Mark Schilling's Yearly Top 10 Japanese Movies

by max-sv | created - 09 Apr 2018 | updated - 11 months ago | Public
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1. Adrift in Tokyo (2007)

101 min | Comedy

Takemura has no friends and no family. He's a student but he doesn't have any particular ambitions. In other words, he isn't going anywhere fast. Were all this not enough, the sorry sad ... See full summary »

Director: Satoshi Miki | Stars: Joe Odagiri, Tomokazu Miura, Kyôko Koizumi, Yuriko Yoshitaka

Votes: 2,148

2. Sakuran (2006)

111 min | Drama, History

A young girl is sold into a red-light district brothel and tries to adapt to life as an oiran (courtesan).

Director: Mika Ninagawa | Stars: Anna Tsuchiya, Kippei Shîna, Yoshino Kimura, Hiroki Narimiya

Votes: 1,606

3. Big Man Japan (2007)

PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

An eccentric man living alone in a decrepit house in Tokyo periodically transforms into a 100-foot tall giant in order to defend Japan against similarly sized monsters.

Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto | Stars: Hitoshi Matsumoto, Riki Takeuchi, Ua, Ryûnosuke Kamiki

Votes: 3,293 | Gross: $0.04M

4. I Just Didn't Do It (2006)

143 min | Drama

A young man is falsely accused of molesting a high-school girl on a train. He is arrested and charged, and goes through endless court sessions, all the while insisting that he is innocent.

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Ryô Kase, Asaka Seto, Kôji Yamamoto, Masako Motai

Votes: 1,356

5. The Mourning Forest (2007)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama

A care-giver at a small retirement home takes one of her patients for a drive to the country, but the two wind up stranded in a forest where they embark on an exhausting and enlightening two-day journey.

Director: Naomi Kawase | Stars: Shigeki Uda, Machiko Ono, Kanako Masuda, Yôichirô Saitô

Votes: 2,122

6. Last Words (2007)

97 min | Drama, Romance

Nagisa, a high school girl who has been given only 3 months to live. Without telling her widowed father where she's going, she sets out from the city to the small town where she was born. ... See full summary »

Director: Ryuichi Hiroki | Stars: Maki Horikita, Shunsuke Kubozuka, Saki Takaoka, Chinami Iwamoto

Votes: 55

7. 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)

TV-PG | 63 min | Animation, Drama, Romance

Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.

Director: Makoto Shinkai | Stars: Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura, Ayaka Onoue

Votes: 46,060

8. The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker (2007)

110 min | Drama

A university student finds himself wrapped up in the bizarre world of his next door neighbor, learning about his history and relationship with a girl who changed his life.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura | Stars: Gaku Hamada, Eita, Megumi Seki, Kei Tamura

Votes: 638

9. Funuke Show Some Love, You Losers! (2007)

112 min | Drama

Traumatic incidents, conflicts, and bloody quarrels awaits the Wago family members who return home to bury their parents.

Director: Daihachi Yoshida | Stars: Eriko Satô, Aimi Satsukawa, Hiromi Nagasaku, Masatoshi Nagase

Votes: 666

10. Fish Story (2009)

112 min | Action, Comedy, Music

Several seemingly unrelated but surprisingly connected tales explain how a Japanese band that independently invented punk rock in 1975 will, 37 years later, ultimately save the world from destruction by comet.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura | Stars: Atsushi Itô, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Noriko Eguchi, Hidekazu Mashima

Votes: 2,529

11. Dear Doctor (2009)

127 min | Drama

A young medical intern student is dismayed when he is assigned to work in a remote countryside village.

Director: Miwa Nishikawa | Stars: Tsurube Shôfukutei, Eita, Teruyuki Kagawa, Haruka Igawa

Votes: 437

12. Summer Wars (2009)

PG | 114 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

63 Metascore

A student tries to fix a problem he accidentally caused in OZ, a digital world, while pretending to be the fiancé of his friend at her grandmother's 90th birthday.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda | Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura, Takahiro Yokokawa

Votes: 23,792 | Gross: $0.08M

13. Villon's Wife (2009)

114 min | Drama

This enticing period melodrama depicts a long-suffering woman's relationship with her brilliant but self-destructive writer husband in postwar Tokyo. Based on a semi-autobiographical 1947 ... See full summary »

Director: Kichitaro Negishi | Stars: Takako Matsu, Tadanobu Asano, Shigeru Muroi, Masatô Ibu

Votes: 351

14. Zero no shôten (2009)

130 min | Drama

Spurred by the disappearance of a newly-wed husband, three women in post-war Japan are drawn into a murder mystery.

Director: Isshin Inudô | Stars: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Ryôko Hirosue, Takeshi Kaga, Miki Nakatani

Votes: 181

15. The Chef of South Polar (2009)

125 min | Comedy

Nishimura has a passion for cooking, but never would he have imagined the task before him now: He is unexpectedly assigned to a south polar mission to serve as head chef at the Dome Fuji ... See full summary »

Director: Shûichi Okita | Stars: Masato Sakai, Kengo Kôra, Katsuhisa Namase, Kosuke Toyohara

Votes: 717

17. Insutanto numa (2009)

120 min | Comedy

A quirky young woman who loves antiques embarks on risky adventures and business endeavors with her eccentric friends, trying to score a unique item that will finally be worth a huge profit... See full summary »

Director: Satoshi Miki | Stars: Kumiko Asô, Morio Kazama, Ryô Kase, Keiko Matsuzaka

Votes: 542

18. Symbol (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery

A man wakes up in a white room empty other than buttons on the walls, he must find out which button to push to get what he wants.

Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto | Stars: Hitoshi Matsumoto, David Quintero, Luis Accinelli, Lilian Tapia

Votes: 3,141

20. Villain (2010)

139 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A young woman's murder provokes reflection on the ugliness and villainy of modern society.

Director: Sang-il Lee | Stars: Eri Fukatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Akira Emoto, Hisashi Igawa

Votes: 1,206

21. Caterpillar (2010)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, War

75 Metascore

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, in 1940, Lieutenant Kurokawa returns home as a honored and decorated soldier... but deprived of his arms and legs lost in battle in mainland China. All ... See full summary »

Director: Kôji Wakamatsu | Stars: Shinobu Terajima, Keigo Kasuya, Emi Masuda, Sabu Kawahara

Votes: 983 | Gross: $0.00M

22. Confessions (2010)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter's death.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Takako Matsu, Yoshino Kimura, Masaki Okada, Yukito Nishii

Votes: 32,996

23. 13 Assassins (2010)

R | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

84 Metascore

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

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada, Yûsuke Iseya, Ikki Sawamura

Votes: 59,077 | Gross: $0.80M

24. About Her Brother (I) (2010)

126 min | Drama

Ginko seems to be living the good life: She's the respectable owner of a neighborhood drug store in Tokyo, and her daughter Koharu is about to get married to a doctor. However, Koharu's ... See full summary »

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Yû Aoi, Ryô Kase, Yuriko Ishida, Fumiyo Kohinata

Votes: 561

25. Golden Slumber (2010)

139 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

Aoyagi meets an old friend and ends up framed for the murder of the prime minister.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura | Stars: Yûko Takeuchi, Nao Ohmori, Teruyuki Kagawa, Shihori Kanjiya

Votes: 951

26. Boys on the Run (2010)

114 min | Comedy, Drama

Toshiyuki Tanishi (Mr Tanishi) is a 29-year-old chronic masturbator and toy vending machine salesman - he is socially awkward and down on his luck. Things change when he meets Chiharu a ... See full summary »

Director: Daisuke Miura | Stars: Kazunobu Mineta, Mei Kurokawa, Ryûhei Matsuda, You

Votes: 321

29. Accidental Kidnapper (2010)

111 min | Drama

Hideyoshi Date (Katsunori Takahashi) is at his wits' end when we first meet him in. Deep in debt, with no job, no prospects, and no family, he's ready to end it all, and tries to do so, but... See full synopsis »

Director: Hideo Sakaki | Stars: Shô Aikawa, Eiichirô Funakoshi, Roi Hayashi, Shûichirô Masuda

Votes: 94

30. Cold Fish (2010)

Not Rated | 146 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

The lives of a bored suburban couple are changed forever when a seemingly nice old man gives their daughter a job at his fish store, and soon his gruesome hobbies are bought to light.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Denden, Asuka Kurosawa, Megumi Kagurazaka

Votes: 9,999

31. The Egoists (2011)

136 min | Drama

Two troubled young lovers - a gambler and a stripper - run off to the tranquil Japanese countryside to marry and start a new life. But their dark past follows them in the form of a veteran loan shark.

Director: Ryuichi Hiroki | Stars: Anne Suzuki, Kengo Kôra, Sora Aoi, Yasushi Fuchikami

Votes: 66

32. Love Strikes! (2011)

118 min | Comedy, Romance

31 years old, broke, single and lonely Yukio encounters four beautiful women suddenly appearing in his life. Will he be able to escape his "Moteki" status?

Director: Hitoshi Ône | Stars: Mirai Moriyama, Masami Nagasawa, Kumiko Asô, Riisa Naka

Votes: 663

34. Family X (2010)

90 min | Drama

In this story of a dysfunctional family all the stereotypes of a Japanese unit come to the fore when the wife works the kitchen, the husband is focused on his work and the son does not have... See full summary »

Director: Kôki Yoshida | Stars: Kaho Minami, Tomorô Taguchi, Mariko Tsutsui, Yoshiyuki Morishita

Votes: 31

35. Death of a Japanese Salesman (2011)

90 min | Documentary

A documentary movie that portrays the final months of a Japanese "salaryman" (business man) in his fight against cancer and his reconnection with his family (wife, children, granddaughter ... See full synopsis »

Director: Mami Sunada

Votes: 86

36. Postcard (2010)

114 min | Drama, Romance, War

Toward the end of World War II, middle-aged soldier Keita is entrusted with a postcard from a comrade who is sure he will die in battle. After the war ends, Keita visits his comrade's wife ... See full summary »

Director: Kaneto Shindô | Stars: Etsushi Toyokawa, Shinobu Ôtake, Naomasa Musaka, Akira Emoto

Votes: 201

37. I Wish (2011)

PG | 128 min | Drama

80 Metascore

Twelve-year-old Koichi, who has been separated from his brother Ryunosuke due to his parents' divorce, hears a rumor that the new bullet trains will precipitate a wish-granting miracle when they pass each other at top speed.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Kôki Maeda, Ohshirô Maeda, Masami Nagasawa, Hiroshi Abe

Votes: 5,461 | Gross: $0.15M

38. Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011)

Not Rated | 128 min | Drama

76 Metascore

A tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Munetaka Aoki, Naoto Takenaka, Hikari Mitsushima

Votes: 6,813 | Gross: $0.06M

39. My Back Pages (2011)

141 min | Drama

in 1969, Sawada (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is filled with idealism that permeated that era and starts working as a gonzo journalist for a weekly magazine. Two years later, Sawada interviews ... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita | Stars: Shioli Kutsuna, Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Tomokazu Miura

Votes: 140

40. Our Homeland (2012)

100 min | Drama

Based on the director's own experience, Our Homeland follows a Korean family living in Japan, of which the father (Masane Tsukayama) decided to take North Korean nationality because of his ... See full summary »

Director: Yong-hi Yang | Stars: Sakura Andô, Arata Iura, Ik-joon Yang, Kotomi Kyôno

Votes: 221

41. Dreams for Sale (2012)

134 min | Crime, Drama

After losing their restaurant in a fire, a husband and wife come up with a strange plan to rebuild their shattered finances: marrying the husband off to a series of lonely women and defrauding them.

Director: Miwa Nishikawa | Stars: Yûsuke Iseya, Takako Matsu, Teruyuki Kagawa, Tamae Andô

Votes: 349

42. The Woodsman and the Rain (2011)

129 min | Comedy

Rookie movie director Koichi and his crew travels to the mountain village of Yamamura to film his next movie. The villagers are eventually enlisted to help film the movie and, in particular... See full summary »

Director: Shûichi Okita | Stars: Shun Oguri, Kôji Yakusho, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Masatô Ibu

Votes: 533

43. The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky (2012)

141 min | Drama

A married woman has an affair with a high school student. A video of their exploits soon turns up on the internet affecting the lives of both couples.

Director: Yuki Tanada | Stars: Kento Nagayama, Tomoko Tabata, Mieko Harada, Masataka Kubota

Votes: 125

44. Beyond Outrage (2012)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Drama

53 Metascore

As the police launch a full-scale crackdown on organized crime, it ignites a national yakuza struggle between the Sanno of the East and Hanabishi of the West.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Toshiyuki Nishida, Tomokazu Miura, Takeshi Kitano, Ryô Kase

Votes: 5,185

45. A Letter to Momo (2011)

Not Rated | 120 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

65 Metascore

Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she... See full summary »

Director: Hiroyuki Okiura | Stars: Karen Miyama, Yuka, Daizaburo Arakawa, Toshiyuki Nishida

Votes: 6,063

46. Key of Life (2012)

Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

7.4