Hirokazu Kore-eda
Photo: © Monster Film CommitteeMonster

5 most anticipated Japanese films and anime coming out in 2023

A new Studio Ghibli film and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Monster’ are hitting cinema screens this year

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

Hold on to your hats because there's a lot to look forward to in 2023, and not just these show-stopping events and new openings. For starters, an upcoming Hirokazu Kore-eda drama is anticipated to be up for a few awards at Cannes this year. Meanwhile, Studio Ghibli is set to release a new anime by master filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki in a fantastical remake of a Japanese novel titled 'How Do You Live?'.

Sure, keeping track of all the exciting happenings amid cherry blossom season and the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions will be a challenge, but we're not complaining. Mark these release dates on your calendar – cinema is in for a big comeback this year.


How Do You Live?

Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has announced plans to retire multiple times throughout his career, but the master animator can never seem to tear himself away from his drawing table for very long. He is currently working on a new production tentatively titled 'How Do You Live?', which is based on a 1937 novel by Genzaburo Yoshino, an editor and children's literature writer. 

The original story is about a talented 15-year-old high school student called Junichi who turns to his uncle for support and wisdom after the death of his father. Through making journal entries and his frequent interactions with his uncle, Junichi's perspectives on relationships, ethics and life evolve over time. 

Premiering July 14 2023. 


Following the January debut of his hit Netflix series 'The Makanai', director Hirokazu Kore-eda is now set to release his first Japanese language film since his 2018 title 'Shoplifters'. With screenwriter Yuji Sakamoto on board, 'Monster' (or 'Kaibutsu', in Japanese) will be the first film Kore-eda has directed using a screenplay written by someone other than himself since 'Maborosi' (1995). While the story has been kept tightly under wraps, Kore-eda has hinted that the film will be unlike anything he's done before.

Premiering June 2 2023.

Sailor Moon Cosmos

The adventures of the Pretty Guardians will continue this year with another two-part film in June. 'Sailor Moon Cosmos' will act as a sequel to the 2021 'Sailor Moon Eternal' movie, with Usagi coming face to face with her foe Galaxia as she tries to protect her friends and the future of the universe from evil. Look forward to seeing the familiar faces of your favourite heroines and hearing a new theme song by Japanese singer-songwriter Daoko in this nostalgic shojo anime revamp. 

Part one premiering June 9 2023. Part two premiering June 30 2023.

Yoji Yamada
Photo: © Hello, Mother Production Committee(L-R) Sayuri Yoshinaga and Hiroshi Oizumi

Hello, Mother 

Master filmmaker Yoji Yamada is still going strong at the age of 91, with another stellar feature coming after the release of his 2021 film 'It's a Flickering Life'. The upcoming drama stars Hiroshi Oizumi as Akio Kanazaki, a corporate human resources manager who has strained relationships with both his university-age daughter and soon-to-be ex-wife. 

Seeking direction and stability, Akio goes to his hometown to visit his mother (Sayuri Yoshinaga) but is shocked to see that the homely, kitchen-dwelling matriarch he knew growing up has a brand new life as a glamorous spinster in a new relationship. Initially, Akio is sullen about the fact that his childhood home is no longer really 'home', but as the days go by, he gradually forms close relationships with the local residents, who help change his perspectives on family, relationships and identity. 

Premiering September 1 2023.


The ominous shadow of capitalism looms over the serene beauty of a small village in Michihito Fujii's upcoming drama starring Ryusei Yokohama ('Your Eyes Tell'). In the film, Yokohama plays a depressed and disenchanted young man called Yu Katayama, who works a dead-end job at a waste facility in the countryside. One day, however, Yu's life takes a sharp and unexpected turn when his childhood friend Misaki returns to the village from Tokyo. 

2023 release date TBA. 

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