Tokyo was elegant. She was the darling of the heists. This doesn’t take anything away from the relevance, influence and impact of other members of the gang, dead or alive; original or co-opted.

Tokyo was a personification of the core romantic embellishments that engulfed the entire atmosphere in the series. She was brave, brilliant and bold. She was skilled, sexy and smart. Her dexterity with weapons were as pleasant as the tunes resounding from the fingers of a pianist.

Tokyo’s real name is Úrsula Corberó. She is a top actress in the world-class series, Money Heist. In the series, her name was Silene Oliveira. According to her, she chose the pseudonym, Tokyo, because that was the city she wishes to visit if she ever breaks even by breaking the law through robbery.

She was the first to be hired by the gang leader, Professor, to help in carrying out a heist of the Royal Mint in Madrid. She calls him her Guardian Angel because she believed in his abilities to save her and lead her to freedom.

Having recorded a huge success, the surving gang members later regrouped and were inspired by turn of events to rob the Bank of Spain. Chiefly behind the wheels of this turn of events was Tokyo. Her love escapade with Rio, a young male gang member, led to the capture of the lad.

Tokyo was hit inside the Bank of Spain during the gun party. She danced through the rhythm until she bravely signed out like a warrior that she was.

Everyone following the series was broken, more broken than when other members of the gang were lost. But why is this so? Why did the masses even in the series appear to be on the side of the robbers? They kept cheering the gang.

It was reported that when the final script was presented to Úrsula Corberó revealing that the character, Tokyo, which she represents in the series would die, she shed tears. We were presented with Tokyo’s past before she eventually fell. Speaking on this, Úrsula Corberó reportedly explained:

I think it grants the viewer a golden opportunity to seek a way to empathise with the character of Tokyo, to relate to her, and to understand the background, the reasons, and the conditioning of her past and why she is proud to make the mistakes she makes.

Again, why are fans of the series devastated with the death of Tokyo? Does it not go to show that the heart of man is truly desperately wicked? Jeremiah 17:9. Tokyo was an armed-robber. Yet, she was loved. So too, her other gang members.

On the flip side, Tokyo’s personality seems to command such empathy. Like most people, all she ever wanted was to gain freedom to live the life of her dreams. She had asked, “Afterall, what’s more human than the fight for survival?” To attain this kind of freeedom, she opted to risk her freedom momentarily by carrying out heists that saw her locked up in homes of treasures while she fought for escape with the treasures. She was determined as she wasn’t ever prepared to give up her freedom unwillingly. According to her, “I’d get 30 years. And to be honest, growing old in a prison cell is not my thing. I’d rather run, in body and soul. And if I can’t take my body with me, at least my soul should run.”

In summary, it is indeed ironic that somehow, the society empathize with certain criminals. Even in the series, we saw how an honest police officer later joined the gang in a dramatic twist of events. We saw how an innocent hostage became a core member of the gang. These were people with no criminal backgrounds. Life happened to them. These events happen in reality. Any doubt about this is erased by the present feeling of many viewers who feel like mourning the death of Tokyo. Life is sometimes not fair, they say. But the truth is what it is. A crime, remains a crime and must be strictly condemned. This truth runs parallel to yet another truth, which is that a fuller understanding of certain life circumstances has a way of pushing the mind to make excuses for many, turning a person from an attacker to a victim – victim of circumstance.


Featured Image Credit: The Indian Express

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.

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