Naomi Osaka Documentary
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix Naomi Osaka

5 new Japanese films and series coming to Netflix in July 2021

Look forward to the long-awaited Naomi Osaka series as well as the anime adaptation of Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise

By
Emma Steen
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In a few short weeks, we’ll all be glued to our screens watching the Opening Ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics. But between waiting for the rainy season to end and for the Games to begin, there’s a host of new Netflix titles to catch in the meantime. 

Some of you may still be going through season two of 'The Naked Director', which dropped on the platform last month, but July’s lineup has plenty of strong contenders, including a Naomi Osaka documentary and an anime series based on the horror video game ‘Resident Evil’. Here are the most promising new productions to look forward to as we enter a new month. (Note that regional restrictions may apply.)

Naomi Osaka

Synopsis: After winning a historic match against Serena Williams in the US Open 2018, 20-year-old tennis player Naomi Osaka was named world champion by the Women’s Tennis Association. What followed was a flurry of brand deals, sponsorships and interviews (the latest being the cover star of Vogue Japan) as the world turned its gaze on the first Asian tennis player to be ranked number one. In the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics, this momentous docuseries covers her triumphs and tribulations in defending the world champion title. 

Overview: This three-part mini-series covers different aspects of Naomi Osaka’s life, from her dazzling career as a professional tennis player to her multi-cultural background of being a young Haitian-Japanese woman raised in the United States. 

Available July 16.

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness

Synopsis: Leon S Kennedy is investigating a hacking attempt at the White House when the building is infiltrated by a horde of zombies. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, human rights activist Claire Redfield is digging into a possible conspiracy of another zombie outbreak. When the two cross paths, they discover that their respective leads are connected. 

Overview: Franchise adaptations rarely translate well across mediums, but Netflix’s latest CG anime series is a welcome exception to the rule. Comprising four 30-minute episodes, the series is produced in a way that doesn’t require the viewer to have played the games to understand the story. More importantly, it also avoids rehashing plots of the original video games. Supervised by Capcom's Hiroyuki Kobayashi and produced by TMS Entertainment, this English-language series is yet another riveting project that is part of Netflix’s initiative to bring more original anime to the platform.

Available July 8.

The Way of the Hot and Spicy 

Synopsis: Kenta Sarukawa (Akito Kiriyama) has just been hired as a sales promoter at a beverage company in Osaka. At his first outing to a restaurant with his co-workers, Kenta is taken aback by how spicy all the dishes are. Apparently, Kenta’s new boss sees eating hot dishes as one of the secrets to success, and Kenta quickly finds himself drawn to this curious practice. 

Overview: Want to know how to light a fire in your belly? According to this show, the key is to add as much spice to your food as you can manage. From one mouthwatering dish to another, consider this the gekira (super spicy) version of the beloved Midnight Diner series. 

Available July 8.

Farewell Song 

Synopsis: Haru (Mugi Kadowaki) is a brooding, introverted artist who has a talent for expressing herself through song. When Haru meets Reo (Nana Komatsu) and discovers that she is also a musician, Haru suggests that they form a musical duo named Haru-Reo. When the pair welcomes a new band member called Shima (Ryo Narita), a former host club worker, things get complicated and the band members find themselves in a sticky love triangle.

Overview: More often than not, forming a band has lots to do with making things work with people who have complicated personalities while struggling to make a living through your passion. This understated indie drama captures the difficult reality of making it big in music with a series of beautiful songs that make the film worth watching. 

Available July 8.

Horimiya 

Synopsis: Kyoko Hori is a one of the most popular girls in school, admired for her looks as well as her stellar grades. Her classmate Izumi Miyamura is the opposite, often keeping to himself and coming across as anti-social. While on the surface they seem like two completely different people, Kyoko and Izumi each discover that the other has a different side that they keep hidden from their peers. As the pair spend more and more time together, they find themselves growing more comfortable with being the most authentic versions of themselves. 

Overview: Based on a manga adaptation of the webcomic 'Hori-san and Miyamura-kun', this opposites-attract drama is a heart-warming story to remind you that we’re more similar to each other than we realise. Daisuke Hagiwara, who is the mangaka (manga artist) behind the comic series, is credited as a writer of the show starring Oji Suzuka as Izumi and Sayu Kubota as Kyoko. 

Available now.

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