10 Japanese Movies on Amazon Prime to Watch

Japanese movies on amazon prime

Platforms streaming have changed the way of watching movies in the previous years and have drastically impacted the offer and, consequently, the habits.

New horizons have been opened. Yes, the amazing offer is generally covered by the Hollywood sign, and both the premiere and living near the present are still two selected factors.

But it is also true that never before has it been so simple to get independent, classic, or non-American produced movies.

Below are some of the best Japanese movies on amazon prime.

Table of Contents

1. Sweet Bean (2015)

  • Director: Naomi Kawase
  • Star casts: Kirin Kiki, Masatoshi Nagase, and Kyara Uchida
  • IMDb ratings: 7.4

This is one of the Japanese movies on amazon prime. Dorayaki-loving elderly woman and eccentric pastry shop owner create unique dynamics in this confectionery business and their resulting dorayaki-making partnership.

As a result, Naomi Kawase was able to direct one of Japan’s well-known movies outside the country in 2015. The director creates two lonely characters, yet they’re distant from typical Japanese clichés.

It is an enjoyable movie that takes its time creating connections, uses the silences, and can make you laugh through an act of slapstick comedy. Lovely, like the best dorayaki.

2. Your Name (2016)

  • Director: Makoto Shinkai
  • Star casts: RyunosukeKamiki, MoneKamishiraishi, and Ryo Narita
  • IMDb ratings: 8.4

It is Makoto Shinkai’s sixth anime movie, Your Name, one of the most popular anime movies of all time. In addition to the other Makoto Shinkai works, the fantasy masterwork is a highly recommended anime to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

Taki Tachibana, a high school student, and MitsuhaMiyamizu, a young woman of the same age, center the story of Your Name.

When Taki lives in Tokyo and Mitsuha lives in the countryside, they realize their bodies have swapped places one day. Until a huge event occurs, the plot follows their regular routines.

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3. Tokio Blues

  • Director: Tran Anh Hung
  • Star casts: Rinko Kikuchi, Kiko Mizuhara, Kenichi Matsuyama, and Kengo Kora
  • IMDb ratings: 6.3

The movie was directed by Tran Anh Hung, a Vietnamese-born Japanese director charged with adapting Haruki Murakami’s famous 1987 novel Tokio Blues to the big screen.

With the music of “Norwegian Wood” playing in a European airport, the movie’s protagonist is transported to Tokyo in the 1960s, where he meets up with other members of his generation.

The movie isn’t pretty, so be prepared for awkward silences, but if you stick with what it’s trying to say, you’ll hear more Murakami.

4. Akira (1988)

  • Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Star casts: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, and Mami Koyama
  • IMDb ratings: 8.0

Akira is one of the best Japanese movies on amazon prime, having been appreciated by many fans worldwide for a long time.

Adapted from Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1982–1990 manga, the cyberpunk anime he directed in 1988 was a huge hit. When World War III broke out in 2019, Tokyo was demolished and replaced by a new city known as Neo Tokyo.

Shotaro Kaneda, the head of the Bosozoku (Japanese motorbike gang), and his childhood friend Tetsuo Shima are the two protagonists of Akira. After a motorbike accident, Tetsuo acquires a supernatural power, which serves as the starting point for the plot.

5. Tokyo Family (2013)

  • Director: Yoji Yamada                            
  • Star casts: Isao Hashizume, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, and Masahiko Nishimura
  • IMDb ratings: 7.5

A remake of the mythical Tokyo Stories from 1953, a family from Tokyo has one eye on YasujiroOzu and the other on modern Japanese culture.

Even though Yamada assumes that function naturally, his movie is terrifying and enjoyable at the same time, making it an excellent example of filmmaking.

The story follows an elderly couple who leave their little island home to travel to Tokyo to see their adult children. After arriving, the daily life of a family where generational divides might be nearly tangible can be seen.

More than just honor and morality, Japan’s everyday routines reveal that it’s much more than that. The ideal way to use drama and humor is when they’re well-mixed.

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6. Spirited Away (2001)

  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Star casts: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, and MiyuIrino
  • IMDb ratings: 8.6

Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 fantasy animation movie, which won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, is a work of art. Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl, is the protagonist of Spirited Away.

When she became lost in a dream realm, her parents were turned into pigs, and she was unable to remember her name anymore.

Despite this, she makes every effort to maintain her anonymity while still helping her parents. In addition to Chihiro, the fantasy movie has a diverse cast of characters, including a little boy named Haku, who serves as her constant ally, and a witch named Yubaba, who takes Chihiro’s name.

7. Sonata in Tokyo (2008)

  • Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Star casts: Teruyuki Kagawa, Kyoko Koizumi and Yu Koyanagi
  • IMDb ratings: 7.5

The name of the director of this drama is Kyoshi Kurosawa. This drama, which premiered in 2008 and won a prize at the Cannes festival, is not as well-known as his work in the genre of Japanese horror. The situation depicted in Tokyo Sonata is a terrifying approximation of what was to come.

It’s a completely honest look at a dysfunctional family in which the father has recently lost his job, and the eldest son is missing.

Also, the youngest can’t express his true self, and the mother can’t make everyone else happy. It is a story of four helpless people to halt the chasm that opens under them. 

8. Zatoichi (2003)

  • Director: Takeshi Kitano
  • Star casts: Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, and Yui Natsukawa
  • IMDb ratings: 7.5

In this story of vengeance and self-discovery, a blind masseur proves to be an expert with the katana when confronted by a rival gang’s samurai.

Takeshi Kitano’s 2003 movie features this cocktail, which won an award at the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival. A samurai movie that reflects the early stages of postmodernism.

While the story begins with a basic approach, it understands how to play its cards to keep the audience on the edge of their seats through various plot twists and strange humor.

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When it comes to the movie’s aesthetics and violence, the warrior figure and synthetic beauty surrounding each katana-walking moment are enough to keep viewers engaged. This is among the best Japanese movies on Amazon prime.

9. The Hidden Fortress (1958)

  • Director: Akira Kurosawa
  • Star casts: Toshiro Mifune, Misa Uehara, and Minoru Chiaki
  • IMDb ratings: 8.1

It’s one of Kurosawa’s best-known movies, but that’s because George Lucas was inspired by it. Princess Yukihime is a notoriously difficult heroine for Western audiences, yet the secret stronghold has the same features as its Japanese counterpart, Yojimbo.

Toshiro Mifune plays a villain who subdues two out-of-work soldiers in the middle of the 16th century and then uses them to convey a significant quantity of money to protect a princess.

Before they can rejoice, they run into the frightening figure of Toshiro Mifune. It’s a great adventure comedy. The people in the core group had a good dynamic, and there was plenty of humor and action to keep everyone engaged for more than two hours.

10. Kikujiro’s Summer (1999)

  • Director: Takeshi Kitano
  • Star casts: Takeshi Kitano, Yusuke Sekiguchi, and Kayoko Kishimoto
  • IMDb ratings: 7.7

When Masao, a nine-year-old kid, is forced to spend the summer with his grandma, the story starts. With just a photo and an address to guide him, the small boy sets out to find his mother, whom he has never seen, in the face of the deep boredom induced by the absence of his normal friends.

Kikujiro, a yakuza, is an acquaintance of the grandmother’s and volunteers to be Little Masao’s companion in this difficult task.

This is the beginning of a movie that focuses on one of Kitano’s most well-known topics, the yakuza, which he uses to produce one of the most heartfelt tapes of 1999.

With its unique sense of comedy, it’s almost like watching an old silent movie about friendship and redemption. A charming movie that is easy to fall in love with, even if you don’t fully understand what happens.

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