Undoubtedly, the best way to watch TV is in unhealthily long bursts that ruin sleeping patterns and swallow up whole weekends. If you’re into J-Dramas, all the better: Japanese Netflix has an excellent selection of subtitled series to choose from.
Yet, for those of us who love Japanese dramas but are not fluent in Japanese, Netflix can be a tricky place to navigate. A curious number of J-dramas on the site don’t have English subtitles, despite their titles and bios being in English. So, to help you in your Japanese TV consuming quest, here is a list of fantastic, English-subbed Japanese dramas to binge-watch to your heart’s content.
Sit back, relax, and push play! (And vote for your favorite!)
Source: Japan Subculture Research Center
Yu Shibuya is a quiet force to be reckoned with. As a rare bilingual and exceptionally talented playwright, screenwriter and director he has won multiple awards with his shorts and features across the world. His works are often painfully tragic yet peppered with subtle humor, resulting in a poignant and hopeful aftertaste. His ability to depict Japan with a loving gaze of one that knows it from the inside and out, uniquely teases out the mundane and obscurities alike, creating a distinct and irresistible world.
His latest feature CICADA(千里眼) is no exception. It was made in 2014 in Japan with a Japanese cast but with an entirely American crew. The director Dean Yamada is a Japanese American whom Shibuya teamed up with in 2009 to create the short “Bicycle” which was chosen as an official selection at major film festivals, including the 66th Venice Film Festival and Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival.
CICADA has won many awards including three Grand Prizes at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Guam International Film Festival, and the Pan Pacific Film Festival and is now showing for a limited run at Ikebukuro Humax Cinemas with English Subtitles. Shunji Iwai, legendary director of 90s New Wave films became a fan of Shibuya’s work after watching Bicycle and flew to LA to watch CICADA, subsequently casting Yugo Sao the leading man in his own films.
JSRC recommends film lovers in Tokyo to seize this opportunity to enjoy his work on the big screen while they can.
STORY (TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJc2iQdfKSw)
Cicadas live underground until their final stage of adulthood. Then they surface, attach themselves to tree bark, shed their skin and fly away, leaving behind their exoskeleton still clinging fully intact to the tree.
Kanade Amakusa – a boy cursed with the mental power who will turn any multiple-choice quiz he thinks about into a reality. However, one day in school, he is given another choice: a beautiful girl will fall before him or he will fall from the rooftop in female clothes. Although he chooses the first option and it comes true, he and his new-chosen love – Chocolat – are in for a hilarious multiple-choice adventure. This show is funny, cute, smart, and has a surprising amount of depth. I thought it was going to be a slice-of-life style show where there is no real overarching plot and the show would just focus on separate things that happen in the main characters life. This was not the case and the overarching story was interesting and drew me in. The show also had me laughing out loud multiple times. It was able to be serious too with good character development and an ending that, while typical for a harem anime, was still satisfying and set things up for a potential second season.
Interestingly, Kanade’s reactions to the first Mental Choice (yes its a pair of perverted choices) is a litmus test of sort for …continue reading
Illya (Illyasviel von Einzbern) is a typical young girl attending Homurabara Academy who just happens to have a slight crush on her brother-in-law. Then, one night, a magic wand called Magical Ruby falls from the sky into her bath and tricks her into signing a contract. At first it was looking like a typical magical show with just Fate characters added to the mix. However, later in the series the action scenes actually got me interested to finish through. When the announcement for second season was announced, I went ahead and read the manga from there and found out there was a deeper storyline and before I knew it I got hooked onto the series so I’m excited for what comes in second season. The series’ storyline after this season does resemble to me of Mahou Sensei Negima’s manga version by Ken Akamatsu, as well as a bit of Madoka Magica’s but rather Fate’s Dark side of their story.
On the surface you have yet another magical girl/comedy/parody of the genera that uses familiar characters from the fate franchise to pull in the audience. At the core you have a clever, interesting. very action packed and some times cynical anime that …continue reading