Next month, HBO Max is taking viewers into Japan’s criminal underworld in Tokyo Vice. This new crime drama is based upon journalist Jake Adelstein’s 2009 nonfiction book Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan. Ansel Elgort is portraying Adelstein in the series, and if the first trailer is any indication, he isn’t exactly welcome in Japan.
In the trailer, Jake is belittled by many of his colleagues, who dismiss him as a “foreigner.” However, he does find a mentor of sorts in Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe), a detective in the Tokyo Police Department’s organized crime division. Hiroto knows all of the ins and outs of this world, but Jake may be biting off more than he can chew, especially when Hiroto warns him not to write about certain events.
It also appears that Jake will make some headway on the other side of the law while speaking with a few members of the yakuza. The criminals also seem to be amused by Jake’s presence, but there’s only so much they are willing to tolerate. And if he throws a spotlight on their clandestine activities, it probably won’t go well for him.
Aside from Hiroto, the only person who offers Jake any kind of welcome is Samantha (Rachel Keller), an American hostess who also has ties to the yakuza. She may even be one of Jake’s information sources, and possibly his lover as well. The one thing they seem to really bond over is the realization that going home to America isn’t an option for either of them.
Ella Rumpf also stars in the series alongside Rinko Kikuchi, Hideaki Ito, Show Kasamatsu, Tomohisa Yamashita, Shun Sugata, Masato Hagiwara, Ayumi Tanida, and Kosuke Toyohara.
J.T. Rogers adapted the series for HBO Max. The first three episodes of Tokyo Vice will premiere on Thursday, April 7. Following that, two new episodes will debut every Thursday until the season finale.
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