The Yakuza series never disappoints when it comes to its long list of eccentric characters, and Judgment is no different. Many of these figures have some weird and wonderful backstories. Sometimes, when players get lost in all the chaotic events of any one of Yakuza’s titles, they miss out on some interesting points that make the role that much better.
From the main character to some nasty villains, a lot goes into making these characters great. Some of the most entertaining details might not even relate to the story, but rather the game’s production. Knowing these aspects not only gives fans a look behind the curtain, but a better understanding of their favorite personalities.
Masaharu Kaito’s History With The Matsugane Family
Starting his allegiance with the Matsugane family at an early age, Masaharu didn’t wait long after middle school before joining up. Around the same time, he met up with Takayuki Yagami while he was employed at Bar Tender, starting their relationship and causing trouble through their teenage years.
Masaharu spent almost 20 years as part of Matsugane family. However, he then let the entire family down by allowing 100 millions yen to be stolen from the head office. This almost led him to cut one of his fingers off for penance, though he narrowly avoided it with a little help from Takayuki and Matsugane’s leader.
Issei Hoshino Can Handle A Fight
Issei Hoshino is one of the more conventional characters in Judgment. His mild manner and tame temper would lead most to believe he couldn’t handle himself in a fight, especially when he’s wearing his suit and backpack.
However, Issei is actually a third degree black belt, something that players never get to see used in the game. It’s a complete game changer as far as his image goes. Issei is now a peaceful warrior instead of a nervous victim.
Mafuyu Fuji’s History
Mafuyu Fuji doesn’t come off as a helpless damsel, as she’s one of the only female characters in the game to be useful in battle. Her dark past definitely explains a little more about her no nonsense attitude.
At a young age, her parents were killed in a hit and run accident. This would eventually lead her to the chief prosecutor, Kunihiko Morita. She had fallen in love with him while he was working on her parent’s case, and he heavily influenced her career.
Ryuzo Genda’s Fatherly Influence
Together with Mitsugu Matsugane, Ryuzo Genda helped raise the game’s protagonist and guided his career in the early stages. Owning his own law firm after years of successful practice, he gave Takayuki his first job as a prosecutor and still helps him with odd jobs to this day.
He and Matsugane have been best friends for over 40 years, despite being in completely different fields. Their unlikely pairing makes them the unique influences over the character’s unique path in Kamurocho.
Fumiya Sugiura’s Robin Hood Days
After the unfortunate murder of his sister, Fumiya’s path eventually lead him to joining a gang of masked thieves. This group hid their identities while robbing the rich and giving to the needy. However, their leader Crow quickly adopted different motivations.
It was these greedy intentions that lead Fumiya to quitting the group and becoming a target. Behind his cocky attitude and Jester mask, Fumiya never strayed to the dark side, at least not as dark as most of the characters in Judgment.
Takayuki Yagami Comes From An Earlier Game
Though Takayuki debuted in 2018, plans for the character have been floating around the Sega studios since Yakuza Kiwami 2. This is evident from the original character model’s presence in the games files.
While he makes for a great protagonist in Judgment, he was probably meant for a deeper side role in the main line games. Fans of the character will be happy that developers made the right choice by giving him the spotlight. Still, it would be interesting to see a cameo.
Saori Shirosaki Shows Players How Everyday Sexism Feels
Since Saori is one of the only playable female characters in the game, designers didn’t waste the opportunity to give the player some cultural context. In one of the scenes, players are forced to walk through a hostess club while dressed to the nines as a woman.
They even modified the catcalls in the game between the English and Japanese versions, making sure that players in both cultures really got a slice of the experience. This makes the small window that players spend in a woman’s shoes an uncomfortable point to walk through.
Kyohei Hamura’s Voice
This character was initially supposed to be voiced by Pierre Taki, the Japanese voice of Olaf from Frozen. However, character was remodeled after the actor got into some legal trouble at the time of production. This left it to Miou Tanaka to save the day and be the voice fans hear today.
Taking one of the game’s daunting villains and changing his face is no easy task, leading to the title being pulled off shelves and digital releases as soon as the controversy hit. After having to rerecord the voice acting for the character and adding an original model, Judgment has been changed forever.
Toru Higashi Rose Through The Ranks
Once just an underling to Masaharu Kaito in the Matsugane family, he has now taken his place and worked his way up to being Charles’ manager. Fiercely loyal to his former superior, he went to great lengths to try and clear the prior members’ name.
However, it wasn’t a completely selfless move, seeing as Toru was also present during the time of the families biggest robbery. It was only due to Masaharu not ratting him out that he managed to escape the same fate and claim his current position.
Takayuki Yagami’s Similarities To Other Protagonists
As unique as Takayuki is in Judgement, he also shares a lot of uncanny similarities to Tatsuo Shinada, one of Yakuza’s main protagonists. From the style right down to their tragic backstories of a ruined career, it’s hard to escape the parallel paths.
The main differences are their current careers and vastly different fighting styles, both of which directly impact the gameplay. Takayuki’s gang affiliation and investigation work might explain the improved combat skills and flashy moves.