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Where to Watch Japanese Movies [2024 Update]

Whether it’s a uniquely Japanese slow-paced pure love movie, a horror movie without any bloody scene, or the Hayao Miyazaki’s healing anime movie, Japanese movies have all received high reviews from the industry. Moreover, there are some best Japanese movies which are popular and highly reviewed both domestically and internationally. For international fans, there are some best Japanese movies to watch with English subtitle. In addition, you can read on to figure out where to watch Japanese Movies with English subtitle online and how to download Japanese movies for watching offline.

Part 1: 10 Best Japanese Movies to Watch with English Subtitle

The Japanese movie is a kind of its own: progressive, out of the box, intriguing and unique in style. With different perspective based on Japanese culture and taste, Japanese movies are appealing for cinephiles worldwide. There are 10 best Japanese movies to watch with English subtitle available.

1. Castle in the Sky (1986)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, an excellent and talented animation scriptwriter and director, Castle in the Sky was aired in August 2, 1986. It is highly rated for the delightful fantasy, enchanting music and the theme of childhood hero dream. The story of the movie is about a young boy and a girl with a magic crystal who are dedicated to searching a legendary floating castle. And in the adventurous journey, they must race against pirates and foreign agents.


2. Departures (2008)

Departures, released in Japan in 2008, is a drama directed by Yôjirô Takita. It tells the story of a cellist who loses his job and then gets employed by an undertaker company called Departures. From the novice departure’s perspective, the movie dives into a beautiful outlook on death and its impact to those closest to the deceased. It is one of the best Japanese to watch and won the top prize at the 32nd Montreal International Film Festival, the Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards, and the Best Asian Film at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards, etc.


3. Like Father, Like Son (2013)

Premiered in Cannes in 2013, Like Father, Like Son won the Jury Prize at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival that year. Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, it tells a story of a middle-class family who are thrown into an ethical dilemma when they are advised that there was a mix-up at the hospital and their son is not their biological child.


4. Princess Mononoke (1997)

Princess Mononoke is an adventure fantasy and had taken the top box office in Japan in 1997. It is also directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, which carries with his profound thinking about the relationship between human and nature. It follows the story of Princess Mononoke and her unexpected meeting with Ashitaka, a brave and kind-hearted man who is looking for a cure to his curse.


5. Shoplifters (2018)

Shoplifters is also directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. It is a touching and engaging story film that won a lot of rewards including the Palme d’Or for Best Film at the 71st Cannes International Film Festival, France. The film follows the story of the survival of a non-biological family, which has to face the harsh reality after picking up a little girl abused by her parents and exposing the secrets accidentally.


6. Spirited Away (2001)

Being written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away is considered as one of the most welcomed and best Japanese movies to watch. It tells a story of a sullen 10-year-old girl who wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. She tries her best and eventually rescues her friend and parents. This excellent movie won the 75th Academy Award for Best Animated Feature film.


7. We Couldn’t Become Adults (2021)

Adapted from the popular novel of the same name, We Couldn’t Become Adults enjoys a favorable opinion after its release. It follows a 40-something man recalling his past relationships and looking for his vanished hopes and dreams. It is more of a subtle and introspective romantic drama, which encourages movie watchers to cherish the past and live in present.


8. Grave Of the Fireflies (1988)

Directed by Isao Takahata, Grave of the Fireflies is viewed as one of the most catching and thought-provoking anime movies. Considered by critics and popular movie magazines as one of the best movies to watch, it tells a sorrowful story of a young boy and his little sister in Japan in the midst of the Second World War. They have to struggle for survival after their mother was killed in an air raid.


9. A Whisker Away (2020)

A Whisker Away is a fantasy anime about friendship, family, and appreciating what you already have. Due to the Covid-9 Pandemic, the movie was aired on Netflix online. And it is definitely one of the best Japanese movies to watch. It follows a young girl who has got a magical cat mask that can transform her into a cat. With her cat identity, she can company the boy she likes and know him more.


10. I Fell in Love Like a Flower Bouquet (2021)

Directed by Nobuhiro Doi, I Fell in Love Like a Flower Bouquet is a romantic love film. It achieved the eighth place in the Japanese film box office in 2021. It follows two people who meet each other at a Tokyo train station and start a 5-year love affair.


Part 2: Where to Watch Japanese Movies Online?

There are innumerable high-quality Japanese movies and you can learn about Japanese culture from watching those movies. If you are not sure where to watch Japanese movies, several reliable movie websites are recommendable.

1. KissAsian

KissAsian is one of the most popular websites where you can watch Japanese drama and movies online. It is also a great video website that gathers dramas and movies from other Asian countries, including South Korea, China, Singapore, Thai, etc. You can search your favorite movie by genre and watch quality Japanese movies with English subtitles here to easily understand the story. It not only allows you to watch movies free online but also provides download links for its registered users to download movies for offline enjoyment. However, the unavoidable pop-up ads are kind of annoying. If you can stand that, it would be one of the best online platforms for watching Japanese movies.


2. DramaCool

With a large collection of Japanese movies with English subtitles, DramaCool is taken as the best website for watching movies online. You can also watch movies from other Asian countries here. You can enter the name of the Japanese movie to search. It allows you to download Japanese as well if you are registered users. It should be noted that you will be redirected to another site when you click to play.


3. Viu

Viu is a top video streaming provider that offers Asian movies including Japanese movies, Korean movies, Chinese movies, Thai movies, etc. with multilingual support. It offers the latest Japanese movies in different quality for online watching. Note that it is just accessible for 16 countries and VPN is needed if your country is not supported.


4. Viki

Viki is a globally popular website for watching Japanese movies. Aiming to eliminate language and culture barriers, it offers multilingual subtitles and attracts nearly 1 billion fans around the world. There are a variety of Japanese movies even the latest updates. Though download is not supported, you can find the best Japanese movies to watch online.


5. JustWatch

JustWatch is a great video website that offers a large collection of movies and TV shows worldwide. You can search the best Japanese movies to watch by typing the movie name directly. It allows you to watch movies and TV shows from different countries in the world. Note that many movies here are not free.


Part 3: How to Download Japanese Movies to Watch Offline?

As you know, most websites just allow you to watch the best Japanese movies online rather than to download Japanese movies to watch offline. If you prefer to watch Japanese movies offline at any time, you can resort to CleverGet, a powerful video downloader supporting TV shows, videos, and movies download from more than 1000 websites. It downloads videos in different qualities, ranging from 480p, 720p, 1080p, 4K, and even up to 8K UHD with 320 Kbps audio quality. Read on to figure out how to easily download Japanese movies with CleverGet.

Step 1: Install CleverGet on your computer

It’s easy to download CleverGet by clicking the download button below. And then install it on your PC in seconds.

  • cleverget
  • CleverGet

    – Download videos up to 8K resolution
    – Support 1000+ sites
    – Support live video M3U8 link downloading
    – Multi-task and playlist download
    – Built-in browser and player
    – Advanced hardware acceleration
    – Easy-to-use interface

Step 2: Change default output directory

When launching CleverGet to enter the main interface, you can click on the three dots “…” to enter the “Settings” panel where you can change default settings to that you prefer. Go to “Save Video To” to select an output directory to save the Japanese movies you are going to download.


Step 3: Download Japanese movies

Copy and paste the link of the target Japanese movie in the address bar and tap “Enter” key. Then, CleverGet will detect the Japanese movie automatically and all the downloadable sources at different resolutions, sizes and formats will be listed on the pop-up panel. Choose the desired option and then click “Download”.


Step 4: Check downloading and downloaded Japanese movies

You can click “Downloading” icon to check the Japanese movies you are currently downloading, then you can click “Stop” icon to stop the proceeding task or “Close” icon to end the task. When the downloading process is complete, you can check the downloaded movies under Video tab and locate the downloaded movies by clicking “Open Folder”. You can right-click the movie to choose to play it with Leawo Blu-ray Player.


Fair Use Policy

    CleverGet allows video downloading for personal needs only. Sharing content downloaded by CleverGet with any third party or for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited.

Part 4: How to Play Japanese Movies with English Subtitle?

If you want to play downloaded Japanese movies smoothly with English subtitle, you can seek help from Leawo Blu-ray Player. It is a free Blu-ray media player, supporting multiple media file types including UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, video files in various formats, etc. With advanced image and audio processing technology, Leawo Free Blu-ray Player delivers superb movie experience. It delivers quality-lossless video up to 4K, offering you cinema-like enjoyment on your home theatre system. With this player installed, you can play Japanese movies with English subtitle.

Step 1: Download best Japanese movie player

Download and install this best Japanese movie player on your computer by clicking the Download button below.

  • Leawo Blu-ray Player
  • Leawo Blu-ray Player

    – Region-free Blu-ray player software to play Blu-ray disc and DVD disc for free, regardless of disc protection and region restriction.
    – Play 4K FLV videos, 4K MKV videos, 4K MP4 videos, etc. without quality loss.
    – Support the conversion from Blu-ray/DVD discs to MKV in the premium version.
    – Deliver super high-quality stereo audio experience with the support of various advanced audio decoding technologies like Dolby, DTS, AAC, TrueHD, DTS-HD (including 5.1, 7.1 channels), etc.

Step 2: Load the source Japanese movie

Launch Leawo Blu-ray Player, click the “Open File” button to browse and load the Japanese movie with English subtitle.


Step 3: Set English subtitle for the Japanese movie

After loading the Japanese movie, this media player would play it right away. You can right click the main interface to pop up options for “Subtitles…”, where you can enable the subtitles, adjust the subtitle offset, select the subtitle, and browse for subtitle.



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