Like a Dragon: Yakuza TV series hits Amazon in October 2024

Like a Dragon: Yakuza has been surprise-announced by Amazon.
like a dragon yakuza series

Amazon has surprise-announced a live-action series adaptation of RGG Studio’s Yakuza / Like a Dragon video game franchise, with all six episodes set to arrive on streaming service Prime Video on 24 October 2024.

As announced, Like a Dragon: Yakuza will star Ryoma Takeuchi (Kamen Rider Drive) as beloved anti-hero Kazuma Kiryu, as he navigates a complex world of crime and familial relationships. The series is directed by Masaharu Take (The Naked Director, We Make Antiques), who expressed great pride in the experience.

“I have poured out my heart, soul, and the experience that I have garnered over 35 years into Like a Dragon: Yakuza,” Take said in a press release. “The unbridled passion, talent, and countless hours of efforts from the entire team have helped bring this spectacular story to life in the form of a riveting series that will be launched this year, the year of the dragon.”

Takeuchi was similarly effusive about the upcoming series.

“I am truly honoured to be given the opportunity to play the role of Kazuma Kiryu, a beloved character and the game series,” he said. “I strongly felt that I was willing to put my life on the line. Audience will enjoy the show’s human drama and conflict that unfolds around Kazuma Kiryu.  Moreover, please take a look Kiryu’s intense fighting scenes with the Dragon tattoo on his back.”

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RGG Studio worked on Amazon’s Like a Dragon adaptation

Masayoshi Yokoyama, head of RGG Studio, served as executive producer on Amazon’s Like a Dragon: Yakuza, which should hopefully lend the adaptation the sense of faithfulness that keen Yakuza / Like a Dragon fans desire.

“If I were ever sent to the past through some kind of cosmic joke, this is the experience I’d want to create. If I had to go through the wringer anyhow, I’d want to make the most engaging versions of Kamurochō and Kazuma Kiryu I could – and this show has it all,” Yokoyama said.

Read: Yakuza/Like a Dragon creator claims Sega first “flat out rejected” the game

“There is no question that Prime Video’s Like a Dragon: Yakuza will become another landmark release for the Like a Dragon series. While the games let you experience their world through the subjective lens, this adaptation will be the ultimately objective way to enjoy the show. I have no doubt that fans of the series will be drawn to how it brings the games to life and adds new surprises.”

“Newcomers, I’m sure will find themselves invested simply in the gritty realism of the show. If anything, I’d love to watch this version alongside audiences all around the world – experiencing all of its intensity and soaking in every single second.”

That’s high praise from Yokoyama, and should provide a tangible sense of hope for this upcoming adaptation. It seems to have truly come out of nowhere, with Amazon surprise-dropping the news on a random Tuesday. That may benefit the series in the long term, as expectations have yet to build properly.

In recent months, Amazon has been on a streak of creating worthy Originals, with its recent Fallout adaptation proving to be a major surprise and commercial success, in a similar manner. This show effectively captured the beauty and terror of the Wasteland, in a tale that served newcomers and franchise veterans alike. There’s every chance Like a Dragon: Yakuza will achieve that same goal – here’s hoping.

As announced, the series adaptation will land on 24 October 2024, with all episodes hitting Prime Video at once – so eager fans won’t have to wait too long.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.