One of the most unique games of the new generation of consoles is arguably Yakuza: Like A Dragon. The 7th game in the Yakuza franchise, the game was a radical departure from the series that shifted to a turn-based RPG. The game was a massive success for fans and critics for its bombastically marvelous cast of characters in the party. Now, what if I told you the inspiration for those characters was One Piece?
That’s right! The famous long-running anime was an impactful inspiration for the characters and overall feel and tone of Like A Dragon. In an interview with Crunchyroll, producer Masayoshi Yokoyama broke down how the game was heavily formed by the adventures of Luffy and the Straw Hats.
“I’ve never really talked about this before, so I’m not sure if I should just go for it now, but for [Yakuza] 7 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, you know? One Piece’s party composition was on my mind so much during writing that it was a massive influence. If I recall correctly, even the catch copy for 7 was something like ‘Life is an adventure,’ with the keyword being ‘adventure.’ You can definitely feel the One Piece inspiration coming through there. And, you know, and this is definitely not official, but in my own heart, Yakuza 7 was basically my ideal version of what would be Yakuza: One Piece. That’s how I got the inspiration to make it!Via Crunchyroll
You know? That quote makes a lot of sense now that I think about it. Ichiban and Luffy do have the same energy. They both are so damn earnest and will do whatever it takes to do what they believe is right. Even if, at points, it’s utterly insane. It almost makes me want to go back and replay the game to see what other comparisons to One Piece can be found.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon is available now on PS4/PS5, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, and PC. As for One Piece? It continues to chug along into its final arc. I don’t think I’m ready for the day it ends. What do you think about Yakuza being inspired by Luffy and the gang? Let us know in the comments below!