10 Best Japanese Movies on Netflix 2021

by Erika Shinomoto
best japanese movies on netflix

We curated the best Japanese movies on Netflix for you. Check it out!

There is no better way to unwind and relax after a long and tiring day than binge-watching some of the best movies available on Netflix. On days when I want to relax and enjoy a good story, I always look for the best Japanese movies on Netflix. 

Best Japanese movies on Netflix — Quick Summary

Best Japanese Movies on NetflixGenreEditor’s Rating
Shin GodzillaAction, Adventure, Drama6.8/10
RingHorror7.2/10
A Silent VoiceDrama, Romance 8.2/10
MotherDrama, Thriller6.8/10
Battle RoyaleAction, Adventure, Drama 7.6/10
Rurouni KenshinAction, Drama7.5/10
A Whisker AwayFantasy, Drama 6.7/10
ConfessionsDrama, Thriller 7.7/10
My Tomorrow Your YesterdayDrama, Fantasy, Romance 7.4/10
The World of KanakoDrama, Mystery, Thriller 6.5/10

The selection is just amazing and irresistible. There are just so many to choose from but to make sure that you get only the best I have brought you some of the best movies that you can start watching right from this moment.

Top Japanese Movies on Netflix

Shin Godzilla

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama | Age Rating: PG | Run Time: 2h | Director: Hideaki Ano and Shinji Higuchi

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There are several Godzilla movies but Shin Godzilla towers above them all. It really invigorates the enthusiasm and because of this fresh take on the Japanese classic, Shin Godzilla has won a number of awards. 

This is not a new story; it is something that is being retold but with the whole new self-awareness of the film. The story revolves around the members of the Japan Coast Guard who set out to investigate an abandoned Yacht in Tokyo Bay. 

The reason for the destruction of the boat is said to be due to volcanic activity, however, later it is confirmed that this destruction actually took place because of a creature called Godzilla. 

The movie revolves around the whole investigation process and how the officials realize that Godzilla is ever-evolving and with every attack, it becomes more and more dangerous. 

The movie is filled with action and adventure, so if you are into that, you will be highly impressed.

Ring

Genre: Horror | Age Rating: PG | Run Time: 1h 36 mins | Director: Hideo Nakata

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Every once in a while, I like to treat myself to a horror movie that will keep me up at night. Ring is one of those movies that I go back to again and again every time I want to feel the chills down to my bone marrow. 

It has been over 20 years since Ring was released, however, it still is one of the most-watched Japanese horror movies. I will never be able to take away the image of a girl in white crawling out of a television screen. To date, that scene still gives me shivers. 

The story of Ring revolves around the investigation headed by journalist Raiko Asakawa after her niece dies suddenly under circumstances that were too mysterious. 

This movie is full of suspense, mystery, and horror so it is something that you should definitely watch when you are doing a movie night with friends or family.

A Silent Voice – Best Japanese Movies on Netflix

Genre: Drama, Romance | Age Rating: 14+ | Run Time: 2h 10mins | Director: Naoka Yamada

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When it comes to watching Japanese movies, we cannot say no to an extremely well-made animated movie. A Silent Voice is a beautiful movie with an enchanting storyline and exquisite animation. 

It revolves around the concept of bullying in Japan from the perspective of a bully rather than the victim, which is something that is not shown in many movies. The approach taken into the movie is absolutely fresh and quite engaging. 

A Silent Voice shows the relationship between two school students Shoya Ishida and Shoko Nishimiya. Shoko has a hearing impairment and when she enters elementary school she is made fun of by Shoya. But when Shoya moves to a new school, it was he who regretted his actions towards Shoko. 

Most of us have often seen people getting bullied or we have been bullied ourselves, and so this is a movie that we can relate to quite well. This really is a hard-hitting and engaging movie that you must watch.

Mother

Genre: Drama, Thriller | Age Rating: PG-13 | Run Time: 2h 6mins | Director: Tatsushi Ohmori

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I love watching movies that are based on real life events and Mother is one such movie. The movie is based on events that truly shocked the whole of Japan in 2016. It is a dramatic story that portrays the toxic relationship between a mother and her child. 

When I watched the movie, I was completely heartbroken and terrified. It literally led me down a spiral when I saw a boy murdering his own grandparents. The young single mother in the movie is Akiko who is always looking for attention and fulfillment by getting into relationships with different men. 

Because of a preoccupation with all different boyfriends, her son always feels neglected. The son, Shuhei wants to get out of this toxic relationship but when the time comes, Akiko is unable to let him go. 

The whole storyline of the movie is so gripping that you will never be able to get enough of it. The toxic relationship here is something that we may have often come across and so we will be able to understand what is actually happening in the movie.

Battle Royale

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama | Age Rating: PG | Run Time: 1h 54mins | Director: Kinji Fukasaku

top japanese movies on netflix

I love movies that bring to the forefront the government and everything surrounding it. Battle Royale is a movie that brought some of my favorite things together to give me a movie I could go back to again and again. 

This is a gory cult classic that is one of the most talked-about movies in Japanese cinema. The movie, when I first watched it, reminded me of my all-time favorite series: The Hunger Games. 

The plot is somewhat similar in that Battle Royale shows us a group of teenagers fighting in a bloody free-for-all. The scenes in Battle Royale, however, are far more brutal. The movie brings to the forefront the animalistic and emotional traits of humankind. 

This battle is organized by the Japanese government in a dystopian society. These teenagers must fight each other in order to suppress the population of juvenile delinquents. This is a movie that will force you to ask a number of questions and seek answers.

Rurouni Kenshin

Genre: Action, Drama | Age Rating: | Run Time: 1h 30mins | Director: Tsuji Hijiki

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Rurouni Kenshin is a movie that is full of adventures. It revolves around a young watchman who comes across a struggler from a Martial Art school in Japan during the Meiji age. 

We have our main protagonist here who goes by the name of Himura Kenshin. He is the legendary slasher of the major revolution. Kenshin has spent 10 years traveling around Japan as a Rurouni only because he is looking for redemption.

He finally arrives in Tokyo in 1878 and here his vow is tested when he is fighting hard to keep the country’s peace intact. This is a movie that will take you on a classic journey.

A Whisker Away

Genre: Fantasy, Drama | Age Rating: 7+ | Run Time: 1h 45mins | Director:Junichi Sato and Tomotaka Shibayama

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A Whisker Away is a movie that touched my heart and took me on an emotional journey. It is an extremely charming movie that will help you take away all your stress when you enter the life of a pampered cat. 

The animations used in the movie are quite mesmerizing and the storyline in itself is quite gripping. The movie is the story of a middle school student named Miyo Sasaki. Sasaki does not fare well with her stepmother. 

Another problem that Sasaki faces is that her love is not reciprocated at school by her crush. She gets a cat-shaped Noh mask from a stranger and she later realizes that the mask gives her the ability to transform into a cat. 

She transforms herself and spends all her time with the boy she likes without him even knowing who she actually is. I am pretty sure this movie will touch your heart and let you unwind after a busy day.

Confessions

Genre: Drama, Thriller | Age Rating: | Run Time: 1h 46mins | Director: Tetsuya Nakashima

netflix japanese movies list

I love watching thriller movies and Confessions is one movie that really stuck with me for a long period of time. The movie revolves around a middle school teacher called Yoko Moriguchi. 

The incident that literally destroyed her life was when her four-year-old daughter was murdered. After some initial investigations, Moriguchi finds out that a few of her own students were involved in the murder. To avenge her daughter’s death, Moriguchi devices a very elaborate plan. 

This revenge plan is so disturbing, it kept me creeped out for a very long time. She forces the students who are involved in her daughter’s death to drink HIV-tainted milk. 

As twisted as it may be, the movie shows the love a mother has for her daughter and everything that she can do for her.

My Tomorrow Your Yesterday

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance | Age Rating: | Run Time: 1h 51mins | Director: Takahiro Miki

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A good romantic movie can make your weekend enjoyable. My Tomorrow Your Yesterday is such a movie, but with some amount of drama and fantasy. There is a lot in the movie that eventually unravels itself.

Initially, we meet Takatoshi Minamiyama who is a student at an Art University in Kyoto. The story is about him falling in love with Emi Fukuja on the train to school. The love happens at first sight and gathering all the courage, he tells her about his feelings. 

They both get together in a relationship and they start enjoying happy days together, but that is until Emi reveals her secret to him. This mystery and suspense will really keep you hooked to your seat.

The World of Kanako

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller | Age Rating: | Run Time: 1h 58mins | Director: Tetsuya Nakashima

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The World of Kanako is again a mysterious and thrilling story about a girl named Kanako. She grows up in a dysfunctional family where her father is an alcoholic and quite abusive. The series of abuses and assaults that Kanako faces every day turns her into a depressed and crazy person. 

To get over this, she starts using other people’s weaknesses to ruin their lives. Later Kamako disappears and her father, who was a detective, finds out so many secrets about his daughter’s life. 

This is quite a shocking story that will keep you gripped right until the last minute. If you love watching stories that involve a lot of mystery and thrill, this is definitely the one for you.

Which is the best Japanese movie on Netflix?

Out of all the Japanese movies on Netflix, the best one definitely is A Silent Voice. This is a very touching movie that hits you really hard with scenarios you are most probably already familiar with. If you want to get a closer look at the bullying scenarios and how it affects you for life, this is the movie you should watch.

Get your popcorn ready and sit down to Netflix and chill with some of the best Japanese movies!

Also Read:

  1. Best Netflix Shows to Understand Japanese 
  2. Best Japanese Anime Of All Time
  3. Best Japanese Animation Movies

A Silent Voice

Director: Yashitoki Oima

Date Created: 1970-01-01 00:33

Editor's Rating:
5

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