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How do you land a gig in the next Yakuza game?

Tips for the aspiring voice actor.


Looking to get yourself into the next Yakuza game? Here's a proven technique.

  • 1. Go to the Tokyo Game Show
  • 2. Find Producer Toshihiro Nagoshi (he's the dark one)
  • 3. Exchange your cell phone number with him

Former Morning Musume member Mari Yaguchi did just that in September:

And today, we got this:

As detailed earlier, Yaguchi will be appearing in Yakuza 4 as the voice actress and face of Mari, a massage therapist who works in the city of Kamiyacho.

Yakuza 4 uses high tech digitization techniques to map many of its voice actor faces into the game. This is why the in-game Mari looks a lot like the real Mari.

Sega has announced a good number of voice actor tie-ups for Yakuza 4, but it made a particularly big deal out of this one, holding a press conference in central Tokyo and inviting all the mainstream press.

You can see coverage of the press conference here:

Mari's role in the game appears to be minor -- just an NPC who doesn't play a role in the story. But Sega has given her dozens of lines, some even containing references to her Morning Musume days (Sexy Beam!).

At the press conference, Mari admitted to being a bit shy about some of the lines she was required to read, including such smut as "Big brother, you've gotten really hard."

Sega's publicity department explained at the press conference that the reason Yaguchi was chosen for the role is because Nagoshi is a big fan of hers. Yaguchi was surprised to hear this when the press mentioned it during a Q&A session.

I bet she was under the impression that exchanging her cell phone number had done the trick.

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