The Japanese cinema industry is vast and filled with amazing films that deserve all the recognition. Luckily for all of us, the streaming service Netflix counts with a fantastic variety of TV shows and films from all over the world, including the Japanese ones. Netflix is bringing these cinematographic masterpieces to our house. Get ready, because this December you won’t want to leave the couch, as your watch-list will be filled with some incredible films. So, here are some of the best Japanese films available on Netflix. Let’s dig in!
Little Miss Sumo
Released in 2018, this movie was directed by Matt Kay. “Little Miss Sumo” is all about a female sumo wrestler that fights against the stigma and tradition created around this sport. This documentary counts with only a lead, Hiyori Kon, because this is all about her real-life story. Hiyori Kon is a 20-year-old sumo wrestler that was banned from fighting professionally, so she tries to change the old idea this Japanese national sport has and win her spot. A real story filled with struggle, emotion, and a film everyone should watch.
In This Corner of The World
This Japanese animated wartime drama film was released in 2016, and it was directed by Sunao Katabuchi and produced by Masao Maruyama and Taro Maki. This film is based on a manga and it takes place between the 1930s and 1940s, in Hiroshima, during World War II. Even though it’s an animated film, it has quite a deep story and it shows how much living during wartime can affect a person. It tells the story of an 8-year-old girl named Suzu Urano, living with her family – a happy kid in a pre-war world. However, when she turns 18, she marries a guy she barely knows and moves too close to Hiroshima, when the war has already started. Rapidly, we realize the contrast between what life is when a world war takes over, and how this new reality affects Suzu’s life and personality. No one will ever forget what happened in Hiroshima in 1945 and this film portrays extraordinarily the pain, the loss, and the fear people felt. A strong film that tells a very important story.
Blade of the Immortal
Based on a manga series by Hiroaki Samura, this samurai film was released in 2017 and it was directed by Takashi Miike, which was his 100th film. It focuses on Manji, a samurai who was cursed with immortality. His immortality is caused by sacred bloodworms that allow him to survive almost any type of injury and even reattach severed limbs. However, only when he kills 100 evil men in compensation for killing 100 good men, he will get rid of the curse. He becomes the bodyguard of an orphan teenager by the name of Rin Asano. Together they go on a journey of revenge against a group of assassins that killed Rin’s parents. A film filled with drama, action, fight, and a lot of blood. Perfect for anyone looking for some real action.
This is an original Netflix movie, released in 2019 at various film festivals. This dramatic film tells us the story of Yuma, a Japanese young girl that suffers from cerebral palsy. Yuma refuses to let her palsy get in the way of her dream of becoming a manga artist. A wholesome film that shows how Yuma, that was born with this problem, can be held back in her life and contradicting the common movies, it shows how family and friends can hold her from her independence. Yuma shows how important it is to embrace the journey of finding herself, despite all the obstacles she might find. A unique film with such a powerful message.
Flavors of Youth: International Version
Released in 2018, this anime anthology drama film is a romantic anime film that is divided into 3 different stories. A Japanese-Chinese co-production between CoMix Wave Films and Chinese studio Haoliners, it explores the 3 different love stories in 3 different cities in China: Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. However, all of them have a similar purpose in trying to explore distinct types of relationships in a country changing all the time, and all of them are connected by something. A beautiful narrative filled with love, sentiment, and food. Warning: you might get a little hungry after seeing the dishes portrayed in this film.
And the Award Goes to
Japanese films are deep and filled with emotion, action, and will let you glued to the TV. All of these films above are worth watching, and all of them have a unique and strong story that we guarantee you don’t want to miss. Thank you for reading and we wish you a good movie session.