Photo: Netflix Love is Blind: Japan

5 best Japanese films and series coming to Netflix in February 2022

Look out for the first season of ‘Love is Blind Japan’ and the award-winning documentary ‘You Decide’

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

New quasi-emergency measures (in Tokyo) means fewer late nights out – at least for the first half of the month. But that’s okay because there are some great Netflix titles coming out soon. 

For February, we have the long awaited Japanese edition of ‘Love is Blind’ (perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day) as well as a few non-romantic titles if you’re not in a lovey-dovey mood. Bear in mind that not all of these films offer English subtitles and regional restrictions may apply.

You Decide

Synopsis: In the interim between completing her graduate degree from the prestigious Keio University and joining architectural firm Nikken Sekkei, Kaede Hatashima decides to fully commit to living as a proud trans woman. 

Finding her footing as an LGBTQ+ activist, Kaede works to unpack the prejudices transgender people face on a daily basis and at the same time change society’s attitudes towards sexual minorities in Japan. All the while, Kaede grapples with two conflicting desires: gain her father’s approval or become the powerful woman of her dreams. 

Overview: It’s no longer rare to see trans people represented in the media, but the way these figures are depicted are not always accurate, which can do more harm than good to the LGBTQ+ community. This documentary, on the other hand, is a remarkably bold and insightful chronicle of a trans woman who is still transitioning and only just beginning to embrace her true identity. 

Available February 1. 


Synopsis: When police detective Eisuke Saijo is transferred from the Investigation Department to the Special Crimes Unit, his new chief orders him to drive to a specific location with no explanation. When he gets there, Eisuke discovers a group of vigilantes called the Avalanche, who work to expose crimes committed by people in positions of power. 

While Eisuke’s first instinct is to turn the anarchic members of Avalanche over to the police, he changes his mind after seeing how much more efficient the group is at handling justice than the corrupt National Police Agency. 

Overview: Who doesn’t love a good band of misfit vigilantes? Starring Go Ayano and Maryjun Takahashi, this tongue-in-cheek drama is a little darker than the teaser will lead you to believe, but that almost makes it cooler. 

 Available February 1. 

Love is Blind: Japan

Synopsis: A group of singles get to know each other in hopes of finding love. The catch? They have to get engaged before seeing each other face to face. Once the couples are paired up, they’re whisked off to a romantic island where they’re given the chance to get to know each other better. For some of the couples, the setting only makes them fall deeper in love, while for others, this is where the fairytale starts to unravel. 

Overview: The original run of this bonkers social experiment was such a hit that ‘Love is Blind USA’ is now gearing up to release season 2. Following a spin-off in Brazil, the reality show is now coming to Japan to answer the age-old question: is love really blind? 

Available February 8. 

Child of Kamiari Month

Synopsis: A year after the sudden loss of her mother, 12-year-old Kanna learns that she is a descendant of ancient gods and must complete a mission her mother had been tasked with. Kanna’s quest is to travel on foot to the faraway city of Izumo in Shimane prefecture for an annual gathering of gods. To get there in time, she must rediscover her love of running – a pastime she lost interest in when her mother passed away. To make matters worse, there are demons in her path who will do anything to stop her. 

Overview: A fantasy story based around a real festival in one of Japan’s most sacred regions, this spirited anime is a celebration of the nation’s ancient heritage. With a heart-tugging premise and a host of loveable mythical beings, Toshinari Shinohe and Takana Shirai’s directorial debut is a resounding success. 

Available February 8. 

Moonlight Shadow 

Synopsis: Everything seemed perfect to Satsuki after meeting Hitoshi by a river one evening and falling in love with him. When the pair started dating, Hitoshi introduced Satsuki and her best friend Yumiko to his younger brother Hiiragi, and the four of them fell into a happy routine of double dates and group dinners. 

Satsuki’s world is soon flipped upside down, however, when Hitoshi and Yumiko are both killed in an accident. Overcome with grief, Satsuki stops eating and Hiiragi starts wearing Yumiko’s school uniform every day in an attempt to feel her presence. The pair struggle to cope until one day, they come across a mysterious woman on the riverbank who tells them how they might be able to reunite with the precious people they lost. 

Overview: ‘Moonlight Shadow’ is a film adaptation of a short story by Banana Yoshimoto. Starring Nana Komatsu as Satsuki and Hio Miyazawa as Hitoshi, Malaysian filmmaker Edmund Yeo’s depiction of melancholy is made even more beautiful with the cinematography by Kong Pahurak. 

Available February 10.

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New bear-shaped KitKat is now available in Japan for Valentine's Day

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