Like a Dragon TV Adaptation Announced for Prime Video, Coming in October

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Like a Dragon TV Adaptation Announced for Prime Video, Coming in October

It seems like the Dragon of Dojima will be the next videogame character making the jump to the small screen. Last night, Prime Video announced that a six-episode live-action adaptation of SEGA’s Like a Dragon series is in the works. The crime drama will star Takeuchi Ryoma (Kamen Rider) as Kazuma Kiryu and be directed by Take Masaharu (100 Yen Love, We Make Antiques!). The screenplay will be handled by Sean Crouch and Yugo Nakamura, with the Japanese screenplay from Yasuhiro Yoshida and Kana Yamada. The first three episodes of the series will be released on October 25, and the last three will be out on November 1.

For those out of the loop, the Like a Dragon games are a long-running open-world action series starring Kazuma Kiryu (nicknamed the Dragon of Dojima), an ex-yakuza always getting pulled into the tumult of his former crime family, the Tojo clan. First released in 2005, the games have gone from cult classics to worldwide fan favorites, and the 8th mainline entry in the series, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, came out earlier this year.

Heavily inspired by yakuza films like Battles Without Honor and Humanity, the games are sprawling, beautifully messy crime stories that involve heaps of melodrama, constant twists, and shirtless dudes punching each other. And despite their self-seriousness, they also feature side-missions full of tonal-whiplashing goofiness, such as a sequence where you fight a group of grown men dressed as babies. In short, they’re pretty rad and a rare videogame series that seems like a solid fit for TV (although I’m not sure how they’ll adapt the previously mentioned side quests). It should be noted that the first game has actually already been adapted in the form of an outrageous Takashi Miike film from 2007, and there was also a Japan-only TV show based on a pair of relatively obscure spin-off PSP games (Kurohyō: Ryū ga Gotoku Shinshō).

The new show will be set in 1995 and 2005 in Kamurochō, a fictionalized rendition of an entertainment district in Toyko, Japan, which makes it seem like it will largely adapt the original game in the series, Yakuza. In that title, Kiryu is forced to reckon with his past as he comes into conflict with the man who was once his best friend.

Masayoshi Yokoyama, the writer of the original game and head of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, seems excited about the TV series and wrote the following: “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.” We’ll find out if Like a Dragon: Yakuza can live up to those expectations when it comes out this October on Prime Video.

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