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38 Thriller Japanese Dramas To Watch in 2022

Japanese Dramas
Thriller Japanese Dramas

There are a few notable Japanese series that you should attempt, even if they are sometimes eclipsed by their more well-known cousin, Korean dramas. From the initial days of Akira Kurosawa, the master of Japanese horror, to the stunningly spectacular animation works of Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese film has actually always been a force.

This excellence also applies to its drama shows and movies. Online streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HULU are fortunate to have so much to offer. Despite the fact that the majority of them are usually adaptations of manga (Japanese comics) series, they are nevertheless worthwhile for your time.

In fact, since they are based on well-known content, making them into a series is only fair. Japanese dramas are becoming more popular as a result of recent hits like The Naked Director, which just released its new season, and Alice in Borderland, which is currently number one on Netflix and has been renewed for a second season.

Are you looking to watch the top Japanese dramas? We compiled our best suggestions for movies and shows to watch in 2022, ranging from romance to thrillers to fantasy and horror.

38. Legal High (2019)

All Japanese law companies and courtrooms adore the dynamic combo. Legal High centers on two attorneys who approach winning cases in quite different ways. Kensuke Komikado (Masato Sakai), who loves ladies, money, and fame, is one of the amazing team members.

If not for his 100% success rate in court cases and his excellent comedic timing, he would typically play the role of an antagonist in movies and television series. His partner is a young lawyer named with a strong belief in social justice named Machiko Mayuzumi (Yui Aragaki).

Japanese Dramas

Legal High

The dysfunctional pair invents a slew of jaw-dropping, heart-stoppingly funny situations. Underneath its absurd appearance, Legal High advocates for a positive and effective shift in public opinion by bringing attention to numerous social and human rights problems afflicting Japan.

38. Parasyte: Part 1 (2014) and Parasyte Part 2 (2015)

Based on a well-liked sci-fi/horror manga, Parasyte is highly recommended. The brain of its human hosts is taken over by alien parasites when they conquer Earth. High school student Shinichi is approached by one that tries to enter him, but when Shinichi awakens, it digs into his right hand instead.

They both retain their identities because it was unable to reach their brain. Therefore, they must learn to live alone when they come across more parasites that attack them.

Japanese Dramas


As the two cooperate, an odd relationship begins to develop between them. Since parasites, like all other organisms, are merely striving to survive, the movie raises issues about humans and who the real monster is, along with black comedy and brutal body horror.

37. Pretty Proofreader (2016)

The story of ambitious fashion editor Etsuko Kono played by Satomi Ishihara, who has been given the position of a proofreader, is followed in Pretty Proofreader. But as she has a greater understanding of the position, she begins to like and value proofreading. You should definitely watch Pretty Proofreader for one of two main reasons—to hear actress Ishihara recite long screenplay passages at incredible speed.

Japanese Dramas

Pretty Proofreader

The stylish attire and accessories that Ishihara sports throughout the drama are another highlight. Every episode will include several ensembles of fashionable attire, complete with coordinating accessories and hairstyles. Ishihara essentially changes into a stylish model in Pretty Proofreader.

36. Suicide Club (2001)

Like Tag, this movie opens with one of the scariest scenes in horror film history: 54 schoolgirls hold hands and (joyfully, may I add) commit mass suicide by jumping under a speeding train. You won’t soon forget the bloody explosion that ensued on the unwary passengers.

Speaking of leaving an impact. Police in Japan are working to determine what is generating a bizarre pattern of suicides that appear to be unrelated.

Japanese Dramas

Suicide Club

Given the high suicide rate in Japan, the idea is novel and offers social criticism as well as a critique of how pop culture trends can affect fans. This one is both ominous and enigmatic. And Tag’s director Sion Sono is in charge of the project!

35. Alice in Borderland (2020)

When Alice in Borderland was launched, it immediately took the top rank in Hong Kong, regaining the reputation of Japanese dramas. The manga-based drama is set in a futuristic Tokyo and centers on aimless gamer Ryohei Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), who, after meeting with his friends in Shibuya station, discovers the once-bustling city has been abandoned. He is directed by a voice to a game that they must play, but it’s not just any game—they must play it in order to survive.

Japanese Dramas

Alice in Borderland

The drama is plenty of thrills and adrenaline despite its harsh survival setting, which may be just what we all need while in isolation. It gained so much popularity among the fans that it has been renewed for a second season, and everyone is waiting for a new season in December.

Also Read: Anime Like Alice in Borderland That Fans Need to Watch Right now

34. Giri/Haji (2019)

Giri/Haji is a British-produced drama, but it makes a great addition to this list because a portion of the show is set in Tokyo, and half the characters are Japanese and speak Japanese. Kenzo Mori (Takehiro Hira), a Japanese detective who believes his brother Yuto (Yosuke Kubozuka) is dead, travels to London in this cross-cultural thriller in search of him.

After being accused of killing the nephew of a Yakuza (gang) member, Yuto is currently on the run. Kenzo’s brother’s hunt puts a strain on his Tokyo family and introduces him to London’s own criminal underworld.

Japanese Dramas

Giri Haji

Giri/Haji, also known as Duty/Shame in English, won praise from critics for being the ideal crime drama that also doesn’t hesitate to display some sense of humor. The drama’s cross-cultural nature, which blended tale components in both Tokyo and London, is also a refreshing breath of air.

33. Erased (2016)

The epic fantasy thriller-manga series of the same name, which also gave rise to an animated series and a live-action film, served as the inspiration for the film Erased. It centers on Satoru Fujinuma (Yuki Furukawa), who can go back in time to help people. An opportunity to save his mother and to stop the abduction of a young girl who lives nearby were both presented to him when he awoke 18 years earlier.

Japanese Dramas


The Netflix television drama is the most accurate version to watch because it most closely resembles the source text. In addition to dealing with serious subjects like child abuse. Erased also tells the narrative of Satoru, a young man who now has control over other people’s lives.

32. Million Yen Women (2017)

Another drama that was translated from a comic series is Million Yen Women, which stars Yoji Noda, the lead singer of the well-known Japanese band Radwimps, in his first series role as the title character who is being pursued by five different women. A failing novelist named Shin Michima (Noda) has been residing in the same home as five enigmatic women.

Every month, Shin receives one million yen from each of the women in exchange for setting up particular home rules and prohibiting inquiries into the women’s personal affairs. Shin quickly learns, however, that the women are not who they seem to be.

Japanese Dramas

Million Yen Women

Million Yen Women is part mystery, part romance. You may be at the edge of your seat trying to find out who these women are, but you may also be cheering for Shin to finally be able to write a bestseller. The 12-episode series is definitely a rollercoaster ride.

31. Switched (2018)

Switched is not a comedy, despite the fact that body-switching may make us think of Freaky Friday. Switched centers on Zenko Umine (Miu Tomita), a high school student who ostensibly commits suicide. It is yet another manga series adaption. Ayumi, another student (Kaya Kiyohara), sees this and collapses in astonishment.

However, when Ayumi awakens, she realizes that she is now in Umine’s body rather than her own. The reason Umine “commits suicide” and the reason they swapped bodies in the first place are revealed as the story progresses.

Japanese Dramas


We first saw the body-switching idea in the well-known animated film Your Name, albeit with a different gender, and Switched delivers it to the big screen. The series had a genuinely intriguing fantasy idea in addition to exploring problems like social anxiety and depression.

30. Kakegurui (2019)

The anime and manga series that share the same name are the source for Kakegurui. Only the children of Japan’s most powerful and affluent individuals send their children to Hyakkaou Private Academy, an exclusive institution where the narrative is set. But the school also has a distinctive quality. Your gambling prowess determines your hierarchy rather than your academic prowess or achievements.

Japanese Dramas


According to their financial contributions, which support the school’s gaming system, students are ranked. The student body treats losers and indebted people like “pets,” while those who succeed receive respect, ranking, and popularity. Then Yumeko Jamabi (Minami Hamabe), who has extraordinary gambling skills but, unlike most others, plays for fun rather than for status or financial gain, challenges the system.

As if that weren’t thrilling enough, the series explores the extreme end of the spectrum of gambling, especially since Yumeko is both an expert gambler and a madman. She enjoys playing high-stakes games because they have a slight sense of life or death. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as a result of the excitement.

29. Midnight Diner (2009)

Since travel is on hold for now, Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories is a great option to sate your appetite for Japanese cuisine. It centers on Meshiya, a late-night restaurant in Shinjuku led by an enigmatic chef who goes by the name of a master.

Each episode centers on a different customer, who tells their life story in detail, and the master responds by offering assistance and counsel along with food. The meal is frequently the character’s favorite and has some connection to the plot in some way.

Japanese Dramas

Midnight Diner

The television series is popular both in Japan and abroad. We all require the kind of comforting stories and food that may be found in uplifting food stories. Although a particular character may find the master’s guidance to be crucial, spectators can also learn from and relate to it. 

28. The Many Faces of Ito (2017)

The Many Faces of Ito is a romantic comedy about a screenwriter named Rio Yazaki (Fumino Kimura) who connives four hopeless romantics or lovesick women into telling him about their romantic misfortunes while pretending to give them advice in order to create a new TV show. Although the series, which is based on a book, is set in Japan, the concepts of love and relationships are still relevant today.

Japanese Dramas

The Many Faces of Ito

Even for a romantic plot, it seems strange, but it’s also a novel approach to the genre. Rio may be the one “advising” the women, but ultimately he learns a lot from them, and maybe we can too.

27. Kotaro Lives Alone (2021)

Kotaro Lives Alone, which is based on Mami Tsumura’s manga series Kotaro wa Hitorigurash, follows the tale of an unpopular manga author named Shin Karino (Yu Yokoyama). He is a single man who resides in an adult-only apartment building. But one day, he notices Kotaro Sato (Eito Kawahara), a five-year-old, standing in front of his apartment door.

Japanese Dramas

Kotaro Lives Alone

Kotaro surprised Shin by moving into his neighborhood despite the neighborhood’s strict no-children policy. The fact that Kotaro stays alone is even more astonishing. At first, Shin is irritated by Kotaro’s presence and persistent nagging, but eventually, Shin and the other tenants of the apartment building grow devoted to Kotaro. This drama about a slice of life will undoubtedly touch your heart.

Kotaro Lives Alone Review: A Heartwarming Story Not Meant for Kids

26. Followers (2020)

Followers are one of the few Netflix original dramas. Limi Nara (Miki Nakatani), a well-known fashion photographer with an excellent body of work, is set in vibrant Tokyo with all its lights, colors, vitality, and fashion.

The young actress Natsume Hyakuta (Elaiza Ikeda), who is navigating life and developing her own personality, stands in stark contrast. Natsume’s prominence soars after Lima shares her photo on Instagram, changing both of their lives. But the two women quickly discover that navigating life in the age of social media may be difficult.

Japanese Dramas


The narrative of the followers is fantastic, especially in the social media era. Although it moves a little slowly, you won’t be able to look away from the gorgeous images and helpful teachings about the negative aspects of social networking.

25. The Naked Director (2019)

Based on Nobuhiro Motohashi’s nonfiction book Zenra Kantoku Muranishi Toru Den, The Naked Director is a comedy-drama. The narrative of Japanese adult video producer Toru Muranishi (Takayuki Yamada), who has high goals to succeed in the adult industry in his country, is told in this semi-biographical television series. Toru turns every obstacle into an opportunity and eventually revolutionizes the market.

Japanese Dramas

The Naked Director

The Naked Director blends comedy with social narrative, ultimately displaying or providing a glimpse inside the adult sector that’s so frequently stigmatized as little more than a place of pleasure, even though the plot may allow some people to quickly and readily disregard this.

24. Sympathy For Lady Vengeance (2005)

Combining Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy, this Park Chan-Wook classic is the third entry in a trilogy of films that revolve around the concept of retribution. Lady Vengeance is a prison-set thriller that, while ultimately unique, is influenced by movies like the Japanese action thriller Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion. After being falsely accused of murder and framed for it, our protagonist looks for the real killer—but more than anything, she wants retribution.

Japanese Dramas

Sympathy For Lady Vengeance

There are 115 minutes in this movie, and each one of them is crucial. In movies, men frequently engage in unnecessary violence against women, but Lady Vengeance reclaims the initiative, making it one of my favorite revenge movies.

23. Tag (2015)

One of the ridiculous opening scenes in cinema may be found in this unique, quirky, and feminist horror movie: A student named Mitsuko is on a bus with her friends when suddenly a horrific wind surge slices everyone in half, leaving only her alive.

Japanese Dramas


Following this, we follow Mitsuko into a world of unimaginable bloodshed as she struggles to survive a series of bizarre and violent events in which her classmates die horrifying deaths, and she must try to make sense of everything. In addition to a groom wearing a pig’s head, there are teachers brandishing machine weapons. The story is surprising, inventive, and strange as it examines the objectification of women. You won’t regret watching this egregiously underappreciated movie.

22. As The Gods Will (2014)

How does playing a child’s game with your class seem if you’re tired of your daily routine? However, you’re up against vengeful gods, and defeat means a gruesome demise.

Japanese Dramas

As The Gods Will

A student in high school, Shun experiences just that in this bizarre movie that was based on a manga. Shun prayed to god about something exciting to occur in his dull life, and he received more than he anticipated. As a result of the teacher’s head blowing up, the class finds itself playing kid’s games like “Red Light, Green Light” with a devious talking Daruma doll, with the walls splattering with red as the losers. They don’t know who is responsible, but if they don’t obey the regulations, they will perish.

21. Battle Royale (2000)

Heavy on action and bloodshed, this dystopian horror movie is actually regarded as one of the best movies of the entire decade, not just in the horror genre. It has influenced innumerable other media and has practically created a new genre. The term “battle royale” is now used to describe any situation in which a group of individuals is urged to kill each other off until only one person remains.

Japanese Dramas

Battle Royale

In order to regulate the country’s youth population, the government passes a law in this movie that compels a group of roughly 50 high school students to engage in a match to the death. Does The Hunger Games seem familiar to you? Okay, so it’s not (this film came first).

They are neither strangers nor professionals. These are classmates competing against one another without any prior preparation. As you witness them commit murder in order to survive, it makes you doubt your own values and makes you consider what you would do.

20. Death Note (2015)

Death Note, once more? This Death Note adaptation is a television drama featuring Masataka Kubota as Kira, and Kento Yamazaki as L. Yamazaki most recently played Ryohei Arisu in the Netflix sci-fi drama Alice, In Borderland, whereas Kubota is most known for his role as Ken Kaneki in the live-action movie Tokyo Ghoul.

Japanese Dramas

Death Note

Despite being very young, both actors are among Japan’s most promising newcomers. Yamazaki, who has been dubbed the “prince of live-action” after starring in numerous live-action adaptations, including L DK, Your Lie in April, Wolf Girl And Black Prince, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable, and Psychic Kusuo: The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K, is, in fact, best known for his 2015 release of Death Note, one of his few notable works.

It’s important not to ignore Yamazaki’s interpretation of L. If you’ve seen the Death Note movies with Kenichi Matsuyama playing L, you’ll notice that Yamazaki is able to keep L’s eccentricities while adding additional humor and appeal to the role with his bluff face and brilliant eyes. Simply expressed, his portrayal of L meets or exceeds expectations for the character, especially in light of Matsuyama’s outstanding performance.

19. Tokyo Ghoul (2017)

In the universe of Tokyo Ghoul, flesh-eating ghouls abound but hide their existence from the authorities by posing as people in civilization. With all the brutal bloodshed, the movie faithfully depicts the dark and, dare I say it, ghoulish essence of one of my favorite manga and anime series.

Japanese Dramas

Tokyo Ghoul

A Tokyo college student named Ken Kaneki survives a ghoul attack and needs surgery. Unfortunately, the ghoul that attacked him donates an organ to him, turning him into a half-ghoul. He tries to conceal his new persona from his closest human buddy, fights with the truth that he now requires human flesh to survive, and runs into other ghouls who, needless to say, aren’t always friendly.

18. Pulse a.k.a. Kairo (2001)

Technology in Japan often ends up being something you’ll never want to use again. Phones, videotapes, television, and now the internet are all available to us! In this cult classic, evil spirits use the internet to infiltrate the actual world. Those who come into contact with them become despondent and end up killing themselves or turning into grotesque black spots. Meanwhile, an alarming number of people are disappearing throughout Tokyo.

Japanese Dramas


Don’t mistake this for the 2006 American remake, btw. The ghosts make you shiver, and Pulse perfectly captures the suffocating, unsettling mood. The movie is based on how lonely we feel in this hyperconnected society, which makes the idea of ghosts stalking us online much worse. After watching it, you might want to keep your laptop off.

17. Howling Village (2020)

Expectations are high because Takashi Shimizu, who created the Ju-On: The Grudge franchise, wrote Howling Village. The Inunaki Tunnel and Inunaki Village in Fukuoka Prefecture, one of the most eerily haunted areas in Japan due to the actual murder that took place there, are real-life locations that you may hike to. A group of teenagers savagely tortured and lit a 20-year-old manufacturing worker on fire in the tunnel in 1988; they were caught and given jail time.

Japanese Dramas

Howling Village

The settlement may actually exist, but the tunnel is undoubtedly real. It is rumored to be at the end of the tunnel; however, the tunnel is now strangely closed off. The settlement is allegedly not part of Japan. Hence local laws do not apply there. However, is the village even real? A young psychologist strives to learn its mysteries in this movie.

16. Audition (1999)

When ghosts dominated Japanese horror, Audition was released to show that sometimes people are worse. A widower arranges auditions to locate a new wife and develops feelings for Asami, a seductive woman. However, her flat has a strange sack that occasionally moves. Additionally, those who knew her are either absent or have limbs missing. Not very appealing.

Japanese Dramas


The gory, prolonged, horrifying finale of this movie is legendary. It’s also a good example of how something can go from 0 to 100; first, it seems to be a romantic drama, but as it deviates from your expectations, you find yourself saying, “Oh my goodness.”

The ending is also made scarier by the lengthy build-up. So perhaps you shouldn’t schedule an audition for a new date? Truly, watching this movie will definitely cause you to side-eye Tinder as well.

15. Uzumaki (2000)

This film’s concept is as bizarre as it is unsettling, and it is based on the spine-tingling manga by horror manga artist Junji Ito of the same name. It centers on a cursed town whose residents are plagued by menacing spirals that drive them insane (and sometimes to suicide). Our heroes strive to end the curse, but is it truly possible?

Japanese Dramas


A man climbs into a washing machine. People are turning into snails, and, oh, have you seen your fingertips have spirals? The nightmare-inducing, bizarre images and the absence of a conventional storyline all contribute to the feeling of hopelessness. Do I need to say more? Even the sky is plagued with clouds that resemble spirals.

Also Read: Uzumaki Anime Delayed Once Again!

14. Weakest Beast (2018)

Yui Aragaki, who just got married, plays the stressed-out entrepreneur Akira Shinkai in the 2018 Japanese film Weakest Beast, and Ryuhei Matsuda plays the obnoxious accountant Kosei Nemoto. After connecting at a craft beer bar after work, the two of them discover an embarrassing solace in each other’s presence because they are unable to live instinctively like an animal.

Japanese Dramas

Weakest Beast

Weakest Beast is not your typical romance film; instead, it meanders into more profound problems related to relationships, employment, and life in general. As Akira struggles with a demanding boss and a partner (Kei Tanaka) who is unwilling to commit to her fully, her situation is sure to elicit sympathy. The characters go through enormous growth that is inspiring to observe as they strive to live their lives freely.

13. Corpse Party (2015)

The horror video game series of the same name, which also has anime and manga, is the inspiration for Corpse Party. One of my favorites since it is really dark and bloodcurdling and takes place in a haunted school and is totally up my alley. What’s not to love about something that has everything—blood, gore, mystery, and ghosts? Once more, a kid is involved, but hold on for a second.

Japanese Dramas

Corpse Party

High school students execute the “Sachiko Ever After” charm to ensure their friendship will last forever. Instead, Sachiko—a psychotic spirit of a little girl dressed in a red dress—transports them to a haunting elementary school filled with resentful ghosts. What actually transpired in the classroom?

12. Hell Girl (2019)

What if you had the power to damn people? The popular manga and anime Hell Girl, which I highly suggest, centers on a bizarre magical site that traumatized people can access if their resentment is great enough. The client will likewise perish in hell at the end of their life, but it allows them to exact revenge on their tormentors by damning them. Hell Girl, a strange being who contracts with the customer, executes the revenge.

Japanese Dramas

Hell Girl

You can tell we’re not messing around since Kji Shiraishi, who directed Sadako vs. Kayako, directed this movie. One of my favorite passages is the question Hell Girl asks the individual who has been sentenced to hell each time: “Would you wish to see what death is like?”

11. Kazoku Game (2013)

An award-winning novel and movie from the 1980s were rebooted in this show. The focus of this remake is on current social challenges in Japanese culture rather than the familial dynamics of the 1980s. Arashi, a well-known Japanese boy band member Sho Sakurai, takes center stage.

With their second kid being unmotivated to study and unwilling to attend school, the Numata family is at a loss. They really need assistance, so they employ Sakurai as a home tutor to help him resume his study.

Japanese Dramas

Kazoku Game

The instructor consents, but only if the family doesn’t challenge his approach. Sakurai becomes immersed in the family’s lives and learns about their intricate inner workings as he instructs the son in a somewhat unique way.

You’ll learn about the complicated problems facing the Japanese family in this drama. Every member of the Numata household has their demons pulled out by Sakurai and is pushed to confront them, from adults worried about the family’s reputation to bullying that children experience.

The eerie but caring tutor is portrayed by Sakurai in a superb manner. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to hear household terminology on this show because it is primarily about the house.

10. Another (2012)

One more is based on a thriller-horror book that also has a fantastic animation to go along with it. I suggest both because the book is one of my favorites, and I really own it. The entire book has a foreboding quality that translates beautifully to anime and film.

There is a palpable sense of foreboding in the air, and even when no one is actually following you, it feels like they are. Of course, there are also heinous, cruel deaths.

Japanese Dramas


15-year-old Kichi relocates from Tokyo to a junior high in a remote hamlet in the spring of 1998. He is assigned to Class 3-3, which he quickly discovers is cursed. Since 1972, students and members of their families have been dying horribly horrific deaths in Class 3-3.

9. Exte (2007)

Japanese Dramas


The face of Japanese horror is basically a ghost girl who is a chalky white color with long black hair. So why not make the hair the focal point? That is what gives this movie its satirical, unique, and frightening qualities. Great imagery is used.

There is general insanity around, and hello? Stunning hair! When a deceased woman’s body is found, the morgue watcher, a spooky trichophile (hair fetishist), grabs her body and discovers that her body continues to inexplicably sprout black hair everywhere: from her head to her eyes to her mouth.

He starts marketing it as hair extensions, overjoyed. Unfortunately, they kill and drive the wearer insane. Fun. Sion Sono, who also directed Tag and Suicide Club, is in charge of this one.

8. TekeTeke (2009)

Japanese Dramas


This movie, which also centers on the terrible Teketeke ghost, is based on another terrifying urban legend from Japan. According to legend, a young woman stumbled down the tracks and was struck by a train, which severed her leg.

She delayed death and, after no one intervened to save her, turned into a ghost. She rips her prey in half at the waist while dragging her upper torso and creating a Teke-Teke sound. She is also incredibly swift, making it impossible for victims to escape in cars.

Here, after coming into contact with the monster, a young girl tries to track down its source before it kills her. Although it’s your standard horror movie, if you want to give your brain a break and want to watch something enjoyable and simple, this is it!

7. House (1977)

Apparently, this is what you would get if psychedelic horror and Scooby Doo collided. The entire movie reads like a surreal visual experience since it is purposefully campy and has horrifyingly ridiculous visual effects. The gals are stereotypes with names like “Gorgeous,” which sums up their entire demeanor. Although bloody, it is jovial crazy. But all of that adds to its allure.

Japanese Dramas


When a girl and her friends go to see her aunt in the country, they discover that she has turned into a spiteful spirit. They also encounter a devilish house cat, a piano that devours people, a terrible bed mattress, and a home that wants to eat them, as one would.

Fun fact: Nobuhiko Obayashi, the director, actually received a lot of these concepts from his little daughter since he thought kids have more irrational worries and imaginations than adults, and he was right!

6. Over Your Dead Body, a.k.a Kuime (2014)

Given that Takashi Miike, who directed the film Audition, is in charge of this one, you can expect it to be quite twisty. In distinction to the dull English title, the original Japanese title “Kuime” is significantly more threatening and should express everything you need to know.

It roughly translates to “the woman who devours flesh.” The phrase “life imitates art” is literally taken to mean in the movie as actors get ready for a theatrical play of a ghost story.

Japanese Dramas

Over Your Dead Body

Star lead Miyuki starts to have problems distinguishing between the play and real life as a result of obsession, envy, and turmoil that blur the boundaries between fiction and reality. It’s graphic and psychological, and it puts you in Miyuki’s shoes as you question what’s true.

5. Kwaidan (1965)

This post’s lone anthology, which consists of four ghost stories based on Japanese folktales by Lafcadio Hearn, is an anthology. Kwaidan is renowned for its spectacular sets, gorgeous color utilization, and stunning cinematography, frequently being likened to paintings.

This picture has earned a lot of attention, having won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965, been nominated for an Academy Award, and been hailed as “among the most beautiful films I’ve seen” by none other than Roger Ebert.

Japanese Dramas


Yuki-Onna, which narrates the story of a woodcutter encountering a violent wintry ghost in the forest, is my personal favorite. I’m biased because I adore fairy tales, but it feels like you’re in a snowy fairy tale. 

4. Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo (2014)

“Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo,” a romantic comedy based on a Japanese manga of the same name, follows the lives of two classmates. The narrative has also been translated into Taiwanese and Chinese, but thus far, the best adaptation is the Japanese one.

Japanese Dramas

Itazura na Kiss Love in Tokyo

The play focuses on two high school classmates, Irie Naoki, an attractive and brilliant boy, and Aihara Kotoko, a boring and foolish girl. It was love at first sight for Aihara Kotoko, but Irie Naoki arrogantly refused to accept her love proposal. After a sequence of incidents put both of them in a position where they are unable to ignore each other’s presence, Irie finally begins to feel the same way about Aihara Kotoko.

3. Rich Man Poor Woman (2012)

Do not be misled by the misleading title; it has absolutely nothing to do with the protagonists’ socioeconomic standing. Two intelligent people in different stages of life are the focus of this Japanese office drama.

The CEO of the “Next Generation” company, Hyuga Toru, has posted employment interviews on their website. When Sawaki Chihiro, an educated student with a strong aptitude for memorizing information, spotted this possibility and went to the interview, Huga Toru ridiculed him.

Japanese Dramas

Rich Man, Poor Woman

Things took a quick turn when Huga Toru gave Sawaki Chihiro one-day employment in a series of unanticipated events because of her exceptional learning abilities. With less emphasis on emotional melodrama and more on how the characters develop their relationships with office tasks, this drama introduces a novel idea of workplace romance in Japanese drama.

2. Beautiful Rain (2012)

Simply hearing the English title of this drama—”Beautiful Rain”—on a frequent basis will help your katakana. Veteran actor Etsushi Toyokawa, who has been in numerous films and TV shows, plays a widowed father raising his little daughter, Mana Adashi, who is a child star.

Etsushi’s doctor unpleasantly learns that he has Alzheimer’s disease when he has a minor workplace injury. Each episode focuses on how this incredibly happy father-daughter team handles this circumstance and exposes issues of how Alzheimer’s illness is seen in Japan, the fears they experience, and the difficult choices they must make.

Japanese Dramas

Beautiful Rain

They are surrounded by a very supportive informal family of friends and coworkers who must also learn how to handle this circumstance. The plot itself is really lovely and a great tearjerker, just like the drama’s title, “Beautiful Rain.”

However, I would also suggest watching this drama because so much of the conversation is either spoken by children or by adults who speak simply to children. Because of this, even without subtitles, it’s generally simple to understand, with the exception of a few technical aspects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Also Read: Get Out Ending Explained: What Happened In The 2018 Thriller?

1. Housekeeper Mita (2011)

Any list of recommended Japanese dramas must include “Housekeeper Mita,” as it attracted some of the country’s largest viewing audiences ever. Every single Japanese citizen would have either seen it or was planning to watch it because it was so widely popular. Watching it is definitely advised only to start a conversation! The story revolves around a man and his four children, who employ a housekeeper to help them deal with their mother’s untimely passing.

Japanese Dramas

Housekeeper Mita

Housekeeper Mita is not your typical employee, and the family finds it very mysterious why she won’t talk about herself and will only carry out orders. However, their efforts to learn her secrets only lead to the exposure of their personal information.

Saki Aibu plays a bumbling aunt in one of the story’s lighter moments, but overall this is a highly dramatic drama that, when it first broadcast, had the entire country of Japan holding its breath. The formal speech that Mita always uses and the kids’ generally simple and easygoing vocabulary are both excellent uses of the Japanese language in this drama.

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You can find me writing about all sorts of topics. Pharmaceutical undergrad by day, and a content writer by night.

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