Long-time Yakuza protagonist Kazuma Kiryu will have a new English voice actor starting in Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, and fans are unsure about it.
As reported by The Gamer, YouTuber Yong Yea is replacing Darryl Kurylo and gave fans a preview of the new voice at Anime Expo 2023's Dragons of Japan panel.
"That little monologue he did was painful," said a Reddit user in response. "And the yell at the end was very much not Kiryu." Others were less critical of the performance, though still didn't think it was a good fit. "Yong Yea's voice isn't horrible but it sounds like a 20 year old, not a 50 year old," said one.
Here's a clean version of the Kiryu voice & dialogue from Anime Expo in more ideal conditions. This is NOT an official recording, line, or direction from the game, it's a quick off the cuff recording from my home booth. Wait for the final game to see how it all comes together. https://t.co/R7j23sQUhE pic.twitter.com/HtO8JOoXdU
— Yong Yea 🐉 Eng Voice of Kiryu (@YongYea) July 3, 2023
The YouTuber posted on Twitter to defend himself though, and released a better quality but still not professional version of the audio clip.
"Here's a clean version of the Kiryu voice and dialogue from Anime Expo in more ideal conditions," Yong Yea said. "This is not an official recording, line, or direction from the game, it's a quick off the cuff recording from my home booth."
Finally, reiterating what a lot of commentors were saying in defence of the new voice actor, he added: "Wait for the final game to see how it all comes together."
Yong Yea will star in The Man Who Erased His Name as it connects the events of Yakuza 8 and the upcoming Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. It's due to launch on November 9, while Infinite Wealth only has a vague 2024 release window so far.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.