Prime Video today announced that it will be premiering Like a Dragon: Yakuza, an original Japanese series this fall. Directed by Masaharu Take (The Naked Director) and starring Ryoma Takeuchi (Kamen Rider Drive) as the iconic character Kazuma Kiryu, it’s a live-action adaptation that’s loosely based on the Sega game franchise of the same name. There will be six episodes of the story, which will span across two time periods: 1995 and 2005.  It follows Kiryu and his three childhood friends before and after his arrest. 

Throwing Himself Into the Role

“You can’t play Kazuma Kiryu without getting into shape, so I knew I had to throw myself into it,” said Takeuchi during a press conference at the elegant Hotel Gajoen Tokyo in Meguro. He added, “It’s partly Kazuma Kiryu, and it’s partly me. I got so close to the part that it was hard to distinguish where he ended and I began. That included getting into shape for the part, the costume and so on. Rather than acting the part of Kiryu, I feel like he became part of the family.”

Takeuchi made his silver screen debut in Take’s action-comedy In the Hero in 2014. He was only on the screen for a few seconds, handing a letter to the lead actor. A decade on and he is once again working with Take, only this time as the star of the show. According to the revered director, Takeuchi was the name that immediately came to mind when he started thinking about who could play Kiryu. He felt the 31-year-old actor and model had the size and presence to take on the role of a character who is loved around the world.  

Masaharu Take and Ryoma Takeuchi

More About Like a Dragon: Yakuza

Like a Dragon: Yakuza will be streamed in more than 240 countries and territories with subtitles and dubbed versions in 30 languages. The first three episodes are slated for release on October 25, followed by three more on November 1.  

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