Top Japanese Movies


The Top Japanese Movies List is calculated by overall movie ratings and members' "Top Japanese List". Lists are calculated daily.

1. Spirited Away ( Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi )

Year of Release: 2002
Overall Rating: 3.3 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Anime/Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise
Actors: Daveigh Chase, Lauren Holly, Suzanne Pleshette, Michael Chiklis
Plot: A young girl is whisked away to a world of witches, dragons, gods and spirits when her parents stop at a seemingly abandoned amusement park. When her parents are transformed into pigs, it's up to Chihiro to make new friends and believe in herself in order to find the way back to her own world.

2. Seven Samurai, The ( Shichinin no samurai )

Year of Release: 1954
Overall Rating: 3.3 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Adventure/Action
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Actors: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Yoshio Inaba, Seiji Miyaguchi
Plot: A village under attack recruits seven warriors to try and protect their village.

3. Rashômon

Year of Release: 1950
Overall Rating: 3.3 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Drama/Crime
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Actors: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura
Plot: A crime is told from four different points of view, through different people - but which version is the truth?

4. Princess Mononoke ( Mononoke-hime )

Year of Release: 1997
Overall Rating: 3.2 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Anime/Action
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Actors: Claire Danes, Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver
Plot: A prince leaves his country to find a cure for a disease that was passed onto him by a possessed boar god. He goes east to find a cure and put a stop to what is angering the gods of the forest.

5. Howl's Moving Castle ( Hauru no ugoku shiro )

Year of Release: 2005
Overall Rating: 3.2 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Anime/Adventure
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Hayao Miyazaki, Rick Dempsey
Actors: Christian Bale, Jean Simmons, Billy Crystal, Lauren Bacall
Plot: A young woman finds herself the receipient of a curse and seeks out the secretive wizard Howl in order to break the spell.

6. Grave of the Fireflies ( Hotaru no haka )

Year of Release: 1988
Overall Rating: 3.2 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Anime/War
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Isao Takahata
Actors: Rhoda Chrosite, J. Robert Spencer, Veronica Taylor, Amy Jones
Plot: During WWII, a brother and his young sister are forced to survive on their own after their mother is killed in an air raid and they shun their other relatives.

7. My Neighbor Totoro ( Tonari no Totoro )

Year of Release: 1988
Overall Rating: 3.2 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Anime/Fantasy
MPAA Rating: G
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Actors: Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Evan Sabara, Frank Welker
Plot: Two young sisters move to the country to be closer to their sick mother. In the forest by their house they discover Totoro, a forest spirit, and the adventure begins.

8. Ikiru

Year of Release: 1952
Overall Rating: 3.3 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Actors: Takashi Shimura, Shinichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka, Minoru Chiaki
Plot: A dedicated old man is an official in the Public Affair division. For the very first time in 30 years of service he skips work to check on a health condition. His distant relationship with his son, along with that of a waiter and also a colleague, will change his perception of life and priorities.

9. Harakiri ( Seppuku )

Year of Release: 1964
Overall Rating: 3.4 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Actors: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba
Plot: 17th-century Japan has entered a peaceful period - but it has also put thousands of Samurai out of work and into poverty. An elderly Samurai, looking to die an honorable death, approaches the home of a feudal lord to commit the ritual suicide hara-kiri. But when he hears the tale of his son-in-law - forced to commit the act in a barbaric fashion using a dull bamboo blade - instead of death, he seeks revenge.

10. Tale of Princess Kaguya, The ( Kaguyahime no monogatari )

Year of Release: 2014
Overall Rating: 3.4 out of 4 stars
Language: Japanese
Genre: Anime/Drama
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Isao Takahata
Actors: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss
Plot: Based on the oldest surviving, and one of the most famous, Japanese folklore tales - an old man who makes a living selling bamboo comes across a princess, no bigger than his finger, in one of the plants. Named Kaguya, she grows and when she is of age, five suitors from five prestigious families come to propose. She requests five memorable wedding gifts - but each of the five men fails to bring her what she wants - then, the Emperor of Japan proposes as well.

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