Japanese Melodramas: 20 Romantic Love Movies

The Land of the Rising Sun is famous for its unique culture and long-standing traditions that seem strange to us. Japanese films about love are full of passion, romance and deep symbolism, and the facial expressions of the actors perfectly convey the emotions of the characters. Our selection contains the top beautiful melodramas from Japan that touch the hidden strings of the soul and make the heart beat faster.

Chance and Guess (2021)

In the novelty of the movie, the butterfly effect is played up, when a light flap of the wings of an almost weightless insect can lead to unpredictable consequences. The film consists of three short stories connected by one theme – coincidences are not accidental. Just one spoken word or deed can create magic or lead to missed opportunities that you can regret for years.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Guzen to sozo

Actors:
Kotone Furukawa, Ayumu Nakajima, Hyunri…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Red (2020)

Toko is happily married, but the former passion in relations with her husband is gone. A banal scenario for a Japanese melodrama, but the audience is in for an unpredictable plot twist. The couple raise their daughter, go to friends and host guests, and the next holiday brings an unexpected surprise. At the wedding of friends, Toko meets her former lover – and the faded feelings flare up with renewed vigor.

Original title:
Red

Actors:
Kaho, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Tasuku Emoto…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
IMDb – 6.0


Roommates (2019)

Shusei is popular at school , but not everyone is happy with the attractive high school student. Aoi is angry at the guy because he broke the heart of her close friend. The girl decides to take revenge on the insidious womanizer, but suddenly the plan gets out of hand. Due to an absurd accident, the couple gets closer and is forced to hide their romantic relationship from others.

Original title:
L-DK Hitotsu Yane no Shita, (Suki) ga Futatsu

Genre:
Melodrama, comedy

Actors:
Mone Kamisiraishi, Yosuke Sugino, Ryusei Yokohama …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.5


Master Teacher (2018)

In Japanese films about school love, the theme of the relationship between a teacher and a student is often played up. Also popular is the plot of a naive girl, immersed in the first feeling . What happens when you combine these ideas and add some humor? High school student Ayuha Samara dreams of finding her prince, but she has no luck so far. All friends and acquaintances are twisting novels, and no one has yet reciprocated the heroine of the melodrama. Dates and kisses occupy all her thoughts, although there should be a place for studying. But how to collect your thoughts if the lesson is taught by such a gallant handsome man as Yoshitaka Hiromitsu?

Original Title :
Sensei Kunshu

Actors:
Ryoma Takeuchi, Minami Hamabe, Taiki Sato…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
IMDb – 5.5

Age limit:
12+


Day Starfall (2017)

One of the best Japanese love movies is worth watching for fans of beautiful melodramas. Esano Suzume moves to live with his uncle in Tokyo from a provincial town. At school, the girl is waiting not only for new friends, but also for the first quivering feeling. Yesano turns out to be a member of a love triangle – a pretty classmate is crazy about her, and Suzume herself dreams of an adult teacher.

Original title:
Hirunaka no ryuusei

Actors:
Mei Nagano, Shohei Miura, Aran Shirahama …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
16+


Friends for one week (2017)

What to do if the girl you like is too modest and even withdrawn? Yuuki is not one to succumb to obstacles! However, having become close to the object of sympathy, the guy learns a strange secret: after an accident, his classmate Kaori suffers from amnesia. Every Monday, all her friends become strangers to her – so it’s better not to make them at all. But Yuki is not afraid of difficulties. For the sake of friendship and perhaps something more, the hero comes up with an original way to save her disappearing memories. Melodrama tells how sincere support allows you to create the impossible.

Original title:
Isshukan friends

Actors:
Haruna Kawaguchi, Kento Yamazaki, Seika Furuhata …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.6


Knife in the water (2016)

The Japanese capital gives residents a lot of prospects and opportunities, but Mochizuki Natsume’s parents move to a provincial town from a noisy metropolis. The girl is forced to forget about her modeling career , although her fame has reached the outback. Teenagers dream of becoming friends with a local celebrity, and Mochizuki wants to get close to a guy who doesn’t pay any attention to her.

Original title:
Oboreru naifu

Actors:
Nana Komatsu, Masaki Suda, Daiki Shigeoka…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 5.7


Orange (2015)

Who wouldn’t like to foresee the future? Takamiya Naho had such a unique opportunity when she received a letter with detailed instructions. She herself was listed as the sender, only … after 10 years. At first it seemed to the heroine someone’s stupid joke, but the events described in the message really began to come true!

The central figure of the letter was her new classmate Kakeru, who had arrived from the capital. Naho from the future asks herself in the present to take care of the guy, even if it changes the usual course of events. What’s the catch? You can find out about this by watching a Japanese melodrama about love, fate and attempts to change it.

Original title:
Orenji

Actors:
Tao Tsuchiya, Kento Yamazaki, Ryo Ryusei…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.1


Oran High School Dating Club (2014)

In Japanese schools, the creation of interest clubs is popular. And these interests do not have to be serious, because the main thing in such a club is a friendly team and mutual support. However, Fujioka Haruki didn’t intend to plunge headlong into the collective life. The very admission to a prestigious institution was a decent stress for a smart, but poor girl.

And she comes up with an alternative personality for herself, moreover, she decides to go to the end. The heroine does a haircut, puts on glasses and appears in the form of an intelligent young man. Chance leads her to a dating club full of real “princes” for every taste. True, Haruki immediately gets into history by breaking an expensive vase. The heroine can correct the oversight and keep the secret in only one way.

Original title:
Ouran High School Host Club

Actors:
Haruna Kawaguchi, Yusuke Yamamoto, Shunsuke Daito …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.5

Age Limits :
16+


Love on a Special Level (2014)

Another Japanese melodrama will tell about the relationship between a student and a mentor. Sakurai Haruka is an English teacher. In his work, he appreciates the opportunity to give knowledge and explain the tenses of verbs to students. Schoolgirls simply adore him, and the hero bathes in this sea of ​​love with pleasure, keeping young fans at a safe distance.

Such a ward as Yuni met him for the first time. A coldly restrained girl with a fantastic intellect is more like a machine for issuing correct answers than a person. The only thing she has trouble with is Haruka’s item. Becoming a tutor of a child prodigy in a skirt, the hero learns hitherto unknown feelings.

Original title:
Kinkyori ren ai

Actors:
Yamashita Tomohisa, Nana Komatsu, Mika Akizuki…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.3

Age limit:
18+


She Loves Lies Too (2013)

Japanese scriptwriters often release melodramas with unpredictable endings, and a film about the love of talented musicians is no exception. At 25, Aki has a successful career as a songwriter, but the harsh world of show business makes him wonder about the future. The guy leaves a popular group to compose music for the soul, and one day he meets a talented singer. Riko is only 16, and her voice is able to conquer from the first minutes of sounding. The acquaintance of the guys quickly develops into a romantic relationship, but the general producer is not happy with this development.

Original title:
Kanojo wa uso wo aishisugiteiru

Actors:
Takeru Sato, Yuki Morinaga, Masataka Kubota …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.7


Love for Beginners (2012)

High school student Hibino Tsubaki is indifferent to fashion, although she closely follows the latest in hairdressing. The girl dreams of doing beautiful hairstyles, and is sure that in the future she will not end up with clients. Now Tsubaki is faced with a cruel reality in which her classmates taunt her, and the main school bully becomes her desk neighbor. Hibino fights back against the bully – and an accidental confrontation becomes the beginning of an intricate relationship.

Original title:
Kyo, koi o hajimemasu

Actors:
Emi Takei, Kento Yamazaki, Rin Takanashi…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.0


This Was Us (2012)

Every school has its own “stars”. Where Nanami studies, Yano Motoharu is considered such a “star” – an independent and handsome guy. The girl herself is the headman and easily commands her classmates. However, when meeting with Motoharu, the heroine is suddenly overcome with confusion and embarrassment. This guy, who does not recognize authorities, treats her with derision.

Nanami can’t even think of a relationship with him. The object of her love has an “official” girlfriend, and the heroine of the melodrama herself does not complain about the lack of fans. However, mutual attraction is stronger, despite all life’s difficulties.

Original title:
Bokura ga ita: Zenpen

Actors:
Tom Ikuta, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Sosuke Takaoka…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 6.6

Age limit:
16+


Atelier “Paradise Kiss” (2011)

Among the best Japanese love movies is the story of 18-year-old Yukari. The girl always lived by the rules. First, she had to go to a good university, get an education, become a professional … And also do a lot of boring things for which you have to work long and hard. She did not even suspect that there is another world in which dull everyday life is replaced by bright creativity.

One day, a strange man approached her on the street and offered to become a model. The studio in which the girl was to work was very small, but cozy, and the team was very specific. And the last thing Yukari thought was that she would find her love there.

Original title:
Paradaisu kisu

Actors:
Keiko Kitagawa, Osamu Mukai, Shunji Igarashi …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 6.4

Age limit:
12+


From me to you (2010)

The full-length Japanese movie about love received high ratings almost immediately after the premiere, and rave reviews continue to come a decade later. Sawako is a modest and quiet student, who is like two peas in a pod similar to the main character of the movie “The Ring”. The resemblance to a horror character becomes a reason for ridiculous rumors and violent gossip, and unexpected support comes from the most popular teenager in school.

Original title:
Kimi ni todoke

Actors:
Mikako Tabe, Haruma Miura, Misako Renbutsu…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 6.9


My Rainy Days (2009)

Cute schoolgirls have long become a kind of fetish in Japan. Some of them are not shy about monetizing their popularity. Rio Ozawa also belongs to such girls – she looks like a pure angel, but with cynical thoughts. Of course, there were reasons for this, but the high school student prefers to remain silent about them. Rio talked a lot with men twice her age. But she could not even think that fate would make her fall in love with someone she used to perceive as a client. The person who is able to remove the spell of cynicism from the heroine of this melodrama is a teacher.

Original title:
Tenshi no koi

Actors:
Nozomi Sasaki, Shosuke Tanihara, Hikaru Yamamoto …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:
16+


I will give you my first love (2009)

Love, born in childhood, is especially beautiful, but some aspirations are never destined to come true. Takuma and Mayu met in the hospital , a small patient and the daughter of his doctor. Both immediately realized that the feeling united them forever. From the age of 8, they almost never parted – they walked together and went to the same school. But their happiness was given a short time. The congenital heart disease that the young man suffered from put severe restrictions not only on the way of life, but also on its duration. This is told by a Japanese film about love, school, friendship and sacrifice.

Original title:
Boku no hatsukoi wo kimi ni sasagu

Actors:
Mao Inoue, Masaki Okada, Natsuki Harada…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
12+


Sky of Love (2007)

A love movie based on the Japanese cult bestseller . Like any schoolgirl, Mika dreamed of mutual feelings, but she could not even imagine what would happen to her. One day, the heroine of this melodrama loses her phone, and when she finds it missing in the library, there is only one number in the contact list. The guy who meets her in such an unusual way knows how to find the key to Mika’s heart. This relationship makes both of them forget about their previous plans and connections. But in life, love often goes along not only with romance, but also with suffering.

Original title:
Koizora

Actors:
Yui Aragaki, Haruma Miura, Yuko Asano…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
18+


I just love you (2006)

The film in the genre of drama will not leave anyone indifferent, because the main character in the film will be time. Shizuru and Makoto missed the entrance ceremony at the university, and the ridiculous reason for being late became a moment of acquaintance. Students quickly become friends, but the girl is not satisfied with friendly relations. Shizuru has romantic feelings for Makoto, so he is very upset when the guy has a lover. The rejected girl swears that one day the guy will regret the missed opportunity – and keeps his promise.

Original title:
Tada, kimi wo aishiteru

Actors:
Aoi Miyazaki, Hiroshi Tamaki, Munetaka Aoki…

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.4


Dolls (2002)

Japanese melodrama consists of three short stories, where each story is an ode to human cowardice. For the sake of love, people are ready for a lot, but sometimes personal interests and fear outweigh on the scales. Sincere feelings are sacrificed when wealth, fame or influence in society is at stake. And yet, true love can give a second chance, if it’s not too late to fix the situation.

Original title:
Dolls

Actors:
Miho Kanno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tatsuya Mihashi …

Country:
Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.6

Age limit:
12+


Rating
( 1 assessment, average 5 from 5 )
Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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