Best Japanese Movies

This page is updated regularly. Subscribe, so you don't miss new recommendations. The list of "Best Japanese Movies" contains films with the following parameters. Style: melancholic, weird, touching, visually appealing, serious and atmospheric. Plot: storytelling, loneliness, mentor, runaway, vengeance, brutality, death, friendship, culture clash and family relations. Genre: Drama, Animation and Romance. Country: Japan, USA and UK.
Best Japanese Movies
Best Japanese Movies
TOP Movies: Your Name. (2016), A Silent Voice (2016), Perfect Blue (1997), Drive My Car (2021), Wolf Children (2012), Like Father, Like Son (2013), Our Little Sister (2015), Nobody Knows (2004), Shin Godzilla (2016), Akira (1988), Fireworks (1997), Whisper of the Heart (1995), Ichi the Killer (2001), The Theory of Everything (2014), Get Out (2017), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), Alita: Battle Angel (2019), Love Exposure (2008), The King of Staten Island (2020), Ringu (1998).

List of Best Movies

Your Name. (2016)
Genre: Animation, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Country: Japan
Duration: 106 min.
Story: High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must ...
Style: touching, romantic, captivating, surprise ending, emotional ...
Plot: body swapping, romance, school, time travel, star crossed lovers, beautiful scenery, boy, love, girl, schoolgirl, race against time, destiny ...
Place: japan, tokyo
Is relevant ?
A Silent Voice (2016)
Genre: Animation, Drama
Country: Japan
Duration: 130 min.
Story: Shouya Ishida starts bullying the new girl in class, Shouko Nishimiya, because she is deaf. But as the teasing continues, the rest of the class starts to turn on Shouya for his lack of compassion. When they leave elementary school, Shouko and Shouya ...
Style: inspirational, sincere, touching, romantic, biting ...
Plot: bullying, deaf, sign language, friendship, high school, disability, japanese school, redemption, deafness, suicide attempt, coming of age, single mother ...
Place: japan
Is relevant ?
Perfect Blue (1997)
Genre: Animation, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Country: Japan
Duration: 81 min.
Story: A retired pop singer turned actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.
Style: tense, suspenseful, twists and turns, atmospheric, scary ...
Plot: woman in danger, stalking, obsession, murder, mind game, singer, actor's life, mentally unstable, crimes, losing-it hero, performance, psychopath ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Drive My Car (2021)
Genre: Drama
Country: Japan
Duration: 179 min.
Story: Yusuke Kafuku, a stage actor and director, still unable, after two years, to cope with the loss of his beloved wife, accepts to direct Uncle Vanja at a theater festival in Hiroshima. There he meets Misaki, an introverted young woman, appointed to ...
Style: bilingual
Plot: japanese wife, rehearsal, sign language, theatre play, audition, driver, japanese woman, infidelity, grief, loss of child, theatre director, road trip ...
Time: 2010s
Place: japan, hiroshima japan
Is relevant ?
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Wolf Children (2012)
Genre: Animation, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Country: Japan
Duration: 117 min.
Story: After her werewolf lover unexpectedly dies in an accident, a woman must find a way to raise the son and daughter that she had with him. However, their inheritance of their father's traits prove to be a challenge for her.
Style: heartbreaking, atmospheric, sweet, sentimental, colourful ...
Audience: family outing
Plot: werewolf, childhood, family relations, wolf, single mother, parents and children, social relations, school, supernatural, love, female werewolf, breast feeding ...
Place: japan, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Like Father, Like Son (2013)
Genre: Drama
Country: Japan
Duration: 121 min.
Story: Ryota Nonomiya is a successful businessman driven by money. He learns that his biological son was switched with another child after birth. He must make a life-changing decision and choose his true son or the boy he raised as his own.
Style: touching, thought provoking, sincere, psychological, emotional ...
Plot: architect, family reunited, family relations, identity crisis, life turned upside down, introspection, moral dilemma, childhood, parents and children, family life, social differences, disorder ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Our Little Sister (2015)
Genre: Drama, Family
Country: Japan
Duration: 127 min.
Story: A story that revolves around three sisters who live in their grandmother's home and the arrival of their 13-year-old half sister.
Style: sincere, realistic, captivating, touching, entertaining
Plot: family relations, sisters, sister sister relationship, responsibility, mother daughter relationship, teenage girl, nurse, death, food, small town, restaurant, half sister ...
Place: japan
Is relevant ?
Nobody Knows (2004)
Genre: Drama
Country: Japan
Duration: 141 min.
Story: In a small Tokyo apartment, twelve-year-old Akira must care for his younger siblings after their mother leaves them and shows no sign of returning.
Style: heartbreaking, serious, touching, gloomy, depressing ...
Audience: kids
Plot: poverty, childhood, dysfunctional family, young kid, innocence lost, survival, responsibility, financial problem, journey, tragedy, brother brother relationship, malnutrition ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: japan, tokyo, asia, california
Is relevant ?
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Shin Godzilla (2016)
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Country: Japan
Duration: 120 min.
Story: From the mind behind Evangelion comes a hit larger than life. When a massive, gilled monster emerges from the deep and tears through the city, the government scrambles to save its citizens. A rag-tag team of volunteers cuts through a web of red ...
Style: tense, serious, suspense, dark, captivating ...
Audience: teens, boys' night
Plot: giant monster, godzilla, destruction, japanese schoolgirl, radioactivity, military, scientist, evolution, missile, tunnel, evacuation, prime minister ...
Time: 2010s
Place: japan, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Akira (1988)
Genre: Animation, Action, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: Japan
Duration: 124 min.
Story: Childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda are pulled into the post-apocalyptic underworld of Neo-Tokyo and forced to fight for their very survival. Kaneda is a bike gang leader, and Tetsuo is a member of a tough motorcycle crew who becomes involved in a ...
Style: surreal, atmospheric, serious, psychotronic, talky ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: cyberpunk, motorcycle gang, experiment, hallucination, protest, military, post apocalypse, mutation, scientist, gang, distopia, destruction ...
Time: future, 21st century, 80s, year 2019, 2010s
Place: japan, tokyo, asia
Is relevant ?
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (1997)
Genre: Animation, Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Country: Japan
Duration: 87 min.
Story: The second of two theatrically released follow-ups to the Neon Genesis Evangelion series. Comprising of two alternate episodes which were first intended to take the place of episodes 25 and 26, this finale answers many of the questions surrounding ...
Style: psychological, mecha, futuristic, twist ending, surreal ...
Audience: boys' night, teens
Plot: philosophy, insanity, loneliness, evil alien, youth, apocalypse, space wars, end of the world, catastrophe, rebirth, disaster, supernatural ...
Time: 21st century, future, 2010s
Place: tokyo, japan
Is relevant ?
Fireworks (1997)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
Country: Japan
Duration: 103 min.
Story: A police officer leaves the force in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into a depression, he makes questionable decisions.
Style: bleak, serious, sentimental, rough, emotional ...
Plot: dying, gangsters, loss, couple relations, life is a bitch, love and romance, loss of loved one, loss of partner, law enforcement, crimes, fighting illness, terminal illness ...
Time: 20th century, 90s
Place: japan, asia, tokyo, mount fuji
Is relevant ?
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Genre: Animation, Drama, Family, Romance
Country: Japan
Duration: 111 min.
Story: Shizuku lives a simple life, dominated by her love for stories and writing. One day she notices that all the library books she has have been previously checked out by the same person: 'Seiji Amasawa'. Curious as to who he is, Shizuku meets ...
Style: feel good, touching, uplifting, emotional, realistic ...
Audience: teens, family outing, pre-teens
Plot: teenage love, follow your dream, love, fall in love, first love, cat, love and romance, high school life, teenage life, self discovery, youth, imagination ...
Time: 90s, 20th century
Place: japan, italy, tokyo, europe, asia
Is relevant ?
Ichi the Killer (2001)
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Horror
Country: Japan
Duration: 129 min.
Story: As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.
Style: disturbing, rough, suspenseful, stylized, captivating ...
Audience: boys' night
Plot: sadism, massacre, violence, gang, rage, psychopath, yakuza, perversion, hitman, mob boss, crimes, gangsters ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
The Theory of Everything (2014)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
Country: UK, Japan
Duration: 123 min.
Story: The Theory of Everything is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde.
Style: uplifting, touching, emotional, compassionate, sincere ...
Plot: genius, prodigy, disability, against the odds, love, fall in love, cambridge university, handicapped, supportive spouse, life is a bitch, couples, physical disability ...
Time: 20th century, 60s, 70s, 90s, 80s
Place: oxford university, england, united kingdom
Is relevant ?
Get Out (2017)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: USA, Japan
Duration: 104 min.
Story: Chris and his girlfriend Rose go upstate to visit her parents for the weekend. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend ...
Style: twist ending, psychological, surprise ending, tense, suspenseful ...
Plot: racism, interracial romance, hypnosis, cult, african american, psycho, secrets, brainwashing, survival, missing person, interracial relations, secret society ...
Time: 21st century
Place: brooklyn new york city, new york
Is relevant ?
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: France, Japan, USA
Duration: 145 min.
Story: A sweeping romantic epic set in Japan in the years before World War II, a penniless Japanese child is torn from her family to work as a maid in a geisha house.
Style: captivating, dramatic, sentimental, stylized, serious ...
Audience: girls' night, chick flick
Plot: geisha, women, brothel, rivalry, japanese culture, mentor, older man younger woman relationship, love story, love and romance, loss of virginity, loss of sister, unfulfilled love ...
Time: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 20th century
Place: japan, asia, kyoto japan, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA, Japan, Canada
Duration: 122 min.
Story: Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does ...
Style: exciting, captivating, suspense, enigmatic, disturbing ...
Plot: cyberpunk, cyborgs, female warrior, distopia, tough girl, female protagonist, martial arts, nanotechnology, woman fights a man, bounty hunter, adaptation, amnesia ...
Time: near future, future
Is relevant ?
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Love Exposure (2008)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Country: Japan
Duration: 237 min.
Story: After Yu's mother dies his father, a priest, only seems to take solace in the confessions of his sons sins causing Yu to partake in various 'sinful' activities to appease him. This is a teen love story as only the Japanese could bring ...
Style: uplifting, twists and turns, disturbing, psychological, surreal ...
Audience: teens
Plot: teenage love, sin, group of friends, love, family values, porn, fall in love, society, prank, youth, religions or cults, teenage life ...
Time: contemporary, 21st century
Place: japan, asia, xian, tokyo
Is relevant ?
The King of Staten Island (2020)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: USA
Duration: 136 min.
Story: Scott has been a case of arrested development ever since his firefighter father died when he was seven. He’s now reached his mid-20s having achieved little, chasing a dream of becoming a tattoo artist that seems far out of reach. As his ambitious ...
Style: psychological, ironic, humorous, touching
Plot: slacker, stoner, tattoo artist, arrested development, re-education, boyfriend girlfriend relationship, brother sister relationship, tattoo, mother son relationship, firefighter, mother's boyfriend, loss of father ...
Time: contemporary
Place: new york, new york yankees, manhattan new york city, usa
Is relevant ?
Ringu (1998)
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Country: Japan
Duration: 96 min.
Story: A mysterious video has been linked to a number of deaths, and when an inquisitive journalist finds the tape and views it herself, she sets in motion a chain of events that puts her own life in danger.
Style: suspenseful, macabre, scary, psychological, frightening ...
Audience: teens
Plot: ghost, investigation, supernatural, curse, woman in danger, back from the dead, dark secret, supernatural power, mysterious death, journalist, good versus evil, teacher ...
Time: 90s, 20th century, 50s
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Shrek Forever After (2010)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Country: USA
Duration: 93 min.
Story: A bored and domesticated Shrek pacts with deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin to get back to feeling like a real ogre again, but when he's duped and sent to a twisted version of Far Far Away—where Rumpelstiltskin is king, ogres are hunted, and he and ...
Style: fairy tale, humorous, semi serious, exciting, witty ...
Audience: kids, family outing, teens, date night, pre-teens ...
Plot: magical, ogre, talking animals, dragon, princess, imaginary kingdom, friendship, deal, heroes, queen, villain, cat ...
Time: middle ages, 2010s
Is relevant ?
The Grinch (2018)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Country: USA
Duration: 85 min.
Story: The Grinch hatches a scheme to ruin Christmas when the residents of Whoville plan their annual holiday celebration.
Style: light, touching, sincere, entertaining, humorous ...
Audience: pre-teens, family outing, kids
Plot: christmas, optimism, surrealism, small town, fight, happy ending, love and romance, best friends, life philosophy, family relations, justice, solitude ...
Time: 2010s
Is relevant ?
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The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family
Country: USA
Duration: 86 min.
Story: A sequel to the animated hit THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS.
Style: light, funny, colourful, feel good, entertaining ...
Audience: kids, preschoolers
Plot: dog, talking dog, guinea pig, animals, talking animals, talking cat, cat, rodent, rabbit, terrier, friendship, pet dog ...
Place: new york, turkey
Is relevant ?
Despicable Me 3 (2017)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Family, Sci-Fi
Country: USA
Duration: 89 min.
Story: Gru and his wife Lucy must stop former '80s child star Balthazar Bratt from achieving world domination.
Style: funny, sweet, colourful, entertaining, light ...
Audience: kids, girls' night, teens
Plot: fantasy world, twin brother, brother brother relationship, happy ending, disney, villain, fired from the job, kidnapping, prison escape, prison, adventure, diamond ...
Time: 2010s
Place: new york
Is relevant ?
Spirited Away (2001)
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery
Country: Japan
Duration: 125 min.
Story: A young girl, Chihiro, becomes trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free her family.
Style: surreal, atmospheric, stylized, colourful, exciting ...
Audience: family outing, pre-teens
Plot: parallel world, witch, fantasy world, ghost, adventure, dragon, friendship, rescue, surrealism, creature, philosophy, supernatural ...
Time: 21st century, contemporary, 2000s
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
Harakiri (1962)
Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery
Country: Japan
Duration: 133 min.
Story: Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri.
Style: tense, bleak, captivating, suspenseful, enigmatic ...
Plot: samurai, suicide, revenge, poverty, vengeance, life is a bitch, rivalry, society, hara kiri, sword fight, japanese culture, duel ...
Time: 17th century
Place: japan, asia, tokyo
Is relevant ?
After the Storm (2016)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country: Japan
Duration: 118 min.
Story: Ryota is an unpopular writer although he won a literary award 15 years ago. Now, Ryota works as a private detective. He is divorced from his ex-wife Kyoko and he has an 11-year-old son Shingo. His mother Yoshiko lives alone at her apartment. One ...
Style: semi serious, touching, thought provoking, sincere, melancholic
Plot: lottery ticket, divorce, private detective, storm, gambling, slice of life, lie, father son relationship, divorced father, trust, bet, divorced parents ...
Time: contemporary
Is relevant ?
Mortal Engines (2018)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Country: USA, New Zealand, Japan
Duration: 128 min.
Story: Set in a world many thousands of years in the future. Earth’s cities now roam the globe on huge wheels, devouring each other in a struggle for ever diminishing resources. On one of these massive Traction Cities, Tom Natsworthy has an unexpected ...
Style: futuristic, exciting, dark fantasy, captivating, psychotronic ...
Plot: steampunk, post apocalypse, resistance, female warrior, tough girl, power, survival, female fighter, female assassin, chase, good versus evil, engineer ...
Time: future
Place: big ben london, europe, london, asia
Is relevant ?
Love Letter (1995)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Country: Japan
Duration: 117 min.
Story: When exchanging letters two women discover new things about a deceased man they used to know.
Style: realistic, serious, sentimental, gloomy, psychological ...
Audience: date night, girls' night
Plot: mountain, friendship, high school, true love, friends, couples, love triangle, road not taken, love affair, haunted by the past, school, unfulfilled love ...
Time: 90s
Place: hokkaido, japan
Is relevant ?
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