Any good Japanese movies to watch?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by ReadyAndWilling, Dec 14, 2011.

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  1. ReadyAndWilling

    ReadyAndWilling Fleet Captain

    Jul 30, 2009
    hi all, i just finished watching 'Cyborg She 2008' and found it awesome. i really liked the style of it. it's the first time i've ever seen a Japanese movie and was wondering if there are any other Japanese sci-fi movies i could check out?

  2. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 19, 2001
    Chattanooga, TN
    The film is actually called "Cyborg She" in English. 2008 is the year in which it was released.
  3. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

    Apr 14, 2003
    Norfolk, VA
    I was all set to recommend a couple of Japanese movies, but none are science fiction.

    I suppose Akira is pretty good. It's a bit excessive towards the end, but it's compelling to watch.
  4. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Kaled bunker, Skaro
    Not Sci Fi but pretty much any movie directed by Akira Kurosawa is a good bet. Ran, Yojimbo, and The Seven Samurai stand out off the top of my head.
  5. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

    Apr 14, 2003
    Norfolk, VA
    Roshomon and Yojimbo were two movies I was going to suggest but deleted.

    If you're interested in fantasy (a bit of a children's film), Spirited Away is amazing to watch.
  6. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

    Dec 13, 1999
    NJ, USA
    I have seen all of these and will rate them to my tastes (1 thru 10):

    Gunhed, a stylistically cool, but medicore story and acting action movie(1989):6.5 for style

    Gantz, live action version of the anime(2011). Violent: 6

    Battleship Yamato(2010) Better than the Star Wars prequels. 8.5

    Avalon(2001)In a future world, young people are increasingly becoming addicted to an illegal (and potentially deadly) battle simulation game called Avalon. 7

    Returner(2002) After an alien invasion threatens to annihilate the human race, a young Japanese girl, named Milly (Anne Suzuki), travels back in time from 2084 to October 2002, and enlists the reluctant aid of skilled Tokyo gunman, named Miyamoto (Takeshi Kaneshiro), to discover and prevent the start of the war. 7.5

    Casshern(2004)Live-action sci-fi movie based on a 1973 Japanese animé of the same name: 7

    Solar Crisis(1990) Japanese financed production epic with many US stars. It sounds better than it is. 4

    Death Note(2006)A battle between the world's 2 greatest minds begins when Light Yagami finds the Death Note, a notebook with the power to kill, and decides to rid the world of criminal. 6

    TO: Elliptical Orbit & Symbiotic Planet(2009) CGI 8

    Planzet(2010): Some of the best mecha CGI ever seen. 6.5

    Vexille: Japan, 2077: A female agent named Vexille is dispatched to Tokyo to investigate whether Japanese are developing robotic technology, which has been banned by the U.N. due to its potential threat to humankind. 7
  7. ReadyAndWilling

    ReadyAndWilling Fleet Captain

    Jul 30, 2009
    thanks a lot bro. i'll make sure i check them out soon. i'll probably watch 'battleship yamamoto' first. really appreciate your post!
  8. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

    Jun 7, 2004
    At The Laughing Vulcan's party...
    One worth watching with a Philip K. Dick slant to it is

    Ikigami: Death Notice.

    It's about a world where to keep society on the straight and narrow, at a certain point between the age of 18 and 24, one in 1000 of Japan's citizens is randomly selected for death. They get 24 hours notice to settle their affairs, and the film follows one of the civil servants who delivers the Death Notices as he goes about his work, and the people he encounters.

    K-20: The Legend of the Black Mask

    Superhero movie set in an alternate forties Japan where WWII never happened.

    Fish Story

    An obscure 7" single links four time periods together, the story of a failed punk band in 1975, a ghost story in 1982, a hostage crisis in 2009, and the end of the world looming in 2012.

    The 20th Century Boys Trilogy

    Brilliant apocalyptic manga adaptation set across several decades.


    Pure style over substance, digital backlot pretentiousness in the style of Sky Captain and 300.

    Battle Royale

    Classic movie, a class of schoolkids taken to an island and set to kill each other till only one is left standing as a disciplinary measure.

    The Sinking of Japan

    The Japanese can do apocalyptic movies too Mr Emmerich!

    The Time Traveller

    A recent Live Action remake of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, I think you'll like this if you liked Cyborg She

    Tetsujin 28

    Live action giant robot movie, cheesy, crap, but fun.

    Not sci-fi, but fantastic movies well worth watching from Japan...

    Kamikaze Girls
    Cold Fish
    Ping Pong
    Turtles Are Suprisingly Fast Swimmers
    Sawako Decides
    Quirky Guys and Gals
    Memories of Matsuko
    Confessions of a Dog
    Kakera: A Piece of Our Life
    Instant Swamp
    Lala Pipo
    Love Exposure
    Fine, Totally Fine
    Funuke, Show Some Love You Losers
    Memories of Matsuko
    Survive Style 5+
    Cutie Honey (live action)
    9 Souls
    Bright Future
    Bullet Ballet
    Death Note and Death Note 2: The Last Name
    Wild Life
    Azumi and Azumi 2
    Kitaro and the Millennium Curse
    Black Belt
    Higanjima: Escape From Vampire Island

    b-movies, shit but good, a * next to ones I really like

    252 - Sign of Life
    Alien vs. Ninja*
    Chanbara Beauty
    Chanbara Striptease
    Hard Revenge Milly*
    Hard Revenge Milly Bloody Battle*
    Rogue Ninja
    Ninja Girl*
    Samurai Commando
    Tokyo Gore School
    Yoyo Girl Cop

    Tell me if you want any anime movies recommended...
  9. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 10, 2010
    I was going to mention Space Battleship Yamato, but I see that you beat me to it. :) This is the live-action version of the animated show which was known in the US as Star Blazers. ( There are certain changes to the plot and some of the characters. )

    Though they are not science fiction, I would also cite Akira Kurosawa films such as Yojimbo and The Hidden Fortress ( Kakushi-toride no san-akunin ), both of which influenced the original Star Wars.
  10. Silent_Bob

    Silent_Bob Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 15, 2001
    Its not a Japanese film, but South Korean, but i heartily recommend 'The Host'.
  11. Sky

    Sky Captain Captain

    Feb 9, 2009
    Besides the Kurosawa and Miyazaki films already mentioned, I'd recommend the following:

    Kore-eda Hirokazu: After Life, Nobody Knows, Hana, Still Walking and Air Doll.

    Aoyama Shinji: Eureka

    Nakano Hiroyuki: Samurai Fiction

    Masaki Mori: Barefoot Gen

    None of them are scifi, however.
  12. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 3, 2004
    No mention of either version of Grave of the Fireflies?
    And what about the various chapters of the Kerberos saga (e.g. The Red Spectacles, StrayDog, Jin Roh, ...)?
  13. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

    Apr 24, 2006
    Calgary, Alberta
    Try "Tampopo". You'll never look at food the same way again. And then you'll be famished for noodles.

  14. Saul

    Saul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 27, 2002
    Watch the very first "Godzilla" movie from 1954. It's a masterpiece. I've always had a soft spot for the "Tetsuo The Iron Man" films also.
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Oct 30, 1999
    Anything by Miyazaki - Grave of the Fireflies and Spirited Away are at the top of my list. Castle in the Sky has especially mind-bending visuals.

    Most of the Japanese movies I like are not sf/f, go figure...

    After Life - oddball movie about life after death, but not in an sf/f way.

    Departures - another excellent movie about death.

    Kwaidan - four stories based on Japanese ghost stories, very cool movie (and thanks for reminding me of this, I'm due for a rewatch.) :D

    The Twilight Samurai and The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi - two very different take on the genre.

    Tampopo - really different.

    Akira Kurasawa's Dreams - really really different.

    Ugetsu, Ikiru, Harakiri - intense human drama.

    Hidden Fortress, Ran, Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo - obvious suggestions, but just in case you haven't seen these already, they should be at the top of your list.
  16. ReadyAndWilling

    ReadyAndWilling Fleet Captain

    Jul 30, 2009
    is 'the time traveler' an animated movie?

    i'm mainly looking for 'real' movies.
  17. Yevetha

    Yevetha Commodore

    May 8, 2011
    Outlaw Star.

    The adventures of an outlaw crew of an advanced starship. Its a sci fy-fantasy starring a pirate-smuggler crew and unlike many japanese sci fi it has different alien species in it, like Farscape or Andromeda.

    8 out of 10.
  18. saturn5

    saturn5 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 2, 2010
    Godzilla vs the Smog monster, how the Oscars missed it I don't know:confused:
  19. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Feb 28, 2005
    I thought it was nice to look at. Subtitles made no sense at all though, and in places were just totally missing, I couldn't understand half of what was going on.

    There's a few good sci-fis come out of South Korea as well. I recommend The Host (monster movie), and Natural City (Blade Runner - esque sci-fi).
  20. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

    Jun 7, 2004
    At The Laughing Vulcan's party...
    Yeah, it's live action

    Here it is in Amazon. Apparently it's out next year in the US.

    I watched the UK release last year.

    All the movies I mentioned are live action, although some are based on manga, and have anime equivalents too. It's easy to get mixed up with the Death Note movies for instance.
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