Tokyo Vice: 5 Burning Questions Following The Season 1 Finale

Ken Watanabe and Ansel Elgort in Tokyo Vice
(Image credit: HBO Max)

After eight tense and thrilling episodes, the first season of Tokyo Vice concluded with some of the HBO Max series’ most shocking and game-changing moments yet. The plot-heavy Season 1 finale, which was directed by legendary filmmaker Alan Poul, saw several of the show’s storylines wrapped while also peeling back additional layers that will hopefully be further explored if one of the best new shows is given a second chapter.

But, before we get carried away thinking about what’s next for Jake Adelstein, Hiroto Katagiri, Samantha Porter, or even the menacing and death-obsessed Shinzo Tozawa, there are several burning questions that first need to be addressed. And since we haven’t officially found out if the series will join other one-and-done shows, now seems like a good time to ask those questions about the Tokyo Vice ending.

Hajime Inoue on Tokyo Vice

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Was Vice Minister Shigematsu With Polina When She Was Killed On Yoshino?

Near the end of the Tokyo Vice Season 1 finale, Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort) learns that his friend Polina (Ella Rumpt) has been taken to a mysterious ship called Yoshino where she presumably will pay off her substantial debt by sleeping with wealthy men. During his quest for the truth, Jake later receives a videotape that appears to show Polina’s murder after she resisted an older man’s advances on the ship.

Could this man be Vice Minister Shigematsu (Hajime Inoue), the man who was seen in the previous episode speaking with Yakuza boss Shinzo Tozawa (Ayumi Tanida)? The man’s hairstyle, facial expressions, and body movements all match up. It makes sense when you consider the two were seen talking with one another before, a conversation immediately followed by Shigematsu's assistant thanking Tozawa for “this past weekend’s hospitality” before denying to help him with a mysterious request.

Ansel Elgort on Tokyo Vice

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Who Sent The Murder Tape To Jake Adelstein?

Who sent the video to Jake Adelstein in the first place? The package left at his front door just has his last name and no other markings that would reveal the source outright. However, there are a few possibilities as to who decided to give the incriminating video to the young and ambitious journalist in this sprawling murder mystery story.

The video could have very well come from Shinzo Tozawa himself, considering a few factors. First, Tozawa is the owner of the Yoshino ship, which means he has access to all the videos that are filmed in the rooms. Second, he felt slighted by Vice Minister Shigematsu for not helping with his request in the previous episode (which seems to take place after the events of the video) and plans to use the tape to bring heat on the government official. This could be a way to get the attention off of him for a while.

Other possibilities for the source of the video could be Misaki (Ayumi Ito), Tozawa’s mistress who grew close to Jake throughout the latter part of the season, or Ukai Haruki (Motoki Kobayashi), a writer obsessed with Tozawa. 

Show Kasamatsu on Tokyo Vice

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Who Called In The Hit On Sato?

And then there is the issue of the hit on Sato (Show Kasamatsu), the young and up-and-coming Yakuza enforcer working under Yakuza leader Hitoshi Ishida (Shun Sugata). In the final moments of Tokyo Vice Season 1, Sato is walking to his car when he is ambushed and stabbed multiple times in the stomach and left for dead in the street. The man behind the attack appears to be one of the Yakuza recruits that are seen throughout the series, including multiple times earlier in the finale. Why would he stab someone in his own clan, however?

The first possibility is that the Yakuza was actually a mole for Shinzo Tozawa (there was a similar situation earlier in the season) and the rival crime boss thought the best way to attack Ishida’s clan would be to kill off one of his strongest enforcers. This could be seen as a message to all the other leaders in the Yakuza to let them know no one is safe from Tozawa’s power grab.

Another possibility is that Ishida finally had enough of Sato second-guessing him with his business dealings (especially the deal he made with Samantha Porter to fund her club). Though this seems unlikely, it could be a sign that the aging crime boss no longer has faith in his enforcer, especially after he hesitated to pull the trigger on the man who betrayed Ishida.

Hideaki Itō on Tokyo Vice

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Is Jin Miyamoto Actually Dead?

Vice squad detective Jin Miyamoto (Hideaki Itō) had one of the most notable character arcs throughout the first season of Tokyo Vice. Over the course of eight episodes it is revealed that Miyamoto is one of Shinzo Tozawa’s inside men with the Tokyo Police Department, a position which is further stressed by the failed drug raid on a commercial plane and then later when Hiroto Katagiri (Ken Watanabe) sets a trap with a box of non-existent evidence to prove his own theory about the detective’s allegiances. Later on, Miyamoto proves that he’s actually a good cop who made some bad mistakes, only to put his own life in danger.

We last see Miyamoto partway through the Tokyo Vice Season 1 finale when he’s riding with Tozawa’s men to a planned bust, only to be double-crossed by the vengeful crime boss and taken far away from the city, presumably to be killed. Though we never see Miyamoto’s fate play out, Tozawa later tells Katagiri that the detective is “somewhere his conscience will no longer be an issue to him, or a liability to me.” Again, it’s never explicitly stated if the vice detective is alive or dead, but Tozawa never seems like one to mince his words.

Ayumi Tanida on Tokyo Vice

(Image credit: HBO Max)

What Disease Does Shinzo Tozawa Have And Where Was He Going At The End Of Season 1?

Throughout Tokyo Vice Season 1, Shinzo Tozawa (who is like a character out of a samurai film) is dealing with some kind of medical issue, though the exact cause of his pain and suffering is never explicitly stated. There are plenty of signs that something is going on, like the red marks on his face (that he covers with makeup), all those shots he has injected in the final few episodes, him collapsing during his birthday party, and then the doctor saying to refrain from drinking alcohol. This could very well be something to do with his liver, but it’s never stated.

When we last see Tozawa, he is flying away in a private jet, going off on a “last minute trip,” though it’s never revealed where he’s going. Could he be on his way to another country to get the life-saving medical treatment he desires? Only time will tell.

Hopefully these questions and other loose-ends from Tokyo Vice will be answered if and when the show is brought back for a second season. In the meantime, check out the other great HBO Max original series. If you you want to relive these moments, you can do so by streaming Tokyo Vice on HBO Max. 

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.