The Yakuza series (or Like a Dragon, choose your favorite) has a long history of strange naming conventions and a certain selectiveness for which games end up getting a full English voice cast. The very first Yakuza title for PlayStation 2 was fully dubbed in the West, but only a couple of the following titles received the same honors as time passed.
And the newest addition to this mess of a fun franchise is Like a Dragon: Ishin. Although it’s just a re-release of an almost 10-year-old game, it will be the first time players outside Japan will be enjoying this title. It would be logical to celebrate this with a complete English dub, wouldn’t it? Maybe not.
Will Like a Dragon: Ishin Have English Voices? – Answered
Like most expected, Like a Dragon: Ishin is not getting an English dub. Players are locked into the traditional Japanese voices with English subtitles, just like in most of the series. This is a deliberate choice according to the series’ producer Masayoshi Yokoyama, who stated a few solid reasons for not recording some EN voices.
The first one is the game’s own setting. Instead of a recreation of modern Japan, players will be experiencing the Bakumatsu era in the final years of the Edo Period in Japan. Due to the archaic dialect and some hard-to-translate terms, many of the phrases would take too long to pronounce. This would cause some problems with lip-syncing, but not a huge issue when all you have to worry about are subtitles.
The other one is simply the public’s preference, as most players would just end up playing with JP voices and EN subtitles anyway. Be it for the immersion, or maybe because they’re used to the voices from previous titles, or simply because they’re weebs, Yakuza players prefer the original voices most of the time.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon was the most recent title to receive an EN voiceover. It’s not a bad dub in any way and has plenty of golden moments here and there, but the original voices are still the usual way to go for most, even in that game. So turns out we’ll have to stick to our Japanese men saying Japanese stuff in our Japanese game.