Tokyo Vice is a dramatic true crime series which aired in the US in April on HBO Max and is now airing in the UK. The series stars Ansel Elgort as American journalist Jake Adelstein, who was embedded with the Tokyo Police force in the 1990s.
Adelstein wrote the book of the same name which the eight-part series is adapted from - it was an in-depth first hand account of the rampant corruption which Adelstein encountered first hand during his time in the Japanese capital. The series was shot on location in Tokyo - half a year after airing in the US it is finally available to watch for free in the UK.
Who is in the cast of Tokyo Vice?
Ansel Elgort as Jake Adelstein
Adelstein is the protagonist of the series - a journalist embedded with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, his research uncovers corruption on a large scale in the force. Adelstein’s memoir, Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, published in 2009, provides the source material from which the series was born.
Elgort is most famous for his role as Gus in the romantic drama film The Fault in Our Stars and as Baby in the action film Baby Driver. He also played Caleb in the dystopian sci-fi film Divergent and its sequels Insurgent and Allegiant.
Ken Watanabe as Hiroto Katagiri
Katagiri is a no-nonsense Tokyo policeman and a mentor to Adelstein - he is based on the real life police officer Chiaki Sekiguchi who was a father figure to Adelstein. Wantanabe starred in several Japanese language films in the 1990s and early 2000s including Sennen no koi - Hikaru Genji monogatari and Kizuna.
He is known in western cinema for his roles as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa in the 2014 Godzilla remake and its sequel, General Kuribayashi in Letters From Iwo Jima, and Katsumoto in The Last Samurai.
Rachel Keller as Samantha
Samantha is the head cocktail waitress at a fancy Tokyo club and forms a close friendship with Adelstein. Keller is known for playing Simone Gerhardt in season two of Fargo, her breakout role. She has also Syd Barrett in sci-fi drama Legion and Linda Kolkena in crime drama series Dirty John.
Shô Kasamatsu as Sato
Sato is a member of the Chihara-Kai crime family, one of the major Yakuza gangs, and hopes to ascend the ladder and gain status and respect. Kasamatsu has previously starred as Yusuke Kiuchi in the Japanese language romantic drama series Like Shooting Stars in the Twilight and as Hiro Todoroki in the Japanese zombie series Love You as the World Ends.
Rinko Kikuchi as Eimi
Eimi is Adelstein’s boss at the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun - she is based on several of the real-life bosses Adelstein had during his time at the publication. Kikuchi has a long list of credits under her belt, including the role of Ryo Katsuragi in Japanese drama series Liar Game Hayashida Naoko in Japanese comedy Moteki.
She has also starred as a witch in 47 Ronin, Mako Mori in Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim: Uprising, and Akane in Westworld.
Ella Rumpf as Polina
Polina is an eastern European former model now working as a waitress at the same club as Samantha. Rumpf starred as Alexia in the grim French language horror film Raw, and as Fleur Salomé in the German Netflix series Freud.
Who else is in the cast?
Other members of the cast include: Shun Sugata as Ishida, Takaki Uda as Trendy, Kosuke Tanaka as Tin Tin, Nobushige Suematsu as Gen, Hideaki Itô as Jin Miyamoto, Masato Hagiwara as Duke, and Eugene Nomura as Kobayashi.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, and you can watch it here:
Is it Tokyo Vice connected to Miami Vice?
Miami Vice was a fictional police procedural 1980s TV series which followed two undercover detectives working in Miami. Michael Mann was executive producer on the show and adapted it into a 2006 feature film, which he directed, starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell.
Adelstein, who was reportedly a fan of both the series and film, named his memoir Tokyo Vice as a reference to the projects, years before Mann’s involvement with the series. While there are similarities between the two shows they are not connected - Tokyo Vice is based on real events and characters, whereas Miami Vice was entirely fictional.
Has Tokyo Vice season 2 been confirmed?
The first season of the show ended with many questions to be answered so there is certainly scope for Adelstein’s story to be continued. HBO Max greenlit a second season of Tokyo Vice in June 2022. Production for season two is believed to have begun this month, but the second series is unlikely to air in the US until late 2023 at the earliest. Season two will likely air in the UK on the BBC roughly six months after it first airs in the US.
When is the Tokyo Vice UK release date?
Tokyo Vice premiered on 7 April on HBO Max in the US and will come to Amazon Prime Video channel StarzPlay on 15 May. The series is now airing weekly on BBC One - the first episode will air on Tuesday 22 November at 9.10pm and episode two will air on the same day at 10.50pm. Future episodes will air on weekly on Tuesday evenings. All episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now and will be available for six months.