- Not to be confused with the seventh Yakuza game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2020).
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.
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.
The film opens in Sunflower Orphanage, which is owned by Shintaro Fuma, in the 1970s. At this point, its three residents are Kazuma Kiryu, Akira "Nishiki" Nishikiyama and his younger sister, Yuko Nishikiyama. Yuko suffers from a heart defect and regularly goes to hospital for treatment. They are joined by Yumi Sawamura in Summer 1980, after her parents were caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout. Fuma, a Tojo Clan yakuza, was the man who inadvertently killed them, as well as having killed Kiryu's and Nishiki's parents. Thus, following yakuza protocol, he takes them in as his own. In return, the males will join the Tojo Clan when they come of age.
During the 1980s, Kiryu and Nishiki join the Tojo Clan's Dojima Family and move to Kamurocho. Kiryu becomes well known for his fearsome fighting style, earning the "Dragon of Dojima" moniker, which stems from the irezumi dragon tattoo on his back. Nishiki feels conflicted: although Kiryu is his kyoudai (sworn brother), he has always resented him for being Fuma's golden boy. Additionally, both young men are secretly in love with Yumi. This is compounded in 1990 when she moves to Kamurocho and becomes a hostess at Serena, a bar run by Reina, in which they are regulars.
October 1, 1995: Kiryu tells his friends that after collecting a large payout from a loan shark, he has enough funds to become the patriarch of his own family. The only thing he needs to do now is ask his own patriarch Sohei Dojima for permission. Later on that night, Dojima Family men kidnap Yumi from Serena. Nishiki tries to stop them, but the men overpower him. Nishiki hustles over to Dojima's office to find him raping Yumi. Nishiki grabs his gun and shoots his patriarch multiple times, killing him.
During the drama, Kiryu was meeting with Fuma in his office, and received a call from Reina. Kiryu quickly makes his way over to the Dojima Family office and finds Sohei Dojima lying dead on the floor. Nishiki tells him that he did it to protect Yumi. Knowing that Nishiki has to look after Yuko due to her having her last surgery soon, Kiryu tells the pair to leave the office, saying that he will take the fall for his kyoudai. Nishiki is driving Yumi out of the city, when she apparently loses her memory, no longer knowing who he is. She has a flashback to him shooting Dojima, and in this panicked state, she escapes from the car. She then runs back to Sunflower Orphanage, where Fuma finds her.
- Masakatsu Funaki (船木優治) as Kazuma Kiryu (桐生一馬)
- Mikio Osawa (大沢樹生) (credited as Mikio Ohosawa) as Akira Nishikiyama (錦山彰)
- Ayaka Maeda (前田綾花) as Yumi Sawamura (澤村由美)
- Harumi Sone (曽根晴美) as Sohei Dojima (堂島宗兵)
- Hirotaro Honda (本田博太郎) as Shintaro Kazama (風間新太郎)
- Unknown actor as the Sunflower Orphanage 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.
- Sohei Dojima is depicted as being bald in this film.