Tokyo Vice (TV series)

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Tokyo Vice
Tokyo Vice.jpg
GenreCrime drama
Created byJ. T. Rogers
Based onTokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
by Jake Adelstein
  • Danny Bensi
  • Saunder Jurriaans
Country of originUnited States
Original languages
  • English
  • Japanese
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Executive producers
ProducersRalph Winter
Satch Watanabe
Production locationsTokyo, Japan
  • John Grillo
  • Diego García
  • Katsumi Yanagijima
  • Daniel Satinoff
Running time54–63 minutes
Production companies
Original network
Original releaseApril 7, 2022 (2022-04-07) –
present (present)

Tokyo Vice is an American crime drama television series created by J.T. Rogers and based on the 2009 book of the same title by Jake Adelstein. It premiered on April 7, 2022, on HBO Max. It stars Ansel Elgort and Ken Watanabe in lead roles. In June 2022, the series was renewed for a second season.


In 1999, American journalist Jake Adelstein has relocated to Tokyo and must pass a written exam in Japanese to have the chance to join the staff of a major Japanese newspaper. He succeeds in becoming their first foreign-born journalist and starts at the very bottom. Taken under the wing of a veteran detective in the vice squad, he starts to explore the dark and dangerous world of the Japanese yakuza.



  • Ansel Elgort as Jake Adelstein, an American journalist from Missouri who moves to Tokyo. The longer he stays, the more he delves into the corruption of Tokyo's seedy underworld, where no one is as they seem.
  • Ken Watanabe as Hiroto Katagiri, a detective in the organized crime division. He's a father figure to Adelstein who helps guide him through the thin and often precarious line between the law and organized crime.
  • Rachel Keller as Samantha Porter, an American expatriate living in Tokyo and former Mormon who makes her living as a hostess in the Onyx Club of the Kabukicho district. She guides many individuals from salarymen, to high-end clients, and yakuza.
  • Hideaki Itō as Jin Miyamoto, a vice squad detective who becomes Jake's first liaison in the police department.
  • Show Kasamatsu as Sato, a Yakuza enforcer who collects protection money from the club Samantha works at.
  • Ella Rumpf as Polina, an Eastern European migrant, and a struggling new hostess at the Onyx Club with Samantha. She came to Tokyo to work as a model, and got pulled into the seedy underbelly of Kabukicho.
  • Rinko Kikuchi as Emi Maruyama, Adelstein's supervisor, a composite of the various colleagues and supervisors who worked with the real life Adelstein during his career.
  • Tomohisa Yamashita as Akira, Polina's boyfriend who works at a Host Club.


  • Kōsuke Toyohara as Baku, Jake's by-the-books, racist nationalist boss.
  • Takaki Uda as "Trendy" Kurihira, Jake's handsome friend and coworker.
  • Kosuke Tanaka as "Tintin" Shinohara, Jake's witty friend and coworker.
  • Masato Hagiwara as Duke, the owner of the Onyx hostess club.
  • Shun Sugata as Hitoshi Ishida, the leader of the Yakuza organization Sato is a part of.
  • Eugene Nomura as Kobayashi, Ishida's right-hand man.
  • Koshi Uehara as Taro, a member of Ishida's organization.
  • Masayoshi Haneda as Yoshihiro Kume, Sato's direct superior within the organization.
  • Noémie Nakai as Luna, the most prestigious hostess at the Onyx club.
  • Ayumi Tanida as Shinzo Tozawa, leader of a rival Yakuza organization who recently came to Tokyo.
  • Kazuya Tanabe as Yabuki, a senior member of Tozawa's organization.
  • Jundai Yamada as Matsuo, a cultured man who becomes one of Samantha's clients and then reveals that he was hired to track her down.
  • Yuka Itaya as Mrs. Katagiri, Hiroto's wife.
  • Sarah Sawyer as Jessica Adelstein, Jake's sister who sends him audio letters on tapes and has been in mental health treatment.
  • Fumiya Kimura as Koji, Sato's first recruit within Ishida's organization.
  • Nanami Kawakami as Yuka, a young woman Jake hooks up with while hanging out with Sato, later revealed to be a prostitute.
  • Ayumi Ito as Misaki, Tozawa's bed partner.
  • Jessica Hecht as Willa Adelstein, Jake's mother.
  • Hiroshi Sogabe as Sugita, head of the Suzuno insurance company, which manipulates people into debt with Tozawa's organization.
  • Motoki Kobayashi as Ukai Haruki, a writer who uses meth and publishes articles about Tozawa, with his approval.


No.Title [1]Directed byWritten by [2]Original release date [3]
1"The Test"Michael MannJ. T. RogersApril 7, 2022 (2022-04-07)
2"Kishi Kaisei"Josef Kubota WladykaKarl Taro GreenfeldApril 7, 2022 (2022-04-07)
3"Read The Air"Josef Kubota WladykaArthur PhillipsApril 7, 2022 (2022-04-07)
4"I Want It That Way"HikariNaomi IizukaApril 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)
5"Everybody Pays"HikariAdam SteinApril 14, 2022 (2022-04-14)
6"The Information Business"Josef Kubota WladykaJessica BrickmanApril 21, 2022 (2022-04-21)
7"Sometimes They Disappear"Josef Kubota WladykaBrad Caleb KaneApril 21, 2022 (2022-04-21)
8"Yoshino"Alan PoulJ. T. RogersApril 28, 2022 (2022-04-28)



Tokyo Vice was initially set up as a movie in 2013, with Daniel Radcliffe attached to star as Adelstein. Anthony Mandler was set to direct, and development was advanced enough to where a production start of mid-2014 was set.[4] In June 2019, the project was repurposed as a television series, receiving an eight-episode order from WarnerMedia to be streamed on its streaming service HBO Max. Ansel Elgort was to be executive producer on the series, with J. T. Rogers writing and Destin Daniel Cretton directing.[5] In October 2019, Michael Mann was hired to direct the pilot episode and also serve as an executive producer of the series.[6] The series premiered on April 7, 2022, with the first three episodes available immediately, followed by two episodes on a weekly basis until the season finale on April 28, 2022.[7] On June 7, 2022, HBO Max renewed the series for a second season.[8]


In addition to his executive producing announcement, Ansel Elgort was also set to star.[5] In September 2019, Ken Watanabe was added to the cast.[9] In February 2020, Odessa Young and Ella Rumpf were added to the cast.[10] In March 2020, it was announced that Rinko Kikuchi joined the cast, and that shooting began the previous month in Tokyo.[11] In October 2020, Rachel Keller was cast to replace Young.[12] In September 2021, Hideaki Itō, Show Kasamatsu and Tomohisa Yamashita were announced as series regulars, with Shun Sugata, Masato Hagiwara, Ayumi Tanida and Kōsuke Toyohara joining as recurring.[13] In November 2022 Aoi Takeya and Takayuki Suzuki were announced to be cast.[14][15]


Principal photography on the series began on March 5, 2020. On March 17, 2020, it was announced that production had halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo.[16][17] Production resumed on November 26, 2020, and concluded on June 8, 2021.[18][19] Production for the second season started in November 2022 in Tokyo.[20]


HBO Max and its sibling service HBO Go hold streaming rights to the series in countries where either service is available including the United States, Latin America, and certain European and Asian markets, while Wowow, also a co-producer, holds rights in Japan. Elsewhere, international distributor Endeavor Content has sold broadcast/streaming rights to the series to Crave in Canada, Canal+ in France, Paramount+ Australia, OSN+ in the Middle East and Northern Africa region, and Starzplay in select European markets including the UK and Ireland.[21] The BBC purchased second-window rights to the series in the UK, and began to air it in November 2022 on BBC One,[22][23] with all episodes available for six months on the BBC's iPlayer service.[24]


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 86% approval rating with an average rating of 7.6/10, based on 50 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Tokyo Vice's protagonist is its least interesting element, but the intrigue of Japan's underworld and the verisimilitude of its setting make for a seductive slice of neo-noir."[1] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 75 out of 100 based on 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[25]


  1. ^ a b "Tokyo Vice: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Tokyo Vice". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  3. ^ "Shows A-Z - tokyo vice on hbo max". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  4. ^ McClintock, Pamela (November 5, 2013). "AFM: Daniel Radcliffe to Star in Japanese Underworld Thriller 'Tokyo Vice'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 6, 2019). "WarnerMedia Streamer Orders 'Tokyo Vice' Drama Series Starring Ansel Elgort From Endeavor Content". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 22, 2019). "Michael Mann To Direct Ansel Elgort & Ken Watanabe In Pilot Episode Of HBO Max Series 'Tokyo Vice'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  7. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (February 7, 2022). "'Tokyo Vice': HBO Max's Ken Watanabe-Ansel Elgort Drama Gets Premiere Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  8. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (June 7, 2022). "Tokyo Vice Renewed for Season 2". TVLine. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (September 12, 2019). "'Tokyo Vice': Ken Watanabe To Star In HBO Max Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  10. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (February 19, 2020). "Odessa Young & Ella Rumpf Join 'Tokyo Vice' At HBO Max". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  11. ^ Blair, Gavin J. (March 4, 2020). "Rinko Kikuchi to Star in Michael Mann's HBO Max Series 'Tokyo Vice' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 30, 2020). "Rachel Keller Joins 'Tokyo Vice', Replacing Odessa Young, As HBO Max Series Eyes Return To Production". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  13. ^ Grater, Tom (September 15, 2021). "HBO Max's 'Tokyo Vice Adds Hideaki Ito, Show Kasamatsu & Tomohisa Yamashita As Series Regulars". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  14. ^ Cordero, Rosy (November 10, 2022). "'Tokyo Vice': Newcomer Aoi Takeya Boards Season 2". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  15. ^ Otterson, Joe (November 22, 2022). "'Tokyo Vice' Season 2 at HBO Max Casts Takayuki Suzuki (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  16. ^ Brzeki, Patrick (March 17, 2020). "Coronavirus: Michael Mann's HBO Max Series 'Tokyo Vice' Halts Production in Japan". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  17. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 15, 2020). "Reopening Hollywood: Michael Mann On Resuming Ansel Elgort-Ken Watanabe HBO Max Drama 'Tokyo Vice'; And What About That 'Heat' Prequel?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  18. ^ White, Peter (November 23, 2020). "Japan's Wowow Boards Michael Mann's 'Tokyo Vice' As Co-Producer As Production Resumes This Week". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  19. ^ "Tokyo Vice". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on June 10, 2021. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  20. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (October 26, 2022). "'Tokyo Vice' Producer Alan Poul Talks Season 2, Why Japan's Capital Is the "Most Difficult" City to Shoot". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  21. ^ Middleton, Richard (April 7, 2022). "Canal+, Paramount+ in Oz among buyers of HBO Max & Wowow's 'Tokyo Vice'". Television Business International. Informa. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  22. ^ Goldbart, Max (April 13, 2022). "BBC Buys HBO Max's Ansel Elgort-Starring 'Tokyo Vice' From Endeavor Content". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  23. ^ TV tonight: the gritty underworld of 90s Japan in Tokyo Vice, The Guardian, 22 November 2022
  24. ^ Tokyo Vice, BBC iPlayer. Accessed 22 November 2022
  25. ^ "Tokyo Vice: Season 1". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved July 15, 2022.

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