1. Manbiki Kazoku (万引き家族/ Shoplifters/Shoplifting Family)

Shoplifters is a stunning drama that portrays the harsh reality and paints a touching story of a family that faces many problems and a life in poverty.

The movie features famous Japanese actors and actresses such as Lily Franky, Sakura Ando, Mayu Matsuoka, and two prodigy children Shota Shibata in the role of Kairi Jo and Miyu Sasaki as Yuri Hojo.

The story revolves around a family with no blood relationship that has a messy life and lives in poverty, so they rely on shoplifting so they can survive. Shoplifters have won several awards and is a wonderful and emotional movie worth watching.

2. Fune wo Amu (船を編む/The Great Passage)

Based on the novel written by Shion Miura, The Great Passage is a Japanese drama movie that also got an anime adaptation aired on Fuji TV in 2016


Ryuhei Matsudo plays the unsuccessful salaryman, Mitsuya Majime that loves reading and ends up working for the editing team that is determined to a new dictionary (“Daitokai”/The Great Passage) which will bring people to understand the meaning of as many words as possible, including the definition of “Love”.

3. Mixed Doubles

A fun story about ping pong that is starring one of Japan’s most beloved actresses, Aragaki Yui as the female lead.

Aragaki is playing Tamako Tomita, a prodigy as a child when it came to table tennis. Her mother was very strict to her as a child and after her mother’s death, Tamako wished for a more ordinary life so she gave up table tennis for good.

At 28, she is now working in a company and ends up being devastated after her boyfriend, Akihiko, played by Seto Koji, cheats on her with a member (Airi Ogasawara) from the table tennis club of the company. Akihiko forms a pair with Ogasawara and Tomita plans on getting revenge and pairs with Hisashi Hagiwara (played by Eita Nagayama) to do so.

The movie is fun to watch and is a mix of comedy, romance, and sports which makes it exciting to watch.

4. Sunny: Tsuyoi Kimochi Tsuyoi Ai (Sunny: Our Hearts Beat Together)

Sunny is a story about friendship and allows the viewers to take a trip back in the 90s of Japan. The movie features popular actresses such as Ryoko Shinohara (Nami in her 40s), Hirose Suzu(Nami in the 90s), Yuta Itaya(as Serika in her 40s) and Maika Yamamoto(Seika in the 90s).

The popular comedian (and actress) Naomi Watanabe also appears in the film and the story is painted in nostalgic colors and takes the viewers on a journey back in time together with our heroines.

The film makes you think of what is important in life and has a wonderful lesson for its viewers.

It teaches you that appreciating life, as well as your family, friends, and those people you hold dear is something you shouldn’t forget.

Join the “Sunny” girls on a wonderful adventure full of music, friendship, comedy, and wonderful moments.

5. Destiny: Kamakura Monogatari (The Tale of Kamakura)

One of my top favorites is Destiny: Kamakura Monogatari that is a mix of genres and has fantasy, mystery, love, and many fictional characters that are part of the Japanese culture and folklore such as Gods (Kamisama), Kappa, Oni(demons), etc. The story revolves around the newlyweds Masakazu Isshiki (Masato Sakai) and Akiko (Mitsui Takahata) that are now living in Kamakura, a town where fantastic creatures, Shinigami and Gods are always passing by.

The mystical creatures appearing into the real world, the mystery revolving around the two main leads and the adventure and journey that Masakazu Isshiki goes through to save his wife is magical.

6. Namiya Zakkaten no Kiseki(Miracles of the Namiya General Store)

The movie was inspired by Higashino Keigo’s novel. Higashino Keigo is one of the most famous Japanese mystery author’s books and Namiya Zakkaten no Kiseki is one of his fantastical works that have won over the hearts of many people.

The story follows the Namiya General Store that accepts people's letters and answers them afterward.

Usually, people seek advice, and the owner of the store, Yuuji Namiya thought of this wonderful gesture and kept receiving and replying to those who came and dropped the letters at the store.

These are my top six recommendations of Japanese movies and if you watch any of them or have anything you’d like to recommend, leave us a comment and share your thoughts and opinion with us.

By - cinnamonellie.