When Yakuza met Sylvanian Families – Culture Collection #12

What happens when you cross the gentle country lifestyle championed by Sylvanian Families, the internationally popular line of anthropomorphic animal mini-figures, with the hard-boiled, gripping criminal underworld that plays host to SEGA’s Yakuza series of crime games? Twitter user @momomousoumomo calls it ‘Yakuzania’ and their take on the seedier residents of Kamurocho in a more… cuddly style is certainly a spectacle to behold.

I’ll be frank – I haven’t a clue what the inspiration behind this bizarre mashup could be. Maybe we’re looking at a hardcore Yakuza fan who simply wants the series’s distinctive cast to get some much-needed downtime? Alternatively, perhaps they felt the grandiose 50’s-inspired setting of Sylvanian Families lacked a notable presence of organised crime. Either way, these are two franchises that make an unlikely duo, yet the universe of Yakuzania is a strangely compelling one…

First, let’s take a look at the characters. Series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu‘s sharp facial features and unmistakable white suit and red shirt (which according to actual Yakuza, doesn’t make for a particularly good fashion statement in the real-life criminal underworld) have been captured brilliantly – it appears that the majority of the cast are sporting handmade garments and facial hair pieces, and just looking at the amount of detail put in makes it apparent that they were made by someone who takes their Yakuza seriously. It’s a nice touch that Yakuza‘s resident violent eyepatch-wearer Goro Majima has been created both in his trademark garb as well as his cabaret girl disguise, which he uses in an attempt to ambush Kiryu in remake of the original game Yakuza: Kiwami.

Something almost as important as the characters in Yakuzania is the antics they get up to. Be it doing some drawing, throwing a birthday party or in the case of Fuma Family lieutenant Osamu Kashiwagi, driving a bus full of nursery school children, you may be surprised to hear that most of its residents have seemingly forgone a life of crime for some gentler pursuits. However, even in this more ‘approachable’ form, they still can’t resist the allure of a cold one.

Sometimes the Yakuzania cast even ditch the rolling hills of 50’s not-Britain and take to the road. Eagle-eyed readers may spot some pretty authentic-looking cosplay in the background of some of these pictures – in case it wasn’t evident before that we’re dealing with a very dedicated Yakuza fan. Whilst we’ll probably never have all the answers behind how this crossover came to be, it’s easy to appreciate a remarkable level of dedication to some incredibly unique handiwork.

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