Tokyo Vice Finale Ending Explained: Is Sato Really Dead?

Tokyo Vice Finale Ending
Tokyo Vice Finale Ending Explained: Is Sato Really Dead? Pic Credit: HBO

HBO Max’s original Tokyo Vice is a crime series based on a true story. The ending of Tokyo Vice Finale left the viewers in total shock. It’s about an American reporter Adelstein, working for Tokyo’s biggest media company. He goes from reporting small crimes to busting a major crime syndicate – The Yakuza.

The story is based on the book Tokyo Vice, written by real Jake Adelstein. Jake moved to Tokyo at 19 years old and worked his way to being Tokyo’s most famous crime writer. He worked for The Yomiuri Shimbun – Tokyo’s popular newspaper, for 12 years.

However, the show focuses on seven years of his career when he’s dealing with the crime lords of Tokyo. Tokyo Vice is really dark and intense and grows more precarious with each episode. Fault in our Star fame Ansel Elgort plays the lead role of Jake Adelstein. Along with the incredible Ken Wantanabe and Tomohisa Yamashita. This show is gripping and edgy and takes you into the wild world of crime lords.

Tokyo Vice so far…

The show explores the underbelly of Tokyo that Adelstein attempts to expose. It’s not a piece of cake to deal with something so controversial. So, of course, Adelstein faces death threats and dangers on his quest. Although it’s taken from a real story, parts of it are quite different. The most interesting twist in the series version is that it shows the crime world from two perspectives. One is Jake, who is an observer of the dark world. The other is Sato, a guy who is in the business but his nature and morals incline him toward the good, although he is still shady!

A still from Tokyo Vice: A 2022 Crime Series

Another prominent character away from the real story is Samantha. She is a hostess at a club who is ambitious and wants to build her own club. She is a Mormon Missionary who stole $40,000 from the missionary funds. So her story arc includes a guy blackmailing her to either give the money or fulfill his sexual favors. Later on, she is also on a hunt for her missing friend Polina.

Jake moves forward with the investigation against the Yakuza. While Sato is facing a dilemma as he is turning more into the person, he avoids becoming. Sato and Samantha develop feelings for each other through the show. While Jake represents the journalist’s pov and Sato shows the Yakuza perspective, Hiroto Katagiri represents the police in the story – a crucial character on the show.

Tokyo Vice Finale Ending Explained

Tokyo Vice is an eight-episode series that premiered its last episode on 28th April 2022. The show, although progresses slowly at the beginning, ends on a high note. So, the finale episode – Yoshino, begins with Polina still missing. The bad cop Miyamoto who betrays the police department by secretly working for Tozawa, confronts Katagiri. It’s probably the calmest yet intense scene of the show with some major acting chops!

Miyamoto and Katagiri confrontation scene. Tokyo Vice Finale Ending.

Jake and Samantha reach out to a meth-head journalist to find out about Polina. In order to blend in, both Sam and Jake consume meth. Meanwhile, Polina’s boyfriend Akira flees with the cash that Samantha stocked in her apartment. Tozawa confronts Katagiri & blackmails him to not leak any dirt on him.

Sato from Tokyo Vice played by Sho Kasamatsu.

The ending is as shocking as it can get. On the one hand, Jake finds a stack of tapes at his doorstep that proves that Polina is dead. On the other, Sato, who was about to help Samantha with the funding, is stabbed multiple times. We see him lying in a pool of his blood at the end of the episode. Things really escalated towards the end, leaving fans shook! But is Sato really dead? We don’t know for sure, but since he is a pivotal part, he might come back next season!

Jake Adelstein Real vs Fiction

Even though the character is based on a real crime journalist, according to the makers, it’s mostly fiction. As the showrunner, J.T Rogers said, “It’s inspired by real events, but it’s fiction.” The real Jake Adelstein, too, faced lots of obstacles – fictional hero style. Just like in the show, his venture to investigate the biggest crime syndicate was not supported by his company. He was blackmailed & beaten up to not have the story published, but he did it anyway.

Tokyo Vice Finale EndingTokyo Vice Finale Ending
Real crime-writer Jake Adelstein

Apparently, Jake was petrified about the consequences of his actions. He even goes to the extent of dying his hair red and hiring a bodyguard. We don’t see those aspects on the show as of now, but you never know!

Well, in the show, Jake is portrayed to be an eager young man, just like in real life. Moreover, the prejudice and discrimination aspect also comes into play. Since Adelstein is the only American and pretty darn good at his job, Jake has not spoken about his experiences with racial prejudice, so we don’t know that aspect of his story.


Tokyo Vice is a thrilling roller-coaster ride that will leave you wanting more. There is no news of another season as of yet. But it has to come since season 1 ended on a major cliffhanger! If you love crime dramas, watch Tokyo Vice now streaming on HBO Max.

Also Read: Hold Tight Ending Explained: Is Adam The Reason for His Friend’s Death?

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