A Day in the Life of Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza series)
I was a late comer to the Yakuza series, missing the first two entries entirely and playing Yakuza 3 for the first time earlier this year. Suitably impressed, I picked up Yakuza 4 soon after release and have been enjoying it ever since. Although it differs from the rest of the series by offering a playable ensemble cast, Kazuma Kiryu is still unquestionably the star of the show – the barometer by which all his peers are measured.
There is never a dull moment for Kazuma. He is a kind-hearted soul who dedicates his life to running an orphanage, but also an ex-gangster who is all too easily drawn back into the world of crime and violence he claims to have left behind. He has much in common with Red Dead Redemption’s protagonist John Marston – an ex-outlaw who walks away from his life of crime, yet is unable to fully extricate himself from it.
Much like I did for John Marston last year, here is a tongue-in-cheek entry from the diary of everyone’s favourite stoic Yakuza, the Dragon of Dojima - Kazuma Kiryu.
Tuesday 3rd April
Sunshine Orphanage, Okinawa
4.30 am - It’s an early start to the day as I have a plane to catch. I’m off to Tokyo to bust some heads. No time to trim my sideburns.
4.45 am – Packing is for sissy-men. I only have two outfits: a Hawaiian shirt and a suit from the Eighties, so no need for luggage
4.50 am – I just said goodbye to the kids. I’m not worried about leaving them alone in a house that backs onto a road, is only 10 metres from the sea and is located in a town run by sociopaths. Shit, I didn’t really think this through. I better ask the neighbours to keep an eye on them.
6.30 am – I’m on the plane. My overwhelming manliness left the air stewardess weak at the knees, so I carried her into the toilets and made love to her. I used the opportunity to change into my Tokyo suit.
9.30 am – I’m back in Kamurocho, just in time for katsu-curry and a swig of Japan’s number one premium beer: Suntory Premium Malts. Apparently it’s the ideal beer for relaxing in front of the TV or surfing the Net, or so the waiter tells me. I was under the impression that it was just a standard, convenience store lager.
10.00 am – I have plenty of time, so I will go for a stroll and visit some of my old haunts.
10.20 am – Interesting fact: per square metre, Kamurocho has the highest concentration of Christmas jumpers and brown turtlenecks in the world.
10.30 am – Some guy across the street is giving me the eye. Have I got shit on my face?
10.32 am – The perturbed stranger was convinced that I owed him money, though I swear I’ve not met him before. He put his hand on my collar, so I stamped on his face. Despite jumping on his head with all my might, he was still able to get-up and apologise profusely, though his choice in gifts was a little strange. What am I going to do with a dirty handkerchief ?
11.10 am – Try as I might, I’m incapable of killing anyone, and I really tried with that last guy. I set him alight, broke his arm, ran him though with a sword and stamped on his jugular. He just shrugged off the vicious beating, gave a bloodied bow and offered me an energy drink.
11.11 am - I really should buy a gun.
12.00 pm – I’m hungry and lonely. I’ll go to the burger joint and kill two birds with one stone.
12.19 pm – As always, I came away from the burger shop with more than just a Happy Meal. Her name is Hanako and I’m taking her to karaoke.
12.30 pm – I’m trying to make a good impression. I hope she didn’t notice the bloodied tooth stuck to the side of my shoe. Bah, who gives a fuck – I’m KAZUMA KIRYU!!!!
12.45 pm – Hanako has fallen for my Karaoke charm. All those hours visiting Karaoke-kan on my own are paying off. She will be unable to resist once I have belted out my heartfelt rendition of “Kamurocho Lullaby”.
1.45 pm – The lady is satisfied, and I didn’t even mess up my hair. I had better start looking for Goro Majima – the craziest Yakuza in Tokyo and a brother in arms.
2.37 pm – A battery, a fishing magazine, 13 energy drinks, a chunk of wood and a dildo. Thirty gang members defeated, and I’m running out of pockets. Street punks carry the strangest things.
3.02 pm – Good old predictable Majima. We squared off, he pulled a knife, I kicked his arse and then he acted like nothing had happened. He informed me that there is an emergency in the Tojo Clan, and I’m the only one who can prevent bloodshed. Time is of the essence.
9.30 pm – I got a little sidetracked at the batting cage, bowling alley, hostess bar, massage parlour and SEGA arcade. Time really does fly when avoiding life and death situations. Think positive Kazuma, there still may be time to save the Tojo family.
9.31 pm – This is definitely my last go on Boxcelios 2.
9.45 pm – Time for the big show-down, on a rooftop no less. The combatants are bare-chested, flaunting their impressive tattoos for all to see.
9.46 pm – I wonder how much money I’d save on tailoring if I didn’t rip off my suit each time I fought a formidable foe.
10.10 pm – Disaster averted, and I’ve got an hour to spare until the last flight back to Okinawa. Despite my best efforts, I don’t think I will ever escape my past as the Fourth Chairman and the responsibilities that come with it. Even if the streets were filled with zombies and the Apocalypse was nigh, I’d still probably be drawn back here.
10.11 pm - I wonder if SEGA is still open?