A former American G.I. joins a yakuza family after his release from prison in post-World War II Osaka.
The Outsider is a 2018 Japanese-American crime drama thriller film directed by Martin Zandvliet and written by Andrew Baldwin. It stars Jared Leto, Tadanobu Asano, Kippei Shiina, Shiori Kutsuna, and Emile Hirsch and follows an American who becomes a member of the Japanese yakuza.
The film was released by Netflix on March 9, 2018, and received generally unfavorable reviews from critics.
Taking place in 1954 after the Allied occupation of Japan following the Second World War, Nick Lowell is the only non-Japanese inmate in an Osaka prison. Most other inmates are Yakuza criminals, recognizable by their Irezumi tattoos. Nick saves a Yakuza named Kiyoshi from being hanged to death, whose Shiromatsu Yakuza clan repays his debt by arranging Nick’s release. He is also offered a job: Anthony Panetti, an American copper tradesman with a deep hatred for the Japanese, has refused to negotiate a deal with the Shiromatsu clan, but has agreed to a deal with a different clan because they sent an American to talk to Panetti. Nick agrees to “cancel out” the other American, but ends up violently beating Panetti on the head with a typewriter just a minute into the conversation instead.
When the rival Seizu Yakuza clan from Kobe challenges the Shiromatsu clan at their own strip club, Nick attacks their leader, nearly causing a shootout. Kiyoshi takes a liking to Nick, giving him an expensive apartment and a suit. He further entrusts Nick with driving his drunk sister Miyu home after he catches her partying at the Shiromatsu establishment. Nick spends the night with her and becomes more heavily embroiled with the Shiromatsu clan, taking the role of a violent enforcer. He continues his relationship with Miyu and gets an Irezumi tattoo on his back.