Japanese actor and director “Beat” Takeshi Kitano is an instantly recognisable face over here in Japan, but westerners might be more familiar with him in his role as sadistic homeroom teacher Kitano in Battle Royale, or perhaps as the host of the madcap 1980s Japanese game show Takeshi’s Castle.

But it turns out that ol’ Beat is no longer just the face of Japanese TV and gritty movies, as he has recently joined a long line of celebrities lending their voices and images to video games. Check out Beat Takeshi’s appearance in the upcoming Sega game, Yakuza 6, in the following trailer.

The teaser, from Sega’s booth at the Tokyo Game Show, shows how Beat Takeshi’s character will appear in the upcoming Yakuza 6, known in Japan as Ryu ga Gotoku (“like a dragon”). It’s short, but it’s unmistakably Beat Takeshi.

In the clip, Beat Takeshi says, “Hey, bro. Finally, we meet”, before turning to face the camera and grinning, showing off his familiar features. His appearance in the video game will be a good opportunity for western fans to get to know a little more about one of Japan’s most famous celebrities, who early on in his career gained a reputation for acting in and directing several projects focusing on yakuza.

▼ It certainly seems that fans of the game are excited…


▼ Even if it may have taken a little while for western fans to figure out exactly who he is…


▼ Book an early ticket for the Yakuza 6 hype train!

It’s becoming quite common in western game development these days to hire celebrities to lend their mugs and vocal cords to create video game characters. Think Ellen Page in Beyond: Two Souls, Hayden Panettiere et al in Until Dawn, and even Norman Reedus in Silent Hills... well, before Konami unceremoniously scrapped it, that is. But in Japan, famous actors have actually been lending their faces to games for quite a while now, sometimes randomly (character actor Naoto Takenaka’s appearance in the 2005 survival horror title Haunting Ground as an Italian castellan was particularly odd) and sometimes it’s an example of perfect casting—who better than Beat Takeshi to play a hardened Yakuza boss? Or, at least, that’s what we assume his character will be!

A release date for Yakuza 6 has yet to be announced, but with any luck it won’t be too long before we get to see virtual Beat Takeshi threatening to chop off our pinky fingers.

H/T Siliconera
Feature image: Screenshot via YouTube/PNammo