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Yakuza is set in the future of Shenmue
Kiryu is Ryo Hazuki after he is adopted by a Yakuza after the death of his father. He even has an arch enemy who is a Chinese mob boss in Lau Ka Long. The timing even works, since Shenmue is set 20 Minutes into the Past.

Yakuza is set in an alternate universe as Gungrave
Gungrave's universe is one where the cast of Yakuza is transplanted into America, hence the different names, of course. Brandon Heat is clearly Kazuma Kiryu, orphan effectively raised by a high-up gangster. Heck, he's even named for his counterpart's Limit Break. They both have a spectacular rise in a mob family, only for things to fall apart at the end due to their best friend killing the leader of the mob, though they do wind up coming back stronger than ever.

Also, compare Haruka/Mika. Both of them are the main character's Morality Pet, and they're the daughter of the main's love interest, who married a powerful older man when a relationship with the main character became impossible (Brandon for class reasons, Kazuma for that whole jail thing). That just seems like an oddly specific coincidence, unless something cosmic is at work here.

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Kiwami (the remake) will include a playable scenario for Nishiki taking place after Kazuma has been arrested
Unless this has been obviously stated by a magazine or by a trailer, of which I don't understand because they're Japanese, I guess that the game will really get into Nishiki's decent into the dirty (or dirtier) path of becoming a Yakuza patriarch. I guess this because many of the newly made footage has shown has a lot of Nishiki with the look he had in 1995. Plus this series has had multiple playable characters since 4 (or at least multiple play styles since Ishin had only 1 character with 4 styles), and it would be odd to go down in size of playable styles that were given in 0 (which had 8 for the 4 styles both Majima and Kazuma had).

Plus wouldn't it be interesting to know exactly how Nishiki changed from the last moments you saw him in 1 during the prologue to when you (the player, not Kazzy) see him again in the cutscene establishing the lost 10 billion Yen? Basically an Anakin Skywalker story with better writing and a better speaking performance.

  • Jossed. New cutscenes focus around him, but he's not playable.

Akiyama is probably the bum who was first shown catching money after the 10 billion yen incident
The facial features are a bit different, though that is likely due to the series' Art Evolution, and their clothes are different (they wear a different cap), but they are in the exact same location and do the exact same thing (catch a bill, then gather as much as they can).
  • Jossed in Kiwami, which depicts the homeless man as a different person. A lot of fans were hoping for confirmation that it was Akiyama or he would make a cameo in the game's ending, but he doesn't appear in the game.
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The final Yakuza game would get into Gundam levels of Kill 'Em All
Every major surviving character over the years would start to die left and right, with the final one being Kiryu taking down his opponent in the mother of all death battles.
  • Jossed. None of the major characters die, and Kiryu fakes his death that hardly anyone buys.

Dojima going after Yumi and the fake passports in Yakuza 1 is revenge against Kiryu for Yakuza 0
Now that we know Kiryu's involvement in tearing the Dojima Family to shreds in Yakuza 0, it wouldn't be far-fetched to think Dojima really doesn't like Kiryu, but still can't have him killed directly as Sera carries on Nihara's orders for the family to keep their hands off Kiryu. So Dojima gives the Snake Flower Triad fake passports and has Kiryu set up to be tortured to death by them instead. As for Yumi? Sure, he wants a piece of the girl everyone in town's talking about, if it also gives the Dragon of Dojima the biggest middle finger in the process.

Yakuza 2-4 will end up being remade/upscaled/something else for PS4
In reference to this article Sega is likely up to remaking them for the PS4, so new fans can enjoy it. Most people may or may not even own a PS2 or PS3 anymore, so it'd make sense.
  • 2 got the Kiwami treatment, while 3, 4, and 5 are merely being remastered.

Yakuza and Persona are Mutually Fictional franchises.
In Persona 5, you can kill time by watching a film called Like A Dragon (what the Yakuza games and movie are called in Japan, due to the yakuza being a bit hush-hush over there), while in Yakuza Kiwami, there's a porno film Kiryu can request called "Midnight Channel 4". While the "midnight channel" is an Urban Legend outside of the Persona series, the fact that it's specifically a "4", and SEGA owning both franchises makes one wonder...
  • To expand on this, Sonic the Hedgehog exists as a fictional character that you can sometimes see in the Yakuza arcades, and Sonic can Cosplay the Persona 5 protagonist in Sonic Mania, indicating he has some knowledge of the franchise...

Future genres or titles to get the Yakuza treatment
Ever since Fist of the North Star got a game in Hokuto Ga Gotoku and there was also Yakuza: Dead Souls which involved the cast in a zombie apocalypse scene, what other ways can the series go?
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  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Now this is ripe for discussion about just what Kiryu or even Majima’s Stands would be, or if it would be an adaptation of another JoJo part.
  • Majima stand name: WK
  • High School A.U.: While it wouldn’t have the crime drama the main series does, it could still have Kiryu being a school delinquent who gets into school life.
  • Cop alternate universe: Instead of having gone into the Yakuza, Kiryu was an honest cop who’s framed for Dojima’s murder for example.

Daigo will be a playable character in a future Yakuza game
Even though he's the Sixth Chairman of the Tojo Clan, he tends to take quite a couple losses despite his immense power. Whether it's in Yakuza 7 or even 8, he finally gets to take in the sights and sounds of Kamurocho the way Kiryu has over the years.

John Wick would be a guest character in a future game
It would not be the first time John Wick has shown up in video games, and he'd definitely fit into a place like Kamurocho trying to get away after the events of Chapter 2. He's already an omniglot with English, Russian, Italian and American Sign Language, so what's to say he doesn't know Japanese? He could also take in the series tradition of battle strips, showing off his tattoos.

Majima is a modern kitsune.
It's probably the only way to both keep his character intact, and explain how he does the things that most would explain as being part of a video game.

There will be a 2D fighter for the series
It would be a Dream Match fighter which allows everyone who's been a fighter big and small to have one big rumble to show who truly is the strongest in the series. Backgrounds include not only locations around Kamurocho and Sotenbori, but also include Millenium Tower, Tojo Headquarters and Onomichi. It would be a Time Crash as well which allows past versions of characters to see their own futures leading to both I Hate Past Me and Future Me Scares Me.

Addendum: It would also be a way to have the cast of Yakuza crossover with Judgment and see how the Dragon of Dojima deals with Yagami and vice versa.

Ichiban Kasuga is a subconscious Reality Warper.
He has no awareness of it, much less conscious control and easily handwaves manifestations of the phenomenon as his active RPG-loving imagination not to mention most people around him likely have no ability to sense such a dimensional distortion of reality, going along with it effortlessly as if it were a dream. However, no amount of contrived rationalization can explain things like how Kasuga can suddenly call in backup by smartphone that do a quick hit and run- including nonhuman ones like a swarm of very angry lobsters and a cat- especially indoors, or the outright reality-defying nature of many attacks- especially Kiwamis. No way that Ichiban could logically have access to a Kill Sat, much less one that won't leave huge smoking craters for everyone to notice. There are moments the power shuts off, such as during cutscenes where he and others fight in a much more reality-grounded manner. The power is triggered by conflict and is harnessed by his RPG-inspired imagination, so it rarely manifests outside of fights.

Sohei Dojima is Haruka's father, not Jingu.
Haruka is born bafflingly quickly after the Dojima/Yumi incident. So we're supposed to believe that Yumi, who's been so severely traumatized, wastes no time in getting into a relationship and sleeping with some guy Kazama introduces her to? And that Kazama actually thought it would be good to try to bring romance into her life so quickly after she was almost raped?

What if Nishiki actually wasn't on time to shoot Dojima before he was able to rape her, and she was discovered to unfortunately be pregnant soon afterwards? Neither Kazama nor Yumi would want anyone to put two and two together, so he quickly sets her up with Jingu, not knowing what a selfish psychopath he is and with the hope she'll be able to convince him the child is his and get him to marry her, effectively covering the whole thing up. This goes very wrong, of course, but at the time seemed like a good idea.

If that's ever the case, it makes Kiryu being the Dragon of Dojima a whole different meaning.

Yakuza 8 will be made for PS 5 and in a post-Covid-19 Japan
There hasn’t been much news in the series in 2020 outside of rereleasing Kiwami 2 for X Box One and the North American release of 7 not only to give the current generation one last hurrah, but also because of how uncertain the world is with the corona pandemic.

Ichiban was one of Dr. Minamida's first IF 7 test subjects
Yakuza 3 introduces Dr. Minamida who describes one of his first test subjects for his YF 6 machine as being a teenage boy who conjured up a fire breathing Kaiju. Considering he was still a teen around that time, and being a hardcore JRPG otaku, it would make sense.

Party members in future Yakuza games...
  • Shun Akiyama. He’s absent from 7, and given his on-off homeless status he’d make the perfect character for another game about rising from rock bottom.

    Future Kiwami 3 ideas (Unmarked spoilers) 

Rikiya's substory involving his childhood friend will be extended
A substory in 3 involves Rikiya finding out that a dancer in Club Asia is a childhood friend of his from Okinawa who "filled out quite nicely." Of course, she proceeds to use him like her servant to the point he's willing to take a beating from other yakuza that she owes money to until Kiryu tells her to fess up to having used him for her own gain. After his death, she doesn't even get a thought or mention.

The Kiwami version could either make her an Adaptational Jerkass bordering on a total sociopath allowing the game to cut her off from the story, or a new substory could be added in where Kiryu pays a visit to Club Asia to let her know that Rikiya died protecting him, finally allowing some closure.

    Future Kiwami 4 ideas (Unmarked spoilers) 
One of the new members of the Sodachi Dojo is Pocket Circuit Fighter!
The dojo is where the Pocket Circuit used to be. Considering PCF is a capable fighter in Y6, this would most likely be a good explanation of where he learned how to fight, thanks to Taiga-kun.

Majima's side chapter would be set in the 80s
It would involve how he first met Saejima, becoming his blood brother, that fateful day in April 21, 1985 where he makes a Last Stand before losing his eye, then hiding Patriarch Sasai from Dojima before getting shipped off to the Grand for the next three years.

Akiyama's chapter will reveal Arai was the one who taught him how to fight
Arai fights quite similar to Akiyama in their final battle in the end of 4. Considering he owed his life to Arai after saving him from some gangbangers, Arai taught him how to fight.

    Future Kiwami 5 ideas (Unmarked spoilers) 
During Haruka and Akiyama's chapter in Sotenbori, there will be plenty of callbacks.
There would definitely be more callbacks to substories from six years ago, but also to events 24 years in the past.
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