10 Best Japanese DVD Movies

Friday, January 21 by Mishka Bulldozer

If you know your Asian cinema, you need to own these 10 best Japanese DVD movies. Japan is one of the largest exporters of movies in Asia, so it makes sense that the best Japanese DVD movies are, equally, some of the best movies to come out of the region. Whether you're into drama, romance, comedy or torture porn, you'll find something you love amongst the best Japanese DVD movies.

  1. "Battle Royale" This ultra-violent dark comedy is easily one of the best Japanese DVD movies. A group on high school students are shipped off to participate in a game of survival where they must fight each other down to the last man (or woman) standing! If you love some young violence and moral judgements, be sure to check this one out!
  2. "Casshern" This post-apocalyptic film toes the line between being a summer blockbuster or art-house favorite. In a future where humankind is enslaved by robots, one cyborg rises above it all to save the ones he loves from the tyrannical automatons. This is also based an older anime film, so be sure to watch both!
  3. "My Neighbor Totoro" If you've got kids, this masterpiece by Hayao Miyazaki is sure to delight! A pair of children discovers a mystical group of forest gods in this family feature that teaches the importance of familial bonds.
  4. "The Machine Girl" A girl's family is slaughtered by the Yakuza, who then chop off her arm to add insult to injury. She then attaches a machine gun to what used to be her arm and takes down the mobsters with bullet-ridden justice. Easily one of the funniest Japanese DVD movies ever.
  5. "Tampopo" A single mother defies the odds by opening a noodle shop in a rural, patriarchal-run town and shows people that through a genuine love of good food and honest people, you can conquer anything. As poignant as it is heart-warming, it's definitely one of the best Japanese DVD movies out there.
  6. "The Family Game" This is an important film because it's a brutally-honest showcase of a Japanese family during the bubble economy that the country experienced throughout the 1980s. Laced with enough food symbolism to drive a college professor wild, this movie also happens to have one of the best fight scenes out of all the entries on this list.
  7. "Ran" The most expensive movie in Japan for the time it was made, this is one of the most influential Japanese DVD movies. Its director, Akira Kurosawa, was firing on all cylinders when delivering this samurai-feuled epic, which turned out to be one of the most well-known movies in the entire world.
  8. "Princess Mononoke" Another film from the great mind of Miyazaki, this tells a tale of the co-existence of humans and animals within a war-torn world where human nature and morality is questioned at every step. Environmentalism and pacificism are constantly questioned, everyone's motivations are always suspect and the animals are just as menacing as their human counterparts in this great epic!
  9. "The Audition" One of the most controversial films of all time, this also happens to be one of the best Japanese DVD movies ever. A widower sets up an audition for a new wife and gets more than her bargained for when the girl of his supposed dreams turns out to be his worst nightmare. Viewers with weaker stomachs might need to avert their eyes during certain scenes, as the torture segments really pull zero punches.
  10. "Ichi The Killer" Another entrant in the torture porn genre, this Japanese DVD movie deals with some of the worst people you'll ever see on camera. When you have a group of people who kill just for the sake of doing so and ensuring that they end people's lives in the worst ways possible, you know you've got some quality cinema.
Do you like this story?