Ganryu was a talented rikishi whose strength and talent in the ring allowed him to become the youngest fighter ever to reach the rank of ōzeki. While having the talent to easily reach the rank of yokozuna, it was Ganryu's lifestyle outside of the ring that was to be his downfall, as his arrogant attitude and illicit gambling habit led to him being dishonorably discharged from the sport. Still determined to prove himself to be the strongest fighter in the world, Ganryu entered a new tournament to prove his strength - the King of Iron Fist Tournament. While unsuccessful in winning the tournament, losing to Yoshimitsu and having his ill-gotten gains seized by the ninja, his talent was recognized by one Kazuya Mishima who, upon winning the tournament and seizing control of the Mishima Zaibatsu, appointed Ganryu as a bodyguard. One of Ganryu's tasks in this role was to find the young Native American, Michelle Chang, and seize an amulet in her possession. Not only was Ganryu unsuccessful in obtaining the amulet, but he fell in love with his target. His affection was unreciprocated, however, leading a rejected Ganryu to turn his back on his life of crime and move to Hawaii to open a sumo stable of his own. Ganryu happily lived his new life for over twenty years, until his attention was caught by a competitor of the fourth King of Iron Fist tournament - a young woman named Julia Chang, adoptive daughter and spitting image of her mother, Michelle. His love rekindled, Ganryu entered the fifth tournament with hopes of obtaining the disc of forest restoration research data sought by Julia in the hope of winning her heart and making her his beloved wife. While he was successful in finding the data and giving it to Julia, his love once again went unrequited. This led a dejected Ganryu to return to Hawaii and indulge another passion of his, food and cookery, and he opened a restaurant called "Chanko Paradise". However, the restaurant was not the success he had hoped, and Ganryu fell on financial difficulties. Upon learning of a sixth tournament, Ganryu entered in the hopes of winning the prize money to fund his restaurant. Ganryu failed to win the tournament and, as he did not return for the seventh tournament, the fate of him, and his restaurant, remain unknown.
Ganryu is a very proud and passionate man, and full of confidence. In his younger years, this caused problems for him, as his arrogance in the ring led to his dismissal from the sport of sumo. Ganryu was also very materialistic, with his greed for wealth leading him into a bad gambling habit. As he grew older, however, he matured and turned his back on illegal activities and developed a stronger moral compass, after which he tried to make a more honest living while standing up and fighting for what he thought to be the greater good. Ganryu also shows more respect for his fellow competitors and an awareness of risks, whereas his overconfident and impetuous younger self had little respect for his rivals, although he is still short of patience for those he feels does not show him mutual respect. As well as being big of stature, Ganryu is also big of heart, and his romantic side led to an infatuation with Michelle Chang and, later, her daughter Julia, a love which was to go unacknowledged and unreciprocated. Despite his honorable side, his feelings towards Michelle and Julia have resulted in a peverse nature that has fluctuated within Ganryu.
Ganryu is a tall, imposing figure, well built with the large stature and muscles befitting of a rikishi. Ganryu wears his hair in a chonmage topknot, as is the tradition in his sport, and has a visible birthmark or scar on his forehead.
Main Article: Ganryu/Outfits
Ganryu's most recognizable outfit is his traditional rikishi attire, which consists of a mawashi and bandages wrapped around his wrists and ankles. Ganryu has also worn a white yukata fastened with a blue belt, as well as robes and shorts of other designs and colors, and a more formal outfit of a long black shirt worn over grey hakama pants with white tabi and geta sandals.
Ganryu is a successful sumo wrestler, the youngest ever to reach the rank of ōzeki and arguably the strongest wrestler in the sport. Ganryu aims to become Yokozuna and own a sumo wrestling stable of his own one day, but his unacceptable conduct inside and out of the ring leads to him being dismissed from the sport. This leads Ganryu into a life of crime and illegal gambling, where he builds up a wealth of ill-gotten gains. During this time, Ganryu hears of a new martial arts tournament, the King of Iron Fist. Seizing the opportunity to prove his strength, Ganryu enters the tournament, where he comes face to face with Yoshimitsu, leader of the Manji Clan. Yoshimitsu defeats Ganryu and takes his ill gotten wealth, which he gives to the poor in keeping with his clans philosophy.
Ganryu is a sumo wrestler of great merit. He is also the youngest fighter ever to gain the "Ozeki" rank. Once this title was gained, many who watched the sport (including a certain bandit leader, Yoshimitsu) thought Ganryu would reap the rewards and challenge for the title of "Yokozuna", a title he was more than capable of winning. However, his immoral style (such as starting bouts with fire breathing and a fanfare whilst taunting his opponents, coupled with his bad gambling habit) lead to a dishonorable discharge, providing Ganryu the opportunity to join the crime world.
This path of life led Ganryu into pursuing one overriding purpose: to become the world's strongest man in a move that he feels is just and honorable. This, of course, led to his arrival in the first King of Iron Fist Tournament, where he was defeated by a one-time fan, Yoshimitsu. Noticing his skill, Kazuya Mishima hired Ganryu once the former retook the Mishima Zaibatsu, paying the sumo wrestler more than enough to feed his gambling addiction. Ganryu is participating in the second tournament mainly as Kazuya's bodyguard, but he also has another motive: he hopes to build and own a sumo ring to impress his secret crush, Michelle Chang (whom he fell in love with after seeing her movements and physique), while gaining the Yokozuna title.
Ending Description: Ganryu is standing in a sumo wrestling arena. After nodding at the screen, he does some sumo moves. The scene ends with a close-up of a photograph of Ganryu.
After competing in two King of Iron Fist tournaments, Ganryu established a Sumo stable in Hawaii as part of his plan for a luxurious retirement. Even though he was rejected by Michelle, he was happy at how things had turned out.
One day, Ganryu, now 55-years-old, was watching a video of the King of Iron Fist Tournament 4 and spotted Julia Chang, who reminded him of Michelle. He immediately fell head over heels in love with her. He also learned that Julia had entered the tournament to recover the reforestation data from the Mishima Zaibatsu.
It was shortly after that an invitation for the King of Iron Fist Tournament 5 arrived. Ganryu thought that winning the tournament would provide the perfect opportunity to recover the reforestation program. Surely Julia would fall madly in love with him if he were able to recover the data.
Epilogue Text: Ganryu wins and is successful in retrieving the Forest Rejuvenation Data. He will now give Julia the data and confess his love.
Ending Description: Ganryu is looking at a body of water with a small bridge going over it as the epilogue text above appears on screen. A ship is coming on screen from the right-hand side (the side that the small bridge is on). Julia Chang runs up to him from the left-hand side. Ganryu takes the Forest Rejuvenation Data out of his mawashi, and then dusts it off a little bit. He gives the Forest Rejuvenation Data to Julia. Julia says, "I... I can't thank you enough. With this, I'll be able to bring back the forest." Then, Ganryu tries to confess his love to Julia. Suddenly, he pulls out an engagement ring held in a small box while yelling, "I'm in love with you!" However, Julia has unfortunately left, and has apparently not heard him. A boat passes by on the body of water, coming from the right-hand side. Ganryu says, "Julia?...", and then opens his mouth in disappointment and shock.
During The King of Iron Fist Tournament 5, Ganryu lost his way and accidentally stumbled into the research laboratory of the Mishima Financial Group, and, in the laboratory, found the disc containing data for the Reforestation Program. Believing he finally had what he needed in order for Julia to accept his proposal of marriage, he presented the disc. But it was only the disc that she accepted.
Afterwards, Ganryu returned to Hawaii and established a restaurant (specializing in Sumo cuisine) called Chanko Paradise. However, the restaurant didn't take off as he had hoped. Around that time, it was announced that The King of Iron Fist Tournament would be held once again. Seeing this as an opportunity to promote Chanko Paradise, Ganryu decided to participate in the tournament to do just that.
Ending Description: Ganryu has just defeated Azazel. He takes the orb out of Azazel's body and gazes at it. Then, a strange energy from the orb ripples through Ganryu's arm, injecting him with the Devil Gene and causing him to grow horns, wings, long nails, and even the Devil Mark on his back. Devil Ganryu remarks on the awesomeness that is "the incredible power flowing through his veins" but, as he attempts to fly away, he is unable to do so because of his weight, and despondently says, "But I can't fly?!"
Ganryu did not return for Tekken 7, nor is he mentioned, but advertisements for his restaurant, Chanko Paradise, can be seen on the Arena stage, so it can be assumed that Ganryu has fully retired from fighting to focus on his restaurant career in Hawaii.
Ganryu appeared as a playable character in Tekken Tag Tournament.
Ganryu features briefly in the first half of Tekken: Blood Vengeance, where he is depicted as a PE teacher at Mishima Polytechnical School where, unlike in the games, he is a very strict and serious character. He is seen waiting for Xiaoyu and Panda when they arrive at the school, where he summons Xiaoyu to the principal's office to inform her that she's been expelled and transferred to Kyogoku Academy. At first, she believes it's only because he considered her to be late, but Ganryu goes on to tell her that it's because she's cost the school three hundred grand in gym repairs, saying that she destroys something every time she goes to P.E. Additionally, he comments on her failing every subject and having a complete lack of discipline. As he asks the "principal" what's next, the chair turns to reveal Anna Williams, who throws a dagger straight at Xiaoyu's head, which she evades with a backflip kick. For the rest of the scene, Ganryu silently watches from the background as Anna assigns Xiaoyu with the task of gathering information on Shin Kamiya. He is no longer seen afterwards.
Ganryu is a playable character in the sequel to Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Ending Description: Ganryu is secretly peeking inside Julia's room, where he sees Julia's mask, and manages to enter the room discreetly, even though he knows he shouldn't be doing so. As Ganryu continues peeking into her room, he sees that she is having a shower. As he watches, arguing with his own conscience about doing so, Lei Wulong suddenly appears and arrests him, charging him with voyeurism while Ganryu desperately pleads his innocence. Special Alliance Partners:
Ganryu started out as a Jack "clone character", slow and powerful, with some additional moves of his own, mainly consisting of heavy strikes, pop-ups and rapid slaps. Since his return in Tekken 5, his moveset has been expanded greatly.
While not being the fastest of characters, Ganryu is balanced, flexible and surprisingly agile, allowing for some pretty deceptive low attacks and surprising tactics. His pokes hit hard and are pretty safe, and he's got several short string combos that can be used effectively. His speed, while slightly faster than Jack's level, is still below average.
Ganryu fights using Sumo Wrestling. Sumo is an ancient and popular sport in Japan in which a Rikishi is to force (or throw) his opponent outside a circular ring, or force them to touch the ground using a body part that isn't their feet. Although Sumo itself is not strictly a fighting style of sorts, it is still classified as a martial art and has played a large influence in the development of modern Japanese martial arts, specifically Judo.
- Kazuya Mishima - His employer in Tekken 2.
- Lee Chaolan - Ganryu's boss in Tekken 2 and employer in Tekken: The Motion Picture.
- Michelle Chang - Ganryu's unrequited love interest in Tekken 2 and Tekken Tag Tournament.
- Julia Chang - His unrequited love interest since Tekken 5. Ganryu is constantly trying to win over Julia's affection, while she does not reciprocate his love. In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, he is also attracted to Jaycee, who, unbeknownst to Ganryu, is actually Julia in disguise.
- Bruce Irvin - His ally in Tekken 2.
- Anna Williams - His ally in Tekken 2
- Ling Xiaoyu - His former student in Tekken: Blood Vengeance (non-canon).
- The kanji for Ganryu's name individually mean: "rock" (巌 gan); "dragon" (竜 ryū).
- While Katsuhiro Harada's favorite Tekken character is Heihachi Mishima, sometimes he'll answer that it is Ganryu out of pity (because he is the least popular character in the series).
- Ganryu is one of only two Japanese characters (the other being Miharu Hirano) who is currently not connected to either the Mishimas, Kazamas or the Manji Clan.
- Ganryu is the only person who worked for Kazuya Mishima in Tekken 2 that does not work for him in Tekken 6.
- Ganryu bears a striking resemblance to E. Honda from the Street Fighter series, Taka-Arashi from the Virtua Fighter series and Akatsuki-Maru from Buriki One, but this is mainly due to the archetypal outfit and haircut worn by many Sumos in fiction, along with a similar set of eyebrows & loincloth (mawashi).
- Ganryu's sub-boss is Yoshimitsu.
- Ganryu's sub-boss is Michelle Chang.
- His sub-boss is Julia Chang.
- Ganryu has a secret fifth win animation. It can be seen by pressing and holding "u+1+3+4" after having won a fight with Ganryu. For this win animation, Ganryu jumps up and to the right while putting his hands together in front of his chest in a prayer-like position and looking up towards the sky. As he does this, he does a kiai.
- This is mimicking Julia's fourth win animation, where she does the same thing. The only differences are the camera angles (Julia jumps to the middle and the camera focuses on her face) and their kiais. However, in Tekken 6, Ganryu's version has been changed so that it resembles Julia's version in Tekken 5 and Dark Resurrection. Julia's version has been changed so that she is jumping to the left, and the camera focuses on her body from the waist up.
- Ganryu has a secret sixth win animation in Dark Resurrection. It can be seen by pressing and holding "1+2" after having won a fight with Ganryu. For this win animation, Ganryu runs forward and jumps with his stomach facing downwards, landing on his downed opponent, who is pushed away from Ganryu either to the left or the right. The opponent does not move afterwards, and neither does Ganryu.
- This animation was modified in Tekken 6/Bloodline Rebellion, although it is essentially the same animation with the downed opponent no longer present.
- It is implied that Ganryu was the one who wrote the "mysterious letter" (mentioned in Julia's Tekken 5/Dark Resurrection epilogue) to Julia.
- Ganryu is unlocked by beating story mode 7 times with different characters.
- Ganryu has a special move that only works against Julia Chang, although it has no actual purpose and is purely for comic relief. The move involves him running after her and then hugging her. Ganryu can do nothing more from this point, but Julia can slap Ganryu when he lets her go.
- In the Scenario Campaign mode, Ganryu is a boss at the Aranami Stable.
- He appears in the last part of Heihachi and Kuma's endings.
- Ganryu's English voice actor is Paul St. Peter, who also voiced Richard Williams in Death by Degrees.
- Ganryu has a customization item that is his "Devil Ganryu" form from his Tekken 6 ending (it only has the horns and wings, though). It gives him the ability to attempt to fly up in the air, failing, and causing him to fall on the enemy, dealing damage.
- Advertisements for Ganryu's restaurant, Chanko Paradise, can be found on one of the stages.
- In the Fight Lab mode, multiple Ganryus can suddenly charge into the player in a manner that is suscpiciously similar to E. Honda's Flying Sumo Headbutt from the Street Fighter series.
- Ganryu is seen in the background of the Blast Furnace stage.
- Ganryu is referenced in one of Julia's win quotes when she says "I know sumo wrestlers with more staying power".
- Hugo's Swap Costume is based on Ganryu's design.