This March will be prime time for streaming as we anticipate the release of ‘Pachinko‘ on AppleTV+ as well as another series of must-see Japanese titles on Netflix. Highlights include Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Wife of a Spy,” which won the Silver Lion award at the 77th Venice Film Festival in 2020, and a live-action-anime hybrid film starring Japanese musician Eve. Keep in mind that not all of these movies offer english subtitles and regional restrictions may apply.
wife of a spy
Synopsis: Satoko Fukuhara leads a comfortable life as the wife of a wealthy import-export merchant in 1940 Kobe. As international relations become increasingly strained between Japan and other nations, the local military police grow increasingly suspicious of people like Satoko’s husband, Yusaku, who works closely with Western traders. . At first, Yusaku seems to ignore warnings from those around him regarding the way he runs his business, but it soon becomes apparent to Satoko that her husband is playing a more dangerous game than she could have ever imagined. .
Overview: “Wife of a Spy” premiered in the main competition section of the 77th Venice Film Festival, where Kiyoshi Kurosawa won the Silver Lion for Best Director. A gripping drama set at the dawn of World War II in Japan, the film stars Yu Aoi (“One Million Yen Girl”) as Satoko and Issey Takahashi (“Kill Bill”) as Yusaku. With layers of mystery and rising tension combined with seamless cinematography, the film echoes elements of Alfred Hitchcock.
Available March 3
Kotaro lives alone
Synopsis: Shin Karino is a struggling manga artist who lives alone in a rundown apartment complex. One day, a preschooler named Kotaro moves in next door and introduces himself to Shin. To Shin’s disbelief, Kotaro also lives alone and does not appear to have any parents. Despite his situation, however, the independent Kotaro seems more put together than any of his adult neighbors combined.
Overview: This ten-episode anime series is the second adaptation of Mami Tsumara’s eponymous manga to hit Netflix (the other is live). Offering humor through the juxtaposition of Kotaro’s age and adult personality as well as pangs of sadness that come from Kotaro struggling with the absence of a parental figure, “Kotaro Lives Alone” is once an uplifting and bittersweet story that is impossible not to love.
Available March 10
Adam by Eve: a live animation
Synopsis: High school student Aki finds herself caught halfway between dream and reality after her best friend Taki disappears from a family restaurant they visited together. Following Taki’s voice, Aki wanders around Shibuya, where she meets a mysterious stranger.
Overview: A kaleidoscopic feast for the ears and eyes, this experimental film premiering on Netflix is inspired by the biblical story of Adam and Eve. It’s a live-action-anime hybrid film mixed with original music by Japanese singer Eve.
Available March 15
The portrait studio
Synopsis: At the beginning of the 20th century in Japan, a young couple goes to have their picture taken in a small studio at the top of a green hill. Years later, they return with their baby girl to take a family portrait, but efforts to make her smile are in vain as she frowns at the camera.
Overview: It may be a short film of only 17 minutes, but this delightful anime still makes a glorious impression on the viewers. Spanning from the beginning of the Taisho period (1912-1926) to the end of the Showa era (1926-1989), “The Portrait Studio” is a heartwarming account as well as a fascinating description of the rapid evolution of Japan. in the 20th century.
Available March 1
Love like falling petals
Synopsis: Haruto is an avid photographer who falls in love at first sight with a hairdresser named Misaki. Although it takes a while for Haruto to work up the courage to confess his feelings to her, Misaki happily agrees to go out with him. The relationship is going well and Haruto is happier than he could have ever imagined – until his world is turned upside down when Misaki is diagnosed with a rare disease that causes her to age rapidly before his eyes.
Overview: “Love Like Falling Petals” is a long-awaited adaptation of a best-selling novel by Keisuke Uyama. Starring Kento Nakajima and Honoka Matsumoto, this sweet and melancholic love story is one that allegorizes the fleeting yet beautiful nature of cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Available March 24
No more Time Outs
Ride on a giant swing on this Lake Kawaguchiko observation deck overlooking Mount Fuji
Legoland Japan is getting the world’s first Lego water maze this summer
Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse will be closed from May 2022
This beautiful beach in Okinawa is one of the top 25 beaches in the world
teamLab Borderless hosts one last Spring Expo before it closes
Want to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo? Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.