14 Japanese Movies to Be Excited For in 2021

Though we’ve already breezed through a quarter of the year, there are still so many Japanese movies to look forward to in the coming months. Here are just some of them!

14. Hokusai


“Hokusai” is a movie based on the life of the famous Japanese painter Hokusai Katsushika who created the series of landscape prints called “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji,” among which include the Hokusai Wave. In the film, we follow Hokusai Katsushika from his youth—wherein he struggles as an unpopular painter—to his old age—wherein he continues to strive to improve his work.

Release date: May 28, 2021

13. What Did You Eat Yesterday?

what did you eat yesterday

“What Did You Eat Yesterday?” is a slice-of-life series that focuses on the relationship between a middle-aged gay couple living in Tokyo, Shiro Kakei and Kenji Yabuki. It was originally released as a manga written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga before being adapted into an award-winning live-action television drama in 2019. This movie, coming in 2021, is a sequel to that TV series.

Release date: 2021

12. Jigoku no Hanazono

Jigoku no Hanazono

“Jigoku no Hanazono (Hell’s Garden)” follows Naoko Tanaka who is a 26-year-old Office Lady. Her job is typical, but her workplace has fierce fights among different cliques. Other office ladies are absorbed in the daily clique fighting. One day, because of something one of her colleagues did, Naoko Tanaka’s company is targeted by office ladies from all over Japan.

Release date: May 21, 2021

11. Oshukatsu


In “Oshukatsu,” a married couple of 50 years is now struggling with their marriage, due to wife Chikako Ohara’s stress with her retired husband Shinichi staying at home, and is on the verge of having a divorce.

Meanwhile, their daughter, Aya, runs a food truck and meets funeral undertaker Ryota Kanno, who is her customer. He invites Aya to attend the Oshukatsu Fair. Aya then recommends to her mother to attend, and Chikako gets the latest information on preparing for death at the fair which Shinichi is unhappy with, leading their relationship to get even worse.

Release date: May 21, 2021

10. Yasuke


“Yasuke” is an upcoming original animation series loosely based on the historical figure Yasuke, a warrior of African descent who served under Japanese daimyo Oda Nobunaga during the Sengoku period of samurai conflict in the 16th century Japan. Created by LeSean Thomas, the series stars LaKeith Stanfield as the titular character. The series is scheduled for release on Netflix.

Release date: April 29, 2021

9. Shin Ultraman

shin ultraman

“Shin Ultraman” is an upcoming Japanese kaiju film directed by Shinji Higuchi and written and produced by Hideaki Anno, which is a reimagining of Ultraman in commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the Ultra Series.

After colliding with an Ultra Warrior, Hayata, one of the senior members of the Science Special Search-Party – an international police organization – becomes the human host of the iconic Ultraman. To maintain the peace of earth, Hayata transforms into Ultraman and fights dangerous monsters.

Release date: 2021

8. Tokyo Revengers

tokyo revengers

“Tokyo Revengers” is based on a manga series of the same name which follows the life of a 26-year-old freeter who mysteriously travels back in time to his school years and gets a chance to save his first love from getting murdered in the future. But to do so, he must become the leader of a dreaded school gang.

Release date: July 9, 2021

7. Honey Lemon Soda

honey lemon soda

In “Honey Lemon Soda,” Uka Ishimori is very shy and has a hard time making friends. But because of Kai Miura, a classmate with lemon-colored hair, she follows him to the same high school and is now resolved to overcome her shyness and befriend other people. She now nurses a romantic crush for him, who has become the most popular student at the school, but what no one knows is that he harbors a deep secret.

Release date: July 9, 2021

6. Kakegurui Part 2

kakegurui part 2

Coming very soon is part two of the “Kakegurui” live-action movie, which is about a school that makes its students gamble for money every day in order to rise up the ranks. But the hierarchy is shaken when transferee Yumeko Jabami arrives with a crazed obsession with gambling.

Release date: April 29, 2021

5. The Great Yokai War: Guardians

The Great Yokai War Guardians

In “The Great Yokai War: Guardians,” Kei Watanabe is a 5th-grade elementary school student who has inherited the hunter’s blood to hunt yokai. To save the world from being destroyed, Kei Watanabe challenges a war against the yokai.

Release date: 2021

4. Yuri!!! on Ice The Movie: Ice Adolescence

yuri on ice movie

Finally coming back with an all-new movie is beloved anime “Yuri!!! on Ice.” Not much is known about the plot of this film but the teaser trailer depicts Russian figure skating champion Viktor Nikiforov in his younger years performing at the Winter Olympic Games. It’s possible that “Yuri!!! on Ice The Movie: Ice Adolescence” might center around Viktor and his rise to fame before meeting his Japanese mentee and eventual lover, Yuri Katsuki.

Release date: 2021

3. The Seven Deadly Sins: Cursed by Light

seven deadly sins movie

“The Seven Deadly Sins: Cursed by Light” is the second movie based on the manga and anime series. It will feature an all-new story set after the events of the anime series “The Seven Deadly Sins: Dragon’s Judgement.”

Release date: July 2, 2021

2. Boku No Hero Academia Movie 3 (World Heroes’ Mission)

My Hero Academia Movie 3 World Heroes Mission Release Date

Another “Boku no Hero (My Hero Academia)” movie is coming this year! According to theories, this new film might adapt the Endeavor Agency arc from the manga, wherein protagonists Izuku Midoriya, Katsuki Bakugo, and Shoto Todoroki undergo a Hero Work internship with Shoto’s father and No. 1 hero, Endeavor.

Release date: August 6, 2021

1. Ryoma! Rebirth Movie The Prince of Tennis

Ryoma Rebirth Movie The Prince of Tennis

“Prince of Tennis” is coming back 15 years after it went off the air! This movie is set three days after the national tournament final, where Ryoma Echizen, son of the legendary “Samurai Nanjiro,” goes to America alone for training. There, he encounters Sakurano, who is being victimized by a gangster. Ryoma tries to help him through a tennis match, but when his ball collides with another, space-time begins to distort and he is taken back in time to when his father was an active player.

Release date: September 3, 2021

(ALSO READ: 8 Japanese Anime Movies To Watch That Are Not Studio Ghibli)

Are you excited for all of these? Let us know in the comments!

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