Best Japanese Netflix Shows 2021

by Erika Shinomoto
best Japanese Netflix shows

Looking for fun Netflix shows to binge watch? Here are the best Japanese Netflix shows for you to enjoy!

I love canceling plans to stay home and binge-watch Netflix shows. It’s a gold mine of shows and movies that can keep you hooked for hours. Netflix truly is the best place to lose track of time, perfect for those chilly winter mornings, rainy days, and weeknights. 

Since I am such an avid binge-watcher, I am always on the lookout for the best shows to spend all my time with (since I, currently, have no social life – thanks to Covid)

Recently, I came across some of the best Japanese Netflix Shows that are so good you will be stuck in front of the screen for hours and hours. If you love discovering new shows, I’m sure you will love this list of best Japanese Netflix shows

Related: best Japanese dramas on Amazon Prime

So, get ready to binge-watch some of the best Japanese Netflix shows from the best Japanese manga turned anime to Japanese drama series when the mood strikes. 

Which is the best Japanese Netflix Show to watch?

One of the best Japanese Netflix shows that you must not miss out on is Neon Genesis Evangelion. This show has grabbed the eyes of every Japanese show lover, thanks to the mind-bending plot and brilliant techniques used. This is one anime show that you must watch. 

Top Japanese Netflix Shows

Best Japanese Netflix ShowsGenreAge RatingEditor’s Rating
Giri/HajiCrime, Drama18+7.9/10
Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth SalarymanComedy7+7.6/10
Midnight DinerComedy, Romance, Food18+8.4/10
The Naked DirectorHistorical Drama18+7.8/10
AggretsukoComedy13+8.0/10
Neon Genesis EvangelionCyberpunk18+8.5/10
Terrace House: A New BeginningReality TV13+7.8/10
Million Yen WomenMystery16+7.7/10

Giri/Haji

Genre: Crime, Drama | Age Rating: 18+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.9/10

If you are into shows that are all about crime and drama, you will definitely enjoy watching Giri/Haji. The show includes a lot of the regular crime and violence, chopping fingers and katana stabbings that you can see in other Japanese crime shows and movies.

You will also see that the show has a lot of London gangsters, Albanian mafias, and an American gangster. The story has also been spiced up with the addition of sex and drugs. This is a great package that has all of this along with some heart-wrenching family drama that keeps you hooked to the screen.

Best Japanese netflix shows

Giri/Haji means Duty/Shame in English, and the show portrays these things quite perfectly. The story takes place in two places – Tokyo and London. The language spoken is a 50/50 mixture of English and Japanese. This is great if you do not want to be stuck on reading the subtitles for the entire duration of the show. 

This is a show that is worth all the time that you spend watching it. 

Key Features:

  • One of the most popular crime dramas that there is
  • Contains finger chopping, katana stabbings, and regular crime and violence
  • Contains London gangsters, Albanian mafias, as well as a London gangster
  • Family drama completes the entire package
  • Contains a half-half mixture of English and Japanese
No. of SeasonsNo. of EpisodesAvg Episode Length
1855 mins

Check out the best Japanese Netflix shows below!

Related: Find out the best places to buy a Nintendo Switch in Japan!

K Antaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman

Genre: Comedy | Age Rating: 7+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.6/10

This is the perfect show for people who are way too passionate about food. This show has a lead in the form of the titular, Kantaro who gives excellent reactions and loses himself in ecstasy with every single bite that he takes.

The fantasy world created by him when he looks at and eats all the delicious delicacies is something that I love watching. It really takes me to a new world, and I am sure you will resonate with this feeling when you sit down to binge-watch it. 

Top Japanese netflix shows

The show has a lot of exaggerated acting that brings forward fun and enjoyable time, making you want to keep watching more. The main lead of the show is a salaryman who is obsessed with sweets. In each of the episodes, you will see a new dessert being introduced.

However, the show is now all about food and the reactions given by Kantaro. It also portrays the toxic and bitter working culture of Japan. Kantaro, who is a salaryman, enjoys sweets during the short time that he gets. Each episode creates a sort of suspense where we keep worrying about what would happen if Kantaro gets caught during his stints. 

Key Features:

  • Perfect for those who are passionate about sweets
  • Story of Kantaro, a salaryman, who is obsessed with sweets
  • A new sweet is introduced in every episode, thus giving us a food tour
  • Also portrays the toxic and bitter working culture of Japan
  • Kanataro’s love for food and the work culture bring together the entire storyline
No. of SeasonsNo. of EpisodesAvg Episode Length
11224 minutes

Check out the best Japanese Netflix shows below!

Related: Here are some fun Nintendo Switch games you can enjoy!

Midnight Diner

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Food | Age Rating: 18+ | Editor’s Rating: 8.4/10

This is a show that you must not miss out on, no matter what. The show is based on a Manga of the same name. The story revolves around a diner where people come and pour out their hearts and talk about their stories. You will find a different story in every episode.

Each episode also brings forward a range of delicious delicacies such as rice omelet, egg tofu, ramen, and others. 

japanese netflix movies

Midnight Diner is a place where you will find the perfect amalgamation of charm, food, and talks. It is the perfect balance that gives an outsider the insight into the cultural aspect of Japan.

The show has all kinds of people coming in the diner and pouring their heart out. Writers, teachers, businessmen, dancers, and others make their appearance, and you are bound to resonate with them. 

Key Features:

  • Based on a manga of the same name
  • Revolves around a diner where people meet and pour out their hearts
  • Different story in every episode
  • Also brings forward a range of delicious dishes
  • Perfect amalgamation of charm, food, and talks
  • Gives a cultural insight of Japan
  • Gives you a story that you can resonate with
No. of SeasonsNo. of EpisodesAvg Episode Length
22025 minutes

Check out the best Japanese Netflix shows below!

Related: Love reading instead? Here are some of the best-sellers by some of the most popular Japanese authors

The Naked Director

Genre: Historical Drama | Age Rating: 18+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.8/10

This is a Netflix original that revolves around a Japanese porn director, Muranishi. Since the story revolves around this aspect, there is bound to be a lot of sex involved in the show. This is a show that will get you hooked, simply because the storyline is pretty awesome. 

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The story brings to us a number of aspects from the life of our lead character. The first episode starts with a masturbation scene, which may not be what you are looking for. However, I would recommend that you continue watching and finish Episode two before deciding on whether to continue or stop watching.

I love how the story unfolds and tells us about the director, who starts off his journey as a salesman. The story becomes fun when our hero enters the porn industry. 

The show balances facts and fiction perfectly to bring us something that is fun and addictive.

Key Features:

  • Revolves around a Japanese porn director
  • Has a lot of sexual scenes
  • Tells us a lot about the journey of our lead character
  • Perfect balance between facts and fiction
No. of SeasonsNo. of EpisodesAvg Episode Length
1845 minutes

Check out the best Japanese Netflix shows below!

Related: Looking for fun ways to learn Japanese? Here are some books to help!

Aggretsuko

Genre: Comedy | Age Rating: 13+ | Editor’s Rating: 8.0/10

Although this is an animated Japanese show, it is not for children. The story is about a death metal singing red panda who portrays the problems of the corporate world and the resentment of the employees. 

netflix japanese shows 2020

The main character of the show is Retsuko, who turns into Aggretsuko when she uses music as a medium to vent out all her frustrations and rage. During the day, Retsuko is an office lady who handles the accounting department.

But, when the day turns into night, we see her as a person who rages through death metal karaoke. We also see that the office our Retsuko works in is filled with characters that we most often see in our offices – everyone from the pleasers to mean girls can be seen there.

Key Features:

  • Animated Japanese show that is not for children
  • Story about Retsuko who is a death metal singing red panda
  • Protrays the problems of the corporate world and the frustrations of the workers
  • Retsuko becomes Aggretsuko when she uses music to vent out her pent up frustration
No. of SeasonsNo. of EpisodesAvg Episode Length
33015 minutes

Check out the best Japanese Netflix shows below!

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Genre: Cyberpunk | Age Rating: 18+ | Editor’s Rating: 8.5/10

This is one of the most popular anime series of all time. The show originally came out in the year 1995 and focused on the famous robot genre. The show combined this genre with complex characters to show a world of mythology.

The mind-bending plot will keep you hooked with the psychoanalytic theory. The story revolves around a teenage character named Shinji. He has been recruited to fight off a giant alien called ‘Angels’. 

best japanese tv shows

Anime is an extremely popular medium in Japan, and if you are into it, I am sure you will enjoy watching this series.

Key Features:

  • One of the most popular anime series of all time
  • Combines robot genre with a psychoanalytical plot
  • Keeps you hooked with its mind-bending plot
  • Story revolves around a teengaer, Shinji, who has been deployed to fight off a giant alien
No. of SeasonsNo. of EpisodesAvg Episode Length
12625 minutes

Check out the best Japanese Netflix shows below!

Terrace House: A New Beginning

Genre: Reality TV | Age Rating: 13+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.8/10

If you love reality shows, I am sure you will enjoy watching this tremendous Netflix original series. The show has a balance of everything – from love, friendship and longing to jealousy.

It brings out all these aspects perfectly and gets you addicted. The show has just the right amount of drama to keep you excited throughout the journey. 

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The story follows the lives of six people who enter the Terrace House. These strangers come together and so, the story unfolds. You will come across everything that we see in our daily lives, which makes us resonate with various situations.

Key Features:

  • A reality show that follows the lives of six strangers who enter the Terrace House
  • A perfect balance of different emotions
  • You can see love, friendship, longing, and jealousy in just the right ratio
  • Enough drama and excitement to keep you hooked
No. of SeasonsNo. of EpisodesAvg Episode Length
64940 minutes

Check out the best Japanese Netflix shows below!

Million Yen Women

Genre: Mystery | Age Rating: 16+ | Editor’s Rating: 7.7/10

This is a show that will make you want to snuggle in your blanket for hours just to finish it in one go. The mystery revolves around Shin, a struggling novelist.

In the show, five mysterious women show up in Shin’s house, and so begins the story. In exchange, the women pay him one million yen each. However, Shin is not allowed to ask questions in return. 

japanese netflix list

The show is a mixture of a lot of emotions. It is silly and fun, but also mysterious. You will also find it to be heartwarming and intense. 

Key Features:

  • Mysterious show that revolves around Shin, a struggling novelist
  • Five mysterious women show up in his house
  • A compilation of several emotions, including heartwarming and mysterious feelings
No. of SeasonsNo. of EpisodesAvg Episode Length
11224 minutes

Check out the best Japanese Netflix shows below!

Are you ready to sit back and relax?

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best Japanese Netflix shows. These are the shows I go for when I want to spend snuggled inside my blanket. If you are a lover of all things Japanese, I am sure you will enjoy these Netflix shows just as much as I do. Are you ready to have them all on your watchlist? Wait no more! Grab your popcorn and a blanket and spend hours laughing and crying with these excellent Japanese shows.

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