5 Crucial Plot Points to Remember Before Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
A refresher course.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth takes Ichiban Kasuga and his ragtag group of friends on a tropical vacation to Hawaii, marking the first time the franchise has traveled outside of Japan. However, it’s also a direct sequel to Yakuza: Like a Dragon, building on the events of that game while seemingly looping in a farewell story for Kazuma Kiryu. Even after just a few trailers, it’s clear Infinite Wealth will build on what’s come before, which means you’ll want to be as familiar with the events of the previous game as possible. With that in mind, here are a few vital plot points you need to remember before jumping into Infinite Wealth.
Yokohama’s Underground Factions
There are many factions and criminal organizations to keep track of across the franchise, but Yakuza: Like a Dragon has a few specific groups to be aware of.
Like a Dragon is set in Yokohama, which has three main criminal groups known as “The Ijin Three.” These are a Japanese Yakuza group called the Seiryu Clan, Chinese-Japanese triad gang the Yokohama Liumang, and Geomijul, which is a Korean surveillance syndicate. The cooperation of these groups has created an idea called the “Great Wall,” which protects the city from the influence of outside criminal organizations, like the Tojo Clan.
After the events of Like a Dragon, the leadership of these groups gets drastically shaken up, and their vice grip on the city wanes, allowing outside forces to start pushing in. That will likely be a key detail moving into the events of Infinite Wealth.
The leader of the Liumang, Tianyou Zhao, ends up joining forces with Ichiban and cedes his power to Seonhee, the leader of the Geomijul. This means Seonhee now single-handedly controls almost all of Yokohama’s underworld. We don’t know exactly why yet, but Seonhee will be a new party member in Infinite Wealth.
The Dissolution of the Omi and Tojo Clan
One of the main narrative beats is the announcement of the dissolution of Japan’s two biggest crime syndicates, the Omi Alliance and Tojo Clan. Both Ichiban’s party and Kiryu end up helping to disband the organizations, which is completed near the end of the game.
This means there’s now a massive power vacuum in the underworld, ripe for a new villain to take advantage of. This also means tens of thousands of Yakuza across the country are suddenly out of a job and way of life, forcing them to try and reintegrate into society. The Tojo Clan has been a major part of nearly every game in the series, and Infinite Wealth looks like it will try to tackle the question of what happens when that power structure is suddenly stripped away.
Ichiban Kasuga’s Real Father
Ichiban Kasuga, the protagonist of Like a Dragon, grew up as an orphan, raised by the manager and workers of a Kamurocho Soapland, a sort of bathhouse turned brothel. At a young age, Ichiban got into a spot of trouble and found himself joining the Arakawa Family of the Tojo Clan. During his time with the group, Ichiban became the caretaker of Arakawa’s son Masato but eventually ended up taking the fall for a crime someone else in the family committed, which sent him to prison for 15 years.
The major twist of Like a Dragon, however, is the identity of Ichiban’s biological father, who turns out to be Masaru Arakawa, the patriarch of the family. It’s a shock, but Ichiban already saw Arakawa as a sort of father figure and refuses to see him as anything but “the boss.” After the dissolution of the Tojo Clan. Shortly after learning the truth, Arakawa is ripped away from Ichiban as he perishes in the plot of Masato Arakawa, who’s changed his name to Ryo Aoki and wants to control Japan’s elections through blackmail and coercion.
At the start of Infinite Wealth, Ichiban travels to Hawaii to find Akane, the only woman Arakawa ever loved — and who could be his mother.
The Fall of Bleach Japan
Bleach Japan is an organization founded by Ryo Aoki in his quest to gain control over the political powers of Japan. Bleach’s mission statement is to eliminate the “gray zones” of the country where crime is tolerated by the police, letting Yakuza organizations operate without resistance.
Aoki wanted to use Bleach Japan to collect evidence of politicians’ corruption to use as leverage, while simultaneously using the muscle of the Omi Alliance to gain more power himself. After Aoki is outed as Arakawa’s son the organization faces turmoil and dissolves into another group. Members of the police who weren’t implicated by Aoki turn Bleach Japan into a new gang called RK (Red Knife), which plays a big role in the game Lost Judgment. This new organization wants to gain control of Yokohama’s underworld. While Bleach Japan is technically dissolved, its ideas and remnants could still play into the story of Infinite Wealth.
Kazuma Kiryu and the Daidoji Faction
Longtime series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu comes back in Infinite Wealth as a second main character. There’s too much history to cover for the character here, but we covered the basics before last year’s release of Like a Dragon Gaiden.
At the end of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, Kiryu has to fake his demise to protect his loved ones. He makes a deal with the Daidoji Faction, a shadowy federal agency, working as their agent in exchange for his family’s safety.
Throughout Like a Dragon Gaiden, we see Kiryu face serious tension with the Daidoji, who keep him under constant surveillance. Kiryu still manages to assist with the dissolution of the Tojo despite this, and at the end of Like a Dragon Gaiden, he’s assigned a new mission, coincidentally in Hawaii where Ichiban himself is heading.