As has been the case for the last two decades and counting, comic books and graphic novels serve as the basis for numerous film and television projects on an annual basis, but the relentless onslaught sees countless titles slip through the cracks. Up until today, that was very true of last year’s Yakuza Princess.
Based on Danilo Beyruth’s Samurai Shiro, the adaptation should have generated more interest than it did based entirely on the unexpected collection of moving parts. Creator Beyruth, co-writer and director Vicente Amorim and several other key members of the crew hail from Brazil, but Yakuza Princess obviously has a distinctly Japanese flavor.
Singer Masumi made her feature film acting debut in the lead role of Akemi, with Tsuyoshi Ihara, Eijiro Ozaki, Mariko Takai, and Toshji Takeshima also part of the ensemble, although second billing in the cast went to the decidedly Irish Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Shiro.
A 35% Rotten Tomatoes score hardly saw Yakuza Princess showered in acclaim, either, but it’s nonetheless become one of the top movies on Netflix this week. As per FlixPatrol, it’s rocketed into the global Top 10 in ninth position, having reached the upper echelons of the viewership rankings in 19 countries.
The plot follows an heiress who stands to inherit 50% of the entire titular criminal operation, before she encounters a stranger who lost his memory, one that believes their destinies and fates have been intertwined by an ancient sword of legend. Of course, the other half of the underworld operation aren’t sold on her ascension to the top table, forcing the wary duo into an uneasy alliance to survive long enough to take out the competition.