Yakuza: Like a Dragon introduced the world to lovable lout Ichiban Kasuga, a petty criminal with a heart of gold. But did you know that part of the inspiration for Ichi's portrayal comes from the manga mega-hit One Piece, and specifically, the characterisation of protagonist Monkey D. Luffy himself?
It's true, and this tasty little tidbit comes from a Crunchy Roll interview with Like a Dragon producer and Ryu Ga Gotoku studio head Masayoshi Yokoyama, who states, "I’ve never really talked about this before, so I’m not sure if I should just go for it now, but for [Like a Dragon] I was really, really inspired by One Piece. To me, Ichiban is basically Luffy. And around him, there’s Zoro and Nami and basically the rest of the party. One Piece’s party composition was on my mind so much during writing that it was a massive influence."
There are certainly similarities between the two, with both capable of switching from lovable goofball to stone-cold badass at the drop of a straw hat. Yokoyama continues, noting that "This is definitely not official, but in my own heart, [Like a Dragon] was basically my ideal version of what would be Yakuza: One Piece. That’s how I got the inspiration to make it."
The interview itself is a fantastic read and well worth checking out in its entirety, especially if you are as excited by the prospect of the excellent-looking Like a Dragon: Ishin! as we are. Can you see the Like a Dragon/One Piece connection? Are you excited to see the continued adventures of Ichiban and company in Like a Dragon 8? Let us know in the comments section below.