Yakuza Producer: In My Personal Opinion, Kiryu is Probably a Virgin

This is Niche Culture. In this column, we regularly cover anime, geek culture, and things related to video games. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

The Yakuza series has been known for its attention to detail with its portrayal of Japanese towns, cities, and most importantly – its people, which sometimes are violent Yakuza gangsters. Most of the gameplay involves you playing as series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, who tends to just throw down with any thug that challenges him. What fuels his indomitable rage and power?

It seems like Kiryu is actually a poor incel (involuntarily celibate) trapped in a murderous Japanese gangster’s body, if a newly translated interview (thanks, SegaBits) with the main story writer on the series is anything to go by.

“I have one digression about character backgrounds,” series script writer and chief producer Masayoshi Yokoyama said. “This is just my own interpretation and as such isn’t official or anything like that, and I hope people read it as a kind of lip service, but I think that Kiryu is probably a virgin. Probably.”

He naturally had to elaborate how he arrived at this shocking, but possibly tongue-in-cheek, analysis: “Kiryu held this pure love for Yumi Sawamura, but because of Nishikiyama he probably never made any strong advances on Yumi. Probably. Neither Kiryu nor Nishikiyama laid a hand on Yumi until they were 27.”

“I do think that Nishikiyama probably played around along the way, though. Probably. Things happen and Kiryu ends up spending 10 years in prison for the murder of Sohei Dojima. Though he does enjoy himself with hostesses after being released, I’m sure he never actually lays a hand on them because he loves Yumi. And then Yumi passes away, and time just drags on. Mayumi says something about this in Ryu ga Gotoku 5 as well, right? ‘We’ve been together for six months, but haven’t done anything.’ That means that Kiryu must still have no experience and keeps holding onto that pure love. Probably.”

Yokoyama finished up by noting his remarks are by no means canon or real, and they’re not meant to be – it’s just his speculation.

“I’m sure that there are a lot of cases to be made for and against my opinion, but generally, when something is set in a fantasy world you can, with a level of realism, think about things that you usually never would,” he said. “Leaving to one side the question of whether or not Kiryu is a virgin, I think that one of the charms of Ryu ga Gotoku is that you can talk like this about the kind of silly things you might discuss at a bar.”

The latest game in the series, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, is now available for PlayStation 4, worldwide. In case you missed it, you can find our thorough review for the game here (we highly recommend it!).

Brandon Orselli


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.