In 2010, Rockstar gave us the video game rendition of the great cinematic Westerns that we've enjoyed over the years and naturally we want this to continue in Red Dead Redemption 2. The Dollars Trilogy, along with the likes of Once Upon A Time in the West, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Searchers, are stellar examples of the Western genre, all of which [Red Dead Redemption](movie:42294) drew upon to convey its world.
Though each of these films may have made great leaps for defining American cinema, some of them drew heavy inspiration from one country, and in fact, one man alone; Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa is without a doubt, not only my personal favourite auteur, but one of the greatest directors to have graced the cinematic medium. His artistic ingenuity and groundbreaking filmmaking techniques inspired filmmakers the world over, and the Western genre owes a great deal to his work.
The first instalment of Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy, A Fistful of Dollars, was dangerously ripping off the work of Kurosawa. So much so, that the Japanese filmmaker wrote to Leone, stating that while it was a fine film, it was his film, and rightly demanded payment. Leone was naturally just amazed that Kurosawa liked his movie, and chose to ignore the seriousness of his infringement.
The film that Leone borrowed from was Kurosawa's 1961 masterpiece, Yojimbo. Starring one of the greatest actors of all time, Toshiro Mifune, the film told of a wandering and nameless Samurai. Upon arriving in a dangerous town, torn apart by two rivalling factions, he decides to play both sides against themselves, not only for his own benefit but the good of the town.
Leone certainly made his own stamp on the project, but as you can clearly see, the plot is exactly the same. Clint Eastwood has even stated that his character in the Dollars trilogy was heavily influenced by the breathtaking performance exhibited by Mifune. Let's not forget that on top of this, Magnificent Seven is a remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, simply transmuted to the Old West. So what does all of this have to do with Red Dead Redemption 2?
Red Dead Redemption 2 Location In Japan
Yojimbo is set at a very similar time to that of the story of John Marston. The age of the Samurai was coming to a close. They were forced to wander the Japanese countryside, looking for any kind of work they could find. Marston's Western world was similarly drawing to a close. The arrival of the railroad was to bring modernity and justice to the old West, and it was a fascinating backdrop for Rockstar's game.
The settings of these two times are extremely similar to one another. As we've seen, Clint Eastwood and Toshiro Mifune exhibit many of the same characteristics and their similarities work really well in both of their contexts. Therefore, I think that the setting and location of Red Dead Redemption 2 could easily swap over to Japan.
The story of Yojimbo and the original Red Dead Redemption are set only 30 years apart from one another. We wouldn't have to sacrifice guns, Yojimbo has them too, as well as samurai swords. We'd have horses, a large open world, bars, gambling, robbery you name it! Even if it was DLC like Undead Nightmare I would play the hell out of this game, and personally I'd love to see a big triple A title move its setting out of English speaking countries and into uncharted territory.
Now, I could be biased. I mean, I adore Japan. I adore its culture, its people and its art. Seriously, you all need to watch Kurosawa's films if you've not had the pleasure. Seven Samurai is 3 hours long and it flies by, it's incredible. It even inspired the tale of A Bug's Life! Akira Kurosawa was a cinematic master, and watching any of his works will show this to you. I hope you'll check them out!
But would you like to see the location of Red Dead Redemption 2 move outside of the USA? Or do you still want the main campaign set in America and maybe a large DLC section in Japan? Be sure to let us know in the comments if you've seen any of these films and your thoughts on Red Dead Redemption 2 moving its setting to Japan!