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Top 50 of IMDB’s Highest Rated Japanese-Language Films and Where to Stream

Despite being in the filmmaking business just as long as the West, it’s only been within the last couple decades, with a larger demand for imports and worldwide file sharing and streaming capabilities, that Japanese films have made a large-scale impact on Western moviegoers. Ranking films with more than 10,000 votes, IMDB stacked the highest-rated Japanese films from 1-79. Despite being a relatively short list, some vastly important features have made their way to the top, including Tokyo Story, Ikiru, Departures, and a whole lot of Studio Ghibli films.

We’ve painstakingly looked to find where and if you can stream some of their top rated features (listed in IMDB’s ranking order), checking YouTube, Hulu (US), Netflix (US), Amazon, and several other streaming services. Unfortunately, although we couldn’t find all the films via streaming, Hulu+ (US) alone offers a great deal of features — due in large to their Criterion Collection license. In the end, there’s still a great deal of amazing films available instantly and surely enough to kill a few weekends on the couch.

1. Seven Samurai (8.7) — Hulu (US)

2. Harakiri (8.6) — Hulu (US)

3. Spirited Away (8.6) — YouTube

4. Grave of the Fireflies (8.5) — YouTube

5. Princess Mononoke (8.4) — N/A

6. Yojimbo (8.4) — Hulu (US)

7. Rashômon (8.4) — Hulu (US)

8. Ikiru (8.4) — Hulu (US)

9. High and Low (8.4) — Hulu (US)

10. Tokyo Story (8.3) — Hulu (US)

11. Ran (8.3) — YouTube ($2.99)

12. My Neighbor Totoro (8.3) — N/A

13. Howl’s Moving Castle (8.2) — N/A

14. Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (8.2) — N/A

15. Sanjuro (8.2) — Hulu

16. Throne of Blood (8.2) — Hulu

17. Ugetsu (8.2) — Hulu

18. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (8.2) — N/A

19. The Twilight Samurai (8.2) — YouTube

20. Departures (8.1) — Netflix

21. Castle in the Sky (8.1) — N/A

22. Nobody Knows (8.1) — Netflix

23. Akira (8.1) — YouTube

24. The Hidden Fortress (8.1) — Hulu (US)

25. Death Note (8.0) — N/A

26. Whisper of the Heart (8.0) — N/A

27. Ghost in the Shell (8.0) — N/A

28. Kagemusha (8.0) — Netflix

29. Letters from Iwo Jima (8.0) — YouTube ($2.99)

30. Millennium Actress (7.9) — N/A

31. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (7.9) — N/A

32. Ninja Scroll (7.9) — Hulu (US)

33. Kikujiro (7.9) — N/A

34. 5 Centimeters Per Second (7.9) — Crunchyroll

35. Fireworks (Hana-bi) (7.9) — N/A

36. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (7.9) — YouTube

37. The Wind Rises (7.9) — N/A

38. Kiki’s Delivery Service (7.9) — N/A

39. Confessions (Kokuhaku) (7.9) — N/A

40. Tokyo Godfathers (7.8) — N/A

41. Porco Rosso (7.8) — N/A

42. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (7.8) — Hulu (US)

43. Perfect Blue (Pafekuto Buru) (7.8) — N/A

44. Battle Royale (7.8) — Netflix

45. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (7.8) — N/A

46. Dreams (7.8) — N/A

47. Paprika (7.7) — YouTube

48. Dolls (7.7) — N/A

49. Ponyo (7.7) — N/A

50. The Secret World of Arrietty (7.7) — N/A

Please note: Streaming services and their licensing agreements (licensing in general) are a fickle mistress. Each of these films streaming availabilities can and will change often; commonly exchanging hands between services in the process.  

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Categories: Japanese Films/TV

Author:Jen

Founder, Editor-in-Chief at Another Castle | Twitter: @ComradeJen

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8 Comments on “Top 50 of IMDB’s Highest Rated Japanese-Language Films and Where to Stream”

  1. 11/24/2014 at 12:38 PM #

    Reblogged this on davidbruceblog.

  2. Zach Aldredge
    11/24/2014 at 2:54 PM #

    I’m a fan of the live action Gantz movies too

  3. 11/24/2014 at 4:03 PM #

    There are a lot of awesome movies from Asia. Gantz live-action was definitely one of them.

  4. Zach Aldredge
    11/24/2014 at 4:26 PM #

    I was pumped to see your post! I have a collection of Foreign Action Movies. It’s another one of my Hobbies.

  5. 11/24/2014 at 4:27 PM #

    Nice! Like what?

  6. Zach Aldredge
    11/24/2014 at 4:34 PM #

    mostly modern stuff Spl, Flahpoint, ong bak. Protector, raid 2 is greatest movie ever made, the rebel and shamo just to name a few

  7. 11/24/2014 at 4:40 PM #

    Decent selection. Somehow I still haven’t seen Raid 2 yet, but after seeing the below gif some time back, I don’t know why I’ve been dragging my feet so long.

  8. 02/19/2015 at 5:28 PM #

    Reblogged this on Rice Cakes.

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