Kenny Omega Tells Us Why His Military Card In Like A Dragon: Ishin Is All Elite
Like a Dragon: Ishin, the upcoming remake of the 2014 Yakuza spinoff set in 1860s Japan, is getting a dose of Elite thanks to All Elite Wrestling’s Kenny Omega. Sega has announced that “The Cleaner” will assist the player as one of the game’s many cards.
Central to Ishin’s mechanics, these cards deliver special attacks and bonuses with the help of several fan-favorite characters, including the likes of Ichiban Kasuga. Omega’s card, aptly named Essence of the One-Winged Angel after his Final Fantasy-inspired finishing move, can slash enemies with a powerful, frontal attack. wide using his angel wings.
To learn more about the announcement, I sat down with Omega to chat about the origins of his Trooper card, his enduring love of the series formerly known as the Yakuza, and whether he knew. how to use the katana or not.
GI: I know you are a huge fan of Like A Dragon and I also know you spent a lot of time wrestling in Japan. Have you ever played the original version of Ishin? And if so, between that or the remake, what excites you most about it?
Omegas: So I never played the original Ishin. However, at the time it was released, I was in a dorm for the current promotion I was fighting for, which was DDT at the time, and we had bunk beds just like in my room. So I’m on the top bed, and my roommate on the bottom bed, he’ll always play this game. And I said like, hey, what is this? And he tried to explain to me because my Japanese at that time, it was okay. He also tries to speak English as best he can. And he said, ‘Oh, no, this is the Yakuza.’ I said, ‘Well, do they do samurai stories in the Yakuza?’ [He’s] like, ‘yes, they do.’ And I said, ‘Well, how was it? Is it good? Is it as good as the real thing? [are]?’ [He said] ‘Yeah, that’s fine too. You don’t have it in Canada? I said, ‘No, we don’t have [it] in Canada.’ And that always got me thinking that there are complete full-length entries from a completely different era that have been released in Japan and that we have never achieved. So it’s nice to have a complete remake for all of us to play right now. And what’s even more interesting is that I also got a bit into it.
Looking at your card and your use of the One Winged Angel motif, can you talk about the kind of input you have to give your Trooper card?
So I’m really afraid to give an opinion because I’m not sure what the boundaries are. I just think I’m lucky to be here. I’m happy to be here, so whatever we can do, let’s make it happen. I just want it to be good for fans of the series, fans of the game, who just want a really strong card. And they came to the table with the One-winged Angel Essence, which I thought, oh, you know what that’s from, right? And yeah, they were like, ‘No, we know. We just thought it was you. You move, it’s part of who you are, it’s part of your identity and we want that in the game.’ So between that, card art, everything; that’s me throughout. Therefore [it’s] It’s great to have a 100% complete representation of Kenny Omega and I feel it’s very, very accurate.
The Essence of Kenny’s One-Winged Angel Card. Its description reads: “A burly martial artist who has traveled through space, time and reality in the service of the Shinsengumi. It is said that his elite skills can summon the stars on their own. “
That’s a power move by RGG, by the way. Let it just say, ‘Yes, we know where the One-Winged Angel comes from’ and then move on
YES! I mean, it’s great. This is type [like] in wrestling, comes from a business where you have to pretend that no one else exists but you. That’s not my mission statement in wrestling at all. I was like, man, it’s great to see people with the same mindset. Great.
I noticed that your card character has a katana and that made me wonder: have you ever used or learned to use a katana in real life?
Not in real life, no. I remember a previous photo session where they gave us armor, and they gave us very basic lessons so that we could have the correct footwork and maintain the correct posture as we progressed. I take pictures in Japan. And it’s very fun. And it makes me want to treat it as a hobby if possible. But sometimes you see something interesting and you want to spend time on it, and in the end, only other schedules will come that you can never do. But it’s always been something that I consider great, and whenever I see it in full play, I always regret the path I didn’t take. But it always feels like [that], You know? I wish I could sing better. I wish I could dance. I wish I could play the piano. I wish I could have a black belt in a bunch of martial arts. And you always feel like, unfinished, I wish I could find a way to fit my schedule a little better.
You’re personally into a video game, so I personally feel that supersedes all else.
A little bit, yes.
Congratulations on that. Of course, aside from yourself, what’s your favorite Trooper card to use in Ishin from what you’ve played?
Oh my God. Well, I can’t play anything but the demo at [Tokyo Game Show], so it’s a little early and a little early for me to say that I have a favorite besides me. And I’m going to throw it out there, there’s a good chance that even after playing every Army card, my card will still be the favorite. Because of what I’ve seen so far, I think mine is the most useful. And I think they’ve empowered me a little bit as a favor for all the years I’ve worked hard and served on the series as well as the millions and millions of dollars I’ve pumped into becoming a Yakuza fans after all this time. So I hope that my character card will continue to be one of the favorites among everyone’s decks.
Are there any big Like a Dragon fans in the AEW dressing room, and if so, have you taken the opportunity to brag about this cameo to them?
That is a very good question. I really rarely talk about video games these days with many people in AEW. I remember when I was in Japan and new Japan [Pro Wrestling], and we would travel on the bus a lot, and that kind of thing became a more common topic of conversation. ‘Hey, are you playing any games, what are you doing to pass the time, yadda, yadda, yadda.’ And, you know, that creates a conversation about what kind of TV series you’re watching or what kind of game you’re playing. So, I mean, there are some old guys that I still chat with who I traveled with in New Japan. Like, I’ll talk to Trent [Barretta] sometimes and say, ‘Hey, do you play anything?’ But yes, not specifically. I feel like the person I talk to the most about video games is probably Adam Cole?
That makes sense.
Yeah yeah yeah. No, he definitely knows that I love this series. And we always talk to each other about which games are taking up our time until now. So it will be a very current topic of conversation for us. So when Ishin comes out, I will definitely talk about Ishin.
You can convince Adam to stream Ishin and then ask him to use your card all the time.
YES! I mean, he loves streaming single-player story campaigns. So yeah, I think that’s a good thing for him.
You’re pretty well known for all the video game cosplay you’ve done at various wrestling shows. Can we expect your Soldier card cosplay at a big show in the future?
I would be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it. So perhaps. It’s almost a safe bet.
And then you can practice your katana skills for that.
YES. I mean, at least we have, even if it’s not a traditional katana, at least we have Hikaru Shida in AEW who is very talented in kendo. So I should be able to learn something. At least one or two things.
So how can players get your cards in the game?
Very simple. So without giving away any secrets. Well, it’s a big secret, but it’s available for free to download the game at launch. So that’s the simplest card you can get. All you have to do is own the game! Own the game, download the free DLC 1,000 percent. It’s very simple, like me or hate me. Hey, get a free card out of it. So it’s a free card, very powerful, and again, look, don’t you know I’m a wrestler? It’s good now. I do not care. We’re just RGG fans and I’m trying to give you the best OP crowd control effect card you can get your hands on and it’s all yours for free. I think you’ll like it. The nature of the One-Winged Angel, pay attention to it. It’s really yours, and I really hope all RGG fans, all pro wrestling fans, myself included, if they exist, will enjoy this card.
To get the ball into your court, is there anything you’d like to share about your cards that we haven’t talked about today?
Have. I believe it will be after chapter five, something like that. So I think once the characters can use this card, I think things will be a lot easier. I’d say a lot of the battles will become almost too easy. So, whether that makes things more enjoyable for you to feel empowered or if it makes you feel too easy, I don’t know. But about the card, I’ve given all the information I can give until now, but I think people will like it. And hopefully, that’s the first to include many other possibilities. It would be great to work on this series again, to work with Sega, all of these amazing people and to be in touch with the fans. It’s always been the most rewarding part of it just to get over it and to see how many people, like me, have all these other interests and all these other means of entertainment around the world. So it’s been great to be a part of something close and dear to my heart and to meet people who are a bit alike. It is very neat.
Like a Dragon: Ishin launches on February 21 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.