THE OUTSIDER begins on a train in 1954 Osaka, Japan. The car we focus on is filled with prisoners being transported to their new prison. One of those prisoners stands out, as he is the only Caucasian in the bunch. His name is Nick. He’s 30 years old. And what’s spooky about the dude is that he actually seems okay with where he’s at.
There’s a reason for that. Nick has gone AWOL since the war after murdering his commander who did something terrible (you’ll have to take Baldwin’s word for it since we never find out what the commander did). But the American military sees it differently. They see Nick as the bad guy, and they want to try him. Which is why Nick’s fled and is now hiding out in Japan. In a prison. In a Very. Bad. Prison.
It’s at this prison where Nick gets all Mike Tyson on some big Japanese oaf who dares test him in front of the other prisoners. Nick gouges his eyes out, blinding the man, and just like that he has the respect of everyone in prison. But it’s Nick’s cell mate, Kiyoshi, who pays the incident the most mind. You see, Kiyoshi is part of one of the biggest crime families around, the Matsuoka Family, and he decides it wouldn’t hurt to have a crazy-ass motherf**ker like Nick around to do some dirty work.
So when Nick’s released, Kiyoshi snatches him up, and pretty soon Nick’s hitting up the locals for the Matsuokas, unafraid to beat them into a pulp to get his point across. He soon becomes feared in the real world as well, and as a result becomes one of the rare Americans accepted into a Yakuza family.
It would be nice to celebrate such a feat, but the nature of living in this reality is that you’re never safe. And the Matsuoka’s much bigger and badder rivals, the Seizus, start getting a little testy when Nick begins throwing his weight around town. They blame Akihiro, the leader of the family, and pretty soon, the two sides find themselves on the eve of war.
As if inadvertently leading your new employers into a war they didn’t want wasn’t bad enough, Nick also ends up falling in love with a beautiful but dangerous woman named Miyu, who happens to be the sister of Kiyoshi, Nick’s biggest ally. Kiyoshi only had one rule when he brought Nick into his world: Don’t f**k my sister. So a big fat “oops” on that count. This means Nick will not only have to figure out a diplomatic way to end this war, but if he doesn’t, he’ll need to protect Miyu from the Seizus, protect himself from Kiyoshi, and protect the Matsuokas from his big ass mistake. I’m not going to give anything away here, but the nature of this genre is that things end badly, and I’m guessing The Outsider is no exception. (x)