current selection: japanese movies from year 1900 to year 2020 ordered by has image, this month's top ratings page 1 of 22
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Tekkon kinkurîto (2007) - animation / action / adventure
aka: Tekkonkinkreet
Tekkonkinkreet takes place in Treasure Town, a city with a fluid sense of reality—in most ways it seems like a gritty Japanese metropolis, but several characters, including our two heroes, Black and White, have supernatural powers. Black and White are street kids who can fly, and who watch over Treasure Town, though the source of their powers and their history as a crime-fighting team is murky—among the many storytelling flaws in Tekkonkinkreet is the fact that it's a superhero movie that never bothers to fully explore the mythology of its heroes. Once one gets past the vague sense of context and setting, however, the film settles into a mostly compelling story in which Black and White, who have exceptional fighting as well as flying skills, take on a combination of Yakuza gangsters and alien assassins who are trying to take control of Treasure Town. The specifics of this battle are regularly glossed over or ignored, but Arias keeps the audience hooked with a series of dynamically edited action sequences and a structure that keeps the film moving from one set piece to the next with a minimum of slow spots.

Shinobi: The Law of Shinobi (2004) - action
In the world of the Ninja, skill plays only a small role in determining one's rank. Kageru is strong, fast and extremely intelligent-the best in his class. However, his birth predestines him to the lower class of Shinobi. His friend Aoi finds herself in the same situation, and together they will be forced to question not only themselves but also some of the most sacred edicts of the Shinobi hierarchy. Because of this, a choice must be made; will they choose to follow their mission as dictated by the Law of Shinobi or break the age-old code and change their destinies?
Freeze Me (2000) - drama
Chihiro is raped by three men and it is captured on video camera. She leaves her hometown and prepares to marry a colleague five years later, when one of the rapists arrives and says the others are on their way. He behaves like her long-lost lover and mistreats her again. Chihiro takes revenge, kills him and puts him in a freezer. The other rapists are awaiting a similar fate...
Pom Poko (1994) - animation / comedy / drama
A community of magical shapeshifting raccoons desperately struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development.
Bijitâ Q (2002) - comedy / drama / horror
aka: Visitor Q
A troubled and perverted family find their lives intruded by a mysterious stranger who seems to help find a balance in their disturbing natures.
The Boy From Hell (2004) - horror
aka: The Boy From Hell
A mysterious old woman appears before Setsu, who has recently lost her only child in a tragic accident. She says she can bring Setsu's son, Daio back to life. After agreeing to this sinister proposal, Daio returns to his mother, but to Setsu's horror, he is half decomposed and inhuman. To make him human again, he needs fresh human organs. Setsu does everything she can to reincarnate her son, but Daio just turns into a different kind of monster. No one can stop him as he continues to feed his hunger, claiming victim after victim.
Ikisudama (2001) - drama / horror / mystery
aka: Campus Ghost Stories
Based on the comic by Naeko Sasayana, which assembles 'true' experiences of horrors, such as ghosts, posessions, etc. The title roughly mesans 'living souls' or 'spirits'. Starring Matsuo brothers (J-POP duo 'Doggy Bag', aka 'Y2K' in Korea) and Miwa sisters. Pt.1: 'Ikisudama' is a story of a student who witnesses living soul of a classmate. Pt.2: 'Utsuhoshiino...' is a story of an apartment where suicides frequently happen.
Battle Royale (2000) - action / drama / thriller
aka: Batoru rowaiaru
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act.
Ju-on: The Grudge 2 (2003) - fantasy / horror / thriller
aka: Ju-on: The Grudge 2, aka: The Grudge 2, aka: Ju-on 2: Gekijô-ban, aka: Ju-on 4
Ju-on: The Grudge 2 is the fourth in a series of Ju-on horror films, written and directed by Takashi Shimizu. The series follows the curse due to the grudge held by a woman who was murdered by her husband in her house. The curse falls on any who enters the house where these events took place. Everyone connected with the house since then has met a terrible fate.
Sutorenjia: Mukô hadan (2007) - animation
aka: Sword of the Stranger, aka: Mukô hadan
Hunted by the the Mings from China, young Kotaro and his dog meet a nameless samurai ("Nanashi") who is constantly being haunted by dreams of the past which lead him to seal his sword. Among the Mings is a fiercesome Western fighter named Rarou, who desires only to find a worthy opponent. When both groups clash with a Sengoku-era feudal lord, a proud general, and monks torn between faith and survival, the reason behind the Mings' pursuit tests the bond between Kotaro and Nanashi.
Ichi the Killer (2001) - drama

Yakuza boss Anjo disappears with three hundred million yen. His loyal gang members, lead by the masochist Kakihara, start a search, but their aggressive and gory methods worry the other yakuza gangs. Kakiharas most frightening counterpart is the mysterious Ichi, a psychopathic killer with a dark childhood secret, who is controlled by a retired cop.
Uzumaki (2000) - horror
Uzumaki ( "Spiral") , released in 2000, is based on Junji Ito's episodic manga of the same name. The plot concerns a town infected with malevolent spirals. This abstract concept manifests in grotesque ways, such as a teenager's long hair beginning to curl and take over her mind, or a corpse wound around itself.

Among many bizarre features of the film is a heavy treatment with green colour filters, aping the style of the colour plates in the manga.
Saikyô heiki joshikôsei: Rika - zonbi hantâ vs saikyô zonbi Gurorian (2008) - horror
aka: High School Girl Rika: Zombie Hunter, aka: Nihombie 3, aka: Nihonbi 3, aka: Rika: The Zombie Killer, aka: Saikyô heiki joshikôsei: Rika - zombie hunter vs saikyô zombie Glorian, aka: Saikyô joshikôsei Rika vs saikyô zonbi Gurorian, aka: Zombie Hunter Rika
A high school student skips school with two girlfriends to visit her grandfather, who just happens to live in a zombie infested village.
劇場版BLEACH The DiamondDust Rebellion もう一つの氷輪丸 (2007) - animation
aka: BLEACH The DiamondDust Rebellion もう一つの氷輪丸, aka: Gekijô ban Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion - Mô hitotsu no hyôrinmaru, aka: Bleach: The DiamondDust Rebellion

When an artifact known as the "King's Seal" is stolen during transport from Soul Society, TÃshirà Hitsugaya is assigned to retrieve it. Hitsugaya goes missing after a battle with the thieves, leading Seireitei to suspect him of treachery. They order his immediate capture and execution. Unwilling to believe that he is capable of such a crime, Ichigo Kurosaki, Rukia Kuchiki, Rangiku Matsumoto, and Renji Abarai set out to find Hitsugaya and clear his name
Kumo no yôni, kaze no yôni (1989) - animation / comedy / drama
aka: Like the Clouds, Like the Wind
Country girl Ginga leaves her home in hope of becoming one of the Emperor's Wives.
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978) - action
The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton, disguised as school masters. During a brutal Manchu attack, Lui manages to escape and devotes himself to learning the martial arts in order to seek revenge. In a short period of time he masters the deadly use of his fists... 7.9 IMDB
Tajomaru (2009) - action
TAJOMARU is the famous 'bandit' of the forest from RASHOMON. Whoever kills Tajomaru inherits his name, status and sword. A royal brother leaves his kingdom to protect the princess he loves, only to find a series of harrowing adventures along the way which lead him back to where he came from, and then disinheriting his past to become the bandit TAJOMARU.
Battle Royale II (2003) - action
Three years after the failure of the last BR program, a second act is forged and a class of students are sent to an island with one objective: kill international terrorist Shuya Nanahara.
The Bad Sleep Well (1960) - crime / drama / thriller
aka: Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru, aka: The Rose in the Mud, aka: The Worse You Are, the Better You Sleep
A vengeful young man marries the daughter of a corrupt industrialist in order to seek justice for his father's suicide.
Digimon: Runaway Locomon (2002) - animation / action / adventure
aka: Digimon Tamers: Runaway Digimon Express, aka: デジモンテイマーズ 暴走デジモン特急, aka: Dejimon Teimāzu: Bōsō no Dejimon Tokkyū
The evil Parasimon is invading the Real World on Locomon and the Tamers must stop him.
Devilman: Demon Bird Silene (1990) - animation / fantasy / horror / action
aka: Devil Man - Volume 2: Demon Bird, aka: Devilman: Siren, the Demon Bird, aka: Devilman: Thief of Souls, aka: Debiruman: Kaichô shireinyu hen
A sequel to 'The Birth,' Devil Man fights hordes of demons. Akira Fudo (Devil Man's alter ego), now infamous among the demons, must accept challenges, fight for his life, as well as come face-to face with the death of his parents and putting his mother's soul to rest.

There's a twist at the end regarding his enemy, which while slightly cliche for anime, would probably never happen in an American feature.
Makaitoshi Shinjuku (1988) - adventure / fantasy / horror
aka: Demon City Shinjuku
Enbamingu (1999) - drama / horror / mystery
aka: Embalming, aka: EM, aka: EM Embalming
When the embalmed head of a powerful congressman's son goes missing the investigation leads to, among other things, a shady buddhist priest, a renegade embalmer, a highly dysfunctional teen love gone terribly awry, and black market organ trade. Throw a little acupuncture and schizophrenia into to the mix and you've got the perfect recipe for this truly bizarre tale!
Kôkaku kidôtai: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society (2007) - animation
aka: Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society
A.D. 2034. It has been two years since Motoko Kusanagi left Section 9. Togusa is now the new leader of the team, that has considerably increased its appointed personnel. The expanded new Section 9 confronts a rash of complicated incidents, and investigations reveal that an ultra-wizard hacker nicknamed the "Puppet Master" is behind the entire series of events.
Sex and Fury (1973) - action
Reiko Ike stars as Ocho, a gambler and pickpocket in Meiji Era Tokyo. After sheltering a fleeing anarchist, Ocho runs into the three gangsters responsible for her father's murder, and runs afoul of various yakuza who want her dead. A European spy, played by Christina Lindberg, arrives on the scene and complicates matters.
Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1996) - fantasy / horror / sci-fi
aka: Tetsuo, aka: 鉄男
A strange man known only as the "metal fetishist", who seems to have an insane compulsion to stick scrap metal into his body, is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese "salaryman", out for a drive with his girlfriend. The salaryman then notices that he is being slowly overtaken by some kind of disease that is turning his body into scrap metal, and that his nemesis is not in fact dead but is somehow masterminding and guiding his rage and frustration-fueled transformation.
Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) - drama
aka: Nijûshi no hitomi
Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi struggles to imbue her students with a positive view of the world and their place in it
Sairen (2006) - horror
A writer moves to a remote island with his daughter and young son. After settling into their new home, a neighbor arrives to welcome them and give them a breakdown of the local rules; most important: do not go outside when the island's siren starts wailing.
Death Note: The Last Name (2006) - adventure
aka: Death Note 2: The Last Name
Picking up where the first one leaves off, Light joins the task force searching for Kira in an effort to avert suspicion from himself---and get rid of L.
Hanzo the Razor: Sword of Justice (1972) - action
aka: Goyôkiba
The first of a trilogy of movies featuring the star of the Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman series, Shintaro Katsu. Hanzo is an incorruptible and unorthodox officer in Edo, as famous for his self-discipline and his love shaft as his sword. Against the backdrop of his magistrate's occasional rounding up of vagrants, Hanzo learns that an infamous killer is no longer on his island prison: did he escape or was he never there? Hanzo's investigation leads him to the magistrate's mistress, the killer's former lover. Hanzo pursues political questions that suggest complicity at the highest levels. Using sexual assault, he interrogates the mistress and later the favorite of Edo's most powerful woman. Can he get to the bottom of what's going on before powerful forces get him fired or killed? Lots of sex and violent action, so not suitable for younger viewers.
Hanzo The Razor 2: The Snare (1973) - action
aka: Goyôkiba: Kamisori Hanzô jigoku zeme
Against the backdrop of the Edo treasury devaluing currency and driving many into poverty, Hanzo Itami enforces the law without regard to status. He shows inadequate respect to the treasurer, who wants him dead. He finds a young woman dead following an abortion, and he enters a temple without permission looking for evidence. He tortures and then sexually assaults the temple's priestess to get information. He's then assigned to protect the mint from a notorious thief. There he closets himself in the bedroom of the mint's mistress. He waits. The thief arrives - but other crimes are afoot. Devalued currency, white slavery, and government corruption lead Hanzo to one conclusion.
Hanzo the Razor: Who's Got the Gold (1974) - action
aka: Goyôkiba: Oni no Hanzô yawahada koban
This is the 3rd and final movie in Shintaro Katsu's Hanzo trilogy. Follow the money. In a time of economic disaster for wage earners, Hanzo discovers a conspiracy among high officials to "borrow" gold from the shogunate's treasury and loan it out to the destitute, including impecunious samurai - exacting either interest payments or family heirlooms from the debtors. Along the way, Hanzo extracts a confession from a ghost using his assaulting methods, foils thieves, connects with Heisuke Takei a friend from his youth, offers protection to a forward-thinking physician Genan Sugino who has defamed his ruler, discovers a pleasure ring of young wives and a blind music teacher, and cuckolds a corrupt official under his very nose.
Zatoichi the Fugitive (1963) - action
aka: Zatoichi kyojo tabi
This is the 4th film in the Zatoichi series. Blind swordsman/masseur Ichi (known as Zatoichi, or "Masseur Ichi") angers a local yakuza gang when he defeats several of them in a wrestling match. When he finds that his long lost love Tane is nearby and romantically involved with a tough samurai in the employ of the gang, he remains in the village. Meanwhile, the young heir to the leadership is forced to confront his own fear and weakness when the gang insists he fight Ichi.
Daikaijû Batoru: Urutora Ginga Densetsu (2009) - action
aka: Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy, aka: Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends - The Movie
Ultraman and his comrades from M-78 (including a new Ultraman, Zero, the son of Ultra Seven) join forces with other allies to fight a massive army of giant monsters led by the evil Ultraman Belial.
Suicide Club (2002) - horror
aka: Jisatsu Sakuru, aka: Suicide Circle
Horror / Mystery / Thriller 6.7 IMDB

Plot Synopsis:
A wave of unexplainable suicides sweeps across Tokyo after 54 smiling high school girls join hands and throw themselves from a subway platform into an oncoming train. Are the jumpers part of a cult? What is the connection to the website that chronicles suicides...before they happen? And, what is the connection to the Japanese all-girl pop group "Desert?" Suicide Club is a stylish, bizarre thriller that examines pop culture and disaffected youth.
Zatoichi And The Chest Of Gold (1964) - action
aka: Zatôichi senryô-kubi
Japanese w/eng subs

This is the sixth movie in the Zatoichi series. In the 1840s, Ichi, blind masseur and quick-draw swordsman, travels to the village of Itakura to pay his respects at the grave of Kichizo, a man he killed two years' ago. The villages in the area, after several years of famine, have struggled to raise 1,000 ryo in taxes they owe. The money is stolen while in transit to the governor. Ichi is accused as is Boss Chuji, a samurai Ichi respects. Ichi sets out to find the money and clear his own and Chuji's names. Along the way, he must face Kichizo's sister, some of Chuji's own gang, a corrupt governor, and his henchmen. Loyalties shift even as Ichi's moral compass stays true.
Zatoichi: The Last (2010) - drama
A blind master swordsman attempts to lead a quiet life with his wife but he is provoked back into battle.
Weather-Girl (2009) - pinku
Ai is a 19-year-old weather girl on TV, but falls the exam to become a weather forecaster. One day, she meets her ex-boy friend Junji. Junji tells Ai that he becomes a script writer, Junji lies to Ai in the hope to win Ai back. They gradually help each other to understand more of their dreams... Assistant Maki substitutes Ai's role as the weather girl during Ai's vacation. Under Director Chan's special "supervision", Maki gains good comments despite of her poor presentation skills. Maki is facing the new challenge when she is doing a LIVE weather show with a vibrator inside her underpants...
Shinboru (2009) - comedy / fantasy
aka: Symbol
A man wakes up alone in a brightly illuminated white room with no windows or doors. When he presses a mysteriously phallic protuberance that appears on one wall, a pink toothbrush materializes from nowhere, clattering to the floor and setting in motion a genuinely bizarre chain of events. Soon the imprisoned man is engaged in absurd and hilarious attempts to escape the gleaming room, releasing random objects from the walls, creating a life sized mouse trap game in which a rope, a toilet plunger and an earthenware jug full of sushi might just be the keys to his escape. Meanwhile, in a dusty town, a green masked Mexican wrestler known as Escargot Man prepares for an important match. His family gathers around him, worried about his seeming impassivity before battle.
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