Originally posted on 23 February 2016
Source: Ryu ga Gotoku 4 Guidebook, page 584-587

Ryu ga Gotoku 4: Masayoshi Tanimura

Those who cooperated
*Toshihiro Nagoshi (general producer)
*Masayoshi Kikuchi (producer)
*Masayoshi Yokoyama (scenario/direction)
*Jun Orihara (director)
*Kazuki Hosokawa (design leader)
*Tadashi Okuda (battle game design)
*Mariko Kawase (adventure game design)
*Yuji Saito (motion design)
*Fujiyoshi Shimohara (sound programmer)
*Naoki Someya (stage design)
*Kazunobu Takeuchi (adventure game design)
*Saizo Nagai (character design)
*Yuri Fukuda (sound)
*Ryosuke Horii (karaoke/heat actions)

Q. Please give us a catchphrase you think suits Tanimura perfectly.

● The kind of guy who really shouldn't be working for the government. [Nagoshi]

● A detective known as a "parasite". Just what it says on the box. [Kikuchi]

● Bonds between people that go beyond blood. The fight of a man who pushes on with his convictions, believing in a single hope. [Yokoyama]

● A hunk (in a sort of "Taiyo ni Hoero" way). [Orihara]

Q. How did Tanimura change from the start of development to completion?

● At first he was almost a moody guy who just dragged his past around with him, but in the finished article he became something else entirely. [Kikuchi]

● Tanimura was actually the one I had the most difficulty giving a character to. When I was writing the scenario, I had his personality be sort of like at first glance he looks totally disinterested, but doesn't really say his true feelings. We initially did a lot of talking about trying to solidify his character, but it wasn't really happening... Mr. Narimiya was cast in the role, so we borrowed his worldview and character as well. [Yokoyama]

● At first we couldn't get a grasp on his personality, thoughts or principles, and so he just had the image of being a cunning guy and not much else. In the end, though, Mr. Narimiya's style got mixed in, and I think he became a pretty unique person in the series. [Orihara]

Q. Now that the game is complete, what kind of feelings and impressions do you get from Tanimura?

● When we decided that we were going to go with a multi character game system, the very first role we decided upon was that of a detective. It was easy to understand in terms of creating a contrast with the main character. On the other hand, however, it made it difficult to give him individuality. I think, though, that our final decision to go with making him a kind anti-hero and combining this with Narimiya's performance was a really good choice. [Nagoshi]

● He was the protagonist who took the most trial and error to create a character for, but Mr. Narimiya was a decisive factor, allowing us to realise a personality and coolness comparable to that of the other protagonists. [Kikuchi]

● He's the one out of the four with the profile that makes him seem like he would be the one you would most expect to normally exist. I do think that this is just because the other members are overly fantastic, though. [Orihara]

Q. What is the theme of Tanimura's chapter?

● "Justice" and "bonds". No matter what, I wanted to call Tanimura "Masayoshi" (正義, "justice"). Initially, Akiyama was meant to be Jingi (仁義, "virtue"), Saejima was Michiyoshi (道義, "morality") and Tanimura was named Masayoshi (正義), and they were all bearers of righteousness (義). I wanted it to be used as a symbol of the protagonists' way of life. Akiyama and Saejima's were changed, but Tanimura's wasn't. I thought that Masayoshi would work for him after all since it was a name given to him by his father. As a sort of symbol of that, I wanted to make his story itself about the hunt for what true justice means. I was actually also really stuck with Sayama in Ryu ga Gotoku 2, who is fixated on her blood. Because of this, I thought it would be a good idea to have someone who was the total opposite, and created Tanimura. He's the type to whom parents don't matter at all - he just feels indebted to the people who treated him with care. [Yokoyama]

● When you think of a red light district and the police, it has to be 24 Hours [Keisatsu 24ji, a police documentary series]. I thought that had to be included, so I expressed the feeling of crimes occurring in real time using his police radio encounters. [Orihara]

Q. What kinds of things did you have in mind for Tanimura's section's substories?

● They're focused around the idea of what's really important, and what true justice is. In the main story, Tanimura spends the whole time searching for the reason why his adoptive father was murdered. That's why he became a detective. There's a story amongst the substories where he learns about his real father, but in all honesty Tanimura himself has no interest. Who his real father is isn't important to him. Another thing to take note of is not justice as seen by a member of the police, but what it means to Tanimura himself. If you're living inside a system created by someone else, you don't know what jusice really is. Tanimura is the rare kind of person who lives by his own system. [Yokoyama]

● I worked hard on utilising the fact that he's a detective to the maximum. Tanimura isn't a very sincere detective, though, so even if he witnesses an incident occurring he won't necessarily get involved. I was careful not to forget to give him a motive for engaging in these incidents. That's something he has in common with the other protagonists, including Kiryu. There are, of course, lots of stories that are related to official incidents and crimes in his role as detective, but he's also based primarily in Little Asia, so the events that happen there are generally given to Tanimura as well. [Takeuchi]

Q. Please tell us Tanimura's design theme.

● He's a young man who at first glance appears weak, insincere and sullen, but something about him makes you feel the inner strength he has that pushes him forwards in the search for the person who killed his father. [Hosokawa]

● He's a police officer filled with a sense of justice, but in addition he's also loose, careless and spiteful. I think that we managed to add in some good things whilst preserving Mr. Narimiya's cool air. [Nagai]

Q. How did you end up choosing Mr. Narimiya as Tanimura's voice actor, and what are the secrets behind his voice?

● He was the kind of person who could speak with both wild and sweet tones whether in a movie about deliquents or romance, so I really wanted to see what he could do as a detective. [Nagoshi]

● We'd been thinking about showing off this kind of personality in a game since around the time of Kenzan!, and this time we managed it. [Kikuchi]

● Tanimura borrows some of Mr. Narimiya's own character, so we worked together to get a grasp of the atmosphere as we did the recording. [Yokoyama]

Q. Please tell us what happened during Tanimura's voice recording for karaoke and mini games.

● The protagonists read out the name of the piece that moves forwards, so we recorded a huge number of lines. This means that even simply recording the voices would be a challenge, but we then learned that Mr. Narimiya wasn't at all familiar with shogi, so it became even more difficult... The recording itself started quite late on, which also made me nervous, but he patiently gave his performance whilst checking the intonation for each and every word, and in the end it turned out to be a fantastic performance. I felt like I got a firsthand glimpse of the "actor's spirit" that day. [Takeuchi]

Q. What did you struggle with and focus on with regards to Tanimura's movements in battle?

● We really didn't want to make his movement techniques into moves that were only for advanced players, so we struggled with adjusting things like how easy we should make them, how long the interval for producing them should be, and what the range of the move should be. [Okuda]

● What we had in mind when we were making them were movements based on refined movements and self-defence that utilises the opponent's strength, flowing in a way that makes you think of nimble restraint techniques. Tanimura's bojutsu heat action, a delicate move, is a move that was created with three changing stages: striking with a stick, locking, then throwing. The movements are difficult, but they're cooly put together, so you have to see them! [Saito]

● He has a lot of special heat actions that come from things such as combos, so in terms of just making them, he was the hardest of all. He was the one I struggled most with when trying to maintain a balance between them being easy to execute but keep the reckless danger. [Horii]

Q. The protagonist changes with each part and their level is reset. What kind of challenges did this present?

● We weren't sure up until the latter half of development which of the abilities that each protagonist obtains using skill souls should be unlocked from the start, and whether we should add more conditions. Tanimura and Saejima in particular have their climaxes right from the introduction. [Okuda]

Q. Tanimura is deeply involved with Little Asia. What parts of the district's atmosphere did you pay particular attention to?

● We gave it its own unique atmosphere by recording specific background chatter for it in languages such as Chinese and Korean, which you wouldn't normally hear around Kamurocho. [Shimohara]

● The image I had in my head when I was making it was that of the back alleys of a shopping district that you might find in China. In order to create a gap between it and the main streets that people come and go on, I worked to give it run-down and impressionable scenery to create an underground atmosphere. [Someya]

Q. Tanimura fights in the last battle in the final part. Did you decide upon this easily?

● I never decide upon the ending of the story, always creating it using the developments that would shock me the most, but this ending surprised me more than anything. When I was thinking up the ending scene, I wondered who you would be most shocked to find standing in front of the money, and it felt to me like it would be Daigo. Kiryu is the one who would have to defeat Daigo in this situation, but having this as the final battle wouldn't bring the story to its conclusion. In terms of settling the trouble, ★★ is the final boss. So I tied the story together to have ★★ be at the end; then I wondered, "Okay, then who should be the one to defeat ★★?" and thought it might be Tanimura, so I went with that. I never focused on giving the honour of fighting the last boss to Kiryu. [Yokoyama]

※Editor's note: so as not to spoil the story, it has been blanked out with ★★ (same below).

Q. Please explain Tanimura's charms.

● This is another slippery, non-committal character, but deep down he definitely has a different kind of passion to Akiyama. You'll find yourself charmed by the strength of his heart. [Nagoshi]

● The way he's a smart delinquent, but also a righteous, honourable man. He's a valuable person. [Kikuchi]

● His capacity to be broad-minded with everyone. He actually seems to me like the most accomodating of the four. [Orihara]

● He's known as the parasite of Kamurocho, the people around him hate him, and yet he takes all of this unflinchingly in his stride; on the other hand, he refuses to tolerate unjust crimes against foreigners, and so I think that even in the RGG series, which has a lot of middle aged characters, he has a presence that can compete with the old guys. [Hosokawa]

● I respect the strength of will he has not to yield to the rules of the system. I can't believe that he's younger than me. He does seem like he would be difficult to have as a subordinate, though. [Takeuchi]

● The way he's like a kid who takes everything on by himself and works hard. [Kawase]

● You can sense a youthfulness in the way he tries to do things smartly, but you can't take your eyes off the way he grows through his struggles. [Saito]

● As a detective, it's cool how he believes in his own righteousness and pushes on fearlessly in order to find out the truth. I guess one of his charms is also that, unusually for a character in the Ryu ga Gotoku series, he's quite handsome. [Shimohara]

● The way that despite his being a police officer, he also has an outlaw's side to him. [Someya]

● The way he'll take bribes but also helps people who are in bad spots, and how caring he is towards the people he's close to. [Fukuda]

● The way he can act reliably based on his own sense of "justice". [Horii]

Q. What is your favourite Tanimura scene or line?

● "Why... Why's it have to be you?!" The reason why I like it... well, that would be a spoiler... Make sure you play it and feel it for yourself. [Nagoshi]

● My favourite part of Tanimura's is the bit where ★★ dies and he says, "Why's it have to be you?! Why's a cop have to kill another cop?!" Tanimura's supposed to be pretty clever, so I think he had realised from the start that there was something suspicious about ★★. When he was looking at ★★'s shoes, he knew something was up. He just didn't want to believe it. Tanimura himself felt a human charm from ★★, and I think he also respected him as a cop. He didn't want it to be true, but it was, so I think that's what he was screaming about. [Yokoyama]

● The scene where he first goes into Little Asia. It's not something we've done before, and there's such a large gap between his cop image and that of Little Asia, so I think it's the perfect place to grab onto. [Orihara]

● We had chosen the perfect location and lighting for the scene where he tries to wring the truth out of ★★ after settling the hostilities between them, so I think it's a great scene in the game that's befitting of a special mention. [Hosokawa]

● "Give it up." This is the very first line that was added to the voice script, which happens when you go for the Arrest heat move. [Okuda]

● The scene where Sugiuchi begins his monologue after their battle. It shows Tanimura's unbearable emotions, and it's really touching. [Kawase]

● "Always a pleasure." You can feel the young Tanimura pushing himself as he says this line, not feeling particularly sorry at all, and the innocence of him midway through his growth as he continues to polish himself is amazing! [Saito]

● The substories relating to Tanimura's birth and cop stories and systems, like Nair's training, bring an element of suspense that the RGG series hasn't really had before, which makes an impression. [Shimohara]

● The scene where he's being interrogated by Sugiuchi, all the while listening to the horse racing commentary. It makes you think, "Just how gutsy is this guy?" Of course Sugiuchi gets mad. [Takeuchi]

● His line after he chases down ★★ ("Who killed my father?"). He already knows who did it, but because he doesn't want to believe it (?) he asks the same question again, and you empathise with him. [Someya]

● The way Tanimura tries to read the people around him and figure out what to do in the substory The Mixer makes me grin. [Nagai]

● "We're done here, right? I'm kinda busy." I guess it's so like Tanimura to casually say something like this to his boss. I would never say something like that (laughs). [Fukuda]

● The scene where he goes down a back alley and gets his money from an illegal sex shop. I think it's the ultiamte charm and weapon of the Ryu ga Gotoku team that we're able to so completely create this kind of scene and atmosphere. [Horii]

Q. Everyone please tell us the part of Tanimura's chapter you managed (or were involved in) that you want people to take note of.

● The scene where he talks with Lily at Homeland. It's a long and slightly boring scene, but it's voiced, so I worked hard on it. [Kawase]

● I guess it has to be the climax scene. I want people to see the scene where Tanimura's heart reaches the max. [Saito]

● You should listen out for the sound effects that were made so it would seem like a cool detective movie. I also recommend fans of Mr. Narimiya's to play a variety of mini games and hear the diversity of his voice. [Shimohara]

● Look out for Little Asia, the western rooftops, and the wharf. [Someya]

● Although she doesn't appear in many scenes, I personally think that Mei Hua is the one who creates the atmosphere of Little Asia, and I quite like her. [Nagai]

● The general sounds of the town, all of the mini games, particularly the daydream scenes, all-out ping pong matches with the hostesses, and karaoke. [Fukuda]

● There are lots of unique heat actions, so it would make me happy if people would use them to their fullest. [Horii]