Yazkua 5: Anatomy Of…Kazuma Kiryu

The Yakuza series’ patchy history when it comes to Western releases has long been a frustration for loyal fans. After years of calling for Yazkua 5 to hit these shores, fans will finally get their wish when protagonist Kazuma Kiryu returns to the West this year…


THE DRAGON
As you will no doubt have guessed from the name of the games in which Kazuma stars, he is a member of the Yakuza. Kazuma was raised in an orphanage owned by Yakuza boss Kazama, before being inducted into the organisation as a teenager. Rising quickly in the ranks, he would come to be known as “The Dragon Of Dejima”, referring to the tattoo on his back.

BIG CITY LIFE
In the space of the five Yakuza games, Kazuma finds himself in a variety of locations across Japan. The first game takes place in Kamurocho, a fictionalised version of Shinjuku’s red light district, before an Osaka district and Ryukyu are introduced in later games. Yakuza 5 takes place in five locations, returning to Kamurocho and Osaka, as well as introducing districts set in Sapporo, Fukuoka and Nagoya. 

YO-YO YAKUZA
Throughout the course of the five Yakuza games, Kazuma finds himself in and out of the Yakuza pretty swiftly. From taking the rap for the murder of a Yakuza boss and spending ten years in prison, he ends up as head of the Tojo Clan. He then leaves to run the orphanage in which he was raised, and becomes a taxi driver in between his various stints getting pulled back into the world of crime.

DADDY COOL
Kazmuma makes the transition from being a Yakuza to a father figure for the orphaned Haruka, who he comes into contact with due to a connection with a large sum of missing Yakuza cash. It’s that relationship that leads him away from crime before he is pulled back in during the events of each game. By the time we reach Yakuza 5, Haruka is 16 and pursuing her dream of becoming a pop star. 

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