Following Fallout's Success, Amazon Is Adapting An Even Wilder Video Game Franchise, And I'm So Excited

As Fallout's wild success on streaming keeps audiences eager for Season 2, another video game adaptation is on the way for those with an Amazon Prime subscription. It seems the company is moving from the whacky and wild post-apocalyptic Wastelands to the equally unconventional and unpredictable criminal underground of Japan. Gaming fans probably already know what I'm talking about, and those that don't will soon find out -- because Yakuza: Like A Dragon is getting a live-action adaptation, and I'm so excited!

Prime Video announced that the six-episode series will debut on October 25th in more than 240 countries. It's also been confirmed that actor Ryoma Takeuchi will play the title role of Kazuma Kiryu. The story is said to be an original concept and will take place between 1995 and 2005, examining the life and repercussions of characters surrounding Kiryu. It may not feature Walton Goggins playing a "complicated villain, but I assure anyone who's skeptical that this is one show they won't want to miss. 

Kazuma Kiryu in Yakuza 0

(Image credit: Sega)

The Yakuza Franchise Blends Non-Stop Action With WTF Japanese Culture

To the casual observer, the Yakuza games may look like the standard action beat-em-up fare. The games do lean on that element and center around the rough-and-tumble world of the criminal underbelly. However, there's a deeper opportunity to explore the niche and wild sections of Japanese culture that those living outside the country may not know about. Side missions in the Yakuza games range from racing pocket-sized RC Cars for money to obtaining a real estate license and navigating the intricate laws of real estate in Japan. 

It's also fair to say the franchise leans heavily into the more "WTF" side of Japanese culture, and it's fairly common to see anything from a clown that sells weapons to an office full of men in diapers. The proceedings often get weird without warning in Yakuza, and I'd expect Like A Dragon: Yakuza to do the same by blending the action with the bizarre, which is a prospect that greatly excites me.

Kazama Kiryu Is A Tough Guy With A Big Sensitive Side

At the center of Like A Dragon is Kazuma Kiryu, a legendary figure in the yakuza scene. Known as the "Dragon of Dojima," he earned a reputation for being one of the toughest yakuza of the Tojo clan. Some in the yakuza fear him, though more often than not, others try to challenge him in an effort to prove the rumors of his strength are exaggerated. They are often proven wrong. 

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At the same time, I would personally describe Kiryu as a sentimental soul, and someone who has a heart as big as his legendary status. He's opened up an orphanage for children -- being an orphan himself -- and raised several kids throughout the games. While his life and conflict with the yakuza forces him to stay away with the young ones for prolonged periods of time, he's always sure to send money and ensure they're cared for in his absence. 

Ultimately, I'm just glad to see Kiryu back as the focus of Yakuza, as series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi has said in the past that the character's story was finished. Of course, his subsequent appearances as a supporting character have already disproven that, but seeing him as a lead is awesome again. Here's hoping this adaptation manages to do justice to the franchise while also adding fresh elements to it.

Will Yakuza: Like A Dragon be as well-received by critics as Fallout was? I certainly hope so and hope that audiences continue to embrace Japanese storytelling in the same way people adored Shogun

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.