Yakuza: Like a Dragon Producer Reflects on One Piece Inspiration, “Ichiban Is Basically Luffy”


Yakuza: Like a Dragon introduced the world to the lovable rogue Ichiban Kasuga, a petty criminal with a heart of gold. But did you know that some of the inspiration for Ichi’s portrayal comes from the mega-hit One Piece manga, and more specifically, from the characterization of protagonist Monkey D. Luffy himself?

That’s right, 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 says, “I’ve never really talked about this before. , so I don’t know if I should just go now, but for [Like a Dragon] I was really, really inspired by One Piece. To me, Ichiban is basically Luffy. And around him are Zoro and Nami and basically the rest of the party. The composition of the One Piece party was on my mind so much during the writing that it was a huge influence.”

There are certainly similarities between the two, with both being able to go from lovable goofball to stone cold badass in the blink of an eye. Yokoyama goes on to note that “It’s definitely not official, but in my own heart, [Like a Dragon] was my ideal version of what Yakuza: One Piece would be. That’s how I got the inspiration to do it.”

The interview itself is a fantastic read and worth reading in its entirety, especially if you’re also excited about the prospect of the excellent Like a Dragon: Ishin! as we are. Can you see the Like a Dragon / One Piece connection? Are you excited to see the continuation of the adventures of Ichiban and company in Like a Dragon 8? Let us know in the comments section below.

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