like a Dragon: Prologue, known in Japanese as Like a Dragon ~ Prologue ~ (龍が如く 〜序章〜 Ryū ga Gotoku ~ Joshō ~?), is a 2006 Japanese crime drama Original Video directed by Takeshi Miyasaka with Takashi Miike as executive director. It is based upon Toshihiro Nagoshi's 2005 video game Yakuza released on PlayStation 2.
This drama stars puroresu champion Masakatsu Funaki in the title role and is a prequel to the original episode of the Yakuza series which was itself ported on the screen by Takashi Miike as Like a Dragon: Movie Version.
During the 1970s three children, Kazuma Kiryu, Akira Nishikiyama (a.k.a. Nishiki) and his younger sister, Yuko Nishikiyama, are raised in Shintaro Kazama (a.k.a. Fuma)'s Sunflower Orphanage. In summer 1980, Yumi Sawamura, a young girl who had her parents incidentally shot during a gangs shootout joins them. Following a yakuza tradition, the honorable Kazama secretly raises orphans he has directly or indirectly killed the parents. In return, these children look at him as their father and he eventually introduces the teenagers in the Dojima Family, a Tojo Clan affiliate.
Years later the promising Kazuma Kiryu quickly rises the yakuza hierarchy and earns the nickname "the Dragon of the Dojima Family" for the Dragon irezumi tattoo on his back (hence the original title Like a Dragon (龍が如く Ryū ga Gotoku?)). His childhood friend Nishikiyama his torn between loyalty for his kyodai (yakuza "brother") and jealousy against the one who has always been Kazama's protégé. Another subject of rivalry between the two friends is their secret love for Yumi who looks at them as her older brothers. 1990, in order to remain close to both of them, she left the orphanage and moved to Tokyo's red-light district Kamurocho, where they found her a job as hostess at Reina's Serena bar.
October 1, 1995, Kazuma Kiryu announces his friends he is ready to create his own yakuza Family, only lacks the Chairman of the Dojima Family Sohei Dojima's go ahead. Later that night the latter kidnaps Yumi from Serena, Nishikiyama tries to interfere but Dojima's men hold him. When Nishikiyama eventually reaches Dojima's office, he finds his boss raping Yumi and shoots him dead. Kazuma who was at a meeting with Kazama had been called by Reina and comes shortly after only to find Dojima on the ground, Nishikiyama and Yumi in shock. Then Kazuma takes the responsibility in order to protect Yuko who needs her brother Nishikiyama as she is about to get a last chance operation. Kazuma orders the pair to leave before the police arrives.
- Masakatsu Funaki as Kazuma Kiryu (桐生一馬)
- Mikio Ohosawa as Akira Nishikiyama (錦山彰)
- Ayaka Maeda as Yumi Sawamura (澤村由美)
- Harumi Sone as Sohei Dojima (堂島宗兵)
- Hirotaro Honda as Shintaro Kazama (風間新太郎)
- Unknown actor as Sunflower principal
As a direct-to-video product it was released on DVD by Sega on March 24, 2006 in Japan. Extra material included game FMVs.
The English subtitled version was released by Sega Europe on August 15, 2006 on the game's European website. It was made available as free VOD with four chapters called "episodes" available for download.
- Jump up^ セガ、PS2「龍が如く」のプレストーリーを描く実写版DVD「龍が如く ～序章～」を発売
- Jump up^ Watch Sega’s Yakuza live action movie online