Of all the great actors to appear in Yakuza flicks over the years, perhaps Takeshi Kitano, known as “Beat Takeshi,” is the most famous in the West. His appearances in films like Battle Royale and Hana-bi have raised awareness of his talents in North America without the aid of Hollywood, and while most of the time he is acting like a goofball on Japanese variety shows, even his more recent films like Outrage show a love for the criminal underworld and violence in general.
Which is why he is a perfect fit to play a character in Yakuza 6. SEGA has tapped the actor to finally appear in its critically acclaimed series, and it has a new teaser showing off Beat Takeshi after his mo-cap sessions. It looks hauntingly real until he turns around, then the uncanny valley kicks in. Still, can’t say anything too detrimental about it. That character model is drop-dead stunning.
Fun fact: this man was hired to be the spokesperson for my English School out here in Japan as well. Luckily, class never played out like out of his movies. Yikes.
It’s a nice choice, but if I were to dig into yakuza film history and pull out familiar faces, I would choose Jo Shishodo. Who can say no to those gnarly cheek implants? He’s had them taken out in his older age, so he can’t be mo-capped like he would have been in his youth. However, tech has certainly come along enough to generate them, right? Let’s see it happen, SEGA!
Yakuza 6 was just announced at Tokyo Game Show 2015 for the PlayStation 4. Tagging alongside of it is Yakuza: Kiwami, a full-on HD remake of the original.