It’s been a long tradition of having real-life Japanese products appear in the Yakuza games. Very little are known to the west, which makes the cultural appeal lost, but I assure you it’s pretty boss. Like BOSS coffee!
Get back to your post in heaven already, Tommy, you angel man.
However, this isn’t really to talk about the full-on product placement, this is more to just note some parodies or spoofs of products, people, etc! Either just for kicks or maybe they couldn’t get the product. None of these I can say are 100% confirmed, but some are just hella obvious.
- Harahetta/Calorie Mate
- Egao de ee yan!/Waratte ii tomo!
- Ichigo Maaya/Kyaryu Pamyu Pamyu
- Daddy Papa/Lady Gaga
- Gigants and Wyverns/Giants and Dragons
In convenience stores, you can see at the end of some displays, etc a small yellow box package that says “Harahetta” on it (in romaji) which is basically a colloquialism for “I’m hungry”. This can be particularly seen as Shinada when you do the convenience store quest. This is a blatant spoof of Calorie Mate, also known as the food that powers up Solid Snake and makes him gruff “GIVE ME MORE”.
笑顔でええやん！(Egao de ee yan!) / 笑っていいとも！ (Waratte ii tomo!)
In Haruka’s chapter, mostly her Another Drama, you have to guest on a variety talk show called Egao de ee yan. The host interviews Haruka and makes jokes and all that jazz to a totally bright and crazy set. This is a very obvious reference to the real Japanese variety program Waratte ii tomo!, even in title (Egao is noun for smile, warau is verb for smile/laugh). The host for the real program is named Tamori and he is a legend. He is never seen without those shades of his, even when doing samurai period pieces!
いちごマーヤ(Ichigo Maaya)/Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
As Akiyama, you’re tasked with being the stand-in manager for an idol named Ichigo Maaya. She is a normal girl in private life, but as an idol she is a made-up character who dresses silly, acts overly “cute” and silly, and supposedly hails from the Strawberry Kingdom. From first sight, it’s pretty obvious she’s supposed to be a parody of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a real-life Japanese idol who I am sure everyone knows by now.
Daddy Papa/Lady Gaga
As Shinada, there is a substory where you have to be a guide/bodyguard to an American celebrity named Daddy Papa. She wears a kelp dress (as in, literally wearing actual kelp as a dress). The whacky name, her Americanness, stardom, weird fashion, etc, it’s highly likely she is a spoof of the meh but nonetheless super popular Lady Gaga. Being a substory NPC, they didn’t go too into detailing Daddy Papa’s model, but it’s still a pretty clear Lady Gaga parody when you play it.
Gigants and Wyverns/Giants and Dragons
Shinada used to be a pro baseball player. Sadly, he never got passed being a rookie. The team he played for was the Nagoya Wyverns. His shining moment was a climactic final chance homerun against the Tokyo Gigants. These are not-so-subtle references to the real teams of Chunichi Dragons and Tokyo Giants. The Dragons are also based in Nagoya. They just swapped the type of giant mythical lizard! The Giants->Gigants change is less subtle.
More to come!