Amazon Reveals Next Big Fan Favorite Video Game Adaptation Series Coming This Fall

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Amazon Prime Video is releasing a live-action adaptation of the popular SEGA game Yakuza: Like a Dragon. The crime suspense action series is directed by Take Masaharu and Takimoto Kengo. Actor Takeuchi Ryoma, who has appeared in multiple Kamen Rider titles, will portray the lead character, Kiryu Kazuma.

Like A Dragon: Yakuza On Amazon Prime Video

Like a Dragon will consist of six episodes, which Prime Video will release in batches of three on October 25 and November 1. The series will feature subtitled and dubbed versions in approximately 30 languages. The project is produced under The Fool banner, with Erik Barmack, Roberto Grande, and Joshua Long serving as executive producers.

Set in 1995 and 2005, the series tells the story of a Yakuza warrior. It explores his life, childhood friends, and the consequences of his decisions while showcasing his strong sense of justice, duty, and humanity. The screenplay and story were created by Sean Crouch and Nakamura Yugo, with the Japanese screenplay written by Yoshida Yasuhiro and Yamada Kana.

Amazon’s Ever-Expanding Japanese Catalog

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Per Prime Video, Like a Dragon “showcases modern Japan and the dramatic stories of these intense characters, such as the legendary Kazuma Kiryu, that games in the past have not been able to explore.” Speaking to Variety, director Take explained that he has dedicated his entire heart, soul, and over 35 years of experience into creating the series.

James Farrell, head of international originals at Amazon MGM Studios, highlighted the growing global interest in Japanese content. He noted that Prime Video Japan offers a wide range of genres, and adapting a popular game franchise, such as Like a Dragon, with deep and complex characters adds a unique charm, making it a compelling watch.

From Game To Gritty Realism

Yokoyama Masayoshi, head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and executive producer, reflected on his journey with the Like a Dragon series. He mentioned that although he had never considered revisiting his past work due to the challenges involved, if given the chance to go back in time, this is the experience he would want to create.

He emphasized that the Like a Dragon series captures the most engaging aspects of Kamurocho and Kazuma Kiryu. I have no doubt that fans of the series will be drawn to how it brings the games to life and adds new surprises,” he said of the television adaptation. “Newcomers, I’m sure, will find themselves invested simply in the gritty realism of the show.”

Plenty Of Side-Quests To Consider

Yakuza: Like a Dragon began as a role-playing video game developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and published by Sega. It is the eighth mainline title in the series. Unlike previous Yakuza games, which featured real-time action beat ’em up mechanics, Yakuza: Like a Dragon features a real-time turn-based RPG combat system.

Players can recruit a four-person battle team and use nearby items to attack enemies or kick objects to their target if there is an interactive item in the environment. The game introduces a job system similar to other RPGs, where players can change any party member’s job to fit their gaming style better. The game also includes a variety of side-quests (sub-stories) and mini-games.

The Story Of Ichiban Kasuga

The Yakuza: Like a Dragon game follows Ichiban Kasuga, a low-level Yakuza member looking to prove his self-worth, as he navigates the world of crime and corruption in Yokohama. The game explores Kasuga’s transformation from a loyal yakuza member to an underdog hero as he uncovers betrayal within the Tojo Clan and faces various criminal organizations.

Source: Variety