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Tokyo Vice

Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
2 months ago
Has anyone here been watching this series? I thought it was a bit slow at the start and almost gave up after the first episode, but I am glad that I persisted, as I have gradually got drawn in by this very strange world and the characters in it.
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I'm always a bit loathe to take any work of fiction too literally, as it often reveals more about the prejudices of the writer/creator than actual reality and certainly facts often get bent a little to make a good story. However, I am getting a feel that the culture in Japan has changed very little since c. 1600 when James Clavell's novel Shogun was set.

The story centres around a young Jewish American who has escaped his family to move to Japan and work for the top Japanese newspaper as a reporter. He starts to investigate a scam that brings him into direct contact with Yakuza, the Japanese gangster clans and he gets drawn into a dark murky world. The 3 main characters, Jake (the young reporter), Samantha (an American woman who has her own secrets) and Sato (a young gangster) are protrayed sympathetically, but almost everyone else is pretty unlikable. I'm only about half way through, but it has all the ducking and divings that I remember and enjoyed so much when I read the Lustbader gangster novels in my late teens, perhaps without the martial arts focus.

The series is almost filmed in a Film Noir style, so I found it extremely atmospheric and I think that is how I have become drawn in. To western eyes, it paints a picture of a very peculiar culture. Extremely hierarchical, and where loyalty to those above you is paramount and where senior operatives rule with fear and overt racism is alive and well and truly kicking. The normal office workday is every bit as abusive as it is for those who belong to the Yakuza, where work never stops, except for when you sleep and the people who you work for totally own you. And that is why I likened it to Shogun, as it seems like the feudal system is as much alive as ever. It has intrigued me enough to want to find out a bit more about the writers and creators of the series to see what inspired them and how accurate the portrayal of modern day Japan is. If it is even only partially accurate, it is a fascinating insight into a society that most people in the west will find quite alien.
lindy
lindy Female
2 months ago
sounds good...where do you go to watch it Minnie?
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
2 months ago
I've been watching it on BBC iplayer, Lindy, as my aerial does not work. I think it was only recently shown though, so I wondered if anyone had been following each episode as they were shown. lol unless it is me, behind the times, as usual. :)
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
2 months ago
I've just checked.  It started on 22 Nov at 9.10 pm on BBC1 and then shown every Tuesday after that.  Though it might get disrupted by flipping football, I guess.  Anyway, all episodes are showing on iPlayer, so you can binge watch if you prefer.  That's what I usually do.  I'm no good at following a series week by week.
lindy
lindy Female
2 months ago
ah ha...will have a look today...it's a knitty, cosy indoor day so will watch as I sew up. :-)
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
2 months ago
I would be interested to see what you make of it, Lindy.
lindy
lindy Female
2 months ago
am a bit of a lover of Japanese stuff and a teacher is a Japanologist.  Does it mirror Miami Vice I wonder?  Used to love that - in the day!
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
2 months ago
Done a little reading and it is loosely based upon the story of a real life journalist, Jake Adelstein, who investigated the criminal underworld in Tokyo in the 90s.  He wrote his memoirs about his experiences, which were published in 2009, though the accuracy of the memoirs have been challenged, since he claims to have gone under cover and coworkers claim that that did not happen.  The makers of the series say that it is neither documentary or biography, and is fiction based upon real events.  I get the feeling that the cultural aspects that I noticed are probably fairly faithful, even if the story is more or less made up.  What a strange society it seems.  I may be tempted to read the book by Jake Adelstein now.
lindy
lindy Female
2 months ago
I've found it and watched the first few mins...think I'm hooked  - and it reinforces how I'd love to study the language. Have wanted to ever since I studied Reiki.  The written 'word' is beautiful.  Making tv series and films does give the makers license to change the story a wee bit.  I oft think though, there is a core truth ringing through films and series.  

Now...to fire my machines up so I can settle down to watch this later.  Thanks Minnie...all this marries up with a dream I had last night.  Love it!! 
CircusMaximus
CircusMaximus Male
2 months ago
Is it made by the same people as Miami Vice?
Samx
Samx Male
2 months ago
Never seen or heard of it
lindy
lindy Female
2 months ago
Well MinnieI made it to episode 4 and then went straight to the last episode.  I usually do this.  It does end on a bit of cliffhanger.  I guess ready for Season 2.  I have to say I enjoyed it! 

I have to admit I'm a bit of a fan of The Blacklist.  Watched in on a Monday nights - hooked me in on Season 1 and then found out there are ten seasons. [Prime] So cherry picked the episodes until I reached the latest seasons you have to pay for.  
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
2 months ago
I think I am on episode 4, or maybe 5, Lindy. Oh nooooo, I hate cliff hangers.  Off to watch some more now.  :)
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
2 months ago
I wouldn't have thought so CM, though I really don't know. Different kind of filming and commentary, I would have said.
HotOrWot
HotOrWot Male
2 months ago
I'm impressed Minnie. You should write as a film critic LOLOL
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
2 months ago
I just read that Tokyo Vice was indeed produced by Michael Mann, who created Miami Vice.
lindy
lindy Female
2 months ago
ah ha....makes sense...maybe he should create London Vice - The Present Day :-)
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
A month ago
ugh!  Two attempts at the last episode and only half way through it.  Too much violence and angst for me.  I can't watch it.
lindy
lindy Female
A month ago
It does get a bit close to the bone...I do keep a cushion handy so I don't have to watch the bad bits!! haha
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
A month ago
Strange, I got right until the last episode, but I don't think I can watch any more.
lindy
lindy Female
A month ago
So did you watch the last episode to the end?
Minnie-the-Minx
Minnie-the-Minx Female
A month ago
lol I got there in the end.  pffftttt!  What a waste of blooming time.  I'm not sure that cliffhanger is the right term.  8 episodes and they ran out of time, so they just stopped at where they got to.  As a narrative device, that just doesn't work for me, no matter how good the story is.  I stop investing when they do that.  I doubt that I would bother with a second series.
HotOrWot
HotOrWot Male
A month ago
I'm pleased I read your post before starting to watch it. I don't like those endings either.
NoneOfTheAbove
NoneOfTheAbove Male
A month ago
I've just started watching the first 2 episodes I've recorded (need to free up a bit of space on the pvr). I'm only going to watch one at a time, as with all subtitled shows you really have to sit and watch. It's only then that you realise how many other programmes I watch where I'm also doing something else at the same time.


I'll probably stick with it, but it does feel, like usually happens with these types of series, they spread out the material over too many  episodes (8 in this case) rather than trimming down and leaving you wanting more.




I noticed that this HBO Max produced show has just started filming Season 2.      
lindy
lindy Female
A month ago
TBAI agree - which is more oft than not I'll prefer a movie.  


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