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Japan is famous for its colorful and exciting anime movies and series. With the advent of online accessibility, people worldwide can now enjoy a relaxing time watching these anime films and series anywhere and anytime. Beyond the numerous anime available online, there are also some hidden gems among the Japanese TV series.
For starters, it is good to check out some of these Japanese series available now on Netflix. As a popular streaming site, Netflix sure knows which stories to pick for their audience to enjoy. However, please be wary that the availability of these may differ per region. Some may be luckier than others to find more varieties in terms of genre and stories. Let us check the ones that are now streaming in the Philippines.
Erased (Live Action)
This show may serve as a treat to those who love the manga series of Boku dake ga Inai Machi (僕だけがいない街) or also known as BokuMachi ((僕街)). Both the anime and live-action series of Erased are available on Netflix for people to watch. A fair warning, however, as this may seem like a heartwarming nod to the Japanese style of filmmaking, the audience may be left with a thrilling memory after everything is told.
Based on the original series created by Kei Sanbe, the live-action adaptation kept the audience invested in each character. Even with just the first two episodes, you are already hooked on the story of Satoru Fujinuma (played by Yuuki Furukawa), who has to face the reality of possessing a unique ability that lets him travel back in time. However, as he relives the past, his memories are intact, and he has to discover numerous ways to help out and prevent a disastrous and life-threatening incident from happening. Should you wish to jump into this kind of adventure, make sure to watch Erased. You may even be tempted to binge all of the episodes to witness how Satoru's mission ends. Then, you can also watch the anime series and experience a distinct touch to the story.
However, not intentionally giving you dark stories to watch these types of psychological appeals of Japanese stories really hit hard. In this Netflix original, Switched, the audience is in for several twists and turns that will keep you hooked for the entire run of the show.
This one is based on the manga series created by Shiki Kawabata, Sora wo Kakeru Yodaka. The story revolves around the interaction and the sudden mysterious interconnection in the lives of Zenko Umine (Miu Tomita) and Ayumi Kohinata (Kaya Kiyohara). How exactly do you expect teenagers to react when they find out that they are now living in the body of someone else? What would the people around them do when one has supposedly committed suicide? Is there going to be a happy ending still for them?
Find out the answers to this when you watch the entire series. After all, this is a short one with only six episodes to cover.
A break from the dark stories, here we have a heartwarming series, Midnight Diner. There are now three seasons for this one, and another separate series for Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories with two seasons available on Netflix.
The series is based on the manga of the same name, which was created by Yarou Abe. It is a unique take on introducing a fresh look into Japanese living while also showcasing local cuisines made from few and simple ingredients. If you like seeing reality cooking shows, perhaps you may also enjoy this. It just so happens that you will get a glimpse of some regular to bizarre engagements that occur in the customers' lives for this one. There are also relatable topics that can touch the hearts of even those unfamiliar with the Japanese experience. So, prepare your video-watching treat and enter the small yet welcoming diner of the master.
Giri / Haji
This show is the latest series on this list. Giri / Haji has this distinct appeal that mixes Japanese traditional values and practices with the modern, more Western perspective. Even with the use of the Japanese language here, it is a British television series that was released on Netflix for international streaming.
Joe Barton created the story and the series is set in both London and Tokyo. It follows Kenzo Mori's (Takehiro Hira) search for his younger brother, Yuto (Yōsuke Kubozuka), who he thought was dead. To make things more complicated, Kenzo is a Tokyo detective while his brother served as a Yakuza member.
As the story of the brothers unfolds, there are also more complications introduced by the other characters. It surely is an exciting show to watch with a lot to absorb from the development of the characters to the more social impact of the show's engagements.
Bonus: Oguri Shun shows on Netflix
A bonus on this list is the series of Oguri Shun that is now available for streaming on Netflix. Two good shows with action and a moving story are Crisis: Special Security Squad and BORDER. Each of these features a unique view on police work that can always either lean on the good side or sometimes be forced to interlock with the dangerous, dark aspect of crime-fighting.
Crisis focuses on a team that works as a secret special investigation team created under the National Police Agency. Their team members came from various walks of life, yet they share a great value that makes them ideal for the government. However, a more in-depth look into each character's life can somehow lead to a questionable practices presented through various political issues and even the "dirty jobs" of the government. If you like these types of stories, then you may binge-watch this series. You are sure to have a wonderful well-spent time off.
BORDER is a much older TV series that tells the story of a smart detective, Ango Ishikawa, who suddenly gets into a life and death situation, leaving him with a bullet on his head. This series is an action-packed one with a touch of mystery and mind games that will keep you asking for more. After all, how often do we see detectives call on the dead for clues while also fighting the urge of jumping into the pit of dirty works to serve justice? This show is a show that gets better through the years, and with each repeated watch, there are more interpretations and connections that you can make to keep the story flowing.