- "We have certain issues to clear up before we can continue any form of relationship, business or otherwise. Let's lay our cards on the table. I am Yakuza and I know you've been working for Salvatore Leone's family. I can give you work with our organization, but first you must prove to me that your ties with the Mafia are truly broken."
- ― Asuka Kasen
Asuka Kasen (Japanese: 加瀬明日香, Kasen Asuka) is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who as a main character in Grand Theft Auto III (set in 2001) and Grand Theft Auto Advance (set in 2000). She is the co-leader of the Yakuza in both her appearances, after the death of her brother, she became the main leader of the mafia. Asuka is also related to her brothers Kazuki and Kenji and her niece Yuka. She is voiced by Lianna Pai, who has also starred in Law & Order.
Asuka Kasen was born and raised in Liberty City along with her brothers Kazuki and Kenji. She became co-leader of the Yakuza following the death of Kazuki at the hands of Leone Family mobster Toni Cipriani. After becoming co-leader she moved to Liberty City and bought a condo in the Newport district of Staunton Island. Under her and Kenji's leadership the Yakuza began to lose turf around the city. She later established a chain of sushi restaurants throughout the city.
In 2000 she is joined in Liberty City by her niece, Yuka, who is kidnapped by Mike on orders from Cisco, the leader of the Colombian Cartel. Asuka, unaware of Mike's role in Yuka's kidnapping, contacts him to rescue her, which he does. Mike gains the trust of Asuka after rescuing Yuka and begins working for her, collecting money from a casino owner, injuring a Vice City Mambas football player, killing Biff Rock (although Mike spares his life, convincing Asuka he killed him), identifying and kidnapping a truck driver delivering rotten fish to her sushi restaurants, kidnap a number of Mafia mobsters and killing a pimp. Asuka later sells the Mafia mobsters to people in Asia as slaves.
Asuka had also been looking into the death of Vinnie, Mike's best friend, and gives Mike the location of the explosives expert responsible, although Mike finds the man already dead. He later discovers that Vinnie had faked his own death and after killing him, Mike decides to flee the city. Asuka offers her help but leads Mike into a Mafia ambush, although it is unknown whether this was intentional. Asuka, however, may have discovered Mike's role in the kidnapping of her niece. She continues living in the city but appears to send Yuka back to her possible father Kenji, as she does not appear in Grand Theft Auto III.
Asuka continues to live in the city and helps her old friend, Maria Latore, escape from the clutches of Leone Family Don Salvatore Leone, along with Maria's 'boyfriend' Claude. Asuka helps them escape by boat to Staunton Island, telling Claude that he needs to prove himself before she will employ him. She tasks Claude to kill his former boss, Salvatore Leone, which he does, making Maria a widow and his son, Joey Leone, without a father. She later orders him kill a number of Leone Family hitmen located opposite her brothers casino, a Liberty Tree reporter and an undercover police officer named Tanner. Asuka, satisfied of Claude's abilities, introduces him to her brother Kenji and corrupt police officer Ray Machowski, who both employ him on Asuka's word.
Claude, always looking for work, begins to work for businessman and media mogul Donald Love, who has him kill Kenji Kasen, disguised as a Colombian Cartel member, to spark a gang war to drive down real estate prices. Asuka, enraged by her brother's death, attacks a Cartel-controlled construction site and captures a wounded Miguel, torturing him for information about Cartel business, also teaching Maria in the art of torture. With the information gained from Miguel, she has Claude kill three Cartel death squads, stop the sale of SPANK by the Uptown Yardies and steal SPANK packages at Francis International Airport, after which he returns to the construction site to find Asuka and Miguel dead. Catalina, the leader of the Colombian Cartel, had also left a ransom note for Maria, who is later rescued by Claude.
- Asuka is in the unusual position of being a female with a high ranking position within the Yakuza. The LCPD, however, believe that her position is due to skills in "torture, security and information retrieval". This can be evidenced when she tortures Miguel. This may also refer to the wife of Kazuo Taoka temporarily taking over his role as head of the Yamaguchi-Gumi (Japan's largest, most powerful Yakuza family) in 1981 after her husband passed away.
- It is greatly hinted in Grand Theft Auto III that Asuka may be bisexual and, over the course of the game, has an affair with Maria Latore. She frequently speaks flirtatiously towards both Maria and Claude and the intro cutscene for the mission "Payday For Ray" heavily implies that Asuka had been engaging in BDSM with Maria before Claude arrived.
- It also is strongly hinted that Asuka is a sadomasochist, evidence of this can be seen in GTA III as her seeming enjoyment towards torturing Miguel; her behavior has also been carried over into the GTA Advance depiction.
- The working name for Asuka during the development of GTA III was Kemuri.
- Asuka's name may be based on a play, or, on the name of the huge Japanese corporation Asahi Kasei.
- GTA III
- Last Requests
- Sayonara Salvatore (Boss)
- Under Surveillance (Boss)
- Paparazzi Purge (Voice/Boss)
- Payday For Ray (Boss)
- Two-Faced Tanner (Voice/Boss)
- Grand Theft Aero
- Bait (Boss)
- Espresso-2-Go! (Boss)
- S.A.M. (Boss/Killed; off-screen)
- Ransom (Deceased)
- GTA Advance
- Kid's A Hero (Boss)
- Ante Up (Boss)
- Two-Hand Toss (Boss)
- Scorned Lover (Boss)
- Sue Me Sushi (Boss)
- Down The River (Boss)
- Bad Pimpin' (Boss)
- Assault Joint (Boss)
- ↑ "~g~Maria and Kemuri are all tied up at the moment -Drop by later!" in American.gxt.