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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.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Setting[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Prologue[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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 Ichiban, since he raised him after his original foster father died. On New Year's Eve, Ichiban and his friend Mitsuo Yasumura are doing collections work in Kamurocho for the family and, despite collecting more than enough money to meet their quota from a con-artist and from an indebted construction worker, Ichiban's good nature compels him to give the money back to the conman's victims and to give the construction worker an extension on his loan payment.

The same evening, Ichiban takes his boss' wheelchair-bound son; Masato Arakawa, to a small party at the hostess club where his girlfriend Yumeno works. Masato and Ichiban had been close friends when they were younger, but Masato has grown distant in the past years and resents Ichiban 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, Ichiban returns to the Arakawa Family office, where is berated and beaten by the family Captain; Jo Sawashiro, for his failure to meet his collection quota. Ultimately Ichiban 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 Ichiban the story of how his son ended up disabled: In 1977, Arakawa was dating a soapland girl called Akane despite his patriarch's disapproval. The two had a son together but, on the night that 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 was so he could get their baby while she evaded the yakuza following her. Arakawa managed to find the baby 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; Masato, survived but ended up disabled. Despite this, Arakawa's family captured and killed Akane, after which Arakawa massacred them in retaliation.

Ichiban and Arakawa spend the rest of the night together until the year ends, after which they go their separate ways. The following morning, when Ichiban 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 Ichiban to take the blame for the murder and go to jail in Sawashiro's place. Though hesitant, Ichiban agrees out of gratitude to Arakawa for taking him in after his father's death. The following day, Ichiban turns himself into the police and confesses to the murder.

Ch. 2 - A Bloody Reunion[edit | edit source]

Ichiban 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 spends behind bars, Patriarch Arakawa only gets in contact once by sending him a letter in 2016. On New Year's Day of 2019, Ichiban 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 Kanegawa Prefectural Police called Koichi Adachi. The Detective requests Ichiban's help on an investigation, but the yakuza refuses.

While Ichiban 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. Ichiban tries to get the patriarch's attention but Arakawa ignores him and his guards drive him away. Ichiban 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. Ichiban initially does not believe Adachi but, after doing some digging around Kamurocho, he realizes that the Detective was telling him the truth.

Adachi tells Ichiban 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 Ichiban 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 Ichiban to keep them distracted. Ichiban 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. Ichiban refuses to stand down and the two men fight each other, with Ichiban ultimately subduing his former boss and entering the dining hall. Once inside, Ichiban interrupts Arakawa's meeting with the other Omi patriarchs and asks him for explanations. Instead of giving them, Arakawa draws a gun and shoots Ichiban.

Ch. 3 - The Town at Rock-Bottom[edit | edit source]

Three days later, Ichiban 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, Ichiban 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, Ichiban 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 Ichiban how to scrape together a living as a homeless person. Though Nanba and the camp's other residents are initially wary of Ichiban, 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.

Ichiban and Nanba go to look for jobs at a temp-agency called Hello Work. Though they are initially turned away because of their lack of experience and homeless status, the agency's Director; Kanbe, offers them an off-the-books job providing protection to a business in the bar district. 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 local criminal syndicate called the Geomijul has been stealing electricity from businesses in the area through highjacked power cables. Hamako disconnected the cables leeching power off her business the previous night and the Geomijul have sent threatening messages to her and her co-owner in response, so Hamako wants the two to stand guard and protect the place from reprisals. Though Nanba is initially wary of taking the job out of fear of the Geomijul, Ichiban persuades him to take it along with him.

During Ichiban 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, Ichiban 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, Ichiban's pleas work, as the Geomijul stop firing on them and let them go. As a reward for getting the Geomijul to leave her bar alone, Hamako offers to let Ichiban and Nanba stay for free in a spare room at a brothel that 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 brothel. Ultimately, Ichiban drives the protesters away by threatening to dump a bucket-load of used sanitary wipes on the mob's leader, Sota Kume. After the protesters are dispersed, Ichiban and Nanba finish moving into their new home. Elated to finally live in a proper house, Nanba thanks Ichiban for what he's done for him, while Ichiban thanks him for saving his life.

Ch. 4 - The Dragon of Yokohama[edit | edit source]

A couple days later, Detective Adachi manages to track down Ichiban 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 Ichiban disrupt the Omi Alliance dinner. When questioned about his grudge against the Commissioner, Adachi reveals that 20 years prior; when Horinouchi was his Chief, he ignored evidence Adachi found which exculpated a suspect in a double-homicide case just to resolve the investigation faster, and allowing the man to be wrongfully executed. Moved by this, Ichiban and Nanba agree to help Adachi. 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, Ichiban 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 the extortionate fees the Director is charging her and they hear the odd excuses he gives her about why she can't be allowed to visit her father, they grow suspicious of the retirement home and decide to investigate. Nonomiya agrees the situation is unsettling, 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 this from their families in order to continue cashing in their pensions without having to take care of them. Ichiban 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. Ichiban, 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 Ichiban 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 Ichiban awoke with. After seeing the bill, Hoshino agrees to listen to Ichiban, 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.

Ichiban, 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.

Chapters[edit | edit source]

Development[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

  • 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 against medical advice, as he had recently had heart surgery and was suffering from broken ribs as a result.[5]
  • This is the first game that uses turn-base fighting.
  • This is the first game that serves as a sequel to the Kiryu Saga.
  • This game is the first main series Yakuza game that was released in English the same year as the Japanese version.
  • 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.
  • This is the only main series Yakuza game that features Taiga Saejima where he is not imprisoned at any point in the story.
  • Like a Dragon is the second game in the Yakuza main series to feature an English dub and it is the first time in 15 years since the first game to have an English dub in the main series as well.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Official Art & Render[edit | edit source]

Promotional Screenshots[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Yakuza games
YakuzaYakuza 2Yakuza 3Yakuza 4Yakuza 5Yakuza 0Yakuza 6Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Yakuza KiwamiYakuza Kiwami 2
Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan!Kurohyou: Ryu ga Gotoku ShinshoYakuza: Dead SoulsKurohyou 2: Ryu ga Gotoku Ashura-henRyu ga Gotoku Ishin!Fist of the North Star: Lost ParadiseRyu ga Gotoku OnlineJudgmentLost Judgment
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