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3 new Japanese films coming to Netflix this August

Japanese movies to watch when you’re not glued to the Tokyo Olympic Games

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

With all of the excitement we’ve seen so far in the Tokyo Olympics, it can be hard to turn your attention away from the live-stream events for fear of missing a historical victory in real time. That said, a little variety never hurts. If you’re looking for a change of pace, Netflix has a fresh lineup of titles coming out this August to keep you entertained as you shield away from the summer heat. 

July brought the unmissable Naomi Osaka documentary, which showed us a never-before-seen intimate side of the tennis superstar. This month’s selection is just as eclectic, with a tragicomedy about a group of idol fanboys, as well as a poignant anime set in World War II Hiroshima. Here are the three films to look forward to as we enter a new month. (Note that regional restrictions may apply.) 

In This Corner (and Other Corners) of the World 

Synopsis: In the middle of the Second World War, 18-year-old Suzu moves from the seaside town of Eba in Hiroshima to the port city of Kure after she is married off to a military officer called Shusaku Hojo. Suzu likes her new family, but with the situation of the war growing more dire by the day, staying afloat in her new life proves to be a challenge. 

Overview: An extended version of the 2016 film ‘In This Corner of the World’, this 2019 release is the longest animated film of its kind. Though the main characters aren’t based on real people, the story depicts a sobering account of the struggles people in Hiroshima faced in the midst of World War II. 

Available August 1 

In Those Days 

Synopsis: Mikito has dreams of making it in a band, but with few career prospects and a failed attempt at getting accepted into university, he finds himself in a slump. To cheer him up, a friend introduces Mikito to the music of idol star Aya Matsuura. Mikito is instantly hooked and finds new meaning in life as a groupie amongst Aya’s top fanboys. 

The group enjoy bonding over their shared admiration for their favourite idol and even end up forming their own band. Years later, the band members have drifted apart after turning their attention to more important aspects of their lives. They are brought back together when one member of the group is diagnosed with a serious illness.

Overview: There’s a little bit of everything in this bittersweet comedy about a fan group whose lives revolve around obsessing over their favourite idol. On one hand, the film gives some interesting insight into Japan’s booming idol industry and its hardcore fans. On the other hand, it follows the emotional journey of a group of friends who are united by one common interest, and how things play out when life starts to get in the way. 

Available August 19 

Fortuna’s Eye 

Synopsis: Shinichiro is cursed with an unfortunate gift – the ability to know if someone near him is about to die. The power applies to anyone in Shinichiro’s sight, as the people whose lives are being cut short appear transparent. Having lost both his parents at an early age, Shinichiro lives a lonely, unhappy life with tragedy following him everywhere he goes. When he meets an upbeat young woman called Aoi, Shinichiro finds himself looking at the world in a new light. That is until one day when Shinichiro realises Aoi’s body has become transparent. 

Overview: Based on a novel of the same name by Naoki Hyakuta, ‘Fortuna’s Eye’ is a doomed love story that begs one question: If you knew what was going to happen in the future, would it change the way you choose to live now? 

Available August 21

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