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12th Jun 2024

One of the best crime thriller shows of recent years has been cancelled

Stephen Porzio

Despite earning rave reviews, the gangster series will not be back for a third season.

Tokyo Vice, one of the best reviewed crime thriller shows of recent years, has been cancelled after two seasons.

Based on the 2009 memoir of the same name and created by playwright J.T. Rogers (Oslo), the series revolves around real-life journalist Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver).

This is as he relocates to Tokyo in 1999 and secures a job at a major Japanese newspaper, becoming the news outlet’s first foreign writer.

Taken under the wing of a veteran detective in the organised crime squad (Oscar-nominee Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai), Adelstein delves into the dark and dangerous world of the yakuza.

Executively produced by Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice), who directed the pilot for the series, Tokyo Vice’s main cast also includes Ella Rumpf (Raw), Rachel Keller (The Society), Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim), Shô Kasamatsu (The Naked Director) and Yōsuke Kubozuka (Silence).

Having first premiered in 2022 on HBO Max in the States before being granted a second batch of episodes which were released earlier this year, Tokyo Vice’s two seasons earned an impressive 89% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

It garnered particular praise for its stylish filmmking, its fascinating setting, its dense gangster story and its detailed exploration of crime journalism.

Despite the acclaim – streaming service Max, writer J.T. Rogers and the show’s producer and director Alan Poul confirmed in a statement that the project will not be returning for a third season.

According to multiple outlets, a Max spokesperson stated:

“From Tokyo Vice’s richly written material to the gorgeously composed shots to the lived-in performances, the care and creativity of this enormously talented cast and crew shines in every frame of the show. We thank J.T., Alan, Ansel, Ken, Fifth Season, and Wowow for their partnership on this wholly unique modern noir thriller.”

This was as Poul and Rogers thanked Max for their support and hinted that Tokyo Vice could possibly return someday, stating:

“Over the last five years Max has made sure we got to tell our story. They have supported us through thick and thin. Not only did they give us these two seasons, they said yes when we asked to end season one with a series of cliffhangers, and they said yes when we asked for two extra episodes so we could land the plane in the way [we] had always envisioned.

“We’re grateful not only to Max, but to our partners Fifth Season, who sold the show around the world, and made it a global success story. They were in the trenches with us always, guaranteeing that we could make the show we wanted to make. The response from both the press and from fans, in particular to Season 2, has been overwhelming. It’s been thrilling to find out how deeply viewers have engaged with our characters, and to hear how they are clamouring for more.

“We know there is more story to tell. Of course we’ll see what the future holds, but we are indeed grateful to have been able to share this story on Max until now.”

Tokyo Vice’s two seasons are available to stream on the BBC iPlayer.

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