Tokyo Vice – Season One [2022]

Tokyo Vice

Tokyo Vice is the kind of sprawling crime drama that actually lives up to the label of ‘prestige’ TV. However, this slow drama needs spicing up if it wants to last more than a season or two.

With style, intelligence and mystery to spare, the series is excellent overall, and offers an entertaining viewing experience for folks looking for a new hard-boiled detective series to sink their teeth into. In addition, the show does not feel extravagant. Thankfully, it delivers on a vast and difficult premise. With tactile, emotive flashes of violence, it explodes when it needs to and keeps tension otherwise.

What’s really great about the show is the story itself. At times it teases that a gritty, fast-paced thriller is about to ignite, but it pulls back, taking time and space to reveal that, really, the central character is not the foreigner Jake, but it is Tokyo itself in all its complicated moods. Personally, I’ve never been to Tokyo. But after watching Tokyo Vice, I’m between excited and terrified to visit.

On the other hand, in an overabundant genre where story lines tend to follow the familiar beats of an investigation, viewers have to care about the hero. And that’s tough when his inner life is given minimal attention. Story is all over the place between the three main characters: Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort), Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe), and Samantha (Rachel Keller). As a viewer, you’ll have to wait till the final episode to start connecting the dots, just to be abruptly hit with the end of the season without any fruits to your label of spending 8h+ watching a very slow paced drama.

Tokyo Vice – Official Trailer
Should you watch it?

Maybe. Based on the book with the same title, Tokyo Vice (the series) is a heavy drama that doesn’t really get to its conclusion. The first season is extremely well produced. Plus, setting up a second season is great, but the viewer needs a reward for spending 8 long hours watching this slow burner.

Where can I watch it?

You can stream Tokyo Vice exclusively on HBO Max in USA and Crave in Canada.