Hidenari Ugaki, the voice actor for Goro Majima in the Yakuza / Like A Dragon games, said that he hasn’t been invited to record lines for the latest game in the series. At least, not yet. The reveal came via a comment aired as part of an episode of anime series Pop Team Epic .[Thanks, Famitsu!]
For those who haven’t seen it, Pop Team Epic is less a narrative-driven series and more of a variety show, featuring guest personalities doing voices and skits. Some skits are adapted from the original Pop Team Epic comic strip by Bkub Okawa, and others are original gags using everything from professional 2D animation to live-action segments parodying news programs. Each roughly 30-minute episode is divided into two almost identical 15-minute halves, using different voice actors and other differences between them. The back half of episode 11 featured Goro Majima voice actor Hidenari Ugaki and Takaya Kuroda, who plays Kazuma Kiryu in the Yakuza / Like A Dragon games. Following the episode, a special segment called Pop Tuber featuring the two ad-libbing their conversation was uploaded to the official Pop Team Epic YouTube channel.
Check it out below.
During the segment, Ugaki and Kuroda talk freely about various topics. Kuroda then mentions that he’s recording for “the next game” in a series that they work on together, without mentioning it by name. The hint is telling, since Kuroda and Ugaki have only worked together as voice actors on Yakuza / Like A Dragon, where Ugaki is Majima’s voice actor and Kuroda is Kiryu’s voice actor. Ugaki reacts in surprise, saying he hasn’t heard anything about recording for it starting. Momentary panic ensues, with Ugaki jokingly demanding the producers “come out here and answer.”
As for which game in the Like A Dragon series Kuroda is referring to, it could be Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, or Like A Dragon 8. Chronologically speaking, Like A Dragon Gaiden would be the next game in the pipeline, as its release window is set for 2023. Like A Dragon 8 is coming out in 2024. AIt wouldn’t make sense for Ugaki to be surprised about Like A Dragon: Ishin!, since he already plays Souji Okita in that game.
Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is out on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC in 2023. Like A Dragon 8 will be out for the same platforms in 2024. Like A Dragon: Ishin! has a February 2023 release window on the same platforms.