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This article is about the video game.
For the live-action movie, see Like a Dragon (Live Action Movie). For the live-action short film, see Like a Dragon: Prologue (Live Action Movie).

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (龍が如く7 光と闇の行方, Ryū ga Gotoku 7: Hikari to Yami no Yukue, lit. "Like a Dragon 7: Whereabouts of Light and Darkness"), also known as Yakuza 7 and previously known as Shin Ryū ga Gotoku (新龍が如く, lit. "Like a New Dragon" or "New Like a Dragon"), is a role-playing game (categorized as a "Dramatic RPG" on SEGA's official Ryu ga Gotoku 7 website)[3] for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC and PlayStation 5.

It has been developed by Ryu ga Gotoku Studio as the eighth main installment (fourteenth overall) of the Yakuza series. It was released in Japan on January 16, 2020 and had a worldwide release in November 2020. The PS5 version was released on March 2, 2021 as a free upgrade for all owners of the PS4 version and as a seperate purchase.

Like a Dragon features two massive changes compared to all of the previous main installments. The first is that it now stars a new protagonist; instead of Kazuma Kiryu, the main protagonist of this story is Ichiban Kasuga. The second is that the game's combat is now that of a turn-based RPG, rather than a real-time beat'em'up like the previous games.

Synopsis[]

Setting[]

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is mostly based around the Yokohama district of Isezaki Ijincho, but it will also feature the Kamurocho, Tokyo and Sotenbori, Osaka districts from previous Yakuza titles.[4]

Plot[]

In 2001, 24-year-old junior Arakawa Family man Ichiban Kasuga is implored by his patriarch Masumi Arakawa to take the fall for a murder committed by someone else. Kasuga thinks that this is his opportunity to become a Tojo Clan hero, and accepts. However, when he is released eighteen years later in 2019, he emerges to find that no one remembers him.

Kasuga's search for answers takes him to Kamurocho, where he seeks his former patriarch. When he catches up with Arakawa however, Arakawa shoots him. Days later, Kasuga wakes up underneath a pile of garbage with a crudely-stitched-up wound in his chest. The first person he sees is a man with glasses, who tells him that he is in Isezaki Ijincho, Yokohama.

Story Summary[]

Throughout this summary, the term "the Party" will be used at various points to the group made up of Ichiban Kasuga and his friends.

Prologue[]

In 1971, the Araboshi-za traveling theatre troupe performs a show in Yokohama to rave reviews. The cast's young star, Masumi Arakawa, gets taken out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant by his father, Toshio Arakawa, in order to get away for a while from his adulterous, abusive wife, Yoko Arakawa. However, when Masumi goes to the bathroom during the meal, Toshio is ambushed and killed by a yakuza assassin.

Ch. 1 - Light & Shadow[]

In 2000, Ichiban Kasuga is a member of the Arakawa Family, a Tojo Clan subsidiary led by Masumi Arakawa; who is also like a father to Kasuga, since he raised him after his original foster father died. On New Year's Eve, Kasuga and his friend Mitsuo Yasumura are doing collections work in Kamurocho for the family and, despite collecting enough money to meet their quota from a con-artist and from an indebted construction worker, Kasuga's good nature compels him to give the money back to the conman's victims and to give the worker a loan extension.

The same evening, Kasuga takes his boss' wheelchair-bound son; Masato Arakawa, to a small party at the hostess club where his girlfriend Yumeno works. Masato and Kasuga had been close friends when they were younger, but Masato has grown distant in the past years and resents Kasuga having to chauffeur him around because of his disability. Nonetheless, the pair enjoy a good time at the New Year's Eve celebration, until the night's mood is soured when they discover that Yumeno is cheating on Masato with Juro Horinouchi; an older man who serves as a high-ranking officer in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

Later, Kasuga returns to the Arakawa Family office, where he's berated and beaten by the family Captain, Jo Sawashiro, for his failure to meet his collection quota. Ultimately Kasuga is spared punishment at Patriarch Arakawa's insistence; who decides to take him out for dinner to thank him for taking his son out earlier. During their night out, Arakawa tells Kasuga the story of how his son ended up disabled: In 1977, Arakawa was dating a soapland girl named Akane despite his patriarch's disapproval. The two had a son together but; on the night Akane gave birth, Arakawa's family found out and put out a kill order on both of them. Akane managed to flee the hospital with their child, but realized that she was being followed. She briefly shook off her pursuers and put her baby into a coin locker to keep him hidden, after which she called Arakawa and told him where to find him, so he could get their baby while she evaded the yakuza. Arakawa found their son in the coin locker, but not before he'd become ill from his time in the cold metal box. After getting him treatment, his son survived, but ended up disabled. Despite this, Arakawa's family captured and killed Akane, after which Arakawa massacred them in retaliation.

Kasuga and Arakawa spend the rest of the night together until the year ends, after which they go their separate ways. The following morning, when Kasuga goes to the family office, Patriarch Arakawa gives him some bad news: Apparently Captain Sawashiro has murdered a member of the rival Sakaki Family. Since the Sakaki hold a higher-rank within the Tojo Clan than the Arakawa, the murder of one of their officers by an Arakawa officer could mean the dissolution of the family. To prevent this, Arakawa begs Kasuga to take the blame for the murder and go to jail in Sawashiro's place. Though hesitant, Kasuga ultimately agrees. The following day, Kasuga turns himself into the police and confesses to the murder.

Ch. 2 - A Bloody Reunion[]

Kasuga spends 18 years in prison for the murder and he gets expelled from the Arakawa Family on orders from Clan headquarters. In all those years he was behind bars, Patriarch Arakawa only got in contact once by sending him a letter in 2016. On New Year's Day of 2019, Kasuga is released from prison and, much to his surprise, nobody from the family is there to greet him at the prison gates. Instead, the only person awaiting him is a Detective from the Kanagawa Prefectural Police named Koichi Adachi. The Detective requests Kasuga's help on an investigation, but the yakuza refuses.

While Kasuga visits the grave of the man he allegedly killed to pay his respects, he happens to see Patriarch Arakawa arrive with a large retinue of men. Kasuga tries to get the patriarch's attention but Arakawa ignores him and his guards drive him away. Kasuga is then shocked to see that Arakawa is visiting the grave of a dead Omi Alliance chairman. He is even more shocked when Adachi; who had followed him, explains that two years prior the Arakawa Family had betrayed the Tojo Clan by informing on their businesses to the police; allowing the cops to essentially dismantle the Clan and either arrest or drive into exile most of its leaders. Once the Tojo had collapsed, the Arakawa Family joined the Omi Alliance and the Omi took over Tokyo. The reason behind Arakawa's betrayal is unclear, but most people believe it is connected to the sudden death of his son Masato a few years prior. Kasuga initially does not believe Adachi but, after doing some digging around Kamurocho, he realizes that the Detective was telling him the truth.

Adachi tells Kasuga that he believes that his old boss and current Commissioner of the TMPD; Juro Horinouchi, took bribes to allow the Omi to move into Tokyo unhindered, so he wants Kasuga to help him investigate the Arakawa Family to find proof of this. The pair agree to work together and sneak into a meeting of Omi Alliance executives to be held in a fancy restaurant in Kamurocho the following night, so that they can question Patriarch Arakawa.

The next night, the duo put their plan into action. However, during their infiltration the pair are spotted by police officers guarding the venue, forcing Adachi to split from Kasuga to keep them distracted. Kasuga gets to the dining room but he is stopped at the door by Captain Sawashiro, who snidely welcomes him back from prison and threatens him to get him to leave. Kasuga refuses to stand down and the two men fight each other, with Kasuga ultimately subduing his former boss and entering the dining hall. Once inside, Kasuga interrupts Arakawa's meeting with the other Omi patriarchs and asks him for explanations. Instead of giving them, Arakawa draws a gun and shoots Kasuga.

Ch. 3 - The Town at Rock-Bottom[]

Three days later, Kasuga awakens in a homeless camp in Isezaki Ijincho, Yokohama with nothing on him except his suit and an inexplicable half-finished counterfeit 10,000 yen bill in his pocket. Confused about his surroundings, Kasuga is greeted by one of the camp's residents; a former nurse named Yu Nanba who found him in the trash outside the camp and treated his wounds. With nowhere to go due to Patriarch Arakawa's apparent betrayal, Kasuga asks Nanba and the camp's de facto leader; a man called the Chief, if he can stay there with them, to which they reluctantly agree. Over the ensuing couple of days, Nanba shows Kasuga how to scrape together a living as a homeless person. Though Nanba and the camp's other residents are initially wary of Kasuga, he ingratiates himself with them when he drives away Zheng, a local gangster who regularly extorted the camp's homeless for what little money they had.

Kasuga and Nanba go to look for jobs at a temp-agency called Hello Work. Though they are initially turned away, the agency's Director, Kanbe, offers them an off-the-books job providing protection to a small bar. The two homeless men go to the bar in question and meet with one of the bar's two owners, Hamako, who tells them of her plight: A mysterious, local criminal syndicate called the Geomijul has been stealing electricity from businesses in the area through highjacked power cables. The previous night, Hamako disconnected the cables leeching power off her bar and the Geomijul have sent her threatening messages in response, so she wants the two to help protect the place. Though Nanba is initially wary out of fear of the Geomijul, Kasuga persuades him to stay.

During Kasuga and Nanba's second night guarding the place, a thug hired by the Geomijul attacks the restaurant, but they manage to chase him away. Unfortunately for them, the fleeing thug lures them into a trap set up by the Geomijul, who start firing crossbow bolts at them from their nearby hideout. Unfazed, Kasuga stands out in the open and appeals to the Geomijul, asking that they stop leeching power off Hamako's restaurant since its on the brink of closing due to their theft. Much to Nanba's surprise, Kasuga's pleas work, as the Geomijul stop firing on them and let them go. As a reward for getting the Geomijul to leave her alone, Hamako allows Kasuga and Nanba stay for free in a spare room at a brothel she runs.

As the pair are moving into the brothel the following day, the place is accosted by a group of protesters from Bleach Japan; a puritanical non-profit that seeks to purge the "gray zones" of legality in Japanese society, including sex work businesses like Hamako's. Ultimately, Kasuga drives them away by threatening to dump a bucket-load of used sanitary wipes on the mob's leader, Sota Kume. After the group is dispersed, Kasuga and Nanba finish moving into their new home. Elated to live in a proper house again, Nanba thanks Kasuga for what he's done for him, while Kasuga thanks him for saving his life.

Ch. 4 - The Dragon of Yokohama[]

A couple days later, Detective Adachi manages to track down Kasuga to his new home in Yokohama. The Detective insists that he still wants to continue his investigation into Commissioner Horinouchi's corruption, even though he's been fired after helping Kasuga disrupt the Omi Alliance dinner. However, as the three of them still need money and are all broke, they decide to go find more work at Hello Work for the time being.

Through Hello Work's Director Kanbe, the trio end up working at a soapland called Otohime Land. Though Adachi and Nanba are initially put off by the boss, Nonomiya's, sleaziness and demanding attitude, Kasuga convinces them to stay, since Nonomiya's business reminds him of the soapland his original foster father used to run, which gave desperate, down-on-their luck women a chance to make good money quickly. The trio first help Nonomiya by dispersing a protest held by Bleach Japan outside the soapland, once again led by Sota Kume. Afterwards, Nonomiya tells the three that his business' number one girl, Nanoha, has been acting strange lately and he fears she may be in trouble; so he asks them to follow her during a work shift she asked off to see what she does.

The trio follow Nanoha and see her talking at a café with Yamato Totsuka, the director of the Sunlight Castle Retirement Home, where her father is interned. When the three men hear about the extortionate fees the Director is charging her and the odd excuses he gives her for why she can't visit her father, they grow suspicious of the retirement home and decide to investigate. Nonomiya agrees, so he convinces Director Kanbe of Hello Work to help the trio infiltrate Sunlight Castle as temp-workers.

After snooping around the retirement home, the crew discover that Totsuka is actually part of the Seiryu Clan; Yokohama's dominant yakuza organization, and he's been murdering some of the home's oldest residents while hiding it from their families to continue cashing in their pensions. Kasuga stops one of the doctors from injecting Nanoha's father with a lethal dose of painkillers, but in doing so alerts the home's security. Kasuga, Adachi and Nanba fight several security guards along with Totsuka himself, who tries to kill them to keep them from revealing his criminal conspiracy. Unfortunately for Totsuka, the trio defeat him and his goons, after which they force him to take them to his bosses in the Seiryu Clan.

Totsuka takes the three men to the Seiryu Clan's HQ but, once he's there, he raises the alarm and instructs all the Clan's men standing guard to attack Kasuga and his friends. The Party manage to fight their way through all the Seiryu men they come across and eventually reach the Clan's chairman, Ryuhei Hoshino, and his Captain, Mamoru Takabe. The Chairman is initially wary of the three strangers, until Takabe pats them for weapons and finds the strange, half-finished counterfeit bill Kasuga awoke with. After seeing the bill, Hoshino agrees to listen to Kasuga, who tells him about Totsuka's murderous business. Disgusted by it, Hoshino orders that Totsuka be beaten and expelled from the Clan as punishment. Captain Takabe then arranges to shut down Sunlight Castle, but not before refunding Nanoha and all other family members of the home's residents for the last few months' payments.

Kasuga, Nanba and Adachi return to Otohime Land to tell Nonomiya that the source of Nanoha's worries has been resolved, only to find him hanging from a rope; having apparently killed himself.

Ch. 5 - The Liumang Man[]

Within a few days, a memorial service is held for Nonomiya. During the service, Kasuga, Nanba and Adachi meet Saeko Mukoda; Nanoha's twin sister who also managed a bar for Nonomiya. She tells the group that she was on the phone with Nonomiya when he supposedly committed suicide and that she heard a group of men attack him while speaking Chinese. After repeating the Chinese she heard, Adachi identifies some of it as a nickname for Akira Mabuchi, one of the leaders of the Yokohama Liumang; the city's biggest Chinese mafia and the Seiryu Clan's rivals. Now convinced that Mabuchi murdered Nonomiya and covered it up, the trio decide to team up with Saeko to discover why the Liumang man did so.

After doing some digging in Restaurant Row; the heart of Liumang territory, the Party discover that Mabuchi secretly runs the Yokohama Trade Company, a local Chinese goods importer. Once again using Director Kanbe's connections at Hello Work, the Party infiltrate the Yokohama Trade Company by working various odd jobs as temps. During their investigation, the group discover that Mabuchi is using his import business to smuggle in materials for a yuan counterfeiting business; so they decide to get evidence of this crime and leak it to the police as retaliation for Nonomiya's murder.

The day before they intend to put their plan into motion, the Party has another run-in with Sota Kume and his group of Bleach Japan protestors, who congregate outside Otohime Land to celebrate that the soapland will likely shut down without Nonomiya around anymore. An argument breaks out between the Party and the protestors after Kume insults Nonomiya, culminating in a brawl that the protestors lose. Afterwards, the Party goes to Survive Bar; Adachi's favorite karaoke bar to celebrate.

The following morning, the Party infiltrates the Yokohama Trading Company once more to take incriminating photos of the counterfeiting operation and steal some of the counterfeit money as proof. Unfortunately, they're caught in the act by the company's foreman, leading to a fight against him and his guards. During the fight, a Liumang thug tries to run the party down with a freight truck, only to crash it and cause an explosion that knocks Kasuga and his friends unconscious; allowing them to be captured.

Ch. 6 - Ignition[]

Several hours later, Kasuga and his friends awaken chained up in a dungeon, being held captive by Mabuchi himself. The Liumang man records himself questioning the Party and accuses them of being hitmen sent by the Seiryu Clan to kill him, which the group deny. After he finishes recording, Mabuchi admits to being Nonomiya's murderer and he explains his motive: Since Nonomiya's business was on Seiryu turf, he was hoping the Seiryu would suspect foul-play and attack him in retaliation, giving him an excuse to persuade the Liumang's ringleader to go to war. Despite Kasuga and the party not being with the Seiryu, Mabuchi intends to alter the video he just made so that it seems like they are.

After Mabuchi leaves the group behind to be killed by his henchmen, the Party is saved by a mysterious Korean man in a trenchcoat, who knocks out their captor and unlocks their chains before fleeing. After being released, the Party fights their way out of Mabuchi's dungeon.

Once they've reached safety, Kasuga calls Chairman Hoshino of the Seiryu to warn them about Mabuchi's bellicose intentions, but the Chairman tells him that Mabuchi has already made his move; having murdered two of Captain Takabe's men in public. Hoshino also informs Kasuga that Captain Takabe has taken a large group of Seiryu men to attack the Liumang's base in retaliation without his permission and he asks him to stop Takabe before he starts a bloodbath.

The Party rush to the Liumang's base and manage reach Takabe and his crew right outside the place just as they're about to start their attack. Kasuga explains Mabuchi's set-up to the Captain and tries to dissuade him from proceeding, but Takabe is adamant that he must kill Mabuchi to avenge his fallen bodyguards, even if it means starting a war. As he refuses to stand down, Kasuga and his friends fight Takabe and his soldiers; ultimately defeating them. Just as the fight ends, the Liumang's Ringleader; Tianyou Zhao, emerges from his headquarters and demands an explanation, threatening to kill Takabe if is not provided. The Party explains Mabuchi's plot to him, but Zhao demands proof that his right-hand man has betrayed him if he is to believe them. Since the group has not solid proof to give him, Zhao tells them they may be able to find some with the city's biggest information brokers: the Geomijul.

Ch. 7 - The Spider's Web[]

The Party go to Ijincho's Koreatown to contact the Geomijul. Soon after arriving, they are approached by none other than the Geomijul's leader herself; Seong-Hui, who is already aware of what they want. She leads them to the heart of the Geomijul's base, where the group also meet the strange Korean man who saved them from Mabuchi's thugs; Seong-Hui's second-in-command, Joon-gi Han. The Geomijul's leaders take the Party to their surveillance room, where footage captured by hidden cameras placed all over the district record footage which the Geomijul then sells. There, they show them clear video of Mabuchi and his thugs breaking into Otohime Land at the time of Nonomiya's death, proving he murdered the soapland owner.

Afterwards, the Korean gangsters take the group to a different room in their base; one where they are operating a high-tech printing press which creates fake 10,000 yen bills. Seong-Hui and Han draw guns and question Kasuga about the half-made fake bill he has; demanding to know how he got it, since it's a misprint that came from their secret counterfeiting operation. However, Kasuga insists that he awoke with it after he was shot and doesn't know where it came from. Though Seong-Hui believes Kasuga, she then proceeds to threaten Nanba, since the Geomijul caught video footage of him spying on their base multiple times in the preceding months. Under duress, Nanba admits that he came to Ijincho and deliberately became homeless to spy on the Geomijul, since his younger brother disappeared while investigating their counterfeiting racket. He also admits that the only reason he joined Kasuga was due to the fake bill he found in his pocket after he got dumped outside his homeless camp, since he knew it must have come from the Geomijul.

Seong-Hui insists that Nanba cannot be allowed to leave, since they can't trust him to keep the counterfeiting a secret, but Kasuga, Saeko and Adachi refuse to leave him behind. A fight breaks out between the Party and the Geomijul, forcing Kasuga and his friends to fight their way through Han, Seong-Hui and dozens of Geomijul thugs in order to flee the base. During the escape, Kasuga, Saeko and Adachi tell Nanba that they'll hold off the gangsters to give him a better chance to escape, which Nanba reluctantly agrees with. Ultimately, Seong-Hui and Han corner the remaining trio, but once they realize Nanba has gotten away, they don't kill them. The Geomijul leaders tell the Party that the secret of their counterfeiting cannot be revealed publicly, since it would put the stability of the Yokohama underworld at great risk. Surprisingly, the two Korean gangsters let the trio go and tell them to meet with them again at the Heian Tower restaurant in Chinatown in a couple hours.

At the appointed time, the Party go to Heian Tower and meet Han, who takes them to a private dining room inside the restaurant. Much to the Party's surprise, gathered in the dining room are Chairman Hoshino of the Seiryu, Zhao of the Liumang and Seong-Hui of the Geomijul, having a pleasant dinner together despite the deadly rivalry between their three criminal syndicates.

Ch. 8 - Bleached Black[]

The Party demand an explanation for the sudden friendliness between the three faction leaders, which Chairman Hoshino provides: The leaders of the Seiryu, the Liumang and the Geomijul are secretly part of a money counterfeiting syndicate called the Ijin Three, which was started in the 1950's by Yokohama's most powerful politician, Yutaka Ogikubo. The politician feared that war between the then nascent Seiryu and Liumang would lead to violence in his constituency, so he proposed the counterfeiting operation to both groups in order to maintain peace between them. The scheme was successful, keeping the peace and making the Seiryu, Liumang and Ogikubo incredibly wealthy. Afterwards, Ogikubo used his fortune to propel his political career, eventually becoming party chair of the ruling Citizens' Liberal Party. When the Geomijul became a third powerful group in Ijincho during the 2010's, they too were invited into the syndicate. However, due to the extreme illegality of the venture, only the top members of both criminal groups could know about it, so the Seiryu and the Liumang's leaders had to continue pretending that their organizations were always on the brink of war.

The Ijin Three's leaders insist that Nanba cannot be allowed to expose the secret, since if the lower-rungs of the three groups learned that their leaders had been faking the constant tensions between them, it would lead to mutinies and gang war in the city. Despite this ultimatum, the Party refuses to allow Nanba to be killed and head out to try to find him, in the hopes of convincing him to keep the secret so that they Ijin Three won't target him. Eventually, Kasuga and co. deduce that Nanba has taken refuge with Bleach Japan, since the information he has would be invaluable to their goal of wiping out the "gray zones" in Ijincho.

The trio go to Bleach Japan's Yokohama offices and find Nanba meeting with Kume and with Bleach Japan's director, Hajime Ogasawara, having already told them about the Geomijul's counterfeiting. The Party tries to talk Nanba into re-joining them, but the former nurse says that he won't back down until he's taken revenge for his brother's disappearance. Kasuga, Saeko and Adachi are surprised when Akira Mabuchi also joins the meeting, apparently also being aligned with Bleach Japan. While Ogasawara, Nanba and Kume leave, Mabuchi tries to kill the Party, but is ultimately defeated. Once beaten, Mabuchi reveals that Ogasawara was the one who ordered him to start a war between the Liumang and the Seiryu, since he wants to depose Ogikubo as chair of the CLP and knew that his fortune was connected to Ijincho's underworld. Additionally, Mabuchi reveals that Bleach Japan are being secretly backed by the Omi Alliance, who want to destabilize the Ijin Three to facilitate an invasion and conquest of Yokohama.

Afterwards, the trio dig through Ogasawara's empty offices to find out more about his plans. While doing so, Kasuga sees a picture of the founder of Bleach Japan and current Governor of Tokyo, Ryo Aoki, and has a sudden realization: Governor Aoki is Masato Arakawa, who faked his death.

Ch. 9 - A House of Cards[]

A few days later, Kasuga and his friends learn that Bleach Japan have publicly revealed the secret counterfeiting racket ran by the Ijin Three, causing fury in the lower-rank members of the Seiryu and the Liumang, just as both groups' leaders feared. The Party stops an attempt by former Seiryu Chief of HQ Totsuka to overthrow Chairman Hoshino and immediately afterwards get a call from Zhao, warning that Bleach Japan have organized a protest outside the Geomijul's base with hundreds of Omi Alliance soldiers disguised as civilians. Zhao suspects that the Omi men will use the commotion to break into the place and take control of the counterfeiting machinery, so he asks the Party to go to the Geomijul's base and hold them off so Seong-Hui and Joon-gi Han have enough time to destroy the machinery before the Omi take it.

The Party infiltrate the protest and once again clash with Sota Kume before confronting the man leading the mob: Reiji Ishioda, patriarch of the Omi Alliance's Ishioda Family. When the trio try to stop the Omi patriarch and his men from demolishing a barricade that the Geomijul erected to keep out the crowd, Ishioda attacks them with a wrecking ball; forcing the group to flee. Nonetheless, Kasuga, Adachi and Saeko manage to get into the Geomijul's base through a hidden back entrance which Han had told them about. Once inside, they stand guard right outside the printer room, waiting to serve as the last line of defense in case the rioters manage to get there. Within minutes, Ishioda and his men arrive at the heart of the Geomijul base, accompanied by Ogasawara and Nanba. Though the group try to talk Nanba down, he is adamant in his pursuit of revenge against the Geomijul. The Party reluctantly fights against Nanba, along with Ishioda and his men; successfully holding them back until the printer and all evidence of it are destroyed. The fire that Seong-Hui started to eliminate the evidence begins to spread, causing Ishioda and his men to retreat in fear, but Ogasawara is captured by Han before he can escape.

Nanba rages at his friends for taking away his only chance at revenge, only for Seong-Hui to shock him by revealing that his brother is still alive. Nanba's brother hadn't disappeared because the Geomijul killed him after discovering their secret; he'd disappeared because the Geomijul recruited him, since they were impressed with his investigative skills. Nanba's brother had changed identities and was living in secret with the Geomijul all along; working as part of their information network. Out of respect for the Party and for Nanba's brother, Seong-Hui agrees to spare Nanba's life and lets him reunite with his brother.

Ch. 10 - Justice Tempered by Mercy[]

The Party hold Ogasawara captive at the Chief's homeless camp and question him about Bleach Japan's plans. Ogasawara confirms Tokyo Governor Ryo Aoki is Masato Arakawa, who underwent treatment in the US to cure his disability and then faked his death to go into politics. Aoki and Ogasawara formed Bleach Japan to gain power through campaigns against "corruption" in society, eventually succeeding in getting Aoki elected as Governor of Tokyo. Afterwards, they used his father's inside knowledge of the Tojo Clan to dismantle it in a very public anti-crime campaign that made Aoki incredibly popular. Once the Tojo were gone, Aoki allowed the Omi Alliance to move into Tokyo in their stead, in exchange for them keeping crime orderly and out of public view. Bleach Japan's Director also confirms that Commissioner Horinouchi was bribed to allow this. The next stage of Aoki's plan was to become Chairman of the CLP, which required destroying the source of current chair Ogikubo's fortune. Now that the Ogikubo's counterfeiting scheme is over, nothing stands in the way of Aoki becoming the most powerful politician in Japan.

Seong-Hui gets word that Akira Mabuchi is staging a coup to usurp control of the Liumang from Zhao, so the Party prepare to stop him. However, Nanba decides not to go with them, since he wants to leave Yokohama forever. In his place, Joon-gi Han joins the Party to help save Zhao. The group fights their way into the Liumang base, until they reach the private hall at the place's top level. There, they find Mabuchi dining with two top Omi Alliance officers: Reiji Ishioda and Yosuke Tendo, patriarch of the Ryudo Clan. Mabuchi had been plotting with them the entire time; hoping to gain control over Ijincho with their support. The Party takes on Mabuchi once more and, after a lengthy duel, they defeat him and rescue Zhao.

Once Mabuchi's coup is thwarted, Kasuga and his friends turn their attention to the Omi officers, but Tendo says that he isn't interested in fighting them and simply leaves. Ishioda and his men; on the other hand, fight the Party once more, seeking revenge for their intervention during the battle at the Geomijul base. The Party are surprised when Nanba suddenly arrives, having reconsidered and decided that he doesn't want to abandon his friends. After apologizing to all of them for his betrayal, Nanba joins the Party in fighting off Ishioda. Once the Omi men are beaten, the Party accept Nanba's apology, saying they forgive him because he was trying to save his brother.

After the battle ends, a still-battered Zhao tells Kasuga that just before Mabuchi attacked, he was meeting with an old acquaintance of Kasuga who sought him out. Zhao takes Kasuga to meet with this person, who turns out to be Mitsuo; his oath brother from his days in the Arakawa Family. Mitsuo tells Kasuga that Patriarch Arakawa sent him to get in contact, since he has a message for Kasuga: Soon, Arakawa will put into action a big plan which will change the course of Tokyo and Osaka's yakuza forever, and he wants Kasuga to help him when the time comes.

Ch. 11 - The Odds[]

The next day, Kasuga gets called to a meeting with Chairman Hoshino, who reveals that Patriarch Arakawa had been the one to give Kasuga the half-finished counterfeit bill after he was shot. Hoshino explains that Arakawa's parents had once been part of the counterfeiting scheme, delivering bribe payments with their theater troupe as cover, but after Arakawa's mother betrayed the Ijin Three, Hoshino was tasked with killing her and her husband. Years later, Arakawa discovered this and confronted Hoshino, prompting the now remorseful hitman to tell him about the counterfeiting syndicate. Since Hoshino was only doing his duty as a yakuza, Arakawa spared his life. In return, Hoshino gave him several half-made bills like Kasuga's, to serve as calling cards which Arakawa could give to people so Hoshino would know they were under his protection while in Yokohama. Thus, Hoshino believes Patriarch Arakawa shot Kasuga only to wound him and then left him outside Omi territory in Yokohama with the bill, knowing he would come into contact with the Seiryu and the bill would tell Hoshino to protect him.

After he learns that his counterfeiting operation has been destroyed, Ogikubo has a cardiac episode and has to be hospitalized. Ryo Aoki takes advantage and convinces the Prime Minister of Japan to remove Ogikubo as party chair, appoint him as the new chair and call for new parliamentary elections. As a PR move to boost his allies' chances in the upcoming election, Aoki has Bleach Japan launch the Ijincho Revitalization Program: a program for shelters and work-training for the homeless and foreign migrants seeking to become Japanese residents. Meanwhile, he also has the Omi Alliance rescue Ogasawara from the Geomijul and then has him killed for revealing secrets to Kasuga and his friends.

Days later, the Party confront the Governor while he's leaving Ogasawara's memorial service, resulting in a scuffle between them and Aoki's security detail. The Governor stops the fight and discreetly tells Kasuga to meet with him alone at Otohime Land that same night. At their meeting, Aoki explains that he wants to obtain legitimate power for himself after spending his whole life dependent on his father's illegitimate power, but Kasuga scorns him for his ruthlessness. When the topic of Patriarch Arakawa comes up, Aoki reveals something to Kasuga: The murder Patriarch Arakawa had gotten him to take the fall for hadn't actually been committed by Captain Sawashiro, but rather by him, so even if the true murderer was caught the Arakawa Family would have suffered no consequences, since Aoki wasn't a sworn member. On top of this, when Aoki reveals the Ijincho Revitalization Program is a trap to deport the illegal immigrants and displace the homeless people who sign up, the talk between them breaks down.

Aoki leaves Otohime Land and Captain Sawashiro enters after him, followed by a platoon of men. Before they can attack Kasuga, the rest of the Party; who'd been waiting outside in case trouble started, burst in and rescues him. A brawl breaks out in Otohime Land's parking lot between the Party and Sawashiro's men, which the Party ultimately wins. After the fight is over, the Party decides that they have to stop Aoki's plans in order to protect society's most vulnerable from being disposed of like Bleach Japan intends.

Ch. 12 - The End of the Yakuza[]

A day later, Kasuga and the leaders of the Ijin Three strategize over dinner at Zhao's home. The CLP has nominated Bleach Japan's Sota Kume as their candidate for representative of Ijincho in the upcoming election, so his victory would entail a massive crackdown on the Ijin Three and facilitate a takeover by the Omi Alliance. Desperate and with no other options, the group decide to nominate Kasuga as an independent opposition candidate to run against Kume, hoping to use the campaign to expose Bleach Japan's corruption.

After the dinner, Kasuga gets word from Mitsuo that within a few days, the Omi Alliance will hold a meeting of patriarchs in Osaka to celebrate the release of Alliance Captain Masaru Watase from prison. According to him, Patriarch Arakawa will enact his plan at that meeting and he wants Kasuga to be there to help. Despite skepticism from his friends about Arakawa's true intentions, Kasuga insists that he has to be there to see if his foster father truly betrayed him. Elsewhere, Governor Aoki is informed about this upcoming celebration by Captain Sawashiro, and the Governor asks the Captain to spy on it on his behalf.

The Party travels to Osaka and they sneak into the Omi Alliance headquarters the night before the meeting to meet with Arakawa. En route, they're interrupted by former Tojo Clan patriarchs Goro Majima and Taiga Saejima, who are seemingly inexplicably standing guard in the base of their former deadly rivals. The Party has a grueling, extensive duel against the two legendary yakuza and they barely manage to hold their own against them until the battle is interrupted by Patriarch Arakawa and former Tojo Chairman Daigo Dojima, whom Arakawa has been conspiring with since the beginning. Arakawa explains that his betrayal of the Tojo Clan had been a ruse planned by Dojima. When Aoki threatened him into betraying the Tojo after he became governor of Tokyo, Arakawa agreed with Dojima's approval, because Dojima and Omi Captain Watase had wanted to dissolve the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance, as the stronger anti-yakuza laws had compromised the yakuza lifestyle. Once the Tojo were gone, the Omi were allowed to take over Tokyo, splitting them into two separate groups, which has made it less likely that any patriarch could rally enough support to prevent the final step in Dojima's plan: During the ceremony to be held the next day, Watase and Dojima will announce the dissolution of the Tojo and the Omi. Arakawa asks the Party to help protect both officers during the ceremony and during their trip to Osaka City Hall afterwards to formalize the dissolutions.

The next day, the ceremony goes along as planned. As soon as Watase arrives to Omi HQ from prison, he takes the stage at the Omi's conference hall alongside Dojima and both men announce the Omi and Tojo's dissolution. As predicted, this causes a mutiny to break out amongst the Omi's patriarchs. As the conspirators ready themselves to fight off the mutineers, they are surprised when the Ryudo Clan's Yosuke Tendo sides with them against all the other patriarchs. A massive brawl breaks out, during which one patriarch almost stabs Watase with a wakizashi, but he is stopped by the sudden arrival of Kazuma Kiryu, the legendary retired Chairman of the Tojo Clan, whose help Watase enlisted. With aid from Kiryu and Tendo, the conspirators safely escort Watase and Dojima to Osaka City Hall and the dissolving of both yakuza clans is finalized.

That night, Arakawa asks Kasuga to have dinner with him. The pair reunite after nearly two decades apart and Arakawa begs Kasuga's forgiveness for tricking him into going to prison instead of his son. Kasuga forgives his old patriarch; driving the old man to tears. The pair agree to work together to stop Masato's nefarious plans for power and decide to meet again the following day. However, the next morning Kasuga gets a dire call from Chairman Hoshino: Arakawa's body has been found floating in Ijincho bay.

Ch. 13 - Coin Locker Baby[]

In Kamurocho, Sawashiro, Ishioda and several other former Omi Alliance patriarchs from Tokyo meet and plot to form a new criminal syndicate in the wake of the main Omi's dissolution: the Tokyo Omi Alliance. When one of the senior Tokyo officers belittles Sawashiro because the Arakawa Family were responsible for the Alliance's termination, Sawashiro attacks him and puts out one of his eyes, before proclaiming himself the leader of their new organization.

Back in Yokohama, Kasuga grieves over the death of Patriarch Arakawa. While Nanba and Saeko console him, Adachi speaks with Seiryu Captain Takabe, who tells him that the hit was likely carried out by an Omi loyalist acting on orders from Governor Aoki, most likely Captain Sawashiro. Chairman Hoshino later encourages Kasuga to assassinate Aoki in retaliation, but Kasuga refuses, saying Arakawa would not want him to murder his son, even if to avenge his death. Instead, Kasuga convinces the Chairman to proceed with their plan to run himself as an opposition candidate to Kume in the local election to defeat Aoki's plans for taking over Ijincho.

Over the ensuing days, Kasuga and his campaign, secretly sponsored by the Seiryu Clan, interrupt several press events and rallies held by Kume and the CLP to challenge their political platform. One of these interruptions results in an impromptu debate between Kasuga and Kume, where Kasuga successfully admonishes Bleach Japan's mistreatment of society's most vulnerable, causing Kume to retreat when the crowd of spectators turns against him. The debate and Kasuga's inspiring story of an ex-convict turned into local hero generates buzz on social media and makes him a national figure; something that greatly angers Aoki. In response, Aoki orders Sawashiro to assassinate Chairman Hoshino to disrupt the Seiryu and their support of Kasuga's campaign.

When Sawashiro and a crew of his men attack the Seiryu Clan HQ, the Party gets word of it and rushes to intervene, but they are too late to prevent Sawashiro from murdering Hoshino. A battle ensues between Sawashiro and the Party, which Sawashiro loses. Kasuga questions Sawashiro about why he's still obeying Aoki even after he had Patriarch Arakawa killed, prompting Sawashiro to reveal something he'd never told anybody before: He is Aoki's true father, not Patriarch Arakawa. When he was a teenager, he and his then-girlfriend had a son they did not want and abandoned him in a coin locker in Tokyo, knowing he'd be found by the staff who check the lockers every day. When his girlfriend regretted what they did, they went back to check on the baby and saw Arakawa breaking the locker open. By sheer coincidence, Arakawa's girlfriend Akane had hidden her and Arakawa's son in the locker right next to the one where Sawashiro had abandoned his son, resulting in Arakawa getting the two mixed up. Years later, Sawashiro learned that Aoki couldn't walk because of the illness he contracted in the locker, so he joined the Arakawa Family to watch over him, as atonement for abandoning him. Furthermore, Sawashiro relays that minutes after Arakawa took the wrong baby, Akane's boss, whom she'd told about the hand-off, came to check on whether the baby had been retrieved. When he saw that it hadn't, he took the baby himself to protect in case Akane hadn't survived. That boss was soapland owner Jiro Kasuga; Kasuga's first foster father, meaning that Kasuga is Patriarch Arakawa's real son.

Kasuga is shocked by the revelation and initially refuses to believe it, but Sawashiro insists it's true. Once he's finished telling his story, Sawashiro agrees to turn himself over to the police for Hoshino's murder.

Ch. 14 - Passing the Torch[]

At Tokyo City Hall, Governor Aoki has a meeting with Police Commissioner Horinouchi where he insists that no evidence can connect him to Chairman Hoshino's murder. As a further assurance, Aoki instructs Patriarch Ishioda to find a way to assassinate Sawashiro in prison, in case he decides to testify against him. In exchange, he promises his support for Ishioda's claim to the chairmanship of the burgeoning Tokyo Omi Alliance.

In Ijincho, the Party is attacked by Omi men seeking vengeance for Sawashiro's arrest. Once they're subdued, Kasuga furiously beats the thugs' leader while demanding to know how to get to Aoki. However, he's stopped by none other than Kazuma Kiryu himself. The Party recognize him from the fight at the Omi headquarters and question his presence in Yokohama. Kiryu says that he has information that could help the Party, but insists that after seeing Kasuga take out his anger on a helpless adversary, he needs to test them to see if they deserve his help. Kiryu tells the Party to meet him that night at the entrance to the Geomijul's base.

At the appointed meeting, Kiryu tests Kasuga and his friends through his preferred method: trial by combat. He promises that if they can hold their own against him in a fight, he'll give them his information. Though hesitant, the Party takes on the legendary Dragon of Dojima and are soundly defeated. Nonetheless, Kiryu is impressed by their determination and decides to tell them what he knows. Word reached Kiryu that Ishioda has hired an infamous assassin called Mirror Face, a master of disguise who can impersonate anyone, to kill Sawashiro at Aoki's behest. Though Kiryu is retired from the yakuza life, when he learned of this he decided to pass the information onto Kasuga because he was impressed by him during the brawl at the Omi HQ. With help from Seong-Hui and her now re-established surveillance network, the Party determine that Mirror Face is preparing for the hit at a hideout Ishioda has in Ijincho's bar district.

The Party break into Ishioda's base and find him there with Mirror Face, who has disguised himself as Adachi, intending to use his identity as a Yokohama police officer to gain access to the precinct where Sawashiro is awaiting trial. The group fights Ishioda and his disguised assassin and manage to defeat them. Kasuga questions Ishioda to find out if he's the one who killed Patriarch Arakawa, as Sawashiro had theorized. Ishioda admits he did try to kill Arakawa, but he was beaten to it by Patriarch Yosuke Tendo, who only went along with the disbandment of the Omi to create a power vacuum in which he could rise to the top, after which he murdered Arakawa to gain Aoki's favor.

Just as Ishioda finished relaying his story, one of Tendo's men who was watching the building calls Tendo and Aoki and lets them know of his failure. With approval from Aoki, Tendo orders his agent to set off a bomb which he'd placed in Ishioda's base earlier. The Party notice the explosive in time and manage to narrowly flee the building as it explodes.

Ch. 15 - To the Pinnacle[]

On election day, Kasuga interrupts a rally in Kamurocho being held by Aoki, revealing himself to still be alive after an entire month in hiding following Tendo's bombing. Kasuga covertly tells Aoki that Sawashiro made a recording of the Governor ordering the deaths of Arakawa and Hoshino, which he hid in the Arakawa Family office atop the Millennium Tower. Kasuga taunts Aoki, telling him he and his friends will soon find it and reveal it to the media. Despite thinking that Kasuga could be lying, Aoki decides to send Tendo to search the Arakawa Family office for it and ambush the Party when they go to retrieve it.

That night, Kasuga and his allies go into the Millennium Tower and fight Tendo's goons until they reach the Arakawa Family's former office. Inside they find Tendo, who was waiting for them after having ransacked the place in search of the tape. Kasuga admits that the recording was in fact a lie, meant to lure Tendo into a confrontation. The Omi patriarch gleefully taunts Kasuga about Arakawa's murder and proceeds to battle him and his friends in an extended final duel.

Some time later, at a press conference being held at the CLP's headquarters to celebrate their victory in the election, a speech being given by Governor Aoki is interrupted by a press announcement that the police are looking to arrest him for incitement to murder. Aoki calls Tendo but he doesn't answer, so Aoki heads to the Arakawa Family office in a panic. At the office, he finds Tendo standing over the bodies of Kasuga and his friends, having seemingly killed them. Relieved, Aoki orders Tendo to kill Kasuga's remaining allies in Ijincho, to ensure nobody who knows his secrets survives. However, as soon as he does, Kasuga and co. suddenly get up, since they were only playing dead. Han and Saeko emerge from a hiding spot and reveal that they were filming Aoki and just livestreamed his order to commit multiple murders to the internet. When Aoki asks Tendo why he betrayed him, "Tendo" reveals himself to actually be Mirror Face in disguise, with the real Tendo being unconscious after the Party beat him. The assassin decided to betray Aoki as revenge for abandoning him to die in the bombing of Ishioda's hideout. Enraged about his criminal intents being exposed, Aoki orders his personal guards to kill the Party in revenge, causing a brawl. Despite their superior numbers, the Governor and his security detail are easily defeated. When police officers arrive to provide back up to the Governor, Han shows them the video of Aoki ordering the murders, prompting them to take him into custody. However, Aoki refuses to be arrested, so he takes one of the officers hostage at gunpoint and escapes.

As his incriminating video starts being played on the news and on public TV screens, Aoki wanders the streets in desperation, eventually winding up at the same coin lockers where Arakawa found him on the day of his birth. Much to Aoki's surprise, Kasuga is waiting for him, having correctly guessed that he'd go there. Confronted with all his crimes being for nothing, Aoki threatens to shoot himself. However, Kasuga tearfully begs him to turn himself in and serve his time. He tells him that he can start over once it's done and promises to be by his side to help him do so, since he once loved him like a brother. Finally moved, Aoki agrees. However, before he and Kasuga can leave, Aoki is stabbed by a deranged Sota Kume, who is furious over his boss' hypocrisy. Horrified, Kasuga picks up a critically wounded Aoki and rushes him to the hospital.

Epilogue[]

A few days later, Tendo is arrested for Masumi Arakawa's murder and Commissioner Horinouchi is arrested for taking bribes from the Omi, since Adachi leaked evidence of it to the press after finding it in the Arakawa Family office. Due to Governor Aoki's corruption, the reputation of Bleach Japan is in tatters and the group may disband. Sawashiro is sentenced to life in prison for murdering Chairman Hoshino, but he appears at peace with his fate.

In Yokohama, a funeral is held for Arakawa and Aoki. At the service, Daigo Dojima tells Kasuga that he and Watase will be starting a security company in Osaka staffed by former members of both their clans, and he invites Kasuga to join them. However, Kasuga declines, since he wants to stay in Ijincho with his friends and help the Ijin Three rebuild after the chaos of the preceding months.

After the funeral, Kasuga briefly remembers Aoki's final words to him: "Keep living, Ichi. Starting over from rock-bottom, huh? I'll take those odds." Afterwards, he heads out to go for drinks with Nanba, Adachi, Saeko, Seong-Hui, Han and Zhao.

Chapters[]

There are 15 chapters in this game:

Development[]

The development of Yakuza: Like a Dragon has been based around new protagonist Ichiban Kasuga. This includes the new style of logo, which was made to reflect Kasuga's personality.[5]

Trivia[]

  • Yakuza series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi appeared at the Yakuza: Like a Dragon conference at Akihabara UDX Theater and the Yakuza: Like a Dragon stall at the Tokyo Game Show 2019. He did this against medical advice, as he had recently had heart surgery and was suffering from broken ribs as a result.[5]
  • This game is the first one in the main series that:
    • Does not feature Kazuma Kiryu as a playable character (though he still appears as a boss character). Because of this, the main series games prior to Like a Dragon can be called the Kiryu Saga, and LAD can be seen as a sequel to that saga.
    • Was released in English in the same year as the Japanese version. (However, Judgment had a smaller waiting time for the English version release.)
  • This is the first game in the series to debut on Xbox and PC on the same day as its PlayStation 4 release in the west.
  • Like a Dragon is the second game in the main series to feature an English dub; the only other one was 14 years prior for the original release of the first Yakuza.

Gallery[]

Official Art & Render[]

Promotional Screenshots[]

Videos[]

References[]

External links[]


Yakuza games
YakuzaYakuza 2Yakuza 3Yakuza 4Yakuza 5Yakuza 0Yakuza 6Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yakuza KiwamiYakuza Kiwami 2
Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan!Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin!
Kurohyou: Ryu ga Gotoku ShinshoKurohyou 2: Ryu ga Gotoku Ashura-hen
JudgmentLost Judgment
Yakuza: Dead SoulsFist of the North Star: Lost ParadiseRyu ga Gotoku Online