20 Best japanese movies on Netflix to watch Right Now

20 Best japanese movies on Netflix to watch Right Now

Are you thinking what are the best Japanese movies on Netflix because after the glorious win of Parasite at the Oscars a few years back, it seems like the world is opening up to the global cinema and welcoming new content with open arms. Roma is another example of such a film.

The appreciation that Japanese movies are just starting to get has been long due. Whether you’re currently obsessing over manga or anime, you are in for surprises one after the other.

At the moment, Japan is being counted as the top country to produce top-notch anime content. There are brilliant dramas and thrillers being put out in the country as well.

The reason behind such massive success has to be given to the streaming platforms, especially Netflix. It has given audiences flavor and options that even they didn’t know they had.

So, if you are new to watching Japanese movies on Netflix, you have come to the right place. You can watch Japanese Netflix in USA with the help of ExpressVPN.

Find the best Japanese movies on Netflix Region-USA in this list of 20.


20 Best Japanese movies on Netflix to watch Right Now

Here is the list of 20 best Japanese movies on Netflix that you can watch right now!


Ride or Die (2021)

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Director: Ryuichi Hiroki
Writer: Nami Sakkawa
Cast: Kiko Mizuhara, Honami Sato, Yoko Maki, Shunsuke Tanaka, Anne Suzuki, Shinya Niiro, Tetsushi Tanaka, Setsuko Karasuma
IMDb Rating:6.7/10
Runtime:1h 14m

Find an emotional ride and a bunch of queer characters to tag along? This movie is the one to watch. This movie is about a relationship where there’s domestic violence, there’s the beauty of female friendships, there is also murder. Basically, when we say that you’re in for a ride, we mean it.

You can easily change the Netflix region and watch war movies on Netflix other than Japanese Netflix movies.


A Whisker Away (2020)

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Director: Junichi Sato, Tomotaka Shibayama
Writer: Mari Okada
Cast: Mirai Shida, Natsuki Hanae, Hiroaki Ogi
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
Runtime: 
1h 44m

This is an animated film that gives a unique take to Cinderella. Well, you have a girl who is tired of the rejection she faces when her crush doesn’t like her back.

She is also tired of her step-mother who treats her terribly. And guess what? The young girl turns into a cat. But that’s not all, this is an honest film that could be dedicated to real friendships.


Bubble (2022)

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Director: Tetsurō Araki
Written by: Gen Urobuchi, Naoko Sato, Renji Ōki
Cast: Jun Shison, Riria, Alice Hirose, Mamoru Miyano, Yuki Kaji, Tasuku Hatanaka
IMDb Rating: 4.7/10
Runtime: 
2h 6m

What would you do if you find out that the world is being occupied with bubbles to the extent where it has become inhabitable? But wait, is this all an imagination or real?

Are the laws of physics truly being defied in this feature? Well, you have to give this unique concept a try. It’s not every day that you see brave directors and storytellers create such magnetic films. One of the best Japanese movies on Netflix.


Flavors of Youth (2018)

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Director: Li Haoling, Jiaoshou Yi Xiaoxing, Yoshitaka Takeuchi
Writer: Yoshitaka Takeuchi
Cast: Taito Ban, Mariya Ise, Takeo Otsuka, Ikumi Hasegawa, Minako Kotobuki, Haruka Shiraishi, Hiroki Yasumoto
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
Runtime: 
1h 14m

This is a Japanese-Chinese anthology drama. There are three stories. One is about the relationship between a grandmother and her grandson, a tale about their shared love for noodles.

The second story is about a model who loses her confidence and doubts her abilities due to certain incidents in her life. And the third movie is the most iconic.

It’s the relationship of a couple and how it develops via cassette tapes and their love for music.


Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop (2021)

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Director: Kyōhei Ishiguro
Writer: Kyōhei Ishiguro, Dai Satō
Cast: Ichikawa Somegorō, Hana Sugisaki, Megumi Han, Natsuki Hanae, Yūichirō Umehara, Megumi Nakajima
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Runtime:
1h 27m

This is an anime that focuses on the rural life of Japan and the social constructs. You will come across two strangers who are insecure and have low self-esteem.

It’s their journey together and how they learn from each other and become each other’s strengths. This is truly a beautiful story and you will shed a tear or two. One of the best Japanese movies on Netflix.


A Family (2021)

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Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Hisao Maki
Cast: Kenichi Endō, Kojiro Hongo, Koichi Iwaki, Taishu Kase, Ryuji Katagiri, Kazuya Kimura, Toshiya Nagasawa, Yōko Natsuki, Marumi Shiraishi, Rikiya Yasuoka
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Runtime:
1h 22m

This is a story of a man who is forced into a life full of violence. You see three different timelines and how he is struggling after the death of his father. You will see his life as he spends a decade-long sentence in jail.


Sailor Moon Eternal (2021)

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Director: Chiaki Kon
Writer: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu
Cast: Kotono Mitsuishi, Hisako Kanemoto, Rina Satō, Ami Koshimizu, Shizuka Itō, Misato Fukuen, Kenji Nojima, Junko Minagawa, Sayaka Ohara, Ai Maeda, Yukiyo Fujii, Ryō Hirohashi, Taishi Murata, Shoko Nakagawa, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Naomi Watanabe, Nanao
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
Runtime: 
2h 40m

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie is essentially the latest installment of the Sailor Moon anime series.

Because it follows the original manga, it is loved by fans worldwide. There is a young girl who is struggling with her life, superheroes, and lots and lots of adventure.

If you like some adventurous animations you can also watch Dragon Ball Z from anywhere.


The Outsider (2018)

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Directed by: Martin Zandvliet
Written by: Andrew Baldwin
Cast: Jared Leto, Tadanobu Asano, Kippei Shiina, Shiori Kutsuna, and Emile Hirsch.
IMDb Rating: 6.2/10
Runtime: 
2h

This movie is not based on anime or manga. However, it was filmed in Osaka, Japan. It stars Jared Leto and Jack Black as central characters.

It is a story about an American who lives in Japan through the Second World War. His daily rituals and hardships are showcased incredibly in this feature. Not to forget, you are in for phenomenal performances. One of the best Japanese movies on Netflix.


Mirai (2018)

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Director & Writer: Mamoru Hosoda
Cast: Moka Kamishiraishi, Haru Kuroki, Gen Hoshino, Kumiko Aso, Mitsuo Yoshihara, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Koji Yakusho, Masaharu Fukuyama
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Runtime: 
1h 28m

This is a story of a four-year-old boy who is visited by his younger sister from the future to help him get through an important life event.

She will be his guiding angel as he discovers new information about his family and how everyone has unique powers and abilities. It’s an interesting story that you have got to watch if you’re into time traveling.


Mother (2020)

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Director: Tatsushi Ohmori
Writer: Tatsushi Omori, Takehiko Minato
Cast: Masami Nagasawa, Daiken Okudaira, Sadao Abe, Kaho, Sarutoki Minagawa
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Runtime:
1h 28m

Usually, when you watch movies about mothers, you expect them to be iconic figures who can do no wrong. They are superheroes who love their children unconditionally.

Well, here’s a twist: this is a movie about a young boy who forgives and shows no restraint. Here is a boy who loves his mother unconditionally instead of the other way round.

No matter how much pressure and suppression he faces due to her. Mother is a wonderful story and a unique perspective.


Rurouni Kenshin: The Beginning (2021)

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Director & Writer: Keishi Ōtomo
Cast: Takeru Satoh, Kasumi Arimura, Issey Takahashi, Nijirō Murakami, Masanobu Ando, Kazuki Kitamura, Yōsuke Eguchi
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Runtime:
2h 17m

This is one of the films that are part of the manga series. It is about a deadly samurai who one day wakes up and decides to become a protector instead of killing people. A unique way to seek forgiveness and a sudden change of heart.


Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (2019)

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Director: Haruka Fujita / Taichi Ishidate
Writer: Takaaki Suzuki, Tatsuhiko Urahata / Reiko Yoshida
Cast: Yui Ishikawa, Minako Kotobuki, Aoi Yūki, Takehito Koyasu, Kouki Uchiyama, Aya Endo, Daisuke Namikawa
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Runtime: 
1h 30m

A story about a young soldier who returns to his normal life and fails to adjust. Of course, there’s post-traumatic stress disorder and so many other issues.

This is a sad tale of a person who wants to get back to normalcy but their past is simply not letting them. There are two parts, both available on Netflix.


37 Seconds (2019)

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Director & Writer: Hikari
Cast: Mei Kayama, Misuzu Kanno, Shunsuke Daitō, Makiko Watanabe, Minori Hagiwara, Yuka Itaya, Shizuka Ishibashi, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Shôhei Uno
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Runtime: 
1h 55m

A beautiful story of a young girl with cerebral palsy who has a real passion for art and mandalas. She is being held back by the people in her professional life and so she is struggling to take the next step in her career.

Instead of feeling sympathetic, this is a unique story of a woman with a serious disorder, and yet she is treated as a human being. Above her condition, as someone much more than what we see. One of the best Japanese movies on Netflix.


Bleach (2018)

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Director & Writer: Shinsuke Sato
Cast: Sota Fukushi, Hana Sugisaki, Ryo Yoshizawa, Erina Mano, Yu Koyanagi, Taichi Saotome, Miyavi, Seiichi Tanabe, Masami Nagasawa, Yōsuke Eguchi
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Runtime: 
1h 48m

Bleach is adapted from a widely acclaimed manga and so it has a special place in the hearts of real fans. This is a story of a simple boy who has the power to see ghosts.

He was living a regular life until one day he discovers that he is actually a Soul Reaper. This is where the actual drama begins. You have to watch this one!


The Seven Deadly Sins: Cursed By Light (2021)

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Director: Takayuki Hamana
Writer: Rintarō Ikeda
Cast: Yūki Kaji, Sora Amamiya, Misaki Kuno, Aoi Yūki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Jun Fukuyama, Yūhei Takagi, Maaya Sakamoto, Tomokazu Sugita
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Runtime:
1h 19m

This is a sequel to the original The Seven Deadly Sins. Although it couldn’t match up to the level of the original, it is relatively a great film.

It’s one of those films that you can recommend to people if they are new to anime. About the story, this is a movie about a group of characters who try to fight back the evil forces trying to break into the universe.


Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021)

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Director & Writer: Keishi Ōtomo
Cast: Takeru Satoh, Kasumi Arimura, Issey Takahashi, Nijirō Murakami, Masanobu Ando, Kazuki Kitamura, Yōsuke Eguchi
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Runtime:
2h 18m

This one is essentially a final movie of the series called Rurouni Kenshin manga.

It is a story of a young but deadly samurai who one day decides to change his way and never kill a living soul. Want to see a road to redemption? A story of the evil who chooses the light? This is the one to go. One of the best Japanese movies on Netflix.


The Fable (2019)

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Director: Kan Eguchi
Writer: Yūsuke Watanabe
Cast: Fumino Kimura, Yurina Hirate, Mizuki Yamamoto, Junichi Okada, Masanobu Ando, Yuya Yagira, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Masao Yoshii
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Runtime:
2h 3m

This is an action comedy feature about a deadly assassin who is told by his employer to take a year off and relax.

This might sound like a holiday to you but it wasn’t one for the man. He is also known in the business by the name Fable. Anyway, if you are in the mood for some lighthearted story, go for this one.


Lu Over the Wall (2017)

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Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Written by: Reiko Yoshida, Masaaki Yuasa
Cast: Kanon Tani, Shōta Shimoda, Shinichi Shinohara, Akira Emoto, Soma Saito, Minako Kotobuki, Chidori
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Runtime:
1h 52m

This is a story of a boy who tries to bond with a mermaid when his parents move away from Tokyo, his home.

It is a beautiful story of a young boy’s struggle. He likes fishing but this is exactly where he meets the mermaid and develops a unique bond.


Dragon Quest: Your Story (2019)

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Director: Takashi Yamazaki, Ryuichi Yagi, Makoto Hanafusa
Written by: Takashi Yamazaki
Cast: Takeru Satoh, Kasumi Arimura, Haru, Suzuki Matsuo, Kōtarō Yoshida
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
Runtime: 
1h 43m

A hilarious movie about a man who loves adventures. And the best one is exactly what this film is based on, or revolves around.

He tries to rescue his mother from grave danger. He was feeling brave, you see. Watch this movie for the one-liners and potential fictional crushes.


The Summit of the Gods (2021)

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Directed by: Patrick Imbert
Written by: Patrick Imbert, Magali Pouzol, Jean-Charles Ostorero
Cast: Lazare Herson-Macarel, Eric Herson-Macarel, Damien Boisseau
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Runtime:
1h 35m

This one is not exactly a Japanese movie but it is based on the famous Manga. It’s a french film and has adapted the manga quite honestly.

It also premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. If you are new to the world of manga, maybe this one can help you get an introduction.


Conclusion

Hope you enjoyed the list of 20 best Japanese movies on Netflix mentioned on this list. Let us know what you think of them if you happen to have watched them already!

You can buy a Netflix subscription and watch shows which are only available on Japanese Netflix like One Piece and Re:Zero Starting Life In Another World. However, if you reside outside Japan then use the best Netflix VPNs to watch the shows.

Chris Mack

Chris Mack

Chris is a technology and entertainment writer whose main interests revolve around the art of writing and expression. He loves writing research-based articles in different niches and translating his thoughts into words that inspire others.


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