10 Japanese movies to look forward to in 2023

With recently reopened borders, a record-breaking defense budget and international turmoil, it’s hard to say what Japan’s future holds. But one thing is certain about 2023: it will usher in an abundance of good Japanese movies. Here are our picks for the top 10 movies to expect in 2023.

how do you live

In 2013, the famous director Hayao Miyazaki ostensibly quit the animation industry got windy, But it was later revealed that he was returning for Miyazaki’s final film for the reason he loved Miyazaki best: “Because I wanted to,” he said.

With a 10-year gap since his last project, audiences will undoubtedly look forward to seeing Miyazaki’s promises fulfilled how do you live This is Inspired by Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel of the same name, it tells the story of a 15-year-old boy’s emotional growth and budding understanding of the world and society. How would one of the biggest names in anime handle a story like this?


Release date: July 14, 2023
Title in Japanese: How Do You Live?
Director: Hayao Miyazaki


Adapted from the autobiographical novel of the same name by Makoto Takayama, Selfish On the surface it looks like a gay romance between a fashion magazine editor and his personal trainer. But while the story certainly explores themes of love, it also focuses on grief, death, empathy, and identity.

which makes Selfish The perfect theme for director Taishi Matsunaga, according to the Tokyo International Film Festival Selfish Premiere, deftly using his experience in documentary filmmaking to bring out the raw emotion of the story with honesty and toughness.


Release date: February 10, 2023
Japanese name: Egoist
Director: Taishi Matsunaga
Starring: Ryohei Suzuki, Hiro Miyazawa

untitled godzilla movie

Although planned for release in 2023, the next Godzilla The film celebrates its 70th anniversaryday anniversary Godzilla (1954), the movie that started it all. This will also be 30day A live-action Japanese entry in the Godzilla series.The film will be directed by Takashi Yamazaki, the man behind such films space battleship yamato and Archimedes’ Great War.

What’s more, Yamazaki is not a complete newcomer Godzilla, Because he also directed a short film that played on a Godzilla-themed ride at Seibuen amusement park. It’ll be a while before we see what themes he brings to the 2023 film, but the wait will likely be worth it.


Release date: November 3, 2023
Japanese name: to be determined
Director: Takashi Yamazaki


Takashi Shimizu finally drove past the village.back Howling Village, Suicide Grove Village, and last year’s Niutou Village, One of Japan’s finest modern horror directors has set his new film on the fictional Kikaijima, which roughly translates to “the ominous island of mourning”. Not much is known about the movie’s plot, other than that it will deal with a VR team, mysterious deaths and the blurring of lines between the real and virtual worlds.

Looking back at Shimizu’s past film works, immersion should prove to be a masterful symphony of frights that will keep the audience lit up at night.


Release date: 2023
Japanese name: Linhai Island
Director: Takashi Shimizu

legends and butterflies

Oda Nobunaga 16dayCentury warlord and one of Japan’s great unifiers, remains a source of inspiration for Japanese filmmakers.Stand out from reality TV, historical fiction Rurouni Kenshin In the film, director Keishi Otomo’s portrait of Nobunaga remains in the realm of historical speculation Legends and butterflies.

The film focuses on the warlord’s early years and his relationship with the little-known Nohime (also known as Nohime or Kicho). It was originally a political marriage to consolidate Nobunaga’s position, legends and butterflies portrays their union as two strangers growing mutual respect and trust during one of the most turbulent periods in Japanese history.


Release date: January 27, 2023
Japanese name: Legend & Butterfly
Director: Keishi Otomo
Starring: Takuya Kimura, Haruka Ayase

six girls singing

After dazzled the world with a colorful, gender-infused, multi-story, psychedelic cinematic experience Milocrorze: A Love Story In 2012, director Ishibashi Yoshimasa seemed to have retired for 11 years. He’s back with a movie that promises to continue his quest to push the movies forward.

official profile says six girls singing The story of two men who wander into an unfamiliar village after a car accident, where they are held captive by a group of six women. Usually, this sounds like the setting for a horror movie (probably produced by Shimizu, given the village setting). In the hands of an experimental director like Stone Bridge, it’s impossible to tell where the film will go, but it’s sure to be fun.


Release date: 2023
Japanese name: Six Girls Singing
Director: Yoshimasa Ishibashi
Starring: Takeuchi Yutaka, Yamada Takayuki

Gold Kamui

comics Gold Kamui Satoru Noda achieved worldwide fame for doing something no other Japanese manga could. Set in Hokkaido after the Russo-Japanese War, the show follows treasure hunts, political intrigue, and Ainu culture, even exploring their language.

A TV series based on the manga has been on the air since 2018. In 2023, we can finally see the live-action version Gold Kamui The film brings rare themes to Japanese cinema, all wrapped up in an explosive Japanese-Western adventure package.


Release date: 2023
Japanese name: Golden Kamui
Director: TBD
Cast: TBD

mountain woman

Another highlight of the Tokyo International Film Festival, mountain woman set at 18day Century in the Tohoku region of Japan. Set during a famine, the film centers on a mountain villager named Rin who is abused for her role as body handler, a profession long considered unclean in Japan. However, the film’s real star seems to be the local mountain, which looms silently, insouciantly, and mysteriously over the heads of its protagonists.

Essentially, the film is an exploration of Japanese mountain worship, possibly the oldest religion on the island, all told primarily through stunning visuals and the atmosphere they create.


Release date: 2023
Japanese name: Yamashiro
Director: Takeshi Fukunaga
Starring: Anna Yamada, Mirai Moriyama, Masatoshi Nagase

Tokyo MER: Mobile Emergency Room Movie

Tokyo Mobile Emergency Room (MER) is the name of a rapid response team created by the Governor of Tokyo to travel to disaster areas to provide assistance. MER professionals aboard their bus-sized emergency vehicles risk their lives trying to save as many people as possible.

Despite only airing 11 episodes on TBS, the action-packed series was a huge success in Japan. That’s why in 2023 we’ll see a movie in which Tokyo MER teams meet their Yokohama counterparts as they respond to an emergency at Yokohama’s Landmark Tower (once Japan’s tallest building).


Release date: April 28, 2023
English name: TOKYO MER the Movie ~Running Emergency Room~
Director: Aya Matsuki
Starring: Ryohei Suzuki, Taketo Kalai, Ayami Nakajo

revolver lily

Based on the award-winning novel Haruhiko Oyabe by Nagaura Kyo, revolver lily The story takes place in 1924, shortly after the Great Kanto Earthquake. It dealt with Yuri, a former spy who killed 57 people across East Asia in three years. Her life changes when she meets Shinta, the boy whose family was murdered and who holds the key to Japan’s future.

A tough guy novel about a tough guy heroine and a boy who fights against the Japanese army, revolver lily Has all the makings of a cinematic classic.


Release date: 2023
Japanese name: Revolver Lily
Director: Xue Zhengong

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