Tokyo Vice Series Review

Tokyo Vice Series Review: An Enthralling Yet Incomplete Look into Tokyo's Turn of the Century Underbelly

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Time and time again, while watching "Tokyo Vice", we couldn't help but stop and be amazed by how things were just different in the series. From the culture, the cops, to journalism, and even crime, this was not your typical crime drama affair. Unfortunately, "Tokyo Vice" was not without its faults and out biggest grievance of all was leaving the first season with a whole lot of questions than answers.

Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort) has just landed his dream job working for one of Tokyo's biggest newspapers as a journalist. Soon, Jake discovers that journalism works very differently in Japan and that he must work within a very strict set of rules to become successful. But when Jake stumbles upon a loan scheme that will take him into the underbelly of Tokyo society and even the much fabled and much feared world of the yakuza.

Typically, for a crime drama of this caliber, we find the protagonists as interesting as the cases they investigate. But "Tokyo Vice" bucks that trend as its lead character, the "Gaijin", was in fact its least interesting aspect throughout its eight episode run. What really struck a chord with us was how the show was able to show the uniquely Japanese dynamic of how crimes are solved and resolved. It was a culture that is confounding, selfish, yet respectful between enemies and friends. We're not sure on its accuracy but was it convincing to say the least. The series' lead character Jake Adelstein continuously states that he wants to know how society works and ticks and this is probably were "Tokyo Vice" takes a stumble. Beyond the outstanding neon-lit cinematography and acting, the series (or this first season) just ends without a satisfying conclusion. In fact, right after the finale, we actually double-checked if there were more episodes coming but alas there was none. There will be more questions than answers left to viewers especially in its very last episode. In short, we get a taste of how the real Tokyo works but nothing deeper than a scratch. Here's hoping there's a second season in the works.   

Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- Tokyo's quirks bring so much nuance and life into a threaded genre

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the series ends with a lot of unresolved questions and cliffhangers
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