Watch it for...
Wanderlust-inspiring scenes from 1990s Tokyo, insight into the hidden world of the Yakuza, and a good crime drama told from a journalist’s perspective.
Reminiscent of other HBO gritty crime dramas like The Wire, Tokyo Vice takes a look at the seedy underbelly of Tokyo’s past as viewed from the perspective of a budding journalist working for Tokyo’s largest newspaper. While fictional, it explores the challenges that crime reporter, Jake Adelstein, played by Ansel Elgort, faces as a foreigner in Japan with a realism that’s refreshing and fascinating. As the show progresses, Jake dives deeper below the neon façade that is Tokyo and uncovers an increasingly tangled web of deceit and lies.
Japan has always been on my travel bucket list. Despite the show’s crime noir vibes, the city of Tokyo is as much a character in this show as any of the actors are. Full of 1990s nostalgia, great care was taken to paint an accurate picture of the cultural life of Tokyo that is both distinctly Japanese, but told from a western perspective. I love the show’s seamless use of Japanese and English dialogue. While the main character is a bit of a tough nut to crack, there is a host of other engaging characters, all played by top-notch talent, that made this such a treat to watch. I especially love a side story featuring a riveting group of western women employed at a Hostess Club the main character frequents. I can’t wait to finish the season!