The Japanese are not only known for Samurai themed films or anime. When it comes to romance films, you can be sure that Japanese Romantic Movies have something new to offer.
From the colorful history and culture to the advanced present Japan, love exists and will always find a way to be told.
If you are looking for a new perspective or film experience, try these 15 Best Japanese Romantic Movies.
15. I Give My First Love to You
I Give My First Love to You is a 2009 Japanese film based on a manga by Kotomi Aoki. Masaki Okada who played the leading man won the award of the Newcomer of the Year at the 2010 Japanese Academy Awards for his role in the film.
Takuma and Mayu are childhood friends. They fall in love with each other, aware of the future ahead of them. Takuma has heart disease that limits his time. Mayu loves him unconditionally. With the time running, is it still right to give love a chance to grow?
A box-office hit in its first week, I Give My First Love to You is one of the Japanese Romantic Movies that is sure to touch your heart deeply.
14. Heavenly Forest
Heavenly Forest presents a charming college romance. Rated 7.6/10 by IMDb, the movie shows how young love grows over time.
Makoto grows special feelings for Shizuru and Miyuki. Shizuru became close first to Makoto and learns his interest, photography. They became close friends that eventually grew into special affection. But Makoto meets Miyuki who is more beautiful than Shizuru. Makoto gets attracted and decides to pursue Miyuki. Shizuru, deeply hurt, leaves and promises that Makoto will be sorry for his decision.
13. 100th Love with You
Love takes time. It grows by falling with the same person again and again. One of the cutest Japanese romantic movies, The 100th Love with You casts university students who get many chances to fall in love.
Musicians Riku and Aoi make perfect harmony, not only as bandmates, but as lovers. One day, Aoi gets into a tragic accident that makes her hopeless to a new day. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her classroom one week before the accident. Riku reveals to Aoi that he controls time by going back. As they travel back in time, they realize the growing love between them.
Another box-office hit film, The 100th Love with You gets a remake with Chinese-language adaptation.
12. Love Letter
Love Letter is an emotional roller-coaster romantic film. This award-winning Japanese movie will keep you waiting for the next scenes.
Love Letter tells the story of Itsuki Fujii who dies in a mountain climbing accident, leaving his fiancee Hiroko Watanabe broken. Moving on, Hiroko writes a letter addressed to the house of dead Itsuki. A reply arrives at her house. She finds a woman who is named Itsuki Fujii. They both write letters to each other. Hiroko continues her healing while Itsuki discovers a portrait of her sketched by the dead Itsuki Fujii.
A box-office hit, highest-grossing film with a well-written plot, Love Letter leaves viewers a new experience.
11. Evergreen Love
Based on a romance novel, Evergreen Love tells us that love will find its way home. Directed by Koichiro Miki, it reminds us that love can be simple yet so true if you find the right one for you.
Sayaka, who is known to be bad at everything, finds the unconscious Itsuki in front of her house. She takes her inside her house. Itsuki lives with her and teaches her how to collect and cook wild herbs. Sayaka opens up to him while Itsuki keeps his secrets.
10. Be with You
Rated 7.9/10 by IMDb, Be with You tempts its viewers to hope on love that is already buried. With drama, fantasy, and romance, Be with You will make you wish for another chance at love.
Mio Aio’s death leaves Takumi, her husband, and Yuji, her six-year-old son, lost and in pain. Takumi blames himself for the death of his wife, while Yuji thinks that he endangered his mom’s health when he was born. Yuji recalls the story of his mom that she will return in the following year’s raining season. He waits and soon finds Mio outside their house. She does not remember anything.
Be with You is one of the Japanese Romantic Movies that gets a remake proving the beauty of its story.
9. Josee, the Tiger and the FIsh
There is no basis when one falls in love. That is what Josee, the Tiger and the Fish brings into the silver screen. With a 7.5/10 IMDb rating, this movie is a good watch.
Tsuneo, a university student, sees a baby carriage dashing down the street. He runs to the carriage to check it. He is surprised to see a woman, Josee, holding a knife. He learns about her disability and since then, he regularly visits Josee in her house.
The romantic movie is rumored to have an anime adaptation by Bones, an anime studio, which will air this year.
8. A Gentle Breeze in the Village
A Gentle Breeze in the Village is the film adaptation of the manga Tennen Kokekkō. Fusako Kuramochi wrote and illustrated the manga which received the 20th Kodansha Manga Award in 1996.
Soyo Migita leads her simple life as one of the six students in her elementary/middle school. Everything changes when Hiromi Osawa transfers. Soyo finds herself bothered by thoughts of Hiromi and soon finds that she likes the transferee.
Gentle Breeze in the Village is one of the Japanese Romantic Movies that received numerous recognition within and outside Japan.
7. Love Exposure
Love Exposure, a four-hour movie, is sure to satisfy its viewers with themes of romance, family, lust and religion. With more than ten awards, Love Exposure is worth your time.
Yu Honda grew up as an innocent boy with good moral values. He goes into a journey to see the different world outside him. Yu meets people who lead him to commit sins he has no idea. His innocence gets corrupted when his path crosses with the love of his life Yoko and the obsessed Aya.
Considered as one of the best Japanese films of the 21st century, Love Exposure is not your ordinary romantic movie.
6. From Me to You
From Me to You received 234 million yen on its first showing weekend. With warm welcome from people, this movie deserves a try.
Students avoid Sawako because she looks like Sadako, the ghost from the horror movie The Ring. Students bully her because of that, but in real life she lives with the motto “do one good thing once a day”. On the first day of school, she helps Shota Kahezaya who seems lost at school. The two develop friendship that soon grows to a special feeling.
From Me to You is one of the Japanese Romantic Movies that might make you remember your young love.
5. Heroine Disqualified
When love knocks on your heart, open your heart and do not let it go. Heroine Disqualified reminds you to go after the person who makes your heart skip.
Hatori Matsuzaki has been keeping her special feelings towards Rita Terasaka. Soon after, Rita sees his growing feelings towards Hatori. Once they attend a festival and Rita kisses Hatori. Adachi, the girlfriend of Rita, learns about what happened in the festival and faints. Rita feels guilty and leaves Hatori. Though Rita chooses Adachi, he knows who makes his heart beat.
Heroine Disqualified shows young love and teaches its viewers that love is worth fighting for.
4. I Just Wanna Hug You
I Just Wanna Hug You is based from a true to life story of a woman left paralyze after an accident. Under the direction of Akihiko Shiota, this film presents real love and real life people we can learn from.
Tsubasa faces a life different from what she used to live. After the car accident, Tsubasa needs to go through each day living with a half paralyzed body on a wheelchair. She meets the taxi driver Masami and they both fall in love with each other. It is truly a wonderful picture of love until they encounter a difficult situation.
I Just Wanna Hug You is not just a romantic film but also one that includes family. Watch the film with your loved ones and tissue beside you.
3. My Little Monster
My Little Monster tells us that love is powerful enough to change a person. The live-action film directed by Sho Tsukikawa presents another cute story of young love.
The story unfolds when Haru Yoshida and Shizuku Mizutani have no choice but to sit beside each other in their class. Haru is known as a problematic student while Shizuku is called “dry ice” for her coldness towards everyone. Both are regarded as unsocial students. Love sparks when Shizuku needs to bring handouts to Haru who initiates friendship. Their friendship grows into love that brings out the best in them.
With 7.9/10 IMDb rating, My Little Monster is one of the Japanese Romantic Movies that you should consider watching.
2. The Liar and His Lover
True love wins over lies. Second on the list is the musical romance film The Liar and His Lover. With love so desired, will you lie?
25-year-old musician and songwriter Aki falls in love with the 16-year-old Riko. Aki used to be part of the band Crude Play way back in highschool. As his band was about to enter the music business, Aki left the group. He meets the student Riko who is a musician and is gifted with a wonderful voice. They fall in love with each other. Aki keeps his identity secret to Riko who signs a contract to be an artist. Riko learns about the real Aki and his role in her career.
1. Daytime Shooting Star
First in our list, Daytime Shooting Star tells us that sometimes we get lost so can be found. With 8.1/10 IMDb rating, this movie is surely considerable to watch.
Yosano Suzume transfers to a school in Tokyo. She gets lost on her first day of school but rescue comes in through Shishio, her homeroom teacher. The innocent Yosano confesses her feelings for Shishio leaving him feeling awkward. One day, Yosano meets Mamusa who confesses his feelings for her.
A simple yet entertaining movie, Daytime Shooting Star delivers a clear picture of innocent, young, and pure love.
“And they live happily ever after’’ is how everyone wants a romance film to end. Who would want a tragic ending for couples who just found love? No one. If you want to feel love or see what love looks like in other parts of the world, try these 15 Best Japanese Romantic Movies.