benedict: (cat noselick)
Hamster. Gentleman adventurer. ([personal profile] benedict) wrote in [community profile] yuletide2017-09-13 06:02 pm

Praise! Your! Fandoms! Get others interested!

Hey, everyone! It's Praise Your Fandom time!

Get people into your canon! Tell them what's awesome about it!

Tell them where to find it!

Tell them ALL ABOUT IT!

Please use this format:

<b>Fandom/Canon Name:</b>
<b>What's awesome about it:</b>
<b>Where to find:</b>

Thank you and have a great yuletide!

(ALSO: Please feel free to ask for specific recs too! Like post a thread going 'hey I'm looking for canons with bisexual leads' or something!)
undomielregina: Rusyuna from the anime Grenadier text: "Grenadier" (Default)

[personal profile] undomielregina 2017-09-14 09:15 am (UTC)(link)
Fandom/Canon Name: Yakuza
What's awesome about it: Yakuza is famous for a few things: violent, bone-breaking combat where you can repurpose a horrifying variety of environmental objects into weapons, including but not limited to tea kettles, salt shakers, and mopeds; convoluted conspiracy-filled plots; incredibly weird, cracky sidequests that derail or overshadow the main plot; and extensive minigames. The tone of the main plot frequently tries for noir but slides toward melodrama, not helped by the way you can identify a major boss fight because everyone is suddenly and inexplicably topless. The sidequests, on the other hand, tend to run to farce. Even in Yakuza Kiwami, where they often aim for a more serious tone, the effect is undercut by the sheer number of them that involve an attempt to scam the main character. After a while, the fact that there's a con artist practically on every block just becomes unintentionally funny. And then there's the way that everyone and their cousin seems to believe Kiryu, a dude who wears a permanent glare and who attracts fights without even trying, is the perfect candidate to play agony aunt for their romantic and sexual troubles. The mood whiplash is profound and delightful.

Then there are the characters: Kiryu Kazuma, the main character, is perpetually trying to stop being a yakuza, despite the fact that he actually loves everything about being one (except extorting people..., or harming innocents..., or murder..., or bribery..., or sex trafficking..., or drug running... Actually, why does Kiryu want to be involved in organized crime anyway? I'd assume it was the brawling, but he can't seem to go two blocks without getting into a street fight.) He looks like a thug and has a permanent glare, and yet for some reason passersby continually decide he's the ideal person on whom to unload their sexual and romantic woes. He's actually a pretty good dude and does his best to help, but he's so terminally awkward around sex and relationships that sometimes you just wish he'd learn to say no whenever a stranger decides to succumb to a serious case of TMI.

To be fair to Kiryu, most of his determination to go straight rests on a deep desire to provide his foster daughter, and later the other orphan kids he ends up looking after, with the best possible life and not, you know, saddling them with a father-figure who's out shaking down the local shopkeepers for protection money or in prison for murder. It's actually an admirable goal, if only he didn't get sucked right back in every couple years.

And then there's Majima Goro, who started as a side character and a bit of a joke, albeit a menacing one. He was first introduced nearly beating one of his own men to death with an umbrella for picking a fight with Kiryu, because he's somewhat terrifying and unpredictable and violent. He's also an absurdly loyal friend who would do practically anything for Kiryu (except stop showing up and picking fights). The recent remake of the first game has finally moved Majima's not-straightness and sexual interest in Kiryu out of the realm of subtext and into the realm of "I rented a strip club and then showed up alone to do a sexy pole dance for your welcome back from prison party. Can we fight now?" (Kiryu unironically thanks him for caring enough to have a party. They have an amazing relationship.)

Majima has a best friend/sworn brother, Saejima, who's in prison for most of the games, convicted of murdering 18 people. Majima was supposed to help with that, but life kind of got away from him. They also have an incredibly homoerotic relationship that mostly revolves around beating the stuffing out of each other as a means of expressing their deep feelings. In one game, a villain forces them to fight each other and then is visibly creeped out by how enthusiastic they are about it. Saejima is basically a bear: he's big, slow, and quiet in a way that could be mistaken for easygoing, but piss him off and he'll flatten you. Decisively.

Those three are my faves, but this is a sprawling series with a vast cast, many of whom are memorable. If none of them work for you, odds are good you'll find someone who will. And really, the main reason to play the series is that it's just pure fun.

(One note: the series is awful at female characters. There are plenty, and they're generally pretty great in and of themselves, but they tend to be sidelined, end up damsels in distress, and/or die. This is not a series to pick up if you're sensitive to sexism, because even loving it dearly, I end up wincing an awful lot.)

Where to find: If you're just thinking of picking up the fandom for the first time, you're in luck, because the first game just got a remake (a PS4 exclusive) and it's substantially shorter than more recent installments, with a main plot that only requires about 25 hours to complete! With later games requiring easily 60-100 hours, this is the perfect place to pick up the series. Or, if you want the mature Yakuza experience, pick up Yakuza 0, a prequel set in the bubble era of the late 80s intended to be playable by newcomers to the series. It's chock full of fun things to do and features Kiryu and Majima as dual protagonists.