Top Ten Japanese Movies > 2016

This is based on the movies seen in 2016, up until December 31st. Special mention to Creepy, Over the Fence and Anger (which would have made the list have watched in 2016).

91wzk56ktkl-_sl1500_ (10) Chihayafuru  (pt1-2) (2016)

2016 ‧ Drama film/Romance ‧ 1h 51m
Director: Norihiro Koizumi

When Chihaya Ayase was in the 6th grade of elementary school, she met Arata Wataya. Arata Wataya transferred from Fukui Prefecture. Taichi Mashima was Chihaya Ayase’s friend since they were little. Arata got close to Chihaya and Taichi from the card game karuta.

Four years later, Chihaya is a hight school student. Chihaya learns that Arata, who went back to Fukui Prefecture, doesn’t play karuta  anymore. Believing they will meet Arata again, Chihaya and Taichi starts a karuta club at their high school. – Wiki

Acting: 4.5
Storyline: 4
Mise-en-scene: 4
Overall: 4.2

sanada_ten_braves-p1(9.1) Sanada Jyushi | Sanada Ten Braves (2016)

2016 ‧ Action ‧ 2h 15m
Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi

Set at the end of the Sengoku period to early Edo period, “Sanada Ten Braves” follows 10 members of a ninja group who all serve under samurai warrior Yukimura Sanada.

The group made up of former ninja’s, bandits, cheats and theifs vow to protect the castle – at any cost.

Acting: 4
Storyline: 4
Mise-en-scene: 5
Overall: 4.3

81dp9tbugil-_sl1500_(9.2) If Cats Disappeared From the World

2016 ‧ Fantasy/Drama film ‧ 1h 43m
Director: Akira Nagai

A postman (Sato Takeru) learns that he doesn’t have much time left to live due to a terminal illness. A devil then appears in front of him and offers to extend his life if he picks something in the world that will disappear. The man thinks about his relationships with ex-friends, ex-lovers, relatives and colleagues who will be sincerely sad when he dies.- Wiki

Acting: 4.5
Storyline: 4
Mise-en-scene: 5
Overall: 4.3

71-h51rzdl-_sl1024_ (8) I am a Hero (2015)**

2015 ‧ Action/Horror ‧ 2h 7m
Director: Shinsuke Sato

A mysterious virus suddenly spreads throughout Japan causing widespread panic. People infected with the virus are called ZQN. The ZQN attack people with superhuman strength and their victims also become ZQN.

Hideo Suzuki (Yo Oizumi) happens to meet a female high school student, Hiromi Hayakari (Kasumi Arimura). They run away from the city together, but Hiromi Hayakari has been already bitten by a baby ZQN. The baby ZQN that bit her did not have teeth and Hiromi is in half state of ZQN. They then meet Nurse Yabu (Masami Nagasawa) at a shelter. Yabu hopes she can draw an antibody from Hiromi Hayakari. – Wiki

Acting: 4.5
Storyline: 4.5
Mise-en-scene: 4.5
Overall: 4.5

81zqflenf3l-_sl1500_ (7) A Capella (2016)

2016 ‧ Drama film ‧ 2h 12m
Director: Hitoshi Yazaki

Set in the year 1969 in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan against the backdrop of political unrest.

Kyoko Noma (Riko Narumi) is a loving female high school student who takes part in campus protests. One day, she meets university student Wataru Domoto (Sosuke Ikematsu) in the tea cafe Mubansou (“A Cappella”). Kyoko falls in love with him, but they get involved in an incident that leads to a shocking ending. – Wiki

Acting: 4.5
Storyline: 4.5
Mise-en-scene: 4.5
Overall: 4.5

after_the_storm_2016(6) After the Storm (2016)

2016 ‧ Drama film ‧ 1h 57m
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Screenplay: Hirokazu Koreeda

A dissolute private detective (Hiroshi Abe) attempts to reconnect with his distrustful family following the death of his father.

Acting: 4.5
Storyline: 4.5
Mise-en-scene: 4.5
Overall: 4.5

64-_part_i-p1(5) 64: Part 1 and Part 2 (2016)

2016 ‧ Mystery ‧ 3h 56m
Director: Takahisa Zeze

In 1989, a girl was kidnapped and killed. That case is referred to as Rokuyon and has not been solved for 14 years. The statute of limitations for the case is soon to expire.

In 2002, Yoshinobu Mikami (Koichi Sato) is the detective in charge of the Rokuyon case, but he is transferred to the public relations office at the police administration department. At that time, a kidnapping case, similar to the Rokuyon case, takes place. The rift between the criminal investigation department and police administration department deepens. Mikami challenges the case as a public relations secretary.

Acting: 4.5
Storyline: 4.5
Mise-en-scene: 5
Overall: 4.6

tumblr_oidpmc4tpu1si0ixio1_500(4) Destruction [Distraction] Babies (2016)

2016 ‧ Drama film/Youth ‧ 1h 48m
Director: Tetsuya Mariko

Taira Ashihara (Yuya Yagira) and his younger brother Shota (Nijiro Murakami) live by themselves in the small seaport town Mitsuhama in the western part of Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture. Taira Ashihara always gets into fights and decides to get out of the town.

Taira Ashihara goes to downtown Matsuyama. Whenever he spots someone who looks tough, he provokes them into a fight. Yuya Kitahara (Masaki Suda) becomes interested in Taira Ashihara. They go on a violent streak against people on the street. The two young men then steal a car. They head out of town with Nana (Nana Komatsu) who was in the car when they stole it. Meanwhile, younger brother Shota comes to Matsuyama to find Taira.  – Wiki

Acting: 5
Storyline: 4.5
Mise-en-scene: 4.5
Overall: 4.6

himeanole-p01(3) Himenaole (2016)

2016 ‧ Crime film/Thriller ‧ 1h 39
Director: Keisuke Yoshida
Screenplay: Keisuke Yoshida

Susumu Okada (Gaku Hamada) is an ordinary man who works cleaning a building. Susumu’s colleague asks Susumu to be a cupid of love between himself and cafe worker Yuka (Aimi Satsukawa). When Susumu goes to the cafe where Yuka works at, he meets Shoichi Morita (Go Morita). Susumu and Shoichi Morita went to the same high school. Yuka, though, informs Susumu that Shoichi is stalking her.

Acting: 5
Storyline: 4.5
Mise-en-scene: 4.5
Overall: 4.7

setoutsumi-p3(2) Setoutsumi (2016)

2016 ‧ Drama - 1h 15m
Director: Tatsushi Omori
Screenplay: Tatsushi Omori, Dai Miyazaki

Seto (Masaki Suda) and Utsumi (Sosuke Ikematsu) are high school students. After school, they walk home and have a silly talk. Unexpectedly a friendship blooms between an ace ex-soccer club member Seto and the introverted intelligent Utsumi.

Acting: 5
Storyline: 5
Mise-en-scene: 4
Overall: 4.7

your_name-p1(1) Your Name. | Kimi no na wa. (2016)

2016 ‧ Fantasy/Drama film ‧ 1h 47m
Director: Makoto Shinkai

Kimi no na wa. (original title). Two high school kids who’ve never met – city boy Taki and country girl Mitsuha – are united through their dreams.

Acting: 4.5
Storyline: 5
Mise-en-scene: 5
Overall: 4.8
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