“Ryu ga Gotoku” video game gets TV Drama starring Takumi Saito

The hit video game series "Ryu ga Gotoku" (released in English as "Yakuza") is getting a live-action drama adaptation of its newest installment, "Kurohyou: Ryu ga Gotoku Shinshou," which is being released for the PlayStation Portable on September 22. The show will star actor Takumi Saito (29).

The video game series, which started out on the PlayStation 2 in 2005, is a mix of action and adventure set in the yakuza world. "Kurohyou" will be the franchise’s first game for a handheld console, and it was decided that it would be accompanied by the franchise’s first drama series. However, the games have already had two live-action works – one was released directly to DVD, while the other was the feature film "Ryu ga Gotoku: Gekijoban" directed by Takashi Miike.

Saito plays the main character in the drama, who is also the protagonist of the new game. Takuya Ishida (23) and Hideo Ishiguro (21) play his junior and his close friend, respectively. The cast also features retired kickboxer Masato (31) in his first regular drama role and actor Koichi Iwaki (59), who also provided a voice for the game. Rock band RIZE will do the show’s theme song, titled "MUPPET."

The 11-episode series will begin airing on TBS and MBS on October 5, in both networks’ 1:25am time slot (1:55am for the first episode on TBS). In conjunction with the broadcast, exclusive images will be available for the PlayStation 3 and the PSP through the PlayStation Store. A manga version of the story has also been announced, starting on September 18 in Weekly Young Magazine.

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