: Arcades in the game feature fully emulated versions of Virtua Fighter 5: Last Showdown, Puyo Puyo,note  and the classic arcade games featured in Yakuza 0.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Courtesy of Joon-Gi Han after his first fight with Kiryu.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Hirose's family before they end up joining Kiryu.
  • Goofy Suit: The Ono Michio costume has a giant hassaku orange for a head, a bowl of ramen for a hat, fisherman boots and a fish pouch. Kiryu feels ridiculous wearing it. Part of the free DLC adds it as a Premium Adventure costume, although the headpiece has been downsized.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Kiryu can now lure enemies into convenience stores, enabling a new Heat Action in which he smashes a punk's head into a microwave and has the clerk turn it on. The counter and cash register block your view of the nasty aftermath.
  • Grand Finale: While the franchise will continue, 6 is the final game to feature Kazuma Kiryu and brings to a close the Story Arc that began all the way back in Yakuza 1.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Pocket Circuit Fighter's son Sakito takes daily English classes and peppers his sentences with it to please his mother, who believes English fluency will save him from having to take over his father's humble tofu shop. Even his name resembles the Japanese pronunciation of "circuit" (*saakitto*).
    • Two substories feature real-world darts legend Paul Lim, who voices himself in English. Luckily for Kiryu, a local fan offers to translate.
    • Baseball mogul Kanamizawa picks his players from international teams, so about half his team doesn't speak Japanese.
      Player: Kanamizawa, I love you!
  • Happy Ending Override: The fifth game ends with Haruka finally reuniting with Kiryu, but in the opening segment, he is arrested while he is recovering in the hospital and lands in jail for a few years, while Haruka becomes the victim of a scandal and runs away from the orphanage. When Kiryu completes his sentence, he learns that Daigo and Majima were arrested, Saejima returned to prison, Akiyama closed Sky Finance and is in hiding, and Haruka has become the victim of a hit-and-run incident, and may not pull through.
  • Henpecked Husband: Pocket Circuit Fighter is struck with this hard in his substory. His son knows almost nothing about him and is only allowed to talk to him when his mother allows it, who fears that he'll grow up just to be like his father. She even calls out her husband for letting her walk over him. Thankfully he gets better and improves his relationship with both his son and wife.
  • Here We Go Again!: One line best sums up how Kiryu feels about being drawn back to Kamurocho.
"How do I keep ending up back in this damn town?"
  • Hey, That's My Line!: The second time Kiryu and Tetsuya Naito cross paths in Onomichi, Kiryu steals his "Tranquilo!"note  catchphrase for a parting taunt.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Downplayed. While benefits from food are instantly granted, Kiryu can only eat as much food as he has room in his stomach for. To eat more food, Kiryu needs to work up an appetite, either through waiting or taking medication to free up room in his gut.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • Real life professional wrestlers Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, Toru Yano, Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan portray fictionalized versions of themselves as part of the JUSTIS gang. EVIL and KUSHIDA were added as bonuses to the international versions a year later.
    • All hostesses have their appearances based on real-life hostesses operating in Japan who lend their voices to the characters, with the exception of Saki, whose likeness and voice comes from fellow real-life Pro Wrestler Saki Arai.
    • Takeshi Kitano being in the game received a major portion of the promotional material, and his character in the game, Toru Hirose, looks exactly like his real self, down to the wrinkles.
      • The Japanese cover features him as prominently as Kiryu himself. It also shows Someya, Tsuneo, Nagumo, Yuta and Kiyomi, all of whom are portrayed by renowned Japanese actors as well.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: After the Jingweon bought out Club Stardust, they converted the lower level of the establishment into a full-contact masked strip club with the occasional bare-knuckle brawl between hosts.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: The owner of the Nyan Nyan Cat Cafe has a dream of rescuing strays and raising them in his shop. Kiryu is so moved by this vision that he agrees to help out.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After Sodachi is defeated at his full strength, he notices a figure in black behind Kiryu: "some guy who looked like a hidden video game boss!" It's Jo Amon, who reappears to challenge Kiryu after Sodachi and Saigo have been bested.
  • Local Hangout: Snack New Gaudi is this in Onomichi for Kiryu where he works his way up from stranger to regular, with substories relating to each member of the group.
  • Mascot: The substory “Oh No! It’s Ono Michio!” sees Kiryu reluctantly take the stage as the new Onomichi town mascot. After some thugs heckle the event, Kiryu does what he does best and drives them away, turning Ono Michio into a local hero and defender of peace.
  • One Night Stand Pregnancy: It's revealed that Haruka had a one night stand with Yuta, and because he didn't use protection, that's all it took for her to become pregnant with Haruto.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: Stardust has been bought by the Jingweon mafia, who redesigned the place from an ordinary host club into an underground haven for ring combat and oiled-up lap dances.
  • Population Control: China's infamous one-child policy is an important element in the game's plot: many parents who had children outside of the policy opted not to have their children registered to avoid incurring legal penalties. These children, known as "heihaizi", would end up being unable to take advantage of government services such as medical care and education. Many heihaizi wound up falling in with triads, with the Saio Triad providing heihaizi to the Yomei Alliance as prospective members. Yuta, himself, is a heihaizi who was sent to Japan as an "insurance policy" to ensure a blood successor in the event that anything untoward happened to Big Lo's firstborn, Jimmy.
  • Power-Up Food: In addition to restoring Kiryu's health, the food ordered from restaurants and purchased from stores also provide experience points (with bonuses for certain order combinations at eateries). Vending machines also provide drinks with an array of benefits, from increasing attack power or defense to helping Kiryu sober up.
  • Power Walk: Kiryu, Akiyama and Hirose's family does one all in black suits as they enter the Millennium Tower.
  • Precocious Crush: There is a little girl in the Ono Michio's substory who wishes to become the mascot's wife when she grows up.
  • Product Placement: LOTS. While many businesses are fictional, many many other products are... not.
    • Sony: Kiryu, Date, and Han Joon Gi use Xperia XZ smartphones, while Haruka uses the Xperia X Compact.
    • Kiryu can get a membership with the gym Rizap (and is shown being made somehow even more buff by it).
    • Other real life brands return as stores, including the ubiquitous Don Quijote (Donki) department stores, the Ringer Hut champon restaurant, Gindaco Highball Tavern and of course Sega’s own Club Sega range of arcades.
    • A poster for the Nagoya-based coffee chain Komeda’s Coffee is visible outside of the playable area in the north west of Kamurocho.
    • The blue “Boss” vending machines are stocked with real Suntory drinks, including Boss’ Black, Light Sugar and Rainbow Mountain variants.
    • The karaoke machines are very clearly branded as JoySound (one of the principal karaoke machine vendors) and are modelled heavily UI wise on the real JoySound machines. One of the bar patrons in Onomichi goes so far as to wax lyrical about it.
  • Promoted to Parent: Kiryu takes Haruka's son under his care after she becomes comatose. Kiryu can't help but feel old when Kiyomi asks if Haruto is his grandson - though, since he's already Haruka's adoptive father, it's more or less true.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Gang War questline consists of Kiryu getting into a war with JUSTIS, a gang led by New Japan Pro-Wrestling wrestlers.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Activating Extreme Heat Mode grants you super armor while performing strings of punches. Keep it going for a while and it turns into a pretty satisfying Heat Move that shows the opponent getting decked in the face from various angles.
  • Reality Ensues: At the end of the previous game, Haruka revealed her ties to the Yakuza through Kiryu. Predictably, this goes disastrously for everyone involved, and results in her reputation going up in flames.
  • Real-Place Background: Breaking tradition for the series, Onomichi is not actually fictional or even fictionalised - it is a real, albeit much larger in real life, place which has been almost perfectly translated into the Yakuza universe. You can see photos of the real Onomichi here.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: Of three different flavors:
    • The Saio Triad is introduced by way of a grisly yakuza execution by second-in-command Ed.
    • Joon Gi-Han, new face of the Jingweon Korean mafia, sears his underling's face on a barbecue grill.
    • The Snake Flower Triad attempt a comeback through terrorism, bombing storefronts and hijacking TV broadcasts to lure Kiryu back out for a showdown.
  • She Is All Grown Up:
    • Three years after the previous game, Haruka - who came into Kiryu's life at age 9 - is now 19.
    • Meanwhile the Sunshine/Morning Glory orphans have all become teenagers. When Kiryu returns from his prison sentence, he's nearly driven to tears seeing how much they've grown since he last saw them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There is a social media website that, in the English version, is named "Troublr".
    • One substory revolving around a young man trying to obtain viral fame on the internet is titled "Like, Comment, Subscribe".
    • The substory that allows Kiryu to start spearfishing is called “The Old Man and the Sea.”
      • The final substory part that involves Kiryu hunting down the Bloody Shark is called "Deep Blue Sea."
    • Another substory features a young girl who claims to have traveled back in time from the future. The name of the substory: "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time?".
    • One substory has Kiryu chasing down a runaway Roomba. When Kiryu learns of cleaning robots, he envisions something human-shaped and metallic, but the young man he is helping dismisses that his robot is anything like RoboCop.
    • The trophy for reaching Beloved Customer at Snack New Gaudi is called “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.”
    • The trophy for playing all the arcade games is called “To Be This Good Takes AGES”, a former Sega slogan from the Mega Drive/Genesis era.
  • Story and Gameplay Segregation: As usual, Kiryu is assumed in canon to have never taken a life - even after he blows a couple of helicopters to smithereens with a rocket launcher. The next chapter even has the gall to question whether Kiryu truly intends to kill for the first time.
  • Super Mode: Kiryu can now activate "Extreme Heat Mode", which cloaks him in a blazing blue aura and lets him use a variety of unique Heat Moves.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Downplayed: Haruka is a mother at 19, just shy of the Japanese age of majority at 20.
  • The Bus Came Back: After being absent from the series since Dead Souls, the Sunshine/Morning Glory orphans appear briefly in the game's main story once more.
  • Threatening Shark: Great Whites occasionally pop up in the spearfishing minigame, where they're typically the most durable and dangerous non-boss enemies. The final boss of the storyline is an even bigger and hardier beast nicknamed "Bloody Shark".
  • Timed Mission: If Kiryu waits too long to accept an available Troublr mission - or to complete it, once accepted - it'll close out as a failure. Frustratingly, getting into fights and riding in taxis (or even blundering into a substory trigger) can sometimes cancel the timer and fail the mission immediately... though it'll pop up again later on.
  • The Triads and the Tongs:
    • Early in the game Kiryu encounters the Saio Triad, who plan to take over Kamurocho starting from Little Asia.
    • A couple of substories revolve around the Snake Flower Triad, whose remaining members aren't happy that no one remembers them in the wake of Lao Ka Long's death.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Yasuo Sodachi, who was introduced in Yakuza 4 as the head of a dojo and had the honor of having the smallest life bar in the whole series. He challenges Kiryu to a fight after some serious RIZAP body training, and when he's beaten at full strength, even Kiryu acknowledges he's grown much stronger.
    • Also from Yakuza 4, self-proclaimed military genius Saigo plays a similar role. While he could still put up a good fight against Akiyama previously, he needed a submachine gun to do it. Here he goes barefisted with a number of nasty kicking and throwing techniques.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Nagumo turns the baseball game into a fight after he purposefully hit all the batters until Kiryu shows up. Kiryu throws the bat straight at Nagumo's face which starts the brawl.
  • Wham Shot: One big one in the game is when Kiryu first fights Someya. When Someya performs his Battle Strip, he reveals that he has no tattoos, a stark contrast from OG yakuza like Kiryu.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: If you pick a fight that spills into a store or restaurant, the people working within will refuse to do business with you for a while. You'll also get this treatment if you destroy (unintentionally or otherwise) or use any of a store/restaurant's outdoor/patio furniture as weapons.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: One of the reasons Kiryu goes to Onomichi is to find the identity of Haruto's father.
  • X Treme Kool Letterz: Subverted with the gang JUSTIS. At the end of the storyline, Kiryu asks why it's spelled that way: As it turns out, it was just a misspelling.

"You can do it.
You can do this.

Hang in there..."

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