Japanese Live Action Comedy Movies

by donaldsgordon | created - 24 Mar 2017 | updated - 5 months ago | Public
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1. The Family Game (1983)

107 min | Comedy, Drama

A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshimitsu Morita | Stars: Yûsaku Matsuda, Jûzô Itami, Saori Yuki, Ichirôta Miyakawa

Votes: 719

2. Wood Job! (2014)

116 min | Adventure, Comedy

After failing to get into university, a soft city boy randomly picks a job in forestry.

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi | Stars: Masami Nagasawa, Shôta Sometani, Hideaki Itô, Nana Seino

Votes: 2,007

3. Messengers (1999)

118 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Naomi Shimizu is a young career woman working for Enrico Dandolo, an Italian fashion house. That is until one day the company declares bankruptcy. Accustomed to living in luxury she tries ... See full summary »

Director: Yasuo Baba | Stars: Naoko Iijima, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Hiroyuki Yabe, Kotomi Kyôno

Votes: 220

4. Late Autumn (1960)

Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

A widow tries to marry off her daughter with the help of her late husband's three friends.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Setsuko Hara, Yôko Tsukasa, Mariko Okada, Keiji Sada

Votes: 3,924

5. Heartbeat Memorial (1997)

Looking for something to do during the summer, Akihiko Suzuki teams up with four girls, Namie, Natsumi, Mishio, and Komugi, and a guy named Kosuke, to start a little cafe down by the beach.... See full summary »

Director: Hiroshi Sugawara | Stars: Kanako Enomoto, Kazue Fukiishi, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Emiri Nakayama

Votes: 18

6. I Was Born, But... (1932)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara

Votes: 4,420

7. Tampopo (1985)

Not Rated | 114 min | Comedy

A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.

Director: Jûzô Itami | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kôji Yakusho

Votes: 13,873 | Gross: $0.22M

8. Bang! (1991)

111 min | Comedy

A serious-minded policeman plays the role of robber in a police training operation against bank robberies. He's so good his fellow policemen can't catch him. TV networks begin to broadcast ... See full summary »

Director: Sadaaki Haginiwa | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Renji Ishibashi, Nagare Hagiwara, Daijirô Harada

Votes: 28

9. Kamikaze Girls (2004)

102 min | Comedy

56 Metascore

Momoko, a strange and seemingly emotionless girl obsessed with 18th century France, befriends a Yanki biker and the two experience the ups and downs of their unusual lives in a rural Japanese town.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Sadao Abe

Votes: 6,552

10. Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (1992)

105 min | Comedy, Sport

Yet another tradition in the tradition of "ragtag misfits" in Japanese comedy...Sumo Do, Sumo Don't tells the story of a university sumo club in Japan. In today's Japan, the younger ... See full summary »

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Misa Shimizu, Naoto Takenaka, Akira Emoto

Votes: 643

11. I Are You, You Am Me (1982)

113 min | Comedy

9th-graders Kazuo (boy) and Kazumi (girl) take a tumble at a temple in a small seacoast town in Japan. Through supernatural intervention, their minds and bodies are switched, and the result... See full summary »

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi | Stars: Satomi Kobayashi, Toshinori Omi, Makoto Satô, Sayuri Ishibashi

Votes: 257

12. Fancy Dance (1989)

101 min | Comedy

Yohei, a punk rocker, has to become a Buddhist monk in order to inherit a mountain temple. Yohei though initially rebelling against the tough monastic discipline learns to adjust. Then his ... See full summary »

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Honami Suzuki, Ken Ohsawa, Hikomaro

Votes: 182

13. Good Morning (1959)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Two boys begin a silence strike to press their parents into buying them a television set.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Keiji Sada, Yoshiko Kuga, Chishû Ryû, Kuniko Miyake

Votes: 6,709

14. Memories of Matsuko (2006)

130 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

When Matsuko dies of murder, her nephew Sho gets to progressively unveil many details of her mysterious past, discovering she wasn't only a forgotten outcast but led a very interesting yet bizarre life.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Miki Nakatani, Eita, Yûsuke Iseya, Mikako Ichikawa

Votes: 5,766

15. Kikujiro (1999)

PG-13 | 122 min | Drama, Comedy

44 Metascore

A young, naive boy sets out alone on the road to find his wayward mother. Soon he finds an unlikely protector in a crotchety man and the two have a series of unexpected adventures along the way.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Yusuke Sekiguchi, Kayoko Kishimoto, The Great Gidayû

Votes: 17,288 | Gross: $0.20M

16. The Taste of Tea (2004)

143 min | Comedy, Fantasy

77 Metascore

A spell of time of a rural family's slightly surreal life.

Director: Katsuhito Ishii | Stars: Maya Banno, Takahiro Satô, Tadanobu Asano, Satomi Tezuka

Votes: 5,416

17. The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003)

R | 116 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

75 Metascore

The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, Yui Natsukawa, Michiyo Yasuda

Votes: 45,392 | Gross: $0.85M

18. Sonatine (1993)

R | 94 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Aya Kokumai, Tetsu Watanabe, Masanobu Katsumura

Votes: 16,266

19. The Bird People in China (1998)

118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A salaryman and yakuza are each sent by their bosses to a remote Chinese village but discover more then they expected.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Renji Ishibashi, Mako, Michiko Kichise

Votes: 4,274

20. Swing Girls (2004)

105 min | Drama, Comedy, Music

A tale of delinquent and lazy school girls. In their efforts to cut remedial summer math class, they end up vitiating and replacing the schools brass band.

Director: Shinobu Yaguchi | Stars: Juri Ueno, Yûta Hiraoka, Shihori Kanjiya, Yuika Motokariya

Votes: 3,191

21. Linda Linda Linda (2005)

TV-PG | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

71 Metascore

A music group of girls need to learn to play a song before the school festival.

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita | Stars: Doona Bae, Aki Maeda, Yû Kashii, Shiori Sekine

Votes: 3,084

22. University of Laughs (2004)

121 min | Comedy, Drama

In pre-war Japan, a government censor tries to make the writer for a theater troupe alter his comedic script. As they work with and against each other, the script ends up developing in unexpected ways.

Director: Mamoru Hoshi | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Gorô Inagaki, Tae Kimura, Masao Komatsu

Votes: 787

23. After the Storm (2016)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

After the death of his father, a private detective struggles to find child support money and reconnect with his son and ex-wife.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Yôko Maki, Satomi Kobayashi, Lily Franky

Votes: 7,736 | Gross: $0.27M

24. Adrift in Tokyo (2007)

101 min | Comedy

Takemura has no friends and no family. He's a student but he doesn't have any particular ambitions. In other words, he isn't going anywhere fast. Were all this not enough, the sorry sad ... See full summary »

Director: Satoshi Miki | Stars: Joe Odagiri, Tomokazu Miura, Kyôko Koizumi, Yuriko Yoshitaka

Votes: 2,145

25. Key of Life (2012)

Not Rated | 128 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

A failed actor switches identities with a stranger at a bath house thinking it is his way out of his life of misery but only to find himself filling the shoes of an elite assassin.

Director: Kenji Uchida | Stars: Masato Sakai, Teruyuki Kagawa, Ryôko Hirosue, Yoshiyoshi Arakawa

Votes: 1,599

26. Hana and Alice (2004)

135 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

When two best friends develop a crush on the same boy, they develop a plan to trick him into dating them.

Director: Shunji Iwai | Stars: Anne Suzuki, Yû Aoi, Tomohiro Kaku, Shôko Aida

Votes: 3,515

27. Why Don't You Play in Hell? (2013)

Not Rated | 129 min | Action, Comedy

68 Metascore

A renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaidô, Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, Hiroki Hasegawa

Votes: 6,427 | Gross: $0.03M

28. Cold Fish (2010)

Not Rated | 146 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

When Syamoto's teenage daughter is caught stealing, a generous middle-aged man helps resolve the situation. The man and his wife offer to have Syamoto's troublesome daughter work at their ... See full summary »

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Denden, Asuka Kurosawa, Megumi Kagurazaka

Votes: 9,954

29. Tremble All You Want (2017)

117 min | Comedy, Drama

Virgin twenty-something girl is neat, talented and professional, although almost too much of all these. She is an office lady who still romanticizes a school-mate, but has the opportunity ... See full summary »

Director: Akiko Ohku | Stars: Kanji Furutachi, Anna Ishibashi, Hairi Katagiri, Takumi Kitamura

Votes: 424

30. Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald (1997)

103 min | Comedy

A radio play is going to go on air at a Tokyo radio station. It is a weepy melodrama written by housewife Miyako, who is the winner of the competition run by the station. Suddenly, the ... See full summary »

Director: Kôki Mitani | Stars: Toshiaki Karasawa, Kyôka Suzuki, Masahiko Nishimura, Keiko Toda

Votes: 1,395 | Gross: $0.01M

31. Shall We Dance? (1996)

PG | 136 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

68 Metascore

A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.

Director: Masayuki Suo | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka, Eri Watanabe

Votes: 10,103 | Gross: $9.68M

32. A Scene at the Sea (1991)

101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The lives of a young, hearing-impaired and gloomy couple are fulfilled after the boy holds interest in surfboarding.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Claude Maki, Hiroko Ôshima, Sabu Kawahara, Toshizo Fujiwara

Votes: 4,605



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