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Tokyo Mystery Sake — TV Review

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Tokyo Mystery Sake (東京怪奇酒) caught my attention after watching “Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness” a few weeks ago. My curiosity was piqued when someone mentioned it on Discord, so during my work hours, I decided to give this series a try.

Tokyo Mystery Sake follows Yosuke Sugino, a young actor who receives an offer for a lead role in a horror series called “Tokyo Horror.

Sugino is hesitant to take on a horror series due to his fear of the genre. But his manager promises that it will elevate him from a trendy actor to an internationally renowned Japanese actor (I see what you did there Netflix *wink* *wink*).

Despite his reluctance, our main character’s manager persuades him to appear on a radio show with renowned horror mangaka Toru Seino. During the show, they discuss Seino’s latest work, “Tokyo Mystery Sake” or “Tokyo Taiki Sake” 『東京怪奇酒』, where the protagonist explores local folklore and haunted locations while getting drunk. This unconventional approach allows the main character to gain a deeper understanding of those places and the world they inhabit.

Following the radio interview, Seino reveals that his manga focuses on personal battles and inner struggles, rather than ghost-hunting or battling evil spirits. He mentions the inexplicably pleasant feeling that arises when one drinks sake or beer while confronting these challenges. To truly experience the essence of “Tokyo Mystery Sake,” Seino suggests that our protagonist should seek out Chance Oshiro.

Despite Sugino’s lingering hesitation, he decides to meet Chance and discuss their personal encounters with the paranormal. They have a delightful conversation inside a captivating café, and as they part ways, Chance hands him a plastic bag filled with snacks and alcohol, along with the address of their former apartment complex.

Determined to seize the TV series opportunity and confront his fears head-on, Sugino embarks on the haunted adventure armed with a bag of snacks and booze. What unfolds next is an unforgettable journey that will go down in history!

Spoiler Alert on Tokyo Mystery Sake

So this is the part where the plot revolves and repeats for the entire 6 episodes. It follows the short stories – horror manga formula and it quickly resolves in one episode. 

The strange part of this series is the horror stories that Sugino collects, it’s from people who do comedy, either stand-up comedians or Rakugos. It made me bewildered as it might be a local thing or “weird stories come from unexpected people” types. 

Tokyo Mystery Sake『東京怪奇酒』is anything but your typical horror series. While it teases you with tales of folklore and haunted locations, it ditches the jump scares and terrifying apparitions. Instead, it offers a more atmospheric experience, perfect for those looking to kill an hour or two without needing an extra pair of pants nearby.

Honestly… seeing Sugino’s face every time he encounters the ghostly figures might be the scariest part of the series.

Really… at 20:35

I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention the delightful closing scene called “Lucky Dish” in Tokyo Mystery Sake. It showcases food not only as a form of protection but also as a reflection of the staff’s philosophical views. It’s a charming addition that adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the series. It’s funny to think that a serving of round-shaped avocado Croquette with a pinch of salmon roe on top is a symbol of harmony among people or family. 

If I’m in the mood for a cheesy and cliché horror TV anthology, I’d rather rewatch “Dark Tales of Japan” or “Tales of Terror from Japan.” They have all the classic elements that make them a fun and entertaining watch.

Well, that wraps up my quick review for today. I apologize for the lack of recent posts, things have been busy with my manhwa reading and ongoing recovery from my mental struggles. But I’m back now and ready to share more content soon.