Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein and premiered by HBO


Tokyo Vice is an American crime drama television series created by J.T. Rogers and based on the 2009 book of the same title by Jake Adelstein. It premiered on April 7, 2022, on HBO Max. It stars Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe in lead roles. In June 2022, the series was renewed for a second season.

The TV series Tokyo Vice was based on the novel ‘Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan’
by Jake Adelstein. It is said to be based on a true story. It is filmed on location in Tokyo, Japan. This HBO Max series is a work of pure genius! Exciting, informative, atmospheric, great music and script, great pace, intriguing, beautifully crafted and produced…..I could go on and on. I watched the whole series and then watched it gain straight away. I am considering a third viewing. Actually that’s not completely true …I’ve just started my third viewing!

It’s only fault is that there is only one series …so far! A second series is in production thankfully! I cannot wait until it is released!

The HBO series is set about twenty years ago. An American named, Jake Adelstein moves to Japan. He speaks fluent Japanese and begins to work in a major Japanese newspaper, becoming their first foreign-born journalist. He struggles at the start until he begins to develop contact within the Tokyo police. His investigative journalism leads him into the dark world of the Japanese yakuza. Then his life becomes entwined with a Yakuza enforcer called Sato. What follows is a fascinating portrayal of a torrid series of events.

The actor Shō Kasamatsu plays Sato. His portrayal is absolutely brilliant. A mix of James Dean, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen with a Japanese twist.

The acting throughout the HBO Max show is superb with magnificent performances by Ansel Elgort as Jake Adelstein, Hideaki Itō as Jin Miyamoto, a vice squad detective, Rachel Keller as Samantha Porter and Ken Watanabe (a firm favorite of mine) as Hiroto Katagiri, who is a wily detective in the organized crime division. They are just a few of the incredible cast. But for me, Shō Kasamatsu and his character Sato steal the show. Played with such intelligence and truth to make the whole series gripping.
Even if you think that this thriller detective series is not for you – give Tokyo Vice a chance and you will not be sorry!

Photo by Jase Bloor on Unsplash