Like a Dragon: Ishin Shares Early Story and Main Characters Details

Written by Contributor

December 6, 2022

SEGA is excited to introduce brand new information from Like a Dragon: Ishin!, which is releasing on February 22, 2023 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows, and Steam. This introduction will cover Tosa and Kyo, the setting for the game, and the key characters of this turbulent Bakumatsu era tale, such as Sakamoto Ryoma.


The Beginning

Despite being a goshi, a low-ranking samurai, Sakamoto Ryoma‘s skill with the blade earns him special permission to hone his swordsmanship in Edo. After a year of training, Ryoma returns to his hometown of Tosa.

Upon returning, however, he sees another side of Tosa: an oppressive class system that hasn’t changed since he was born. Having learned about the outside world while living in Edo, Ryoma decides to confront this oppression with his own hands. But his resistance is in vain, and he is imprisoned for his actions.

At that time, a man appears: Magistrate Yoshida Toyo, the most important person in Tosa. Toyo secretly supports the children who have lost their parents or siblings due to the class system, raising them as if they were his own. Ryoma was one of those children. Through Toyo‘s intervention, Ryoma is released from prison.

Ryoma heads towards Kochi Castle with his “brother” Takechi, whom he grew up with, to discuss future plans with Toyo.

However, a masked man appears during the meeting and assassinates Toyo. When the guards arrive, they mistakenly suspect Ryoma to be the killer. Ryoma manages to shake them off and chases after the masked man, but the man is able to escape due to his Tennen Rishin sword style.

Ryoma leaves Tosa in order to pursue the masked man and avenge his mentor.

He conceals his identity and goes into hiding in the city of Kyo. There, he learns from an informant that several Tennen Rishin users have gathered in a certain organization: The Shinsengumi, a notorious group of killers feared as the Mibu Wolves.

Ryoma abandons his name and becomes “Saito Hajime”, prepared to risk his life to infiltrate the organization.





A prominent castle town in Japan, home to “Nankaido’s Greatest Castle” – Kochi Castle. While it may seem simple, the town is full of energy, and people come and go constantly. However, a strict class system has everyone living in fear of the high-ranking samurai, the Joshi.

A land where the lines between dark and light are blurred. This setting will have a profound impact on Ryoma‘s humanity.



The heart of Japan and home to many important political locations, such as the Imperial Palace. There are many unique districts in the city of Kyo, such as Fushimi, which is filled with commoners and inns; Rakunai, a bustling area that symbolizes Kyo; Rakugai, a suspicious stretch of land with little traffic; Gion, a colorful town with many fine dining establishments and red-light districts; and Mukurogai, a dangerous place that most does not dare to approach.

It is said that those who conquer Kyo will become the leaders of Japan. Many have gathered in the city to realize their ambitions.


Main Characters



The “Dragon” of Tosa Searching for His Purpose

Tosa Goshi

Sakamoto Ryoma(Voiced by Takaya Kuroda

Ryoma was born as a “goshi”, the lowest class in Tosa. While Takechi Hanpeita and other youngsters in the same  situation as him are working hard to change their circumstances,

Ryoma struggles to find a purpose in life. However, his skill with the sword is peerless in Tosa,  and he is even allowed to train in Edo. Along with Takechi Hanpeita and Yoshida Toyo,  who sees promise on Ryoma,  he makes preparations to reform the domain.  However, an incident occurs on the eve of the revolution that drastically changes Ryoma‘s life.


Leader of the Revolutionaries and Ryoma’s Sworn Brother

Founder of the Tosa Loyalist Party NEW CAST

Takechi Hanpeita(Voiced by Hideo Nakano

Takechi is Ryoma‘s sworn brother who has looked after him since they were children. Yoshida Toyo saw promise in Ryoma and Takechi,  and he supported them as they grew up. He stands equal to Ryoma who is considered the strongest in Tosa. Many members of the Tosa Loyalist Party joined because they admire Takechi.

When Ryoma returns from Edo, Takechi invites him to the Tosa Loyalist Party and entrusts him with the position of  “Party Representative”, second-in-command of the party. However, the two go their separate ways after the death of their foster father, Yoshida Toyo.


Ryoma’s Foster Parent and The Most Important Person in Tosa 

Tosa Clan Magistrate

Yoshida Toyo(Voiced by Unsho Ishizuka

Known as the right hand of Yodo Yamauchi,  the lord of Tosa, Toyo is a central figure in the domain. Regarded to be an extremely strict ruler, he is feared by many. However, in reality, he is a very compassionate man with a strong sense of justice, and he despises the unjust ruling system more than anyone else. For many years, Toyo has secretly provided support to lower-class children who’ve lost their parents and faced discrimination.

All of this was done to gather the human resources needed to invoke change in the domain. Among these people were Sakamoto Ryoma and  Takechi Hanpeita, his sworn brother. On the eve of the revolution, however, Toyo is cut down. His death has a drastic impact on the lives of his foster sons, Ryoma, and Takechi.



The Absent Chief Shrouded in Mystery 

Shinsengumi Chief 【NEW CAST

Kondo Isami(Voiced by Akio Otsuka

Kondo is the Chief of the Shinsengumi. He possesses the uncanny ability to unite a group of outlaws into a cohesive organization. However, he rarely appears at the Shinsengumi  Barracks and even some of the captains have never seen his face.


The Cruel and Merciless “Deputy Chief from Hell”

Shinsengumi Deputy Chief

Hijikata Toshizo(Voiced by Nakamura Shido

As the second highest-ranking member of the Shinsengumi, Hijikata manages the affairs of the group in place of the ever-absent Kondo.

He created laws for the organization and mercilessly disposes of members who violate them.  Even Shinsengumi Captains aren’t shown any leniency. In addition to his ruthlessness,  he rarely shows any emotion,  and members of the organization secretly refer to him as the “Deputy Chief from Hell”.


The Mibu Wolf who is shrouded in mystery

Shinsengumi Captain of the Third Division

Saito Hajime(Voiced by Takaya Kuroda

Hajime is a mysterious ronin whose origins and real name are unknown. Due to his reclusive lifestyle devoted to gambling and drinking, he regularly receives snide remarks from workers at the Teradaya Inn.

However, his true identity is Sakamoto Ryoma,  who has abandoned his name and infiltrated Kyo to pursue the man who killed Yoshida Toyo. After a yearlong investigation, Ryoma concludes that the perpetrator is connected to the Shinsengumi,  and he steps into the wolves’ den to get closer to the truth.


Key Characters

The Unique Commander of Satsuma

Satsuma Military Commander

Saigo Kichinosuke(Voiced by Masami Iwasaki

Saigo is a large man with a honed,  muscular physique and golden hair. His striking appearance leaves an impression on everyone he meets.

While he has a warlike and dynamic personality,  he also has the aptitude to debate with  Bakufu officials and leaders of other domains. Not a single soul knows what Saigo and the Satsuma domain are aiming to do.



Other characters and more details can be found here

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