Japanese movies

List of the best Japanese movies selected by visitors to our site: Battle Angel, Death Note, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Summer Wars, Innocence, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Space Adventure Cobra, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, Sonatine.

In the top there are new films of 2022, a plot description and trailers for films that have already been released.

Battle Angel (1993)
Markimdb: 7.3
Genrefantastic, action, drama, cartoon, crime, anime

In his travels as a bounty hunter, Hunter-Warrior and cyborg healer Ido one day discovers and repairs the remnants of a cyborg whom he names Gally. Though possessing the body of a young woman, Gally now embodies Ido's most sophisticated and lethal cybernetic skills. The preternaturally strong, amnesiac Gally begins to forge a life for herself in a world where every day is a struggle for survival.

Death Note (2006)
Markimdb: 7.7
Genrefantasy, drama, adventure, crime, detective
CharactersGods, Teens, FBI, Students, Serial killers
PlotSupernatural, Death, Investigation, Superpowers, Rivalry
StyleExciting, Depressive, Heavy, By comics, Disturbing

Light Yagami finds the "Death Note," a notebook with the power to kill, and decides to create a Utopia by killing the world's criminals, and soon the world's greatest detective, "L," is hired to find the mysterious murderer. An all out battle between the two greatest minds on earth begins and the winner will control the world.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)
Markimdb: 7
Genrefantastic, drama, cartoon, anime

In a post-war alternative timeline, Japan is divided into the North, controlled by the Union, and the South, controlled by the United States. A mysterious high tower rises within the borders of the Union. Three high school students promise to cross the border with a self-built airplane and unravel the secret of the tower.

Summer Wars (2009)
Markimdb: 7.5
Genrefantastic, comedy, adventure, cartoon
CharactersTeens, Hackers, Family, Heroes
PlotArtificial Intelligence, Time travel, Adventure, Love, Virtual Reality
PlaceSchool, Japan, Asia

Kenji is your typical teenage misfit. He’s good at math, bad with girls, and spends most of his time out hanging out in the all-powerful online community known as OZ. His second life is the only life he has – until the girl of his dreams, Natsuki, hijacks him for a starring role as a fake fiancé at her family reunion. Things only get stranger from there. A late-night email containing a cryptic mathematic riddle leads to the unleashing of a rogue AI intent on using the virtual world of OZ to destroy the real world. As Armageddon looms on the horizon, Kenji and his new “family” set aside their differences and band together to save the worlds they inhabit in this "near-perfect blend of social satire and science fiction."

Innocence (2004)
Markimdb: 6.8
Genredrama, detective
CountryBelgium, France, United Kingdom, Japan
PlotObsession, Ballet, Friendship
PlaceSchool, Boarding school
StyleAtmospheric, Disturbing, Serious, Psychological problems

A look inside an offbeat boarding school for young girls.

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (2009)
Markimdb: 8
Genrefantastic, action, drama, cartoon

Under constant attack by monstrous creatures called Angels that seek to eradicate humankind, U.N. Special Agency NERV introduces two new EVA pilots to help defend the city of Tokyo-3: the mysterious Makinami Mari Illustrous and the intense Asuka Langley Shikinami. Meanwhile, Gendo Ikari and SEELE proceed with a secret project that involves both Rei and Shinji. The film was retitled "Evangelion: 2.22" for its DVD/Blu-Ray release.

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (2007)
Markimdb: 7.7
Genrefantastic, action, cartoon

After the Second Impact, Tokyo-3 is being attacked by giant creatures called Angels that seek to eradicate humankind. The child Shinji's objective is to fight the Angels by piloting one of the mysterious Evangelion mecha units. A remake of the first six episodes of GAINAX's famous 1996 anime series. The film was retitled "Evangelion: 1.01" for its DVD release and "Evangelion: 1.11" for a release with additional scenes.

Space Adventure Cobra (1982)
Markimdb: 7.4
Genrefantastic, cartoon
CharactersPartners, Heroes, Hunters
PlotAdventure, Rivalry, Pursuit
StyleExciting, Disturbing, Serious

Having gone to ground for two years, Cobra comes out of hiding after an encounter with the bounty hunter Jane Flower and is drawn into direct confrontation with the Galactic Guild, a vast criminal organization lead by Lord Necron, a macabre representation of re-animated death. On Jane's asking the duo travel to a prison planet called Seedo and Cobra breaks into the floating prison where Jane's sister Catherine is held, but the latter doesn't want to be saved... Jane and her identical sisters Catherine and Dominique are the embodiment of the future ruler of a freely wandering planet called Myras. Should they fall in love with the same man they will meld into a single body, forming the planet's queen. Said planet has recovered from a genocide bomb that wiped out its inhabitants, and they are ready to reclaim it. Necron, though, wants to take advantage of Myras' wandering nature to crash it into the seventh galaxy's principle supernova and obliterate all life.

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (2012)
Markimdb: 7
Genrefantastic, action, drama, cartoon, anime
CharactersRobots, Angels, Giants, Heroes
PlotApocalypse, Saving the World
PlaceJapan, Asia
TimeFuture, Post apocalypse
StyleExciting, Atmospheric, Depressive, Serious, Psychological problems

Fourteen years after Third Impact, Shinji Ikari awakens to a world he does not remember. He hasn't aged. Much of Earth is laid in ruins, NERV has been dismantled, and people who he once protected have turned against him. Befriending the enigmatic Kaworu Nagisa, Shinji continues the fight against the angels and realizes the fighting is far from over, even when it could be against his former allies. The characters' struggles continue amidst the battles against the angels and each other, spiraling down to what could inevitably be the end of the world.

Sonatine (1993)
Markimdb: 7.5
Genreaction, thriller, drama, crime
CharactersMafia, Gangsters
PlotDancing, Martial Arts, Death, Rivalry, Skirmishes
PlaceJapan, Beach, Asia
StyleHeavy, Disturbing, Serious, Black humor

Kitano plays Murakawa, a Tokyo yakuza tiring of gangster life. Along with a few of his henchmen, he is sent by his boss to Okinawa to help end a gang war, supposedly to mediate between two warring clans. He finds that the dispute between the clans is insignificant and whilst wondering why he was sent to Okinawa at all, Murakawa's headquarters are bombed and he and his gang are ambushed in a bar.

ICHI (2008)
Markimdb: 6.6
CharactersSamurai, Heroes
PlotMartial Arts, Revenge, Rivalry
PlaceJapan, Asia, Village
StyleExciting, For men, Atmospheric, Heavy, Disturbing

Ichi is a blind entertainer that travels the countryside with her traditional Japanese guitar and walking stick. She’s in search for the kind man that brought her up as a child, but because of her beauty she encounters problems every step of the way. Fortunately for Ichi, she is also a gifted swordswoman and carries a lethal blade within her walking stick.

The Thirteen Assassins (1963)
Markimdb: 7.5
Genreaction, adventure

A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord.

Voices of a Distant Star (2002)
Markimdb: 7.2
Genrefantastic, melodrama, cartoon, short, anime

It is 2046 when a mysterious alien force begins their annihilation of the human race. Leaving behind the one person she loves, Mikako joins the interstellar battle as a pilot. And so - while Mikako risks her life to save mankind - Noboru waits. The two lovers, worlds apart, desperately strive to remain connected as the gap between them widens at a frightening pace.

Spirited Away (2001)
Markimdb: 8.6
Genrefantasy, adventure, family, cartoon, anime

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.

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Markimdb: 8.2
Genrefantastic, fantasy, melodrama, adventure, cartoon, anime
CharactersWitch, Wizards
PlotAdventure, Magic, Superpowers
StyleFascinating, Touching, Atmospheric, Steampunk

When Sophie, a shy young woman, is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Markimdb: 8.5
Genredrama, cartoon, military
CharactersTeens, Orphans
PlotWar, Survival, Hunger
StyleTo cry, Touching, Heartbreaking

In the final months of World War II, 14-year-old Seita and his sister Setsuko are orphaned when their mother is killed during an air raid in Kobe, Japan. After a falling out with their aunt, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no surviving relatives and their emergency rations depleted, Seita and Setsuko struggle to survive.

The World's Fastest Indian (2005)
Markimdb: 7.8
Genredrama, biography, sport
CountryNew Zealand, USA, Luxembourg, Japan
CharactersGood people
PlotAdventure, Travel, Motorcycles
StylePhilosophical, Fascinating, To cry, Touching, Inspirational

The life story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle -- a bike which helped him set the land-speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967.

Seven Samurai (1954)
Genredrama, adventure
CharactersSamurai, Heroes
PlaceJapan, Village
Time16th century
StyleSerious, Epic

A samurai answers a village's request for protection after he falls on hard times. The town needs protection from bandits, so the samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food. A giant battle occurs when 40 bandits attack the village.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Markimdb: 8.2
Genrefantasy, adventure, family, cartoon

Two sisters move to the country with their father in order to be closer to their hospitalized mother, and discover the surrounding trees are inhabited by Totoros, magical spirits of the forest. When the youngest runs away from home, the older sister seeks help from the spirits to find her.

Princess Mononoke (1997)
Markimdb: 8.4
Genrefantasy, drama, adventure, cartoon, anime
CharactersDemons, Wolves, Princesses, Heroes, Warriors
PlotAdventure, Love, War, Travel, Betrayal
PlaceJapan, Forest, Nature
TimeMiddle Ages
StyleExciting, Fascinating, Atmospheric

Ashitaka, a prince of the disappearing Ainu tribe, is cursed by a demonized boar god and must journey to the west to find a cure. Along the way, he encounters San, a young human woman fighting to protect the forest, and Lady Eboshi, who is trying to destroy it. Ashitaka must find a way to bring balance to this conflict.