Elgort and Watanabe deliver in this complex crime-driven thriller!
Tokyo Vice is one of the best shows of the season!
Ken Watanabe and Ansel Elgort star in Tokyo Vice. Photo via The Japan Times.
HBO Max's original Tokyo Vice just finished its first 8 episode season Thursday, April 28th. The Tokyo-based crime thriller premiered on April 7th and proved to be one of the best shows of the season with its star-studded cast. Here are our thoughts about this new amazing show!
An American ex-pat, Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort Baby Driver 2017), is an aspiring journalist for Tokyo's most revered and oldest newspaper, Yomiuri Shinbun. Being the first non-Japanese reporter has its challenges as Jake navigates the Yakuza-owned underbelly of Toyko's streets. Jake has immersed himself in Japanese culture and mastered its language as we're pulled into the rigorous process of becoming a top Japanese reporter at one of Japan's most respected newspapers. Although he is considered to be an "expert" in Japanese culture and language, from a non-Japanese standpoint, Jake learns that he must navigate the culturally steep landscape of Japanese work culture. He constantly butts heads with his superiors and can't seem to find any leads to any crime stories.
Jake befriends a veteran police detective, Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe Godzilla: King Of The Monsters 2019), in hopes to get a solid lead on the current murders by the territory fighting Yakuza. The unseemly pair form a peculiar bond as they try to solve a string of murders committed by local Yakuza gangs.
Ansel Elgort delivers a much more complex character in Jake Adelstein. A far cry from his dialogue-less character, Baby, in Baby Driver. Ken Watanabe adds to the complexion by providing a father figure guiding role to the young reporter.
The season ends with a lot of questions and mystery. How are the unlikely pair of a police detective and a rookie reporter going to take on the mob? What will happen to Hiroto Katagiri's family as they're being watched by the Yakuza? We can't wait for Season 2, which hasn't been officially renewed yet.
Being ex-pats ourselves, in Korea, we can confirm how difficult it is to assimilate to the local culture, especially in one of The Asian Tiger countries. Elgort has proved to be a top-tier actor learning Japanese for the role and embracing the local Japanese culture. What are your thoughts about this series? Would you be able to learn the local language and immerse yourself in the culture? Let us know your thoughts and experiences!