Yakuza series director Toshihiro Nagoshi reveals why he is against protagonist Kazuma Kiryu appearing as a guest in fighting game franchises.
As the Yakuza series has grown more popular, many fans have also grown attached to protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. While Kiryu has been replaced by Ichiban Kasuga in the newest title, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the character still means a lot to fans, many of whom have requested his appearance in fighting game series such as Super Smash Bros. However, series creator and director Toshihiro Nagoshi recently revealed why he does not want Kiryu to appear in fighting games.
Speaking with Redbull France, Nagoshi said he does not like the idea of Kiryu appearing in fighting games, attributing it to the fact that it is uncharacteristic of the characters to attack women. He said, “We get a lot of requests for that…Of course, there are exceptions, but fighting games usually have female characters, and I personally don’t really want to see Kiryu hit women.”
While Nagoshi does not rule out the possibility of Kiryu ever appearing in a fighting game, this comment makes it clear that Nagoshi has potentially turned down the opportunity to feature Kiryu in fighting games. Earlier this year, Tekken 7 director Katsuhiro Harada mentioned in a Twitter post that he had approached Bandai Namco to request Kiryu’s appearance in Tekken 7 after multiple fan requests, meaning the character was at one point discussed for a guest appearance in Tekken 7.
Kazuma Kiryu was featured in the very first Yakuza title, released in 2005. Since then he has appeared as the protagonist in seven of the main series titles, with the character’s role as protagonist concluding in 2018’s Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. Kiryu has also appeared in many spin-offs such Yakuza: Dead Souls and the Japan exclusive Yakuza Kenzan and Yakuza Ishin, where he roleplays famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi and Sakamoto Ryoma, respectively.
Kiryu was also portrayed by Masakatsu Funaki in the 2006 film Like a Dragon: Prologue, and later by Kazuki Kitamura in the 2007 film Like a Dragon: The Movie. Kiryu also appeared as a guest character in the 2016 Nintendo 3DS RPG Project X Zone 2.
While it seems unlikely that Kiryu will appear in any fighting game projects for the time being, Sega has contributed multiple characters including Sonic the Hedgehog, Bayonetta, and Persona 5‘s Joker to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, meaning Nintendo and Masahiro Sakurai may be able to convince Nagoshi to allow the character to be included in the game. This seems especially true for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which has a more slapstick approach to fighting game visuals than its contemporaries.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. It will release for PlayStation 5 on March 3 2021.
MORE: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Source: Redbull France
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