One Piece
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix © 2023One Piece

4 new Japanese shows and movies to watch on Netflix in August 2023

August releases include two new live-action manga adaptations – ‘One Piece’ and ‘Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead’

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

With soaring temperatures and high humidity, outdoor activities are becoming a challenging proposition. So here’s our suggestion for August: save your outdoor excursions for cooler evening hours, perfect for partaking in matsuri festivities or sipping cocktails at a breezy rooftop bar. As the midday sun blazes, why not stay cool indoors while exploring this month's new Japanese releases on Netflix? 

This includes an eagerly anticipated live-action adaptation of the mega-popular adventure manga, 'One Piece', and a new horror-comedy centred on a zombie apocalypse for those who loved Edgar Wright’s 2004 cult favourite ‘Shaun of the Dead’. (Regional restrictions may apply.)

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead 

Synopsis: Akira Tendo (Eiji Akaso) is a corporate cog at an exploitative company that abuses and overburdens its employees. This causes Akira to fall into heavy depression, as he contemplates ending his life to escape his corporate hell. Then one day, Akira wakes up to find that the city streets are suddenly crawling with zombies, signalling the beginning of a global apocalypse. 

After the initial shock of the news sinks in, Akira suddenly feels euphoric when he realises that he no longer has to go to his dreaded job since the world is ending. Cheerfully accepting his fate, the former office worker sets out to complete a bucket list of 100 things to do before he gets bitten by a zombie. Though the world around him is falling apart, Akira has never felt more alive. 

Overview: Adapted from the popular manga by Haro Aso (‘Alice in Borderland’), 'Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead' promises to bring humour and heart to the well-trodden genre of zombie apocalypse stories. If you're a fan of horror-comedies like 'Shaun of the Dead', this is one series you won't want to miss.

Available August 3. 

Tokyo Revengers 

Synopsis: When down-and-out freelancer Takemichi Hanagaki learns that his ex-girlfriend has been murdered, he finds himself transported back in time to his high school days. Armed with the knowledge of the future, Takemichi must navigate his tumultuous past to prevent Hinata's death and dismantle the dangerous Tokyo Manji Gang.

Overview: This 2021 film, a live-action adaptation of Ken Wakui's manga of the same name, follows Takemichi in his desperate fight against fate. Directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa and starring Takumi Kitamura as Takemichi, 'Tokyo Revengers' offers a gripping blend of action, drama and time travel.

Available August 9. 

One Piece

Synopsis: Based on the highest-selling manga series in Japan, 'One Piece' follows the adventurous Monkey D. Luffy in his quest for the fabled treasure One Piece. Along his perilous journey, Luffy must assemble his dream crew and outwit powerful foes at every turn to fulfil his dream of becoming the King of the Pirates.

Overview: Produced by Tomorrow Studios and Netflix, this live-action series brings to life Eiichiro Oda's acclaimed manga. The high-seas adventure is set to star Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, and Emily Rudd as Nami, among others. With executive producers Matt Owens and Steven Maeda also serving as writers and showrunners, 'One Piece' promises to be a thrilling adaptation of the beloved series.

Available August 31. 

Nagasaki: Memories of My Son 

Synopsis: In this heart-rending drama, midwife Nobuko Fukuhara mourns the loss of her husband and two sons during World War II. One day, she is visited by an apparition of her youngest son, Koji, who died in the bombing of Nagasaki. As the two spend time reminiscing, Nobuko must confront her grief and her relationship with Koji's fiancée, Machiko.

Overview: Directed by Yoji Yamada, this 2015 film is a poignant exploration of loss, memory and the enduring bonds of family. Though it didn't secure a nomination, 'Nagasaki: Memories of My Son' was Japan's entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.

Available August 11. 

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