The Yakuza TV show is coming out on Amazon Prime in October

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Amazon will air a live-action TV series based on Sega’s Yakuza games in October this year, says the streaming service. Like A Dragon: Yakuza will be a six-part series following characters in the criminal underbelly of Kamurocho, set to straddle between two time periods: 1995 and 2005. The series “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,” said Amazon, who are releasing it through Prime Video, just like their Fallout series.

Exactly what the plot of the show will be remains to be seen. But it will follow “the life, childhood friends and the repercussions of the decisions of a fearsome and peerless Yakuza warrior with a strong sense of justice, duty, and humanity,” according to Variety. That sounds like our boy Kiryu for sure.

Work on the TV show was first announced back in 2020. And word later came out about the actors and directors involved. Hard-punching bastion of justice Kiryu Kazama will be played by Ryoma Takeuchi, for example, who played the protagonist in Kamen Rider Drive. I’ve not seen any Kamen Rider, so I’m not qualified to tell you if this actor is good at channelling the indignant stiffness of a deeply annoyed statue. But that is what is required of him.

The series is being directed by Take Masaharu and Takimoto Kengo, and the original writer of the first game’s script, Masayoshi Yokoyama, is on board as an executive producer. He suggests he was reluctant at first but decided to get involved. “Since the day I first put pen to paper on the original Yakuza‘s script,” he said, “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.”

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We are quite fond of the Yakuza series here in the treehouse. Ed was into Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth when it came out earlier this year. “It’s a wonderful, happy JRPG and it will never fail to brighten my day,” he said in his review. “Thank goodness for Yakuza.”

One of my favourite scenes in Yakuza is when Kiryu sees some chumps throwing rocks at a puppy. The father figure of Tokyo catches a rock in mid-air, inches from the dog’s face. Then proceeds to destroy the goons in the only way he knows how. If the TV show adapts this one scene, I will be satisfied.

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