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Prime Video Unveils Like a Dragon: Yakuza

Artwork for Prime Video's Like a Dragon: Yakuza series

Amazon Prime Video has announced Like a Dragon: Yakuza, a live-action adaptation of the Like a Dragon (formerly Yakuza) series. It is expected to serve as a retelling of Yakuza, the first game. The Amazon Original series will have a six-episode run, premiering with three episodes on October 25th and another three on November 1st.

Make the choice to take the next step. Like a Dragon: Yakuza comes to Prime Video October 24th.

The release date discrepancy between the Twitter/X post and the press release (below) likely comes down to time zone differences between Japan and the West, but this is yet to be confirmed. Anyway, here’s an excerpt from Prime Video’s announcement.

Like a Dragon: Yakuza Overview

Prime Video today announced the exclusive premiere of the Japanese Original series, Like a Dragon: Yakuza, streaming from October 25 in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide. The series is a live-action adaptation with an original story based on SEGA’s global hit game franchise, Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Directed by the critically acclaimed Masaharu Take, the series will feature Ryoma Takeuchi as the lead character, Kazuma Kiryu. Like a Dragon: Yakuza is the latest addition to the Prime membership. Prime members in Japan enjoy savings, convenience, and entertainment, all in a single membership.

So, here’s what we know. Like a Dragon: Yakuza will star Ryoma Takeuchi (Kamen Rider Drive) as Kazuma Kiryu. The magazine Shukan Josei Prime reported last year that Kento Kaku (House of Ninjas) will feature as Kiryu’s childhood friend Akira Nishikiyama, and that Munetaka Aoki (Rurouni Kenshin) will star in an unknown role.

Masaharu Take (The Naked Director) and Kengo Takimoto are on directorial duty. The screenplay and story is by Sean Crouch (Numb3rs) and Yugo Nakamura, while the Japanese screenplay is by Yasuhiro Yoshida and Kana Yamada.

Like a Dragon: Yakuza will follow Kiryu across two time periods: 1995 and 2005. Folks who played the first game (or the remake Yakuza Kiwami) probably understand why, but we won’t go into that here.

Masayoshi Yokoyama, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio head and the original game’s writer, said this about the new show.

Since the day I first put pen to paper on the original Yakuza’s script, I’ve never once thought about revisiting any of my work on the series. It’s because I understand all too well the challenges and hardships that come with remaking a finished title. However, if I were ever sent to the past through some kind of cosmic joke, this is the experience I’d want to create. If I had to go through the wringer anyhow, I’d want to make the most engaging versions of Kamurochō and Kazuma Kiryu I could —and this show has it all. There is no question that Prime Video’s Like a Dragon: Yakuza will become another landmark release for the Like a Dragon series.

While the games let you experience their world through the subjective lens, this adaptation will be the ultimately objective way to enjoy the show. I have no doubt that fans of the series will be drawn to how it brings the games to life and adds new surprises. Newcomers, I’m sure will find themselves invested simply in the gritty realism of the show. If anything, I’d love to watch this version alongside audiences all around the world—experiencing all of its intensity and soaking in every single second.

If you want to get up to speed on Like a Dragon, we have an explainer covering all the games released so far, including spin-offs. Seriously, it’s comprehensive as all get-out, and it’s spoiler-free!

Like a Dragon: Yakuza premieres on Prime Video starting on October 25th. Expect RPGFan to cover the show and all things Like a Dragon, so keep checking in!

Source: Shukan Josei Prime

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Gio Castillo

Gio Castillo

Gio is a writer and editor with a deep fondness for role-playing and management games. He lives in the Philippines with two cats he loves dearly.

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