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18 Popular Japanese Dramas On Netflix Now (Updated 2024)

Top Dramas To Watch On Netflix

If you’re bored and looking for recommendations, here I have a list of the best Japanese dramas on Netflix for you!

Japanese anime, manga, and books are extremely famous due to the pop culture in Japan. It is also a wonderful time you’ll spend when you’re being entertained by these. Similarly, Japanese dramas are great to binge-watch

Japanese dramas are super addictive because of the mise-en-scene that includes the film texture, hair, and make-up, lighting, costumes, etc. Be it any genre- horror, crime, romance, mystery or supernatural, etc. 

These recommendations of the best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix are mostly updated from the manga but that doesn’t mean they are not worth watching. Watching these J-dramas will definitely enlighten your mood.

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Let’s get into the recommendations of best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix for you! Binge-watch these series for a good time with your friends, family or even alone!

Which is the best Japanese drama on Netflix right now?

First Love (2022) stands out as one of the best Japanese dramas on Netflix right now due to its beautifully crafted story, nostalgic soundtrack, captivating performances, and visually stunning cinematography. It’s a heartwarming tale of first love that resonates with viewers of all ages.

Top Japanese Dramas On Netflix

Burn The House Down (2023)

Burn the House Down isn’t your average Netflix drama. Prepare for a scorching revenge tale fueled by betrayal and dark desires. Intrigue explodes in this suspenseful show, but beware: mature themes and shocking twists might singe your expectations.

If you crave a morally complex, heart-pounding thriller, dive into this inferno. Just keep your fire extinguisher handy.

Make My Day (2023)

Make My Day blasts onto Netflix with stunning sci-fi visuals and thrilling action, but uneven pacing and predictable plot beats make it a bumpy ride. Jim, a cynical convict, fights for survival on a frozen prison planet teeming with monstrous creatures.

Prepare for top-notch animation, solid voice acting, and pulse-pounding action, but don’t expect a mind-blowing masterpiece. It’s popcorn sci-fi with flaws, but still enjoyable for a few hours.

Recommended for sci-fi fans and animation enthusiasts who keep their expectations in check.

First Love (2022)

First Love (初恋, First Love Hatsukoi) is a Japanese romance drama directed by Yuri Kanchiku and written by Yuri Kanchiku. The series stars Hikari Mitsushima and Takeru Satoh. It is based on the 1999 song of the same name by Japanese singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada.

  • Genre: Romance, Drama
  • Director: Yuri Kanchiku
  • Producer: Hitoshi Ikematsu
  • Screenwriter: Yuri Kanchiku
  • Studio: Netflix Japan
  • Release date: November 24, 2022

The series follows the story of Yae Noguchi, a 30-something woman who is divorced and has a son. She works as a taxi driver in Tokyo.

One day, she meets Harumichi Namiki, a man who works as a security guard at the Northern Lights Building. Harumichi is a former member of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force.

Yae and Harumichi quickly fall in love. However, they soon discover that they have met before. They were high school sweethearts.

The series is a nostalgic and heartwarming tale of first love that explores themes of love, loss, and hope.

Onmyoji (2023)

Onmyoji (2023) is a Japanese fantasy drama based on the popular manga and anime series of the same name. The series follows the story of Abe no Seimei, a powerful onmyoji, or a diviner, who must protect the Heian period capital of Kyoto from evil spirits.

Here is a brief overview of the series:

  • Genre: Fantasy, Drama
  • Based on: Manga and anime series of the same name
  • Production company: Marvy Jack
  • Original network: Netflix
  • Release date: November 28, 2023
  • Running time: 24 minutes per episode

Here is a summary of the plot:

In the Heian period of Japan, Kyoto is under threat from evil spirits. Abe no Seimei, a powerful onmyoji, is tasked with protecting the capital from these malevolent forces. With the help of his friends and allies, Seimei must use his magical powers to defeat the demons and restore peace to the land.

Love Like A K-drama (2023)

Love Like a K-Drama (2023) is a Japanese romantic reality dating show that premiered on Netflix on November 28, 2023. The series follows four actresses from Japan and four actors from South Korea as they live together and pair up to try and land the lead roles in six mini K-dramas.

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Here is a brief overview of the series:

  • Genre: Reality TV, Romance
  • Production company: FremantleMedia Japan
  • Original network: Netflix
  • Release date: November 28, 2023
  • Running time: 55 minutes per episode

Here is a summary of the plot:

Four actresses from Japan and four actors from South Korea move into a luxurious mansion in Seoul, South Korea. The contestants are then paired up and tasked with acting in short K-dramas based on popular tropes such as office romances, love triangles, and chaebol romances.

The contestants must also compete for the affections of their partners, and the couples who have the most chemistry and on-screen sizzle will be given the opportunity to star in a full-length K-drama.

My Daemon (2023)

My Daemon (2023) is a Japanese science fiction drama based on the popular novel of the same name. The series follows the story of a young woman who discovers that she has a daemon, a creature that is a manifestation of her soul. The series explores themes of identity, self-discovery, and the power of friendship.

Here is a brief overview of the series:

  • Genre: Science fiction, Drama
  • Based on: Novel of the same name
  • Production company: Toho Studios
  • Original network: Netflix
  • Release date: November 28, 2023
  • Running time: 45 minutes per episode

Here is a summary of the plot:

In the future, humanity has discovered that everyone has a daemon, a creature that is a manifestation of their soul. The daemon is invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen by others who have daemons of their own.

Haruka is a young woman who has always felt different from others. When she discovers that she has a daemon, she is determined to find out why she is different and what her daemon means to her. Along the way, she meets other people with daemons, and she learns about the different ways that daemons can manifest.

She also learns that there are those who want to use daemons for their own evil purposes. Haruka must use her daemon’s power to protect herself and her friends from those who would harm them.

Sanctuary (2023)

Sanctuary (2023) is a Japanese sports drama about a young sumo wrestler who upsets the traditional sumo world with his cocky attitude. The series follows the story of Ryusei, a young sumo wrestler from a small town who dreams of becoming a yokozuna, the highest rank in sumo.

However, Ryusei’s unconventional training methods and cocky attitude make him an outcast among the sumo establishment. Despite the odds, Ryusei is determined to prove himself and become one of the greatest sumo wrestlers of all time.

Here is a brief overview of the series:

  • Genre: Sports drama
  • Production company: Nippon Television
  • Original network: Netflix
  • Release date: November 28, 2023
  • Running time: 50 minutes per episode

Here is a summary of the plot:

Ryusei, a young sumo wrestler from a small town, arrives in Tokyo with dreams of becoming a yokozuna. However, his unconventional training methods and cocky attitude make him an outcast among the sumo establishment. Despite the odds, Ryusei is determined to prove himself and become one of the greatest sumo wrestlers of all time.

I Will Be Your Blossom (2023)

I Will Be Your Bloom (2023) is a Japanese romantic drama based on the manga of the same name. The series follows the story of Asuka Nakamachi, a 30-year-old woman who aspires to become a teacher.

Here is a brief overview of the series:

  • Genre: Romance, Drama
  • Based on: Manga of the same name
  • Production company: Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS)
  • Original network: TBS
  • Release date: October 18, 2023
  • Running time: 57 minutes per episode

Here is a summary of the plot:

Asuka Nakamachi, a 30-year-old woman who dreams of becoming a teacher, is forced to quit her job due to an unfortunate incident. After struggling to find a new job, she decides to take on a position as a dormitory mother for a group of seven unpopular boy band members called 8LOOM.

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Despite her initial hesitation, Asuka quickly develops a bond with the boys and becomes their mentor and confidante.

As she helps them navigate the challenges of the music industry, Asuka also rediscovers her own passion for teaching and finds the love she never thought she would find.

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (2009)

Genre: Comedy | Age rating: 18+ | Rating: 8.6

best japanese drama netflix
Source: Netflix

Top Japanese Dramas on Netflix For Heart Warming and Human Connections Drama

Midnight diner: Tokyo Stories will definitely be loved by you if you’re into exploring good places and food.

It mainly focuses on Meshiya, a late-night dining experience in Shinjuku and its mysterious chef who is only called Master. 

This series is a great success in Japan and abroad. Each episode deals with a customer coming in and describing their life stories and Master offers help and advice alongside great food.

The food is often related to the customer’s personal stories and quite often their favourite food.

Midnight Diners is a great watch to know and understand more about Japanese lives and food and is definitely one of the best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix.

GenreDrama
Seasons2
Episodes20
Age Rating18+

Related: Amazing Netflix Shows To Understand Japan

Alice In Borderland (2020)

Genre: Tv Action, Adventure | Age rating: 18+ | Rating: 7.2

netflix japanese drama 2021
Source: Netflix

Top Japanese Dramas on Netflix For Gaming and Manga Fans

Alice in Borderland is about two anime gamers who find themselves in Parallel Tokyo. This Netflix drama released in 2020 has become so popular not only in Japan but also in other countries like Hong Kong. 

It is based on a manga series and follows a dystopian world of directionless gamers. Ryohei Arisu the main character finds the city abandoned after meeting his friends in Shibuya station.

There’s a voice that guides and directs him which they need to play in order to survive. Despite the setup of the show being a little dull, it’s full of adventures and thrills that we all needed in the quarantine time.

Second season is announced and as someone who has watched this, I really can’t wait for it to release.

It is my personal favourite and I think it’s one of the best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix.

Atelier (2015)

Genre: Drama | Age rating: 7+| Rating: 7.6

Source: Netflix

Atelier is one of the best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix as it will definitely touch your heart. The word Atelier actually means workshop is one of the most realistically presented shows.

This drama is based on a character called Mayuko who works at a lingerie shop called Emotion and the struggles she deals with to make her place in the store.

Other than work, the show also highlights the socio-cultural differences that are present in Japanese culture. 

Atelier reflects on very essential issues in a creative way to make the people aware about sensitive issues in society.

One can learn so much from this film. I’m sure you’ll call it one of the best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix once you actually watch it. 

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Million Yen Women (2017)

Genre: 16+ | Age rating: Rom-Com | Rating: 7.7

Source: Netflix

Top Japanese Dramas on Netflix For A Refreshing Concept

Million Yen Women is a mixture of comedy and suspense. It is about a novelist who is not great at his skills and faces criticism almost every time is surprised one day. 

Five young and beautiful women come together and offer a great deal to let them all stay together with him. They agree to comply with all the rules and pay the rent on time.

The ladies make suspicious moves that only fun to watch. So go watch this one of the best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix with your friends to have a great time together!

GenreDrama, Mystery
Seasons1
Episodes12
Age Rating18+

Switched (2018)

Genre: Sci-Fi & Drama | Age rating: 18+ | Rating: 7.9

Source: Netflix

Top Japanese Dramas on Netflix For Switching Bodies and Souls

When we talk about body switching, it always reminds me of Freaky Friday until I actually watched this show which is as far from being comic as FF.

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Switched is about the protagonist Zenko Umine, a high-school student who commits suicide. 

The reason for her suicide was her detroriating mental state with depression and pressure. Fellow student, Ayumi sees this and passes out. She wakes up and realises that she is in the body of Umine.

The story unravels as to why they switched bodies and why did Unime commit suicide. The show talks about sensitive topics like depression and suicide and is one of the best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix!

GenreSci-Fi, Mystery
Seasons1
Episodes6
Age Rating18+

The Many Faces Of ITO (2017)

Genre: Drama | Age rating: 16+ | Rating: 6.7

Best Japanese Dramas To Watch On Netflix
Source: Netflix

Top Japanese Dramas on Netflix For Romance and Drama

The Many Faces of Ito is also one of the best Japanese dramas to watch on Netflix that includes romance, drama and a little comedy.

It is about a screenwriter Rio Yazaki who tricks four love-sick women to talk about their love adventure and uses it to write a script. 

The series might be based in Japan but the theme is universal and that’s what makes it worth a binge. It is a twisted plot which is indirectly linked to romance but essentially dramatic in every essence.

Lovely series to watch with your friends or loved ones for a quick binge-session!

GenreRom-Com
Seasons1
Episodes8
Age Rating14+

Samurai Gourmet (2017)

Top Japanese Dramas on Netflix For Relaxing and Having a Good Laugh

Love food and drama? Samurai Gourmet is one of those Japanese series you will surely enjoy. I personally love food and enjoy watching shows where people try out street food.

I also love cooking shows (though I’m not exactly a wizard in the kitchen), and Samurai Gourmet was one that I binge watched. It’s about this retired man who has worked hard all his life with no time to enjoy himself. He now has all the time in the world to explore his true passion – food. 

But how does he do that without being judged? He creates this alter ego, a samurai, which is another one of his passions to truly experience the culinary pleasures in his neighbourhood.

Samurai Gourmet brings out the best in the lead actor as he goes through various emotions when he tastes food from his childhood, bringing back nostalgic memories. 

GenreComedy
Seasons1
Episodes12
Age RatingAll ages

Good Morning Call (2016)

Top Japanese Dramas on Netflix For Light Hearted Romance and Comedy

If you want to get away from all the seriousness of life and indulge in some light heartedness and fun, watch Good Morning Call.

The series is about a popular boy and an average girl from the same high school who end up living in the same house but don’t realise it until they actually bump into each other on moving day. 

I laughed my heart out at all the rules the lead characters set when they had to move in as roommates in a new apartment. Keeping their “living situation” a secret from the rest of the school was another laughter riot! Get a huge bowl of popcorn ready, cos you’re going to binge watch this till you get to the end.

GenreRom-Com
Seasons2
Episodes27
Age Rating14+

Followers (2021)

Top Japanese Dramas on Netflix For Social Media Themed Drama

Social Media is fun, glamorous, exciting, but with it, it also brings some dark perils. Followers is a series that explores the world of Japanese social media. It does not really take a moral high ground, instead simply shows the truth. Two women meet and connect, one a photographer and another, an aspiring actress. 

Like many Japanese drama series, this one also develops slowly (you kind of need a bit of patience and have to actually live through every episode to enjoy it). The main characters are very likable, the visuals are excellent and the music is entertaining. Watch this when you’re bored for some light entertainment. 

GenreDrama, Romance
Seasons1
Episodes9
Age Rating18+

Japanese Dramas For A Quick Binge!

Japanese dramas are lovely and have become my favourite pastime. All these recommendations are my personal favourites and I hope you love it too.

Watching these will refresh your mind and most importantly open a window about Japanese dramas in your mind.

Hope all these suggestions of the best Japanese dramas to watch on the Netflix list and recommend to your friends or family the same!

Also Read:

  1. Looking for some women empowerment anime? Here are some recommendations!
  2. Must-watch Japanese Thriller Movies
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

Director: Joji Matsuoka

Date Created: 2024-04-22 20:16

Editor's Rating:
5

Pros

  • True drama with humor, tragedy, love, and betrayal all packed in one

Cons

  • There is nothing bad about this show. If you love drama, you'll love this show!

What do you think?

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