10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Japanese Series on Netflix
Japanese Series on Netflix

Our lives have changed dramatically since the introduction of the internet. It has made the world more communicative, we are learning more about and better understand countries that were previously inaccessible to us.

With the addition of subtitles in various languages, Netflix made it easier for its viewers to watch series shot in countries other than their own. It’s not that this wasn’t possible before, because television networks purchased the rights to foreign series and dubbed them (hence, for example, part of the success of anime around the world).

Apart from Unlike anime, which has a global following, Japanese series are less well-known. However, we can assure you that there are some excellent Japanese series on netflix.

We’ve compiled a list of the top ten Japanese series on Netflix. From comedies to thrillers, LGBT-friendly to those that will make you cry on multiple occasions. I hope you enjoy it!

1. Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

If we’re talking about the Japanese Netflix series, Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories is top of the list, as this series is based on Yaro Abe’s Shinya shokud (深夜食堂) manga and has gained a lot of popularity outside of Japan as well.

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

This series is set in a small izakaya, or Japanese bar, central Shinjuku. Shinjuku is one of Tokyo’s busiest neighborhoods for those unfamiliar with Japanese culture, with the highest concentration of offices, businesses, and shops. There are many bars in the area, but this one is unique in that it only opens at night, from 0:00 to 7:00 a.m. Furthermore, there are only a few seats around the bar, and the menu consists of dishes the owner wishes to prepare.

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Each episode tells the story of one of the customers who receive encouragement or advice from the bar’s owner, whom they refer to as Master.

Furthermore, each episode is self-conclusive; the story begins and ends in that episode, making it an easy series to follow because there is no need to follow a storyline.

2. Atelier

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Atelier, also known as Underwear in Japanese (アンダーウェア), is a TV series about the world of fashion, notably women’s underwear.

Mayuko is a fashion designer who migrated to Tokyo to pursue her dream of working as a fashion designer in the fashion industry, and has hired as an intern at Emotion (Ginza store). The company’s owner Mayumi Nanjo is the world’s most famous underwear designer.

3. Ossan’s Love

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Soichi Haruta, 33, works for a real estate brokerage and still lives with his mother. Despite his desire to marry the love of his life, he has had no luck with women due to his clumsy, numb demeanour. One day, his mother, tired of the situation at home, abandons him and kicks him out of the familiar house, forcing Haruta to hunt for a new place to live.

Fortunately, his coworker Ryota Maki accepts him as his new flatmate, and his life changes dramatically, as Maki is the polar opposite of Haruta: clean, tidy, and a good cook. Meanwhile, Harutas’s senior at the real estate office, Musashi Kurosawa, announces himself gay and in love with Haruta, turning the situation between the three men on its head.


 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Followers (フォロワーズ) is a series that discusses a recent hot topic: social network followers.

Natsume is a young aspiring actress locked in part-time jobs and as a model with a tyrannical agent who is unable to land the role that will propel her career. Limi is a well-known and accomplished fashion photographer who aspires to be a mother. They both live in Tokyo and meet during a session when Limi photographs Natsume in a rage and posts it on her social media. That moment will forever alter their lives.

5. Alice in Borderland

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Alice in Borderland, also known as Imawa no Kuni no Alice in Japanese (今際の国のアリス), is a television series about a young man who is obsessed with video games finds himself in a bizarre version of Tokyo where they must participate in perilous games to win.

This gritty and dark dystopian sci-fi thriller is packed with exhilarating action sequences, stunning cinematography, and an enthralling storyline. Ryohei, an unemployed young man enamoured with video games, stumbles and finds a portal to an alternate dimension where he and his pals must fight for their existence.

6. Erased

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Erased is a live-action adaptation of the anime Boku dake ga Inai Machi (僕だけがいない街), a manga adaption by Kei Sanbe.

The story’s protagonist is Satoru Fujinuma, a 28-year-old who aspires to be a manga author while working as a pizza delivery man. At first glance, Satoru appears to be an ordinary young Japanese man, yet he possesses extraordinary power. Satoru is transferred to the past when a disaster occurs to prevent it from happening.

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

However, Satoru does not pick when to return to the past or know what misfortune will occur, so he must rely on his intuition to figure it out.

But Satoru’s life is turned upside down when he discovers his mother died in his apartment, with him as the prime suspect. Satoru is transported to 1988 to prevent his mother’s death. Kayo Hinazuki, his mother’s classmate, unexpectedly disappears that year.

Kayo appears to be the first victim of a series of disappearances and murders and to save his mother, Satoru must figure out who is behind these events.

7. Samurai Gourmet

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Samurai Gourmet, based on Masayuki Kasumi’s manga Nobushi no Gourmet (野武士のグルメ), is another popular Japanese anime in the West.

Samurai Gourmet opens with a circumstance that is all too frequent in Japan: Takeshi Kasumi is a Japanese salaryman who has committed his entire life to work and who, now in his 60s, has recently retired and is unsure what to do with all of his free time. But then he discovers new places in his neighbourhood that he was unaware of and enjoys eating. He also recalls memories from his youth through eating.

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Many of you are curious. Okay, but where is the samurai? Kasumi’s alter ego, the samurai exists only in his imagination. Kasumi is a timid person. Thus his samurai alter ego comes when there is a fight or a moment of tension. This ronin, or samurai without a lord, is the polar opposite of Kasumi. This samurai somehow inspires Kasumi to be more fearless and determined.

8. JU-ON: Origins

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

JU-ON (呪怨) is a Japanese horror film series. The story centres around an abandoned house where a heinous murder occurred, and everyone who comes into contact with the house is cursed and dies as a result.

The creators claim the series is unique since it is based on actual original events that inspired the movie. The series tells numerous stories with different protagonists at different times that all have the haunted home as a common link and how it affects their life.

9. Close-Knit

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Tomo is an 11-year-old girl who has been ignored. She is raised by her mother, who abandons her when she falls in love with another guy. When this happens, Tomo moves in with her uncle, Makio. This time, though, Makio is living with his transgender partner, Rinko. The drama that unfolds in an unusual family is depicted in the film, as is Tomo’s acceptance of LGBT individuals.

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

Although at first, it seems strange, the three starts to live together as a family, and Rinkio teaches Tomo about the goodness and love of a mother. The craft of weaving is evident throughout the series; although it may appear insignificant or frivolous, it symbolises unity. The show also touches on unusual families and Makio’s family’s acceptance of Rinkio.

10. Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

As you can see, food-related television series is popular in Japan. Japanese people enjoy cooking and eating, hence there are frequently numerous TV shows on it. The television show Kantaro: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman is based on the Tensei Hagiwara and Abidi Inoue manga Saboriman Ametani Kantarou (さぼリー マン飴谷甘太郎).

Although Kantaro Ametani appears to be a typical man, he has a secret affection for sweets. The systems engineer chooses to leave his position and begin working in the sales and marketing department of the Kiccho publishing firm since he is so addicted to sweets.

As a systems engineer, he was limited to eating sweets on the weekends, but his new position required him to visit a variety of bookstores in various parts of Tokyo. If he completes the trips faster than anticipated, he will have time to visit a well-known café or pastry shop nearby.

 | 10 Best Japanese Series on Netflix

So there you have it! This is a list of Netflix recommendations for Japanese television shows. Do you have any? Which drama on the list most grabs your attention? Please don’t hesitate to comment if you have any suggestions!

You might also like:

Best 5 Japanese Dramas Worthy To Watch

6 Japanese drama of 2022 You Should Watch

Best 10 Japanese Drama for Beginners

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About the author

Neha Garia is the founder and Editor at The Drama Paradise. She is a long-time K-Drama addict and K-Pop lover. Her favorite K-Pop artists are BTS, SF9, ATEEZ, and INFINITE but there are many more groups she is having a look at. Her favorite actors include Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim GoEun, and Kim TaeRi, to name a few. She hopes to share her love for Korean culture with people across the globe.

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