(ESP-ENG) Tokyo Vice, una joya de HBO: yakuzas vs el periodismo // Tokyo Vice, an HBO gem: yakuzas vs. journalism.
Hello friends, good vibes to all.
Today we are going to talk about a series, that at least in its first season, has given a lot to talk about because of how impressive and incredible it is. I understand that there are many people who have not had the opportunity to see this story but luckily I hope that will change from this review. HBO Max and its series are far above the rest of the platforms, this is a fact, there is not a series of this of them that is bad because all of them, according to me, are very well produced and above all, they do not cancel them as it is customary in Netflix for example.
But what is Tokyo Vice about? - Well, it's a story that has all the ingredients to get you hooked on it very quickly: drama, murders, investigative journalism, betrayals, violence, settling of scores and the most important thing is all the background behind the world of the yakuzas, which no matter how macabre and hostile it is, it is still fascinating. Personally, I am very interested in the whole cultural theme in Japan and with this series it is easier to understand how this society works since it brings us closer to their customs and way of life. So, without wasting any more time, let's talk a little bit then...
This story focuses on the late nineties where an American journalist named Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort) is in Japan in order to work in the most prestigious newspaper in that country. Being a foreigner it is quite a feat to achieve such a role because if there is something Japanese are very nationalistic and have a very strong attachment to their culture. Despite everything and after much effort and a series of things he had to go through, he manages to enter and become part of the corps of journalists to start doing what he wants so much: to investigate the other side of Japan, the one that no one sees and no one talks about.
But in order to achieve this he will obviously need all the help he can get, firstly because of the issue of being a "Gaijin" or foreigner in Japanese, and secondly because these topics are not forbidden to talk about, but they are very dangerous and deep waters and getting into them can be complicated. So under the supervision of a well-respected detective, Hiroto Katagari (Ken Watanabe), he begins to take a look at the whole world of organized crime and corruption in the streets of Japan. Adelstein is so good at his job that he will eventually realize that he is already too involved and getting out of it will be almost impossible.
When I decided I was going to watch this series the only thing I knew was that it was about the trajectory of a journalist in Japan looking to solve some cases but my biggest surprise comes when it is much more than that. When I realize that it involves the whole underworld of the Yakuzas, their ways of working, how they have or had dominated a society through fear and extortion, how the account adjustment is their day to day based on loyalty and last but not least, that rivalry between the clans or families that existed even though among them there was always a code of honor that was rarely respected thanks to one thing: absolute power.
The intriguing way in which this series is made is very catching, from the first chapter we realize that, well that first chapter, from the first scene of this plot and we are fully immersed in what will be the whole story. As the episodes go by, everything becomes more dense and dramatic because besides the yakuzas, the series gives us a context of all the characters, how they are, how they live and that is something that helps us to understand many of the things that will happen in it.
Tokyo Vice has something that I think is one of its great things and it is the way it was filmed, that cinematography that I always talk about in this series is very present with all those neon lights in the streets but on the other hand we have those scenes that remind us that we are in a dark and heavy environment where the intensity of the colors drops drastically to the point of being only cream and opaque shades. It may seem silly but it is not, everything has an intention that will depend on the context of each situation within the plot, everything is very well cared for and that is something that for me makes it win points because although they do not realize, that plays with the viewer.
But what is definitely the strength of this series are its characters. Some of us can imagine what a yakuza might be like, right? - Well, in this series they are shown exactly as we think of them. Cold, ruthless people, without any hint of empathy, temperamental and clearly violent. That is the most accurate x-ray that can be given but there will always be an exception to the rule and in this case is Sato (Shô Kasamatsu). A yakuza but it seems that some humanity still remains in him, I can not tell you the reason behind that but he is a guy who behind that iron personality still hides what he possibly was before entering the world of the mafia.
On the other hand Jake is the typical person who is running away from his family, who needs to be away from them because he is not comfortable with them, but as a journalist he is one of the best, he will do unthinkable things just to get the information he needs and be in contact with his sources. Detective Katagari is the incorruptible one, the right cop, the family man and father who will always look for the greater good above all things and that role in a series where everything is damaged is always necessary. And finally we have Samantha Porter (Rachel Keller) who is a woman who will come into everyone's life to turn it upside down. She's a woman who wants to be in control of her own life after a bit of a shady past for her and the only way that's possible is to get into this mob universe as well. You either hate her or empathize with her quickly, but there is no such thing as half measures.
To conclude what I can tell you about Tokyo Vice is that it has no waste, it will be one of the great series that this 2022 will leave for all that has been said and many more things. It is different, with a lot of intrigue, it is a very catching story the truth because it has everything. One where drama and crime are the flag accompanied by a latent suspense in every minute of the story. One of the best I've seen in recent months.
9.5/10 because I have always said that perfection does not exist but this series is close to it, if it is not perfect it is very close to it. I highly recommend it, I'm sure you'll like it and you'll be hooked with all the plot that you'll find in it. I leave you the trailer so you can be convinced. It has a duration of eight chapters of almost an hour each and you can find it on HBO Max.
¡Un abrazo a todos, nos vemos en la próxima!
Well my people that's all for today, I hope you liked it.
¡A hug to everyone, see you next time!