‘Like a Dragon: Yakuza’ TV Show Release Date, Cast, And More

‘Like a Dragon: Yakuza’ TV Show Release Date, Cast, And More

For fans of the widely beloved video game series, June 4, 2024, was a monumental day. Personally, I would not have thought it would happen, but Amazon Prime announced it is bringing the Yakuza series to life in its adaptation, Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

Although it is not the first live-action adaptation of the video games, with the first being the 2007 movie Like A Dragon, it is nevertheless something that not even Masayoshi Yokoyama, writer and producer for the games, and head of the studio behind the franchise could have imagined:

“Since the day I first put pen to paper on the original, 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 cosmic joke, this is the experience I’d want to create.”

Fans can only hope it will have all the gritty, adrenaline-filled action, soulful moments, and silly shenanigans of the original Ryū ga Gotoku series. Unless the dragon in question, Kazuma Kiryu, is seen both kicking bad guys around and singing karaoke like only he can, fans will not be satisfied, for it is the spectacular balance between the dramatic and comedic that made the series so memorable.

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But, for now, it appears there is little to fear from what we know about the series so far.

Which Yakuza games will be adapted?

Screengrab via Sega

The name may suggest that the series is based on the 2020 game Yakuza: Like a Dragon. However, Kiryu not Ichiban, is the protagonist of the series. Moreover, judging by the fact that the game is set in two different periods a decade apart, 1995 and 2005, it is likely to be adapting the first game of the series, while including elements of other games that cover these timelines. It will also be set largely in the fictional city of Kamurocho, the crime-ridden entertainment district that fans have grown to adore.

Whatever they do, fans can hope that Goro Majima, one of two protagonists in Yakuza 0 and a constant uplifting present throughout other games, will make a glorious appearance as is his MO.

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Who’s on the cast and crew list?

Screengrab via Sega

As of now, not much is known about the cast, which may be a strategy to keep online speculation going. However, we do know that everyone’s favorite big-hearted yakuza, Kazuma Kiryuu, will be played by 31-year-old Ryoma Takeuchi, an actor with over 30 TV and movie titles under his belt, who will presumably be playing Kiryu in his early 20s and 30s, before and after he went to prison.

As for the crew, the series is in the good hands of Masaharu Take (The Naked Director) and Kengo Takimoto (Kamen Teacher). The Like A Dragon’s story/screenplay was by the minds of Sean Crouch (The 100) and Yugo Nakamura, and its Japanese script was penned by Yasuhiro Yoshida (Enoshima Prizm) and Kana Yamada (The Naked Director).

What’s the release date?

The six-part series comes out in batches of three episodes at a time. The first three come out on Friday, Oct. 25, and the last three the following Friday, Nov. 1. Amazon Prime promises dubbing and subtitling in 30 languages.

After the success of the Fallout series, we can only hope Amazon has once again made a successful bet on a videogame adaptation.

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