I went to Berlin not long ago to sample the emotional highs and lows of Like A Dragon: Ishina remake of a spin-off that was previously only released in Japan back in 2014. Aside from almost crying and racing chickensI had the chance to interview Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios’ chief producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto, who revealed his favorite thing about the game: Goro Majima’s undeniable sex appeal.
I asked Sakamoto what his favorite thing from Like A Dragon Ishin was, whether it be a small thing or something your average player might not pick up on. After a “hmmm” and a slight pause, he answered the question with a slight grin on his face. After a second or two, the translator cackled uncontrollably and I, too, started laughing at him. Eventually, everyone regained their composure and Sakamoto’s answer was unraveled.
“When we made the original game we had decided to make it an all-star cast, but we didn’t really know who to include in the game. We were having trouble figuring it out. So, we basically asked the fans who they liked the most and picked the popular ones,” explained Sakamoto.
“When we finished it [the popularity contest]we did the announcement of the results in Shinjuku, in front of this place called Alta – a big gathering place in Shinjuku, if you’re unfamiliar with it,” Sakamoto said with a glint in his eye. “And I think we did the top five, or top ten people and we had it on a big screen and it was, like, a big announcement.”
“And when the number one person came up, and it was Majima, there was just this huge horde of female fans that all just screamed and screamed. And at that moment, we were like, ‘Wait a minute, girls like Majima this much ? that popular with the ladies?!'”, Sakamoto recalled, with a smile.
So, there you have it. Sakamoto’s favorite thing about Ishin is the fact that Majima’s surprisingly popular with the ladies. I mean, the female gaze isn’t all about chiseled bods and sharp jawlines, right? And I think Majima – who, sure, is an undeniably good-looking bloke – isn’t your stereotypical fitty. Some folks just want a greasy Mad Dog, who lives in sewers and screams your name repeatedly with an ear-splitting enthusiasm.
Let me tell you, if I was there in Shinjuku for Majima’s reveal, and even if I didn’t know who he was or what game he was from, I could see myself among the crowd screaming. Such is his hold over me.