Friday, March 22, 2024

Watching Season Two Of 'Tokyo Vice'

I’m watching and enjoying season two of Tokyo Vice on HBO’ Max channel.

The series, based on Jake Adlestein’s true crime book, Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, is an interesting journalistic thriller about an American reporter working on Japan’s largest newspaper. The young reporter covers crime for the newspaper and encounters Japanese yakuza gangsters and Japanese cops.   

Tokyo Vice is laboriously slow at times, but rich in exotic atmosphere and introduces the viewer to some unique characters, such as Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort), a nice Jewish boy from Missouri who travels to Japan at 19 to attend college and later becomes the only American to work on a major Japanese newspaper. 

Other interesting characters in the series are a Japanese cop (the great actor Ken Watanabe) who mentors Adelstein, and a young yakuza gangster (Sho Kasamatsu). 

I’ve long been interested in Japan, having visited Sasebo and Nagasaki in 1971 when I was a young sailor serving on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. 

We were relieved from “Yankee Station” in the Gulf of Tonkin where the carrier launched aircraft for combat sorties against the North Vietnamese, and sailed into Sasebo for a week’s R&R.

So whether you’ve visited Japan or not, most viewers will be fascinated with Tokyo Vice, and its fine portrayal of Japanese culture and Japanese crime.

Note: You can read my Crime Beat column on Jake Adelstein's Tokyo Vice via the below link:  

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Beat Column: Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan 

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